All winter I often wondered why sports fans of all kinds use that darned word "elite" so much? Then the answer occurred to me . . . because we are ALL elitists! - aspiring ones anyways - especially those of us who make lists and, evaluate young baseball players. To me, a prospect list says more about the person doing the evaluating than it does about the players themselves. This is really one of the most interesting aspects of evaluating prospects – the ballplayers will turn out how they are going to turn out – so it’s actually our judgment that is being evaluated. On that note, I attempt to pass judgments on all of the most elite players in professional baseball, who have not yet pitched 50 innings or, came to the plate 150 times.
By the way, since the general tone around here is that early season sample sizes don't matter, I don't mind being the only person to use these early season looks to effect my ratings of the players in some cases. Others may differ but, I think the early starts of players like Oscar Tavares, Francisco Lindor, Dylan Bundy, Archie Bradley, etc. are in some cases highly significant and, in other cases, like Jurickson Profar, not very much so at all . . . in my opinion anyways.
Now: this year's list, enjoy!
1) Bryce Harper, Nationals 19 years, 5 months, "I’m not sure what is more amazing about Bryce Harper: the pre-draft scouting reports about what he could be, or how he has seemingly managed to justify all the positives and then some while overcoming most of his weaknesses in a single season. We haven't seen this kind of development curve in a LONG time. At this point, I’d be tempted to stick him in Washington to start the season. Will he struggle at first? Almost certainly. Will he make adjustments and improve rapidly? Well, I think we can all figure that one out." - Steve Kuperman – Last year's list: Numero Uno
2) Mike Trout, Angels 20 years, and 8 months: For me I see a hybrid between the skills of Ricky Henderson and, the steady, everyday qualities of Darek Jeter with, some Tim Salmon in there for longtime Angel fans. Any doubts about him center on his power ceiling but, I went to a game in Seattle where he hit two home runs last season. Maybe I’m biased because of that and, my love for this terrific ballplayer but, I think the power will be there too. Last year’s list: Number 2
3) Dylan Bundy, Orioles 19 years, and 5 months: Why hold back? I’ve got to go with the gut here. Besides the raw stuff, and the legendary workouts, he also has this fire in his eyes I see every time I see him that reminds me of someone else who turned out pretty good: Roger Clemens. I have no problem ranking him higher than anyone else. BA put him at #10 and, I’ll go even higher. I actually have a feeling that he ends up the very best major league pitcher from this group – Nolan Ryan gas.
4) Jurickson Profar, Rangers 19 years, and 2 months: I think the signing of Ian Kinsler has sealed Elvis Andrus’ future with the Rangers. Elvis is a very good, major league Shortstop and, will get big dollars when he hits the free agent market but, Profar is going to be a better major league player than him… I’m telling you. I'll stick to my guns here and say that I believe his upside as a player is even higher than many of his biggest supporters are conceiving right now, not lower. Last year’s list: 17th. I rated him higher than any known human. If we were all drafting a year ago, he would be on my roster now.
5) Trevor Bauer, Diamondbacks 20 years, 3 months "The most complete college starting pitcher I’ve seen in 10 years. He is fearless, unorthodox, strong, electric stuff and, room to develop. Thinks he’s got 97-100 in his mechanics and who am I to tell him no. Bauer is a durable and competitive workhorse, who wants the ball and, has the durability to be a staff anchor for years to come. A premium pick for me. A guy you bet your career on." – John Klima. That, my friends, is a grade A, scouting report! I’m talking about the report here and, not the ballplayer. Oh yeah, the ballplayer is awesome too. I think he will be one of the best pitchers in the major leagues, this year.
6) Manny Machado, Orioles 19 years, 9 months: He’s in AA ball to start the season, won’t be 20 ‘til July and, looks like he’ll be one of the best players in the Eastern League. Those kinds of guys have very bright, big league futures, like Starlin Castro a couple of years ago. I think Machado ends up a better shortstop than Castro as well - I do not share the doubts some have about him staying at the position. I think he’ll be a good one. Last year’s list: 9th, higher than any known human.
7) Matt Moore, Rays 22 and½ years: If we, as a group, were having a draft based on our lists, I would not have gotten a hold of Matt Moore and, that’s a shame. I have my reasons; I don’t trust many other evaluators that I have access to + never seen him pitch with my own eyes before the end of last season + just made a mistake in judgement, etc … but, hey, better late than never right? Last year’s list: 27th
8) Oscar Tavares, Cardinals 19 years, 9 months Last year’s list: Hadn’t heard of the guy. He is one of my favorites now. He is a tremendous and, unique, hitting talent with above average tools surrounding those skills. The idea foisted forward that his splendidly vicious hack of a baseball swing -controlled aggression, I call it - would cause him to struggle against upper-level pitching is a fallacy, in my opinion. I think he is the most underrated player in the minor leagues and, it is going to be great fun watching him bust wide-open all the various hair brained theories and, doubts about Oscar's game all spring and, summer. "His swing has a lot of moving parts, but his bat speed is excellent. I also don’t know where this stuff about him having just fair tools comes from. He runs well, throws well, and looked pretty toolsy to me." – John Sickels"Taveras has got a pretty sound approach," said the second scout. "His bat is in the zone all day, he has strength, he has balance—it's no wonder this guy has hit at every level. That's a really good hitter. I'm not sure what else you're looking for in a hitter."
9) Archie Bradley, D’Backs 19 years 8 months: After he first grainy, vid clip I saw of this kid last summer I said "wow, impressive". I trusted others who weren’t as impressed or, more likely, were reserved. Now, after being the talk of Arizona amongst scouts, this spring, I don’t feel so alone. He has real, top of the rotation potential, dealing 96-99 with a hammer of a curve, advanced control for his experience and, an ace’s frame. I like what I seen of his makeup too. The D’Backs showed faith by giving him the aggressive placement in the Midwest League
10) Anthony Rendon, Nationals 21 years, and 10 months: I admit there is a possibility that he is one of those guys who can never stay healthy but, I’m going to show faith because he is one hell of a hitter… with a great batting eye… and a solid glove. Once he gets his health straightened out I think he can be a true All-Star ballplayer, even if his power doesn’t develop which, it really could.
11) Jameson Taillon, Pirates 20 years, and 5 months: I'm just a huge believer in this kid, since the first time I saw him pitch before the 2010 draft. To me, the biggest thing Taillon needed to work on last season was repeating his delivery and commanding the zone and, he did that. I like him just as much as I did last season. The Pirates are taking their gentle time with him, understandably so with the Buccos wretched developmental history with pitchers but, he remains a fine pitching prospect. Last year’s list: 6th
12) Francisco Lindor, Indians 18 years, 6 months: "Like Profar, Lindor has everything you want to see in a starting SS at the major league level; instincts out the ass, + arm, + glove. Add to the mix a very good bat, a very mature approach, and some pop. It's a great combination. They are both going to play in the majors for over a decade. They are the shortstops of the future."- Jason Parks
13) Nolan Arenado, Rockies 21 years old in a few days: He took a big leap forward with the glove and, consequently, as a prospect. He is a tremendous young hitter who projects to be a very solid third-baseman as well. Last year’s list: 42nd, which was higher than the major list average of 91st. He was largely ignored but, I still should have ranked him higher.
June 30, 2012: It's just my view as someone from the outside but, this is something that happens a lot when a player doesn’t meet lofty expectations. When this happens many people look all sorts of places except to thier own judgement – similar to bad poker players. What is interesting to me is how often, if you just look back more carefully, that the expectations were unreasonable. Arenado hit .298 .349 .487 in the California League at age 20 .. now he is .294 .349 .427 in AA at the age of 21 That “disapointing” stat line for this year makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? It’s easier to put up numbers in the Cal League and the pitchers aren’t as good. I doubt Nolan has any makeup issues except maybe getting a tad discouraged with people expecting him to be the next Scott Rolen or, whatever we thought he was going to be, while he is learning to play baseball. He remains a good, young 3b prospect. It is really just the Rockies maybe and, many of us as well, who misjudged his talent a bit perhaps. Im as guilty as anybody. I put him at 13 on my list pre-season and, Will Myers at 15. This, even though if you had asked me who was the better talent I think I would have said “Myers” and , if there was a draft and both were available I think I would have taken Myers as well. Strange, becuase it seems like it should have been obvious now.
14) Tyler Skaggs, Diamondbacks 20 years, and 9 months: When I watch him he reminds me of a lefty version of James Shields, I’m just trying to figure out why. Of course, Shields is a terrific major leaguer and, I think Skaggs will be too. He works very hard on his pitching frame and, his delivery, and I think his already solid average to above velocity will tick up to go along with that great curve and, developing change-up.
15) Will Myers, Royals 21 years, and 4 months: BA and, others took Myers struggle of a 2011 as a reason to bump him down to #28 overall. Our community here held steady with him at #10. I agree. I think neither his ceiling nor, his floor is impacted at all by last season. I still see Braun– esque potential in that bat. Last year’s list: 5th
"I want to be clear though. I think that OscarTaveras’s baseball swing is completely misunderstood. Take a second sometime to watch some clips of it sometime, if you are interested. When I watch him from a home plate angle, for instance, I see a swing that is completely effortless and, a head that is still and, on the ball. To me, a lot of what people see as max-effort, unrpeatable, etc, is stuff that happens in the follow-through. I am not really qualified to judge a baseball swing but, that is part of the humbleness (yes, humbleness) of my evaluation of him.
I looked first at his performance, then where he did it then, how old he was when he did it. Then, after that, I looked for a reason not to like him and, for me, I found more to like, not less. Good athlete, quick, runs and throws well.
I love Wil Myers – I compared him to Ryan Braun in my write-up on him – but I see no edges for him over Oscar except for he may get on base a bit more, maybe. Oscar runs as well, fields as well, has as much power, and I think he has a better swing – he is striking out a lot less. Both are freaking outstanding hitters but, only one was woefully underrated coming into the season, just saying. One is Ryan Braun, one is Robinson Cano. That is hair splitting when we are talking about minor league players. Rock-solid, top ten guys – probably top 5 most years." - Casejud, on May 8th 2012
16) Taijaun Walker, Mariners 19 years, 9 months: Should we exercise caution here? Not the M’s, who have started the athletic, explosive right-hander off at AA Jackson, completing his shocking rise from a raw #1 pick to BA’s #20 prospect to start 2012. He has incredibly nice arm, is an incredibly nice athlete and, a very good pitching prospect. Everyone who sees him comes back blown away by him it seems.
17) Miguel Sano, Twins Turns 19 years old in May: The BEAST. My thoughts on Sano at the end of last season were something like this ... his numbers/age in the APPY League are scary similar to former Braves prospect Cody Johnson. Then again, Sano was great, and he was 18. So many questions . . . how will his swing translate? Defense? Well, his early season performance in the Midwest League is answering all these questions BIG TIME. "He hit two home runs in the early season game I went to and, neither pitch did he really get a hold of it. Sano swings like a MAN, there is a whole lot of torque in that swing" - Kevin Goldstein. On defense, I don't think it'll work at third-base and, I don't think it'll matter
18) Julio Teheran, Braves 21 years, 2 months: He is such a gifted pitching talent, that I shudder some putting him this low but, I can’ t help it. I worry about the workload at such a young age, the small frame, the tender elbow. Last year’s list: 4th, so I do like him a ton, I’m just having my doubts.
19) Jesus Montero, Mariners 22 years, and 4 months: Last year I ranked him far below the gaga consensus, at 22, just below Freddie Freeman. Now, he’s a Mariner that I get to root for every day. Terrible Catcher (though he blocks the plate well) one of the slowest young players I have ever seen and, his power was oversold as a minor leaguer but, I think he could have batting titles in that bat.
20) Anthony Rizzo, Cubbies 23 in August: I don’t believe ANY of the nonsense I’ve been hearing about Rizzo’s bat speed. He went from facing AAA hitters in one of the best hitting environments, to the big leagues in the worst one and, . . . surprise! . . . he had a bit of an adjustment period. I see a 30 home run a year player with a plus hit tool and, plus glove. That’s a heck of a big league ballplayer.
21) Shelby Miller, Cardinals 21 and½ years: Shelby is on the fast track, starting the year at AAA. So much for taking it slow eh? He started last season in A+ Palm Beach but, has moved fast and, justifiably so. Last year’s list: 12th, exactly where everyone else ranked him.
22) Hak Ju Lee, Rays 21 years, and 7 months: I feel completely comfortable with being the guy who likes this kid’s game and, future, more than anybody. What I like about him more than anything is his consistency. I think that despite his sensational skills, he goes under the radar but I think he projects as above average with the glove and, bat as a big league shortstop and, can be a lot better than that – currently, like last season, a very underrated prospect. Last year’s list: 15th
23) Gerritt Cole, Pirates 21 years, 7 months: I have to stop being such an asshole about Cole. It’s really not that I don’t like him. He is a tremendous arm and, a tremendous talent. He just isn’t in the same class upstairs, makeup wise, as Trevor Bauer, as was made obvious to me last season every time I watched them pitch and, have no idea why it wasn’t obvious to the Pirates. Hey, no worries, it’s the Pirates. That’s how they got to be where they are – by making bad decisions.
24) Gary Sanchez, Yankees 19 years 4 months: One hell of a young hitter who has dropped a lot in some people's eyes because of last season. I think this year he will open them up again. Last year: 16th
25) Xander Bogearts Red Sox 19 years 6 months: I like Xander but, I have my doubts. He has terrific power and, is a good athlete but, he swings and misses a lot and played his home games last year in a very good park to hit in. Salem will be a much better test for him. He has time and, big time power on his side I have no idea where he ends up defensively either, none. Every person I hear from has a different opinion on him, defensively, it seems. It's his bat that will carry him anyways and, my guess is he ends up in the outfield. His long, vicious, slice of a swing reminds me of one Vladdy Guerrero.
26) Zach Wheeler, Mets 22 in May: He has a truly electric arm that has a lot to learn and, needs experience. He could rise fast and, end up quite a bit better than the 26st-best big leaguer from this group. "He has a Major League repertoire right now. In fact, it's better than most ML starters. The difference is simply how consistently he's able to make the ball go where he wants and do what he wants. He's making progress and isn't far off..." - Paul DePodesta. Last year: 49th
27) Jonathan Singleton, Astros 20 years old, 7 months. All he does is HIT at levels he is young for, yet all he does is get nit-picked... didn't hit enough in the second half of 2010, doesn't hit for enough power. Boy, would I have loved to see him it in the Cal League all this season to answer all of that in spades, at least superficially with huge numbers at Lancaster. Alas, this splendid young hitter is off to AA ball where he will, hit, take walks, hit for decent power and ... take more criticism. Last year: 19th
28) Travis d’Arnaud, Blue jays, and 23 years and two months: Very nice, across the board skills for a catcher I see a very solid, big league backstop here waiting to happen, especially if he spends a good portion o this year in AAA. My gut tells me that I may like him better than Mesoraco but, it’s a close one.
29) Danny Hultzen, Mariners 22 years, and 4 months: Danny was drafted higher than future Hall of Famer’s Dylan Bundy and Trevor Bauer, as well as Francisco Lindor and, Archie Bradley so he’d better be good and, he is. I think he has a short but, brilliant, major league career
30) Cheslor Cuthbert, Royals 19 years, and 4 months: The pride of Corn Island, Nicaragua’s statistics and age in the Midwest League are similar to Justin Upton, Carlos Gonzalez, Adam Jones, Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, Grady Sizemore, guys like that. He actually had better numbers than some of these guys did. His MWL stats are similar to Felix Pie, Chris Snelling, and Sean Burroughs as well so, things happen. If you are looking for guarantees with 18 year old prospects, good luck. It doesn’t change the fact that the line of .267/.345/.397 combined with the number 18, equals a feat. This is all before we even look at scouting reports either. My point is that if you understand the context of his numbers last season, they are equally impressive as the reports.
31) Trevor May, Phills 22 years 7 months: Rated 69 by BA and, 60 by us here, I like him quite a bit more. Like Matt Moore, he has logged a lot of innings in the minors the past few years, striking out a lot of batters and ironing out his command and control. I think this big, projectable right-hander takes a huge step forward this year in AA.
32) Jed Bradley, Brewers 21 years, 10 months: His fastball sits at 88-94MPH with sink; which is a broad range and therefore shows some inconsistencies. He also has a plus slider and his change-up is decent for a college pitcher, but will need to improve. Scouts love his makeup and believe he will quickly advance through the system.
33) Nick Franklin, Mariners 21 years, 1 month: I still think there may be a bit of Hanley Ramirez in Nick. In the "bored with High A ball" sense. Well, it'll be "lights, camera, action!" for him in AA this year. Time to shine for Nick and, I think he will. After seeing him more though, I do question his aptitude and focus as a shortstop though. I think he may either be below average there or, move to second base, which would throw his career into question in the short-term. I believe in the bat though and, he has more than enough ability to be an above average second-baseman if he embraces it. Last year: 7th
34) Nick Castellanos, Tigers 20 years old: I think Casty is a very, very talented natural hitter for whom power will come as he grows. I like the approach the Tigers are taking to him learning and getting better at third-base. I see him as kind of like this year's Nolan Arrenado, taking a big step forward as a prospect. Of course, knowing that, I guess I don't need to wait 'til next year."It's not a great approach," said another AL scout. "He's got that hand thing, there's no stride, but he's just barreling them up. He's driving balls when he wants to, and he goes the other way. He has some kind of hand-eye coordination, barrel awareness, everything. He was driving balls to right-center field—it's not like he's just a singles guy. This guy can flat rake."
