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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. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

tjco1006

Great list professor. Thanks to you and your team. Did Corey Seager come close to joining your list?

Feb 25, 2013 02:25 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Absolutely. You can make a case that he belongs on the list. I'm not sick over his omission, though.

Feb 25, 2013 06:28 AM
 
Behemoth

Would love to see the Jason Parks only list as well. Also, I'm sure there must be good discussion pieces, like you did on a couple of the early lists - I remember one on the Rockies list, for example.

Feb 25, 2013 02:30 AM
rating: 2
 
boatman44

Great list Jason & Co.

Just one thought ,when reading your top 11 for eachh Org. I came to the conclusion ,Noah Syndergaard and Archie Bradley where the same person, therefore it was gratafying to see them so closely matched on your 101. Do you give the edge to Syndergaard because of likely home park effect, or Parkes effect, see what I did there, going to tke one of these tall flamethrowes in a dynasty league , if you had too which one would you take ? thanks.

Feb 25, 2013 03:40 AM
rating: 0
 
rrvwmr

Bradley has slightly better overall stuff that he still needs to harness and a slightly higher ceiling. Syndergaard throws more strikes and is the safer bet to be a productive major leaguer. My gut says Syndergaard.

Feb 25, 2013 08:03 AM
rating: 1
 
mrenick

I always feel like these lists reach a point where the difference between #60 and #80 ranked prospects is actually very small,while the difference between #1 and #20 is pretty huge. Do you care to comment on roughly where you see this happening on this list? I guess I'm asking where you feel the break point is between the elite and the hopefuls?

Thanks to everybody on the prospect team for the great series this year.

Feb 25, 2013 04:44 AM
rating: 4
 
kjgilber

The scouting report link for Allen Webster takes you to the apple homepage. I am trying to figure out the secret message in that.

Feb 25, 2013 04:48 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Ben Lindbergh
BP staff

Fixed. No secret message intended, unless I'm not in on the joke.

Feb 25, 2013 04:57 AM
 
dtisch30

Professor and Co., thank you for all the diligent work and for this list. Lists are snapshots of where players stand RIGHT NOW, but I still love reading them.
This is tremendous stuff and I think I speak for all BP readers when I say THANK YOU!!

Feb 25, 2013 04:54 AM
rating: 2
 
mmg3327

I was surprised to not see Tyler Austin. Why don't you and/or your sources believe in his bat?

Feb 25, 2013 05:01 AM
rating: 0
 
bzalaski

How close was Slade Heathcott to making this list?

Feb 25, 2013 05:20 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

I think it was close. I'm not as high on him as some, and my sources seemed to agree with that assessment. I think his ultimate ceiling is lower than some of the projections being tossed around.

Feb 25, 2013 06:30 AM
 
Mtn Jam

JP....on the podcast you mentioned repeatedly that you weren't a fan of doing big lists like this. Has your opinion changed now that you've cranked out your first 101?

Feb 25, 2013 05:27 AM
rating: 2
 
batts40

Great work. Excited to see two Cubs in the top 20.

Feb 25, 2013 06:09 AM
rating: 0
 
NL2003

Great work. The thing that strikes me about this list is the big drops are mainly pitchers; Bauer, Martinez, Hultzen, Teheran, Perez, Odorizzi, Lee, and Paxton.

On the flip side, you've got Wheeler, Fernandez, Syndergaard, Archet, Barnes and Rosenthal making huge leaps.

We all know (and this supports) TINSTAAP, but given these wild swings in rankings, and general uncertainty with them, perhaps the pitchers should all be discounted heavily to begin with, and less pronouncement placed on most recent year's performance

Feb 25, 2013 06:15 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

Keep in mind there is some noise in the rankings in that the comparison is going from the work product of one evaluator to the work product of another. To some extent, there is going to be fluctuation based solely on Goldstein and Parks viewing the prospect landscape through different lenses.

The conversations the prospect team had regarding to this list almost never made arguments for or against players based primarily on their most recent performance. These were high level looks at each full player profile and detailed discussions as to what separated those profiles.

Feb 25, 2013 10:37 AM
 
BP staff member Jason Collette
BP staff

With Odorizzi falling 36 spots from 2012's list, was it a matter of the guys ahead of him developing more, new talent coming on board, being over-ranked last year, or a combination of all 3?

Feb 25, 2013 06:22 AM
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Combo, with a heavy lean towards the talent in the minors and the reality of Odorizzi's role projection.

Feb 25, 2013 06:32 AM
 
ttt

Any thoughts as to where Hyun-Jin Ryu would fit on this list? I know on the Dodgers 10 you didn't put him on the list.

Feb 25, 2013 06:49 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

I'm not that high on the guy based on the (limited) reports I received while researching the Dodgers list. Obviously knows how to pitch, but its more pitchability than stuff and that shrinks the error margin. I might be too low on him, but I haven't seen enough to write the report in ink.

Feb 25, 2013 06:52 AM
 
backwardgalaxy

Hedges as a top 20 prospect... He's really THAT good behind the plate?

Feb 25, 2013 06:54 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Yes. He has wizard potential behind the plate. Very valuable place to find a wizard.

Feb 25, 2013 06:57 AM
 
mike254598

"His stuff is NC-17 and can flash snuff film potential."
Quote of the year

Feb 25, 2013 07:02 AM
rating: 6
 
Chomsky
(103)

Why isn't [my favorite prospect] on this list?!? *shakes fist

Feb 25, 2013 07:09 AM
rating: 12
 
fawcettb

Because you're Chomsky, and wrong about everything?

Feb 25, 2013 15:11 PM
rating: -1
 
BirdlandPGH

Thank you for this list! This is something I look forward to as much as the PECOTA release.

A couple questions:

1. If you had to break this list apart into tiers, where would the first tier break from the second? In other words, where is the first relatively big gap between two adjacent positions?

2. Which rankings in particular did you fret about the most?

Thanks.

Feb 25, 2013 07:35 AM
rating: 0
 
brian206

Addison Russell the 3rd baseman would rank...

Feb 25, 2013 07:39 AM
rating: 3
 
Behemoth

Also curious if we live in thirdbaseland, where Bogaerts and Baez would rank if they had to move to third.

Feb 25, 2013 07:43 AM
rating: 0
 
SC

Elsewhere Jason has said that Xander's ranking is about the bat. Obviously he is more valuable as a middle infielder, but it's the bat that is elite, and the bat that drives his ranking. Bottom line is that he's a top 5 bat in the minors so position is only moving the needle 2-5 spots.

Mar 29, 2013 17:23 PM
rating: 0
 
formersd

Hadn't heard the bad news on Liriano, that's a terrible way to start my week. My observation on him is that it's always taken him some time to adjust at each level. Does that profile concern you more than usual for a player missing a season due to injury?

Feb 25, 2013 07:47 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

MIssing a season is never a good thing, but his work ethic and ability to adjust/overcome setback is a huge positive. I think he recovers his status. I believe in the kid.

Feb 25, 2013 07:51 AM
 
Jivas
(649)

The list itself is a lot of fun, but will take time to digest and will have a lot of on-going value as a reference point.

The notes, however, are pure gold and provide instant satisfaction; well done. If there happen to be more notes that were left on the cutting-room floor, I recommend publishing them in a separate article.

Feb 25, 2013 08:07 AM
rating: 3
 
Richard Bergstrom

I remember, around this time last year, all the buzz surrounding Gary Brown.

Feb 25, 2013 08:20 AM
rating: 0
 
grandslam28

Yea, people were saying he might be an absolute stud. What I don't understand is that after the increase in level he struggled a lot the first couple of months, but then played really well the rest of the year. It feels like his first month or two should be discounted a little because he was able to make the adjustments. Seems a little much to go from #18 to off the list for a decent overall season.

Feb 25, 2013 10:06 AM
rating: 0
 
ttt

I think it's also a look at who is doing the list. KG repeatedly said that he really liked Brown, while Jason was not.

Feb 25, 2013 12:21 PM
rating: 4
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

This is an important distinction to keep in mind when comparing this year's list to the 2012 BP 101. Thanks, ttt.

Feb 25, 2013 12:26 PM
 
Richard Bergstrom

There was a time, though, when people didn't like Mike Trout either. But yeah, Brown didn't have a good 2012.

Feb 27, 2013 16:01 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Very good point, thanks.

Feb 27, 2013 16:02 PM
rating: 0
 
pakdawgie

Enjoying digesting the list. This is not a criticism, but for me this current list epitomizes how Baseball Prospectus has evolved over the years. I am sure that a decade ago, someone like Adam Eaton would have been reasonably high on the list based on performance metrics. Now probably more of an emphasis on tools and scouting. Full circle to some extent.

Feb 25, 2013 08:28 AM
rating: 3
 
JW

Love seeing you're still bullish on Alfaro. I have to think that, not that he is the pet project of the real legend, he has some serious potential to move quickly up this list.

