Today we take a look at the top prospects in the NL who can impact NL only fantasy leagues in 2013. I am going to break up this group into 2 categories, those who make the opening day roster and the in-season call-ups. Both lists players are in alphabetical order.
Opening Day Candidates:
Nolan Arenado - COL - 3B - 2012 Stats: 12HR- 56RBI-55R-0SB-.285 Avg in AA
Did not have the breakout season last year the Rockies had hoped but this could help Arenado in the long term as sometimes dealing with failure helps the player in the long term. In the mix to win the opening day job at 3B and is off to a good start this spring. Even if he starts the year in the minors still projected to be Rocks 3B of the future and should be up by early summer.
Jedd Gyorko - SD - 2B / 3B - 2012 Stats: 30HR-100RBI-90R-5SB-.311 Avg in AA - AAA
In line to be the Padres opening day starter at 2B. Natural position is 3B but with Chase Headley in tow, Gyorko heads to 2B. Should be a good bat at middle infield but don't expect his minor league numbers last year in his rookie year at the show.
Adam Eaton - ARI - OF - 2012 Stats: 7HR-48RBI-130R-44SB-.375 Avg in AA - AAA
Had a huge year last season in the minors and should get 400AB's in Arizona's 4 man OF. I wouldn't expect a lot of power but at least solid numbers in R, SB and Avg.
Shelby Miller - STL - SP - 2012 Stats: 11-10, 4.74 ERA, 1.38 Ratio, 160K in AAA
Struggled mightly in 1st half last year but the straightened things out and was dominant the rest of the way including a Sept call-up with the big club. Fighting for the 5th spot in the Cards rotation. If he doesn't win it could see a call-up to the show by May - June. Potential #1 starter.
Wily Peralta - MIL - SP - 2012 Stats: 7-11, 4.66 ERA, 1.58 Ratio, 143K in AAA
Was terrible in AAA last year but was strong in his September call-up as Peralta went 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 5 starts. Fighting for a spot in the Brewer rotation and could be a good depth starter.
Trevor Rosenthal - STL - SP - 2012 Stats: 8-6, 2.97 ERA, 1.10 Ratio, 104K in AA - AAA
In that same battle as Shelby Miller for Cards 5th spot in the rotation. Projects to be a middle of the rotation starter or an excellent reliever, depends on the development of his secondary pitches.
Darin Ruf - PHI - OF - 2012 Stats: 38HR-104RBI-93R-2SB- .317 Avg in AA
In the mix for a major league roster spot as Ruf can play OF and 1B. He is 26 years old so needs to get an opportunity soon.
Hyun-Jin Ryu - LAD - SP - 2012 Stats: 9-9, 2.66 ERA, 1.09 Ratio, 210K in Japan
Ryu's contract includes a clause that forbids him from being sent to the minors without his consent. Most likely means he will start the season as Dodgers #3 starter. Hard to predict foreign players as there have been a lot of booms and busts. Ryu is projected to be a middle tier starter.
Tyler Skaggs - ARI - SP - 2012 Stats: 9-6, 2.87 ERA, 1.22 Ratio, 116K in AA - AAA
Part of the trade with the Angels for Dan Haren, is fighting for the 5th spot in Arizona's rotation but off to a rocky spring start. Even if sent down could see early call-up. Projects as front of the rotation starter.
Julio Teheran - ATL - SP - 2012 Stats: 7-9, 5.08 ERA, 1.44 Ratio, 97K in AAA
It was a rough year for Teheran last year but remember he is just 21. If he makes stides on his breaking pitch could be a #1 starter, if not then a strong middle of the rotation starter. Has an excellent chance to be the Braves #5 starter and you maybe able to get him at a bargain price come draft day as the hype machine is very quiet on Teheran do to his bad year last year at AAA.
During the Season Call-Ups:
Gerrit Cole - PIT - SP - 2012 Stats: 9-7, 2.80 ERA, 1.20 Ratio, 136K in High A - AAA
Has drawn comparisons to Justin Verlander. Potential #1 starter and could be called up by all-star break.
Tony Cingrani - CIN - SP - 2012 Stats: 5-3, 2.12 ERA, 1.10 Ratio, 101K in AA
Will start the year in AAA and needs to work on his secondary pitches. Could be in the Reds rotation come August once the Reds get worried about Chapman's innings. Excellent chance to be one of the Reds opening day starters next year as Bronson Arroyo is a free agent after the season.
Travis D'Arnaud - NYM - C - 2012 Stats: 16HR-52RBI-45R-1SB-.333 AVG in AAA
Only played in 67 games last year due to a knee injury but as long as he stays healthy D'Arnaud will be a future impact bat at the catcher position. D'Aranud is so thought of in MLB he has been involved with trades that sent Halladay & RA Dickey the other way. By June he will be up with the Mets.
JR Graham - ATL - SP - 2012 Stats: 12-2, 2.80 ERA, 1.06 Ratio, 110K in A - AA
Has a ceiling of a middle tier starter and a late summer call-up could happen.
Didi Gregorius - ARI - SS - 2012 Stats: 7HR-54RBI-70R-3SB-.265 Avg in AA - AAA
Will start the year in AAA, great glove and Arizona future shortstop but a lot of questions if he can hit enough. Scouts are 50/50 on Gregorius bat. Expect a 2nd half call-up.
Billie Hamilton - CIN - OF - 2012 Stats: 2HR-45RBI-112R-155SB-.311 Avg in A-AA
No those SB's is not a typo. This guy can change the SB category in NL only and mixed leagues for years to come. Has broken 100 steals the last 2 years in the minors. I also love his OBP which was over 400 last year. He is learning a new position CF and the Reds outfield is set for now but it's possible to see Hamilton with the Reds come late summer, sooner if there is an injury. With Choo being a free agent Hamilton is slated to take over CF come next opening day.
Casey Kelly - SD - SP - 2012 Stats: 0-2, 3.35 ERA, 0.96 Ratio, 39K in 8 Starts between Rookie Ball - AAA
Also made 6 starts in late season call up and compiled a 6.21 ERA. Chance to be a front of the rotation starter but if not is a very safe bet to be a solid middle of the rotation starter. Pads want to give Kelly more time but you could see Kelly in Petco by early summer.
Oscar Taveras - STL - OF - 2012 Stats: 23HR-94RBI-83R-10SB-.321 in AA
One of the top top prospects in all of baseball. Next stud Outfielder to join the NL. Most likely a call up in July but could be sooner if injury to 30 something OF's Holiday & Beltran.
Zack Wheeler - NYM - SP - 2012 Stats: 12-8, 3.26 ERA, 1.17 Ratio, 148K in AA - AAA
Projected to be front of the rotation starter , with trade bait and health risks in Johan Santana and Shawn Marcum. Wheeler is just about ready and should be in the Mets rotation by June - July.
Kolten Wong - STL - 2B - 2012 Stats: 9HR-52RBI-79R-21SB-.287 in AA
Will open the season at AAA but could take over the big league job at 2B come June as the Cards are lacking at 2B on the MLB roster.
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NL King - C.Lizza