35) Yonder Alonso, Padres 25 years old: I held on as long as I could. This is my last opportunity to make a call on how good Yonder will be and, after years of debating him vs. Justin Smaok , etc., It may turn out that neither will be great major league players, at least relative to expectations. The big leagues have a way of doing that. It is hard up there. Go get em’ Yonder. I still believe in you. Last year: 29th
36) Devin Mesoraco, Reds 23 years, and 10 months: I like him, just not as much as most obviously. I wonder if he becomes the next say Russell Martin or, maybe Kurt Suzuki. Neither of these are bad outcomes. There is just something about him that makes me feel like his career may be a disappointment to those who are the highest on him.
37) James Paxton, Mariners 23 years, and 5 months: Pax was born in the same month as Pomeranz and, due to their other similarities of being big, college left-handers, with big stuff and, names with the letter "P" – they make an interesting comparison. I actually like Paxton’s pitches better but, he has more lapses with command and, control than Pom does. I just have a better feeling about him and, sometimes that’s all we really have to go on don’t we?
38) Jacob Turner, Tigers 21 on May 21. I love the arm, the frame, the ability to pitch. I do not love the reoccurring shoulder issues. Last year: 28th
39) Brett Jackson, Cubs 23 years, 8 months: I love Jackson’s consistently high BABIPs in the minor leagues (and college). He has had .341. .352. .416, at Cal and, .418, .356, .395, .352, .323, .402 as a pro. I think that is ability and, he hits the ball hard. Of course I almost never feel the "proper" way about babip. Every time I see a high one I always think it will just get higher or, stay the same, unless it is 20 - 30 at bats or something. Add this to B- Jax’s abilities to run a little, take a pitch and, play defense in either left or center and, you are going to have a pretty good big leaguer I think. He reminds me some of Ryan Church, if y’all remember him.
40) Matt Barnes, Red Sox 22 in June: An extremely projectable righty with size, stuff, health, and command. I am probably ranking him too low, though I have him higher than most everyone else. I also disagree with the idea that Barnes starting at Low A is necessarily a bad idea. Gaining confidence and, having some success is just as important as challenging someone. I think there is a balance there. There is nothing wrong with moving a kid to the next challenge once he has conquered the first one is there?”Matt Barnes couldn’t have looked better today. Up to 97, plus CB, CH solid. Just walked right thru the lineup." - Frankie P, from spring training
41) Kolten Wong, Cards 21 and 1/2: As high as I have Wong here, I fear I may he selling him short (no pun intended). He's a fundamentally sound, tough ballplayer who rakes everything and everywhere and, has underrated power potential. I think he could be playing second for the Cardinals in a couple of months and, is their best option now.
42) Christian Yelich, Marlins 20 years, and 4 months old: Yelich is a big, smooth, lefty bat with a sweet swing but, I think his power potential and speed are a tad overrated at this point. Nice-looking young hitting prospect though. "This frolicking fellow has a very sexy swing and a hunky build (no homo). And does it all at a premium position, CF. The pop will come. Pure hitter. Only question mark is if he can stick in CF. Arm won't play up in RF."- Nick Fredrick Cody
43) Randall Delgado, Braves 22 years 2 months: I love the arm action – very quick – and, the ability to change speeds. I wish I was a scout because I’d be able to see a kid who as he refines his craft will rack up the k’s if he stays healthy, which belies his ordinary results in AA last season. I’m very high on Delgado.
