Top Baseball Prospects for 2013 and Beyond
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.
Remember: this page is the result of an automatic process that re-sorts and re-ranks players often.
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Top Twins Prospects for 2013
Current Overall SB ranking shown in grid below.
He's clearly no shortstop anymore, as Scouting Book readers knew to expect, but that doesn't stop Miguel Sano from stepping into the number one prospect room in Minnesota. The biggest Latin American signing of 2009, Sano was a coup of sorts for the small market Minnesota Twins. A coveted athlete pursued by all the usual big-market teams, it was Minnesota's relentless (one might say 'piranha-like') tenacity that finally landed the youngster.
The power he wasn't showing early arrived in bunches last season, as the now-corner infielder smashed 28 homers and 28 doubles on his way to a .258/.373/.521 line at A-level Beloit. He'll work through the rest of A-ball and into AA in 2013, pending setbacks. While his bat is enticing, the rest of his game is more typical of a still-teenager: sloppy and inconsistent. He'll need to become a better fielder and baserunner, at the very least, before he's treated with proper respect in the big city Cities.
Full Scouting Report for Miguel Sano
SB 7 BA 9 SC 16 BP 21 SN ES 11 ML 12
Georgia's Byron Buxton, the second overall pick of the 2012 Draft, is a speedy outfielder tucked away in the Twins farm system. With a natural base-stealing ability and plus speed in the outfield, he could be a future centerfield star in Minnesota. At the plate, he's a line-drive hitter with a little pop for now, but his excellent bat speed and ability to adjust portends a better future than that. Minnesota is well-known for cooking their prospects until they're well-done, so don't expect Buxton very soon, but keep an eye on his development and you could be looking at a future superstar, here.
Full Scouting Report for Byron Buxton
SB 41 BA 10 SC 53 BP 8 SN ES 22 ML 19
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.
Full Scouting Report for Oswaldo Arcia
SB 45 BA 41 SC 92 BP 60 SN ES 59 ML 93
A legitimate 5-tool prospect who's promising enough to accelerate the plans of the usually slow-going Twins, Aaron Hicks is an Adam Jones / Carlos Gomez type prospect who's just a year or two behind that established curve. Still very young, his skills haven't yet caught up to his raw ability: it's clear he has the plus plus speed, for example, and he's been leveraging it for extra base hits more and more often, but he hasn't yet shown the savvy to steal bases
efficiently. If he can work on that, while also maintaining the great patience and batting eye he's been showing in the minors, he'll be all set for a major league leadoff role. With centerfield surprisingly wide-open in Minnesota this year, expect Hicks to get a very long look. If he performs, he'll have the job locked down for the next six or seven years.
Full Scouting Report for Aaron Hicks
SB 61 BA 72 SC 77 BP 46 SN ES 49 ML 98
First drafted by the Red Sox way back in 2008, righthander Alex Meyer passed on an alleged $2M signing bonus to go attend U Kentucky, in order to reenter the draft in 2011. Apparently, he spent his time in school eating well: the youngster now tips the scales at 6-10 and 230lbs.
A power pitcher (no kidding) with a high-90's fastball and a wicked slider, he's got stuff to burn, but a sometimes-wonky delivery and spotty command have plagued him through his young career. The Nats, flush with confidence at the depth of their rotation, parted with him in a trade to Minnesota in exchange for Denard Span, but that's no indication of any dodgy quality: he simply moves from being a top Washington pitching prospect to being a top Minnesota number one pitching prospect... and the Twins have shown a great ability to develop young arms. So while the move to Nicetown might slow his debut by a couple of years (the Twins are notoriously slow and cautious with young arms), it might also improve his chances of being solid and polished when he does arrive.
Full Scouting Report for Alex Meyer
SB 70 BA 59 SC 61 BP 88 SN ES 61 ML 40
It might seem like we've been talking about him forever, but Twins prospect Kyle Gibson still hasn't broken out, though his surgically reconstructed right elbow has kept him from zooming up the charts to date. When he recovers, he'll probably return to show the stuff that once made him talented enough to be the ace of any college staff, though Kyle Gibson was hidden behind Aaron Crow in Missouri for awhile. Since then he's been toiling and recuperating quietly in the oh-so-patient pitching factory in Minnesota.
