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 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Blake Swihart
SB 171 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Trayce Thompson
SB 172 BA SC BP SN ES ML
One of the most appealing college hitters eligible for the 2013 MLB Draft, DJ Peterson is a nominal third baseman who may end up at first or a corner outfield spot in the future. (Based on the shortage of quality 1B prospects, we'd place our chip on that corner if pressed.) Peterson won the Mountain West Conference triple crown in 2012, demonstrating that he can bring smooth, easy power on every plate appearance. His hitch-free swing and growing power have him zooming up prospect lists, and for good reason.
More Scouting Book Info on DJ Peterson
SB 173 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Chad Bettis
SB 174 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A Dominican phenom who was hotly pursued by the Mariners and Yankees for several years, young Edward Salcedo finally signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Braves in the spring of 2010, more than making up for the team's absence of a first-round pick in the 2010 Draft. A big, strong infielder with soft hands and a very quick bat, Salcedo is currently a gap-to-gap line drive hitter, though his size and strength project out to significant power in the future, as scouts who compare him to Hanley Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez are applying only a little exaggeration.
The (certified) 20 year old appears talented enough to stick at shortstop, despite a sloppiness that comes with youth, but if he doesn't, his bat is so advanced that he will remain a top prospect, even at third base or in right field. His prime won't really start until 2014 or so, though he could get a look-see sooner than that.
More Scouting Book Info on Edward Salcedo
SB 175 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A college ace at Georgia Tech, lefthander Jedidiah Custer Bradley compiled a three year record of 18-11, 4.62, though it was his 7-3, 3.49 final season that got him a ticket to the first round of the MLB draft, when he was selected 15th overall by Milwaukee. While his 94mph heater isn't anything special, his advanced command of the changeup is what moved him to the highest levels of the draft, and it's that same change that will get him to MLB sooner or later. Probably sooner.
More Scouting Book Info on Jed Bradley
SB 176 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Casey Kelly is big, strong pitcher who came to San Diego from Boston in the Adrian Gonzalez trade. Young Kelly is already 6-3 and 200lbs, with more size and strength to come as he fills out.
He took an uncomfortable step backwards with the Red Sox back in 2010, which probably precipitated their sudden willingness to part with the once-untouchable asset, but his stuff is still there, just waiting for his ability to catch up: Kelly's fastball was rated the best heatuh in the Red Sox system in 2010. And so was his curve. And so was his changeup. Put all that together with his plus control, and it seems pretty clear we're looking at a possible Padres success story. Like any pitching prospect, he needs luck on his side to stay healthy, and if he gets that, he'll be a solid number two or three starter, and maybe even a future ace.
More Scouting Book Info on Casey Kelly
SB 177 BA 45 SC 75 BP 77 SN ES 60 ML
Cheslor. A Nicaraguan third baseman who seems skilled enough to stick at the position, the Royals' young slugger looked pretty darn good in his first look at A-ball in 2011 before falling a bit back to earth in 2012, though to be fair to the man, he was one of the youngest players in the league. He'll spend some time in higher A ball this year, most likely, and if all goes well be hitting AA pitchers every day in 2014. After that, well, it should be a lot of fun ahead in KC in the years to come.
More Scouting Book Info on Cheslor Cuthbert
SB 178 BA SC BP SN ES ML
We see a lot of great names here at Scouting Book, but every once and awhile there's still one that makes us do a double-take. This offensive-minded infielder's name (nephew of Indians coach Rouglas) is really named Rougned (RYOO-nyed) Odor. We're hoping that was a little less teaseworthy for a kid growing up in Venezuela than it would have been in Lubbock.
An All-Star for the Venezuelan National Team in 2009, Odor is a short infielder with good fielding instincts, a strong arm, and a sweet swing from the left side of the plate. He's a long way from the majors, with a whole life of A-ball ahead of him first.
More Scouting Book Info on Rougned Odor
SB 179 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An Iron Mike style strike throwing machine from Venezuela, righthander Jose Campos looked awfully polished in his first taste of Yankee ball in 2012, averaging a 1.15 WHIP across five A-league starts before succumbing to injury. Campos's 95-98mph fastball comes with pinpoint control, making him more of a strikethrower than a stuff pitcher at present... not that that's anything at all to complain about.
If he can grind his way through the A levels this year while refining his course curve and so-so slider, and can maintain even half his crazy strikeout to walk rate, he should be primed for AA in 2013. Seattle was so full of premium pitching prospects that they decided to shed Campos in the effort to pick up slugger Jesus Montero in 2012's spring. In New York, Campos can and should still simmer another year or two.
More Scouting Book Info on Jose Campos
SB 180 BA SC BP SN ES ML
170 to 180 of 650 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013