Feb 25, 2013 09:22 AM
rating: 0
 
grandslam28

No Brett Jackson?

Feb 25, 2013 10:02 AM
rating: -3
 
grandslam28

Fantasy AL only keeper league
Who do you take:
Jackie Bradley
or
Kaleb Cowart

Feb 25, 2013 10:08 AM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

JBJ is likely to give you the quicker return and is a safer bet to be a solid contributor in average, runs and some SB. Cowart has a wider gap between current value and future potential but has the higher fantasy ceiling because of the power potential. Cowart carries more risk, and isn't likely a significant producer in 2013 or 2014, but could be a valuable trade chip during those seasons.

If you don't need help soon, you can stash Cowart. If you're looking for contributions over the next 18 months, JBJ is the better bet.

Feb 25, 2013 10:29 AM
 
grandslam28

Hmm really?! I was thinking it was almost the exact opposite because of the lack of third base presence in LAA so if Cowart plays well he could push himself up there this year. Where in BOS it feels like there are so many OFs, he would not only have to play really well, but also hope for an opening. Is Bradley a good reason not to sign Ellsbury long term?

Thanks!

Feb 25, 2013 10:41 AM
rating: -3
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

The Ellsbury question will come down to internal valuation, but JBJ is closer to MLB ready than is Cowart. The path may be cleaner for Cowart, but if the profile isn't there for him to succeed, it doesn't matter, right? That said, if Cowart were to make a large developmental jump at Double-A, sure, he'd potentially be positioned to make an impact more quickly.

Feb 25, 2013 10:46 AM
 
grandslam28

I forgot I had looked at this before. lol Bradley might be closer, but he doesn't have any great or even pretty good skills fantasy wise. In the top 10 it says about Bradley,"most likely a single-digit home run threat" & "could steal some bases despite average speed" Seems very little upside so I'm inclined to pick Cowart.

Thanks for the replies! Not trying to argue, but really enjoy the discussion because, I was thinking about trading for the pick behind me in my minor league draft.

Feb 25, 2013 11:14 AM
rating: -3
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

I'm not a fantasy expert by any means, but I assume AL only would mean the threshold for "productive player" is lower from a counting stat perspective. In the usual categories, he could have upside around .285+ BA, 90+ R, 60+ RBI, 8-12 HR (considering home park), and 20 SB. Not a world beater, but a fine little player.

Feb 25, 2013 11:35 AM
 
grandslam28

4X4 so a lot of value taken out of him not being able to provide good value in runs, but I def agree with you in a 5X5. *Also keeper/dump league

Feb 25, 2013 12:03 PM
rating: -1
 
steve08
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Rymer Liriano out for 2013 with TJ surgery and #39?

Feb 25, 2013 10:09 AM
rating: -12
 
Eddie Bajek

This was addressed. The rankings were done before the injury.

Feb 25, 2013 11:04 AM
rating: 3
 
Broken Arrow

If you were to rank Bryce Harper, Matt Moore and Mike Trout going into the 2012 season (forgetting what you know about their performance last season) alongside Oscar Tavaras and Jurickson Profar 1-5 now, how would they stack up?

Feb 25, 2013 10:20 AM
rating: 1
 
smocon

Quite amazed you have Tyler Thornburg on the list. From initial impressions and impressions among scouts, he seems destined for the bullpen. I was not at all impressed with his debut last year, and felt he had a ton of work to do before proving he was bound for the rotation, or worthy of top prospect status.

Feb 25, 2013 11:20 AM
rating: 0
 
Masshole

Who can you see being the top 5-10 prospects on next year's list?

Feb 25, 2013 12:04 PM
rating: 1
 
grandslam28

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

Feb 25, 2013 12:10 PM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

Almora, Hedges, Baez, Sano would naturally slide up depending on who graduates. There is potential for one or two draft-eligibles to debut that high (though no one is close a lock at this point). Could see big jumps from high-ceiling guys like Rendon, Correa, Soler, etc.

Feb 25, 2013 12:14 PM
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

Russell would be the "5th" right behind Sano, sorry.

Feb 25, 2013 12:14 PM
 
boatman44

Surely ,room for Lindor in the top 5 next year ?

Feb 28, 2013 00:30 AM
rating: 0
 
suchit13

Great job with all the team reports and top 101 this year.

Just a suggestion on the top 101 list, put the tools blurb from the scouting reports next to the player's name.