44) Drew Pomeranz, Rockies 23 years, 5 months: Loved the stuff, loved the delivery, a year ago but now I’m having my doubts. I worry about the health and, durability and, ballpark he’ll pitch in and, the stuff doesn’t seem as good either. Last year: 30th
45) Jose Vicente Campos, Yankees 20 in July: "I said at the time of the trade that I thought there was a very real chance Campos would end up the best player of the three. With the quality of his fastball -- both in terms of velo and command -- I think he has a very real chance to be a frontline starter. He's farther away from the majors than the Killer B's, but I think he has the most overall potential." - Daniel Rathman
46) Billy Hamilton, Reds 21 1/2: It looks to me like the light went off with this guy or, someone told him that when you have + + ability to swipe bags that, selectivity and even passivity - at the plate, will lead to disruption - on the bases. THIS is his ticket to being a weapon in the big leagues - get on the sacks a lot and, wreak hovok! This and, truly tremendous range as a major league second-baseman. Not that I don't he can play short, just that he isn't in Zack Cosarts's class.
47) George Springer, Astros 22 year and 7 months: I have some doubts about the long swing but, man is he powerful and, fast and, graceful. Something tells me he ends up a unique player as a major leaguer, something like Mark Reynolds if he were a very good centerfielder - that would be a hell of a player obviously. There is a lot of swing and miss he needs to iron out though and, the Cal League is big step up in pitching talent, even if it is a nice place to hit. he'll be challenged there but, I love his athletic ability, power, and eye. I think he'll adjust.
48) Bubba Starling Royals, 19 years 8 months: What do I have to go on here? A few nice-looking clips, 27 at-bats in his last season in High School and, ugh … "scouting reports". Bubba is older than Xander Bogearts and a couple months younger than Oscar Tavares and, getting a late start for a young kid. Something tells me that sending him to the Midwest League after all the pitchers there are in mid-season form isn’t the greatest idea but, what do I know? I'll roll the dice on the athletic ability and, the upside. It just might take a bit longer than some will have the patience for.
49) Jackie Bradley Jr, Red Sox He is 22 today, the 19th. Here is a guy I just have a hunch on. He had a rough year but, after hearing a couple of interviews of him this spring it reminded me of one of the things a lot of people liked – his makeup. He has solid all around skills but, I think he has an understanding of hitting, his limitations and, making the pitcher work. I think even if his tools are less than some of the other centerfield prospects (which they aren't, they are pretty solid) he will be smarter. I think of his skills as sort of like Gary Brown with the bat but, more instinctive in the outfield. He also isn’t as fast as Brown but, he may have the best batting eye of all these CF’s.
50) Yasmani Grandal, Padres 23 years, and 5 months: I sure like the template of a player like Grandal as a big leaguer – switch-hitting catcher, who plays good defense, hits from both sides, gets on base and, has some power. I'm starting to believe in the reality of him as one too. He slid into AA and kept on hitting last season and has had no struggles with AAA either. My doubt about him that I can’t shake is that in the end he is neither an above average hitter nor, a really good defender at the big league level but, we will see. Even if he is average across the board, that is a heck of a valuable player - similar to my placement of Wilson Ramos last year.
51 - 100 . . .
51) Wily Peralta, Brewers 23 in May
52) Tom Milone, A's 25 years and 2 months: Half of the arm and stuff as Perez but, three times the pitchability
53) Martin Perez, Rangers 21 years old
54) Jake Marisnick, Blue Jays Just turned 21
55) Willin Rosario, Rockies 23 years, 2 months
56) Matt Davidson. Diamondbacks 21 years old: If he becomes even big league average with the glove at third, he will shoot up this list but, he has a ways to go. He is major league quality with the bat though.
57) Jarrod Parker, Athletics 23 years 4 months
58) Casey Kelly, Padres 22years 7 months: Of course Theo ripped off the Padres! There is no objective universe in which trading a player like Adrian Gonzalez makes sense – in baseball terms. It wasn’t a baseball trade essentially. It was a financial one. I agree they should have got more though. I’m just saying that is silly, in a way, to judge the merits of a deal that a team is forced to make.
59) Brad Peacock, A's 24 years, 2 months 5
60) Will Middlebrooks, Red Sox 23 1/2: I've never been a huge believer but, he is making one out of me this year. He is on the cusp of the big leagues and, surging towards the finish-line at Pawtucket.
61) Noah Syndergaard, Blue Jays turns 20 in August
62) Jose Fernandez, Marlins 19 years, 7 months
63) Tyrell Jenkins, Cardinals 19 years, 9 months
64) Leonys Martin, Rangers 24 years, 1 month: I like Martin. The more I watch him as a player the more I think of him as Julio Borbon, if he was a smarter, more instinctive player. Actually, Martin has less speed than Borbon but, he is a going to be a better big leaguer. He is currently making up for a mediocre performance at AAA last year, in a big way early in 2012
65) Drew Hutchinson, Blue Jays 22 in August - Is it me or, does almost everything about this kid- the size, the change, the pitchability - remind you of Shaun Marcum?
