2012 Top 100 Prospects: 51-100
This article is prospects number 51-100 on my top 100 prospect list. Numbers 1-50 will be up tomorrow.
Its time to release my 1st annual top 100 prospect list. This list is my personal ranking and preference of the top 100 prospects in the game. I am always open to different opinions. I gather my information on each player from some combination of scouting reports, video, live games, and people in the industry. I am not a scout, nor do i claim to be one. All rankings are subject to change. Enjoy!
- To qualify for this list, you must still have rookie eligibility. That means under 50 innings pitched for a pitcher and less than 130 at bats for a hitter. Players are also disqualified if they have spent over 45 days on the active roster of a major league team.
- International signees that are over 23 are not eligible. That means Yu Darvish and Yoenis Cespedes will not be on this list.
- Only players that have signed professional contracts as of 3/1/12 are eligible. That means no Jorge Soler.
51. Starling Marte, Outfield – Pirates
Marte is a potential 5 tool player, but is still rather raw for a 23-year-old. He needs to work on taking more walks and not striking out as much. If he can make the proper adjustments, Marte could be an all star caliber player with plus defense in centerfield.
52. James Paxton, LHP – Mariners
Paxton, who has number 2/3 upside, is likely to finish 2012 as a part of Seattle’s rotation. Paxton needs to work slightly on his command before he is truly ready though.
53. AJ Cole, RHP – Athletics
I really like AJ Cole. I think he will be a number 2 starter with an outside chance at being an ace. Cole has great velocity, hitting 98 at times, but needs some work on his changeup. I expect Cole to be a top 30 prospect next year.
54. Garrett Richards, RHP – Angels
Richards is probably MLB ready at the moment, and I think he will be the Angel’s 5th starter this season. Richards’ upside is that of a number 2, workhorse type starter. Richards is going to need to miss more bats to reach that upside though.
55. Aaron Sanchez, RHP – Blue Jays
I am much higher on Sanchez than most. This is because I feel he has huge upside. Sanchez is almost all projection, but he could end up as a number 1 starter. Sanchez needs to work on his command, and could rocket up this list come 2013.
56. Joe Ross, RHP – Padres
Ross is a little bit like Sanchez, in that he has enormous upside, but is a ways away from reaching it. Ross is much better than his brother, Tyson, and I feel as if he will be a top end of the rotation starter. Like Sanchez, he could rocket up this list come 2013.
57. Addison Reed, RHP – White Sox
Reed is a future top of the line closer, and I have little doubt about that. He is ready to step in right now, and has a plus-plus fastball. If he wasn’t destined for the bullpen, he would be higher on this list.
58. Gary Sanchez, Catcher – Yankees
Sanchez has the potential to hit 25+ home runs, with passable defense at catcher. His only question marks are his makeup and work ethic. He has great potential, but needs to take his work more seriously before I rank him higher.
59. Will Middlebrooks, 3B – Red Sox
I like Middlebrooks chances at being a solid everyday third baseman. He has a strong glove as well as solid hit and power tools. His one question mark would be his plate discipline which could greatly affect his future value.
60. Jonathan Schoop, SS – Orioles
Schoop has great potential, but he will likely end up at third base. He has a strong arm which will allow him to excel at 3rd, and he also has a strong bat that profiles there. I really think Schoop is going to hit well in the majors.
61. Drew Hutchinson, RHP – Blue Jays
Hutchinson has a plus changeup and his velocity has picked up since being drafted. I think Hutchinson is a safe bet to end up as a number 3 starter.
62. Mason Williams, Outfield – Yankees
Mason Williams is a potential 5 tool player who could excel in the outfield for the Yankees. A strong season in full season ball could raise his stock.
63. Anthony Gose, Outfield – Blue Jays
Gose has enormous upside, it’s just a matter of him putting it all together. Gose will need to cut down on his strikeouts to maximize his potential.
64. Taylor Jungmann, RHP – Brewers
Jungmann looks like a middle of the rotation innings eater to me. Number 2 starter upside is possible, but I’d hedge my bets with him ending up as a number 3. Should reach the big leagues at some point in 2013.
65. George Springer, Outfield – Astros
Springer is an extremely toolsy college hitter. His swing mechanics may be his only worry. Springer should be able to provide plus power and defense, while getting on base at a high clip.
66. Yasmani Grandal, Catcher – Padres
Grandal has a strong bat and solid plate discipline. Needs some work on his catching skills, but should develop into an everyday catcher at the big league level.
67. John Hellweg, RHP – Angels
Hellweg is a tall guy (6-9) with fantastic stuff. He could end up as a top of the rotation starter. He needs to prove his 2011 breakthrough was not a fluke.
68. Nick Franklin, SS – Mariners
Really like Franklin’s chances to hit 20+ home runs with a decent batting average for a shortstop. JJ Hardy type numbers is a probably a likely scenario for him.
69. Jarred Cosart, RHP – Astros
Cosart has excellent velocity, but needs to miss more bats. Could end up as a solid reliever or a number 2 starter.
70. Chad Bettis, RHP – Rockies
I really like his chances of ending up as a middle of the rotation workhorse, but like Cosart, he may end up in the bullpen. Dominated the Offensively heavy California league last season.
71. Oscar Taveras, Outfield – Cardinals
Tavares has the potential of a middle of the order bat. He has a fantastic hit tool, which will enable him to hit for a high average, and should develop plus power. He may be slightly limited defensively, but should be solid in right field.