The big righthander is a workhorse with a high-command fastball and the determination to grind through opposing batters inning after inning. His fastball can reach 94-95mph, but he works mainly in the 91-92 range, relying on his plus slider and above-average change to beguile batters. He started to look like his old self toward the end of 2012, and considering that his strength was never something that came from wicked motion to begin with, he should be a good candidate to recover to 110% sometime in mid-2013.
Full Scouting Report for Kyle Gibson
SB 87 BA 68 SC BP 64 SN ES 41 ML 49
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.
Full Scouting Report for Eddie Rosario
SB 97 BA SC BP SN ES 65 ML
Pitching prospect Trevor May, a sometimes-forgotten part of the December 2012 trade for Ben Revere, has seen his spotlight turn a bit brighter thanks to his arrival in an organization well-known for developing quality arms.
Not that he needs all that much more development: as a Phillies prospect, May was already showing three good pitches with regularity, and he's already had some pretty eye-opening success at low levels of minor league ball. He stumbled a bit when first faced with higher level batters, but that sort of adjustment period is common, and it shouldn't scare the Twins or their fans. May remains a very solid and still-developing athlete. His fastball is a standard 92-94 offering with heavy sink, and his secondary pitches (a hammer curve and a straight change) are almost ready for more advanced hitters.
Full Scouting Report for Trevor May
SB 124 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A second round pick from the 2006 draft, outfielder Joe Benson skipped out on Purdue to jump into the Twins system, where he's been growing and developing ever since. He's the proud owner of above average wheels at near plus speed, and a solid plus arm, making his defense high quality all around. At the plate, the Twins will be looking for a little more discipline, since he does have a habit of chasing breaking balls, but other than that he's looking awfully close to ready. Benson smashed a precocious .303/.395/.485 at high-A Ft Myers, then looked outclassed in AA and during a relief stint on the MLB roster in 2012, but try not to hold that against him. He should be back and better than that in 2013.
Full Scouting Report for Joe Benson
SB 229 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The closer at Northwest State when he was drafted in 2012, lefthander (sic) Mason Melotakis looks like a fast-track candidate to help out in the Twins bullpen sometime in the second half of 2013. Of course, that's assuming that the brain trust doesn't decide that the pitching smarts he uses to deploy his fastball-curve combo wouldn't be better migrated to the rotation. If he takes that route, let's call it 2015, instead, for proper MLB playing time.
Full Scouting Report for Mason Melotakis
SB 298 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Drafted as a teenager from Puerto Rico to open 2012's compensation round, Jose Orlando Berrios is a smallish righthander with good arm strength from a compact but strong frame. His short delivery bodes well for mechanical soundness, with a fastball that can pop at 96mph and a breaking ball that looks like a real plus offering. He'll slow-cook in Minnesota after signing, but if he stays healthy, it won't be long before he's seen as a top-flight phenom in a system good at maximizing pitcher value.
Full Scouting Report for Jose Berrios
SB 300 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Daniel's little brother doesn't have the near-100mph heat of his older sibling, but he does mix his 94mph version with a power slider that's been more than just effective. While he worked most of the season as GT's closer, his bulldoggery earned him a fillin spot in Georgia Tech's rotation later in the year, and a draft selection by the pitching-savvy Twins. A future in the bullpen will always be the backup plan, but the Twins are still hoping to test him as a starter first.
Full Scouting Report for Luke Bard
SB 306 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Max Kepler-Rozycki is a big, strong, German-born outfielder deep in the Minnesota Twins system. He gets high marks from scouts for his instincts, baseball build and raw tools. At the same time, he's very young and hasn't established much of a baseline in professional play yet: we haven't yet seen him in anything higher than Appy-League play (.262/.347/.366 in only 191 at-bats). In that time, Kepler showed decent contact ability and good speed, coupled with some pretty rough but promising defense. He's been tested in each outfield position, and seems most comfortable as a left-fielder, though that has to be written in the faintest of pencil at this point. Give Kepler a couple of years, then check back to see whether he's blossomed enough that we can start making puns about stars yet.
