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February 25, 2013

Prospects Will Break Your Heart

Top 101 Prospects

by Jason Parks

Previous Rankings: 20122011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

2013 Top 101 Prospects Breakdown by Position, Organization, and Age: Link

This list was conceptualized and constructed in late December, and finalized and submitted for Baseball Prospectus 2013 in early January. I have avoided it ever since out of revisionist fear. When this particular list was created, the Baseball Prospectus prospect crew was only two months into the team top 10 lists, having found our rhythm in the process but only scratched the surface of all the talent in the minors. With countless emails, calls, texts, IMs, letters, and Candygrams exchanged between members of the BP team and members of the baseball industry, we played prospect Nostradamus and worked ahead of the team lists, spelunking for information like we had never spelunked before. It was a stressful time, but also one of the most rewarding of my career, a daily debate about prospects that consumed all available energy and intellect. It was a prospect boot camp, and I loved every second of it.

Fast-forward two months, and I'm still thrilled with the rewards of the process and the overall plus-plus quality of the work; that conviction will never waver. But I’m also aware of the realities of such a project and saddled with the occasional second thought; not because the list is rife with unexplainable error or incompetence, but because appetite and approach evolve with each new influence, conversation, and exchange of information. At the time of construction, we had more than 100 names for the final 50 spots on the list, and you can make a reasonable and articulate case for each player’s inclusion. We picked up our phones, touched our fingers to keys, and put our collective heads together and carved out the following list, which I’m honored to stand by. That’s not to say that I haven’t thought about tweaks or trims...

1. Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 4

2. Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 23

3. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pirates
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 9

4. Dylan Bundy, RHP, Orioles
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 6

5. Zack Wheeler, RHP, Mets
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 30

6. Jose Fernandez, RHP, Marlins
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 80

7. Wil Myers, CF, Rays
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 19

8. Byron Buxton, CF, Twins
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

9. Taijuan Walker, RHP, Mariners
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 14

10. Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 17

11. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pirates
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 13

12. Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 32

13. Kevin Gausman, RHP, Orioles
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

14. Billy Hamilton, CF, Reds
Scouting Report (most recent): Coming soon
2012 Ranking: 22

15. Travis d'Arnaud, C, Mets
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 16

16. Shelby Miller, RHP, Cardinals
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 10

17. Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Diamondbacks
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 21

18. Albert Almora, CF, Cubs
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

19. Austin Hedges, C, Padres
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 94

20. Javier Baez, SS, Cubs
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 66

21. Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 12

22. Addison Russell, SS, Athletics
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

23. Christian Yelich, CF, Marlins
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 33

24. Trevor Bauer, RHP, Indians
Scouting Report (most recent): Coming soon
2012 Ranking: 11

25. Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Astros
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 73

26. Carlos Correa, SS, Astros
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

27. Jackie Bradley, CF, Red Sox
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

28. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 93

29. Chris Archer, RHP, Rays
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

30. Mike Olt, 3B, Rangers
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 45

31. Archie Bradley, RHP, Diamondbacks
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 37

32. Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Blue Jays
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

33. Mike Zunino, C, Mariners
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

34. Trevor Story, SS, Rockies
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

35. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals
Scouting Report (most recent): Coming soon
2012 Ranking: 26

36. Jorge Soler, RF, Cubs
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

37. Nick Castellanos, 3B, Tigers
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 71

38. Matt Barnes, RHP, Red Sox
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

39. Rymer Liriano, RF, Padres
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 52

40. David Dahl, CF, Rockies
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

41. Kyle Zimmer, RHP, Kansas City Royals
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

42. Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Los Angeles Angels
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

43. Carlos Martinez, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 31

44. Gregory Polanco, CF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

45. Trevor Rosenthal, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

46. Aaron Hicks, CF, Minnesota Twins
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

47. Gary Sanchez, C, New York Yankees
Scouting Report (most recent): Coming soon
2012 Ranking: 40

48. Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

49. Bubba Starling, CF, Kansas City Royals
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 27

50. Danny Hultzen, LHP, Seattle Mariners
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 35

51. Mason Williams, CF, New York Yankees
Scouting Report (most recent): Coming soon
2012 Ranking: 99

52. Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves
Scouting Report (most recent): Coming soon
2012 Ranking: 5

