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 Shortstop Prospects for 2013
Overall SB ranking shown in parentheses.
A two-way player and 2004 Little League star who most preferred as a pitcher, righthander Jurickson Profar was signed as an international free agent in 2009. At the time, the teen was blessed with a 94mph heater and a slider that could have matured into a real plus pitch, but the Rangers were determined to make a shortstop out of him. Only two seasons off the mound later, he was showing off every tool in the box, including a ridiculously-advanced batting eye for a teenager. Profar crushed the minor leagues in 2012, starting in A-ball and ending up with a taste of life on the MLB roster with the Rangers before the end of the year. A real future superstar in the making, it's hard to rate this kid too highly: he looks like nothing less than a switch-hitting Justin Upton, from the off-the-charts raw talent to the off-the-charts rawness. Just turned twenty, he's nonetheless ready to compete for a job now, and he should be scary-good in another year or two.
More Scouting Book Info on Jurickson Profar
SB 1 BA 1 SC 1 BP 1 SN ES 1 ML 1
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.
More Scouting Book Info on Miguel Sano
SB 8 BA 9 SC 16 BP 21 SN ES 11 ML 12
There aren't a lot of Arubans around MLB, but the tiny island's reputation should be well-represented by Red Sox infield prospect Xander 'Crews' Bogaerts. A player of exceptional baseball intelligence, the man from San Nicolas has a graceful, quick swing with a little natural loft that should serve him well once his body fills out a bit more. His contact is solid and strong to all fields, and he's an above-average baserunner to boot.
Bogaerts earned a late-season promotion to AA in 2012, and he showed pretty clearly (.326/.351/.598) that he's ready for a new challenge. His weaknesses to date are iffy strike zone judgement (he's young) and some awkwardness in the field, especially with his footwork (he's young). There's really not anything to worry about here, though, other than the possibility he may bump Middlebrooks to first base one of these years. Either way, he'll be a middle-lineup guy, so it's safe to pre-order your Bogaerts jersey, but remember to triple-check the spelling.
More Scouting Book Info on Xander Bogaerts
SB 13 BA 8 SC 27 BP 12 SN ES 5 ML 20
With the first pick of the 2012 Draft, Houston showed a commitment to a strong future with the surprise selection of teenage phenom Carlos Correa, a natural shortstop who impressed scouts with a superior work ethic and five solid tools. His power potential is especially intriguing for a player who looks well-suited to remain at short, though he seems aware of this: his swing gets a little long and lofty at times when he reaches for the seats. Some good coaching along with the aforementioned work ethic should fix this, of course, and if he blossoms, he'll be a cornerstone of a future Astros lineup as it fights to contend in the tough AL West.
More Scouting Book Info on Carlos Correa
SB 14 BA 13 SC 24 BP 26 SN ES 24 ML 30
A high-school shortstop from Puerto Rico with a live bat and a great batting eye from both sides of the plate, Cleveland's Franky Lindor is a young and talented all-around player who shows signs of all five major league tools. His glove is pretty shiny, and his baserunning smarts and instincts are already several years ahead of his age bracket. As he works his way through several hundred thousand practice swings in the next three or four years, we'll find out if that bat can live up to early reports and carry his future into MLB.
More Scouting Book Info on Francisco Lindor
SB 17 BA 28 SC 19 BP 10 SN ES 7 ML 14
A solid, gritty shortstop without a single stand-out tool in his bag, Florida grad Nick Franklin projects as 'a switch-hitting Michael Young' according to at least one scout. He's an above-average fielder with decent range, a solid line-drive hitter with a discerning eye, and a faster-than-average baserunner with good judgment.
Franklin spent most of 2012 in AA, and his .322/.394/.502 line there is all you need to know. He'll compete for a job in Spring Training. Worst-case, he'll arrive late in the season, probably for good.
More Scouting Book Info on Nick Franklin
SB 29 BA 79 SC 47 BP 72 SN ES 69 ML 47
A nominal shortstop, Puerto Rican Cub Javier Baez also looks just fine at second and third, and has one of the highest overall upsides of any infield prospect in baseball. His ultimate position will probably come down to some mix of organizational need and how his body develops.
