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Baseball Instinct 2012 | Top 3B Prospects List

Continuing our run through the Top 10 Lists for prospects, we find ourselves at the Hot Corner. So once again, let’s take a step back and take a broad look at the minor leagues as we go position by position and bring to you the Top Position Lists with some additional players and information.

Because as we said, we’ll be analyzing the Baseball Instinct 360° not only full circle, but 365 days a year. The deeper we get into the video and our customized Instinctools Stat System, the more the view changes from the top.

So let’s get into the 3B position and give you the list and some of the current thoughts.

In the Top 100

Colorado Rockies14°Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies, 4/16/1991 - As one of the premier bat prospects in the minor leagues, Arenado has the ability to hit at a high level. He’ll be just 21 at the beginning of the 2012 season and isn’t far off from making his debut in Colorado. During the prime of his career, he’s a player capable of .300 seasons with near 30 HR power and high on base totals. He could be a prototypical 3-hitter during his prime. Again, his defense may never be more than average, even if he continues to work hard at it. So he isn’t a perennial All-Star candidate because of his lack of a plus defensive tool, but his bat alone could get him some votes. Overall, Arenado is probably the answer to 3B that the Rockies have been looking for and after a Futures Game nod in 2011, he has his sites set on the future now. ETA 2013.

Update InstinctI think we hit on the head with this spot for Arenado. We’ve been high on him for a long time, so we didn’t need to stretch to figure this one out. 

Washington Nationals18°. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals, 6/12/1990 - Rendon has had some injury troubles the past couple of years, but his medicals have come back clean. But there is still concern over his 2011 performance. When healthy, he’s a game changer with the bat and the glove in the Longoria mold. He’ll hit for above average power with an above average hit tool and handle the hot corner at an All Star level. Now, is he healthy and will the power translate to wood? We think so. ETA 2013.

Update InstinctWith the health concerns, I think it’s obvious that we have love for Rendon. In the 18° spot overall and the #2 3B, we have high expectations of Rendon. But will he play 3B in Washington? That’s no certainty.

Minnesota Twins19°Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins, 5/11/1993 - After a successful debut in 2010 in the Dominican Summer League, he made his way state side to finish off an impressive season as a 17-year-old in the Gulf Coast League.  In 2011, as an 18-year-old, Sano found himself in the Appalachian league against recently drafted college talent.  The result was nothing short of spectacular.  Sano had a triple slash of .292/.352/.637.  That gave him an outrageous .345 ISoP for the season.  His 77/23 K/BB rate needs some improvement, but it’s not bad for what you would expect from a kid from the Dominican learning to adjust to playing in the states.  He committed 26 errors in 54 games between shortstop and third base. He’s not a SS and he’ll end up at 3B if he doesn’t out grow it. Elite power. ETA 2015. 

Update InstinctThe power potential is so elite that this ranking is justified. It’s a close call, but if we were drafting 3B, right here and right now, Sano is a very tempting, possibly organizational changing prospect. But the downside could be very, very significant. We like the gamble.

Boston Red Sox37°Garin Cecchini, 3B, Red Sox, 4/20/1991 - There’s quite a bit to like with Cecchini. His bat gives him a chance to be above average offensively, and defensively he should be able to handle 3b. The Red Sox took it cautiously with him in 2011, so he wasn’t challenged with his short season assignment. We’ve been talking up Garin Cecchini since our coverage prior to the 2010 draft.  While we think ranking him at #2 in the system and #37 overall will raise some eyebrows, our love for him is well documented and we here at Baseball Instinct endorse this position across the board. He’s healthy for 2012 and some big noise should be in store. You’ll probably see him ranked around this spot in other venues. Next year. ETA 2015.

Update InstinctA high ranking based on the view of the masses. We think Cecchini will be the breakout 3B of the minor leagues in 2012. And then everyone else will know him.

