Minor League Ball TOP 150 Prospects for 2013
Here is a list of Top 150 Prospects for 2013. This list supplements, updates, and integrates the Top 50/50 Hitters/Pitchers list in the 2013 Baseball Prospect Book and adds another 50 names. First, a few points:
***It is meant to be useful for both general baseball purposes and fantasy owners. As a result, it presents a balance between long-term upside and present ability.
***Personal biases: I tend to favor players who are closer to the majors than those who are far away. My background is sabermetric, but my approach is to blend sabermetrics and traditional scouting. I may lean one way or another on a particular player. There is also some room for instincts and gut feelings.
***I don't like having hitters and pitchers on the same list. I put them on different lists in my book, but I realize that separating them as different species is a rear-guard action that I'm destined to lose. People want an integrated list and don't care about whiny philosophical objections, so here it is.
***I am well-aware that the grades don't completely line up with my previously published lists here at Minor League Ball, especially in the border area between B+ and B. The grades will get revised before Opening Day, but I didn't want to delay this list any longer while getting everything reconciled. Stay tuned as I update the team lists and grades.
***The lower in the list you go, the more fluid it becomes. Don't take it personally if some guy you really like is ranked 127th and some bum you don't like at 105th.
***ETAs are a best-guess on when a player should first see significant major league action as opposed to just a brief cup-of-coffee.
***This was originally 120 players, but I kept finding guys that could be/should be mentioned, so what the hell, let's go with 150.
***Remember this handy rule-of-thumb: John Sickels under-ranked (over-ranked) your favorite (least favorite) prospect because he specifically hates (loves) your (arch-rival) team.
1) Jurickson Profar, SS, Texas Rangers, ETA 2013
2) Oscar Taveras , OF, St. Louis Cardinals, ETA 2013
3) Dylan Bundy, RHP, Baltimore Orioles, 2013
4) Xander Bogaerts , SS, Boston Red Sox, 2014
5) Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2013
COMMENT: Can't see any of this as a surprise. I strongly considered Oscar over Jurickson, but ultimately the defense/position issue puts Profar just a tad ahead.
6) Shelby Miller, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals, 2013
7) Wil Myers, OF, Tampa Bay Rays, 2013
8) Jose Fernandez, RHP, Miami Marlins, 2014
9) Mike Zunino, C, Seattle Mariners, 2014
10) Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota Twins, 2015
COMMENT: No big surprises. I love Sano.
11) Trevor Bauer, RHP, Cleveland Indians, 2013
12) Christian Yelich, OF, Miami Marlins, 2014
13) Travis D'Arnaud, C, New York Mets, 2013
14) Billy Hamilton, OF, Cincinnati Reds, 2014
15) Zack Wheeler, RHP, New York Mets, 2013
COMMENT: Hamilton isn't having a great spring but entirety of track record is more important for most of these guys than a small spring sample size.
16) Tyler Skaggs , LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks, 2013
17) Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2014
18) Javier Baez , SS, Chicago Cubs, 2015
19) Taijuan Walker, RHP, Seattle Mariners, 2014
20) Carlos Martinez, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals, 2014
COMMENT: Again, nothing huge I don't think. Baez has some issues but his bat speed really impresses me.
21) Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks, 2015
22) Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York Mets, 2015
23) Kevin Gausman, RHP, Baltimore Orioles, 2014
24) Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros, 2015
25) Jorge Soler , OF, Chicago Cubs, 2014
COMMENT: Correa over Soler may seem odd to a few people but again positional consideration weights in here. I thought Correa was an outstanding choice for the Astros last spring and not just for monetary reasons.
26) Yasiel Puig, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers, 2014
27) Trevor Rosenthal, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals, 2013
28) Danny Hultzen, LHP, Seattle Mariners, 2013
29) Mike Olt, 3B, Texas Rangers, 2013
30) Addison Russell, SS, Oakland Athletics, 2015
COMMENT: You can flip Puig and Soler if you like. I love both of them. It will seem odd to some people that I have Russell ahead of Byron Buxton. I've seen Russell in person and was very impressed, but hasn't seen Buxton yet. See below.
31) Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians, 2015
32) Austin Hedges, C, San Diego Padres, 2015
33) Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals, 2013
34) Michael Wacha, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals, 2014
35) Aaron Hicks, OF, Minnesota Twins, 2013
COMMENT: Here is where things start getting different, with Hicks a notable grade and ranking change. A little of that is spring performance, but even before that I was thinking that I had underrated him in previous lists and that I needed to move him from a Grade B back up to a B+. This ranking reflects that, plus input from sources who have seen him in person much more recently than I have.
36) Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Minnesota Twins, 2014
37) Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins, 2016
38) Jedd Gyorko, 2B-3B San Diego Padres, 2013
39) Chris Archer, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays, 2013
40) Nick Franklin, SS, Seattle Mariners, 2013
COMMENT: Everyone knows I love Gyorko. Most people have Buxton ahead of Hicks and Arcia, but I want to make sure Buxton's hitting matches the scouting reports before bumping him ahead of guys I'm more certain about. I love Buxton's tools as much as anyone but my instinct is to be slightly contrarian until we see him in full-season ball, hopefully in April. I usually regret it when I override such an instinct.
41) Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves, 2013
42) Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays, 2015
43) Kyle Zimmer, RHP, Kansas City Royals, 2014
44) Albert Almora, OF, Chicago Cubs, 2015
45) Jackie Bradley, OF, Boston Red Sox, 2014
COMMENT: The big move upward here is Teheran, who looks like his old self again and confirms reports that he made progress over the fall and winter. This moves him back into the B+ category and even 41 might be too low. Something I can't put my finger on makes me slightly more cautious about Zimmer than some folks are. Like Buxton, my contrarian instinct has kicked in a little on him until we see how things go in his first real season.
46) Gary Sanchez, C, New York Yankees, 2015
47) Trevor Story, SS, Colorado Rockies, 2015
48) Brad Miller, SS, Seattle Mariners, 2014
49) Alen Hanson, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2015
50) Gregory Polanco, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2015
COMMENT: I really like Brad Miller. I buy the bat and I think he can straighten out his defense.
51) Casey Kelly, RHP, San Diego Padres, 2013
52) Kyle Crick, RHP, San Francisco Giants, 2015
53) Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies, 2013
54) Max Fried, LHP, San Diego Padres, 2016
55) Robert Stephenson, RHP, Cincinnati Reds, 2015
COMMENT: Fried and Stephenson both have Top 20 potential, if not Top 10, for 2014.
56) Taylor Guerrieri RHP, Tampa Bay Rays, 2015
57) Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Houston Astros, 2014
58) Tyler Austin, OF, New York Yankees, 2014
59) Matt Barnes , RHP, Boston Red Sox, 2014
60) Justin Nicolino, LHP, Miami Marlins, 2015
COMMENT: It's puzzling to me why people aren't higher on Austin. I know he's not quite as toolsy as the other Yankee outfield prospects, but I believe in the bat and it's not like he's some slug out there.
61) Jesse Biddle, LHP, Philadelphia Phillies, 2015
62) Kyle Gibson, RHP, Minnesota Twins, 2013
63) Alex Meyer, RHP, Minnesota Twins, 2014
64) Mason Williams, OF, New York Yankees, 2015
65) Tony Cingrani, LHP, Cincinnati Reds, 2013
COMMENT: This is where the borderline between B+ and B starts getting really fuzzy and the rankings don't quite match up with all the previous grades. I will get those reconciled before the season begins. There is a lot of peer pressure to jump on the Mason Williams bandwagon. His ceiling is immense, no doubt, and perhaps I'm just a stubborn but I want to see more before giving in to what everyone else thinks. I have one scouty source who says that I'm right to be a bit skeptical, but another who says I'm a moron.
66) Lance McCullers, RHP, Houston Astros, 2015
67) Nick Castellanos, OF-3B, Detroit Tigers, 2014
68) Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Los Angeles Angels, 2014
69) David Dahl, OF, Colorado Rockies, 2015
70) Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers, 2016
COMMENT: There is a lot of peer pressure about Castellanos too but the Josh Vitters vibe I get from him holds me back a bit.