A solid all-around athlete, there's no reason to yet believe he won't stick at shortstop, thanks to a strong arm, soft hands and good feet. He hasn't yet shown the power for a corner, though, so his best route to the majors is definitely the middle of the diamond. He's not very widely known yet, but wait another year and Cubs fans will be clamoring for a Castro-Baez (or perhaps Baez-Castro) infield combination. They should have one or the other in 2014.
More Scouting Book Info on Javier Baez
SB 33 BA 16 SC 22 BP 20 SN ES 31 ML 16
A headline acquisition as part of the trade of pitcher Matt Garza, Hak-Ju Lee is a big, powerful shortstop from Korea who's now prominently positioned in the Tampa Bay system. Already a polished hitter (.261/.336/.360 at AA Montgomery last year), Lee seems to have the footwork and arm to stick at shortstop, too, and he's shown improvement in the field every season. His 37 steals in 2012, a career best, is also a highlight worth remembering. As projected, he should get a shot at everyday Tampa life in 2013.
More Scouting Book Info on Hak-Ju Lee
SB 43 BA 90 SC 23 BP 75 SN ES 78 ML 56
A slappy, scrappy, switch-hitting wheels player, Pirate prospect Alen Hanson was a low-visibility 2011 IFA signing from the Dominican, but one that earn more kudos for htose ever-impressive Pittsburgh scouts. Hanson would probably get more attention if his name included an Alvarez or Concepcion in there, something that looked more Latin and less Nordic. (At least 'Alexi'. Something. Make an effort, kid!)
Alexi is said to have the quick hands and feet necessary to stick at shortstop, but he also has a quick everything-else: plus speed is clearly his main offensive weapon. Power may never come, depending on how his slender frame fills out, but he's already showing superior on-base skill, and the Pirates should already be delighted with his development, no matter when he finds the ceiling.
More Scouting Book Info on Alen Hanson
SB 65 BA 61 SC 54 BP 66 SN ES 34 ML 54
A promising high-school bat scooped up by the Rockies in 2011's compensation round, Irving alum Trevor Story is a sweet-swinging youngster with an all-fields line drive stroke, and better than average wheels in the field.
After a .268/.364/.436 line across 47 rookie league games, Story stepped up to A ball and performed much the same, slashing .277/.367/.505 in a full season and showing advanced baserunning ability to boot . He's viable at either short or third right now, but won't be MLB-ready for a couple more years.
More Scouting Book Info on Trevor Story
SB 69 BA 96 SC 83 BP 34 SN ES 85 ML 99
The proud owner of a name that's as much hiphop as shortstop, Arizona prospect Didi Gregorius looks to be the sort of long-term shortstop that Stephen Drew never quite became. Mariekson Julius Gregorius (okay, now we see why he prefers Didi) is a Netherlands native with a sweet lefthanded swing who can play all over the diamond, though he certainly does seem very much at home at shortstop. As a Reds prospect, he slashed .278/.344/.373 at AA Pensacola in 2012, proving that there wasn't much left between him and the big-league club, and attracting the eye of the DBacks, who snatched him up as the sexiest return from their trade of Trevor Bauer. In Arizona, he'll now compete with fellow arrival Nick Ahmed for Shortstop of the Future honors, and thanks to his MLB experience, he should get the chance to lock down an MLB job first.
More Scouting Book Info on Didi Gregorius
SB 71 BA 80 SC BP SN ES ML 63
One of Japan's most talented all-around ballplayers, Oakland rookie Hiroyuki Nakajima is a toolsy, accomplished shortstop with a good line-drive swing and an exemplary work ethic. Playing all season at shortstop for Seibu in 2011, Hiroyuki slashed .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs and 27 doubles, which is actually a poor year compared to his .310/.381/.479 career line. He also stole 21 out of 23 bases, showing exceptional skill. He's a solid player, with the same speed and discipline usually seen in Japanese players, plus a little more power than American fans might expect. A three-hole hitter with Seibu, Hiro would fit well into the number two or seven slot for the A's, or as a decent lead off man.
