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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Erik Johnson is a slow-cooking pitcher currently growing up in the White Sox system. Johnson, who works with a nifty low-90's fastball that comes in with natural sink and run, mixes in a slider that looks like a plus offering at times. His command is still iffy, and his changeup isn't all there yet, but the Sox seem content to move Johnson slowly and surely. After a 2012 split between low and high-A, he should reach AA in 2013.
More Scouting Book Info on Erik Johnson
SB 281 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A Padre prospect with the nastiest sinker-slider combo in the minors, righthander Donn Roach can also toss a borderline curve just often enough to infuriate free swingers. Jumping across two levels of play in 2012, Roach combined for a ground-ball heavy 1.88 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 105 innings of work as a starter. He looks like an innings-eating ground ball machine who should be ready in mid-2014, though the team could use him sooner than that. He'll idle and polish his third pitch in AA this season.
More Scouting Book Info on Donn Roach
SB 282 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A young, toolsy prospect with a very high ceiling, John Paul (JP) Crawford is one of the nation's best teenage baseball players. He has all the raw athleticism, including plus speed and superior fast-twitch muscles, to succeed almost anywhere on the diamond. Naturally, we'll see how he performs as a shortstop first, and the early signs are positive: he has soft hands and a strong arm, managing to look as smooth and practiced as any phenom Dominican. At the plate, Crawford shows a good eye for such a young hitter, with good bat control and the ability to square up and turn around on pretty much anything he's ever seen. At 6-2 and still growing, he may outgrow shortstop before his talent displaces him, but it shouldn't matter: he looks just as much a future All Star centerfielder as a shortstop, anyway.
More Scouting Book Info on JP Crawford
SB 283 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Cuban lefthander Gerardo Concepcion is a young phenom who's been quiet all winter, while arranging his citizenship in Mexico, working out in the Dominican Republic and generally getting ready for his new life in America. That life will have a North Side address, now, as the new Cubs brain trust scooped him up when nobody else was looking.
No fifth starter, Concepcion was the Rookie of the Year in the Cuban National League last season with the Industriales. In his first and final year in Cuba, Concepcion posted a 3.36 ERA in sixteen starts and five relief appearances. He defected in Rotterdam last winter. Comparisons to Aroldis Chapman are inevitable, though Noel Arguelles might be a better choice. In Concepcion's case, either comparison is almost fair. Concepcion can't come close to Chapman's heat, and he's even less polished, but he does bring similarly wicked stuff from a similarly tall, wiry frame. He got shellshocked a bit from his first exposure to US ball in 2012, but he's young enough that he should have time to adjust. That might take a couple of years.
More Scouting Book Info on Gerardo Concepcion
SB 284 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A third round pick by the always-clever Pirates in the 2011 draft, and signed despite concerns about his future plans, ex-Hoosier Alex Dickerson is a slugger of the first order. He should help the Pirates offset a pitching-heavy talent pool in the near future. While dropping to the third round helped him fade from some writers' memories, his first-year pro line at low-A State College (.313/.393/.493) propelled him back into the top ranks.
A prototypical slugger, Dickerson is big, wide and strong. He's the kind of friend you'd call to help you move, or maybe to stand behind you while you visit someone who owes you money. Dickerson's left-handed swing is a bit long, but his bat speed seems more than adequate to cover that right now. He's not getting fooled by breaking balls yet, either, though he hasn't seen many truly great ones. We're dying to see him in Altoona. Until then, he's a couple of years away from the majors (let's say... mid-to-late 2014?), but if he continues to chew through pitching the way he has so far, he'll be a great asset by that time.
More Scouting Book Info on Alex Dickerson
SB 285 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Brock Holt is a fiery, undersized infielder who moved to Boston as part of the trade for Joel Hanrahan. Scouts don't love him, but he keeps on producing no matter where he plays, and he clearly has an advanced understanding of the game's finer points. Holt slashed .322/.389/.432 in AA for the Curve in 2012, then hit a tidy .292 when called up to Pittsburgh. He'll be a phone call away from Fenway in 2013 as the most-ready infield replacement for whoever falls to injury first.
He might not have obvious star potential, but he's a solid player, and it's almost a shame that he's probably destined to be a utility man. At least he'll be a good, old-school gritty one. And of course, when they make the cartoon version of the Red Sox, he'll be voiced by F. Jon Benjamin. So there's that.
More Scouting Book Info on Brock Holt
SB 286 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A raw hitter with good upside, Texas Tech's Barrett Barnes was drafted in 2012's Compensation Round by the offensively-challenged Pirates. Even if he reaches his potential, he won't be enough to power the Pirate offense all on his own, but he won't hurt the team, either. In the field, he's average to above-average, with a good arm and reliable glove. We're anxious to see what he does with higher-level pitching this season: if he finds his floor in AA, he'll be in Pittsburgh in 2014.
More Scouting Book Info on Barrett Barnes
SB 287 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A fast, lanky outfielder who signed as an international free agent, Mets prospect Cesar Puello is one of the most promising offensive prospects in the system, and one of the fastest rising. Already finished with rookie ball at age 18, Puello shrugged off Sally League pitching in 2010 and high-A in 2011: he stroked .259/.313/.397 with 10 homers and 19 steals at St. Lucie. He spent all of 2012 brewing back at St. Lucie, turning in a more-polished .260/.328/.423 line and looking ready for AA. He should spend most of 2013 there, furthering the softer skills.
More Scouting Book Info on Cesar Puello
SB 288 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The most promising middle infield prospect in the Marlins' system today, Noah Perio is a California boy with a solid frame and a quick, line-drive swing. With a good set of all-around tools, he's not a standout in any one category but on the upside, he doesn't have any clear weaknesses, either. Still young, he'll be looking to build on the so-so .248/.293/.311 line he posted at high-A Jupier in 2012. We're looking forward to seeing how he adjusts to leagues with better pitching. Maybe this year.
More Scouting Book Info on Noah Perio
SB 289 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big, strong Sooner with a solid fastball in the low to mid-90's, Yankee prospect Ty Hensley won't blow many away with his heat, but that's all right: it's really there to set up his plus curve anyway, a devastating hammer that can make hitters look foolish. He needs to polish it for a few more years so that he can throw it for a strike, too, but he's already looking like a very interesting rotation addition for the Future Yankees.
More Scouting Book Info on Ty Hensley
SB 290 BA SC BP SN ES ML
280 to 290 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013