2011 Fantasy Baseball: Top Prospects (1-12)

Jeremy Hellickson comes in at number 1 on our list and looks to have a big rookie campaign for the Rays.

We’re ready to reveal prospects 1-12 in our 2011 Fantasy Baseball Top Prospects.  Incase you missed 13-25, here’s what you’re in store for. Throughout the season this space will document and examine the prospects of baseball’s top, well…prospects. Were going to start with a top 25 of youngsters and follow that up with a weekly top 10 prospect power ranking (PPR from here on out) column. Since prospects come and go with great regularity, we will keep only the most legit of minor leaguers as the focal in order to maintain continuity. These baseball rankings will be fluid and ever changing, so expect fresh and insightful content every time out. Here are the top prospects of 2011.

1) Jeremy Hellickson (TB) – Hellickson is projected to begin the season in the majors with the Rays. With his outstanding command, Hellickson already received a nice deal of exposure to the big show in his 4 starts last season. He was able to win all four times he took the hill and has Rays fans intrigued with just how effective he can be in his first full campaign.

2) Domonic Brown (Phi) – Brown is projected to begin the season in the big leagues with the Phillies. Domonic Brown is another youngster who grabbed some early exposure to the majors with 35 appearances last season.He will be given every opportunity to win one of the vacant spots in the Phillies outfield and his five-tool game should play quite nicely for years to come.

3) Mike Trout (LAA) – Trout projects to open the season with the Angels AA affiliate in Arkansas. A speedy outfielder who has already developed startling plate discipline at such a young age, Trout is on the fast track to fantasy baseball stardom. With a lot of uncertainly surrounding the Angels this season, don’t be surprised to see Trout get his chance to shine by the end of the year.

4) Dustin Ackley (SEA) – Ackley is projected to begin the season at AAA, but will be given a chance to win a job out of spring training. Dustin Ackley has been ticketed for glory since he was taken with the second pick of the 2009 draft. He projects to hit for a high average with decent power and should be a staple of the Mariners lineup for years to come.

5) Desmond Jennings (TB) – Desmond Jennings is projected to begin the season at AAA Durham for the Rays. Another young gun who caught a bit of experience in the bigs last season, Jennings should be able to overcome some of his injury troubles from years past and make an impact by the middle of the season.

6) Brandon Belt (SF) – Belt is slated to begin the season at AAA, but the Giants intend to give him every chance to win a job out of spring training. Belt has the ability to hit for power and average and his above average make-up has him set up to succeed early on in the major leagues, possibly as early as June.

7) Kyle Drabek (Tor) – Drabek is projected to begin the season in the majors with the Blue Jays. After opening up a few spots in the rotation this off-season, the Jays are ready and willing to hand one of those spots to Drabek. With his pedigree and arsenal far from lacking, Drabek has all the makings of a rookie of the year candidate in 2011. Watch out for Drabek as a fantasy sleeper.

8 Julio Teheran (ATL) – Teheran is slated to open the season with the Braves AAA affiliate in Gwinnett. Julio Teheran has already developed an impressive arsenal that features a mid-90’s fastball and an above average breaking ball, which should allow his transition to the major leagues to be seamless. You can count on him being a big part of the Braves rotation for years to come.

9) Manny Machado (Bal) – Machado is projected to start the season with the Orioles AA affiliate in Bowie. A slick fielding shortstop with impressive power, Machado is sure to keep the Orioles worry free at shortstop for many years. On a emerging team full of young talent, Machado will be a focal point in Baltimore for the foreseeable future.

10) Mike Moustakas (KC) – Moustakas is projected to open the season with the Royals AAA affiliate in Omaha, but could easily be found in majors before the All-Star break. Moustakas figures to be one of the many young stars coming up in the Royals system who are being counted on to return Kansas City to prominence. An decent fielder with impressive power to all fields, Moustakas will be a superstar in the near future for sure.

11) Bryce Harper (Was) – Young phenom Bryce Harper is slated to begin the season with the Nationals A affiliate in Hagerstown. Don’t expect Harper to stay down in single A for all that long as his rise to the major leagues figures to be meteoric. The Nationals plan to start him in the lower levels and have him get consistent at-bats at all three levels of the minors. Depending on where Washington sits in the standings, don’t be shocked to catch a glimpse of Harper in the big leagues later in the season. If you’re in any type of fantasy keeper league, keep an eye out on Harper.

12) Chris Sale (CHW) – Chris Sale is a certainty to begin the season at the big league level with the White Sox, but in what capacity remains to be seen. With a filthy mid-90’s fastball and a tough as nails makeup, most people in the organization feel Sale would be best utilized in the bullpen. He projects to ultimately join the rotation, but this season he could very well featured in the closers role for the White Sox.

2011 Fantasy Baseball: Top Prospects (13-25)

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