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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With his onetime stellar WHIP and strikeout rate tumbling somewhat following 2009 surgery, Yankee righthander Dellin Betances has been pushed a bit harder than many scouts would have preferred, and will need to reestablish some firm ground before he's ready to reclaim top prospect status. The team also pushed him way too quickly last season, probably panicking a little over their MLB bullpen woes. Still, he remains a high-ceiling if risky long-term asset: guys with stuff this wicked always seem to find their way onto MLB rosters sooner or later.
Full Scouting Report for Dellin Betances
SB 271 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A fourth round high school draft pick and late sign for the Astros, Rio Ruiz took only 152 at-bats in rookie ball last year, but that was enough to impress scouts. He's uniformly rated as a plus defensive third baseman, but reviews are mixed on the quality of his bat. He shows a quick, smooth swing and ability to reach all fields, but also a propensity to chase bad pitches and strike out a very great deal. We really need to see a full season of minor league ball before we know what we have, here.
Full Scouting Report for Rio Ruiz
SB 272 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A seasoned prospect looking to break into the San Francisco rotation ASAP, righthander Chris Henson is unlike most Giant pitching prospects in that he doesn't throw ungodly breaking stuff at 99mph. What he can do well, though, is
pitch. Heston has succeeded at every level by combining great command and superior pitching skill, and there's no real reason to think he can't ride his very clever arm all the way to the big leagues soon. That 2.24 ERA, 1.10 WHIP season he posted last year came across 25 AA-level starts, after all, so there are no worries here about inferior hitters or a small sample size. Bank on him being with the big club in 2014, but don't be surprised if he sneaks his way into the Giants' rotation several months ahead of schedule, either.
Full Scouting Report for Chris Heston
SB 273 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Dodgers Minor League Player of the Year for 2008, DeJesus doesn't have much left to prove in the minors, especially after idling with a bubbling .304/.343/.416 during another full year of AAA parking-lot ball in 2012. When he makes contact, he's a hitter in the Howie Kendrick style: gap to gap line drives with excellent bat control. In the field, he has soft hands and excellent (inherited?) baseball instincts.
Traded to the suddenly-rebuilding Red Sox in the August shocker of 2012 that sent Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez to L.A., and then to Pittsburgh for the acquisition of Joel Hanrahan, De Jesus provides high-upside infield potential on a team that doesn't have much left. He looks like he'll be playing in Pittsburgh very soon.
Full Scouting Report for Ivan De Jesus
SB 274 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A lefty pitching prospect whose ascension was hampered by a stress fracture (in his foot), Matt Smoral has a nice and easy delivery to serve up a quality fastball in the 92-94mph range and a filthy breaking ball, though not one he can yet command effectively.
Full Scouting Report for Matt Smoral
SB 275 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A smallish shortstop in the Cubs system, the switch-hitting Arismendy Alcantara is a toolsy Dominican who's been impressing scouts with his improving bat and solid defense. The octosyllabic shortstop raised his slash line to a career-best .302/.339/.447 with 25 steals in 2012 while playing at high-A Daytona, the toughest level of his life to date. That's enough to raise eyebrows. In the field, Alcantara has played all over the infield but looks most comfortable at short, where he shows above-average range and a strong arm. He'll be pushing for AA duty in 2013, and could be a factor from the Cubs bench the year after that.
Full Scouting Report for Arismendy Alcantara
SB 276 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A gifted all-around infielder from Puerto Rico, Kansas City prospect Christian Colon hasn't quite lived up to the hype associated with his draft ranking, but there's nothing about him that says 'bust', either. A plus contact hitter with good speed, excellent baseball instincts and soft hands, Colon, won't hit 40 home runs in any league any time soon, but he should be a good enough contributor at all other aspects of the game to bless the Royals roster before the end of 2013, if only as a benchy utility type.
Full Scouting Report for Christian Colon
SB 277 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A fifth-round pick by the Royals back in 2008, lefty John Lamb scrambled up the ladder quickly before plateauing at AA last season. He no longer ranks among the minor league leaders in ERA and strikeouts, probably because of the return from TJ surgery he's been working through for more than a year now. Lamb, however, remains a cool-headed professional on the mound and seems able to succeed even when balls aren't falling his way. His fastball, which once hit 96, currently tops out around 90mph, though it still shows good movement, and while he hasn't been throwing his high-school slider much lately, his change and curve are near major-league ready. Give him another half season or so to fully return to strength, then we'll see how much he has left in that onetime top-shelf arm.
Full Scouting Report for John Lamb
SB 278 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Has it been that long already? Son of the Blake Street Basher himself, Dante Jr. is a pretty disciplined power hitter for such a young player, and seems capable of playing a more than reasonable third base in the bargain. The easy pick as GCL MVP for 2011 (.342/.446/.505), he's found a better level in full-A ball, and should remain there until his bat can propel him into AA, which could come by the end of the season. His advanced batting eye is the key to his success so far, and if he can maintain it, he should be able to put up solid numbers again.
Full Scouting Report for Dante Bichette
SB 279 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A quality righthander in the lower levels of the Tampa Bay organization, young Jeff Ames is one of the lesser-known arms in a pitching-heavy system that seems to have a special propensity for drafting players from the state of Washington. He combines a quality fastball with a slider that looks like a plus pitch at times, which means even if he can't master the emerging changeup, he could have a bright future in a major league bullpen someday. Ames looked terrific in his first 64 innings of work in the low-A level NYPL (1.96 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 70:20 K:BB), and will attempt to make the same short work of high-A ball in 2013.
Full Scouting Report for Jeff Ames
SB 280 BA SC BP SN ES ML
270 to 280 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013