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 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 331 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A howitzer-armed catcher from Oklahoma State, Jonathan Denney promises both offense and defense from the backstop position. Denney has the makings of real plus power coupled with great pitch recognition. A smart player, he has soft hands and great reflexes behind the plate, and seems capable of handling a pitching staff someday, too, which means he should stay at catcher, where he has the most value. Committed to Arkansas, he's sought-after by a number of MLB ballclubs, and seems likely to skip college for baseball.
Full Scouting Report for Jonathan Denney
SB 332 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An athletic righthander from Southlake, Texas, Dodger prospect Ross Stripling leans heavily on a sinking 94mph fastball with good natural movement. His secondary pitches are qualiity curve and very good changeup, and when he's on his game he can slice and dice hitters by mixing all three pitches in the lower part of the zone. Stripling struck out a batter per inning in 12 Rookie League starts last season. but it'll be mid-2013 before the Dodgers really know what he can do. He could move quickly if he keeps up his sharp command: keep an eye on his peripherals to see whether he'll arrive in LA in mid-2014, which would be right on schedule, or sooner than that, which is very possible. Coaches are buzzing about him already.
Full Scouting Report for Ross Stripling
SB 333 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big righthander drafted in 2009's fourth round, San Diego's Keyvius Sampson looked pretty darn fine in his first season of A-ball back in 2011, going 12-3, 2.90, 1.10 across 24 starts. He struck out 143 batters, three times as many as he walked, with a K/9 rate near 11. He slid somewhat in 2012, though to be fair, a lot of pitchers find humility in their first trip to the Texas League. Sampson's control still needs work, but there's not much else to complain about here: he has guile, mound presence, confidence and calm when dealing his 94mph fastball (with movement), hammerish curve and even his newest pitch: a fading change with plenty of sink. Issues with recurring elbow soreness seem to be in his past, but note:
seem to be.
Full Scouting Report for Keyvius Sampson
SB 334 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big lefty from the 2012 draft class, Giant prospect Steven Okert is a likely reliever and possible closer of the future, at least if his track record closing at Oklahoma is any indication. He could move quickly into the Giants' bullpen, perhaps a soon as late 2013. At low-A Salem late last year, Okert struck out 22 batters in 26 innings, and he'll attempt to make the jump into AA shortly. Other than repeating his delivery and logging experience, he's pretty much an MLB-ready reliever.
Full Scouting Report for Steven Okert
SB 335 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A contrarian righthander in a system stuffed with lefties, Dominican pitcher Brenny Paulino looks like a good candidate to bolster Detroit's pitching staff (or perhaps bullpen) in the years to come. Still a bit raw with youth, Paulino is a tall and thin slinger who can already hit 96mph on the radar gun with a nice fastball that features exceptional natural movement. That's often a big indicator of MLB success down the road. As should be expected, his breaking stuff (a curve and an iffy slider) and change are quite a distance behind in terms of quality, but he'll have a couple of years to work on those now that's moved stateside to continue his development. While he's not nearly as polished as some of Detroit's older prospect pitchers, his upside might actually be the highest in the group. Of course, a lot of risk comes along with that.
Full Scouting Report for Brenny Paulino
SB 336 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 337 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Not to be confused with Giant prospect Stephen Johnson, righthander Steve Johnson is a more mature pitcher who came back to his hometown Baltimore from the Dodgers in 2009. While he lacks a dominant fastball (topping out around 92mph), his changeup should now be considered a true plus pitch. If you factor in the experience gained through eight minor leagues seasons, you may understand how he's able to contain all but the best hitters. Johnson tasted MLB last season, and could become a go-to spot starter or bullpen mainstay in 2013.
Full Scouting Report for Steve Johnson
SB 338 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The younger brother of infielder Andrew, Austin Romine was a two way player in the Buster Posey fashion, acting as his high school closer as well as everyday catcher. As you might expect, he has one of the best cannons to second of any catcher in the minors today. At the plate he has doubles power and an easy swing, which looks projectable to 20-30 homer power someday. He's not really ready for Yankee Stadium yet, but he's a hard worker with enough raw talent to get there soon, and he's the most promising defender of the Yankee catching prospects.
Full Scouting Report for Austin Romine
SB 339 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A talented righthanded strikeout artist from Brazil, White Sox prospect Andre Rienzo has the stuff and guile to succeed as a big-league reliever, even if that stuff came with its share of chemical enhancement last season. After serving a 50 game PED suspension, Rienzo returned to struck out almost ten batters per nine innings across three levels of play, mainly at AA Birmingham. He can dial his fastball up to 98, or maybe even a bit more than that in short use, and the average slider he mixes in should be enough to keep hitters honest. His changeup, a so-so one at best, shouldn't be a factor unless he returns to starting duty.
Full Scouting Report for Andre Rienzo
SB 340 BA SC BP SN ES ML
330 to 340 of 650 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013