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February 9, 2012 posted by FP911 Staff

2012 Fantasy Baseball Top 100 Prospects Overview

2012 Fantasy Baseball Top 100 Prospects Overview
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Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels OF

Contributing Writer : Rich Wilson

Rich Wilson takes us down a fantastical journey of the 2012 MLB Top 100 Prospects. Unlike a lot of list that you see across the Internet, Rich actually has seen these players play.

The list is filled with players who have an opportunity to reach the big-leagues this year, but takes it even further and looks at players for your Dynasty League and can help you down the road.

Enjoy…

  • 1. Bryce Harper – OF (Washington Nationals)
    • I had Harper listed at #2 in June’s 2011 Top 50 list, but the more I see Harper, the more I’m realizing that we are looking at a very special player.  Harper has true 80 grade raw power that could translate into 40+ home runs in the majors.  He’ll have decent speed initially (10-15 stolen bases per year) but as the body fills out, the speed will diminish.  There has also been a lot of discussion about Harper’s make-up.  What I’ve seen and experienced is an intense competitor that has a great relationship with his teammates and works extremely hard.  Is he going to be an arrogant megastar?  Possibly, but I’ll take that, with the talent and hard work any day of the week.
  • 2. Mike Trout – OF (Los Angeles Angels)
    • Everyone got a chance to see Trout display his skills in the Majors last season.  While the production was not there, a careful observer could see the plate discipline, bat speed, and raw 80 speed that will make him a potential all-star for years.  A scary comp is Carl Crawford with more power or Grady Sizemore (circa 2008) with a .300 batting average.  His make-up is off the charts as is illustrated by his participation in the AFL.  After a long season that included significant playing time in the majors, Trout was there.
  • 3. Matt Moore  – LHP (Tampa Rays)
    • Matt Moore came into his own over the 2011 season, culminating in an impressive 7.0 IP, 4 hit, and 7 strikeout performance in the ALDS.  The scary thing about the performance was Moore’s stuff was not at it’s best that afternoon.  When you see Matt Moore pitch, it’s hard to believe that he’s hitting the upper 90’s with his fastball.  The delivery is free and easy with great movement.   His curve is a plus-plus tool and his change-up has moved to a 55-60 pitch.  Throw in great control and you’ve got a future Ace. The only question left is will the Rays put him in the starting rotation out of Spring Training or hold him back ala Desmond Jennings?  That question was answered when Moore signed his 5 year $14M deal with the Rays in December.  It’s all systems go for Matt Moore in 2012.
  • 4. Julio Teheran – RHP (Atlanta Braves)
    • The Braves have been very aggressive with Julio Teheran’s development, moving him quickly through the organization and even starting him three times in the majors during the 2011 season.  All three of those starts were sub-optimal and illustrates while Teheran is very advanced at age 20, he still has room for improvement.  Some have even started to sour on Teheran’s upside and while his breaking ball is average at best, his fastball, change-up and command are all plus.  He turns 21 on January 27th…that’s a 2 followed by a 1.  Patience!
  • 5. Shelby Miller – RHP (St. Louis)
    • Recently promoted to Double A, Miller has a 93-95 MPH fastball with an above average curve.  The command is still developing.  There’s a lot to like with Miller and along with Julio Teheran, is the best right-handed pitching prospect in the minors.
  • 6. Jesus Montero – C, DH (Seattle Mariners)
    • The Yankees are a veteran team that takes delicate managing of the many egos on the team.  That style of managing led to Jorge Posada playing DH in 2011, forcing one of the best hitting prospects in the minors to continue to hone his craft down on the farm.  The reports of Montero being bored are well known.   But once he got a chance, he showed the 70 hit tool and power that will make Montero an absolute beast in the Majors.   I have Montero listed as a DH and playing for the Yankees, that is what his position will be.  If he gets traded, don’t expect him to play catcher, but instead, be moved to 1B.
  • 7. Anthony Rendon – 3B (Washington Nationals)
    • The Washington Nationals have two of the top 7 prospects in the minor leagues.  That’s impressive.  While listed second on the Nationals depth chart, Rendon has future star written all over him.  He has a very quick bat that moves fast and level through the hitting zone with great plate discipline.  That approach should make Rendon a .300 hitter with plus power (20-25) at full maturity.  Rendon is also a very nice defender and has the tools to stay at 3B.  If the Nationals make a long-term commitment to Ryan Zimmerman, Rendon has the quickness to move to 2B.  The speed is only average given his multiple ankle surgeries over the past two years.
