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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SB 20 BA 29 SC 11 BP 50 SN ES 66 ML 18
A smallish, toolsy outfielder drafted in 2011's supplemental round by the Red Sox, Jackie Bradley has been zipping up the prospect charts ever since. Bradley outclassed high-A ball in his first season of work, showing off on-base skills and speed on the bases that could make him a legit leadoff threat in the majors soon. Perhaps most promising, though, is Bradley's patience at the plate: there are not many minor leaguers who walk more often than they strike out. After dominating high-A early in 2012, he found a better level in AA ball (.271/.373/.437).
Bradley continues to show patience and smarts, and his speed pays dividends in the field, where he looks capable of controlling the game from center without much challenge.
Full Scouting Report for Jackie Bradley
SB 21 BA 31 SC 48 BP 27 SN ES 40 ML 32
A headline acquisition as part of the trade of pitcher Matt Garza, Hak-Ju Lee is a big, powerful shortstop from Korea who's now prominently positioned in the Tampa Bay system. Already a polished hitter (.261/.336/.360 at AA Montgomery last year), Lee seems to have the footwork and arm to stick at shortstop, too, and he's shown improvement in the field every season. His 37 steals in 2012, a career best, is also a highlight worth remembering. As projected, he should get a shot at everyday Tampa life in 2013.
Full Scouting Report for Hak-Ju Lee
SB 22 BA 90 SC 23 BP 75 SN ES 78 ML 56
Seen by many as the best pitching prospect in the 2013 draft class, Oklahoma's Jonathan Gray is a towering righthander with high-90's heat that breaks 100mph from time to time. More often, he throws it at 94 or 95 with good late movement that busts righthanded hitters. His real showcase pitch, though, is the hard slurvy slider that comes in near 90mph but drops dramatically off and away, making even good hitters look like weak-kneed noodle-slappers. If Gray has a weakness, it's his not-there-at-all changeup, a pitch he may need if he's going to handle lefthanded hitters with as much skill as he deals with righties. Regardless, he's a top flight prospect who has the stuff and maturity to handle pitching, even at Coors Field.
Full Scouting Report for Jonathan Gray
SB 23 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A supplemental first round pick for the Brewers a few years back, Jake 'the Dog' Odorizzi is a tall righthander with a smooth and easy delivery that portends well for his future. Originally a part of the prospect package that moved Zack Greinke to Milwaukee, Odorizzi was a hot commodity again in 2012's offseason, as he was shipped to Tampa in favor of some more-seasoned veteran pitching. He's pretty much ready for action, though, and expectations will be high for him to fill that hole in the Rays' rotation ASAP. He'll enjoy the benefits of some nice pitching coaches, of course: Tampa is very very good at squeezing the best performance from young arms.
Full Scouting Report for Jake Odorizzi
SB 24 BA 92 SC 45 BP 83 SN ES 68 ML 45
Great name, great tools, great upside. He even has the Good Face. Bubba Starling is a Royals proto-outfielder who has that mix of speed, power and grace that so few sluggers manage. Only Jason Heyward in recent years really matches the sweet swing and long stride of Starling. He's very young and very raw, of course, so don't get too excited too soon (do Royals fans ever get excited, really?), but he's probably one of the best offensive prospects in all of baseball already, and he's still one of the youngest.
Full Scouting Report for Bubba Starling
SB 25 BA 35 SC 35 BP 49 SN ES 45 ML 26
The Dodgers liked righthander Kevin Gausman a lot back in 2010, but he turned down an above-slot offer to go to LSU instead. Picked up again in 2012 by the Orioles, he's looking just as promising now as he was then: a solid pitcher with a big fastball and promising (though inconsistent) breaking stuff who could develop quickly. He's a bit of a high-risk / high-reward player for the Orioles, but when you're trying to compete in the AL East, you have to take a few chances. So far, he's looking like a good gamble.
Full Scouting Report for Kevin Gausman
SB 26 BA 26 SC 42 BP 13 SN ES 26 ML 37
A rapidly-maturing slugger who rose to attention in the Rangers system, Mike Olt ('Mike Olt!') is a legit third-base candidate whose defense is already passable, though his first-step could use some improvement. Olt hit .288/.398/.579 with 28 dingers at AA Frisco in 2012, good enough to enter discussions as a 2013 starting possibility in Arlington, despite the lack of any clear position at which for him to play. After a full year of trade rumors, he finally landed in Chicago at 2013's midseadson in the trade that sent Matt Garza to Texas. In the smaller park and with a young team growing up alongside his bat, his career is in a good place.
Full Scouting Report for Mike Olt
SB 27 BA 22 SC 12 BP 30 SN ES 71 ML 22
The Red Sox first round pick in 2011, UConn's Matt Barnes was the 2011 Big East Pitcher of the Year. With a 98mph fastball and a curveball that's downright impossible on a good day, he already looks like he could be a part of a big-league rotation. Of course, those two pitches are really his entire bag right now, and it's pretty likely that no matter how good they are, a two pitch combo won't work very well the third or fourth time through an MLB order. To fix this shortcoming, he'll work on developing his all-important third pitch, a change that's sometimes reasonable-looking, but definitely still raw. He'll do that while working in the minors this year, while the Red Sox try to train him to their style of play and development. Watch for him in mid-to-late 2013.
Full Scouting Report for Matt Barnes
SB 28 BA 40 SC 31 BP 38 SN ES 79 ML 38
While a slurry of trades last year left the Yankee farm as not quite the best-smelling in baseball, Mason Williams is still occupying the biggest stall in the stable, providing the sweet scent of offense-to-come. Mason, the son of former NFL receiver Derwin and the proud owner of a monicker that any power-suited New York attorney would be happy to carry, has already shamed the teams that passed him over four or five times each. The fourth-round pick arrived as a fiery, aggressive hitter and baserunner, with plus speed and solid defense in center. He's already looking like a better leadoff hitter and all-around player than Brett Gardner... and Curtis Granderson can play right field, can't he? Williams is rehabbing from an injurious 2012, but should be full strength and lighting up the minor leagues will full fury by midseason. He's still a couple of years away from the Stadium, but should spend a long career there.
Full Scouting Report for Mason Williams
SB 29 BA 32 SC 43 BP 51 SN ES 35 ML 41
Yes, he sounds like a character from snowy Skyrim, but Texan Noah Syndergaard is more of a dusty cowpoke than uppity Jarl. The Blue Jays thought highly enough of him to say 'no' to the Oakland A's when the Athletics were shopping Gio Gonzalez around in 2011, but they caved in 2012 when the Mets dangled Cy Young winner RA Dickey, making Noah one of the very top Mets pitching prospects today.
The towering Syndergaard spent all of 2012 in A-level Lansing, striking out 122 batters in 103 innings while racking up an eye-opening 1.08 WHIP. The move to New York means he's no longer a sleeper candidate, and now that he's an NL talent, he's even more appealing. When this imposing righthander arrives, it'll be thanks to the plus command he shows with his decent 94mph fastball and near-plus curve. Of course, as with any young pitcher, it'll be the quality of his developing change that will determine whether he's an ace or a middle-of-the-pack starter a year or two from now. He's close, and should see AA action in 2013.
Full Scouting Report for Noah Syndergaard
SB 30 BA 54 SC 46 BP 28 SN ES 97 ML 29
20 to 30 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013