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 smallish lefty drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the third round of the 2011 MLB Draft, Georgia native Adam C. Morgan is a quality pitcher on his way to Citizens Bank in the near future. After spending most of the year in high-A Clearwater, Morgan enjoyed a late-season promotion to AA Reading, where he struck out 29 batters in 35 innings and turned in a 1.27 WHIP. He's likely to return to Reading for most or all of 2013, during which time he'll work on sharpening his already-plus change and trying to get some repeatable movement on his 92mph fastball, which can flatten out at times. Some scouts cringe at his stiff-legged high-effort delivery, but when you're only six feet tall, you need to generate power somehow. While a bit risky going forward, he seems to have the smarts and work ethic to succeed. Pencil him in as bullpen help next year and a fifth-starter competitor the year after that.
More Scouting Book Info on Adam Morgan
SB 151 BA SC BP SN ES 92 ML
The Cardinals' first pick of the 2010 Amateur Draft (25th overall), Arkansas' Zack Cox is a toolsy player with a high-end mix of baseball instincts and work ethic. He abandoned pitching to focus on hitting as a college freshman, and he hasn't looked back since. His bat speed is exceptional, and allowed him to turn on even the best heat in college ball while also letting him adjust to off-speed pitches with an ease seldom seen in NCAA.
He's still a bit rough defensively, but he'll have time to mature as a pro player while waiting for his MLB career to begin. His bat seems close to ready now: he was probably St. Louis's best overall offensive prospect when he was shipped to Miami at the 2012 deadline, and assuming Miami doesn't change course four more times in the next twelve months, he should see MLB action there almost immediately. He's ready.
More Scouting Book Info on Zack Cox
SB 152 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A tall, thin pitcher being developed in the Padres system, Ohio native Matt Wisler looks every bit a future rotation anchor. In 23 A-ball starts last season, Wisler struck out almost exactly one batter per inning while walking barely more than one per game. That's exactly the sort of performance that the control-obsessed Padres love to see, and it should grant Wisler a promotion for 2013.
Wisler works a couple of different low-90's fastballs with accuracy to both sides of the plate, but it's his slow curve that turns heads and misses bats most often. How he'll perform against better opponents is an open question, but if he continues his careful, clever approach while trusting his stuff, he should succeed. Give him another couple of years to build up some confidence, and he could be pitching in MLB.
More Scouting Book Info on Matt Wisler
SB 153 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A lefthander with wicked stuff and an unfathomable strikeout rate, Mets prospect Jack Leathersich is on a fast track to join the team's relief corps. Leathersich struck out 113 in only 72 Florida League innings, using his fastball-curve combo exclusively from the bullpen. He's got closer stuff, and if he rises that far, his small size will inspire many Billy Wagner comparisons.
More Scouting Book Info on Jack Leathersich
SB 154 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A tall and thin righthander from Oakland, Joe Ross was the 25th overall draft selection in 2011, taken by the San Diego Padres. Reports on Ross are uniform in noting that his fastball and curve project to be major league average (that's good) while his change needs a great deal of work (that's bad, but not unusual for a youngster like Ross). Given the good pitching climate and coaching staff in the Padre system, Ross ranks a bit higher than he would elsewhere.
More Scouting Book Info on Joe Ross
SB 155 BA SC BP SN ES 88 ML
The Mets first round pick (13th overall) in 2011, outfielder Brandon Nimmo earned his high draft pick with superior tools and excellent projectability, thanks to his strong, mature physical frame. Nimmo slashed a respectable .248/.372/.406 in low-A ball, and should spend 2013 working up to higher A levels. He's still young, but in an offensively weak system, he could move quickly and land in New York before 2015.
More Scouting Book Info on Brandon Nimmo
SB 156 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Dodgers' first round pick in 2007, righty Chris Withrow has been growing into a premium power arm, and that's exactly what the Dodgers are looking for. His fastball, the best in the Dodger system, still lives around 93 but can hit 98 on occasion and always comes in with good movement. His improving curve is a potential strikeout pitch, an 11-5 hammer that he's comfortable throwing in almost any count. A onetime middle-rotation candidate who's recently been seeing more action from the bullpen Withrow went 3-3, 4.65 at Chattanooga in his third full year of AA ball, but if he's really a reliever now, the important numbers are the ones that show he struck out more than a batter per inning. He should get a test in LA this season.
More Scouting Book Info on Chris Withrow
SB 157 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A compact, wiry shortstop from Tuscaloosa, Tim Anderson's biggest weapon is his plus-plus speed, though he's also a good enough contact hitter to make that speed dangerous. A good but not standout shortstop, he shows plus range but only a so-so arm, which suggests a move to second base might be coming in the future. The 17th overall selection of the 2013 draft, he'll be moved slowly... it'll take some time for his hitting ability to develop enough to handle quality breaking stuff.
More Scouting Book Info on Tim Anderson
SB 158 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A devasting lefthander who has struck out more than one batter per inning throughout his college career, Texan Matt Purke signed with the Nats after being drafted in 2011's third round. The man who went 16-0 as a college freshman is one of several Nats youngsters who could rise to dominate as a closer, though his lefthandedness should tempt the Nationals to at least explore using him in longer outings before committing him to a 9th inning future. Short action in 2012 showed the filthiness of Purke's stuff but also the risks inherent in banking on young pitchers: the youngster was shut down after only three starts due to shoulder problems that eventually required surgery. He'll be kid-gloved for the next little while, making him an easy-to-forget-about sleeper for 2015 or so.
More Scouting Book Info on Matt Purke
SB 159 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A smart ballplayer who makes up for iffy tools with good skills and a hard-working approach to the game, Cleveland outfielder Tyler Naquin has a pretty lefthanded swing that can already pepper the gaps, with the potential for more power to come as he grows into his body a little. In the field he has a good glove and a strong arm, good enough for a corner spot already.
More Scouting Book Info on Tyler Naquin
SB 160 BA SC BP SN ES ML
150 to 160 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013