Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 5/18/12

Alexi Amarista, IF/OF, San Diego Padres
Current Level: MLB
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 8th (Angels)
Current Value: MLB ready

Recently acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in the deal that sent Ernesto Frieri to the American League, Amarista offers some skills that play very well in San Diego: speed, versatility and defense. The 23-year-old has spent parts of three seasons in triple-A, never hitting below .278. Because he makes a lot of contact, Amarista produces low walk rates and he offers no home-run pop but he does have surprising gap power for his size (listed at 5’7”). Amarista is a great left-handed hitting 25th man for a National League club but he could receive an opportunity for regular playing time now that incumbent second baseman Orlando Hudson has been cut loose. He has the potential to steal 20-30 bases in a full season.

Robert Carson, LHP, New York Mets
Current Level: MLB
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: NR
Current Value: Increasing

Carson showed some promise as a starter early in his pro career but found the going much tougher once he reached the double-A level. A move to the bullpen seems to have rejuvenated his career and he was rewarded for a strong start to the 2012 season with a recent promotion to the Majors. Still just 23, the lefty has a big, strong pitcher’s frame at 6’4” 240 lbs. He’s been commanding the ball much better in the bullpen although his days of above-average ground-ball rates appear to behind him and he’s now much more vulnerable to the home run. Carson is probably not quite ready for the Majors but he might be able to hold his own against left-handed hitters. His ceiling is probably that of a seventh- or eighth-inning reliever.

C.J. Cron, 1B, Los Angeles Angels
Current Level: A+
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 3rd
Current Value: Heating Up

You can excuse the Angels’ slugging 2011 first round draft pick for having a slow start to the 2012 season. Given a promotion to high-A ball to begin the year, Cron is coming back from serious knee surgery to repair a dislocated knee cap and he also played last year with a tear in his shoulder labrum (which did not require surgery). The 22-year-old prospect hit just .202 in April with an OPS of .598. He’s rebounded so far in May to hit .339 with an OPS of .892. Cron does not possess much defensive value so his worth is tied almost solely to his bat. Despite the slow start he still looks like a future offensive beast.

Jason Esposito, 3B, Baltimore Orioles
Current Level: A
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 7th
Current Value: Looking Up

The Orioles’ second round draft pick out of Vanderbilt University was known as a defensive stalwart first and hitter second. The early returns on his pro career have mirrored those sentiments. Esposito hit just .221 with a .586 OPS in April but he’s warmed up along with the weather in May. He’s hit .333 with an .827 OPS so far this month. His strikeouts have also plummeted from 24 in 22 games to just seven in 15 contests. A right-handed hitter, Esposito has been killing southpaws so far this year with an OPS of .983 compared to .568 versus right-handers. As a college product from a top collegiate program the infielder should be dominating the low-A league.

Danny Hultzen, LHP, Seattle Mariners
Current Level: AA
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 2nd
Current Value: Looking for Consistency

It’s been a bit of an inconsistent year for Seattle’s top draft pick from 2011 – selected second overall – as he’s battled control issues. The southpaw walked just one batter in his last start (7.0 IP) but had issued 11 free passes in his previous two games (11.1 IP). He’s struggled with controlling the ball while facing right-handed hitters, having issued 19 of his 24 walk against them (a combined 30.2 innings). Hultzen, 22, has still been dominant, though, with just 20 hits allowed in 44.2 innings of work. He’s also struck out 44 batters. To be fair, he’s been asked to make his pro debut at a high level of competition, having started out in the double-A Southern League. Once Hultzen solves his control issues, he should face a quick rise to the Majors where he has the ability to become a top-of-the-rotation starter.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jerry Jones sets deadline for decision on Tony Romo’s future with Cowboys

Jason Kidd believes Isaiah Thomas is in NBA MVP race

Kyrie Irving takes blame for Cavs’ recent skid: ‘I need to demand more out of myself’

Ichiro Suzuki wants to play until age 50

Minute Maid Park doesn’t look the same without Tal’s Hill

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Six NFL teams have not renewed their daily fantasy deals

A Chicago Bulls and Jimmer Fredette reunion makes sense

Cardinals may look at a veteran to ultimately replace Carson Palmer

Ottawa Senators visit sick teen during road trip to Minnesota

Adrian Peterson works out with Jameis Winston, gets Dirk Koetter’s attention

Report: Martavis Bryant reinstatement ‘imminent’

The 'So, is this the last ride for the Dead Man?' quiz

Athletes in other sports (or famous professions) who played in the NCAA Tournament

2016 MLB playoff teams that won't make it back this season

Box Score 3/29: Free hats (Caps fans only)

The 'Are you mentally prepared for 'One Shining Moment'?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

Box Score 3/28: Wilt's last game

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Athletes in other sports (or famous professions) who played in the NCAA Tournament

The 'So, is this the last ride for the Dead Man?' quiz

2016 MLB playoff teams that won't make it back this season

The 'Are you mentally prepared for 'One Shining Moment'?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Serge Ibaka can't connect

Can the Padres' Christian Bethancourt really succeed at pitcher and catcher?

The Raiders will forever belong to Oakland

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker