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.
Remember: this page is the result of an automatic process that re-sorts and re-ranks players often.
If you think you have found a mistake, please read
this blog entry before telling us. Then tell us. The Best Outfield Prospects for 2013
Overall SB ranking shown in parentheses.
Georgia's Byron Buxton, the second overall pick of the 2012 Draft, is a speedy outfielder who might be the best overall offensive prospect in baseball today. 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, and the team is a lot more than one bat away from contention, so don't expect him immediately. When he does arrive, however, it should be for the long haul.
More Scouting Book Info on Byron Buxton
SB 1 BA 1 SC BP SN ES ML
A big Dominican outfielder with an even bigger left-handed bat, Cardinal slugger Oscar Taveras was promoted to AA ball in 2012 and promptly spanked it to the tune of .321/.380/.572. Testing AAA waters in 2013, he spanked the ball almost as well, with a .306/.341/.462 slash line and five homers in six weeks of work. He's big-league ready right now, so as soon as the Cardinals elect to give him a chance, he'll be making some highlight reels. While there's an outside chance he could land a spring job, it's safer to look for him in June.
More Scouting Book Info on Oscar Taveras
SB 3 BA 3 SC BP 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 10 BA 10 SC BP SN ES ML
A defensive star in the making, outfielder George Springer brings great range, a good glove and a powerful arm to the park. He'd be patrolling spacious centerfield in Minute Maid Park already, if only his bat could catch up to the rest of his all-around game. While he showed signs of offensive competency in 2012, that .219/.288/.342 line at AA Corpus Cristi doesn't exactly give him a fast-track ticket to the Bigs, either. He'll be 24 as this season winds down, which means he really needs to show something, and soon.
More Scouting Book Info on George Springer
SB 19 BA 18 SC BP SN ES ML
The fastest legs in red stockings, young Billy Hamilton should soon get a shot at locking down a long-term job in Cincinnati's young lineup. The Pioneer League's player of the year in 2010 has just kept on running wild since, most recently stealing 155 bases (not a typo) at an 80% success rate in 2012. The switch-hitting Hamilton really does look like a prototypical leadoff hitter thanks to his wheels and on-base skills: a player doesn't even get 190 opportunities to steal unless one can get on base an awful lot in the first place. In the field, he's capable of shortstop (his natural position), but the Reds have spent the last year prepping him to play the outfield, better to fit into the 2013 lineup.
More Scouting Book Info on Billy Hamilton
SB 29 BA 43 SC BP SN ES ML
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 33 BA 34 SC BP SN ES ML
The Cubs number one pick in 2012, outfielder Albert Almora projects to be a Northside star one day soon. Signed when he was only 18, he's a couple of years away from fruition, but he's already got scouts drooling: his across-the-board toolset is solid, and he's still improving. His leadership ability and poise are especially impressive, as he performed very well under the highest possible levels of pressure throughout his award-laden high-school career.
More Scouting Book Info on Albert Almora
SB 38 BA 36 SC BP SN ES ML
A tall and lanky teenager who arrived in the DR in the winter of 2011, outfielder Jorge Soler is one of the most promising Cuban prospects in baseball today. He's already shown off his tools in Dominica, and while he looks like a centerfielder right now, physically, his height and young age make it quite possible he'll be a corner fielder when he finishes growing. And if his loopy power swing develops as expected, he'll hit like one too.
He's already showing signs of MLB videogame level power at the plate, and his very strong arm is certainly real. His iffy contact skills and lack of patience at the plate, though, are equally clear indicators that he's still a rather rough gem. One bonus for his future home in The Show: the youngster already has an electric personality in his toolbox, which means he could be a real cover boy come 2015 or so.
More Scouting Book Info on Jorge Soler
SB 41 BA 41 SC BP SN ES ML
A high school outfielder selected fifth overall in 2013's draft, Clint Frazier is a five-tool athlete with an advanced bat for such a young player. Some scouts disparage his small size, but his athleticism and performance rival (and in most cases exceed) his more universally-praised teammate Austin Meadows. A long-term building block for the Indians, he'll be moved slowly, as the team tries to slide all the necessary pieces into place in a coordinated roster rebuild.
More Scouting Book Info on Clint Frazier
SB 47 BA 48 SC BP SN ES ML
Georgia high schooler Austin Meadows is an outfield phenom who attracted a great deal of first round attention in MLB's 2013 first-year player draft before falling to the Pirates with the ninth overall selection. A phenom with five tool talent, Austin is one of the fastest baserunners in the country, with speed that would make him one of the fastest players in pro baseball if he can get the rest of his game to half that level. His swing is promising, featuring a smooth and easy load with the makings of real plus power from the left side. He's been compared to players like Andre Ethier and Jacoby Ellsbury, and not without reason: few ballplayers blend across-the-board abilities like this. The only thing that might keep him from a minor league roster is 2014 is his commitment to Clemson University.
More Scouting Book Info on Austin Meadows
SB 50 BA 49 SC BP SN ES ML
A smallish, toolsy outfielder drafted in 2011's supplemental round by the Red Sox, Jackie Bradley has been zipping up the prospect charts ever since. Bradley outclassed high-A ball in his first season of work, showing off on-base skills and speed on the bases that could make him a legit leadoff threat in the majors soon. Perhaps most promising, though, is Bradley's patience at the plate: there are not many minor leaguers who walk more often than they strike out. After dominating high-A early in 2012, he found a better level in AA ball (.271/.373/.437).
