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 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.
Full Scouting Report for Ty Hensley
SB 321 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A toolsy, fast college player with a potent bat from the right side of the plate, Jason Esposito is a nice sleeper prospect clawing his way quickly up the Baltimore system. Esposito slashed a nice .330/.405/.514 in three full seasons of ball at Vanderbilt, with a homer every 30 at-bats and 60-of-79 steals. He's not exactly patient at the plate yet, but he's got a little time to work on that. If plate discipline is something that can be learned (and the jury's still out on that one, officially), Esposito's powerful mix of offensive tools is just what a team like the Orioles should be looking for: a premium project. He looked overmatched in A-ball last year, but we'll chalk that up to adjusting to the pro game and wait to see what he does in 2013. We're cautiously optimistic.
Full Scouting Report for Jason Esposito
SB 322 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Luke Jackson is a young, strong and raw righthander cooking up in the Texas Ranger system. Blessed with an easy 95mph fastball, Jackson overpowered Carolina League (High A) hitters in 2012 with 74 strikeouts in 65 innings of work, but didn't need much more than that heater to do it: his finesse and pitching savvy still have some distance to cover before he's Arlington ready. His curve and change aren't suitable for higher levels of minor league ball yet, but he's in a good system for development and shows the sort of pitcher's body and strength that old-school coaches love. If you like raw projectability over eye-popping early results, Jackson's your man.
Full Scouting Report for Luke Jackson
SB 323 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A powerful righthander with genuinely filthy stuff, Pirate prospect Victor Black looks like a future closer, as long as he can throw his prime stuff with consistency. At AA Altoona in 2012, Black struck out an ungodly 85 batters in only 60 innings of work, wrapping up 38 games for the Curve and earning respect as one of the league's nastiest relievers. He's a fascinating option for the Pirates in 2014... and maybe even sooner than that.
Full Scouting Report for Victor Black
SB 324 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A no-nonsense Canadian with a 98mph fastball, Jim Henderson rose to national attention in 2012 by ascending, however briefly, to the Milwaukee closer's role after others stumbled before him. Striking out 45 in 30 innings of MLB work pretty much assured Henderson of a full-time job with the club in 2013, whether in a setup role or as the replacement for the on-again, off-again John Axford.
Full Scouting Report for Jim Henderson
SB 325 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A California boy grinding away in the Midwest, Pirate pitcher Justin Wilson is easy to miss, thanks to all the brighter young arms starring in that system already. He's always struggled with control, even in his college days at Fresno State, walking far too many hitters, but his blazing heat helped him get away with it. At least until 2011, when he stumbled hard after being pushed to AAA. He did re-find himself in 2012, however, and once again looks like a quality part of the Pirate future. He's always been a starter, but with so many hotter prospects in the system, the Pirates might end up thinking about converting him to bullpen work instead. We'll find out this year.
Full Scouting Report for Justin Wilson
SB 326 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The kind of all-around outfielder that Dexter Fowler once promised to be, Sacramento State's Tim Wheeler was universally regarded as one of the safest 'college hitters' available in the 2009 draft. With plus speed and a good set of instincts for the outfield, he's a solid defender, while his high-contact, high-smarts approach to hitting have always made it look like it could fit right into the top of the Rockies order soon enough.
He hit a career-best .303 in 2012 in AAA, though his power evaporated mysteriously, and he's still struggling to steal bases efficiently. He needs to put in more work.
Full Scouting Report for Tim Wheeler
SB 327 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A fast-developing outfielder who slashed .309/.364 /.403 at AA Mississippi last year, Thomas David (Todd) Cunningham is one of Atlanta's most-potent future offensive threats. A switch hitter, Cunningham combines an ability to hit for a high average with good speed and developing power. Cunningham has true plus speed and can cover a large amount of outfield ground, though he's still learning to use that speed effectively on the bases. He'll be ready for MLB in another year or so: if there's no place for him in Atlanta, he could become a significant mid- or offseason trade target for a team without a clear CF option.
Full Scouting Report for Todd Cunningham
SB 328 BA SC BP SN ES ML
By most measures, he's the least of the three prospects the Padres landed for Mat Latos, but USC righthander Brad Boxberger is still no slouch. The 43rd player selected in the 2009 draft is a strong, stout pitcher who projects as a middle-of-rotation arm for the Padres in the near future, thanks to his pro-level collection of above-average pitches and his ability to survive under pressure. He works with a 92-94mph fastball that he'll work in on hitters quite fearlessly, and he complements it with a decent-and-improving curve. Most interestingly, though, he features a nifty sinking change that could be a real strikeout pitch for him once he learns to command it a bit more consistently.
Full Scouting Report for Brad Boxberger
SB 329 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big, hard-throwing Dominican righthander signed by the Mets as an international free agent in 2006, Cleto is a raw pitcher who features a moving fastball at 97mph, a real thunderbolt that looks like a genuine plus pitch. His slider is a work in progress, however, and his other pitches aren't anything special yet.
Cleto was acquired by the Cardinals in the 2011 offseason after a Cal League year with Seattle in which he posted a 6.16 ERA in 23 appearances (21 starts). If his change develops, he could still blossom into a strong starting role, but so far (as expected/feared) its' been the slider that's developed best, earmarking Cleto as a late-inning strikeout artist: in nine late-season innings with the MLB Cards last year, Clete struck out fifteen hitters. Expect him to remain a bullpen weapon in 2013, with a move to the rotation possible one day down the road.
Full Scouting Report for Maikel Cleto
SB 330 BA SC BP SN ES ML
320 to 330 of 650 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013