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.
Remember: this page is the result of an automatic process that re-sorts and re-ranks players often.
If you think you have found a mistake, please read
this blog entry before telling us. Then tell us. The Best Second Base Prospects for 2013
Overall SB ranking shown in parentheses.
The 22nd overall pick of the 2011 player draft, tiny Hawaiian Kolten Wong already looks like St. Louis's second baseman of the very near future. A polished college hitter with a 1.013 career OPS, he's also a developing fielder who should be able to improve the .964 he recorded in his very first taste of professional baseball. He slashed .335/.401/.510 in 2011 in the A-Level Midwest League, then .287/.348/.405 in the AA Texas League a year later. He's still has room to grow and improve, but he's going to need to be challenged with major league pitching in order to do it. He's ready.
More Scouting Book Info on Kolten Wong
SB 33 BA 84 SC 57 BP 90 SN ES 96 ML 79
The junior Delino is a shorter, stronger, faster and very much more righthanded version of his father. Which is to say, he's not very much like his father at all. What Delino is is a highly athletic all around ballplayer with superior defensive skills, a contact bat that should play at almost any position and serious plus plus speed. While he's still a ways from MLB, he's been making steady up-the-ladder progress through the minors, putting the work in: it's more than just his built-in athleticism and bloodline that puts him at the front of Houston's weak farm.
More Scouting Book Info on Delino DeShields
SB 61 BA 99 SC 78 BP 101 SN ES 83 ML
A shortstop who's probably better off at second or third, Curacao native Jonathan Schoop's second turn through high-A ball in the Oriole system was a lot more successful than his first. Schoop silenced critics by slashing .271/.329/.375 at Carolina after shredding the low-A Sally League with a .316/.376/.514 line in the spring of 2011. In 2012, facing AA for the first time, he looked a little more grounded (.245/.324/.386) but wasn't beaten by the better pitching and continued to play solid defense. A high-contact hitter with developing power, Schoop is still adding bulk, which should help some of the 24 doubles he hit in 2011 turn into future homers. As it is, he still looks near ready for the bigs, with only another year or so of eyeball-training remaining. He'll return to AA to open 2013, and should apply a new focus. If he takes the expected step forward, he'll be ready for MLB action in 2014.
More Scouting Book Info on Jon Schoop
SB 79 BA SC BP 80 SN ES 50 ML
A twelfth round pick out of Oregon State back in 2010, infielder Stefen Romero has quietly risen to legitimate prospect status thanks to a solid work effort and a good all-around offensive toolset. Somewhat of a late bloomer, the righthanded Romero zipped up the depth chart in 2012 by raking .357/.391/.581 at High Desert. The performance earned him a quick promotion to AA, where he fared even better, slashing a .347/.392/.620 line against pitching that should have overmatched him.
His range isn't the greatest, and he won't be stealing many bases, but if the Mariners can really get a near-1.000 OPS from a middle infielder, they'll welcome it with open arms. Look for him to get a look-see late in the year, or sooner than that if the offensively-rebuilt Mariner lineup stumbles hard or early.
More Scouting Book Info on Stefen Romero
SB 101 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A polished college shortstop from St. John's, Joe Panik is the closest thing to MLB-ready in the Giants system today, though he's more likely than not to be deployed at second base for the big club. After signing with the team in 2011, he went straight to low-A Salem, where he promptly hammered out a nifty .341/.401/.467 line with six homers and thirteen stolen bases, all in only 270 at-bats. Last year's .297/.368/.402 line might look like a step back, but considering it came along with a promotion to high-A San Jose, it's very good production. As long as he plays up to his level, he'll be all set as a fixture in SF sometime in 2014, with a callup in late 2013 not out of the question.
More Scouting Book Info on Joe Panik
SB 110 BA SC BP SN ES ML
With one of the fastest home-to-first sprints since Ichiro and an OBP over .400 in his first season of pro ball, Padres prospect Cory Spangenberg is already looking very capable of sitting atop a San Diego batting order very soon. The versatile infielder played third base in college but will almost certainly be a second baseman in San Diego. He's still a bit rough around the edges, so give him a year to push his way into AA ball before you start expecting him to crack the Padres' everyday roster.
More Scouting Book Info on Cory Spangenberg
SB 117 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An offensive-minded infielder from Japan's Pacific League, Kensuke Tanaka slashed .300/.350/.363 with in 505 plate appearances last season for the Nippon-Ham Fighters. Widely known as a solid glove man, he also showed plus speed and basestealing ability early in his career, though that has faded as he's matured.
More Scouting Book Info on Kensuke Tanaka
SB 183 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A strong infielder with a nice line-drive stroke and an eye that's beyond his young years, second base prospect Taylor Lindsey showed better glovework than expected in low-level pro ball. He'll try to take his sparkplug style of play up to A-level in 2013. He's a couple of years away from scratching a living from the Anaheim dirt, but he's exactly the sort of scrappy, line-drive hitting middle infielder that the Angels are so good at drafting and developing. He's probably no superstar, but he will stick in MLB and play well when his time comes.
More Scouting Book Info on Taylor Lindsey
SB 209 BA SC BP SN ES ML
New York's second round pick in the 2010 Draft, young Angelo Gumbs was the first high school position player drafted that year, which should help you guess the gist of his ups and downs. To wit, and by the book: he's a gifted athlete, one of the best pure physical specimens in the Yankee stable, with all the signs of plus speed and power hanging on his room-to-grow frame.
