Originally posted on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 5/9/13
As a rule, we fantasy owners love to own prospects before our fellow owners. There’s little as rewarding as grabbing a minor leaguer before he becomes a household name and then watching as he develops into a stud. But how do you sort the Tony Cingrani‘s from the Brandon Maurer‘s? Prospect Profile is here to help. This week we examine Marlins outfield prospect, Christian Yelich.Player Name: Christian Yelich Team: Miami Marlins Position: OF Bats: L Age: 21 Pedigree: Borderline elite. Yelich was considered by many to be the No. 2 prospect behind Jose Fernandez in the Marlins’ farm system entering 2013. The lanky 6-foot-4 outfielder was drafted No. 23 overall by the Marlins in 2010 and has more than lived up to his billing thus far. After an eye-popping performance Tuesday night (5-for-6, 2 triples, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R; his Double-A  manager called it “one of the most impressive displays of a young hitter” he’s ever seen) Yelich is now slashing .323/.393/.505 through 256 minor league games. He also swiped 32 bases in 2011 and had 20 steals in 26 attempts in 2012. Baseball America ranked him as the No. 15 overall prospect in its 2013 Top 100.MLB ETA: 2014. It was Yelich, not Marcel Ozuna, many onlookers expected to be called up when Giancarlo Stanton hit the DL. But Yelich missed time in April due to a foot injury and is not on Miami’s 40-man roster, so he may be in line behind lesser outfield prospect Kyle Jensen in the pecking order. That said, the beleaguered Marlins have shown no qualms about rushing budding stars to the majors — prior to their call-ups, Ozuna had just 10 starts in Double-A and Fernandez never logged a start above High-A. So if the injuries keep piling up, or if the Miami fire sale extends to Stanton, there’s a chance Yelich’s time arrives this year.What to expect: Yelich is touted as one of the best pure-hitting prospects in the game with superior mechanics and a sweet swing. Though he hasn’t shown plus-power, his ISO has progressed each year in the minors and 11 of his 21 hits this season have gone for extra bases. That leads one to believe the power could come once his 190-pound frame fills out.Long-term ceiling: Bobby Abreu. Honestly, Yelich looks like the second coming of Shin-Soo Choo: A 20/20 guy who hits .300. But the upside is even higher. With a progression in power and above average speed, there’s reason to believe the young lefty could mimic the 22 HR and 29 SB per season Abreu put up during his age 24-32 seasons — all while slashing .305/.416/.513.Floor: David Murphy. With a hit tool considered plus-plus, it’s hard to imagine Yelich bottoming out like Murphy has this season, but the similarities are there, from the similar lefty frames to the above average walk and K rates. Even if Yelich fails to develop into an elite player, he should be able to supply 15 HR, double-digit steals and a .280 average.Recommendation: He’s not likely to help you this year, but Yelich should be owned in all dynasty leagues.Follow Brent Holloway on Twitter (@thebholloway).
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