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Jason looks at one of his favorites to take a step forward this season, Toronto's Roberto Osuna.

As the Top 10 Prospects for each organization are rolled out this offseason, I often find myself focusing on a particular few prospects from each club. For the Indians, it's Francisco Lindor, about whom I wrote a few weeks back. For the Toronto Blue Jays, it’s right-hander Roberto Osuna, who reminds me, in one way at least, of Texas Rangers shortstop Jurickson Profar.

Osuna became a favorite of mine after seeing him debut in the Northwest League this past summer. He won't turn 18 until February and already displays a mature feel for pitching while flashing plus stuff. While he's nothing like Profar physically and pitches rather than playing an athletic position and taking four turns in the batter's box every night out, the two have one thing in common: polish beyond their years.

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December 7, 2012 5:53 am

Prospect Push: Ranking the Traded Prospects

4

Jason Churchill

How good are the hauls teams received in recent trades?

Each offseason—and occasionally during the season, especially in July—clubs acquire proven big-league players by sending prospects to their tango partners as part of the return. There already have been a handful of such trades since the end of the 2012 season, and there are numerous rumors suggesting more could be in the offing.

Let's rank those that have been moved to date.

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December 4, 2012 5:00 am

Prospect Push: On the Brink of Elite

16

Jason Churchill

A look at the players most likely to step up into the ranks of elite prospects in 2013.

Among the seven clubs covered in the 2013 Top 10 before yesterday's talent-rich Royals rankings are 70 ranked prospects. Within that group, there are a few dozen very strong prospects that project to be above-average regulars with the potential for more. There isn't one truly elite prospect among them—despite several with superstar upside, the best of them lack the track record and probability of a premium prospect—and there aren't going to be many in the next 23 sets of by-team rankings either.

There are, however, a number of talents who have the combination of tools, legit baseball skill, and makeup to wear such a tag at this time next year. Using the 70 players already ranked as the canvas, here is a painting of a few I have identified that could join the ultra-small crop of elite prospects in 2013.

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November 9, 2012 10:28 am

Prospect Push: Scouting the Sixth Tool

7

Jason Churchill

Makeup may not be one of the 'five tools' but many talent evaluators consider it as important as anything. Scouting it presents challenges.

In the world of evaluating baseball talent, scouts often refer to the five tools -- hitting, hitting for power, foot speed, arm strength and defensive range. Players with high grades in each area often bring superstar upside to the ballpark. What separates those who blossom from those who don't is what I like to call the Sixth Tool.

That tool is “makeup,” a mix of maturity, desire and an advanced approach to the game. In some instances, it involves an extra gear of effort and can draw the "gamer" label. It's not uncommon for a player's makeup to be the deciding factor when clubs produce their final draft boards or ultimate evaluations.

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November 2, 2012 8:28 am

Prospect Push: Notes from the Arizona Fall League

13

Jason Churchill

Halfway through the Arizona Fall League, it's time to check in on some of the most talked-about players.

The Arizona Fall League has developed into an off-season combine for clubs to evaluate some of the top talents in the minor leagues, including their own. This year's schedule is just beyond the mid-point of the schedule with the circuit's all-star event—the Rising Stars Game—slated for Saturday.

The class of participants in the 21st year of the AFL is deep in talent, and scouts are raving about the results of the eye test, despite what the statistics may suggest. Here are a handful of the most talked about performers in the desert this fall.

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October 19, 2012 8:59 am

Prospect Push: Prospect-for-Prospect Trades

16

Jason Churchill

Clubs don't generally make trades unless there's a major leaguer involved, but here are a few trades that make sense even without one.

Clubs don't often make trades unless some major-league talent is involved. The typical swap is centered on the immediate needs of a contending club or one that plans to do so in the immediate future. So, while one side may sacrifice pieces of the future in the form of top prospects, the other is looking to add such assets to its organization in exchange for veterans.

There are instances, however, where it appears two teams match up well in prospect-for-prospect trades that benefit all parties, most of which include talents who are close to being big-league ready. Here are five such examples.

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October 12, 2012 9:31 am

Prospect Push: Big League Ready-or-Not

7

Jason Churchill

Though teams are often shy about playing a youngster over an oldster, some players look too promising to ignore.

Even when a player has developed and shows he might be ready to handle major league competition, some clubs are still hesitant to promote from within, preferring instead to play a veteran incumbent. This is often particularly true if the club is trying to compete rather than rebuild. However, many organizations are willing to bet on youth, even if letting the incumbent go is more expensive.

Several top prospects figure to play heavily into the decision-making process this winter when their clubs consider trades and free agents to shore up their rosters. Here are just a few players who are good bets to get some consideration as viable options:

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