Sunday August 12th, 2012

Codey Harrison: In Major League Baseball, middle of the field players (catcher,shortstop, centerfield) are a premium position. So much so that most teams are reluctant to trade away elite level prospects from those positions. Shortstop is arguably the most important position in baseball. Every once in a while, shortstops like Troy Tulowitzki, and Derek Jeter come along and can propel a team to great success. The top prospects in baseball this year is fairly deep at shortstop with potential superstars in the making. Lets take a look at some of the best shortstops who are still prospect eligible.

1.) Jurickson Profar (Rangers AA) – Texas Rangers shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar is the best shortstop prospect in all of baseball. Profar is so highly thought of by scouts, that some believe the Rangers may end up trading 23-year-old 2-time All-star shortstop Elvis Andrus or moving him to second base, with Ian Kinsler going to the outfield. Profar has all five tools (hit, power, speed, glove, and arm) and he’s proven he knows how to use all five. He’s currently raking in AA Frisco at only 19 years of age, posting monstrous numbers of .279 AVG, .356 OBP, .458 SLG, 23 doubles, 7 triples, 13 home runs, and 53 walks to 69 strikeouts. Some scouts believe Profar has a chance to be a gold glove caliber top, or middle of the order run producing machine, that is a perennial All-Star. No prospect is a guarantee, but Profar looks to be legit as far as prospects go.

2.) Manny Machado (Orioles MLB) – Baltimore Orioles prospect Manny Machado who was the 3rd overall pick in the 2010 draft, Since being scouted for the draft Machado has drawn comparisons to slugger Alex Rodriguez. It’s easy to see why as Machado set the world on fire in his second MLB game, blasting 2 home runs. Some belive Machado was rushed to the big leagues as he is only 20-years old (playing third base for the first time). At the time of his call, Machado was posting less than great stats for someone summoned to the bigs at such a young age. With the AA Bowie Baysox this season, Machado posted a .266 AVG, .352 OBP, .438 SLG, with 26 doubles, 5 triples, 11 home runs, and 13 stolen bases. Machado showed very good plate discipline for his age, walking 48 times to 70 strikeouts.

3.) Billy Hamilton (Reds AA) – Cincinnati Reds one man show/prospect Billy Hamilton was a second round draft pick of the 2009 draft. Name any major league speedster, and Billy Hamilton is easily faster. While Hamilton is a shortstop currently, many believe his calling card is in center field. Hamilton has a chance to be an excellent leadoff hitter as long as his bat continues to progress. Between A+ Bakersfield and AA Pensacola, Billy Hamilton has been a one man show as he steals more bases by himself than most minor league teams combined. So far, Hamilton has a .311 AVG, .409 OBP, .425 SLG, 20 Doubles, 12 Triples, 2 Home Runs, with a 71/94 walks/strikeouts. However the most impressive stat is Hamilton’s 135 stolen bases. With a month left, Billy Hamilton only needs 15 more stolen bases to break the MiLB record. Watch out baseball world. Hamilton is on the loose!

4.) Francisco Lindor (Indians A) – Cleveland Indians top prospect Francisco Lindor was a part of the great 2011 draft, as Lindor was the 8th overall selection. Lindor is the total package, a switch hitting, fast, very good defensive shortstop. To the conventional baseball fan Lindor’s numbers don’t look very impressive, but when you consider he is only 18 years old in Low-A baseball, make his numbers very impressive. With the Lake County Capitals, Lindor is batting .263, .357 OBP, .371, 20 Doubles, 3 Triples, 6 Home Runs, 25 stolen bases, with a very impressive 52 walks/ 60 strikeouts. With Francisco Lindor, the Indians have a little bit easier decision when it comes to re-signing Asdrubal Cabrera, as Lindor appears to be the Indians shortstop of the future.

5.) Jean Segura (Brewers MLB) – The former Angels, current Milwaukee Brewers shortstop prospect was the main prospect in the Zack Greinke trade. They say “Good things come in small packages”. Well, that’s the case with the 5’10, 165 lbs Segura, as he reached the majors shortly after being traded to the Brewers (after playing in 1 major league game for the Angels). The 22-year-old Segura was very impressive in AA this season, batting .304, with a .358 OBP, .413 SLG, 13 doubles, 5 triples, 7 home runs, and 37 stolen bases. With Jean Segura it makes it easy to see why the Brewers were willing to give up Ace Zack Greinke.

Today’s article was prepared by Codey Harrison, MiLB Prospects Analyst. We would like your feedback, so please feel free to comment on the article below, and share in discussion with our readers. You can also follow Codey on Twitter (@ProspectsMLB)

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  1. […] One: Top 5 Shortstop Prospects in Baseball Part Two: Top 5 Catching Prospects in […]

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