Full Scouting Report for Max Kepler
SB 388 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A high school slugger cooking slowly and quietly in the Twins system, Travis Harrison might be a future answer for the team at first base or DH. Or maybe right field. In any case, not at the third base he's playing today, at least not if his quickly-expanding body has anything to say about it. It'll be awhile before we know how he can handle breaking stuff, but in the mean time, that .301/.383/.461 line he posted during his first ever pro test at rookie-league Elizabethton should give Twins fans something to dream about.
Full Scouting Report for Travis Harrison
SB 404 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A mature prospect who's already had one turn through MLB, reliever Tim Wood was originally drafted by the Marlins in the 44th round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, and has spent most of his career since in the Pirates' system. A classic reliever, he mixes a high-90's fastball with a low-80's slider that often looks like a plus pitch. He posted a 2.19 ERA at AAA Indianapolis last season, his second straight year of very good AAA work, striking out 67 and walking 23 in 70 innings. He's ready for MLB, and his new owners in Minnesota are just the type to give him one, too. He's a nice sleeper closer candidate in a system that doesn't have many naturals.
Full Scouting Report for Tim Wood
SB 413 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Three years after signing an IFA bonus totally three quarters of a million dollars back in 2009, the very young Twins prospect Jorge Polanco stepped up in rookie-league Elizabethton last year, slashing .318/.388/.514 with five homers and six stolen bases spread across 51 games while showing a real plus glove all over the diamond. It looks like all that winter ball and coaching paid off on defense, too, as the smallish prospect seems to be growing into a strong, potent athlete. He might not be the nimble, rangey shortstop that most Dominicans aspire to be, but Polanco is already looking like a solid second baseman from our seat, so that's how we'll label him for now. Give him a few years to refine his overall game and he'll be a good one.
Full Scouting Report for Jorge Polanco
SB 432 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A first-round pick in the 2011 draft from the University of North Carolina, Twins shortstop prospect Levi Michael was the first everyday college player drafted first by the Twins since 1996 (Travis Lee.) Levi is an athletic switch-hitter with good bat speed and more than a hint of future power in his bat. Michael slashed .306/.432/.510 in his three years with the Tar Heels, stealing 40 bases with a nice 85% success rate.
While he played second, third and short during his UNC days, Michael's developing bat is expected to settle in at second base for the future Twins.
Full Scouting Report for Levi Michael
SB 434 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A first baseman slash pitcher in the Joe Savery tradition, Rice alum JT Chargois is seen by his new owners in Minnesota as a pitcher first, albeit one who can hit. Until he works his way off the mound, however, that should be seen as a backup plan. Chargois has a big fastball with late movement and a so-so selection of secondary pitches that needs work. Of course, he's in the right system for that, so he's bound to spend the next few years studying just as much as he's throwing.
Full Scouting Report for JT Chargois
SB 469 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A college all-star as both relief pitcher and DH, righthander Zack Jones was signed by the Minnesota Twins after being drafted in 2012's fourth round. A closer at San Jose State, he's currently viewed as a reliever, though he seems to have the stuff and guile for starting duty, too.
Full Scouting Report for Zach Jones
SB 504 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An infield/outfield prospect tooling away in the Minnesota system, Niko Goodrum is nobody's idea of a superstar, but a respected cog in a future Twins machine imagined by many scouts. Repeating a year at Elizabeton last season, the lithe Georgian switch-hit a .242/.349/.419 line that looks almost identical to 2011's. While that might sound disappointing, he's only barely broken 20 years old, and so he's still at the usual level, here. His fielding and range looked a bit better last season, which is a solid benefit. Speaking of range, Goodrum's played every position except catcher in the minors already, though the Twins are still emphasizing his ability at shortstop.
Full Scouting Report for Niko Goodrum
SB 551 BA SC BP SN ES ML