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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The Mets top infield prospect, Wilmer Flores is on a trajectory for Flushing that will be difficult to derail. Flores's reached AA in 2012, slashing .311/.361/.494 in 66 Binghamton games that included 8 homers and 18 doubles. He's still a year or so away from Flushing, and it's possible he could outgrow shortstop, but right now he looks like he could be a slightly-dimmer East Coast version of Starlin Castro by early 2014.
Full Scouting Report for Wilmer Flores
SB 111 BA SC BP SN ES ML
One of the lesser-known arms being sharpened in Doctor Ryan's No-Whining Pitching Clinic, righthander Neil Ramirez took another step forward in 2012, working at both double and triple A and racking up 108 strikeouts in 123 innings of work (28 starts).
The thin and wiry Ramirez has always had great stuff, but only recently has shown that he can command it, too. The 92mph fastball he's always featured has become more effective over the past two seasons, as he's sharpened his location, and the small improvements coaches squeezed from his curve and change make him look ready for MLB now. Ramirez would be a more highly-coveted prospect today if he hadn't struggled with vague shoulder soreness issues throughout 2011 and a little of 2012, but if that passes into history without further incident, he should zip up everyone's list very quickly now. We could see him in Arlington sometime this year, for at least a look-see, and depending on how the rearranged Ranger rotation pans out, maybe for a whole lot more than that.
Full Scouting Report for Neil Ramirez
SB 112 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An unsexy pickup by the Rangers at the bottom of the second round of the 2010 Draft, California righthander Cody Buckel was overlooked by many scouts due to his small stature, but he certainly shows pitching ability. His real ability was on display at AA Frisco in 2012, however, as he struck out 68 hitters in 69 innings of work, (10 starts) while walking only 23. Not bad for a 20-year old.
Buckel's fastball picked up a tick or two, but still seems to max out at not much more than 94mph, though he controls it well and mixes in three other pitches that are all pretty advanced for his age: even his proto-change looks better than you'd expect from such a young pitcher. Of course, he's still a small guy with a whiplike delivery and a high strikeout rate, so no matter how well he does, you know what most scouts are thinking: future closer.
Full Scouting Report for Cody Buckel
SB 113 BA SC BP SN ES 90 ML 87
A towering righthander who's as good at intimidating hitters as he is at actually throwing baseballs, Pirate prospect Tyler Glasnow might not be as well-known as some of Pittsburgh's other pitching prospects, but his ceiling is just as high. He doesn't command it perfectly, but isn't afraid to use it inside as well as outside, which is enough to keep hitters skittish. Glasnow shows a big curve on occasion that's impressive when it works, and a changeup that's rough but promising. He's firmly a prospect of the 'good stuff, needs to master it' type. Another couple of years of easy repetition is all that's needed here. Give him 500 more innings.
Full Scouting Report for Tyler Glasnow
SB 114 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A Stony Brook alumnus taken by the Houston Astros in the fifth round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft, righthander Nick Tropeano is a raw but high-ceiling pitching prospect. Moving from low to high-A last year, Tropeano posted a combined 12-7, 2.85, 1.23 season, striking out 166 hitters and walking 47 in 158 innings.
As a starter, he projects as a solid workhorse with smarts, since he outperforms his stuff on a regular basis thanks to an advanced feel for pitching and a very high quality, deceptive changeup. His makeup is very good, and 2013 will be a very good test as he tries to move up to AA and its more advanced hitters. If he can keep AA batters honest with a fastball that seldom reaches the 90's, he'll be doing the same in MLB next season.
Full Scouting Report for Nick Tropeano
SB 115 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A strong, burly righthander with a good mix of pitches, Florida native Nick Travieso looks like he could find a nice long term home in the Cincinnati rotation, or at least the bullpen: that 94mph heat with a plus slider looks mighty attractive right now. He's a few years away, but has one of the highest upsides in the system.
Full Scouting Report for Nick Travieso
SB 116 BA SC BP SN ES ML
With one of the fastest home-to-first sprints since Ichiro and an OBP over .400 in his first season of pro ball, Padres prospect Cory Spangenberg is already looking very capable of sitting atop a San Diego batting order very soon. The versatile infielder played third base in college but will almost certainly be a second baseman in San Diego. He's still a bit rough around the edges, so give him a year to push his way into AA ball before you start expecting him to crack the Padres' everyday roster.
Full Scouting Report for Cory Spangenberg
SB 117 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Bad from the bullpen (7.72 ERA). Great in the rotation (2.12). That's the short version of John Hellweg's 2010 tour at high-A Inland Empire. That's enough to get him a lot of asterisks and scribbled marginalia, but it was also enough to inspire the Angels to commit to the big enigma as a starter going forward, at least provisionally.
With a high-90's fastball that looks even faster coming from his huge 6-8 frame and a serviceable change, he's definitely got the raw talent to succeed, assuming his body can obey. Hellweg's breaking ball, a developing slider, is still an angry inch away from big-league ready, so he's probably not that close yet. His experiences so far make him an interesting story to watch.
Full Scouting Report for John Hellweg
SB 118 BA SC BP SN ES ML
It's not often that a college pitcher's best weapon is a changeup, but that's how it is for Gonzaga's Marco Gonzales. It's also why he's a top pitching prospect: the change is usually the hardest and last pitch for any professional to master. More traditionally. Marco commands a low-90's fastball well and leans on a good slider against lefthanded hitters. A two-way player while in college, he's no slouch with a bat, which could be extra-attractive to his future in the National League. In a Cardinal system adept at getting the most from smart pitchers, Gonzales has a very bright future.
Full Scouting Report for Marco Gonzales
SB 119 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Mets don't have a lot of top-notch prospects, but Michael Fulmer is pushing to become one of the most promising. An effectively-wild righthander with electric stuff, Fulmer leans heavily on a high-90's fastball that has a little natural movement, coupled with a hard slider that is difficult for hitters to find coming out of his hand. The similar delivery Fulmer uses for that fastball and slider is probably his best weapon.
Fulmer is still working on a third pitch, and if he can harness a quality change he'll be moved up the system as a starter. If the change is a bust, he'll be penciled in as a future eighth or even ninth-inning option in Flushing, where he'll be able to grind away at hitters with the two quality pitches he's already got in his holster. Give him another year to experiment.
Full Scouting Report for Michael Fulmer
SB 120 BA SC BP 98 SN ES ML
110 to 120 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013