After the amazing performances of Mike Trout and Bryce Harper last year (not to mention Yu Darvish, Yoenis Cespedes, Wade Miley, and Todd Frazier), fantasy owners will be scouring the minor league and international ranks for the next fantasy breakout. We tapped Dynasty Sports Empire’s prospect expert Luke Taylor to give us his top rookies at each position for re-draft owners. Of course, you can always find Luke’s take on these young studs over at DynastySportsEmpire.com where he provide prospect rankings, profiles and previews with any eye on dynasty fantasy baseball leagues. Let’s take a trip around the infield today with Luke’s list of top infield prospects for re-draft owners.
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Travis d’Arnaud – New York Mets
Good raw power. Approach is a little aggressive, but bat speed allows him to make hard contact on everything. Will open the year in AAA, but it shouldn’t be too long before he’s called up. He could hit .260-.270 with double digit HR’s
Mike Zunino – Seattle Mariners
Lots of pop for a backstop. Swing is conducive for generating back spin and driving the ball out of the park. Will likely spend the first few months of 2013 in AAA, but he should be up by mid season. Could hit anywhere from .250-.270 with 8-10 bombs.
Jonathan Singleton – Houston Astros
Has big raw power and a very good approach at the plate. The 1B position for the Astros is anything but locked down, so Singleton could be looking at some significant playing time. After his 50 game suspension, it shouldn’t be too long before the Stros give him a shot. He could hit .275+ with 10-12 HR’s
Jedd Gyorko – San Diego Padres
Gyorko will have every opportunity to make the big league club out of spring training. His power is more gap power than over the fence, but that should give him plenty of doubles in spacious Petco Park. He should also hit for a solid average; perhaps .280+
Kotlen Wong – St. Louis
Wong will likely begin the year in AAA, but should get his call come June or July due to the lack of a present or future answer at the keystone for the Cards. He won’t be a star, but he should be able to do a little bit of everything. He could very well hit .275+, hit 5-8 HR’s and get double digit steals.
Nick Franklin – Seattle
Franklin may also qualify for the short stop position, but his future home–at least for the M’s–is likely at 2nd base. And that’s good because the current occupant of that position at the big league level is not that good. Teammate Dustin Ackley really hasn’t been the player the M’s thought they were getting when they drafted him 2nd overall a few years back. Franklin could easily take over at some point early on in 2013. His upside is minimal, but his floor is high. He could hit .270+ with 5-6 HR’s and a lot of doubles.
Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies
Has little standing in his way at the major league level. Line drive stroke and ability to hit to all fields will be perfect for Coor’s field. Will likely spend the first few months in AAA, but there is still a chance he breaks camp with the club. He could potentially hit anywhere from .260-.280 with a lot of doubles and 10+ HR’s.
Mike Olt – Texas Rangers
Won’t play much 3rd base as long as Adrain Beltre is upright, but his natural position is 3rd which is why he makes the list. The Ragers likely won’t give him at bats until he’s ready for a full time role, which could come very early in the year. He has big time raw power and could easily provide double digit HR’s if given enough playing time. However, that will probably be accompanied by a low batting average.
Jurickson Profar – Texas Rangers
Will probably only play 2nd base this year, but natural position is short stop. Rangers have said they intend for him to open 2013 in AAA, but don’t be surprised if they go back on their word in spring training. The best prospect in fantasy could hit .270-.280 with 8-10 HR’s and double digit steals.