  • 8. Jurickson Profar – SS (Texas Rangers)
    • Everybody talked about how young Bryce Harper was in the Sally League, but Jurickson Profar, the young shortstop prospect from the Texas Rangers, was even younger and wound up as the MVP of the league.  Profar has five average to above average tools with no apparent weakness but also no true elite skill.  In Low-A, Profar hit 12 home runs, stole 23 bases with a 65/63 strikeout to walk ratio.  His defense is also excellent with an above average lateral movement and arm.  Scott Boras and Elvis Andrus might equal Jurickson Profar in 2014.
  • 9. Gerrit Cole – RHP (Pittsburgh Pirates)
    • Cole was the 2011 #1 overall pick in the amateur draft out of UCLA. He has elite stuff with an upper 90′s fastball, a nasty change-up and an improving slider.  He was being compared at the beginning of the college season to Stephen Strasburg, but scouts quickly realized that while the stuff is there, the command is lacking.  A 6-4 and 220lbs, Cole should have the body to endure 200+ innings at the major league level.   In his highly anticipated AFL debut, Cole did not disappoint; lighting up the radar with several triple digit readings.
  • 10. Devin Mesoraco – C (Cincinnati Reds)
    • With Jesus Montero destined to be a designated hitter, Devin Mesoraco is now clearly the #1 catching prospect in the minors and has an excellent chance to break Spring Training with the Cincinnati Reds.  Mesoraco is primarily an offensive catcher, although his defensive skills have improved in the last year.  While he has a big hard swing, he makes great contact at 81% and also is walking at a clip of 11%.  The power in Triple-A yielded 15 home runs but as he matures, Mesoraco should be able to contribute 20+ home runs annually.  Wrap it all up and you have a first division catcher with all-star potential.
  • 11. Manny Machado – SS (Baltimore Orioles)
    • Taken as the #3 overall pick in the 2010 Rule 4 draft, Machado had a terrific 1st year in professional ball given his age.  Machado’s combines strong wrist and a quick bat to go along with above average power and speed to form a scary package of a future all-star shortstop.  He also has shown nice plate discipline and approach with an 81% contact rate and a 12% walk rate between Low-A and High-A.
  • 12. Jacob Turner – RHP (Detroit Tigers)
    • Tall projectable pitcher with smooth mechanics with great velocity (94MPH-96MPH) and the ability to spin a curve.  Change-up is improving and while only 20, look for the Tigers to break camp with him as the #5 pitcher in the starting rotation.
  • 13. Wil Myers – OF (Kansas City Royals)
    • A nasty knee infection slowed the development for Wil Myers in 2011, but the hit tool remains solid.  While the move to the outfield will accelerate his path to the majors, the dream of an elite hitting prospect behind the plate is gone.  In many 2011 pre-season list, Myers was a top 20 prospect but based on his 2011 season, his ranking could very well fall.  However, don’t be fooled, Myers has tremendous upside and all-star potential.
  • 14. Dylan Bundy – RHP (Baltimore Orioles)
    • One of the more advanced high school pitchers to be drafted in quite a while, Bundy sits 94-96MPH with a clean delivery and an advanced change-up for an 18 year-old.  Many scouts believe that he has the highest ceiling of any pitcher taken in the 2011 draft.  Expect Bundy to start in Low-A or even High-A to start the 2012 season.
  • 15. Trevor Bauer – RHP (Arizona Diamondbacks)
    • In February, scouts initially went to UCLA games to see Gerrit Cole, but stayed for the Saturday game and saw the emergence of Trevor Bauer.  Bauer is an advanced pitcher that led Division I in strikeouts with a 92-95MPH fastball and two above average breaking balls.  He signed quickly and excelled in 25.2 innings in High-A and Double-A striking out 43 and walking 12.  He does have a funky delivery that turned some scouts off but reminded others of Tim Lincecum.  A huge believer in the study of bio-mechanics and it’s application to pitching, Bauer’s approach may turn out to be revolutionary to pitching, OR, if doesn’t work, well, I’ll let you insert your own joke.  Bauer is on a fast track and could make his major league debut in 2012 with a #2 ceiling.
  • 16. Taijuan Walker – RHP (Seattle Mariners)
    • Taijuan Walker has as much talent as any pitcher on this list.  His fastball sits in the mid 90’s touching higher with a plus power curve.  He’s still working on his change-up, but it projects to also be an above average pitch.  Even after tiring in August, Walker managed to strikeout 113 batters in 96.2 innings while walking only 39 in the Midwest League (Low-A).  At 6-4 and 195 lbs, Walker has the body that can handle the 200 innings that a staff ace eventually will have to log, particularly after he fills out.   He’ll move up to the difficult CAL League (High-A) next spring.
