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.
Remember: this page is the result of an automatic process that re-sorts and re-ranks players often. If you're coming to this page directly, you're missing 9/10ths of what we do, so please
also visit our
home page, and read this blog entry before telling us how stupid we are. Thanks!
The 31st overall pick in the 2011 Draft, new Tampa Bay Ray prospect Michael Anthony Mahtook is a big, strong, fast centerfielder who starred at LSU. Mahtook hit .383 with 14 homers in his final year, and led the Southeast Conference with 39 steals. Mahtook started in A+ and ended up in AA last season, slashing a combined .277/.342/.415 with 9 homers in just under five hundred at-bats. He'll spend most (if not all) of 2013 back in AA, but he's scout's darling with good makeup and a great work ethic, and he's already showing all the tools necessary, so it's possible he could rise to action in Tampa sooner than the natural timetable suggests.
More Scouting Book Info on Mikie Mahtook
SB 201 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Yet another spare part that came to the Astros via the Phillies farm system, SSantana is tall, projectable hitter with a long but uncluttered swing. An average runner and a strong-armed thrower, Sunday is still learning to handle breaking pitches, but for such a young talent, he's already looking like one of the best athletes in the revitalized Houston system. Give him a couple of years to get comfortable with upper-level pitching, especially those irksome breaking balls he's going to struggle with in AA, and he could be a part of a wild new AL offense in 2015 or so.
More Scouting Book Info on Domingo Santana
SB 202 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A Georgia native who's already shown the ability to maintain a 95mph fastball deep into starts, White Sox prospect Chris Beck is a righthander with the usual college pedigree: he's only a year or two away from MLB ready, and when he arrives he should be adept at pounding the lower half of the strike zone while mixing in two different better-than-average breaking pitches to boot.
More Scouting Book Info on Chris Beck
SB 203 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A smallish IFA import from Guadalajara, Mexico, Christian Villanueva moved slowly through the Ranger system for a few years before being shipped north to Chicago at 2012's trading deadline. CV, who was a malnourished-looking 150lbs when he signed, has been bulking up as hoped, adding strength while still smashing baseballs with quick, easy power. Even his smooth defensive play hasn't suffered: he still looks pretty capable of covering shortstop if necessary.
At A-level Hickory in 2011 he was overshadowed by Jurickson Profar, but Villanueva quietly put up a very impressive offensive line of his own, with 17 homers and 32 steals (in 38 attempts). His base-stealing fell off a cliff last season, but he still produced offensive numbers. He still has a lot to prove, especially once he sees some quality breaking stuff at higher levels, but if that power/speed combination holds up as his body blossoms, he could soon become a high-impact contributor in the new-look Cubs offense we're all waiting to see come 2014 or so.
More Scouting Book Info on Christian Villanueva
SB 204 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A 6-6, 250lb monster back in high school, Taylor avoided an early draft by committing to Stanford. When he emerged from college, he was gobbled up by the Phillies in the same 5th round selection that netted them Ryan Howard six years earlier. Scouts saw similar things in the two sluggers.
After ditching his 'Stanford Swing' for a bigger and more wide open hammer, Taylor started to tear up the minors in 2009. He strikes out a bit too much, especially on quality breaking pitches, but his new owners in Oakland have never been afraid of that kind of hitter as long as the production averages out. As an outfielder, he has limited range, though his speed is probably average, or even a bit better than average. His strong throwing arm that suggests right field is his natural position. While his approach at the plate looks crude, he's actually a pretty polished product: until the flurry of winter trades that overhauled the A's farm system and the major league club at the same time, Taylor was a decent odds favorite to win a starting job with the MLB club. Now, he looks more like a bench or AAA option, at least for early in the year. He's very likely to be be first in line if the team needs in-season outfield help, however.
More Scouting Book Info on Michael Taylor
SB 205 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Matt Magill is a nearly MLB-ready 296right-handed pitching prospect in the Dodger system. He relies on a 92-94mph fastball that's at worst average, and sometimes shows enough movement to be near plus, but his best pitch is his strikeout slider, which he commands very well. Magill went 11-8 in 26 starts for AA Chattanooga last season, striking out an eye-popping 168 batters in only 146 innings while holding them all to a .232 average. If there's a knock against him, other than the usual spelling of his surname, it's that he doesn't have real plus stuff, and still needs to learn to pitch to contact a little better: throughout his career, hitters who manage to make contact make pretty solid contact. With the Chattanooga roster bursting at the seams, he's likely to spend most of 2013 in AAA Albuquerque, with hopes of bolstering the Dodger roster sometime in midseason. If that doesn't happen, he's a 2014 rotation candidate.
More Scouting Book Info on Matt Magill
SB 206 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big, durable workhorse, righty Zeke Sprull is a big strong starter originally ID'd by Atlanta before moving to Arizona as part of the Justin Upton deal of early 2013. A straightforward fastball and decent stuff combined with a bulldog mentality and fearlessness helps Sprull pitch better than his tools suggest he should. He's looking pretty MLB ready after posting a full-season 3.67, 1.262 over 162 innings with AA Mississippi. He doesn't strike out a ton of guys, but he gets the outs that matter. A true pitcher, not just a stuff-laced thrower.
More Scouting Book Info on Zeke Spruill
SB 207 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Vanderbilt's best starter in his last season of work there, lefthander Sam Selman leans on a mid-nineties fastball, which he commanded well enough to strike out more than a batter per inning. That fastball won't be enough for MLB, of course, so expect Selman to work on his cutter and change in the minors for a good season or two before he's ready for action in KC. If the Royals have the patience to leave him in a starting rotation, mid-2015 is his most likely arrival timeframe. Of course, with strikeout ability like Selman has from the left side... well, it's going to be hard to keep him out of a bullpen role if the Royals find themselves in a pennant race. Visions of David Price, 2008 edition, spring easily to mind here.
More Scouting Book Info on Sam Selman
SB 208 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A strong infielder with a nice line-drive stroke and an eye that's beyond his young years, second base prospect Taylor Lindsey showed better glovework than expected in low-level pro ball. He'll try to take his sparkplug style of play up to A-level in 2013. He's a couple of years away from scratching a living from the Anaheim dirt, but he's exactly the sort of scrappy, line-drive hitting middle infielder that the Angels are so good at drafting and developing. He's probably no superstar, but he will stick in MLB and play well when his time comes.
More Scouting Book Info on Taylor Lindsey
SB 209 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A classic 'tools' player, BA's 2007 Youth Player of the Year Tim Beckham seemed like a safe pick for Tampa Bay as the #1 overall pick of the 2008 draft, if you can ever consider high school players 'safe'. While he's still a year or two away from breaking into the big leagues and some of the shimmer has faded from his aura, he's been making measurable progress on the farm, increasing his baserunning smarts and showing improving patience at the plate in the last two seasons.
Beckham still shows most of the hands and footwork needed for shortstop, too, and he hasn't yet physically outgrown the position, though he may need to move to second base to make way for Tampa's hotter shortstop prospects. If that happens, his bat might still carry him anyway: Beckham still has very quick wrists and an effortless-looking swing that could translate to 'easy power' down the road. He probably won't be the same superstar he was once projected to be, but he could be a useful piece of an MLB club soon.
More Scouting Book Info on Tim Beckham
SB 210 BA SC BP SN ES ML
200 to 210 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013