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 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.
Full Scouting Report for Chris Beck
SB 241 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A young Cuban superstar, Iglesias signed with Boston for $8M in the summer of 2009 with the hope that he might just be the long-term answer that Fenway's faithful have been seeking at shortstop ever since Nomah left the building. While he's since been passed by even hotter prospect Xander Bogaerts, Iglesias is probably the superior fielder. More than one scout has called him 'Ozzie Smith-style slick', and he's already earned a perfect 80 on the scouting scale. His speed is at least above-average and close to a real plus tool. But there's always something, isn't there? In Jose's case, his bat just isn't there yet, and it's definitely the main concern for the Sox. Most scouts still believe he can contribute as at least an average stick once he develops a bit more. At 5-10 and 180lbs, he won't be hitting many light poles, but with Dustin Pedroia around to provide pointers, he should be able to launch a few 'frickin laser beams' now and again.
Full Scouting Report for Jose Iglesias
SB 242 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.
Full Scouting Report for Christian Villanueva
SB 243 BA SC BP SN ES ML
One of the key pieces of the trade that sent Roy Oswalt to the Phillies, Jon Villar is a well-rounded infielder who can probably stick as a big, strong shortstop, though he'll never be an offensive monster. Villar spent the entire 2012 season at AA Corpus Christi, where he slashed a lukewarm .261/.336/.396 that was actually one of his best seasons at the plate as a pro. He also sustained his above average speed and pop from time to time, and showed a good range in the field, despite his 24 errors in 86 games. He's still learning.
Full Scouting Report for Jonathan Villar
SB 244 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.
Full Scouting Report for Michael Taylor
SB 245 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.
Full Scouting Report for Matt Magill
SB 246 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Righthander Jon Pettibone, signed out a Yorba Linda high school back in 2008's third round, looks awfully well-composed for a young player. He's not much of a strikeout arm, but he's not prone to walk hitters either, which means his success should ride on the quality of the defense that plays behind him. Philadelphia might consider some infield upgrades before he arrives in 2014-2015. They might also want to turn the lefty-hitting Pettibone around at the plate, if they're concerned at all about protecting their investment.
Full Scouting Report for Jonathan Pettibone
SB 247 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.
Full Scouting Report for Zeke Spruill
SB 248 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.
Full Scouting Report for Sam Selman
SB 249 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.
Full Scouting Report for Taylor Lindsey
SB 250 BA SC BP SN ES ML
240 to 250 of 650 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013