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 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, 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 10 SC 53 BP 8 SN ES 22 ML 19
A big Dominican outfielder with an even bigger bat that he brings from the left side, the Cardinals' Oscar Taveras was promoted to AA ball in 2012 and promptly spanked it to the tune of .321/.380/.572. Even scarier, those 23 homers and 37 doubles will add up to some serious power once he finishes filling out: he's still only 20 years old. He will probably spend most of 2013 back in the minors, but he's the most exciting big bat of the year, so it's likely that St Louis will at least give him a look-see in the big leagues, too.
More Scouting Book Info on Oscar Taveras
SB 5 BA 3 SC 3 BP 2 SN ES 2 ML 3
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 9 BA 20 SC 26 BP 14 SN ES 30 ML 11
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 17 BA 34 SC 67 BP 36 SN ES 42 ML 42
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 19 BA 27 SC 28 BP 25 SN ES 32 ML 27
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 21 BA 31 SC 48 BP 27 SN ES 40 ML 32
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 25 BA 35 SC 35 BP 49 SN ES 45 ML 26
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 29 BA 32 SC 43 BP 51 SN ES 35 ML 41
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 36 BA 33 SC 36 BP 18 SN ES 33 ML 39
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 42 BA 37 SC 25 BP 55 SN ES 43 ML 57
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 47 BA 64 SC 20 BP 71 SN ES 82 ML 70
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 50 BA 53 SC 60 BP 40 SN ES 37 ML 58
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
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
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
A line drive hitter with a clever eye and advanced approach at the plate, Nationals outfielder Brian Goodwin is a quality outfield prospect. He's got the range, speed and instincts to cover centerfield, which is probably where he's best-used, though his arm might be better showcased in right. No matter whether his power develops further or not (he looks like a 15-homer guy right now), he'll need to cut down on his strikeouts to get to the next level.
More Scouting Book Info on Brian Goodwin
SB 87 BA 70 SC 74 BP 74 SN ES 44 ML 52
A powerful lefthanded outfielder, Yankee prospect Slade Heathcott has looked like a future offensive monster for some time now, though his development has been slowed a great deal by shoulder injuries that have required two surgeries already. A professional hitter, Heathcott has plus contact and power skills, not to mention superior baserunning ability. He's more than adequate in the field, and while he can play center, his body type might be better-suited to a corner outfield position. All told, he's a legitimate 30-30 candidate as long as he stays focused on development. Mumblings about possible off-field issues seem to be more smoke than substance, the occasional brawl notwithstanding, but even if there's something there, the button-down Yankees system is a good place to straighten out any young man looking for discipline and guidance. He's dropped off a lot of lists, but given some time to heal and straighten himself out, he should be working his way back up again in the next couple of seasons.
More Scouting Book Info on Slade Heathcott
SB 89 BA 63 SC 80 BP SN ES 57 ML
Originally drafted out of high school by the Oakland A's back in 2007, outfielder Gary Brown chose college instead before entering the 2010 draft, when he was selected 24th overall by the San Francisco Giants. A plus-plus runner with a centerfielder's natural graces, Brown's bat has been weak but improving (.279/.347/.385 as a 23 year old at AA Richmond in 2012), giving him the right mix of tools for an MLB leadoff slot just as soon as the big brains upstairs are willing to give him a chance.
More Scouting Book Info on Gary Brown
SB 90 BA SC 76 BP SN ES ML 100
Top Prospects 2013