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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SB 40 BA 10 SC 53 BP 8 SN ES 22 ML 19
A square, powerful righthander from the University of San Francisco, KC pitcher Kyle Zimmer's calling card is his 98mph fastball, which he brings from a great rock-solid arm angle. It dazzles hitters from either side of the plate thanks to late life and movement. It's Zimmer's selection of other pitches, though, all of which look to be near-MLB ready, that will get him to the Show to stay. Give him another year or so, and you'll have a quality pitcher on your hands.
More Scouting Book Info on Kyle Zimmer
SB 41 BA 24 SC 33 BP 41 SN ES 27 ML 34
A supplemental first round pick for the Brewers a few years back, Jake 'the Dog' Odorizzi is a tall righthander with a smooth and easy delivery that portends well for his future. Originally a part of the prospect package that moved Zack Greinke to Milwaukee, Odorizzi was a hot commodity again in 2012's offseason, as he was shipped to Tampa in favor of some more-seasoned veteran pitching. He's pretty much ready for action, though, and expectations will be high for him to fill that hole in the Rays' rotation ASAP. He'll enjoy the benefits of some nice pitching coaches, of course: Tampa is very very good at squeezing the best performance from young arms.
More Scouting Book Info on Jake Odorizzi
SB 42 BA 92 SC 45 BP 83 SN ES 68 ML 45
A headline acquisition as part of the trade of pitcher Matt Garza, Hak-Ju Lee is a big, powerful shortstop from Korea who's now prominently positioned in the Tampa Bay system. Already a polished hitter (.261/.336/.360 at AA Montgomery last year), Lee seems to have the footwork and arm to stick at shortstop, too, and he's shown improvement in the field every season. His 37 steals in 2012, a career best, is also a highlight worth remembering. As projected, he should get a shot at everyday Tampa life in 2013.
More Scouting Book Info on Hak-Ju Lee
SB 43 BA 90 SC 23 BP 75 SN ES 78 ML 56
Drafted by the Padres after winning the 2010 Brooks Wallace Award as the best shortstop in NCAA Division I, Jedd Gyorko has always been officially regarded as a third basemen by the organization, despite his smallish stature and better suitability for second. Of course, his bat has been nothing small since joining the Friars: In a season spent mainly in the AAA parking lot, Gyorko smashed a .328/.380/.588 line that included 24 dingers and another 24 doubles, numbers which should translate pretty well to gap-friendly Petco. With numbers like that, the Padres won't mind if they have to fudge his height in the official program. He's ready right now, but the usual contract gerrymandering might delay his MLB debut until June.
More Scouting Book Info on Jedd Gyorko
SB 44 BA 71 SC 51 BP 84 SN ES 70 ML 50
The Cubs number one pick in 2012, outfielder Albert Almora projects to be a Northside star one day soon. Signed when he was only 18, he's a couple of years away from fruition, but he's already got scouts drooling: his across-the-board toolset is solid, and he's still improving. His leadership ability and poise are especially impressive, as he performed very well under the highest possible levels of pressure throughout his award-laden high-school career.
More Scouting Book Info on Albert Almora
SB 45 BA 33 SC 36 BP 18 SN ES 33 ML 39
The Red Sox first round pick in 2011, UConn's Matt Barnes was the 2011 Big East Pitcher of the Year. With a 98mph fastball and a curveball that's downright impossible on a good day, he already looks like he could be a part of a big-league rotation. Of course, those two pitches are really his entire bag right now, and it's pretty likely that no matter how good they are, a two pitch combo won't work very well the third or fourth time through an MLB order. To fix this shortcoming, he'll work on developing his all-important third pitch, a change that's sometimes reasonable-looking, but definitely still raw. He'll do that while working in the minors this year, while the Red Sox try to train him to their style of play and development. Watch for him in mid-to-late 2013.
More Scouting Book Info on Matt Barnes
SB 46 BA 40 SC 31 BP 38 SN ES 79 ML 38
It might look like a letter fell off the back of his jersey, but outfielder Oswaldo Arcia is actually a fully-named outfield prospect working in the backwoods of Minnesota. A legit power threat who hits and hits at every level with which he's faced, the Venezuelan Arcia only needs to refine his plate approach enough that he can take a walk once and awhile, rather than swinging and missing at ball four day after day. He's already looking just fine in the outfield, and the Twins have had plenty of time to see him in all three slots, too.
More Scouting Book Info on Oswaldo Arcia
SB 47 BA 41 SC 92 BP 60 SN ES 59 ML 93
A righthander buried a bit too deep in the Blue Jays refreshed farm system, Aaron Sanchez struck out a batter per inning while moving from rookie ball to low-A Vancouver in 2011, then looked even better at A-level Lansing in 2012. Execution-wise, we'd like to see him rein in the walks further and find a way to pitch to weak contact on occasion, but there's not much to dislike in his stuff. The mid-90's fastball can reach the high-90's on occasion, though it moves better below max. When located well it can be quite devastating, making his second pitch (a quality curve) not very necessary. The changeup isn't all there yet, but that's typical in young arms. Sanchez will be working on repeating the delivery of all three pitches this year, mainly at Dunedin.
More Scouting Book Info on Aaron Sanchez
SB 48 BA 65 SC 49 BP 32 SN ES 19 ML 35
Hyun-Jin Ryu is a veteran lefthander who won the Korean Rookie of the Year and MVP in 2006, and has been a league All-Star for six seasons since. Most recently, Ryu went 9-9 with a 2.66 ERA and 210 strikeouts in 183 innings last season for the Hanwha Eagles.
A wide, solid pitcher, Hyun-Jin surprisingly lacks overpowering stuff, but can show masterful command and control of both a low-90's fastball and a plus change, a combination that is usually all one needs to succeed in MLB. If it's not, he also shows a workable curve and slider, though not very often. (For Scouting Book readers unfamiliar with Korean naming conventions, please note that 'Ryu' is the gentleman's family name.)
More Scouting Book Info on Hyun-Jin Ryu
SB 49 BA 42 SC BP SN ES ML
The 2009-10 Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year, Kaleb Cowart is a switch-hitting two-way player that the Angels flip-flopped on a couple of times before finally deciding they'd most like to see him as a full-time infielder. That's a shame, because as a pitcher he's blessed with easy heat in the 92mph range and can also touch 95mph on occasion.
As a fielder, he's a plus defender with quick feet and the expected cannon arm. At the plate, he's a nominal switch hitter who is stronger from the right side, with a long swing but good bat speed. His overall balance of two-way skills has drawn comparisons to Ethan Martin and Casey Kelly. He's probably a better hitter than either of those, though.
More Scouting Book Info on Kaleb Cowart
SB 50 BA 60 SC 56 BP 42 SN ES 23 ML 67
40 to 50 of 650 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013