Bradley continues to show patience and smarts, and his speed pays dividends in the field, where he looks capable of controlling the game from center without much challenge.
More Scouting Book Info on Jackie Bradley
SB 51 BA 50 SC BP SN ES ML
Right-handed outfielder Jake Marisnick, a third-round draft choice in 2009, moved to Miami as part of the Marlin Fire Sale of 2012. While he's not yet an all-around ballplayer, he was probably the best overall raw athlete in the Toronto Blue Jays system last year, and he's undoubtedly the same jewel in the Miami system today. The .233/.286/.336 he slashed during a couple of months of AA ball doesn't look as nice as the .263/.349/.451 line he posted in A-ball earlier in the season, but it was his first taste of the higher level, so give him some slack. Marisnick is a player who seems dedicated to training and professional development without needing a whole lot of coaching, so once he adjusts to Miami life, he'll be just fine.
He's also got the sort of positive, outgoing personality that big league promotions managers love. He'll be a AA player for most or all of 2013, with Miami possible late in the year.
More Scouting Book Info on Jake Marisnick
SB 69 BA 79 SC BP SN ES ML
A catcher and pitcher in high school, Mississippi native Hunter Renfroe was drafted by the San Diego Padres (13th overall in 2013) as an outfielder, presumably signalling the team's intent to develop him quickly. And that's reasonable, given that his calling card is his offensive ability. The Cal Ripken League MVP in both 2011 and 2012, Renfro hit .395 and .366 in 2011 and 2012, respectively, and made himself known as a major power threat from the right side of the plate. He's an above-average runner, and has a real plus arm (he hit high-90's in his pitching days), which means he should be quite happy in right field soon.
More Scouting Book Info on Hunter Renfroe
SB 80 BA 80 SC BP SN ES ML
The big slugger named Jonathan Singleton had no real future in Philadelphia, but in the AL-destined Astros he looks like a heck of a 1B/DH piece for the near future. Even as a corner outfield prospect, he's competent, and his powerful left-handed bat does nothing but hit. Singleton raked a nice .284 with 21 homers at AA Corpus Christi last season, which would have placed him squarely into contention for an Opening Day job in Houston if he hadn't derailed his career with a 50-game PED-free drug suspension. He'll be back around midseason and should push his way onto the MLB squad before the year is over, regardless.
More Scouting Book Info on Jonathan Singleton
SB 82 BA 82 SC BP SN ES ML
A well rounded young outfielder in the KC system, Dominican Jorge Bonifacio has received a little more attention of late, ever since Wil Myers left the building. At age 19, Bonifacio didn't rattle at all when promoted to A ball in 2012, slashing .282/.336/.432 with 10 homers and breaking a sweat. He might want to turn up the accelerator a bit, of course: he's only 25 of 41 in stolen base attempts, a poor success rate for a player with such good speed. He'll be in the minors another year or two, but could join Bubba Starling in a potent young Royal outfield soon enough.
More Scouting Book Info on Jorge Bonifacio
SB 91 BA 90 SC BP SN ES ML
A fast, slappy hitter with good speed and plus defense, Rockie prospect David Dahl looks like a good fit for Coors Field. More than a raw tools candidate, Dahl uses his speed well on the bases and in the field, and shows a good eye for situational hitting. For such a young player, he's quite polished already, though he'll need a couple more seasons in the minors to really reveal his true level.
More Scouting Book Info on David Dahl
SB 95 BA 94 SC BP SN ES ML
Great name, great tools, great upside. He even has the Good Face. Bubba Starling is a Royals proto-outfielder who has that mix of speed, power and grace that so few sluggers manage. Only Jason Heyward in recent years really matches the sweet swing and long stride of Starling. He's very young and very raw, of course, so don't get too excited too soon (do Royals fans ever get excited, really?), but he's probably one of the best offensive prospects in all of baseball already, and he's still one of the youngest.
More Scouting Book Info on Bubba Starling
SB 99 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Another raw athlete in a draft filled to the brim with such potential, Ranger prospect Nick Williams fits the cliche perfectly: great natural tools and athleticism, good speed, strong arm, very raw skills, and a swing that shows glimmers of greatness... but also one full of more holes than a beer-league infield. Williams will report to the Rangers' rookie-league team in Arizona for evaluation and assignment.
More Scouting Book Info on Nick Williams
SB 100 BA 97 SC BP SN ES ML
While a slurry of trades last year left the Yankee farm as not quite the best-smelling in baseball, Mason Williams is still occupying the biggest stall in the stable, providing the sweet scent of offense-to-come. Mason, the son of former NFL receiver Derwin and the proud owner of a monicker that any power-suited New York attorney would be happy to carry, has already shamed the teams that passed him over four or five times each. The fourth-round pick arrived as a fiery, aggressive hitter and baserunner, with plus speed and solid defense in center. He's already looking like a better leadoff hitter and all-around player than Brett Gardner... and Curtis Granderson can play right field, can't he? Williams is rehabbing from an injurious 2012, but should be full strength and lighting up the minor leagues will full fury by midseason. He's still a couple of years away from the Stadium, but should spend a long career there.
More Scouting Book Info on Mason Williams
SB 103 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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 111 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Top Prospects 2013