66) Andrelton Simmons, Braves 22 1/2: Perhaps woefully underrated here
67) Carlos Martinez, Cardinals 20 years 6 months: My reasoning is based mostly on first-person accounts from Kevin Goldstein from BP, who has spoken to scouts about him and, seen him many time + my impressions of him visually .They seem reaally deffinitive in the opinion that his delivery and, stuff profile better as a reliever. He’s a hell of an arm thoug, obviouslyh. Viewed in the light of him ending up in the pen in the major leagues, 67th isn’t really that low maybe?
68) Joe Wieland, Padres 22 and 3 months: Debuted in the big leagues after two starts in AAA. He appears to have improved his stuff since I saw him last season. Still averag-ish for a big league starter, he has guile, guts, feel and ballpark on his side. Could be the next Jeff Suppan if things break right, while he learns from the original one.
69) Justin Nicolino, Blue Jays 20 years, 4 months: If it is even possible for a kid to posses a "Jamie Moyer -like" profile - 85 heat (maybe), and a super-advanced feel for the change - this kid is as close as it gets. I hope Im around in 30 years to see it.
70) Neil Ramirez, Rangers 22 years, 10 months : “Hardest worker in Rangers system; plus-to-plus-plus fb velo; hammer CB; improving CH; tough as shit; needs better overall command. He's going to be a good major league pitcher; ceiling of 2/3.” – Jason Parks
71)Taylor Jungmann, Brewers 22 1/2: I haven't had chance to see him pitch yet in the FSL but, it is comforting to see him displaying the same abilities (?) to throw quality strikes. and defy conventional thought, while not missing a lot of bats - just like at UT
72) AJ Cole. A's 20 years, 3 months
73) Matt Dominguez, Marlins 23 in August - I'm the extreme minority in that I believe that Dominguez has a better chance to be a starting 3b in the big leagues than Mike Olt but, I'd put both of their chances at less than 50 percent .
74) Jean Segura, Angels 22 years old
75) Matthew Adams, Cardinals 24 in August
77) Anthony Gose, Blue Jays 22 in August
78) Keyvious Sampson, Padres 20 years3 months
79) Starling Marte, Pirates 23 years, 6 months: A question for fans of this guy: It is over 1800 PA's into his minor league career, so why isn't he good enough to play for the Pirates yet?
80) Gary Brown, Giants 23 and 1/2: I love Gary Brown but, looking back he was kind of the perfect recipe for overhype last season wasn't he? Too old for High A, hitters league. Maybe he should have played same AA last year. . . maybe (I think probably) he wasn't quite as good as we thought last year
81) Michael Olt, Rangers 24 in August: Is this guy going to reach his prime before he is allowed to play AAA ball?
82) Sonny Gray, A's 22 1/2
83) Matt Harvey, Mets Just turned 23
84) Jonathan Schoop 20 and 1/2
85) Trevor Story, Rockies 19 and 1/2
86) Kole Calhoun, Angels 24 1/2
87) Jorge Bonifacio, Royals 19 in June:
88) Robbie Erlin, Padres 21 years, and 6 months: A lot of people use Yusmeiro Petit as an example or, the example, of why minor league numbers don’t matter and scouting and stuff do. I don’t entirely disagree. Petit’s stuff wasn’t great. Here’s the thing though, he didn’t have great numbers either in one aspect I consider BIG for minor league pitchers – he gave up too many long balls! He allowed 78 in 708 innings or, about 1 per nine innings. That isn’t terrible for the minors but, good, future big league starters usually don’t give up that many or, close to it. I see similarities with Robbie Erlin in stuff and, even more significantly – the long ball. He has given up 27 in 266 Innings and, has the same dynamite K/BB ratio making most everyone overlook it. He will be pitching in a park that will help a lot with that but, it is still a “yellow flag”, for me anyways. . .
89) Enny Romero, Rays 20 years, 2 months
90) Zach Lee, Dodgers 20 years, 7 months: "Lee is an intelligent, confident hurler who will give you a blend of plus stuff (changeup was particularly strong for him entering the draft, which is exceptionally rare to see from a prep pitcher), command, and pitchability. Smooth mechanics although it is odd how he falls off so much to the 3rd base side. Limitless upside with the former LSU QB commit." - Nick Fred Cody. Off to a great start in the Cal League, Lee is one I may be way low on but, I won't change the ranking - 'til next year!
