30 baseball books in 30 days of ’11: Day 3 — The prospects are good that you’ll find a keeper


The book: “Baseball America Prospect Handbook 2011”

The author: Edited by Jim Callis, Will Lingo and John Manuel

The vital stats: Baseball America, 512 pages, $32.95.

Find it: At the publisher’s website (linked here) as well as at Powell’s (linked here), Amazon.com (linked here) and Barnes & Noble (linked here).

The pitch: There are more than 900 “prospects” who will someday, if all goes well, get a sniff of the big leagues. Some, even make a career out of it.

Fantasy players in leagues where long-term security and late-round picks set up your roster for the coming years need to know about these players — in some cases, sooner rather than later. Most of the starting lineup of Kansas City Royals, who finished up a four-game set to start the season against the Angels today, that could be there at the end of ’11 are found between pages 206-221.


In particular, we’re trying to get a gauge on Mike Moustakas, the former Chatsworth High star who set the state high school record with 52 career homers.

The team’s 2007 draft pick (No. 2 overall, with a $4 mil bonus, keeping him from going to USC) has been the franchise’s top prospect at a shortstop (in ’08) and third baseman (’09), but then dropped to No. 4 overall last year. He sits at No. 3 now (behind first baseman Eric Hosmer and catcher Wil Myers), but “he should filter into the lineup at some poitn during the season,” sayd J.J. Cooper in his writeup of the team.

As for the organization’s best power hitter and best infield arm, Moustakas still holds strong.

Go deeper into Royals’ roster, however, and you find unsigned catcher Joe Jackson, the great-great nepher of Shoeless Joe Jackson. We now have new reason to watch the Royals.

And the Florida Marlins, who the Handbook lists Moustakas’ Chatsworth teammate, Matt Dominguez, as the franchise’s top prospect, at third base. The 12th overall pick in ’07 (avoiding going to Cal State Fullerton to take a $1.8 mil bonus) is “big-league ready with the glove already … (he) has struggled throughout his career with breaking pitches and good inside fastballs,” according to the reports here. “Dominguez eventually should end the revolving door Florida has had at the hot corner since trading Miguel Cabrera after the 2007 season.”

There’s your two hot-corner hot prospects. Let’s see who gets to the show faster.

How it goes down in the scorebook: The cover of the book has the disclaimer: “The Secret Weapon For Fantasy League Success!” Sure, if your fantasy league is all about finding secret weapons. Like Joe Jackson.

(And don’t overlook the Marlins’ No. 3 prospect, outfielder Christian Yelich, out of Westlake High), or Kelly Dugan, the former Notre Dame High of Sherman Oaks standout outfielder, who’s at No. 28 on the Phillies’ list and starts at the lower Class A level this season).

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