53. Luis Heredia, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 42

54. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Chicago Cubs
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 62

55. George Springer, CF, Houston Astros
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 49

56. Michael Wacha, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

57. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 20

58. Adalberto Mondesi, SS, Kansas City Royals
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

59. Martin Perez, LHP, Texas Rangers
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 36

60. Oswaldo Arcia, RF, Minnesota Twins
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

61. Max Fried, LHP, Padres
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

62. Yordano Ventura, RHP, Royals
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

63. J.R. Graham, RHP, Braves
Scouting Report (most recent): Coming soon
2012 Ranking:

64. Kyle Gibson, RHP, Twins
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

65. Kyle Crick, RHP, Giants
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

66. Alen Hanson, SS, Pirates
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

67. Jesse Biddle, LHP, Phillies
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 84

68. Wily Peralta, RHP, Brewers
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 92

69. Allen Webster, RHP, Red Sox
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

70. Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nationals
Scouting Report (most recent): Coming soon
2012 Ranking: N/A

71. Jake Marisnick, CF, Marlins
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 28

72. Nick Franklin, MI, Mariners
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 28

73. Justin Nicolino, LHP, Marlins
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

74. Brian Goodwin, CF, Nationals
Scouting Report (most recent): Coming soon
2012 Ranking: N/A

75. Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Rays
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 65

76Jorge Alfaro, C, Rangers
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 101

77Casey Kelly, RHP, Padres
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 78

78Robert Stephenson, RHP, Reds
Scouting Report (most recent): Coming soon
2012 Ranking: N/A

79Yasiel Puig, OF, Dodgers
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

80Jonathan Schoop, 2B, Orioles 
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 85

81. Chris Owings, SS, Diamondbacks
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

82. Michael Choice, CF, Athletics
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 39

83. Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Rays
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 47

84. Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 57

85. Dan Straily, RHP, Athletics
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

86. Luis Sardinas, SS, Rangers
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

87. Zach Lee, RHP, Dodgers
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 70

88. Alex Meyer, RHP, Twins
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

89. Matt Davidson, 3B, Diamondbacks
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

90. Kolten Wong, 2B, Cardinals
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 88

91. Tony Cingrani, LHP, Reds
Scouting Report (most recent): Coming soon
2012 Ranking: N/A

92. James Paxton, LHP, Mariners
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 59

93. Christian Bethancourt, C, Braves
Scouting Report (most recent): Coming soon
2012 Ranking: N/A

94. Tyrell Jenkins, RHP, Cardinals
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

95. Clayton Blackburn, RHP, Giants
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

96. Dorssys Paulino, SS, Indians
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

97. Sean Nolin, LHP, Blue Jays
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

98. Michael Fulmer, RHP, Mets
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

99. Lewis Brinson, CF, Rangers
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

100. Tyler Thornburg, RHP, Brewers
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

101. Delino DeShields Jr., 2B, Astros
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A

Notes

  • I love Jurickson Profar, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t give serious thought to fighting for Taveras for the no. 1 spot. Profar plays a premium position, can swing a great stick, and has a wonderful smile, so I’d be arguing an unwinnable case. But Taveras’ bat has a chance to stop wars (or start wars; whichever you prefer). I’ve never been more impressed with a young hitter than I am with Taveras. Watching him take a ball over the batter’s eye during batting practice at the Futures Game probably influenced this infatuation. I was attracted to him before, but after feeling his bat speed from 10 feet away, I started writing poetry in his name. His offensive potential is abnormal. That sh*t cray.
     