71) Brian Goodwin, OF, Washington Nationals, 2014
72) George Springer, OF, Houston Astros, 2014
73) Chris Stratton, RHP San Francisco Giants, 2014
74) Luis Heredia, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2016
75) Roberto Osuna, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays, 2016
COMMENT: Maybe I should worry more about Springer's whiffs and Goodwin's erratic track record, but I do love the tools in both cases.
76) Courtney Hawkins, OF, Chicago White Sox, 2015
77) Delino DeShields, 2B, Houston Astros, 2015
78) Leonys Martin, OF, Texas Rangers, 2013
79) Eddie Rosario, 2B-OF, Minnesota Twins, 2015
80) Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays, 2013
COMMENT: Hawkins might look too low in this spot a year from now, if not two months from now. He can be a monster.
81) Dan Corcino, RHP, Cincinnati Reds, 2013
82) Dorssys Paulino, SS, Cleveland Indians, 2016
83) Clayton Blackburn, RHP, San Francisco, 2015
84) Kyle Parker, OF, Colorado Rockies, 2014
85-A) Kolten Wong, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals, 2014
85-B) J.R. Graham, RHP Atlanta Braves, 2014
COMMENT: Blackburn is a guy I really like more than consensus. He may not have the best fastball in the world, but he uses what he has better than almost anyone at the A-ball level. Paulino has Top 20 potential and that could look much too low a year from now. Wong was supposed to be slotted in here at 85 but as I was manipulating spreadsheets and moving people around, it looks like he got cut off/deleted and I didn't notice. Consider it a bonus player. I see him as a solid regular.
86) Michael Fulmer, RHP New York Mets, 2015
87) Robbie Erlin, LHP San Diego Padres, 2013
88) Allen Webster, RHP Boston Red Sox, 2014
89) A.J. Cole, RHP, Washington Nationals, 2015
90) Wily Peralta, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers, 2013
COMMENT: Four hard-throwing right-handers and a very polished lefty.
91) James Paxton, LHP, Seattle Mariners, 2014
92) Adam Eaton, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks, 2013
93) Yordano Ventura, RHP, Kansas City Royals, 2013
94) Matt Wisler, RHP, San Diego Padres, 2015
95) Victor Sanchez, RHP, Seattle Mariners, 2015
COMMENT: Maybe I'm overreacting to a bad spring sample, but I'm starting to worry about Paxton.
96) Dan Straily, RHP, Oakland Athletics, 2013
97) Brandon Maurer, RHP, Seattle Mariners, 2013
98) Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Chicago Cubs, 2015
99) Bruce Rondon, RHP, Detroit Tigers, 2013
100) Rymer Liriano, OF, San Diego Padres, 2014
COMMENT: Vogelbach has an outstanding bat and could rank much, much higher in 2014 once he proves himself in full-season ball. I never know what to do with closer prospects like Rondon. Too bad Liriano is hurt.
101) Matt Davidson, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks, 2013
102) Jonathan Schoop, INF, Baltimore Orioles, 2014
103) Bubba Starling, OF, Kansas City Royals, 2016
104) Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington Nationals, 2016
105) Martin Perez, LHP, Texas Rangers, 2013?
COMMENT: These guys are all hard to rank. Starling and Giolito have the physical tools to rank much higher, but Starling needs to prove he can make contact against better pitching, and Giolito will be out a year with Tommy John and I tend to be conservative about that. I don't like Perez as much as consensus does. The results don't match the stuff, and I've seen him get beat up in person too many times. There are just guys I like better.
106) Jarred Cosart, RHP, Houston Astros, 2014
107) Andrew Chafin, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks, 2014
108) Slade Heathcott, OF, New York Yankees, 2014
109) Adalberto Mondesi, SS, Kansas City Royals, 2016
110) Styker Trahan, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks, 2016
COMMENT: Heathcott would rank higher but I have worries about his health.
111) Marcus Stroman, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays, 2014
112) Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Chicago Cubs, 2013
113) Carlos Sanchez, INF, Chicago White Sox, 2014
114) Joc Pederson, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers, 2015
115) Andrew Heaney, LHP, Miami Marlins, 2015
COMMENT: You can make a case for all these guys in the Top 100.
