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 60 BA SC 52 BP 87 SN ES 67 ML 78
The junior Delino is a shorter, stronger, faster and very much more righthanded version of his father. Which is to say, he's not very much like his father at all. What Delino is is a highly athletic all around ballplayer with superior defensive skills, a contact bat that should play at almost any position and serious plus plus speed. While he's still a ways from MLB, he's been making steady up-the-ladder progress through the minors, putting the work in: it's more than just his built-in athleticism and bloodline that puts him at the front of Houston's weak farm.
More Scouting Book Info on Delino DeShields
SB 61 BA 99 SC 78 BP 101 SN ES 83 ML
A quality lefthander who looks close to MLB ready, San Diego pitcher Max Fried should see Petco sooner rather than later. Fried's fastball doesn't exceed 92mph very often, though he can add a bit more when he really needs it and gets more outs thanks to its sinking nature than its velocity, anyway. His cutter and change are average pitches already, and should be better than average by the time he's anchored into the Padre rotation.
More Scouting Book Info on Max Fried
SB 62 BA 46 SC 68 BP 61 SN ES 51 ML 53
An 11th round selection by the Dodgers back in 2010, outfielder Joc Pederson has already far exceeded the expectations of most scouts. A late signee, he didn't really taste pro ball until 2011, when he raked a .353/.429/.568 line at rookie-level Ogden in the Pioneer League, impressing coaches with his work ethic and ability to use his raw tools effectively: the young man stole 24 of 29 bases and played an intelligent, competent outfield while being tested at all three positions.
Last year, Pederson was bumped to high-A Ranco Cucamonga and rose to the challenge, posting an impressive .313/.396/.516 line and stealing another 26 bags. He did, however, fall victim to better pickoffs and stronger catchers at the higher level of play, as he was caught fourteen times. A patient hitter who isn't afraid to take his walks, Pederson is well on his way to becoming a well-rounded ballplayer who should be above-average in all aspects of the game. There might not be an obvious space for him in L.A. right now, but baseball has a way of making space for those with talent enough to get them to the Show in the first place. If he puts in another year like his last two, he'll be on top of the prospect lists next time around.
More Scouting Book Info on Joc Pederson
SB 63 BA SC BP SN ES ML 85
An eighteenth round pick (!) of the Dodgers back in 2008, righthander Allen Webster has made the Dodger scouts look awfully clever since, as he's risen into the very top ranks of the system in the years since. A quality arm with good control but iffy command, Webster's primary weapon is a mid-90's fastball that can reach 98 with heavy sink, but he's no one-trick pony: his curve, change and slider are all potential plus pitches that show exceptional filth, even when he struggles to throw them consistently. If he can master at least one of those, hopefully the change, he'll be striking out major leaguers very very soon.
Splitting 2011 between the two cutest-named minor league cities in baseball, Webster followed up a 5-2 record and 1.24 WHIP in 9 starts at Rancho Cucamonga with a 6-3, 1.50 WHIP in 17 more at Chattanooga, his first test in AA ball. As a followup, after a hot start in 2012, Webster was generally considered the top pitching prospect (remaining) in the Dodger minors when he was traded to Boston in August. He's a good candidate to compete for a rotation spot in 2013's Spring Training, but a midseason or late-season callup would be a safer play.
More Scouting Book Info on Allen Webster
SB 64 BA 49 SC BP 69 SN ES 63 ML 71
A young righthander who could join the bevy of power arms in San Francisco in the years to come, Clayton Blackburn was an eye-opener in Augusta last year. Blackburn posted a shiny 8-4, 2.54, 1.02 season at A-ball, striking out an ungodly 143 hitters while walking only 18. That's a strikeout to walk ratio of eight.
