Your Daily Fantasy Rx
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2006 Top AL Fantasy Prospects
by Tim Polko

Today's Fantasy Rx

Once again, we are presenting prospect lists specifically geared toward fantasy baseball with no consideration of "peak" or "long-term potential" other than that which a player will contribute in standard 4x4, 5x5, and simulation leagues.

We ranked players in four lists for this article. The top 150 prospects list is meant for Ultra drafts, the top 42 prospects are intended exclusively for owners in extremely deep leagues who desire the best prospect trade bait, and our top 25 prospects of 2006-07 list is meant for traditional roto leagues with three-round minor league drafts.

For 2006 we have added a new list focusing on simulation leagues based on a player's likelihood of contributing as an everyday player, weighted toward key defensive positions and any pitchers prepared to emerge as viable starters or key relievers within the next two years.

I projected four values for each prospect listed below: his likely value in 2006, his 2006 upside, his likely 2007 value, and his likely long-term upside considering his tools, skills, and age. After averaging these values with heavy weighting toward considerations of 2006 potential and decreasing the relative value of pitchers due to the greater volatility in projecting pitcher development, we arrived at a rough ranking of the prospects in each league.

A few players on the first list will be minor league veterans who only need a chance to succeed in the majors. I designated these players with an asterisk for those of you only interested in drafting more traditional prospects.

Rule 5 draftees have a ^ next to their names; their placement on the list assumes they remain with their new teams. Ignore these players if they are returned to their former franchise as they have practically no chance of contributing with their old team.

Before beginning, we want to note our appreciation for all the resources made available to everyone interested in minor leaguers, including those from established analysts like John Sickels and Deric McKamey as well as everyone at both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. We hope you enjoy these two days of prospects.

Note: We employed MLB rookie guidelines, so no one here has exceeded 130 MLB AB or 50 MLB IP, or has accumulated 45 days on an MLB roster prior to September 1st of any season.

