Don't get too wrapped up in rookie hype. Guys like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper only come around once in a generation. Go ahead and look at the stats; 2012 was a statistical anomaly for rooks.
So who should you target in your 2013 draft when it comes to prospects? Here's a short list of guys that are very likely to make their teams out of Spring Training and produce right away. Because after all, nothing is worse than drafting a 'stud,' only for him to be in Double-A until mid August.
Leonys Martin, OF – Rangers
Martin cracks the top five because he should be the clear cut starting centerfielder coming out of Spring Training. He has legit power and speed but also hits for a great average, knocking .359/12/42 and 10 steals in Triple-A last year. If he beats out Craig Gentry, which he should, he'll start the year in a loaded lineup, meaning he'll also score a ton of runs.
Oscar Taveras, OF – Cardinals
Let me make this clear; if I knew Taveras was going to play on Opening Day, he would be the absolute number one prospect on this list and it wouldn't even be close. Cardinals management have compared Taveras to Albert Pujols — something they don't take lightly. Needless to say they expect Taveras to put up big numbers as soon as he hits The Show. The kid won the Midwest League batting title as a teenager in '11, he hit 23 homers last year while batting .321 and only struck out 10.5 percent of the time. Many expect a call up around mid-season at the latest, but Taveras is too talented to not consider drafting right away.
Shelby Miller, SP – Cardinals
Miller has been the most heralded pitching prospect in the Cardinals system for a long time. Although he got off to a horrific start in '12, Miller turned things around in the second half of the season, holding PCL opponents to a .217 average and striking out 70 batters over 59.1 innings. Now that Chris Carpenter is out for the season, Miller is the favorite to take control of the number five slot. It's not crazy to imagine Miller finishing the year with a sub-4 ERA and a ton of Ks.
Jedd Gyorko, 3B – Padres
Look out for Gyorko. Sure, Chase Headley has third base on lock down, but the Padres want Gyorko to break camp at second base. They're in desperate need for bats and Gyorko could provide it if given a spot in the lineup. He hit .311/.373/.547 with 30 homers and 100 RBIs in the minors last year. Let's not forget they're moving the fences in at Petco as well.
Adam Eaton, OF – Diamondbacks
Eaton is number one on the list because he has a clear-cut starting spot and the potential to put up impressive numbers immediately. He has speed (44 bags in the minors last year), tremendous power (.355/.456/.510 slash line in '12) and led the PCL in runs, batting average and OBP to boot. I can easily see this kid putting up a line of .275/20/70 with 20 steals – which sounds like a rookie of the year candidate to me.
Photo Credit: Getty