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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Florida native Ben Lively, a solid righthander with a very polished four pitch arsenal, was drafted by the Reds in 2013's fourth round. While the fastball/slider looks like his best combination, his change and curve are good enough that the Reds will probably let him develop as a starter until and unless he stumbles hard. Of course, thanks to some deception in his throwing motion, coupled with that quality slider, he's got a very good possible future as a reliever in his back pocket, too.
Full Scouting Report for Ben Lively
SB 441 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A left-handed power bat from Georgia, Dan Palka was drafted in 2013's third round by the Diamondbacks. The sort of lumbering old-school slugger that many teams cherish, Palka's success in college ball shows that he can square up enough balls to be a net positive for his team, too. (Sure, he'll strike out a lot, but he'll make up for it with enough light tower numbers to earn his pay.) He's not very mobile, but he has enough arm for a corner outfield spot, with first base being the obvious backup plan. Heck, he even did some college relief pitching.
Full Scouting Report for Daniel Palka
SB 442 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Virginia Tech third baseman Chad Pinder, drafted in 2013's second round by the Oakland A's, Chad Pinder is known for an advanced hitting approach and ability to hit to all fields. His power is of the gap variety for now, and his speed is so-so, but his solid defense and demonstrated ability to adjust to better pitching portends well for his future in MLB.
Full Scouting Report for Chad Pinder
SB 443 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Craig's son (wow, we're old) is an accomplished high school infielder who actually looks best at third base for now. A lefty with a strong, level line-drive swing, Cavan Biggio stroked a tidy .407 in his junior year. MLB scouts love bloodlines, and with pretty good reason: descendants of MLB players tend to have higher success than non-relateds, though the correspondence doesn't necessarily map to talent levels or career accomplishments, only to their ability to survive in the pro baseball lifestyle. Biggio will, of course, be given every opportunity to succeed, and a long leash from his owners: another possible root cause of MLB's family-style success rate.
Full Scouting Report for Cavan Biggio
SB 444 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Sometimes you see a prospect's name on wildly different scouting reports. One scout will see an ace starter with electric breaking stuff, while another report from a few weeks later will describe an erratic, flustered player pitching way over his head. Both of those reports came in recently on Jays' prospect John Stilson, a righthander with ungodly breaking stuff and unfathomably unreliable control of it, is less interesting in composite. If you combine the good and bad outings, he averaged out to 44 strikeouts and 23 walks in 50 innings of AA work in 2012. He'll need more of the good kind to progress.
Full Scouting Report for John Stilson
SB 445 BA SC BP SN ES ML
One of those offensive-minded 'shortstops' in quotation marks, prospect Yordy Cabrera seems to already be outgrowing the position, despite the fact he's barely old enough to shave. An Oakland draft pick in 2010 out of high school, Cabrera was traded as the fulcrum piece of the Chris Young / Heath Bell deal during the 2012 playoffs.
Yordy's calling card is natural plus power from the right side of the plate. He's also got above-average wheels and a strong throwing arm, but it's the power bat the Athletics signed the Marlins craved. He's got a way to grow yet, and he's going a bit slower than expected with the usual question marks, but if you absolutely must pencil in a major league arrival, we'd bet on mid 2014, probably as a third baseman or right fielder.
Full Scouting Report for Yordy Cabrera
SB 446 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The kind of big, strong lefthander that scouts fall in love with, the six-foot-six Matzek not only brings overpowering heat from the left side but flusters hitters with three different offspeed pitches to boot. A king-sized almost-ace in the making, Matzek stumbled hard at high-A Modesto last season, but he still has the raw stuff to be the anchor of many Major League teams in the future. He's striking out more than one batter per inning, but he's still walking too many and giving up too many hits, which means he's got some distance to go before reaching Coors Field in a permanent capacity.
Full Scouting Report for Tyler Matzek
SB 447 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A hulking righthander from Peculiar, Missouri, Angel prospect Mark Sappington was taken in the fifth round of the 2012 Draft and dispatched to Pioneer League Orem, where he quickly showed enough to explain his selection earlier than many expected. At Orem, Sappington struck out 34 in 36 innings while posting a 1.28 WHIP, a solid enough piece of work to earn him a season of A ball in 2013. Sappington works with a mid-90's fastball with natural sink, perhaps thanks to his high delivery. His secondary pitches are iffy, controlwise, but show enough liveliness to merit a close eye. The slider in particular could be his out pitch for many years to come. He looks a lot like a reliever (or even closer) to us, but for the time being he's being pushed as a rotation option for a future Angels club, sometime around 2016. We think he'll be in the bullpen a couple of years before that.
Full Scouting Report for Mark Sappington
SB 448 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big, strong hitter who's all potential at this point, Aaron Judge is drooled over by some scouts due to his raw power and sheer physical strength. Perhaps best known as the winner of the the TD Ameritrade Home Run Derby in 2012, Judge hasn't yet really shown that he can hit for big power in ballgames that count. While he isn't yet reaching many grandstands, he is a decent all-around talent, with a good eye at the plate and better than average speed on the bases. In the field, he's not much to write about, but his appeal has nothing to do with the glove, anyway. Selected by the Yankees in the compensation round of 2013's draft, he'll spend some time learning to hit curve balls and play first base, we're betting.
Full Scouting Report for Aaron Judge
SB 449 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A relief prospect who grew up in the Reds system, Donnie Joseph is a slow-cooking and lesser-known talent who could nonetheless contribute from an MLB bullpen at any time. While his pro numbers to date might not be of the dazzling variety, he does bring a genuine plus slider to the park along with his low-90's heat, a combination that should be more than enough to get him to the Bigs, considering he's bringing both from the south side of the mound.
Full Scouting Report for Donnie Joseph
SB 450 BA SC BP SN ES ML
440 to 450 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013