* - denotes players not on a 40-man roster nor considered a prospect due to age

^ - denotes players selected in the 2005 Major League Rule 5 draft

Rotohelp's Top 150 AL Ultra Fantasy Prospects for 2006
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX
2. Kenji Johjima, C, SEA
3. Brian Anderson, OF, CHW
4. Delmon Young, OF, TB
5. Andy Marte, 3B, CLE
6. Jon Papelbon, P, BOS
7. Justin Huber, 1B, KC
8. Francisco Liriano, P, MIN
9. Justin Verlander, SP, DET
10. Daric Barton, 1B, OAK
11. Jeff Mathis, C, LAA
12. Nick Markakis, OF, BAL
13. Brandon Wood, SS, LAA
14. Jason Botts, OF, TEX
15. Howie Kendrick, 2B, LAA
16. Ryan Garko, 1B, CLE
17. Joel Zumaya, P, DET
18. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS
19. Jason Kubel, OF, MIN
20. Erick Aybar, SS, LAA
21. Wes Bankston, 1B/3B, TB
22. Fausto Carmona, P, CLE
23. Alex Gordon, 3B, KC
24. Hayden Penn, SP, BAL
25. Chris Snelling, OF, SEA
26. Kendry Morales, 1B, LAA
27. Eric Duncan, 3B/1B, NYY
28. Adam Stern, OF, BOS
29. Shin-Soo Choo, OF, SEA
30. T.J. Bohn, OF, SEA
31. Marshall McDougall, IF, TEX
32. Donnie Murphy, 2B, KC
33. Alex Romero, OF, MIN
34. Elijah Dukes, OF, TB
35. Billy Butler, OF/DH, KC
36. Jered Weaver, SP, LAA
37. Kelly Shoppach, C, CLE
38. Kevin Thompson, OF, NYY
39. Franklin Gutierrez, OF, CLE
40. Ryan Sweeney, OF, CHW
41. Joaquin Arias, SS, TEX
42. Kevin Melillo, 2B, OAK
43. Jeremy Sowers, SP, CLE
44. Freddie Bynum, UT, OAK
45. Alejandro Machado, OF, BOS
46. Bobby Livingston, SP, SEA
47. Joe Saunders, SP, LAA
48. Jerry Owens, CHW, OF
49. Brad Snyder, OF, CLE
50. Adam Jones, SS, SEA
51. Elliott Johnson, 2B, TB
52. Craig Hansen, RP, BOS
53. Edinson Volquez, SP, TEX
54. Rene Rivera, C, SEA
55. Esix Snead, OF, BAL*
56. Nick Gorneault, OF, LAA
57. Reggie Willits, OF, LAA
58. Jon Lester, SP, BOS
59. Dustin McGowan, P, TOR
60. Thomas Diamond, SP, TEX
61. Jeff Niemann, SP, TB
62. Dave Gassner, P, MIN
63. Casey Janssen, SP, TOR
64. Val Majewski, OF, BAL
65. Abe Alvarez, SP, BOS
66. Santiago Casilla, RP, OAK
67. Scott Atchison, RP, SEA
68. Guillermo Quiroz, C, TOR
69. Josh Fields, 3B, CHW
70. Mike Napoli, C, LAA
71. Adam Loewen, SP, BAL
72. Cameron Coughlin, OF, TEX
73. Yorman Bazardo, SP, SEA
74. John-Ford Griffin, OF, TOR
75. Brandon Moss, OF, BOS
76. Glenn Williams, 3B, MIN
77. Kevin Reese, OF, NYY
78. Hunter Brown, OF, SEA
79. Rashad Eldridge, OF, TEX
80. Shawn Marcum, P, TOR
81. Josh Banks, SP, TOR
82. J.D. Durbin, P, MIN
83. Melky Cabrera, OF, NYY
84. Matt Moses, 3B, MIN
85. Casey Rogowski, 1B, CHW
86. Jaime Bubela, OF, SEA
87. Fernando Cortez, 2B, TB
88. Jason Cooper, OF, CLE
89. Dan Meyer, SP, OAK
90. Chris Lubanski, OF, KC
91. Josh Rupe, SP, TEX
92. Ron Flores, RP, OAK
93. Colter Bean, RP, NYY
94. Cla Meredith, RP, BOS
95. Ruddy Yan, OF, TEX
96. Jake Gautreau, 2B, CLE
97. Matt DeSalvo, SP, NYY
98. Mitch Jones, 1B, NYY
99. Juan Senreiso, OF, TEX
100. Jose Flores, SS, CLE*
101. Travis Blackley, SP, SEA
102. Wil Nieves, C, NYY
103. John Danks, SP, TEX
104. Francisco Leandro, OF, TB
105. Mitch Maier, OF, KC
106. Adam Pavkovich, 3B, LAA
107. Andrew Brown, RP, CLE
108. Boof Bonser, SP, MIN
109. Andrew Sonnanstine, SP, TB
110. Jeremy Guthrie, P, CLE
111. John Rheinecker, P, OAK
112. Matt Watson, OF, OAK
113. Denard Span, OF, MIN
114. Doug Clark, OF, OAK*
115. Eddy Garabito, 2B, BAL*
116. Boone Logan, RP, CHW
117. Aarom Baldiris, 3B, TEX
118. Tony Giarratano, SS, DET
119. Sean Henn, SP, NYY
120. Kurt Suzuki, C, OAK
121. Eulogio de la Cruz, RP, DET
122. Jason Hammel, SP, TB
123. Glen Perkins, SP, MIN
124. Steven Shell, SP, LAA
125. Jason Pridie, OF, MIN^
126. Wayne Lydon, OF, TOR
127. Francisco, Rosario, RP, TOR
128. Billy Buckner, SP, KC
129. Brian Specht, 2B, LAA
130. Cliff Pennington, SS, OAK
131. Jeff Clement, C, SEA
132. Rob Cosby, 3B, TOR
133. Drew Meyer, IF, TEX
134. Will Smith, OF, TEX
135. Brant Colamarino, 1B, OAK
136. Alexis Gomez, OF, DET*
137. Manny Delcarmen, RP, BOS
138. Steve Stemle, P, KC
139. Brent Clevlen, OF, DET
140. Robert Valido, SS, CHW
141. Jeff Fiorentino, OF, BAL
142. Kevin Howard, 2B, NYY
143. Ryan Roberts, 2B, TOR
144. Phillip Hughes, SP, NYY
145. David Purcey, SP, TOR
146. Willie Eyre, RP, MIN
147. Scott Feldman, RP, TEX
148. Tony Sipp, RP, CLE
149. Cameron Maybin, OF, DET
150. Tim Battle, OF, NYY

