If we were coming off a typical major league season in terms of rookie production, then I’d use my introductory paragraphs today to caution you against an over-reliance on first-year players. I’d recommend that you avoid the pitfalls of prospect hoarding — that you view these kids as trade chips, not as key contributors.
But of course we’re not coming off a typical season. In 2012, Mike Trout finished atop the overall fantasy ranks, despite spending the first month of the season with the Salt Lake Bees. Bryce Harper, at age 19, gave the Nats a 22-homer, 18-steal campaign, while scoring 98 runs and hitting .270/.340/.477.
There’s no reason to think that 2013 will produce another Trout or Harper, obviously, so fantasy drafters shouldn’t expect any rookie to carry their fake teams. However, I’m also not gonna tell you that you shouldn’t quietly hope for a monster season from one of the new arrivals.
Today, we’re ranking the prospect class for short-term fantasy impact, looking only at the year ahead. REPEAT: Looking only at the year ahead . If you’re hoping to draft the nucleus of your 2015 title winning team this spring, then you’ll want to work from a different list. But if you’re planning for 2013 — as most of you should be — then here are a dozen names to target, in the order I’d draft ‘em…
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