ESPN’s Keith Law has continued pumping out the top prospect posts, with two additions worth reading (though both are behind the ESPN Insider wall). The first is a look at one sleeper prospect from each of the 30 MLB organizations. Law’s definition of sleeper is someone that “will take a big step forward in 2012 and potentially end up in the overall Top 100 for 2013″. He published a similar list a year ago which ultimately saw 10 of his picks graduate up the prospect ranks.
For the Nationals, Law’s choice this year is outfielder Michael Taylor – a prospect we admittedly have not talked much about here at DoD to date. Taylor is a former shortstop prospect who was moved to the outfield largely due to his overall athleticism. Law writes:
Michael Taylor has gone from an awful shortstop to a potentially plus center fielder with great range, strong reads and plenty of arm to stay up the middle. He’ll show five tools and has a great work ethic, but needs to fill out and show more rapid progress in his pitch recognition this year.
In the second post that’s certainly worth reading (particularly if you’re preparing for any fantasy baseball drafts in the coming weeks), is a look at the top prospects in terms of what kind of impact they’ll have in the Major Leagues during the 2012 season. All other factors are thrown out of the equation, so this alternate list has a little more immediate impact. Bryce Harper appears at #10 on the list, as Law agrees with our thoughts here at DoD that Harper shouldn’t make the team right out of the gates. He continues:
I know manager Davey Johnson keeps saying he thinks Harper should make the Opening Day roster, and perhaps the Nats will force it, but as much as I believe Harper will be an MVP-caliber player at his peak, Opening Day is too soon. He needs to continue to work on recognizing off speed stuff, especially on the outer half. He could hit 25 homers right now, but the point is to develop him into a complete player who hits for average, gets on base and eventually hits 40 homers a year.