For example:

1. Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers
The Tools: 7 hit; 6+ arm; 6+ potential glove; 5+ power potential; 5 run
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: 4

Feb 25, 2013 13:51 PM
rating: 13
 
amazin_mess

Good idea

Feb 25, 2013 15:32 PM
rating: 0
 
Behemoth

Agree

Feb 25, 2013 16:18 PM
rating: 0
 
MetsFaithful5

Nice! FOUR Mets in the top 100! Now that's exciting. And three in the top 30.. In my young life, we've never had this many top prospects.. Ones that are legit, not overhyped (Lastings M F-Mart.. Big Pelf) at least.

Feb 25, 2013 15:06 PM
rating: 1
 
SC

Yes, the Mets have three top pitching prospects. Nothing could possibly go wrong....

Feb 25, 2013 15:33 PM
rating: 11
 
froston

Three top kegs of dynamite and an injury prone position player at probably the most physically demanding position on the diamond.

Sell short on the Mets farm, investors!

Feb 25, 2013 16:28 PM
rating: -1
 
amazin_mess

Wright has been injured seriously twice in 9 years. That's not quite "injury prone".

Feb 25, 2013 17:41 PM
rating: -2
 
froston

d'Arnaud

Feb 25, 2013 19:03 PM
rating: 3
 
BarryR

Even as a Met fan dating back forever, this made me LOL.

Feb 25, 2013 18:57 PM
rating: 0
 
gizrock13

That shit cray

Feb 25, 2013 16:06 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

The response has been cray. Many thanks to everybody for the comments, both here, in the chat, and on Twitter. Just got back from the fields. Available all night for questions.

Feb 25, 2013 16:40 PM
 
aso5018

Will a good year at A+ then maybe AA have Hanson/Polanco pushing the top 25 next season?

Feb 25, 2013 16:52 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

I'm not sold that Hanson is a SS long-term; Polanco could be a solid CF. Both have legit potential with the stick. I think Polanco has a better chance than Hanson, but others disagree.

Feb 25, 2013 16:55 PM
 
davinhbrown

Nolan Arenado was getting tons of hype last year at this time. I know his season didn't match the level of the prior year, but any other big reasons for his drop?

Feb 25, 2013 17:09 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

The upper minors exposed more of his weaknesses, which is often the case. He's still a very legit prospect, as the ranking suggests. He's just not without warts.

Feb 25, 2013 18:26 PM
 
jasrjohn

could you please name some youngsters that are, if everything goes perfect, 7 ceilings that did not appear in the top 101?

Feb 25, 2013 17:11 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

I can't really think of many players with all-star ceilings that didn't get a mention on the list. Rare types. You can go very low in the minors with guys like Sanchez and Gohara in the Mariners system, but the list is very short.

Feb 25, 2013 18:28 PM
 
hknova

Think you are being a bit tough here Mr. Parks.. He did say if everything goes perfect... And to that degree think many of the HS arms from the 2012 draft class have that upside: Smoral, Berrios, Hensly, Sims... all have perfect world 7 updside right?

Feb 25, 2013 21:57 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

No; 7-upside for a pitcher is basically a number one or a very good number two. I don't have those ranked quite that high.

Feb 25, 2013 22:40 PM
 
hknova

Ok not talking about anyone specific but defining a 7 level pitcher...95MPH fastball, above average change, average curve and above average control/command with average pitch-ability.... Would that qualify?

Feb 26, 2013 03:20 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Most top of the rotation arms have a plus-plus pitch, at least two plus secondary pitches, plus command, durability, and a good approach/feel for pitching. Rare combo

Feb 26, 2013 07:06 AM
 
hknova

Thanks.. I feel like that definition is of maybe 10 pitchers in all of baseball... Clearly setting the bar high.

Feb 27, 2013 00:09 AM
rating: 0
 
jasrjohn

thanks... yeah I was just looking for some guys very low in the minors... are there any other players down there that you can really dream on?

Feb 25, 2013 22:54 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Sure. On most team rankings, the "On the Rise" types are usually low-level dreams that could become bigger prospects in 2013. I tend to favor the high ceiling types for that section, so you will find a high number of high risk/high reward types.

Feb 25, 2013 23:00 PM
 
NL2003

Was Berrios far off, and can you see him
moving up for next year?

Feb 25, 2013 17:17 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Not far off at all. I can see him taking a very big step forward in 2013

Feb 25, 2013 18:29 PM
 
amazin_mess

Professor,

Why Michael Fulmer and not Domingo Tapia? Thanks!

