The 2012 fantasy baseball playoffs are upon us. Crunch time is now, meaning solid pickups are incredibly valuable and essential to any playoff contender.
Luckily, there are plenty of options out there. Waiver wires and free-agent pools are chock-full of roster-worthy prospects ready to explode at the major league level.
Don't squander this opportunity. You've worked hard to make the playoffs, and one decision could be the difference between a championship and failure.
Here are four prospects who can help lead your team to a title.
The Arizona Diamondbacks recently called up OF Adam Eaton, who was one of the team's top prospects. If you need OF help, pick him up right away.
Eaton has shown brilliance in his first several games, going 8-for-20 with five runs. He's known to hit for average, so this could be a sign of things to come.
Obviously, don't expect him to hit .400 the rest of the season. Teams will start to pitch around his strengths and attack his weaknesses, which will definitely result in a drop in production.
However, Eaton hit .375 in the minors this year and has the potential to consistently hit .300 in the big leagues. He also has 30-SB potential, making him invaluable in rotisserie and multi-category leagues.
If he's still on your waiver wire, grab him immediately.
Jean Segura was traded in July from the Angels to the Milwaukee Brewers as part of the Zack Greinke deal. He was a great pickup for Milwaukee and will be an excellent addition to your fantasy squad.
Prior to being traded, Segura was the Angels' No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America. He's still figuring things out on the major league level but is showing signs of improvement.
In 24 games, Segura is only hitting .230. He hit .250 in July but is 6-for-14 in his last four games. He also hit .358 in the minors this season and has stolen as many as 50 bases.
Best of all, Segura is a shortstop. Production from the SS position is hard to come by, so if you're starting Stephen Drew, Alexei Ramirez or anyone else mediocre, give Segura a shot.
Wil Myers in the MLB Futures Game.
Kansas City Royals OF Wil Myers is absolutely destroying minor league pitching this year, and it's incredibly likely that Myers will be part of the second wave of called-up prospects.
Baseball America recently named Myers the Minor League Player of the Year. That's quite an honor, and Myers has the stats and talent to back it up.
Myers is hitting .314 with a .387 OBP, 37 HR and 109 RBI in the minors this season. It's obvious that he's ready to handle big league pitching and perform for outfield-hungry fantasy teams.
Be on the lookout for a Myers call-up and snatch him up the minute he's called to the big leagues.
Profar gets pied after his first big league homer.
Texas Rangers SS Jurickson Profar is one of the most talented prospects in all of baseball, and this talent is already starting to translate into big league performance.
Profar was recently called up and got his first start when Ian Kinsler was scratched from the lineup on September 2. He went 2-for-4 with a home run and a double, and is 3-for-9 on the season.
Baseball America rated Profar as the Rangers' No. 1 prospect heading into 2012. He is known to hit for average, has decent pop and can throw in some steals.
Profar has the potential to be a .300 hitter in the bigs. Even at age 19, he's talented enough to have start-worthy fantasy numbers on the board.
Unfortunately, Profar is a middle infielder. While good shortstops are rare, the Rangers usually start Elvis Andrus at SS and Ian Kinsler at 2B. His value is, therefore, limited.
However, the Rangers are finding ways to get Profar in the lineup. On September 8, Elvis Andrus played DH and Profar played SS. Although the Rangers will likely rotate positions for Profar the rest of the season, Profar still doesn't have a regular spot in the lineup.
If anyone on the Rangers goes down with an injury, Profar's value explodes. Pick him up and stash him on your bench until Profar earns a regular spot in the lineup or a Ranger player goes down with an injury.