Top 100 fantasy prospects for 2010
Talent and opportunity are key factors when ranking the top prospects for only 2010
The objective is to win now.
Most prospect lists take the "long" view, looking at a player's potential over the next few seasons. This list doesn't. It has a different purpose, a narrower scope. I'm examining the players most likely to help your team this season. I'm not even considering 2011.
This set of rankings is going to look markedly different from others. Much of what I did in assembling it is project playing time, because that's what it's all about. If I didn't see any scenarios in which a player will get at-bats this season, then he didn't make this list, because he's of no use to you non-keeper-league owners. For example, I love Dustin Ackley's swing as much as the next person, but I don't think Ackley is going to replicate Gordon Beckham's quick ascension to the majors. Ackley is looking at getting maybe some September at-bats, and that's all, so I couldn't justify putting him among this group. For comparison sake, Jason Heyward (this year's No. 1 prospect) didn't make this list last year. I still expected big things from Heyward, but because he wasn't expected to reach the big leagues, he had little value in single-season formats.
So if you're scanning the list below and wondering where the Rangers' Martin Perez is, there's your answer. Arizona's Adam LaRoche has been a pretty consistent, durable player in his career, so no Brandon Allen either. Allen's talent might warrant inclusion, but he's blocked at first base for now.
Keith Law's Top 100
Keith Law ranks the overall top 100 major league prospects. To see the first 25, click here.
If you're looking for standard prospect ratings, Keith Law's Top 100 prospect rankings might be more to your liking. But for fantasy purposes, playing time is the key, and all kinds of unpredictable variables determine which players will ascend to the big leagues and when. Sometimes it's because of injuries to big league starters, or maybe there's just a spot open for a minor leaguer to step up. Nobody saw Garrett Jones and Casey McGehee coming last season, but sometimes players happen into an unforeseen opportunity and take advantage of it. As such, some of the players at the bottom of this list shouldn't necessarily be considered "top prospects," but because they have a chance to get some playing time, I address them so you know what to expect.
2010 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit
ESPN.com's fantasy experts offer all the information you need to succeed in your draft.
Draft Kit Home
2010 Projections and Profiles
• Top 300 | AL-only | NL-only | Cheat sheets
• Catcher: Rankings | Preview
• First Base: Rankings | Preview
• Second Base: Rankings | Preview
• Third Base: Rankings | Preview
• Shortstop: Rankings | Preview
• Outfield: Rankings | Preview
• Designated Hitter: Rankings
• Starting Pitcher: Rankings | Preview
• Relief Pitcher: Rankings | Preview
• Jason Grey's Top 100 prospects
• Tristan H. Cockcroft's Top 200 keepers
Talented Mr. Roto
• March 25: Head-to-head points draft
• March 12: Standard mixed league draft 2.0
• March 3: NL-only draft
• March 2: AL-only draft
• Jan. 21: Albert Pujols goes No. 1
• Mock Draft Lobby
• Live Draft Results
• Ranking ballparks for fantasy purposes
• 2010 sleepers and busts
• Jason Grey's must-have players
• Sleeper options for saves
• Debunking the second-half surge myth
• First and second-half all-stars
• Kings of Command: Pitching sleepers
• BABIP Busting: Lucky hitters/pitchers
• Mulligans: Starters minus worst starts
• Notable offseason moves | All moves
• Prince Fielders versus Mark Teixeira
• Dustin Pedroia versus Robinson Cano
• Josh Beckett versus Tommy Hanson
• Troy Tulowitzki versus Derek Jeter
• David Wright versus Evan Longoria
• Carlos Marmol versus Bobby Jenks
• Brian McCann versus Victor Martinez