46°. James Darnell, 3B, Padres, 1/19/1987 - In 422 ab’s he had 23 Hr with 79 rbi’s. With a combined .333 ba and .406 obp, there is every reason to believe that he can handle major league pitching. Despite the fact that he will be hitting in the cavernous Petco park, I see a very productive future for Darnell. Very good fantasy value can be found with this prospect. I look for a good batting average, with an even better OBP. Combine that with decent power potential and you have yourself a player that would look good on your fantasy squad. ETA 2012.

Update InstinctMost like Gyorko as the 3B of the future for the Padres. A Right-Handed Powe Hitting 3B is what they need. That’s what Darnell is. Will he handle 3B defensively? We think so. But either way he’s a major league bat that should finally open some eyes in 2012.

Detroit Tigers49°. Nick Castellanos, 3B, Tigers, 3/04/1992  -  Nick put together some solid numbers in his first full season of pro ball.  At Low-A West Michigan, he hit .314 with 159 hits, 36 doubles, 8 home runs, 45 walks and 129 strikeouts in 507 at bats.  The strikeouts are a concern but not troubling at this point because he makes terrific contact.  The most often heard quibbles involve a lack of power (.130 ISOP), but this is a tall rangy kid whose body will fill out some more yet.  He’s likely headed to the FSL in 2012.  ETA 2015.

Update InstinctLots of trade talk and Miggy moving to 3B now. We just don’t see that lasting very long. But Castellanos is a few years out anyway. His power should start coming on but 2012 will probably be more of a doubles outburst with 2013 seeing more and more leave the yard as he shows his better than average power potential.

Boston Red Sox58°. Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Red Sox, 9/9/1988 - Middlebrooks’ best tools are his power and arm, both of which rate a plus. His hitting ability isn’t too bad either judging by his triple slash line he put up in AA/AAA this year of .285/.328/.506. However of concern is his strikeouts (114k in 439ab, 465pa) and low bb:k ratio (26:114). But to give him credit he has improved his strikeout rate over the past four years from around 30% to 25%.  He needs to keep improving his plate discipline if he’s to be the major league stud that many think he will be.  A good dose of AAA in 2012 is needed.  ETA 2012.

Update InstinctMiddlebrooks is close to Boston and if injuries strike he could see significant time in 2012. He’s not an elite bat, will probably strike out too much to be a high level threat, but could be a close to league average 3B for a time.

69°. Vinnie Catricala, 3B, Mariners, 10/31/1988 - His bat looks like it could be very good. Interestingly V-Cat probably has a higher fantasy value than he does real value to the Mariners. His bat is too good not insert into the lineup, but his glove is below average. He has played 1b, 3b and is likely capable of some outfield. But he will likely never even be major league average at any of those positions. This is a player I expect to see receiving a lot more fantasy love very soon. I would expect V-cat to start in AA, but look for a promotion by the end of the season. ETA 2013.

Update InstinctProbable move off of 3B and could actually be a corner/OF utility type with a solid everyday bat. I think the Mariners would be best serve allowing him the chance to stick at 3B before relegating him to the OF or Utility role. The bat will be major league ready soon if he might see time with Seattle in 2012.

78°. Dante Bichette, Jr., 3B, Yankees, 9/26/1992 - Clearly an outstanding debut. 12.7% walk rate and just a 16.9% K rate along with elite power. It hasn’t shown as HRs yet, but in time those doubles start leaving the yard. He’s a long way off and the defensive spot is still in question. He’ll start 2012 with the Staten Island Yankees but could see Low-A before the end of the 2012 season. The bat doesn’t have glaring holes, so maturity and time will tell just how good he can be and if the bat will indeed be elite. ETA 2016.

Update InstinctThis is already an aggressive ranking. Not because it isn’t deserved, but because he’s still without a full season at bat. That will change in 2012 and this may be around where he ranks again in 2013 with chance to move near the Top 50 overall.

