Top Baseball Prospects for 2013
Now updated for 2013's Top Prospects
Scouting Book's Top Prospects list is a Combined List, a calculated summary of the overall valuations of the entire prospect universe.
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A twelfth round pick out of Oregon State back in 2010, infielder Stefen Romero has quietly risen to legitimate prospect status thanks to a solid work effort and a good all-around offensive toolset. Somewhat of a late bloomer, the righthanded Romero zipped up the depth chart in 2012 by raking .357/.391/.581 at High Desert. The performance earned him a quick promotion to AA, where he fared even better, slashing a .347/.392/.620 line against pitching that should have overmatched him.
His range isn't the greatest, and he won't be stealing many bases, but if the Mariners can really get a near-1.000 OPS from a middle infielder, they'll welcome it with open arms. Look for him to get a look-see late in the year, or sooner than that if the offensively-rebuilt Mariner lineup stumbles hard or early.
Full Scouting Report for Stefen Romero
SB 101 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Originally drafted by the Rangers, Righthander Joe Wieland is today a premium Padres pitching prospect with his sights set squarely on San Diego. A tall and thin kid with easy gas, Wieland works comfortably at 90-94mph, spiced with a genuine plus curve. Even his change shows above-average flash.
With exceptionally good command and control, he brought all that quality stuff to bear in 2012, making six starts for the Padres and posting a veteran-looking 1.27 WHIP and 24:9 strikeout to walk ratio. A fly-ball/strikeout pitcher, he should improve further in 2013 and fit perfectly into San Diego's style of play, not to mention that ballpark. If he's not in the rotation to open 2013, he will be by the end of the season.
Full Scouting Report for Joe Wieland
SB 102 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Don't let that ugly .175/.303/.342 line from his Wrigleyville cup of coffee influence you too much. Brett Jackson is still a toolsy centerfielder who will have a chance to blossom in slow-growing Chicago. A well-rounded player without a single defining skill, the .297/.388/.551 line he stroked at AAA Iowa in 2011 is more typical of his results in pro baseball to date. Jackson's mix of plus speed and mature plate discipline portends a leadoff role, though his developing power might make him slot into the six hole just fine, too. He's primed and equipped for an opportunity in MLB, probably the only Cubs prospect really ready to do so, so he should get another chance in 2013.
Full Scouting Report for Brett Jackson
SB 103 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A sixth round selection by the O's in 2011, catcher and third baseman Nick Delmonico probably had the best pure power bat in the Baltimore system at draft time, and he's shown flashes of that power already in pro ball. The best indicator for possible future success comes not from seeing his legit power, however, but in noticing that his success in high school came mainly on the strength of patience and selectivity at the plate: if that kind of discipline can be nurtured in pro ball, he could be a very powerful offensive force indeed. Now a Brewer thanks to the shrewd dumping of Francisco Rodriguez in mid-2013, he'll continue to develop in another system known for sharpening young hitters.
Full Scouting Report for Nick Delmonico
SB 104 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A two-way player who the White Sox have chosen to develop as an outfielder, young Courtney Hawkins has plus power potential, though his swing also comes with more than the preferred number of gaping holes, at least for now. He'll have a couple of more years to tighten that up, of course.
Full Scouting Report for Courtney Hawkins
SB 105 BA 55 SC 97 BP SN ES 74 ML 68
A flamethrowing lefthander, Montgomery was grabbed early by the Royals in the 2008 draft. Four minor league seasons later, he's still looking pretty legitimate, if unspectacular. He's assembled a 4.17 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP and a 460:212 collection of strikeouts versus walks over 546 innings that have propelled him to AAA and the major league doorstep. Traded to the Rays during the 2012 winter, he'll be looked to sooner than he might have been in KC. He's only 23 years old, and suffered some flameout control issues at times last season, but we still expect to see him in the majors this season. A new coaching staff might be all that it takes to restore his onetime shine.
Full Scouting Report for Mike Montgomery
SB 106 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Nobody expected young Josh Bell to sign in 2011, which is probably why he fell to the Pirates in round two of the draft. But one should never underestimate the allure of five million shiny dollars, and young Bell shocked other managers by inking with the Pirates and passing on the University of Texas. Bell immediately became the biggest bat in a Pirate system that's very lacking in offensive muscle, but his primo status doesn't only come from relative dearth: he's a valid top prospect all on his own merit.
Full Scouting Report for Josh Bell
SB 107 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A howitzer-armed high school catcher from Oklahoma, Jonathan Denney promises both offense and defense from the backstop position. Denney has the makings of real plus power coupled with great pitch recognition. A smart player, he has soft hands and great reflexes behind the plate, and seems capable of handling a pitching staff someday, too. That means he should stay at catcher, where he has the most value. Drafted in the third round of 2013's draft by the Red Sox, he's in the right system for the kind of player he seems to be.
Full Scouting Report for Jonathan Denney
SB 108 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Victor Sanchez, the prize of the international free agent market in 2011, is a big-armed righthander who's growing up in a Seattle system that's positively overflowing with that particular blessing. A gifted athlete with a loose, easy motion and natural movement on his ball, he was a star in Venezuela from the time he was 12 years old, dominating hitters four years older than that with a 90mph fastball and a downright unfair curve. As a sixteen year old in showcases, Sanchez demonstrated he could hit 92 with that heater, not to mention the beginnings of a slider that has since blossomed into a genuine plus pitch. He's even shown indications of a working changeup, which is remarkable in such a young pitcher.
In his first taste of American ball at low-A Everett in 2012, Sanchez went 6-2, 3.18 over fifteen starts, striking out 69 hitters in 85 innings of work. He's still very young, of course, and his body will need to grow in just the right way to support the workload his arm is about to encounter. But right now he looks like the best Latin American pitching prospect we've seen since Julio Teheran, who was himself probably the best since some guy you may remember named Felix.
Full Scouting Report for Victor Sanchez
SB 109 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A polished college shortstop from St. John's, Joe Panik is the closest thing to MLB-ready in the Giants system today, though he's more likely than not to be deployed at second base for the big club. After signing with the team in 2011, he went straight to low-A Salem, where he promptly hammered out a nifty .341/.401/.467 line with six homers and thirteen stolen bases, all in only 270 at-bats. Last year's .297/.368/.402 line might look like a step back, but considering it came along with a promotion to high-A San Jose, it's very good production. As long as he plays up to his level, he'll be all set as a fixture in SF sometime in 2014, with a callup in late 2013 not out of the question.
Full Scouting Report for Joe Panik
SB 110 BA SC BP SN ES ML
100 to 110 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013