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.
William (Wil) 'Wumbly' Myers is a hard-nosed grinder who some call a throwback to a dirtier era, a ballplayer's ballplayer who can perform well at almost any position. He was treated as a catcher until 2011, when the Royals started using him exclusively in the outfield as a Bryce Harper-style experiment to get him to the big leagues a couple of years sooner. While it's always a shame when such a promising and bright catcher gets accelerated out of the position, it's always been Myers's bat that's the centerpiece of his game. The .304/.378/.554 he slashed at AAA Omaha in 2012 showed that his bat could play pretty much anywhere, anytime, and Baseball America agreed when they named Myers their Minor League Player of the Year for 2012. His defense is already acceptable, if not highlight-reel. He's ready, and his new owners in Tampa should start reaping the benefits this season.
More Scouting Book Info on Wil Myers
SB 2 BA 4 SC 6 BP 7 SN ES 4 ML 4
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 3 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 10 BA 20 SC 26 BP 14 SN ES 30 ML 11
A sold all-around outfielder with a good line-drive stroke from the right side of the plate and better than average power, Cuban prospect Yasiel Puig was one of the most sought-after international free agents of 2012.
Yaz took big strides forward in his final year with Cienfuegos, raising his average to .330 and his OPS to an all-star 1.011 on his way to raising scouts eyebrows significantly. His ability to work a walk increased significantly, helping the rest of his game as a result, though he still showed a propensity to chase bad pitches now and then, and usually in bunches. In the field, he's a bit messy with his routes but shows good instincts and a strong enough arm. He's an average to above-average runner, though he won't be a base-stealing threat unless he sharpens his skills substantially. He's still getting acclimated to life in the USA, but the .327/.407/.423 line from his first sixty plate appearances in A ball, not to mention a very strong spring in 2013, suggests that he's for-real, indeed. Still just 21, he's already looking like a Matt Kemp style all-around athlete who could help the MLB ballclub immediately... assuming there's a place for him to play every day.
More Scouting Book Info on Yasiel Puig
SB 16 BA 47 SC 91 BP 79 SN ES ML 76
A 6-foot-4, solidly-built athlete, Marlin prospect Christian Yelich is a left-handed hitter with a picturesque swing that's a thing of beauty. Yelich is already showing good power, and as he grows into his body, that power should grow along with him.
Though originally seen as a first baseman, the Marlins preferred him as an outfielder, and he seems capable of playing any of the three positions there. He's ready enough, but the Marlins may try to hold him back for cost-savings, so it's a bit of a coin toss whether 2013 or 2014 will mark his permanent MLB assignment. A possible (huge) trade could also open up an opportunity earlier than expected.
More Scouting Book Info on Christian Yelich
SB 22 BA 15 SC 14 BP 23 SN ES 6 ML 13
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 26 BA 27 SC 28 BP 25 SN ES 32 ML 27
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 31 BA 34 SC 67 BP 36 SN ES 42 ML 42
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 32 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 35 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 39 BA 32 SC 43 BP 51 SN ES 35 ML 41
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.
More Scouting Book Info on 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Oswaldo Arcia
SB 45 BA 41 SC 92 BP 60 SN ES 59 ML 93
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 46 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 54 BA 37 SC 25 BP 55 SN ES 43 ML 57
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 60 BA 53 SC 60 BP 40 SN ES 37 ML 58
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.
More Scouting Book Info on Aaron Hicks
SB 61 BA 72 SC 77 BP 46 SN ES 49 ML 98
A Cuban defector signed by the Rangers in early 2011, Leo Martin is a lefty-swinging ballplayer with plus athleticism, great defense and a strong arm from centerfield. A patient line-drive hitter with the ability to work his way on base, he's also a blossoming base-stealer with above-average speed.
Universally regarded as a well-grounded young man who's also a quick study, he should adjust well to life in America and rise quickly through the Texas system. While his game is a big rough, he could play in Arlington as soon as 2013, as the Rangers are hungry for a long-term leadoff solution.
More Scouting Book Info on Leonys Martin
SB 63 BA 97 SC BP SN ES ML
A small, gritty, scrappy young prospect in the Arizona system who doesn't get nearly enough attention due to his non-typical size and shape, lefty hitter Adam Eaton has been playing outfield on the Diamondback farm, but looks even better to us as a future second baseman.
We'll wait and see on that one, but in the meantime, we will note that this 19th round (!) pick has been outperforming expectations since day one. He slashed an MLB .259/.382/.412 during a late-season audition in 2012, and should spend most of 2013 as an everyday player in Arizona, even if he doesn't break camp with the team right away. He's already showing patience coupled with just enough power and hustle to make him a coaches' and fan favorite both. A future franchise player.
More Scouting Book Info on Adam Eaton
SB 66 BA 73 SC BP SN ES 91 ML 97
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 75 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 77 BA SC 72 BP 82 SN ES ML
Top Prospects 2013