Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2008 amateur draft.
Most knock him for his lengthly swing, thus hitting for a lower average. Overall he's doesn't produce any real plus tools, but he also doesn't have any below average ones. He has been projected to hit for some pretty good power and has some speed on the base paths. Goldstein ranked him as the 101st overall prospect coming into 2010.
His averages have never been eye popping, but his 22HR/25SB combined between AA and AAA this year are very appealing. He also boasting 18HR/29SB to go along with 72RBI at High A in 2009. Espinosa also has showcased good plate discipline at all levels; A+: 74BB/129K, AA: 33BB/94K, AAA: 8BB/22K.
He has been given a 76/100 rating for Power, 77/100 for Speed by the Cube.
fantasybaseballgeeks.com wrote:“Danny who?” many of you are probably saying. Not only was Danny Espinosa ranked as the Nationals best defensive infielder entering the 2010 season by Baseball America, he’s emerged as a very strong offensive threat at a traditionally weak position. Though the 23 year old Espinosa has been a shortstop for all of his 3 professional seasons, he began playing 2nd base over the past two weeks for the first time since High School. Since Ian Desmond, despite his high error total, has emerged as the Nationals shortstop of the future, the Nats needed a way to keep Espinosa’s defense in the infield and clear a path for him to reach the majors. At AA-Harrisburg this season, Espinosa became just the 3rd professional player to go 20-20, after Carlos Gonzalez and Chris Young. All told, Espinosa totaled 22 HR, 69 RBI, 80 runs, 25 steals and 0.801 OPS in 123 games between AA and AA. As a reference point, only six second basemen totaled at least 15 HR and 15 steals last season and only 3 accomplished the feat in 2008 (though Chase Utley missed the mark by 1 steal and Rickie Weeks by 1 HR). As the season comes to the close and the fantasy playoffs begin, Dustin Pedrioa is down for the count and with Ian Stewart (DL), Brandon Phillips, Ian Kinsler, Dan Uggla and Orlando Hudson all battling injuries of some sort, second base has all the sudden become an even more thin position in the fantasy world. It’s obvious that Espinosa has tremendous upside, but how will that translate for the final month?
Last season, the Nationals wanted to see if Ian Desmond could in fact become their shortstop of the future by giving him a long look in September. In 21 games, spanning 82 AB, Desmond hit 0.281 with 4 HR, 12 RBI and 9 runs. This season, though he’s struggled a bit defensively, he’s hitting 0.281 with 9 HR, 56 RBI, 50 runs and 14 steals, holding off Cristian Guzman early in the season to cement himself as not only the starting SS for this season, but also for the future. How does Desmond’s September playing time relate to Espinosa? According to the Nats brass, Espinosa could get a strong look, similar to that of Desmond last season. “He’ll get plenty of action…Espinosa is going to get playing time through September” manager Jim Riggleman said recently. General Manager Mike Rizzo has also indicated there is a “strong possibility” Espinosa gets a shot this September similar to that of Desmond last season. On Thursday, Espinosa collected his first big league hit – a double. What was interesting about that double is that it started as a hard hit routine bouncer to 2nd base, took a bad hop over the second basemen’s head and though it was cut off quickly by the centerfielder, Espinosa was hustling the whole way out of the box and legged a seemingly routine single into a double. On Friday night, getting the start at 2nd base, and hitting 8th, Espinosa hit his first career home run off Zach Duke. Though it may take some time for Espinosa to gain eligibility in most leagues, he looks as though he could make a big impact down the stretch for any fantasy team looking for a second basemen or middle infielder. In addition to the remainder of this season, Espinosa is definitely a name to look for in 2011.