Top 50 Prospects
1. Dylan Bundy, P, Baltimore Orioles – What more can I say? Bundy has the size and stuff to be a dominant front-end starter. I expect the Orioles to ease him into Majors as he continues to mature as a pitcher. He’s only going to get better, which is scary, isn’t it?
2. Wil Myers, OF, Tampa Bay Rays – Tampa got a huge steal out of Myers in the trade with Kansas City. His patience was very good here and there last year but when it went away he slumped pretty harshly. If he continues to show improvements as he did in 2012 and takes walks, he’ll be that star bat to hit alongside Evan Longoria in the future.
3. Jurickson Profar, SS, Texas Rangers – Profar struggled in his short appearance with the Rangers but his potential still remains sky-high. Profar seems destined to start the year in Triple-A unless Ian Kinsler is shifted in the field but more grooming will only help him. Did I mention he’ll only be 20 come Opening Day, too?
4. Trevor Bauer, RHP, Cleveland Indians – Bauer never really strayed too far from his minor league K/9 rates, registering a 9.4 with Arizona in 2012 compared to 11.2 in Double-A and 10.6 in Triple-A. The issue was his questionable control that finally caught up to him, which saw his BB/9 rate climb from 4.8 (AA) to 3.8 (AAA) to 7.2 (MLB). If he reigns in that control he has the repertoire to dominate.
5. Danny Hultzen, LHP, Seattle Mariners – Hultzen had such staggering Double-A numbers (8-3, 9.4 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 to name a few) that he had fans clamoring for a promotion to Seattle. The right move, Mariners brass proved, was Triple-A, which is where Hultzen’s control took a hit. His strikeout rate actually improved to 10.5 but his walks took a huge hit, rising to 8.0. His BABIP also went from .203 to .351 during his promotion. He’ll be up in due time and likely be a star in the cavernous Safeco Field.
6. Taijuan Walker, RHP, Seattle Mariners – Imagine this rotation, coming soon: Felix Hernandez, Danny Hultzen and Walker. Still few hitters but Walker is in line to join the King and his fellow prospect in a projected formidable rotation of young arms. Walker’s advanced numbers were better than his common numbers, so good things are to come. He may actually end up beating Hultzen to Seattle.
7. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates – Cole absolutely dominated the minors in 2012 registering a strikeout rate no lower than 9.2 and a walk rate no higher than 3.5. Even scarier is that his BABIP numbers were near average at .267 in Single-A, .315 in Double-A and .375 in one Triple-A start. He could be a sleeper to join Pittsburgh sooner than expected in 2013.
8. Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks – Skaggs struggled in his time up with Arizona but he still has top-notch stuff. With Trevor Bauer now out of his way, he only needs to be aware of Archie Bradley usurping his path to the desert.
9. Shelby Miller, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals – Miller was plummeting on lists after a horrid-looking start to 2012. Fortunately, he rebounded and produced a 10.5 K/9 and 2.6 B/9 in six appearances in St. Louis, one start. His 2.28 FRA and 1.89 FIP were fantastic and he’s should be back on his way to top prospect level. I’m betting on him here to keep it up.
10. Zack Wheeler, RHP, New York Mets – Wheeler had another impressive year in the minors and his path to the Majors is shortened somewhat. If he does come up, he’ll join a nice rotation basis of Jonathon Niese and Matt Harvey. As with all Mets pitchers, he’ll benefit reaching Citi Field, even with shortened fences.
11. Nick Castellanos, 3B/OF, Detroit Tigers
12. Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians
13. Travis d’Arnaud, C, New York Mets
14. Jameson Tallion, RHP, PIttsburgh Pirates
15. Mike Olt, 3B, Texas Rangers
16. Billy Hamilton, SS, Cincinnati Reds
17. Oscar Tavares, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
18. Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
19. Christian Yelich, OF, Miami Marlins
20. Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves
21. Javier Baez, SS, Chicago Cubs
22. Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota Twins
23. Jose Fernandez, RHP, Miami Marlins
24. Jonathan Singelton, 1B, Houston Astros
25. Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
26. Jose Fernandez, RHP, Miami Marlins
27. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies
28. Bubba Starling, OF, Kansas City Royals
29. Carlos Martinez, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
30. Starling Marte, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
31. Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins
32. Nick Franklin, SS, Seattle Mariners
33. Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Tampa Bay Rays
34. Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros
35. Matt Barnes, RHP, Boston Red Sox
36. Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston Red Sox
37. Gary Sanchez, C, New York Yankees
38. Jake Marisnick, OF, Miami Marlins
39. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals
40. Jackie Bradley, OF, Boston Red Sox
41. Mason Williams, OF, New York Yankees
42. Albert Almora, OF, Chicago Cubs
43. Matt Davidson, 3B, Arizona Diamonbacks
44. Mike Zunino, C, Seattle Mariners
45. Alen Hanson, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates
46. Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
47. Martin Perez, LHP, Texas Rangers
48. Jedd Gyorko, 3B, San Diego Padres
49. Alex Meyer, RHP, Minnesota Twins
50. George Springer, OF, Houston Astros
Next Best Five: Kolten Wong (2B, St. Louis Cardinals), Max Fried (LHP, San Diego Padres), Zach Lee (RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers), Kaleb Cowart (3B, Los Angeles Angels), Kevin Gausman (RHP, Baltimore Orioles), Brett Jackson (OF Chicago Cubs).