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MLB Prospects: 10 Prospects Who Could Be the Next Derek Jeter

Mike RosenbaumMLB Prospects Lead WriterJanuary 22, 2017

MLB Prospects: 10 Prospects Who Could Be the Next Derek Jeter

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    What’s there to say about Derek Jeter that hasn’t already been said? The 38-year-old shortstop is the consummate professional, a baseball icon over the last two decades who will deservedly end his storied career with enshrinement in Cooperstown.

    With 3,184 hits (and counting) to his name, Jeter’s career slash line sits at .313/.382/.448 over 2,499 games played—all in Yankee pinstripes. A 12-time All-Star, he has amassed a 67.7 WAR (per Baseball Reference) and captained the Yankees to five World Series titles since 1996.

    But is there a future Derek Jeter lurking in the minor leagues? While it’s highly doubtful, it sure is fun to speculate, right? Here’s a look at 10 minor league shortstops who are worth considering for such a claim.

10. Jean Segura, Los Angeles Angels

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    Position: SS  

     

    Height/Weight: 5'10", 165

     

    DOB: 3/17/1990

     

    Bats/Throws: R/R

     

    Drafted/Signed: 2007, Dominican Republic

     

    2012 Stats


    Double-A: .287/.330/.413, 20 XBH (7 HR), 34 RBI, 27 SB, 51 K/15 BB (75 G)

     

    Overview

    Had Jean Segura not been plagued by injuries off-and-on since 2008, he might already be in the major leagues.

    The No. 2 prospect in the Angels' system headed into the season, Segura is an undersized (5'11", 185 lbs.) middle infielder with exciting tools.  Thanks to his raw bat speed and compact swing, he will surprise people with the amount of pop in his bat.  His quick wrists allow him to sit on offspeed offerings, and he's become increasingly comfortable hitting to all fields. 

    By the time he settles in at the major league level, the right-handed hitter could flirt with a .300 batting average, as well as 10-15 home runs.  With healthy legs, Segura has the potential to be a stolen base threat and should leg out many more extra-base hits.  Although he’s always had a high contact rate, Segura could better utilize his speed by drawing more walks—something that he’s done at an eight percent clip in his best seasons.

    With enough range to play both middle infield positions for the time being, it's Segura’s plus arm that makes him more attractive as a shortstop. He plays both positions aggressively and has good instincts on the field. 

    He had a brief but impressive stint at Triple-A in 2009, but has spent the last two seasons bouncing between the Angels’ Rookie and Single-A affiliates.

     

    2012 Season Update

    Segura’s first full season at Double-A has been impressive, as he’s proven that he’s more than capable of handling shortstop as well as being a top-of-the-order bat. He easily puts together multi-hit efforts while stealing bases with consistency. His first-half performance garnered Texas League midseason All-Star honors, and he will also be headed to his first Futures Game in July.

9. Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies

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    Position: SS

     

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 175

     

    DOB: 11/15/1992

     

    Bats/Throws: R/R

     

    Drafted/Signed: 2011, first round-supplemental (HS: Irving, Texas)

     

    2012 Stats


    Low-A: .256/.348/.473, 31 XBH (10 HR), 36 RBI, 5 SB, 67 K/31 BB (67 G)

     

    Overview

     

    One of my favorite—and one of the most underappreciated—prospects in all of baseball, Trevor Story employs a mature approach at the plate that allows him to use the entire field. His quick bat and direct bat suggests that he’ll hit for average to above-average power as he continues to physically develop.

    He’s an above-average runner with excellent instincts at shortstop that are enhanced by his smooth and natural actions to and through the baseball. His best defensive tool is his plus arm, which is more than enough for the position.

     

    2012 Season Update

    After posting a .960-plus OPS in both April and May, Story fell into a slump prior to the All-Star break, and has yet to break out of it. Over his last 10 games, he’s just 5-for-41 and has fanned 19 times. Oddly enough, the right-handed hitter is batting just .164/.317/.224 in 67 at-bats against left-handed pitching.

8. Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs

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    Position: SS

     

    Height/Weight: 6'0", 180

     

    DOB: 12/1/1992

     

    Bats/Throws: R/R

     

    Drafted/Signed: 2011, first round (HS: Arlington Country Day School, Fla.)

     

    2012 Stats


    Low-A: .294/.381/.494, 8 XBH, 11 RBI, 11 SB, 22 K/7 BB (24 G)

     

    Overview

    The ninth overall pick in the 2011 draft, Baez has insane raw bat speed with the potential for plus power by the time he reaches the major leagues. Simply put: Baez swings as hard as humanly possible—every time. But that’s also what makes him such a promising hitter.