Blackburn achieved numbers like those by locating a sinking, mid-90's fastball with good accuracy. His propensity for keeping it down in the zone limits the damage hitters can do, leaving them his quality change and curve to chase, usually all the way back to the bench. While he's worked from both rotations and bullpens, the quality of his secondary pitches will probably keep him in a starter's role until and unless he pitches his way out of it. Having a quality sinking fastball, of course, is a great backup plan if he ever becomes a full-time reliever. Watch his progress in 2013, and you'll have a much better idea where, and how, he'll land in MLB.
More Scouting Book Info on Clayton Blackburn
SB 65 BA SC 63 BP 95 SN ES 80 ML
One of Japan's most talented all-around ballplayers, Oakland rookie Hiroyuki Nakajima is a toolsy, accomplished shortstop with a good line-drive swing and an exemplary work ethic. Playing all season at shortstop for Seibu in 2011, Hiroyuki slashed .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs and 27 doubles, which is actually a poor year compared to his .310/.381/.479 career line. He also stole 21 out of 23 bases, showing exceptional skill. He's a solid player, with the same speed and discipline usually seen in Japanese players, plus a little more power than American fans might expect. A three-hole hitter with Seibu, Hiro would fit well into the number two or seven slot for the A's, or as a decent lead off man.
More Scouting Book Info on Hiroyuki Nakajima
SB 66 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A thin, wiry righthander from the Dominican Republic, Reds prospect Daniel Corcino doesn't do anything fancy on the mound. He simply mixes a maxed-out 98mph heater with a quality breaking ball and gets hitters out. In a full year of AA-ball at Pensacola in 2012, Corcino went 3.00 / 1.23 while striking out 126 would-be hitters in 143 innings of work. His walk rate was up a bit, but AA hitters are notorious for being much more patient than lower-level players, so that's not a shock. He did look durable, not missing any of his 26 starts for the Blue Wahoos. Hopefully he can regain his previously masterful control in 2012, which would keep him on track for a mid or late-season callup in 2013.
More Scouting Book Info on Daniel Corcino
SB 67 BA 94 SC 81 BP SN ES 72 ML
A very small guy with a very big arm, Royal's righty Yordano Ventura invites easy comparisons to his countrymate Pedro Martinez, though he doesn't come with quite the colorful personality. Ventura complements a plus fastball with rapidly-improving curves and changeups so well that the Royals may need to accelerate his development. His 2012 was a bit of a rebuilding effort, but the full season before shows off Ventura's good and bad parts well enough. That 4-6, 4.27 ERA that he accrued in his first season of A-ball might look pretty uninteresting, but the eyeballs-in-seats part of our research department would like to emphasize that the second half of Ventura's season was markedly better than the first, and he finished strongly enough to gain a few notches on the Kansas City prospect ladder. (Our math nerds would also like to chime in by pointing out that all year long, in good times and bad, he maintained a solid 3:1 ratio of strikeouts to walks.)
More Scouting Book Info on Yordano Ventura
SB 68 BA 85 SC 86 BP 62 SN ES ML 59
A well rounded outfielder with great tools and a dedicated commitment to improving his skills, Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario could be a big sleeper star for Minnesota by mid-to-late 2013. He's only twenty, but Eddie's .296/.345/.490 Midwest line (with 48 extra-base hits in 95 games) looks frighteningly good, doesn't it? Miguel Sano will get the lion's share of glowing press in the next few years, but Eddie Rosario could be right at home hitting behind him.
More Scouting Book Info on Eddie Rosario
SB 69 BA SC BP SN ES 65 ML
The number one catching prospect in the system until Yasmani Grandal came to town, Austin Hedges is still a top prospect with a very high ceiling. Not quite as ready for the majors as Grandal was, Hedges is still barely out of high school. But he's valid: long-seen as a strong-armed defensive catcher, he slashed an unexpectedly-solid .279/.334/.451 in 96 A-level games in 2012, propelling him into the 'complete catcher' category. He's still a couple of years away.
More Scouting Book Info on Austin Hedges
SB 70 BA 58 SC BP 19 SN ES 36 ML 73
60 to 70 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013