  • 17. Jameson Taillon – RHP (Pittsburgh Pirates)
    • The Pirates took it very easy with their prized prospect, the #2 pick in the 2010 draft by limiting his starts to a maximum of 5 IP pitched per outing.  At 6’ 6” and 220lbs, sitting in the mid-90’s with a plus curve ball already, Taillon has future Ace written all over him.  In 2012, he should be promoted to High-A and have the training wheels raised a bit to start working on his change-up, a pitch that Pittsburgh rarely let him throw in 2011.
  • 18. Martin Perez –LHP (Texas Rangers)
    • Martin Perez has some of the best stuff in the minor leagues with three plus pitches and great mechanics.  His fastball sits 92-95MPH with good movement while his curve rates plus and his change-up even better.   While he has smooth mechanics, it has not manifested itself into great results as the command has been lacking (120K/56BB).  He is still rated very high in part because he will only turn 21 at the start of next season and has already made it to Triple-A.  The future is still very bright.
  • 19. Travis d’Arnaud – C (Toronto Blue Jays)
    • d’Arnaud quietly had a nice season in Double-A New Hampshire showing a 77% contact rate, 8% walk rate while hitting 311, slugging .542, and hitting 21 home runs.  He doesn’t have the raw power of major league incumbent J.P Arencibia, but his hit tool is superior.   d’Arnaud should start 2012 in Triple-A Las Vegas and the positive hitting environment should play well for him.  It will be interesting to see what Toronto does long-term as they now have two legitimate catchers in Travis d’Arnaud and J.P. Arencibia.   My bet is on d’Arnaud.
  • 20. Tyler Skaggs – LHP (Arizona Diamondbacks)
    • Taken as the player to be named later in the Dan Haren trade, there’s a lot to dream on with Skaggs.  He has size at 6-4 as well as plus velocity at 92-94MPH.  To complement the fastball, Skaggs also has a plus classic 12-6 curve that he can control with a change-up that has now ticked up to above average.  The best news is that he’s still very young at 20 years-old and may wind up being the best of an elite minor league crop of Diamondback pitchers.
  • 21. Danny Hultzen – LHP (Seattle Mariners)
    • Danny Hultzen was taken with the #2 pick in the 2011 amateur draft by the Seattle Mariners.  He possess a 91-94MHP fast ball with a good slider and change-up.  The thing that sets Hultzen apart is his excellent command and polished approach to pitching.  While his ceiling might not be as high as some of other standout pitchers in the 2011 draft, he should quickly work his way through the Mariners system with a 2012 major league appearance in the cards.
  • 22. Hak-Ju Lee – SS (Tampa Bay Rays)
    • Chris Archer was supposed to be the center piece of the 2011 Matt Garza trade, but Hak-Ju Lee has surpassed him and is now the shortstop of the future in Tampa Bay.  Lee has nice plate discipline and patience to go with plus speed and defensive ability.   Across two levels in 2011, Lee had a 94K/53BB in 500 at bats resulting in a .292 average.  This profile should play very well once Lee is promoted to the big leagues.  While Lee stole 33 bases, he was thrown out 16 times and will need to improve in order to be considered an elite base stealer.
  • 23. Carlos Martinez – RHP (St. Louis Cardinals)
    • Incredibly young talented 20-year old with an explosive fastball that reaches the upper 90’s with late movement.   Improving curve and an emerging change-up have scouts excited about the potential.  Command is not there yet and as the Futures Game showed, Martinez can get amped up and overthrow.  The stuff and velocity says “Ace”, the body at 6-0 at 170 have scouts unsure on whether he’s a starter or a late inning reliever.
  • 24. Jean Segura – SS (Los Angeles Angels)
    • Hamstring problems hindered the explosive Jean Segura in 2011 but there is a lot of talent in the 21-year old Dominican shortstop.  He has a very wide batting stance with little lower body movement that allows him to have great balance through his swing and produce hard line drives to all fields.  Segura posses plus speed and his 50 stolen bases in 2010 should be able to project once he arrives in the majors.  Barring another physical setback, Segura will start the year in Double-A with a September call-up not out of the question.
  • 25. Manny Banuelos – LHP (New York Yankees)
    • Manny Banuelos was all the talk a year ago as he exploded on the scene with an impressive 85K/25BB ratio in 62.2 innings showing a fastball sitting 93-95 and touching 97 with a great 12-6 curve.  In 2011, the stuff remained the same but the command was not nearly as good as he progressed to the upper minors.  Now people are questioning his size at 5-11 and 170.  While not a star, I think a great comp is Wandy Rodriguez.  The pitching style and delivery is very similar.
  • 26. Arodys Vizcaino – RHP (Atlanta Braves)
