On Sunday afternoon, Barry Larkin will be welcomed into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame as the Class of 2012’s lone inductee. In his 19-year career, all with the Cincinnati Reds, Larkin batted .295/.371/.444 with 441 doubles, 198 home runs and 379 stolen bases, while registering a 67.1 career WAR. Perennially lauded for his defense and leadership, Larkin won three Gold Glove awards and posted a career 4.62 RF/G while playing 2,085 games at shortstop.
A 12-time All-Star and the 1995 National League MVP, Larkin enjoyed his best statistical season in 1996 when he batted .298/.410/.567 with 32 doubles, 33 home runs, 89 RBI, and 36 stolen bases, as he drew 96 walks compared to only 52 strikeouts.
With Larkin’s legacy set to be enshrined in Cooperstown this weekend, we now look towards the minor leagues to determine whether there’s a player, or players, who has the potential to turn in a similar career. Therefore, I looked for players who have the upside of a .300 hitter capable of annually producing 20 doubles, 10 home runs, 20 stolen bases and a .350 OBP. Additionally, the player must have the defensive skills to profile at shortstop for the majority of their career.
So, here are 10 prospects who have the potential to be the next Barry Larkin.