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December 13, 2013

Fantasy Freestyle

Seven Hitting Prospects on the Rise

by Ben Carsley


If you’ve been reading Baseball Prospectus’ outstanding Transaction Analysis series, you’ll know that the BP Fantasy team chimes in on every move as well. We think this is a great way to bring our fantasy readers information throughout the offseason, rather than flooding them with opinions come spring, and if we’re being honest, it’s just good fun, too.

Something we pride ourselves on is analyzing not only the players dealt or signed in a transaction, but on talking about every relevant player who might be impacted. You’d be surprised at just how often non-moving pieces are more deeply affected than their dynamic counterparts.

This is especially true of fantasy-relevant prospects, who’s entire perceived 2014 value can live and die with a single transaction. How many dynasty owners are thrilled to own Nick Franklin right now? How many more people now want to own Tyler Skaggs?

With that in mind, let’s take a look at seven hitting prospects who’ve seen a nice boost in value this offseason, even if they’ve remained stationary through all the Hot Stove madness.

Jurickson Profar, 2B, Rangers
Profar was a solid choice for best prospect in baseball last season, but many of us cautioned against rating him as highly for fantasy purposes right away. Thanks to the combo of Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus in front of him, Profar received just a sporadic 324 PA in the majors in 2013 and limped his way to a .234/.308/.336 line as a result.

There were plenty of rumors that Texas was going to trade Profar this offseason— to Tampa Bay for David Price, to Miami for Giancarlo Stanton, or elsewhere—but it was Kinsler who got the boot instead. That leaves Profar with nothing in front of him in 2014, and while he receives a slight drop in value from playing 2B instead of SS, he still has top-15 middle infielder upside. I wouldn’t expect him to reach that status quite yet, but if Profar hits close to .300 with 15 homers and 10 steals, no one would be surprised. If his poor performance last year takes some of the shine off Profar and makes him more affordable in drafts this season, all the better.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (12/12)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Mix... (12/12)
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Put... (12/17)
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Premium Article Minor League Update: I... (12/13)

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