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 50 BA 53 SC 60 BP 40 SN ES 37 ML 58
A righthander with three possible plus pitches, righthander Luca Giolito had a chance to be drafted #1 overall until he was sidelined by UCL problems. If he's really back at full strength, he's one of the best pitching prospects left in the Washington system and the team's best bet to be a future ace. And considering the depth and quality of that system, that's really something to remember.
More Scouting Book Info on Lucas Giolito
SB 51 BA 67 SC BP 70 SN ES 77 ML 74
The Yankees top international signee back in 2007, righthander Arodys Vizcaino got a taste of MLB ball in 2011 and was looking like he would be back to stay in 2012, at least until x-rays found irreparable damage in his elbow, necessitating TJ surgery to replace his shredded ligaments. Pre-surgery, his fastball hovered in the low 90s, but could get even harder once he is fully recovered. He is known to complement his heat with an already-superb curve and a developing change, which he'll hopefully remember how to throw come 2014.
He's special enough to not write off, and may end up looking like a steal for the Cubs one day.
More Scouting Book Info on Arodys Vizcaino
SB 52 BA 83 SC BP 54 SN ES 64 ML
Selected by Cincinnati in the first round of the 2011 Draft (27th overall), righthander Robert Stephenson was a rare high-school choice from the usually conservative Reds franchise. The tall Californian overpowered his peers in his senior high school season, posting a 1.19 ERA in 76 innings that included not one but two no-hitters. A power pitcher in the classic mould, he can already top 98mph with his fastball. As always, though, it's how well his secondary pitches develop that will determine his fate in pro baseball. He'll try to work up to high-A ball in 2013.
More Scouting Book Info on Robert Stephenson
SB 53 BA 56 SC 41 BP 78 SN ES 48 ML 51
Tyler Austin is the fastest-rising player on the Yankee farm. Austin destroyed four (four!) levels of minor league ball in 2012, averaging .322/.400/.559 from rookie ball all the way up to AA, and that AA line wasn't bad in itself, as a .286 average in a player's very first taste of high-level minors is something special enough to circle on your program. Austin is a right-handed hitter with a quick and strong swing to all fields, which makes him extra-potent once his advanced batting eye and patience is brought to bear. His power is rapidly approaching plus, and while he'll be no leadoff-type base stealer, a middle-order back with better than average speed is exactly what the Yankees are looking for these days. Look for him to spend all of 2013 in AA, with a September callup a near-certainty. Should the Yankee lineup suffer injuries closer to midseason, a Will Middlebrooks-style debut would not be a surprise, either: he's very likely to cement a lineup spot as soon as he's given the chance. While he's developed as a third baseman, he seems to have outgrown the spot (too bad, as the Yanks should have an opening there soon), which relegates him to right field, first base or DH.
More Scouting Book Info on Tyler Austin
SB 54 BA 77 SC 62 BP SN ES 52 ML 75
A thickly-built, wide-framed power bat from Texas who moves pretty well for his size, Mike Choice is a player destined for an outfield corner rather than the centerfield he played at UT. He draws comparisons to Pedro Alvarez for his body type and the attack angle of his quick right-handed swing. As an advanced bat with an excellent work ethic and (by all reports) a solid character, he should move quickly through the Oakland system.
More Scouting Book Info on Michael Choice
SB 55 BA SC 72 BP 82 SN ES ML
A lithe, athletic outfielder with enough speed to cover big terrain, Pirate outfield prospect Gregory Polanco really took a step into national attention in 2012, showing off a .325/.389/.516 slash line during his first taste of A-ball, a line that included 25 doubles and 15 homers.
At the plate, Polanco is still a bit of a raw swinger, but he makes enough contact to get away with it most of the time, and his natural ability helps him put balls in play that others might foul off or miss altogether. As his skills improve, his talent could propel him into the upper tier of young hitters. His defense is very sloppy but should come along with the rest of his game, with good raw speed that should help him cover mistakes in the mean time. His arm is not special, but should be enough to handle a corner outfield assignment.
More Scouting Book Info on Gregory Polanco
SB 56 BA 51 SC BP 44 SN ES ML 65
Signed as a sixteen year old out of Panama back in 2008, catcher Christian Bethencourt is a toolsy ballplayer dripping with all-around talent. Competing with far-older players in 2009, the 17-year old showed flashes of power and above-average speed to complement his advanced bat control skills. In 2012, he slashed .243/.275/.291 at AA Mississippi while working primarily on his defense.
Since he's a catcher with the entire universe of game calling and defense to master, he's still a couple of years away, but he's such a shining star that he's a near-lock to rise through the prospect ranks every year before taking over in Atlanta. He's just that talented. If he settles in and looks strong in AA this year, he'll be starting in Atlanta next.
More Scouting Book Info on Christian Bethancourt
SB 57 BA SC 65 BP 93 SN ES ML
He might sound like a designer of cheap neckties, but prospective Ranger catcher Jorge Alfaro has been making a name for himself in the damp northwest rather than the fashion outlets in airport shopping malls. A big strong right-handed bat, the still-teenaged Alfaro looks likely to stick behind the plate, where he exhibits a cannon arm of increasing accuracy. His game-calling skills are a long way off, but if that .320/.430/.750 Sally League line from 2012 is a real indicator of his potential, the Rangers will be content to wait it out.
More Scouting Book Info on Jorge Alfaro
SB 58 BA SC BP 76 SN ES ML 88
A very big kid from Texas with a pretty big arm, righthander Kyle Crick was the his district's 4A pitcher of the year in 2011 and looked even better in the Sally League last season. He brings a typical power heavy fastball from a high arm angle, and complements it with a slider that shows serious promise.
By all reports his change and curve are very much works in progress, though, so don't get too excited about this kid too soon. Crick's 128 strikeouts in only 111 innings of work is his highlight stat, but that 1.28 WHIP shows he's better rounded than the average strikeout artist. He'll try to climb to AA in 2013, and if he looks as wicked there, he'll probably receive a rewarding cup of coffee come September.
More Scouting Book Info on Kyle Crick
SB 59 BA 66 SC 58 BP 65 SN ES 76 ML 86
A power righthander who many see as the next Dodger ace, first round draft pick Zach Lee has a ways to go before he's a sure thing, but he did nothing to frighten away believers in 2011, racking up a great start to his pro career in A ball. With a 92mph fastball, plus curve and a developing change, he's a young pitcher worth worth watching closely: that 103:32 strikeout to walk ratio he posted across two leagues in 2012 portends a solid future.
More Scouting Book Info on Zach Lee
SB 60 BA SC 52 BP 87 SN ES 67 ML 78
50 to 60 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013