72. Mikie Mahtook, Outfield – Rays
I find it amazing how he slipped so far in the 2011 draft. Mahtook has average to above average tools across the board, and should be a valuable piece of Tampa Bay’s outfield for years to come.
73. Trevor May, RHP – Phillies
May is a big time strikeout pitcher who should miss plenty of bats in the big leagues. Needs to improve his command before he can rank higher.
74. Jake Odorizzi, RHP – Royals
Should develop into a solid middle of the rotation starter, but needs to further develop a breaking ball.
75. Taylor Guerrieri, RHP – Rays
This ranking almost feels a little low for Guerrieri. He has the potential to be a number 1 starter. He throws in the upper 90’s, and his only concerns are his makeup and whether he can develop a third pitch. Guerrieri should rocket up this list come 2013.
76. Matt Barnes, RHP – Red Sox
Barnes isn’t as polished as some college pitchers, but he has the upside of a number 2 starter. I’m Surprised he lasted 19 picks in the 2011 draft.
77. Eddie Rosario, Outfield – Twins
Rosario has average to above average tools across the board, and should end up as a solid big league regular.
78. Brandon Jacobs, Outfield – Red Sox
Jacobs (no relation the NFL running back) is an extremely toolsy young outfielder. He has 25/25 potential, but needs to work on his strike zone judgement.
79. Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B – Royals
Cuthbert has a chance to have a plus-plus bat at the hot corner. He needs work on his defense, but the bat should carry him.
80. Josh Bell, Outfield – Pirates
Bell is rather raw for a high school position player, but he has enormous power potential. If all goes well, he could put up 30+ home runs with a high OBP and solid average. I’m slightly skeptical about his defensive skills.
81. Nathan Eovaldi, RHP – Dodgers
This may be a little low, but I think Eovaldi will need to spend a couple more months in the minors before he is ready. Should stick as a starter, but there is a chance he ends up in the bullpen.
82. Jedd Gyorko, 3B – Padres
Gyorko should hit for a high average in the big leagues. He has good plate discipline, as well as average to slightly above average power. Will likely stick at third, but don’t expect gold glove caliber play from him there.
83. Kaleb Cowart, 3B – Angels
A personal favorite, I believe Cowart is in for a big year in 2012. He has a plus glove at third, and a great arm. He has a strong hit tool with 20+ homer potential. Needs to work on his plate discipline, but I believe it will come.
84. Daniel Norris, RHP – Blue Jays
Norris has a ceiling of a number 2 starter, and fell to the 2nd round of the 2011 draft due to signing concerns.
85. Joe Wieland, RHP – Padres
Wieland has plus command and solid secondary pitches. Could use some work on his fastball, but he should develop into a number 3 starter.
86. Tyrell Jenkins, RHP – Cardinals
Another guy who could rocket up this list next year, Jenkins is an outstanding athlete with the potential to be a number 1 or 2 starter. Needs to stay healthy and pitch a full season before I can truly believe in him.
87. Allen Webster, RHP – Dodgers
Webster has number 2 starter upside, and should develop as a solid middle of the rotation innings eater. Could reach the big leagues at some point in late 2012.
88. Derek Norris, Catcher – Athletics
Norris is probably average defensively at catcher, but his bat will carry him. He should hit about .260 with 20+ homers and a high OBP.
89. Wily Peralta, RHP – Brewers
Pretty safe bet to develop into a number 3 starter. Peralta should get a September call-up in 2012, and could be in the rotation by 2013.
90. Casey Kelly, RHP – Padres
Kelly’s stock has slipped from a potential ace to a likely number 3 starter. He has had command problems, and I would like to see him improve his secondary stuff.
91. Christian Bethancourt, Catcher – Braves
Scouts rave about his defense, and I think he could be an elite defensive catcher. His bat is a definite question mark, and whether he can hit or not will determine if he can make it in the big leagues.
92. Dellin Betances, RHP – Yankees
Betances has excellent stuff, but has major command problems. I believe he will end up in the bullpen, possibly as Mariano Rivera’s successor.
93. Javier Baez, SS – Cubs
Baez is very raw, but he has the potential to have plus power. He will likely need to move to third base, but his bat should be able to play there.
94. Daniel Corcino, RHP – Reds
Despite his size, Corcino has a plus fastball and should develop into a number 3 starter at the big league level.
95. Luis Heredia, RHP – Pirates
Heredia is almost all projection. He is so young, that he could still likely bust. He has ace potential, but he is many years away. Could shoot up the list with a strong season.
96. Jed Bradley, LHP – Brewers
Bradley is sort of similar to Jungmann, but he isn’t as close to the big leagues. Has number 2 starter upside, but mechanical issues caused him to slip a little in the draft.
97. Sonny Gray, RHP – Athletics
Gray has a great fastball and curveball, but needs to further develop the changeup. He could end up as a mid rotation starter or in the bullpen.
98. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP – Braves
Vizcaino was in the top 40 on this list, before it was announced he had to undergo Tommy John surgery. He still projects as a number 2 starter, but durability questions really hinder him.
99. Blake Swihart, Catcher – Red Sox
Swihart has a chance to be an offensively potent catcher. He will likely stick at the position and should hit 20+ homers per year. He is young and is probably at least 3 years away from the big leagues.
100. Alex Meyer, RHP – Nationals
Meyer has the upside of a number 2 starter or a closer, but he has command issues. He has a good chance to be a bust, but he has great upside.
– Justin Millar (@justinmillar1)