1. Javier Baez-SS-21
-All Baez did in 2013 was rack up 75 extra base hits, including 38 HRs, all while advancing to AA as a 20 year old. Baez has bat speed that is unrivaled in the minors and already shows plus-plus power in games.† Baez has been able to hit for decent averages so far despite a K rate that has been in the mid 30% range and a low walk rate but there is some concern that advanced pitching may be able to take advantage of him.† Baez isnít a fast runner but he has enough speed that when combined with his great instincts does make him a threat on the bases.† Baez isnít a great defender and there is a chance he may move to the hot corner down the line but he should get every chance to stick at SS in the near term
-Outlook:† Baez is probably a third baseman long term and that may limit his upside a bit but he should put up numbers that would play anywhere on the diamond in FBLO.† I think Baez ends up as a .250 hitter but that could jump to .280 plus with a small gain in plate discipline. †As for the power I see him settling in as a 30-40 HR guy annually who also chips in 15 or so steals a year.† Any way you look at it Baez should be a star whether he ends up playing SS or 3B.
2. George Springer-OF-24
-Springer is another Halos prospect who had a standout 2013 campaign as he advanced all the way to AAA and nearly went 40-40 for the season.† Springer is an elite athlete who possesses excellent speed and plus-plus raw power.† Contact is the biggest weakness in Springerís game as he, like Baez, features a lot of swing and miss at the plate.† Springerís wheels should serve as a weapon at the big league level as he has at least grade 6 speed and that may be on the conservative side.
-Outlook: Springerís two strike approach can be downright awful at times and if he canít learn to make the necessary adjustments we may never get to see him fulfill his potential.† I have more concerns about Springer than I might if he was 20, rather than 24, and I really do worry that the poor contact rates may never be overcome.† That being said, I still see Springer as a guy who will be quite valuable in FBLO as a quality #2 outfielder who is a perennial 20-20 guy, who may have a few 30-30 seasons, all while hitting in the .240 range.
ETA: May 2014
3. Lucas Sims-RHP-19
-Simsí full season debut in 2013 went about as well as one could have hoped as he dominated and established himself as one of the best young arms in the low minors.† Sims works off of a low to mid-90s fastball that has a little sink to it and he backs that up with a hammer curve that has a chance to be a plus offering moving forward.† Sims also throws a changeup that shows promise when he doesnít overthrow it.† Simsí command needs a little refinement but thatís not unusual for a teenager pitching in full season ball.†
-Outlook: On my initial Halos board Sims came in at #10 and has steadily moved his way toward the top and I am even tempted to put him at #2.† I love Simsí future profile and have heard a couple different people throw Matt Cain comps out there.† I see a guy who settles in as a workhorse #2 who pitches 200+ innings annually while striking out around a guy an inning.† Given the Braves track record for developing arms I feel very bullish on Sims.
4. Jameson Taillon-RHP-22
-Finally a guy on this list who didnít have a great year in 2013 but thatís not to say Taillon was bad last year as he worked his way all the way to AAA.† Taillon features a big fastball that sits in the mid-90s but is a little more hittable than you might expect as hitters get a good long look at it because of his delivery.† Taillonís second offering is a big curveball with two plane break that can flash plus but plays down at times due to command.† Taillon throws a changeup but itís mostly a show me pitch at this point as it lacks the consistency needed to be a weapon.
-Outlook: Taillon has worked his way from the #2 pick in the 2010 draft to on the verge of the big leagues and some command issues are the only thing holding him back.† Taillon has #1 starter stuff but the poor command leads me to believe that he will settle in as a #3 type starter who is a #4/5 type in FBLO.† I see a guy that will dominate when things a clicking and have some real duds when the delivery gets out of whack and the control abandons him.†
ETA: July 2014
5. Nick Castellanos-3B-22
-Castellanos played a full season at AAA in 2013 before getting a cup of coffee in September with the big club.† Iím not sure how to quantify Castellanosí 2013 season as he hit for a good average, showed solid gap power and displayed solid plate discipline but for some reason it seemed disappointing.† Castellanos projects as a .280 plus hitter and how much power he develops will be the key to what kind of fantasy player he becomes.† Speed is not a part of his game and he should defend well enough to stick at the hot corner, which helps his value as opposed to playing OF.
