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 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 291 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 292 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 293 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 294 BA SC BP SN ES ML
In a Royals system suddenly without Mike Montgomery or Jake Odorizzi, righthander Kyle Smith becomes one of the team's de facto top pitching prospects. Drafted out of high school by the Royals 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 last season. He'll be pushing for high and double-A this year, and if he manages to polish that still-rusty change even a little... look out American League.
Full Scouting Report for Kyle Smith
SB 295 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 296 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A fireballing righthander from Tampa Bay, Houston prospect Lance McCullers (Junior) is one of the best bets to be a future star for the new-look AL Astros. With a hot-moving fastball that lives in the upper 90's and a hammer curve that can be a real strikeout pitch, he's everything the team could want. Questions about his mechanics abound, but he's young enough (just 18 when drafted) that he'll certainly have opportunities to harness himself. If the Astros contend in 2017, McCullers will probably be a big part of that movement.
Full Scouting Report for Lance McCullers
SB 297 BA 50 SC BP SN ES ML
Daniel's little brother doesn't have the near-100mph heat of his older sibling, but he does mix his 94mph version with a power slider that's been more than just effective. While he worked most of the season as GT's closer, his bulldoggery earned him a fillin spot in Georgia Tech's rotation later in the year, and a draft selection by the pitching-savvy Twins. A future in the bullpen will always be the backup plan, but the Twins are still hoping to test him as a starter first.
Full Scouting Report for Luke Bard
SB 298 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Acquired from the Blue Jays for shortstop-closer Sergio Santos, Nestor Molina is a slip of a Venezuelan righthander who might be the best pitching prospect in the White Sox system. (Yes, yes, that's a little like being the most-shy of the Kardashian sisters, but the point stands.)
Molina zipped up the charts when he went 12-3 with a 2.21 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 23 minor league starts in 2011 before sliding (some might say crashing) back to earth last season. He still shows plus control and excellent stuff, so we're hoping this year he returns to promise. The Sox are pushing him as a starter, but like teammate Addison Reed before him, Molina's crazy stuff might work best in relief. Stay tuned.
Full Scouting Report for Nestor Molina
SB 299 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A speedy outfielder with leadoff potential, National Eury Perez is one of the hidden gems in the still-underappreciated Washington system. Perez looked solid and impressive during a season split between AA and AAA in 2013, slashing .314/.344/.361 nd swiping 51 of 66 bases (that's 77 percent, good enough for us.) Perez even ended the season with the MLB Nationals, getting into thirteen games (mainly as a pinch runner) and stealing three bases. He'll be 23 in 2013, and looks ready to help the team immediately, though it'll probably be from the bench again, at least initially.
Full Scouting Report for Eury Perez
SB 300 BA SC BP SN ES ML
290 to 300 of 650 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013