The 2011 MLB All-Prospect Team

Kansas City Royals Eric Hosmer hits a RBI double in the third inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during their MLB American League baseball game in Kansas City, Missouri, June 9, 2011. REUTERS/Dave Kaup (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

The Objective: Compile a MLB roster complete with only the top minor league prospects.

The Rules: As long as they were viewed as a prospect coming into the 2011 season, they can be on this team. Thus, just because guys like Jeremy Hellickson and Eric Hosmer are already contributing at the Major League level, doesn’t mean they can’t be included on this team.

That’s it.

Let’s get nasty, Ricky.

C: Jesus Montero, Yankees
There’s no doubt that Montero is the future at catcher for the Yankees, but he may have some maturity issues to iron out first. He was benched twice earlier this month for showing a lack of energy and apparently loses focus at times. But that doesn’t mean the 21-year-old isn’t a great prospect, which he is. As soon as he shows he has the mental makeup to handle catching a big league staff, he’ll be up. In fact, I have a hard time believing the Bombers won’t recall him at some point in 2011.
Honorable Mention: Gary Sanchez, Yankees; Devin Mesoraco, Reds.

1B: Eric Hosmer, Royals
Hosmer has been slumping recently but he’s still hitting .268 with five home runs and 26 RBI this year for the Royals. Those aren’t terrible stats for a 21-year-old trying to make adjustments to big league pitching. Considered the top first base prospect in baseball, it’ll be interesting to see how he fares throughout a grueling second half.
Honorable Mention: Brandon Belt, Giants; Freddie Freeman, Braves.

2B: Dustin Ackley, Mariners
The M’s called Ackley up in mid-June and already the youngster is hitting over .300. In a recent win over the Marlins, Ackley went 3-for-5 with a double and a triple while scoring the go-ahead run in the 10th on a wild pitch. Once pitchers adjust, his batting average will likely drop but Seattle has to be thrilled so far with his production.
Honorable Mention: Jason Kipnis, Indians.

3B: Mike Moustakas, Royals
Yet another one of the Royals’ young hitters makes this mock roster. Moustakas hit his first big-league homer in just his second game with the Royals earlier this month and has now reached base in seven of his last eight games. Outside of the one home run, his power hasn’t translated to the big leagues so far, but it’s still early. He has a short, compact swing and despite having an aggressive approach, he doesn’t strikeout a lot. He could be a star in Kansas City for years to come.
Honorable Mention: Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays; Lonnie Chisenhall, Indians; Nick Castellanos, Tigers.

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Will the Brewers trade Prince Fielder at the trade deadline?

Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder eyes a pitch against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 18, 2010 in Denver. Colorado beat Milwaukee 2-0.         UPI/Gary C. Caskey Photo via Newscom

The Brewers seemingly have two options when it comes to Prince Fielder: trade him now, or trade him later. Either way, they’re going to have to trade him at some point because Scott Boras is going to make sure that in a year and a half, Fielder is richer than Bill Gates’ personnel chef.

Fielder signed a two-year, $18 million contract extension with the Brewers in January of last year. Only $4.34 million remains on that contract through the end of the season and then Fielder becomes arbitration-eligible for the 2011 season. After making another $15-16 million in arbitration next year, Boras will ensure that the slugger makes $100 million once he hits free agency in 2012.

A bidding war over a home run commodity like Fielder isn’t something the small market Brewers are prepared for. They could break the bank in hopes of re-signing the slugger, but the more likely scenario is that GM Doug Melvin will seek a top-pitching prospect in a trade for Fielder now or in the offseason.

If Melvin waits, he’ll probably have more suitors interested in the first baseman. But if he trades him at the deadline this year, he might find a desperate general manager who is willing to give up a top arm in order to acquire a slugger for the stretch run.

There are several teams that could be interested in Fielder’s services, although you could make an argument for and against every one of them. The Brewers scouted White Sox pitcher Daniel Hudson on Monday night, but it’s doubtful that he could be the centerpiece in a deal for Fielder. At least not when the Rays (Jeremy Hellickson and Wade Davis) and Giants (Madison Bumgarner and Zach Wheeler) have more highly touted arms and could be interested in Fielder as well.

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