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 70 BA 58 SC BP 19 SN ES 36 ML 73
A Venezuelan righthander getting a great deal of 2013 attention in Detroit, Bruce Rondon is a pitcher stuffed with stuff, though still a bit challenged for control of it. In other words, a prototypical closer in the making. Not a huge man, Rondon nonetheless gets plenty of action on his heavy fastball, which can break 100mph but usually clocks-in closer to 96. His best trick, however, is the way he adds deception with a low arm angle that's near-sidearm. Not only does that arm action make his fastball hard to pick up, it also makes his slider have more movement than it really needs, which is probably the main cause of some of that wildness. Rondon displayed an occasional change back in 2009, but that's nothing he'll really be needing in the bullpen, so it's probably best to consider it at least semi-retired.
Rondon reall could use another year of cooking in order to practice dealing with more patient hitters, the kind less likely to flail at his dirtballs, but the Tigers could use him in the bullpen immediately. Whether or not he opens 2013 closing for the team, he'll almost certain end the season that way.
More Scouting Book Info on Bruce Rondon
SB 71 BA 95 SC 96 BP SN ES ML 92
Baby brother to Seattle's Kyle, young Corey is a similar infielder with bat speed that might actually be better than his big brother's. He's more likely to see action at second base thanks to the Dodgers' depth at shortstop, which is just fine: his body and skill set are better-suited to that position anyway. Give him a couple of years, then check back.
More Scouting Book Info on Corey Seager
SB 72 BA SC BP SN ES 46 ML
A big, sturdy reliever ready for MLB duty, Mariner prospect dominated the Southern League in the first half of 2012 season and looked at least that good late, striking out 20 in 20 while working at Triple-A Tacoma. A late-season taste in Seattle showed that he could handle the big-league pressure, and with an increasing confidence in his big, exploding fastball, Pryor should be mowing down MLB hitters this season.
More Scouting Book Info on Stephen Pryor
SB 73 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The switch-hitting son of outfielder Raul, shortstop Adalberto Mondesi is already familiar with a major league dugout, even if it's only as a place to find a treasure trove of sunflower seeds and bubble gum. While he lacks his father's power profile, Berty does have a quality bat, superior speed and sure seems to have sophisticated defensive skill. A smallish player, he looks apt to stick at shortstop, where he could grow into some sort of slappy table-setter for the Royals a few years from now. He's still some distance away from showing anyone exactly how good he'll be, but an impressive .290/.346/.386 line as a
sixteen-year-old in professional rookie ball erased any notions that he's a prospect via name recognition alone.
More Scouting Book Info on Adalberto Mondesi
SB 74 BA SC BP 58 SN ES ML
Showing no certain confidence in the mercurial Carlos Marmol, the Cubs outbid several other teams in 2012's offseason to secure the services of Japanese veteran closer Kyuji Fujikawa. Fujikawa, who finished 48 games for the Hanshin Tigers in 2012, did so while posting a miniscule 1.32 ERA and 1.028 WHIP while striking out eleven batters per nine innings of work. And those numbers aren't aberrations: Fujikawa's career ERA over six seasons in Japan is only 1.36, and he's struck out five times as many men as he 's walked. While it's always iffy to assume an 'overpowering' pitcher in Japan can turn the same trick in America, Fujikawa at least brings closing experience in many bigger-game situations than the Cubs are likely to see in the next few years.
More Scouting Book Info on Kyuji Fujikawa
SB 75 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big, strong strikeout artist who's been held back thus far by control issues, homegrown Phillies lefty Jesse Biddle still gets a very high nod thanks to his crazy-good stuff. He struck out a batter per inning at low-A Lakewood last year, which is enough to give him a pass (for now) on the fact that he also walked exactly one batter per odd inning.
More Scouting Book Info on Jesse Biddle
SB 76 BA 89 SC 88 BP 67 SN ES 95 ML 60
The nephew of ex-Dodger Antonio Asuna, Mexican righthander Roberto Osuna is a raw but talented pitcher growing up in the Toronto Blue Jays system. A thick fireplug of a pitcher, Osuna uses his legs well, generating power and keeping his arms from flailing out of control, with the net result being a smooth and easily-repeatable delivery.
Osuna showed off good command of a low-90's fastball and spotty command of a developing change and slurvy curveball while performing way above his head in the much older Mexican League last season, and the Jays expect both of those pitches will improve as he develops. He's nowhere close to MLB, especially in the conditioning and mental aspects of the game, but does have the physical gifts to perform well once he gets there. Eventually.
More Scouting Book Info on Roberto Osuna
SB 77 BA SC 90 BP SN ES 87 ML 90
A righthanded pitcher from San Pedro de Macoris, DR (his parents must have missed the shortstop delivery truck), Alexander Colome is a right-handed pitcher in the Rays system. Improving his control somewhat last season, Colome struck out 90 and walked 43 in 92 innings split between AA and AAA
His 94mph heat is probably enough to guarantee a comfy career all on its own, but it won't have to: his second pitch is a power curve that's almost ready, though the control could still improve further. He could see time in an MLB uniform this year, though 2014 would be a sweeter target.
More Scouting Book Info on Alex Colome
SB 78 BA SC 98 BP SN ES 81 ML
A shortstop who's probably better off at second or third, Curacao native Jonathan Schoop's second turn through high-A ball in the Oriole system was a lot more successful than his first. Schoop silenced critics by slashing .271/.329/.375 at Carolina after shredding the low-A Sally League with a .316/.376/.514 line in the spring of 2011. In 2012, facing AA for the first time, he looked a little more grounded (.245/.324/.386) but wasn't beaten by the better pitching and continued to play solid defense. A high-contact hitter with developing power, Schoop is still adding bulk, which should help some of the 24 doubles he hit in 2011 turn into future homers. As it is, he still looks near ready for the bigs, with only another year or so of eyeball-training remaining. He'll return to AA to open 2013, and should apply a new focus. If he takes the expected step forward, he'll be ready for MLB action in 2014.
More Scouting Book Info on Jon Schoop
SB 79 BA SC BP 80 SN ES 50 ML
The Pirates swear he's only eighteen years old, but young Luis Heredia sure looks a lot older than that, both physically and when you take a look at what he can do with a baseball. The big (6-6, 210) kid from Sinaloa throws hard: he touched 96mph in rookie ball as a sixteen-year old (!?), and he looks like as he grows into his body, he'll be able to increase number in the future, too.
Even as-is, though, that fastball will be enough if he can complement it with any decent secondary pitches. Good news for his mother and the fan club: Heredia's already packing a changeup that looks better than anything most 20-year olds can throw, and his work-in-progress curve is showing great movement, even if he can't really control it yet. He's only due to sample A-ball in 2013, which means he's still go a long way to go before he's wowing them in MLB, and we'll probably be hearing about all those other great Pirate pitching prospects first, but if his body holds together, the H-Bomb could be something special a few years down the road. Felix Hernandez comparisons are not completely outrageous here.
More Scouting Book Info on Luis Heredia
SB 80 BA 78 SC 70 BP 53 SN ES 84 ML
70 to 80 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013