The Rest of the Top 10

Kansas City Royals101°. Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B, Royals, 11/16/1992 – Cuthbert did a lot of things right in the Midwest League. Overall he hit .267 with 13 doubles and 8 HR in 300 AB. But it was his growth in walk rate, strikeout rate and solid IsoP for such a young player that makes his projection a high one. What Cuthbert did in the first half of his season shows his upside. It will be interesting to see if he can carry that over into 2012 at Wilmington when he’s back to full health. ETA 2015.

Update InstinctJust a touch outside the Top 100, Cuthbert could move either way quickly. He has the talent and we’re basing his position more on the projection than his 2011 performance. There were flashes of brilliance that seem to be little views of what he can be long term. Watch closely.

The Best of the Rest

Arizona Diamondbacks108°Matt Davidson, 3B, Diamondbacks, 3/26/1991 - Davidson is the best power hitting prospect left in the system after Paul Goldschmidt made his debut in Arizona in 2011. He’s just 20 years old, but he’s already spent a season in High-A and came away with 60 XBH. That’s 39 doubles, 1 triple and 20 Home Runs. He was also able to hit a respectable .279 even though he’s striking out more, which will be unacceptable at the next level. Davidson is still young and profiles as a .280 hitter with 30+ Home Run power. Amongst the Diamondback’s 3B prospects right now, Davidson is the best bet to stick at 3B. He will take his game to Double-A Mobile in 2012. ETA 2013.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim110°. Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Angels, 6/2/1992 - Cowart was LAA’s 2010 first round pick, but since his contract wasn’t ironed out until late in the year, he never had a shot to play. 2011 was really his first professional season. Cowart showed his power in The Pioneer League hitting .283, 7 HR, 12 Doubles with 40 RBI.  He is very athletic and graduated as a pitcher at Cook County High in Adel, Georgia were he threw in the upper 90s.  The strong arm makes him a nice third base prospect. ETA 2015.

Update InstinctAggressive ranking and he’ll be a Top 100 in 2013.

113°. Zack Cox, 3B, Cardinals, 5/9/1989 - He’s currently blocked at 3B by David Freese, but if Cox continues to produce as a .300 hitter they will find someplace to put him. He shows moderate power, but a .104 IsoP in the FSL and a .139 in Double-A isn’t going to cut it as corner infielder. He’s behind Kolten Wong as a 2B so it’s doubtful that transition will be made. Even with his elite level contact ability being a possible major league tool, it’s difficult to project Cox as more than a league average player – possibly a platoon 3B/2B/OF in the future. We’ll need to see another bump in IsoP in 2012 and if that happens, he could hit his ceiling. David Freese at 3B though. A lot of questions. ETA 2013.

Update InstinctWas a Top 100 prospect in 2010 and might belong there now as well. He’s going to hit in the bigs, that’s the type of bat he already has. If the Double-A power is sustainable he makes a jump and will see St. Louis by 2013.

116°. Matt Dominguez, 3B, Marlins, 8/28/1989 -  Drafted in the 1st round of 2007 draft along with fellow Chatsworth High School (CA) teammate and Royals 3B Mike Moustakas, Dominguez was set to win the 3B job for the Marlins out of spring training in 2011.  He did not play terribly well and fractured his left elbow before he got a chance.  He could use some more seasoning in the minors and with Hanley Ramirez shifting to 3B to accommodate newly acquired SS Jose Reyes, he should get it.  It is possible that Dominquez is now expendable and may be traded to another team if things work out with Han-Ram at 3B.  ETA 2013.

Arizona Diamondbacks117°.Ryan Wheeler, 3B, Diamondbacks 7/10/1988 –  Wheeler may eventually be the best pure hitter when lining up Arizona’s 3B prospects- Davidson, Wheeler and Borchering. The big lefty is able to use the whole field and should be a solid bet for a .285 AVG, if not better.  He’s not going to hit for much average, nor is he going to be an average defender at 3B.  A move to the outfield is possibly.  ETA 2013.

