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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Missouri is known for developing quality arms, and Canadian Rob Zastryzny is no exception. Selected by the Chicago Cubs in the second round of 2013, Zastryzny is univerally praised for his advanced pitchability, which is especially good for a pitcher whose fastball tops out in the low-90's. Zastryzny commands it very well, though, and is able to add and subtract velocity with good control. His change and slider are a bit sloppier, but as he sharpens up his ability, the great and repeatable arm action he already possesses should make those pitches more effective than their raw stuff would suggest. A bit of a dark horse prospect, he's an interesting case study in how good the new Cubs regime will be at talent identification.
Full Scouting Report for Rob Zastryzny
SB 251 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A UCD product drafted by the Orioles in the 13th round of the 2009 Draft, Tyler Kelly is an accomplished hitter without an obvious fielding position. He's started at every position other than center and catcher for the Oriole teams in the last two years alone. No matter where the Orioles slot him, though, he's always raked enough to surpass scouting expectations. He slashed .327/.425/.467 across three levels of play in 2012, but what really jumps out at us is that 72:79 strikeout to walk ratio. The Orioles have sexier prospects, but none who look as ready to plug into an MLB lineup as Kelly. He should see bench, UT or injury-filling duty in 2013.
Full Scouting Report for Tyler Kelly
SB 252 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A squat, powerful outfielder from the Dominican, the switch-hitting Abraham Almonte is an underhyped prospect who came up in the Yankee system. Acquired by the Mariners in a spring 2013 trade for reliever Shawn Kelley, his value increased somewhat in a system bereft of offensive potential. As a Mariner, Almonte put up his best minor league season to date in 2013, slashing .300/.394/.482 in 516 games split between AA and AAA, including a razor-sharp .314/.403/.491 at the higher level of play. His fifteen homers (11 in AAA) was almost double his previous season high. Despite his fireplug stature, Almonte also shows good speed in the outfield and on the basepaths (20-of-27 steals in 2012). While he might not be one of baseball's top outfield prospects, he could yet blossom into an everyday corner, especially on a DH-friendly roster.
Full Scouting Report for Abraham Almonte
SB 253 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Drafted as a teenager from Puerto Rico to open 2012's compensation round, Jose Orlando Berrios is a smallish righthander with good arm strength from a compact but strong frame. His short delivery bodes well for mechanical soundness, with a fastball that can pop at 96mph and a breaking ball that looks like a real plus offering. He'll slow-cook in Minnesota after signing, but if he stays healthy, it won't be long before he's seen as a top-flight phenom in a system good at maximizing pitcher value.
Full Scouting Report for Jose Berrios
SB 254 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Reds prospect Jesse Winker is a solid hitting prospect who's already showing an advanced ability to work an at-bat, with power enough to line-drive anything to any field on command. He has a little pull power, but that's probably something the Reds would rather he forgot about: he's a top-to-middle of order bat who should be an on-base threat, and he hasn't found anything to slow him down yet: he led the entire Pioneer league in OBP last year. Defensively, he's competent in the outfield or a corner infield spot, but he won't win any gold gloves.
Full Scouting Report for Jesse Winker
SB 255 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Yet another offense-first outfielder in the Tiger system the improbably-named Austin Schotts is a smallish player with a gritty demeanor and an impressive stick. Schotts slashed a nice .310/.360/.452 in his first taste of the professional game last year, earning a late-season promotion to A-ball. We'll watch him smash through that level in 2013, then see how he handles higher levels next season.
Full Scouting Report for Austin Schotts
SB 256 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A huge righthander in the Pirate system, Nicholas Kingham (not Kingman) is another young power arm in a system that's busting at the seams with them. Drafted fresh out of high school in 2010, he's busy going through the traditional 'fastball, fastball, fastball' period of his ongoing development with the Pirates, so it's difficult to judge how much more than that he'll be able to offer when the time comes. He did show off a quality change back in high school, as well as a very rough curve, so there's potential.
We haven't seen enough of him in pro ball to feel confident about his chances yet, but that 117:36 strikeout to walk ratio in the low-A NY-Penn League is encouraging.
Full Scouting Report for Nicholas Kingham
SB 257 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A hard-throwing righthander in the Astros system, pitcher Jose Cisnero is a young strikeout artist who seems to be finally harnessing an ability to control his heat. While he's maintained a nice 10-ish K:BB ratio throughout his minor league career, it's only recently that he's shown adeptness at enticing hitters to make poor contact, helping his results in the process. In addition to the nifty fastball, he mixes in a sinking two-seam version and a very good slider. His off-speed pitches aren't stellar, but thus far he hasn't really needed them. While he's shown enough stamina to start, his max effort delivery and stuff make him most attractive as a reliever. Either way, we should see what he's got in mid-2013, if not sooner.
Full Scouting Report for Jose Cisnero
SB 258 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Once a top Royals pitching prospect, Kyle Smith was traded to the Astros in mid-2013. Drafted out of high school by KC in the 4th round of the 2011 Draft, Smith is built more like an infielder than a power pitcher, barely tipping the scales at 180lbs and not cracking the six-foot barrier at all. But he can pitch, using a true plus curve to make his average 92mph fastball look a lot more impressive than it would be alone. He shows an advanced ability to work counts and outsmart hitters already, as evidenced by the 12.2 batters he struck out per game in Rookie and A ball in 2012. He needs only a little improvement to his changeup to have a chance to break out.
Full Scouting Report for Kyle Smith
SB 259 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The 20th overall selection of the 2011 Draft, lefthander Tyler Anderson is a high upside pitcher who most scouts agree is close to MLB-ready. Many see a younger version of Jeff Francis, a fast-moving pitcher who was able to succeed even in rarefied Colorado. In his last year of college ball, Anderson struck out 114 batters in just 108 innings, mainly on the strength of a solid fastball-change combination that he commands well. His other pitches aren't anything to write home about, but he's good enough right now that he could step into a mediocre Colorado rotation and improve it immediately.
Full Scouting Report for Tyler Anderson
SB 260 BA SC BP SN ES ML
250 to 260 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013