  • Courtney Hawkins: He’s a Texan with a ton of natural athleticism and power potential, but outside of my amateur sources, nobody wanted to turn up their microphones and be heard. Like the aforementioned 100 prospects that had a case to be on the back half of this list, Hawkins could just as easily be no. 60 as he could no. 101. If you believe in the bat, even from a corner spot, he belongs on the list. But if you have doubts about the overall promise of the stick and don’t like the direction the body is heading, even with the back-flipping athleticism that is currently present, the case for exclusion is just as strong and compelling. When I’m in the mood for ceiling, Hawkins belongs on the 101.
     
  • Why don’t people love Gerrit Cole? Is it the production? Is it the Southern California thing? I don’t get it. His on-paper stuff is the best in the minors. Is it because I have to say “on-paper stuff”? Okay, I get it.
     
  • Addison Russell (the shortstop) is a top-20 prospect. He should probably be higher. If the body is shortstop legit and the bat continues to progress, he could be no. 1 on the list next year. He’s that guy. Several scouts weren’t ready to go all-in yet because of the physical profile; mostly scouts who had eyes on Russell as an amateur and saw a thick upper body and lateral range that looked destined to leave the middle for the hot corner down the line.
     
  • If this were just the “Jason Parks makes a list of 101 prospects without any outside input or influence” list, I’d rank Chris Archer even higher. He’s not a teenager and the gap between present and future isn’t extreme, but so what? Have you seen him pitch? His stuff is NC-17 and can flash snuff film potential. The command needs work and the changeup is more flash than sustainable fire, but the slider is one of the best secondary offerings from a young arm you will see, and the fastball isn’t ordering from the kid’s menu. He might be my favorite young pitcher to watch in action. He’s either a no. 2 starter or one of the better late-inning relievers in the game. I’m smitten.
     
  • Adalberto Mondesi might seem like a guy with helium based on his on-the-field statistics/age. I don’t care about his numbers. Go watch this kid. Those who have seen him in person know what I’m talking about. He has “it,” and you know what that looks like when you see it. It’s part instinct and part tools, but it's full prospect. He’s special. Even if the production slumps in full-season ball, keep him on the radar. He has high-end impact potential. It’s there. Just wait.
     
  • Jesse Biddle might be too high, but my sources were high on him and I didn’t fight against it. It’s not special, but it has a very good chance to be solid, and that has a ton of value. Jason the ceiling horse isn’t overly impressed.
     
  • Robert Stephenson will be at least 30 spots higher in 2014. Maybe he should be that high now. Love the arm; love the approach.
     
  • Dan Straily. I wasn’t thrilled about putting him on the list in the first place, but I get it. He’s a very safe major-league starter, and even though the stuff isn’t crazy, it’s deep and very functional. I will admit a bias against safe and secure in favor of high and hazardous. It’s just my bag, man. I have a taste for high ceilings.
     
  • Rymer Liriano will miss the season after Tommy John surgery. While I'm sure it would affect his immediate ranking, its hard for me to gauge by how much. Obviously, the recovery will take a full season and the arm strength/accuracy could be slow to come back, but the hit/power/run tools should be able to stay in the same general range. This gives me hope that his status will recover. It's a setback and it sucks, but I don't think it's soul-crushing for his prospect status.
     
  • Lewis Brinson: He has the skills to be the top prospect in the Rangers system next year, and at least 50 spots higher on the 101 list. He’s a high-risk prospect, so let’s not start exchanging promise rings yet. But the tools are loud and the projection extreme, so when and if it clicks, it has a chance to be disturbingly good. A role 7 (all-star) future isn’t a drug-fueled hallucination. Everything else I write that is non-baseball related might be, though. Just a heads-up.
     
  • Yasiel Puig: Who knows? He’s either too high or too low. Sources either think he’s a no-brainer role 6 player or a guy who is all hype and will eventually bust before reaching the majors. Very little in between.

Nick Faleris, Mark Anderson, Chris Mellen, Hudson Belinsky, Joe Hamrahi, and Jason Cole contributed to these rankings.

Jason Parks is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jason's other articles. You can contact Jason by clicking here

118 comments have been left for this article.

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