 140°. Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres, 9/23/1988 - The biggest question with Gyorko is how much power does his bat have. Since he lacks premium defensive value and is below average in speed and base running, his bat (and more particularly) his power needs to carry him. In 2011 Gyorko has 74 rbi’s and 18 hr’s in 340 ab’s, but the California league is notorious for inflating power numbers. When Gyorko was promoted to AA his numbers regressed to 40 rbi and 7 hr in 236 abs. He is expected start at AA in 2012 and he will have to prove whether his bat has the power needed to succeed at Double AA level. Come to think of it, he will have to prove that at every level he goes, just like he has always done. ETA 2013.

Texas Rangers159°. Mike Olt, 3B, Rangers, 08/27/1988 - A player that garnered a lot of attention with his 2011 season, Mike Olt is powering his way through the minor league system. After being drafted in the 1st round and 49th overall, Olt spent the 2011 season trying to validate the high selection. He lost time in 2011 due to injury but he did have 307 plate appearances for the season. His batting average comes in at .264 for the 2011 season and this is due to the fact that he strikes out a lot. Olt needs to fix the holes in his swing, as evident by his accumulation of 75 Ks in 240 at-bats across 2 levels of competition, . This is partially mitigated by his ability to draw walks, with 49 free passes in 307 plate appearances, and this helped his OBP to come in at a respectable .381 for the year. His defense is very good and will help him climb through higher levels of professional ball. His swing is powerful and productive. In 2011 he amassed 14 hr’s, 42 rbi’s and .500 slugging percentage in his 254 at-bats. ETA 2014.

168°. Nick Delmonico, 3B, Orioles, 7/12/1992 - How much power Delmonico develops will determine his upside. It looks like he’s going to get a shot at playing 3B but there are doubts to him sticking there despite the arm for the position. While he’s fluid with the bat he tends to get stiff in the field. He should have the type of bat to be an average 3B, and the dark horse move would be for the Orioles to test him behind the plate as a pro if he doesn’t work at 3B. That move is unlikely but it would make his bat a valuable commodity despite the lack of above average power. ETA 2016.

Chicago Cubs226°. Jeimer Candelairo, 3B, Cubs, 11/24/1993 –  The very young switch hitter dominated the DSL, producing a .337/.443/.478 slash line that included 50 walks, 16 doubles, and 5 home runs.  The jury is still out whether he’s going to stick at 3B or move across the diamond to 1B.  He should start the 2012 season in the Arizona League, but the Cubs could be aggressive with him and jump him up to the Northwest League right away.  ETA 2016.

239°. Jason Esposito, 3B, Orioles, 7/19/1990 – Espo cost himself about $900k with his decision to go to Vandy and now has to prove he has the power to be a full-time 3B. He has the glove and a good overall game, but does not have a solid plus skill. His ability to play 3B well and handle some 2B makes him an attractive player to be used as a utility IF, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Orioles use him in that fashion. He does enough right in multiple facets to have a good probability of major league success. If he can develop 20 HR power with the wood, he would be a solid regular. ETA 2014.

248°Francisco Martinez, 3B, Mariners, 9/1/1991 – Francisco… that’s fun to say. Acquired late in the 2011 season by way of trade, Martinez only spent 2 months in the Mariner system. He had a slugging percentage .481 including 7 triples and 10 homeruns this season, so he has decent power potential. However, that power came with 104 strikeouts and a strikeout percentage of 21.8.Because he is new to the organization, I would expect the Mariners organizational approach with him to be patient and help him refine his game. Martinez is a player to watch, if it clicks for him there is good potential to become a solid regular. ETA 2013.

252°Tyler Austin, 3B, Yankees, 9/6/1991 (NYY) – Austin is a big 3B that is flashing the bat in a major way so far. His K rates are solid and he knows how to take a walk. It’s his current power output that makes him a high-end prospects. With his size you can estimate that the power is legit. But as he moves up the ladder he’ll need to continue to refine his approach and keep the K rates in check. Whether he sticks at 3B is still not a clear picture. He’ll start 2012 at Low-A Staten Island and should see Charleston at some point as well. ETA 2016.