91) Chad Bettis, Rockies 22 years, 11 months
92) Ryan Lavarnway, Red Sox 25 in August
93) Grant Green, A’s 24 and 1/2: I think he's a big leaguer of some sort but, visions of an impact one are fading daily. Not really a shortstop and, I don't think really a centerfielder. Does anybody remember Pat Tabler?
94) Michael Mahtook, Tampa 22 and 1/2: He is struggling to hit for power in his first 26 games in A+(0 homers) but, I still love his all-around game, defense, speed, eye and, power potential.
95) Michael Montgomery, Royals 23 in July: BA had him at 23 on thier list: I believe in his talent but, I'm not sure I believe that much. I worry that his arm won't hold up while he is struggling to learn and, at some point you have to get AAA hitters out well if you hope to have success in the the show, don't you?
96) Christian Bethancourt, Braves 20 years, 7 months: He probably could have used a full season in the Carolina League but, they gave him the aggressive promotion to AA and, who am I to question the Braves doings. They usually know what they are doing. There is a ton of upside here for a 96th ranked prospect.
97) Delino DeShields Jr., Astros 19 years, 8 months: A babip-lovers dream, it would seem. There were a lot of things to like about DeShields game to like besisides his terrible batting average (.220). He was also very young and, learning a very tough position. I love his pop and, athleticism. I still question the bat but, he has time, ability, bloodlines, on his side.
98) Jake Odorizzi, Royals 22 years old: Possibly a bit underrrated here, I was taken aback by Odo's 13 bombs allowed in 68.2 Innings in AA last year, he is showing much improvement repeating the league this year, in a very tough park to pitch in - NW Arkansas.
99) Michael Choice, A's 22 years, 5 months: It's April 30thand, I already thibnk this ranking was woefully too low. It may look like he is struggling early-on in AA but, he is refining his approach, going the other way, etc. I love his power/speed combo and, I think he couold make Oakland by July or so.
100) Mason Williams, Yankees 21 in August - The next Luis Polonia
Jedd Gyorko, Padres 23 years: Jedd went 2-4 last night, raising average to .238. In 81 games in AA, Gyorko has put up a hitting line of .285 .359 .416. He runs okay and, is an okay third-baseman who is playing some second base. He will be 24 after the season and, has a decent chance to contribute something at the big league level. My question is THIS . . . why in the world, on any reasonable level of thinking, would you think he was a better prospect than Oscar Taveras?? That is so freaking bad, that it is almost comical. On even the hazy concept of “upside” alone, OT would be a better risk wouldn’t he? Where is the upside of a 23 and 1/2 year old player who isn’t even a standout in AA ball? I honesly think that if given the chance, Oscar would be able to hit like .425 or so if he was playing in the Texas League in FOUR YEARS, when he would be Gyorko’s age. Of course, he will be in the big leagues for at least a couple years by then. Gotta just chuckle at that one I guess. - April 29th, 2012
I ain't forgot ya or, maybe I have . . . Jared Cosart, Phills 22, Chritian Friedrich, Rockies 25 in July, Nestor Molina, White Sox 23 years, 2 months, Ronald Torreyes, Cubbies 19 years, and 7 months, Jesse Biddle, Phillies 20 and 1/2, Alexander Colome, Rays 23 and 1/2,, James Darnell, Padres 25 years, 3 months, , 7 months, Ronny Rodriguez, Indians 20 years old, in May, Manny Banuelos, Yankees 21 years old, Aaron Hicks, Twins 22 and 1/2, Brian Goodwin, Nationals 21 1/2 years old, Dante Bichette Jr., Yankees 19 and 1/2, Simon Castro, White Sox 24 years old
Not saying these guys aren't good, I just have (or had) no idea HOW good when I made this list: Luis Heredia, Pirates Won't be 18 'til August, Javier Baez, Cubbies 18 years, 5 months, Ronald Guzman, Rangers, Yordano Ventura, Royals 21 in June - throws 100 and is 140 lbs: I'm listening, Tyler Austin, Yankees 20 years, 7 months: Holy shit, he might be really good! Alen Hanson, Pirtates 19 and 1/2, Brandon Nimmo, Mets;: 19 years old, , Eddie Rosario, Twins 20 and 1/2