He's got a strong arm, shows good range, and though the Yanks have thus far looked to him as an infielder, trying him out at short and second, but any position designation should be considered the lightest of pencil at this point: there's nothing about his toolset that wouldn't work well in left field, for example. Like almost all young players, he lacks real discipline or judgment in the strike zone, and he has a propensity to swing for the seats even when all the team really needs is a poke to the opposite field. But that's all a maturity thing, and the Yankees have nothing but time to season Gummo: he'll still be a teenager for two more years.
More Scouting Book Info on Angelo Gumbs
SB 223 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A well-rounded infield prospect signed as a young IFA from Venezuela, Cesar Hernandez is currently pushing at the ceiling of the Phillies minor league system. At the plate he's a solid line-drive hitter with the potential to hit for a high average with a little pop, while on the bases, he shows near-plus speed, though he's still not very good at using it effectively. A natural second baseman who can also play a decent shortstop, it's been long-assumed he'd need to bump either Chase Utley or Jimmy Rollins to lock down a major league job: no easy task, either way. Still, with both those veterans aging and growing more expensive, his window of opportunity is approaching. And he seems ready to make a grab at it, too: that .304/.345/.436 in 2012 came in his very first taste of AA baseball, pushing him to the front of the Phillies prospect pack.
More Scouting Book Info on Cesar Hernandez
SB 226 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A high-quality hitter laboring deep in the shadows of the Atlanta system, Tommy La Stella combines exceptional plate discipline with good pop. That .302/.386/.460 line from high-A Lynchburg last came with 32 extra base hits in 85 games, and he could look even better in AA, once adjusting a little. His speed is above average, and his baserunning skills are already very good. His glove is less tested but seems capable, especially at second base. While he might not be a tip-top prospect, he's a very good one, and could be contributing in a Braves lineup sometime in 2014.
More Scouting Book Info on Tommy La Stella
SB 230 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Tyler Kelly
SB 252 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Christian Colon
SB 277 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
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
Small but tough, Red Sox prospect Sean Coyle is a scrappy infielder from Pennsylvania who seems engineered to perform well in Boston. Coyle's batting eye looks sabermetrically-promising already, and when he swings, he displays great bat speed from a short, compact stroke.
He's still a line-drive and gaps hitter, and unless he gets on the Pedroia Plan he should remain one, though his plus speed can make his bat into a strong offensive asset. In the field, he's a bit of a tweener, with defense that projects as adequate at several positions but great at none of them. He won't ever be replacing Pedroia or Middlebrooks in production, but he does look like a capable stand-in for the Mike Aviles of the world: he could be a solid everyday major leaguer someday.
More Scouting Book Info on Sean Coyle
SB 324 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A gritty, hard-noised infielder taken by the Nationals in the second round of the 2012 draft, Anthony (Tony) Renda will be compared to Dustin Pedroia for the rest of his career. And it's not just his small size and tenacity that earn the comp, either: Renda has plus bat speed, which means in time he could disply enough power to bang balls into outfield walls and occasionally over them. For now, though, he's a singles hitter with great hustle and baseball instincts, which means he could be a fan favorite in Washington by 2015.
More Scouting Book Info on Tony Renda
SB 338 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A powerful Colombian infielder who'll probably settle at second base, Pirate prospect Dilson Herrera rose to attention-worthy status by hitting his way out of Rookie ball (.281/341/.482) and into low-A at the age of 18. Herrera has a nice speed/power combination (twelve steals, eight dingers in sixty games) and decent enough foot and glovework to cover shortstop if necessary. He's raw, like any teenage player, but he shows a strong work ethic and natural aptitude for the trials of the middle infield. If his power is legitimate, he'll be a fast-riser in the system.
More Scouting Book Info on Dilson Herrera
SB 374 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Yankees second round pick in 2013, Gosuke Katoh was a high-school infielder from San Diego with a very polished and well-rounded toolset. He's played mainly second base, but don't let that fool you: Katoh could play anywhere on the diamond thanks to fast feel, an accurate (though not especially strong) arm and very soft hands. His speed even makes him a viable outfielder, should the Yanks take that approach. A slap hitter with a compact angle of attack, a convenient left-handed stance and the aforementioned plus speed, Katoh looks like a junior version of Ichiro Suzuki: a leadoff hitter by any measure. His power isn't legit, at least not now, but like Ichiro he's more than capable of popping a few home runs if and when he chooses to let loose. A disciplined ballplayer, he could surprise many by grinding his way to MLB sooner than expected.
More Scouting Book Info on Gosuke Katoh
SB 392 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Three years after signing an IFA bonus totally three quarters of a million dollars back in 2009, the very young Twins prospect Jorge Polanco stepped up in rookie-league Elizabethton last year, slashing .318/.388/.514 with five homers and six stolen bases spread across 51 games while showing a real plus glove all over the diamond. It looks like all that winter ball and coaching paid off on defense, too, as the smallish prospect seems to be growing into a strong, potent athlete. He might not be the nimble, rangey shortstop that most Dominicans aspire to be, but Polanco is already looking like a solid second baseman from our seat, so that's how we'll label him for now. Give him a few years to refine his overall game and he'll be a good one.
More Scouting Book Info on Jorge Polanco
SB 396 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Top Prospects 2013