Minnesota Twins261°Travis Harrison, 3B, Twins, 10/17/1992  - The Twins drafted him for his immense power potential. He can flat-out crush the ball. He’s really raw though and there’s some issues with the stiffness of his swing that will need to be addressed. He will be an average defender at best and I’m curious to see with his swing mechanics if he can hit for any kind of average. This is really one of those wait and see situations, but it bears watching in 2012. ETA 2016.

Oakland Athletics272°Renato Nunez, 3B, A’s, 4/4/1994 - Overly raw, yet a very talented Venezuelan teen. He has plus raw power for his age but right now is still growing into his frame and the power isn’t very much of a game tool. He has good hand/eye coordination giving him solid contact ability, but his approach is still a work in progress. In his professional debut he hit .268 with 12 doubles and 5 HR over 194 Dominican Summer League AB. That’s good for a .142 IsoP and shows promise for the future. His K rate was just 19.7%, which for a young latin player making his debut is on the impressive side. He will need to learn to work counts and take walks because a 3% walk rates will find him without pitches to hit once he makes his US debut. Good chance to stick at 3B based on his arm and the time needed to fully develop. ETA 2016.

Philadelphia Phillies273°. Maikel Franco, 3B, Phillies 8/26/1992 – Franco graduated from the GCL to start the NY/Penn League in 2011, hitting .287 with 58 hits in 202 at bats while collecting 25 walks and striking out only 30 times. Later in the year he earned a promotion to the Sally League where he struggled as a 19-year-old against much older competition. At such a young age, Franco already shows an advanced approach at the plate, nearly walking as much as he strikes out. Philly hopes to see more power come out of his bat so offensively he can stick at the hot corner, but that should come as his body matures. ETA 2015.

Tampa Bay Rays296°. Tyler Goeddel, 3B, Rays, 10/20/1992 – Goeddel didn’t make his pro debut yet, but the 2011 1st round Supp pick by the Rays has a very projectable frame at 6’4″ and 170lbs. He has above average speed and a solid hitting approach despite being so young. He profiles as an above average power hitting 3# and could easily make the transition to the OF if it is needed in the future. He’ll probably start the season in extended Spring Training before making his way Rookie Level Princeton. ETA 2016.

297°. Matt Carpenter, 3B, Cardinals, 11/26/1985 – Carpenter is a Cardinals darling. The fan base loves him and carries a deep faith in where he’ll fit into the future of the team. He ripped it up in 2011′s Spring Training and looked to be on pace to make the team out of ST. But he spent most of 2011 in the PCL where he did in fact produce. To the tune of .300 with 29 doubles and 12 HR. He’s blocked by new-found superstar David Freese at 3B, but could still make the team as a bench bat. He’s already past his prospect years and entering his prime. Late Bloomer? Could be. ETA Now.

Milwaukee Brewers308°. Taylor Green, 3B, Brewers, 11/02/1986 – Green is ready now, after hitting .336/.412/.580 over two levels in 2011 before making his MLB debut. With 37 doubles and 22 HR he flashed above average power from the left side. He wasn’t highly regarded prospect heading into 2011, but is proving to be a player that needs to get a shot in Spring Training. He may also see some OF time to broaden his defensive value. Especially with Braun on the sidelines for the first 50 of the 2012 season. ETA Now. 

New York Mets309°. Aderlin Rodriguez, 3B, Mets, 11/18/1991 – The good – 23 doubles and 17 HR in 516 Sally League AB. Good for a .151 IsoP. The bad – a walk rate of 5.4%. He did keep the K rate to a nice level for a power hitting 3B though at a 19.1% rate. He has a lot of work to do on his contact rate and that will come if he is able to work deeper in at bats and get into better hitters counts. After repeating Low-A Savannah in 2011 he will be pushed to the FSL when Marte is ready to move. There are a number of 3B prospects in the Mets system, so Rodriguez will be given the time to mature as a hitter. ETA 2015.