More Scouting Book Info on Hiroyuki Nakajima
SB 90 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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 100 BA SC BP SN ES 46 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 108 BA SC BP 58 SN ES ML
A young phenom infielder currently raising eyebrows in the Cleveland system, Dorssys is a 2012 IFA signee that the Indians brass is cautiously excited about. Dorssys destroyed rookie ball as a 17 year old, outclassing his teenaged opponents to the tune of an ungodly .355/.404/.610 batting line. He was a bit of a mess in the field, making 20 errors in only 31 Rookie League games at short, but we like to think he'll develop enough glove to at least man second base. He does display quick feet and a strong arm, so the Indians will give him plenty of time to soften up those hands in the next couple of years. Expect him to spend all of 2013 in A ball, and if he dominates those pitchers, AA in 2014 and MLB soon thereafter. Of course, there are many opportunities to stumble along the way, so temper your excitement for now.
More Scouting Book Info on Dorssys Paulino
SB 111 BA SC 93 BP 96 SN ES 56 ML
The Red Sox's Cuban shortstop prospect Jose Iglesias got a lot more ink, but 2009 defectee Hechavarria (pronounced and sometimes spelled Echavarria) is probably the superior player. In MLB terms, Hechavarria is an 'offensive-minded' shortstop in the Cal Ripken mode: a potentially high-average hitter with above-average power. At the plate so far, though, his spray chart looks a little more like Ichiro Suzuki: he has a knack for finding infield holes and hitting behind runners. One of the bundle of prospects sent to Miami in the 2012 fire-sale, he's the immediate and obvious replacement for the departed Jose Reyes, though he's hasn't shown anything yet to indicate he's anything close to Jose's level. He's likely to develop late and provide a nice quiet surprise for his new owners.
More Scouting Book Info on Adeiny Hechavarria
SB 125 BA SC BP SN ES ML 82
An offensive-minded shortstop with great patience and power, Clemson grad Brad Miller is a potent force brewing in the Mariner system. After a three year college life in which he hit .339/.452/.485, he signed with the Mariners after being drafted in mid-2011 and promptly did the same thing to A-level pitchers in the Midwest League. Last year, advanced pitching didn't slow him down, either, as he slashed .339/.412/.524 at High Desert, was promptly promoted to AA, and slashed .320/.406/.476 in 40 games thereafter.
Until and unless he shows a weakness, the organization will have to keep moving him up, which means a half-season or so back at Jackson notwithstanding, he's very likely to be suiting up in Mariner blue by midseason.
More Scouting Book Info on Brad Miller
SB 126 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Someone in the Texas system is very, very good at finding high quality shortstops. Signed by the Rangers back in 2010 as an IFA, Luis Sardinas is an underrated shortstop prospect from Venezuela who has all the raw tools to be a superstar. After a rookie 2011 cut short due to injury, Sardinas showed what he could do at A-level Hickory last season by slashing an easy .291/.346/.356 line while wowing the crowd with highlight-reel defensive wizardry.
A natural switch-hitter, Sardinas shows equal effectiveness from either side of the plate, and brings superior speed to the table as well. He's not shown much power yet, but he has a body to grow into, so some pop should be coming along presently. If he has a weak spot, he's a bit twitchy and impatient at the plate, but that's hardly a serious flaw in a still-teenaged prospect. While the baseball world is busy writing about an imaginary battle between Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar, Sardinas might eventually surpass both of them.
More Scouting Book Info on Luis Sardinas
SB 128 BA SC BP 86 SN ES ML 84
A second round (2011) draft pick of the Atlanta Braves, shortstop Nick Ahmed moved to the Diamondbacks when the team removed Justin Upton's salary and headaches from their makeup. A sharp-hitting, well-heeled infielder who's progressing rapidly, he's the shadow on Didi Gregorious's heels, and he could be a starting shortstop in MLB by late 2014.
More Scouting Book Info on Nick Ahmed
SB 134 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Mets top infield prospect, Wilmer Flores is on a trajectory for Flushing that will be difficult to derail. Flores's reached AA in 2012, slashing .311/.361/.494 in 66 Binghamton games that included 8 homers and 18 doubles. He's still a year or so away from Flushing, and it's possible he could outgrow shortstop, but right now he looks like he could be a slightly-dimmer East Coast version of Starlin Castro by early 2014.
More Scouting Book Info on Wilmer Flores
SB 144 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Top Prospects 2013