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 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.
Full Scouting Report for Tim Beckham
SB 251 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The most-likely catcher of the future in Philadelphia, Mexican prospect Sebastian Valle is a young offensive dynamo with plus bat control and a powerful swing that should play at any level. Already holding his own against much older competitors, Valle is due to hit AA sometime in 2012. Give him another year or two to master the intricacies of handling a top-flight pitching staff, and he should be a fixture in Philly soon enough.
Full Scouting Report for Sebastian Valle
SB 252 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A lot of teams like to do it, but the Dodgers really, really, really love drafting major league bloodlines, and shortstop Jesmuel Valentin (Jose's son) will fit very nicely into that wont. A switch-hitter like his daddy, Jesmuel's swing is quite different looking, though he delivers similar plus bat speed and deceptive power. On the bases, he's above average, and in the field he seems capable of handling shortstop, though not in the most elegant way. Second base might be a better long-term home, though if he inherited his father's flexibility, he should be capable of playing any of the eight fielding positions.
Full Scouting Report for Jesmuel Valentin
SB 253 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big-bodied righthander from Orlando, Padres pitching prospect Walker (sic) Weickel was the 55th player selected overall in the 2012 draft. The 94mph he's already reaching with his fastball will increase as he fills out, and the good cut and sink he can add make him look ready to be a dominant reliever very soon. Of course, he's durable-looking and armed with a quality curveball, too, so he'll be given every possible opportunity to succeed as a starter long before it comes to that, especially given the wealth of hot relief arms in the Padre system.
Full Scouting Report for Walker Weickel
SB 254 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A strong and rugged-looking righthander, Cleveland's Mitch Brown is a workhorse in the making. His breaking pitches don't really exist in any meaningful way yet, but the adroitness he exhibits with his sinking 94mph fastball is impressive, making him a promising project from here on out.
Full Scouting Report for Mitch Brown
SB 255 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Originally drafted by the Dodgers in 2007, Matt Szczur passed on LA and went to Villanova University, where he played both baseball and football. (His complete college CV would read something like WR/RB/QB/KR/OF/2B/SS/Catcher.) Redrafted by the Cubs three years later, he thankfully dedicated himself to baseball and performed very well. Spending most of 2012 in high-A ball, Szczur (it sounds a lot like 'scissor') stroked a .295/.394/.407 line before bellyflopping during his AA dip in the pool. A small fielder but a fast one, with all the tools you'd expect from his background: good reflexes, smart and athletic, and generally durable. His centerfield defense needs work, but he'll probably have all year to work on that.
Full Scouting Report for Matt Szczur
SB 256 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A pure power hitter with iffy judgment to date, Cardinal prospect Pat Wisdom will need to live up to his name in order to hit for a high enough average to move up. That .282 last season is enough to get a promotion this year, for example, but he'll need to keep it up. He's in a good system for this, of course, as the Cardinal farm has always excelled at squeezing maximum performance from AAAA hitters.
Full Scouting Report for Patrick Wisdom
SB 257 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A polished college righthander who went from good to great when tested as a closer, VT's Jessie Hahn has dropped off many prospect lists due to his TJ surgery, but his need for it was well-known when Tampa drafted him, and he's no less exciting now that he's returning to action. Hahn struck out 55 in 52 innings of NY-Penn ball last year working as a starter once again, which isn't surprising considering his background, but what impresses us most is that he walked only 14 batters all season. Hahn already has a near-unhittable 99-101mph fastball with movement, so if he's really managed to tune up his control, he's going to be very good indeed. Watch him move up, probably all the way to AA this season, and then on to Tampa sometime next year.
Full Scouting Report for Jesse Hahn
SB 258 BA SC BP SN ES ML
With a lively fastball that can touch 95mph, native Georgian Lucas Sims is the latest entry in the Atlanta pitching derby. He's raw, but he the righthander already gets so much life on his pitches that there's little doubt he'll be effective in some role or other.
Full Scouting Report for Lucas Sims
SB 259 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A power-arm in the Giants' system, Mike Kickham is yet another project in a pitching lab that's quickly becoming famous for producing quality arms. 3.05 ERA, 1.29 WHIP with 137 strikeouts in 150 innings. His control was iffy (he walked 75) but for the quality of his stuff, we can overlook that for now. Give him another year to sharpen his control and he could be another devastating San Francisco weapon.
Full Scouting Report for Michael Kickham
SB 260 BA SC BP SN ES ML
250 to 260 of 650 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013