New York Mets314°. Jefry Marte, 3B, Mets, 6/21/1991 – A 2011 Futures Game invitee, Marte is one of a few 3B prospects for the Mets that have nice future power potential. His 16% K rate at age 20, is excellent and some bad luck led to the .248 AVG. The 22 doubles and 7 HR in 483 AB in the FSL tell me that Marte is in the early stages of power development but profiles for above average power. His defense at 3B is average and should be more than acceptable in the future if his power fully develops. There’s work to be done and he might return to the FSL for the start of 2012. ETA 2015

Texas Rangers321°Christian Villanueva, 3B  Rangers 6/19/1991  - Already a regarded prospect in the Rangers system, Villanueva flashes above avg power and a good glove at 3B. His .186 IsoP is powered by 30 doubles and 17 HR in 2011 while cutting his K rate and boosting his walk rate. Defensively he’s an above average defender and getting better with a clear 3B arm. ETA 2014.

Update InstinctI think I missed on this ranking and we missed on him in the Top 10. It seems to me already that this is going to be one of the first corrections that needs to be made and he could jump into the middle of the 360° or possibly higher.

Chicago White Sox339°. Rangel Ravelo, 3B White Sox 4/24/1992 - The 2010 sixth-round selection utilizes a short, compact swing that allowed him to hit for average in both the Rookie-level Appalachian League (.384) and the Low-A South Atlantic League (.317), figures made even more impressive when considering he was just 19 years old.  He’s a good defensive player and while he’s yet to display any power, many believe it will develop.  ETA 2014.

Atlanta Braves341°. Brandon Drury, 3B Braves 8/21/1992  - Drury wasn’t highlighted by many prior to 2011, but as a HS SS his move to 3B should prove to be a long-term one and his bat took some big strides. Cutting his K rate in half and his power revealing itself with a .178 IsoP. He hit 23 doubles and 8 HR in 265 AB while striking out just 35 times. He’ll need to mature as a hitter and take more walks, but so far so good. Could be a big 2012 mover. ETA 2014.

Los Angeles Dodgers359°. Alex Santana, 3B Dodgers 8/21/1993 – Big kid, son of Rafael Santana (NYM). Profiles as a very different player than his father. Drafted as a SS, will move to 3B and has the stuff to make it there defensively. Size projects more power but has a long growth path to becoming a professional hitter. Will need to develop zone control with power to be a CI. ETA 2015.

Possible Future Position Changes

Boston Red Sox34°Xander Bogaerts, SS/3B, Red Sox, 10/1/1992 - Bogaerts’ power potential makes him a player with a high offensive ceiling. Going into 2012, what I would want to see is how his hit tool will develop. Judging by this year alone, his hit tool doesn’t look to be more than average. But he has an impressive ability to drive balls to all fields, and if he can cut down on his strikeouts, he might be able to have an average to above-average hit tool, which would make him a special player. Though he’s athletic, and this season made huge improvements defensively, most of us believe his future isn’t at SS. He’ll most likely end up at one of the corner positions with 3B being a good profile or a move to an OF corner. ETA 2015.

Chicago Cubs55°. Javier Baez, SS/3B, Cubs, 12/1/1992  - Offensively he has lightning quick bat speed, which some have compared to another former Florida high school shortstop, Gary Sheffield.  Baez is an aggressive hitter although he did show some ability to take walks as an amateur.  He has a chance to be an impact hitter who can hit for average and power, decent speed, as well as a solid glove that will likely need to be moved to 3B or the outfield.  ETA 2015.

76°. Jonathan Schoop, SS, Orioles, 10/16/1991 - If he hits like he has when it’s been going well, Schoop is an above-average SS or CF and easily an everyday 3B in Major League Baseball.  There is some chance he could be better than that.  Unfortunately, based on the peaks and valleys, the still raw swing, and Schoop’s age, he is far from a sure thing to even make it to the bigs at this point.  The walks concern me.  And it’s not just the raw walk numbers.  Schoop has just not shown good strike zone judgment.  He’s not a hitter like Robinson Cano or Starlin Castro who can swing at everything and still hit.  He has to refine that skill, which he still has plenty of time to do.  If he does, and continues to advance in the way he has, the Orioles will have the beautiful problem of figuring out what to do with two fantastic SS prospects. ETA 2014.