Rotohelp's Top 42 2006 AL Fantasy Prospects for Long-term Leagues
1. Delmon Young, OF, TB
2. Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX
3. Daric Barton, 1B, OAK
4. Brandon Wood, SS, LAA
5. Francisco Liriano, SP, MIN
6. Brian Anderson, OF, CHW
7. Jason Kubel, OF, MIN
8. Andy Marte, 3B, CLE
9. Kenji Johjima, C, SEA
10. Howie Kendrick, 2B, LAA
11. Joel Zumaya, SP, DET
12. Nick Markakis, OF, BAL
13. Kendry Morales, 1B, LAA
14. Billy Butler, OF/DH, KC
15. Craig Hansen, RP, BOS
16. Justin Verlander, SP, DET
17. Jon Papelbon, P, BOS
18. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS
19. Justin Huber, 1B, KC
20. Jered Weaver, SP, LAA
21. Fausto Carmona, P, CLE
22. Jeff Mathis, C, LAA
23. Hayden Penn, SP, BAL
24. Josh Fields, 3B, CHW
25. Erick Aybar, SS, LAA
26. Jason Botts, OF, TEX
27. Alex Gordon, 3B, KC
28. Jerry Owens, OF, CHW
29. Brad Snyder, OF, CLE
30. Reggie Willits, OF, LAA
31. Ryan Garko, 1B, CLE
32. Jeremy Sowers, SP, CLE
33. Jeff Niemann, SP, TB
34. Wes Bankston, 1B/3B, TB
35. Jon Lester, SP, BOS
36. Elijah Dukes, OF, TB
37. Adam Jones, OF, SEA
38. Ryan Sweeney, OF, CHW
39. Joaquin Arias, SS, TEX
40. Kevin Melillo, 2B, OAK
41. Josh Banks, SP, TOR
42. Chris Snelling, OF, SEA

Rotohelp's Top 25 AL Fantasy Prospects for 2006
who should merit keeping at $10 in 2007 per traditional rules
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX
2. Delmon Young, OF, TB
3. Kenji Johjima, C, SEA
4. Brian Anderson, OF, CHW
5. Francisco Liriano, SP, MIN
6. Jason Kubel, OF, MIN
7. Daric Barton, 1B, OAK
8. Brandon Wood, SS, LAA
9. Andy Marte, 3B, CLE
10. Justin Verlander, SP, DET
11. Jon Papelbon, P, BOS
12. Joel Zumaya, P, DET
13. Nick Markakis, OF, BAL
14. Justin Huber, 1B, KC
15. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS
16. Howie Hendrick, 2B, LAA
17. Kendry Morales, 1B, LAA
18. Jeff Mathis, C, LAA
19. Craig Hansen, P, BOS
20. Jered Weaver, SP, LAA
21. Fausto Carmona, SP, CLE
22. Hayden Penn, SP, BAL
23. Josh Fields, 3B, CHW
24. Jason Botts, OF, TEX
25. Alex Gordon, 3B, KC

Rotohelp's Top 24 AL Simulation Prospects for 2006-07
1. Kenji Johjima, C, SEA
2. Andy Marte, 3B, CLE
3. Delmon Young, OF, TB
4. Ian Kinsler, 2B, TEX
5. Francisco Liriano, SP, MIN
6. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS
7. Howie Hendrick, 2B, LAA
8. Brandon Wood, SS, LAA
9. Daric Barton, 1B, OAK
10. Justin Verlander, SP, BOS
11. Jason Kubel, OF, MIN
12. Brian Anderson, OF, CHW
13. Justin Huber, OF, OAK
14. Jeff Mathis, C, LAA
15. Jon Papelbon, P, BOS
16. Alex Gordon, 3B, KC
17. Nick Markakis, OF, BAL
18. Ryan Garko, 1B, CLE
19. Erick Aybar, SS, LAA
20. Kendry Morales, 1B, LAA
21. Jason Botts, OF, TEX
22. Wes Bankston, 1B/3B, TB
23. Josh Fields, 3B, CHW
24. Chris Snelling, OF, SEA

Top 2006 AL Rookie Sleeper: Wes Bankston, 1B/3B, TB

Today's Fantasy Rx: I expect at least a dozen of the rookies here to contend for All-Star teams by the end of the decade, a list led by Delmon Young, Francisco Liriano, Ian Kinsler, Justin Verlander, and Brandon Wood. Sabermetrically-friendly prospects Andy Marte, Dustin Pedroia, and Daric Barton also possess similar upside, giving the 2006 AL rookie class tremendous potential to significantly impact fantasy leagues. While the top 10-15 prospects on most of the above lists warrant serious consideration even in shallow single-year leagues, keeper league owners need to pay special attention. Failing to obtain at least a couple of these guys now will place you at a dramatic competitive disadvantage, especially when looking to trade with rebuilding owners for immediate help.

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