Feb 25, 2013 17:42 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Both are quality arms. I like Fullmer's chances to stick around in a rotation. Tapia is electric, but might end up in the 'pen.

Feb 25, 2013 18:30 PM
 
Scott Gilroy

Was a bit surprised to see Chris Owings on the list. Is it that he is closer to being ready for major league action or are you just more confident in his talent than most?

Feb 25, 2013 17:44 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Owings projects to stick at SS with a decent bat and good secondary skills. He's not ready for major league action, but I think there is a good chance that he gets there eventually.

Feb 25, 2013 18:31 PM
 
Jeff Lewandowski

Excellent work, Jason et al. If still-eligible and sprinkled onto this list, where would some of last year's top catching prospects land -- Grandal, Mesoraco, W. Rosario, W. Castillo?

Feb 25, 2013 19:00 PM
rating: 0
 
Luke in MN

Jason, I recall you mentioning loving Max Kepler and was a little surprised not to see him on your list. Care to comment?

(And any chance BP will put out another prospects-focused podcast?)

Feb 25, 2013 19:08 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Nice ceiling; nice prospect; hard to find a spot for him when I couldn't even find a spot for Berrios, a prospect ranked higher in Twins system.

Feb 25, 2013 19:18 PM
 
R.A.Wagman

Jason - glad to see your hard work coming to fruition. Outside of Nolin and Sanchez, any Jays' prospects that you considered for the top 101?

Feb 25, 2013 20:05 PM
rating: 0
 
jardinero

Thanks for your efforts, Jason. I'm generally more interested in descriptions than rankings, because it's so tough to predict what's going to become of these guys or to compare players who are different ages and positions. That said, why do you consider Wacha an ever so slightly better prospect than fellow first-round pick Fried? I wouldn't be surprised if Wacha has a better career (for all we know Fried won't get past Double-A), but I assumed Fried had a higher ceiling.

Feb 25, 2013 20:23 PM
rating: 0
 
Greg

Sonny Gray has way more stuff than Straily. I assume questions about his ability to remain a starter pushed him off the top 101?

And what about Grant Green aren't you a fan of? The defensive skills at 2B? A few places, including Billy Owens and a recent fangraphs profile, threw a Michael Young hit-tool label on him, which is big praise.

Feb 25, 2013 21:11 PM
rating: 0
 
Greg

then again I guess 24 year-old 2B prospects aren't really your thing. The 2Bs never get much love.

Feb 25, 2013 21:16 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Fringe players don' get much love. If Green was a better prospect he'd get more prospect love. He has a chance to be a second division type. That's the reality of the skill-set. He's a white, hit-tool first 2B type that was originally a SS, so the Michael Young comps are obvious and easy. It doesn't mean Green is going to be Michael Young.

Feb 25, 2013 22:44 PM
 
JusitnG

Can't help but sob thinking about what the Pirates' system would look like if they had taken Dahl last year and been able to close the deal with Sano when they had the chance.

Ah well, great work Professor!

Feb 25, 2013 21:22 PM
rating: 0
 
ColKiner

Seems like there is an unusually large number of third basemen high on the list when the position is already pretty deep at the MLB level. How many of them will have to move before they get to the show permanently? Also seems like the list is lighter than usual on LHPs

Feb 25, 2013 22:54 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Major league depth doesn't influence the list. Prospects are prospects, and we try to evaluate them in a scouting vacuum.

Feb 25, 2013 22:58 PM
 
bheikoop

What do you mean a "scouting vacuum"? It's hard to imagine that there is currently only one first basemen with a hit tool.

Feb 26, 2013 14:23 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Huh? Scouting in a vacuum: meaning we are just focused on the specifics of the player, not organizational issues/influence.

Feb 26, 2013 16:05 PM
 
Richard Bergstrom

Shouldn't organizations factor in more? Consider Nick Castellanos who, by many accounts, is at least adequate defensively at third base. But, he's been moved to the outfield through no real fault of his own, but because the Tigers moved Miguel Cabrera over. Would Castellanos be higher than #37 if not for the change?

Feb 27, 2013 16:04 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

No. Olt is a similar. Very good 3B, but unlikely to play much 3B because of Beltre at the major league level. This doesn't influence his ranking, though. The scouting report is about the player, not the org.

Feb 27, 2013 16:19 PM
 
Richard Bergstrom

Ok thanks for the info.