-Outlook:† I have always liked Castellanos and Iím not sure why his 2013 doesnít look better to me but even with that ďdownĒ season I still see a valuable contributor in FBLO.† I feel like when all is said and done Castellanos will settle in and put up numbers along the lines of .285 with 20 or so bombs.† Those numbers put him right in line to be a mid to low end starter in FBLO and thereís nothing wrong with that.
ETA: Opening Day
6. Henry Owens-LHP-21
-Owens is another Halos prospect who made great strides in 2013 and started to show the type of player he may become.† Owens is a long and lanky lefthander who typically works in the 89-93 range with his fastball that shows some late arm side run.† Owens second best offering is a changeup that can show plus and should develop into at least an average offering at the big league level.† Owens throws a curveball that also can show plus at times but it lacks the consistency of his other two offerings.† Owens shows a good feel for pitching but his command can come and go and will be the one thing that he must improve to reach his ceiling.†
-Outlook:† I like Owens and feel like as he fills out he may see a slight uptick in velocity at some point but I fear that his command issues may hold him back.† Without an overpowering fastball to rely on when the other offerings arenít working I see Owens as more of a #3/4 type who has a long MLB career but is more of a back end/spot starter type in FBLO, which is something every team needs.
7. Tyler Glasnow-RHP-20
-Iím probably lower on Glasnow than just about anyone out there given his meteoric rise up the prospect charts in 2013.† Glasnow features a big fastball that site in the mid-90s and features plenty of life.† His secondary offerings include a curveball with plus potential and a potentially average changeup.† Glasnowís command is pitiful at this point and he really struggles with his delivery (not surprising given his 6í7íí frame and youth) and he tends to overthrow when things get tight.† Glasnow may overcome all of these warts and make me look foolish but I really see a late inning reliever here, but I do admit thereís a lot of potential for more.
8. C.J. Edwards-RHP-22
-Edwards burst onto the scene in 2013 by dominating at both levels of A-ball.† Edwards has a loose delivery and the FB just explodes out of his hand and sits in the low-mid 90s with nice late life.† He also throws a changeup that has a chance to be plus and a so-so curveball that could play as league average.† My biggest concern with Edwards is his body, he looks like a Kenyan distance runner, and I just donít see how he can hold up for the long term as a starter.† I see a Juan Cruz type late inning reliever here but if the body holds up he could be much more.
9. A.J. Cole-RHP-22
-Cole advanced all the way to AA in 2013 and had a lot of success along the way as he struck out over a guy an inning and showed improved command and feel for pitching.† Cole has a power fastball that sits in the mid-90s and is a true plus offering.† Coleís secondary pitches are far less advanced and he really has struggled with them.† He throws a changeup that can look average to plus at times but there is no consistency with it and his attempts to throw a breaking ball can be downright awful.† I hate to sound like a broken record here but I again see a guy who ends up as a late inning reliever here unless something changes drastically in 2014.
10. Joey Gallo-3B-20
-Gallo has elite power potential that is almost unmatched in the minors and he shower it off by hitting 40 bombs in low-A ball.† It wasnít all positive in 2013 for Gallo though as he managed to strike out an unfathomable 172 times in 106 games showing grade 8 swing and miss in his game.† Gallo is a tremendous 3B and his defense and power potential will continue to get him looks moving up the line.† If everything clicks and Gallo can even hit just .250 he could be a fantasy monster but I am afraid he may just end up as a 4-A player who never materializes into anything at the big league level.
11. Luis Heredia-RHP-19
-2013 was a lost year for Heredia as he decided to be a fat pig rather than show up in shape and continue his development as a pitcher.† Heredia was never a big time fantasy prospect because he is more of a pitch to contact guy who doesnít rack up Ks and now with some red flags about work ethic and intensity Iím not sure heíll ever make it to the big leagues.†
2013 Top Prospects:
1. Shelby Miller-RHP
2. Taijuan Walker-RHP
3. Javier Baez-SS
4. Miguel Sano-3B
5. Gary Sanchez-C
-You may not believe it based on where I rank some of the Halos prospects but I absolutely love this system.† While I may be down on guys like Glasnow and Edwards they both have the tools to be #2 starters and make me look foolish in the long run, as does Gallo.† The top-4 here have the potential to be as good as anyone (Non-Royals division) and Castellanos should contribute this year. †The Halos system is full of high ceiling guys with impact tools who while they have a higher flame out rate, also have a chance to provide real impact at the big league level.†