116) Marcell Ozuna, OF, Miami Marlins, 2014
117) Garin Cecchini, 3B, Boston Red Sox, 2015
118) Wilmer Flores, INF, New York Mets, 2014
119) Avisail Garcia, OF, Detroit Tigers, 2013
120) Zach Lee, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers, 2015
COMMENT: I don't like Zach Lee as much as some people do. I think Cecchini has more power potential than people expect.
121) Clint Coulter, C, Milwaukee Brewers, 2016
122) Rougned Odor, INF, Texas Rangers, 2015
123) Victor Roache, OF, Milwaukee Brewers, 2015
124) Nick Tropeano, RHP, Houston Astros, 2014
125) Jesse Winker, OF, Cincinnati Reds, 2016
COMMENT: Coulter, Roache, and Winker are 2012 drafts who could all rank much higher a year from now.
126) Josh Bell, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2016
127) Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins, 2016
128) Gary Brown, OF, San Francisco Giants, 2014
129) Tyler Thornburg, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers, 2013
130) Michael Choice, OF, Oakland Athletics, 2014
COMMENT: Don't know what to think about Josh Bell at this point. I love Berrios and he could be a Top 30 guy a year from now, maybe higher.
131) Max Kepler, OF, Minnesota Twins, 2016
132) Adam Morgan, LHP, Philadelphia Phillies, 2014
133) Barrett Barnes, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2015
134) Matt Adams, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals, 2013
135) Stefen Romero, INF, Seattle Mariners, 2014
COMMENT: Morgan and Romero are guys who get overlooked.
136) Didi Gregorius, SS, Arizona Diamondbacks, 2013
137) Henry Owens, LHP, Boston Red Sox, 2015
138) Hak Ju Lee, SS, Tampa Bay Rays, 2014
139) Sonny Gray, RHP, Oakland Athletics, 2014
140) Matt Skole, 3B-1B, Washington Nationals, 2015
COMMENT: Owens is easy to overlook due to his ugly ERA last year.
141) Jake Marisnick, OF, Miami Marlins, 2014
142) Jorge Alfaro, C, Texas Rangers, 2016
143) Tyrell Jenkins, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals, 2016
144) Lewis Brinson, OF, Texas Rangers, 2016
145) Jonathan Villar, INF, Houston Astros, 2014
COMMENT: More toolsy, high-risk/high-reward types to round out the list.
146) Richie Shaffer, 1B-3B, Tampa Bay Rays, 2015
147) Cody Buckel, RHP, Texas Rangers, 2014
148) Justin Grimm, RHP, Texas Rangers, 2013
149) Nick Maronde, LHP, Los Angeles Angels, 2013
150) Sean Nolin, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays, 2014
COMMENT: Nolin is a big sleeper prospect.
Hyun-Jin Ryu, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers: Unusual case due to Korean professional background, age, and size of contract.
Philosophically I think guys like Yu Darvish last year who have long track records in Japan and are older than typical prospects should be seen more like major league free agents than prospects. Korea isn't Japan, however, and I don't have a good enough feel for the level of competition to judge that the same way. Ryu looks like a number three starter to me so far, which is fine. He'll certainly make a faster impact than most of the guys on this list and you should judge his fantasy value accordingly. I'll write up something more about him after we get more spring training data.
OTHERS IN THE PICTURE: Christian Bethancourt, C, Braves; Adam Conley, LHP, Marlins; Corey Dickerson, OF, Rockies; Derek Dietrich, INF, Marlins; Mike Foltynewicz, RHP, Astros; Onelki Garcia, LHP; Dodgers; Grant Green, UT, Athletics; Ronald Guzman, OF, Rangers; Miles Head, CI, Athletics; Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs; Ethan Martin, RHP, Phillies; Nomar Mazara, OF, Rangers; Matt Magill, RHP; Dodgers: Chris Owings, SS, Dbacks; Roman Quinn, SS, Phillies; Donn Roach, RHP, Padres; Darin Ruf, 1B, Phillies; Rio Ruiz, 3B, Astros; Luis Sardinas, SS, Rangers; Sam Selman, LHP, Royals; Kyle Smith, RHP, Royals