Feb 27, 2013 23:35 PM
rating: 0
 
Tommy Fastball

Jairo Beras get any consideration?

Feb 25, 2013 23:04 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

He didn't. He failed to crack the Rangers top ten. He's a good candidate to jump into the top ten in that system next year, but right now, too many questions (too many unknowns) about the skill-set.

Feb 25, 2013 23:15 PM
 
bheikoop

48 to 52. This is the split between pitchers and hitters. It's not simply BP, but all prospectors seem to be rating pitchers on par with hitters.

Using WAR, and a lazy line of "the top 50 VORP" for each pitcher and hitter we see the 50th ranked hitter comes in with 31.6 (Alex Gordon) and the 50th ranked pitcher comes in with 16.9 (Chad Billingsley).

Thus, if hitters are generally twice as valuable as pitchers, should we see a similar split within the top 100 of any prospect list?

Feb 26, 2013 07:30 AM
rating: 1
 
SC

Great point, and that's at the MLB level, and ignores the higher (I believe, based on TNSAPP, but don't actually have data in front of me) failure rate of pitching prospects to become even fringe MLB players.

Feb 26, 2013 13:43 PM
rating: 1
 
BarryR

Here's how I see this - the pros may differ:

1) In order to have any VORP, you have to get to the majors. Most ML teams carry 12 pitchers, which is 48% of their roster. So that's not out of line.
2)If anything, there should be more pitching prospects, because there will be a higher rate of attrition among pitchers, whether through catastrophic injury or just completely losing it.
3) It is easier to find pitching prospects because of the nature of prospects. The flaws in a hitting prospect - lack of power, speed, selectivity, positional value - are not easy to overlook. You can project some added power, but if someone can't run or field, there is little to no reason to expect improvement, so they get downgraded. But if a pitcher has quality stuff, you can project better command, you can hope he masters a breaking ball or changeup, and if not, he could still end up in the pen. It's just easier to wishcast pitchers.
4) Because of 3 above, the list is unbalanced. 14 of the top 21 are hitters, 25 of the top 40 are hitters. But after that, it swings to pitchers, because it's easier to see the route to the majors if they add something.

Feb 26, 2013 13:49 PM
rating: 3
 
salvomania
(449)

Does a location guy like Seth Maness have a chance to make this list next year, offsetting a low K rate and a fastball maxing out in the upper 80s with otherworldly control (only 15 bb in 222 ip in A/AA, or 0.6/9)?

Feb 26, 2013 07:48 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Highly unlikely given my love of stuff. Guys with upper-80s fastballs rarely turn into quality major league pitchers, and prospect projection is all about what is possible at the major league level.

Feb 26, 2013 07:54 AM
 
JoeTetreault

Professor,
First, excellent list. A couple of questions.

What informs the adoration of Addison Russell? I've seen projections of him as a 6, but the BP team's unqualified 7 seemed enthusiastic at first. What did you and your team see?

Is Michael Choice a center fielder, or a left fielder cleverly disguised as a center fielder?

Feb 26, 2013 07:59 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

If Russell can stay at SS, he's a role 7 player or potential all-star. Middle of the diamond players with plus bats are extremely rare and extremely valuable.

Choice is most likely a LF, but he can also handle RF. He has played some CF, but its not an ideal home for him at the major league level.

Feb 26, 2013 08:14 AM
 
JoeTetreault

Follow up on Russell, if I may. I've seen both Russell and Correa receive glowing write ups highlighting their ability to provide plus offense at shortstop. How much separates these guys? Is it the evaluation of risk (Russell as medium and moving up fast, Correa high but with solid makeup)?

Feb 26, 2013 08:38 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Nailed it.

Feb 26, 2013 08:39 AM
 
JoeTetreault

Thanks, Jason. See you in Arlington in April.

Feb 26, 2013 09:24 AM
rating: 0
 
straymond

Risers and Fallers

Professor, wonderful list and many thanks. You have stated a number of times that the list was done some time ago and prospects are always moving. Which guy or guys has moved up the most and which guy or guys have moved down the most since compilation?

Feb 26, 2013 09:48 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Ben Lindbergh
BP staff

Added a link at the top to this Unfiltered post, which breaks down the Top 101 by position, organization, and age.

Feb 26, 2013 10:05 AM
 
Jay Levin

Just a technical note, the Link for most recent Scouting Report doesn't really work for players traded since the Top 10s were posted. Don't know if this affects anyone other than Trevor Bauer.

Feb 27, 2013 11:02 AM
rating: 0
 
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