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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One of baseball's top college hitters in 2010 (.344/.481/.656 at Clemson, with a homer every 12 at-bats), outfielder Kyle Parker is a big part of the Rockies plan to pump up their offense as they return to contention in the years to come. Parker, who slashed .308/.415/.562 with 23 homers in 102 California League (high-A) games, has plus power from the right side hat will only look better in Coors, and soon. Like many of the best Rockies prospects, he's due to arrive for real sometime in 2014, though we should see a taste of him in September.
Full Scouting Report for Kyle Parker
SB 131 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A lightly-built lefthanded starter from Venezuela, Oriole prospect Eduardo Rodriguez is a steadily-developing pitcher who could help out the Orioles of the near future. He's risen smoothly through the minors so far, and after a full-season 3.70/1.24 performance in 22 starts for A-level Delmarva in the Sally League, should taste AA ball for the first time in 2013.
Rodriguez isn't a strikeout artist, at least not yet, but his excellent control and quality slider do seem to inspire poor contact from hitters, giving him excellent ground ball ability. His fastball, which can touch 95mph, is good enough thanks to its natural movement, but his changeup isn't special yet. Keep an eye on him when he starts to face more advanced hitters to see if they're fooled as easily as low-level ones have been.
Full Scouting Report for Eduardo Rodriguez
SB 132 BA SC BP SN ES 100 ML
A high-school catcher blessed with a B-movie monicker, Stryker Trahan was drafted by the Diamondbacks at the tail end of 2012's first round. While the final call is more than half a decade away, the early returns suggest that the tallish Trahan may be able to stick at catcher, as he possesses more than the usual strong arm requirement. If he shows aptitude for game-calling, he'll move quickly, but 'quickly' in this context still means 2016 or so.
Full Scouting Report for Stryker Trahan
SB 133 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Pierce Johnson is a wiry righthander snapped up by the Cubs in 2012's Supplemental Round after a few too many ballclubs were frightened away by a forearm strain. Silly ballclubs: Johnson is a legit first-round talent who brings a solid mix of three quality pitches to the mound already, and his 95mph fastball could be a real plus pitch as long as he can maintain its natural motion even when using it exclusively down in the zone, which he still struggles to do consistently. If he develops as expected, Johnson could be a solid part of a revitalized Chicago rotation come 2015 or so.
Full Scouting Report for Pierce Johnson
SB 134 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big righthanded reliever from the glittering metropolis known as Cowpens, South Carolina, Giants pitcher Richard (Heath) Hembree is a low-glamor, low-maintenance and highly durable farmhand who would probably take the mound 162 times each season if his coach asked him to. He looked pretty darn good at AAA Fresno last year, striking out 36 in 38 single-inning appearances. He did walk 20, however, which is a bit of a warning sign. Give him another half year and he should be ready to chew through some middle innings in San Francisco.
Full Scouting Report for Heath Hembree
SB 135 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A switch-hitting catcher of the type the Red Sox have kept on trying to develop for the last decade, Cleveland native Blake Swihart has the tools necessary to succeed in the big leagues, assuming his game-calling head can develop as expected. Already blessed with solid contact ability from either side of the plate, (.448/.492/.845 for Team USA two years ago) he's also showing a strong and accurate throwing arm already. If he has to move away from the plate, he could be a competent third baseman, since he doesn't really have the legs for the outfield, but if that happened he would drop a great deal in value, since there are many other young third basemen with similar offensive pop.
Full Scouting Report for Blake Swihart
SB 136 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Sox second-round pick in 2009 out of high school, outfielder Trayce Thompson is a 6-4, 200 pound righthanded masher from Rancho Margarita, California. The son of ex-NBA player Mychal Thompson, Trayce is a high-quality athlete with a solid set of tools. Both his power and speed project as possible plus tools. Hopefully, the shortage of quality players on the Chicago farm won't force the Sox to move him too quickly, because while he's ready enough, he'll be even better with a bit more grooming.
Full Scouting Report for Trayce Thompson
SB 137 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Georgia high schooler Austin Meadows is an outfield phenom who attracted a great deal of first round attention in MLB's 2013 first-year player draft before falling to the Pirates with the ninth overall selection. A phenom with five tool talent, Austin is one of the fastest baserunners in the country, with speed that would make him one of the fastest players in pro baseball if he can get the rest of his game to half that level. His swing is promising, featuring a smooth and easy load with the makings of real plus power from the left side. He's been compared to players like Andre Ethier and Jacoby Ellsbury, and not without reason: few ballplayers blend across-the-board abilities like this. The only thing that might keep him from a minor league roster is 2014 is his commitment to Clemson University.
Full Scouting Report for Austin Meadows
SB 138 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A dominant closer at Texas Tech, Rockies righthander Chad Bettis is exactly the right kind of pitcher to survive at Coors Field. He mixes a heavy and loose fastball with just enough of an effective mid-80's slider that prevents hitters from making square contact... the scariest kind of contact.
His time in the minors to date has been no challenge at all. Most recently he racked up 184 strikeouts in 170 innings in the high-A Cal League, posting a lovely 1.10 WHIP in doing so. He's being groomed as a full-time starter, at least for now, and he still has to get over the hurdle of AA, but at this rate, he'll be banging on the door in Colorado before 2013 is finished. His sweet spot is mid-2014, though.
Full Scouting Report for Chad Bettis
SB 139 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The premium Cuban defector available in the 2013 season, Miguel Alberto Gonzalez is aard-throwing right-hander has a fastball in the low- to miid-90s, a quality changeup and a decent curveball. He also throws a hard forkball, though it doesn't really stand out enough from the straight change to be considered an everyday offering just yet: some scouts would like to see him abandon it as an off-speed selection, suggesting he actually throw it harder. Converseley, his fastball, which can touch 96, actually works better in the low-90's, when he can produce considerable arm-side run with natural sink. But those nitpicks aren't much to fret about: Gonzalez looks only a dozen starts away from being a viable mid-rotation big-league starter right now.
Full Scouting Report for Miguel Gonzalez
SB 140 BA SC BP SN ES ML
130 to 140 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013