Chicago Cubs84°. Junior Lake, SS, Cubs, 3/27/1990 - Lake is one of the toolsiest players in the entire Cubs’ system. He’s had trouble with both his contact ability and use of his speed in past season, but in 2011, he put most of it together and made it to Double-A after dominating the FSL. While he’s getting better as a SS, he still projects to move to either 3B or 2B in the near future. He’s done very well in the AFL this fall and the speed and power are still on display. Check out his Prospect Instinct here for more details. Lake should start back in Double-A and projects as a 20/20 hitter and possibly more. ETA 2014.

Oakland Athletics195°. Yordy Cabrera, SS, Athletics, 9/03/1990 - He has a good glove and a plus arm. It seems likely that a shift to 3B could happen in the future. He’s a terribly raw hitter, but by most accounts is an astute player. He should be able to develop into a player who can hit for average, with above average power. I’m not convinced that the speed on the base paths is going to hold up as he grows up; but it’s a pleasant bonus in the meantime. He’s likely to get another dose of the Midwest League in 2012. ETA 2015.

New York Mets201°. Wilmer Flores, SS, Mets, 8/06/1991 - Pegged at #99 on our top 100 list for 2011, while a lot of others had him a little too high for our taste.  At barely 20 years old now, he has seemingly been around for ever in the Mets system.  He didn’t make the strides from 2010 to 2011 that we had hoped and his Venezuelan Winter League numbers are not encouraging.But he did keep the K rate very respectable and his walk rate improved slightly. He has an idea at the plate but the power that is supposed to be his calling card just has not materialized yet. A low BABIP of .296 in 2011 – Theres still plenty of time and he may very well bounce back in AA. ETA 2014.

360°. Vince Belnome, 2B Padres 3/11/1988  - Drafted late in 2009, Belnome has hit at every stop despite some injury shortened seasons. He improved over his Cal League numbers with a .333/.432/.603 powered by 19 doubles and 17 HR in just 267 AB in 2011. He’s a passable 2B and can play some 3B. Borderline starter/ Utility INF. If he can stay healthy ETA 2013.

The 2011 Draftee to Watch in 2012

Matthew Duran, 3B Yankees  5/1/1993 - Like Bichette, Duran was converted from SS to 3B on draft day.  With Bichette in the lineup, Duran played all over the diamond, including time at 3B, 1B, SS, and DH.  The Yankees officially list him as a 3B, so that’s what we are going to go with for now.  He hit .301/.365/.506.  He also had HR-3/3B-1/2B-6/RBI-17/R-13, and a 21/9 K/BB ratio in 23 games after signing on July 25th, 2011.  The Yankees are going to want him to work on his strike zone awareness and will likely start him at 3B and at least a level behind Bichette in 2012, likely with the Staten Island Yankees of the Rookie Level New York-Penn League.

Stick with Baseball Instinct and we’ll keep you a step ahead of the game. Check back soon for more Prospect coverage. While you’re here, check out our Baseball Instinct 360° – it’s our top 360 prospects for 2012. Also check out a friend of ours for all of your fantasy sports needs. Fantasy Rundown is updated religiously and is truly an awesome resource. Thanks for checking Baseball Instinct. We’re working hard to bring you the best of the minor leagues and make the site the best experience it can be, so don’t hesitate to tell us what you would like to read about. Email us now at mailbag@baseballinstinct.com.


I was born and raised in NYC. My father was a diehard Yankees fan but not biased and raised me to love the game more than any one team. For that I'm truly thankful to him. My love for the game runs deep, and after crunching numbers all day long, I tend to spend my nights at the FSL ballparks.

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