    His defense at shortstop is average, though he does have a strong arm. Given his size and defensive actions, Baez will probably shift to third base at some point. He has decent speed and good instincts on the basepaths that give him 20/20 potential.

     

    2012 Season Update

    Activated from extended spring training in late May, Baez has come out of the gates swinging in 2012, posting a .997 OPS through 20 June games. In addition to his ability to consistently square up the baseball, he’s shown to be an adept base stealer, going a perfect 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts.

7. Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox

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    Position: SS

     

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 175

     

    DOB: 10/1/1992 

     

    Bats/Throws: R/R

     

    Drafted/Signed: 2009, Aruba

     

    2012 Stats


    High-A: .292/.369/.494, 29 XBH (12 HR), 47 RBI, 65 K/29 BB (74 G)

     

    Overview

    Bogaerts put his name on the map with a .314/.396/.423 professional debut in 2010 and followed it by blasting 16 home runs in 72 games in 2011. Only 19 years old, his smooth swing and plus power allow him to drive the ball to all fields with backspin carry.

    As he’s faced more advanced pitching this season, however, he’s been forced to become more selective, especially with quality off-speed pitches.

    While he has soft hands and a plus arm at shortstop, Bogaerts lacks the quickness needed to remain there. Considering his other tools, he could either end up in right field or at third base—likely the latter.

     

    2012 Season Update

    After batting .360 in the season’s opening month, Bogaerts struggled to make adjustments in May when he batted .258/.308/.381. However, he’s come surging back in June, batting .337/.434/.632 with eight home runs and was named a Carolina League Midseason All-Star as well as a selection for the Futures Game.

6. Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians

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    Position: SS

     

    Height/Weight: 5'11", 175

     

    DOB: 11/14/1993

     

    Bats/Throws: S/R

     

    Drafted/Signed: 2011, first round (HS: Montverde Academy, Fla.)

     

    2012 Stats


    Low-A: .270/.359/.383, 20 XBH (13 2B), 23 RBI, 17 SB, 45 K/30 BB (66 G)

     

    Overview

    One of the most promising young shortstops in the game, Lindor is on the fast track to the major leagues.

    The best defensive shortstop out of the 2011 draft, he has drawn rave reviews for his athleticism and fluidity at short. The combination of his excellent range and plus arm has the Indians convinced that Lindor will be able to stick at shortstop for a long, long time.

    A switch-hitter, Lindor’s offensive value will come from his ability to hit for a solid average and hopefully get on base at a decent clip. He’ll never hit for much power, but he has enough pop to produce 20-plus doubles.

    Despite being just a slightly above-average runner, Lindor projects to steal 20 bases annually due to his instincts and high baseball IQ.

     

    2012 Season Update

    Continually drawing outstanding reviews for his defense at Low-A Lake County, Lindor is one of the more promising defensive shortstops in recent memory. Although his bat and power have tailed off over the last two months, he’s consistently displayed advanced plate discipline for his age.

5. Gavin Cecchini, New York Mets

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    Position: SS

     

    Height/Weight: 6’0", 175

     

    Bats/Throws: R/R

     

    DOB: 12/22/1993

     

    Drafted/Signed: 2012, first round (HS—Barbe, La.)

     

    2012 Stats


    Rookie: .286/.324/.371, 2 XBH, 6 RBI, 8 K/2 BB (9 G)

     

    Overview

    A right-handed hitter, Cecchini has quick wrists and a compact swing that allow him to drive the ball from line-to-line. The ball jumps off his bat due to a direct and fluid bat path. He doesn’t have a ton of present power; however, he’s gotten considerably stronger over the last year-and-a-half, which has aided his overall power projection.

    Furthermore, Cecchini understands his swing as well as any hitter in the draft and is comfortably manipulating counts to coax a walk.

    Cecchini’s plus speed plays both on defense and on the bases due to his natural instincts and high baseball IQ. He has true hands and quick, natural actions at shortstop, as well as a strong, accurate arm that will allow him to excel at the position.

     

    2012 Season Update

    After signing for above slot value for $2.55 million, Cecchini was assigned to the Kingsport Mets in the Appalachian League. The right-handed hitter has hit safely in six of his first nine games, three of which have been multi-hit efforts.

4. Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds

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    Position: SS

     

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 160

     

    DOB: 9/9/1990

     

    Bats/Throws: S/R

     

    Drafted/Signed: 2009, second round (HS: Taylorsville, Miss.)

     

    2012 Stats


    High-A: .325/.418/.434, 69 R, 23 XBH (8 3B), 94 SB, 57 K/47 BB (74 G)

     

    Overview

    The first minor leaguer to steal 100 bases in over a decade, Hamilton is a ridiculous athlete who has made strides this season learning the intricacies of the game.

