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2013 Fantasy Baseball: Top 5 Fantasy Prospects

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2013 Fantasy Baseball Prospects

Peter Aiken - US Presswire

It's every fantasy baseball player's dream to snag a prospect near the end of a draft only to watch him become a downright stud as the season progresses. In fact, drafting the right prospect in the later rounds can be the difference between a good team and a great team. It can even be the difference between a championship team and a losing season.

In 2012, that was certainly the case.

The 2012 season was the year of the prospect. Those who were lucky enough to grab Mike Trout or Bryce Harper in the later rounds of fantasy drafts found a gold mine of potential and production from two of baseball's top prospects. Trout ended the year as fantasy baseball's top player, having a monster season unlike any rookie year in history, while Harper established himself firmly in the major leagues at the mere age of 19. Either way, both were huge for those who drafted them, which raises a simple question:

Who are the top prospects of 2013?

While there certainly isn't a Trout or Harper in this year's prospects, there are some solid players with some solid fantasy potential. Some will open the year in the minors like Harper and Trout did in 2012. Others, however, have already found their way into the MLB where they hope to flourish in their 2013 rookie seasons. There could be some fantasy gold on this list, so without further ado, here are the top five fantasy prospects in baseball heading into the 2013 season:

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5. Oscar Taveras, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

Peter Aiken - US Presswire

Few prospects in all of baseball have enjoyed as much minor league success as Taveras. In three years in the minors he’s been nothing less than dominant. There’s no doubting his talent, and there’s no doubting that he’s ready for the major leagues, but Taveras has largely fallen prey to simple economics. He’s so good the St. Louis Cardinals are hesitant to bring him up and start counting down toward arbitration. However, if one of the St. Louis outfielders goes down with injury in 2013—Carlos Beltran, most likely—Taveras will be the first to be called up. In that case, his fantasy impact could be huge. Can you say Albert Pujols?

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4. Shelby Miller, SP, St. Louis Cardinals

Jake Roth - US Presswire

Miller struggled greatly for most of 2012, but a mechanics adjustment lead him to a superb 2.88 ERA in his final ten starts. He’s a lock for the rotation after the injury to Chris Carpenter, which leaves him all of 2013 to make a fantasy impact. He managed a 1 – 0 record in the majors last season with a meager 1.32 ERA, not bad. Translated over a whole year Miller’s impact could be great for those who draft him.

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3. Wil Myers, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

Matt Ryerson - USA Today

The Kansas City Royals never gave Myers a chance, but now with the Tampa Bay Rays, the young outfielder looks to show why he’s among the most elite prospects in baseball. He has the talent to be an instant success, but Tampa Bay has a history of signing their top young players to longer deals before letting them on the field, so that success may have to wait until Myers signs such a deal. If that happens soon, he’ll have a legitimate fantasy impact in 2013. If it doesn’t, it could mean another year of waiting.

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2. Julio Teheran, SP, Atlanta Braves

Derick Hingle - US Presswire

A year ago, Teheran was the best right handed pitching prospect in baseball. After a rough 2012, however, some have begun to doubt his abilities. Don’t doubt. The right handed prospect revealed an altered delivery in 2012, one that he changed now in the Dominican Winter League. He’s been dominant ever since, so much so, that the Atlanta Braves have already named him the fifth starter in the rotation. Of all pitchers to have an impact in 2013, he’s the best bet.

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1. Adam Eaton, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

Chris Humphreys - US Presswire

In a short 2012 stint with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Eaton wasn’t especially spectacular. He hit for a .259 average with only two home runs in 85 major league at bats. That’s no reason to believe he won’t flourish in 2013, though. The young outfielder has excellent talent and is sure to be a fixture in the Diamondbacks outfield now that Justin Upton is gone. Of all the prospects in baseball, none are more likely to have an impact in 2013 than Eaton. As far as prospects go, he's the top dog.