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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Charlotte native Alex Wood is a lefthanded prospect pitcher drafted by the Braves in 2012's second round. The Friday night starter for Georgia last season, Wood projects as a quality middle-of-the-rotation arm for the Braves, and once they add their usual magic, he could be even better than that. His calling card to date has been his fastball, which is exceptional for a left, while not exactly David Price quality. His secondary pitches haven't been seasoned as much, but that's what the minor leagues are for.
Full Scouting Report for Alex Wood
SB 161 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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 162 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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 163 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 164 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big, strong and hungry monster with plus contact skills and off-the-charts power, Phoenix native CJ 'Crusher' Cron slashed a nasty-looking .308/.371/.629 right through the rookie Pioneer League in 2011, capped by eight homers in his final ten games. In 2012, he did much the same in the Cal League, posting a .293/.327/.516 line while knocking no less than
twenty-seven dingers. We expect he'll be crushing AA pitching sometime in 2013, just as soon as they open the cage to let him out.
Full Scouting Report for CJ Cron
SB 165 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A sleeper prospect who's been a favorite of GM Nolan Ryan for a little while now, Tennessee native Justin Grimm was the Rangers' fifth round pick back in 2010. Grimm throws a good moving fastball that lives in the mid-nineties, and he brings it from a quality downward plane. His curve (actually more of a slurve) is an even better pitch, though. It's especially effective against hitters who haven't seen it before, as demonstrated by his 103 strikeouts in 134 innings split between double and triple A in 2012. His changeup is coming along, but still has to be considered a work in progress, though it's not unusual for that to the final piece in a developing pitcher's arsenal.
As an experienced college pitcher, he looks ready to push for a role on the Rangers in 2013, though probably not until the second half of the season. Without an injury or two to some veteran Texas starters, of course, long-relief work looks more likely. Longer-term, he looks like a quality third or fourth starter for a future MLB club.
Full Scouting Report for Justin Grimm
SB 166 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 167 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 168 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 169 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 170 BA SC BP SN ES ML
160 to 170 of 650 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013