    He’ll never hit for power. But as a switch-hitting shortstop, the improvement in his plate discipline this season has already boosted his stock. Outside of his range, Hamilton's arm and hands can be fringy, which has some scouts thinking that he’ll wind up in center field or perhaps at second base.

    No one expected Hamilton to turn in the 2012 season that he has, so the fact that he’s been arguably the top offensive player in all of High-A, only bumps up his arrival in Cincinnati.

     

    2012 Season Update

    On pace to absolutely shatter last year’s stolen base high-water mark, Hamilton had 80 stolen bases by the High-A All-Star break and has stolen roughly 1.3 bases per game. What he is doing on the base paths is absolutely amazing and needs to be followed closely for the rest of the season.

3. Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles

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    Position: SS

     

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 185

     

    DOB: 7/6/1992

     

    Bats/Throws: R/R

     

    Drafted/Signed: 2010, first round (HS: Brito, Fla.)

     

    2012 Stats


    Double-A: ..263/.345/.409, 27 XBH (6 HR), 38 RBI, 9 SB, 53 K/32 BB (76 G)

     

    Overview

    Machado was impressive in his first full professional season despite suffering a dislocated kneecap and subsequently missed a month. His 6'3", 185-pound frame is extremely projectable, and this season he’s drawn rave reviews from scouts despite posting not overly impressive numbers.

    He has the actions to remain at shortstop for the time being, but his physical development will ultimately dictate his position. He has a plus arm from the left side as well as average range, so expect Machado to be projected at multiple positions over the course of his minor league career.

    His plus bat speed suggests potential for plus power, and he has already shown an impressive feel for the strike zone at a young age.

     

    2012 Season Update

    After struggling to hit for any sort of power over the first two months of the season, Machado has found his stride in June, tallying 10 extra-base hits, including four of his six home runs. Over his last 10 games, the right-handed hitter is batting .417/.475/.750 with three home runs and 14 RBI.

2. Carlos Correa, Houston Astros

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    Position: SS

     

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 190

     

    Bats/Throws: R/R

     

    DOB: 9/22/1994

     

    Drafted/Signed: 2012, No. 1 overall (Puerto Rico)

     

    2012 Stats


    Rookie: .129/.206/.161 (4-for-31), 8 K/3 BB (8 G)

     

    Overview

    The top position prospect in the 2012 draft class alongside Byron Buxton, the 17-year-old Correa possesses a highly projectable frame and an assortment of electrifying tools.

    His plus arm may be his most noticeable tool, as he was clocked at 97 mph across the infield at the Perfect Game World Showcase. However, Correa isn’t all arm strength; he has smooth actions on the infield with above-average range and true instincts.

    At the dish, Correa, a right-handed hitter, has raw power in all directions thanks to plus bat speed and excellent hand-eye coordination. However, he’ll need to improve his weight transfer upon entering professional baseball, as he retains too much weight on his backside after contact rather than employing a high-pivot finish to drive the baseball. But that’s something that can be easily ironed out with a big league hitting coach.

     

    2012 Season Update

    After the Astros made him the first Puerto Rican player to go No.1 overall, he signed for well below slot value at $4.8 million. He’s struggled at the plate to begin his professional career, but that’s to be expected with such a young player.

1. Jurickson Profar, Texas Rangers

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    Position: SS

     

    Height/Weight: 5'11", 165

     

    DOB: 2/20/1993

     

    Bats/Throws: S/R

     

    Drafted/Signed: 2009, Curacao

     

    2012 Stats


    Double-A: .289/.369/.463, 30 XBH (17 2B), 34 RBI, 9 SB, 47 K/37 BB (73 G)

     

    Overview

    There’s a whole lot to like about the 19-year-old Profar, who's the unanimous top infield prospect in all of baseball. He possesses an above-average bat from both sides of the plate that’s highlighted by an advanced knowledge of the strike zone. He has surprising strength for his size that when bundled with his quick wrists, could yield 15-25 home run potential.

    Profar also made strides as a base stealer in 2011—his first full season—but his speed is only above-average. Beyond his obvious offensive potential, Profar is a stud at shortstop. He is a plus defender with excellent range and soft hands and also possesses a plus arm that will allow him to remain at the position.

    Due to the Rangers’ current middle infield combo of Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler, there’s a chance Profar begins his major league career at second base. But that will only be temporary, as the 19-year-old is undoubtedly the team’s shortstop of the future.

     

    2012 Season Update

    After a slow start including batting .253 in April, Profar posted nearly a .900 OPS in May and continues to demonstrate plate discipline well beyond his years. Recently, the switch-hitting youngster was named a Texas League Midseason All-Star and was also named to his second Futures Game.

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