Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Top 30 Up-and-Comers to Know for 2012 - Chris Chisam

Clint Chisam created and maintains the FANTASY Edition of MLBDepthCharts Magazine and is also the man behind MLBDepthCharts' Customized Fantasy Baseball Spreadsheets. Follow him on Twitter @CChiz5 for fantasy news and analysis. 
The 2012 season is approaching quickly and with that comes the best time of the year as a Fantasy Baseball Player ... DRAFT DAY! The 2011 season had a new wave of talented young prospects that made considerable first impression on their clubs. Let’s take a look at these players, as well as some of the up-and-comers yet to make an impact in the Big Leagues.
*To read the rest of each players info, click their names

30 RHP Fautino De Los Santos, Oakland Athletics
De Los Santos, a flame-throwing right-hander, is a dark-horse candidate for the A’s closer job this spring….

29 OF J.D. Martinez, Houston Astros 
A right-handed hitting corner outfielder, Martinez made a tremendous splash in his brief stint with the Astros in 2011….

28 C Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati Reds 
One of the games top catching prospects, Mesoraco was a September call-up in 2011….

27 C Salvador Perez , Kansas City Royals
Called up to the big leagues on August 10th, the 21 year-old immediately assumed the Royals’ starting catcher job….

26 RHP Addison Reed, Chicago White Sox
Chosen as the team's #1 prospect by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus after a remarkable 2011 season,  Reed appears to be the team's closer of the very near future….

25 1B Yonder Alonso, San Diego Padres
Acquired in the blockbuster trade involving Mat Latos, Alonso figures to be a big part of the Padres' future….

24 OF Dayan Viciedo, Chicago White Sox
Expected to be the everyday right fielder after Carlos Quentin was traded to the Padres earlier this offseason, Viciedo has an opportunity to put up some big power numbers and eventually hit in the middle of the Sox lineup....

23 LHP Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves
When the Braves traded Derek Lowe to the Indians almost immediately after the season ended, it seemingly cleared a rotation spot for Minor, who has made 23 big league starts over the past two seasons....

22 2B Jose Altuve, Houston Astros 
It must have been tough being a fan of the Houston Astros in 2011, but cheer up Astros fan….

21 OF Lucas Duda, New York Mets
One of the few bright spots for the injury-riddled New York Mets in 2011 was Duda, who filled in admirably for the injured Ike Davis at first base and then moved out to right field after Carlos Beltran was traded to the Giants at the trade deadline….

20 OF Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Royals
Acquired from the Brewers as part of the Zack Greinke trade last offseason, Cain figures to be patrolling center field for the Royals over the next several years….

19 3B Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals
Entering 2011 as the 9th best prospect in the game by Baseball America, Moustakas showed why he deserved that ranking….
18 OF Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
The top pick in the 2010 draft and top-ranked prospect by Baseball America going into last season, Harper appears to be the complete package and he should be in the majors before his 20th birthday in October….

17 OF Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
While most experts thought 2012 or 2013 would be a realistic ETA for Trout to reach the big leagues, he beat the odds when he was called up on July 8th at age 19….

16 1B/OF Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants 
What a rollercoaster ride in 2011 for the 23 year-old rookie. Belt literally had an up-and-down year as he was bounced back and forth between the Giants and Triple-A Fresno….

15 RHP Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers
At  6'5" and 255 lbs, Jansen is an intimidating force as he overmatches hitters with a dominating high 90’s fastball and devastating slider….
14 C/DH Jesus Montero, Seattle Mariners
Currently projected to begin the season as the DH while hitting in the middle of the Mariners' order, Montero should qualify as a catcher at some point as the year progresses to further increase his fantasy value….

13 2B Jason Kipnis, Cleveland Indians
A multi-dimensional second base prospect for the Indians, Kipnis put up phenomenal numbers (.272 BA, 7 HR, 19 RBI, 24 R, 5 SB) after a July 22nd call-up despite missing time with hamstring and oblique injuries….

12 2B Jemile Weeks, Oakland Athletics
The younger brother of Brewers’ second baseman Rickie Weeks, Jemile is a much different player....

11 1B Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
After destroying minor league pitching in his first three pro seasons (.317-83-264 in 315 games between Double-A, Hi-A, and the Rookie Level Pioneer League), Goldschmidt made his big league debut on August 1st with the Diamondbacks in the midst of a pennant race....

10 SS Dee Gordon, Los Angeles Dodgers
Son of former reliever Tom 'Flash' Gordon, who saved 158 games and made three All-Star teams in 21 seasons, the 23 year-old is an exciting young player who can be summed up in one word ... SPEED!...

9 LHP Cory Luebke, San Diego Padres
The 26 year-old, who began the season in the bullpen, finished the year with a 3.29 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 6 wins, and 154 strikeouts, despite not entering the rotation until late June….
8 2B Dustin Ackley, Seattle Mariners
The former 2nd overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft, Ackley (pictured) quickly rose through the Mariners' system and looks to be a lock at second base for the next 10 seasons….

7 1B Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
In the Opening Day lineup as a 21 year-old, Freeman went on to play in 157 games for the Braves and finish second in NL Rookie of the Year balloting behind teammate Craig Kimbrel….

6 RHP Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers
The Rangers are a big believer in Darvish, shoveling out over $51 million for negotiation rights and another $60 million to sign the Japanese right-hander….

5 CF Cameron Maybin, San Diego Padres
Finally living up to his immense potential, Maybin delivered a terrific 2011 season that has people in Miami shaking their heads….

4 LHP Matt Moore, Tampa Bay Rays
The consensus top-ranked prospect in baseball, Moore has the look of a dominant ace. If last year’s postseason is any indicator, the 22 year-old lefty is destined for stardom….

3 3B Brett Lawrie, Toronto Blue Jays
A native Canadian, Lawrie should feel right at home in the launching pad known as Rogers Centre in Toronto….

2 OF Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays
A highly touted prospect for years, Jennings (pictured) finally got the call to be the Rays' everyday left fielder on July 23rd….

1 1B Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals
Bursting onto the scene last year after an early-May call up, Hosmer finished third in the Rookie of the Year balloting after hitting .293 with 19 HR, 78 RBI, 66 R and 11 SB….

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