    • The centerpiece of the Javier Vazquez trade in 2010 to the Yankees is starting to pay-off for the Braves.  Vizcaino combines plus velocity that sits 93-94 and hitting 97 MPH with the ability to command the fastball.  His breaking ball is now above average and continues to improve while the change-up is still emerging.  There is still debate among scouts and baseball executives on whether Vizcaino is a starter or late inning reliever but all agree that the young Dominican has got great stuff and a bright future.
  • 27. Zack Wheeler – RHP (New York Mets)
    • Wheeler was traded from San Francisco to the New York Mets in the Carlos Beltran trade and immediately went to the top of the prospect list for the Mets.  He throws a nasty 92-94MPH two-seam fastball with natural sink.  The results in High-A across both the Mets and Giants were 129K/55BB in 115 innings.  While the walks are on the high side, this is very typical for a sinker-baller and should correct over time.
  • 28. Gary Brown – OF (San Francisco Giants)
    • If you’re looking for a future MLB steal champion, it could very well be Gary Brown.  Brown has blazing 80-grade speed and amassed 53 steals on 72 attempts in High-A in 2011.  His batting approach has turned out to better than scouts predicted showing decent plate discipline (8.0 BB rate).  His speed and defensive ability will fit nicely in the cavernous PacBell Park.  A small blip could be his departure from the Arizona Fall League with mononucleosis.  This could slow him early in 2012 as he starts in Double-A.
  • 29. Mike Montgomery – LHP (Kansas City Royals)
    • Montgomery is a tall 6-4 lefty that was christened as the pitching ace of the Kansas City rebuilding program, possibly starting in 2011.  The stuff is excellent with a fastball that sits 92-94MPH and hitting as high as 97 with late life as well a plus curve and an improving change-up.   However, the command left Montgomery as he struggled for most of the year repeating his mechanics.  The results were a less than stellar 69 walks in 150.2 innings in Triple-A.    There were reports of better command in August as Montgomery finished the month with a nice line of 19.2 IP and 21K/3BB.  Don’t give up on Montgomery as lefties with the stuff that he has do not grow on trees.
  • 30. Jarrod Parker – RHP (Oakland A’s)
    • The Diamondbacks took it very slowly with Jarrod Parker in 2011 as he recovered from Tommy John Surgery.  Parker was basically limited to 5.0 innings per game with his plus velocity returning by May.  As is typical, the command took a while but by mid-season, Parker had a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio.   With Parker’s recent trade to Oakland, this should accelerate his path the Majors, with a real shot of breaking camp in 2012 with the big club.  However, the move to American League will be more difficult even accounting for the nice pitching park of the Oakland Coliseum.
  • 31. Nolan Arenado – 3B (Colorado Rockies)
    • Arenado turned a lot of heads in the 2011 Arizona Fall League, batting .388 with a 1.059 OPS while winning MVP honors.  Drafted in the second round in 2008, Arenado has a plus hit tool with gap power that should eventually translate into 20-25 home run power.  In High-A Modesto, he demonstrated an elite 88% contact rate and a passable 8% walk rate.  Assuming Arenado continues to mash in Double-A, he will be rising very quickly on everyone’s prospect list.
  • 32. Jonathan Singleton – 1B (Houston Astros)
    • Christmas came early for Jonathan Singleton as he was stuck behind Ryan Howard in Philadelphia but is now behind a combination of Carlos Lee and Brett Wallace in Houston.    Singleton posses great raw strength with quick hands and nice plate discipline for a 19-year old – walking 70 times in 449 at bats in 2011.  While the 13 home runs he hit didn’t challenge any record, he’s still very young and raw and should grow into his power.
  • 33. James Paxton – LHP (Seattle Mariners)
    • Drafted in the fourth round in 2010, Paxton has very good stuff with his fastball sitting 90-94MHP with good life and sink as well as one of the better curves in the minors. The change-up is still a work in progress but is beginning to flash as an above average offering.  He does have a long delivery which can sometimes lead to inconsistent command as is evidence by his 43 walks in 95 innings in 2011.  However, the ground ball rate is excellent with a 1.53 GO/AO rate.  Paxton will start 2012 in Double-A.
  • 34. Matt Harvey – RHP (New York Mets)
    • The concerns of overuse in college have subsided and the Mets look like they’ve gotten an excellent front of the rotation arm in the 2010 draft.  Harvey sits 93-95 with nice spin on his breaking ball.  His change-up is not there yet but should develop as he moves through the Mets organization.  Harvey should continue back in Double-A to start the 2012 season, but a mid-season promotion to Triple-A or Flushing is probably in the cards.
  • 35. Zach Lee – RHP (Los Angeles Dodgers)
    • The Dodgers #1 pick in 2010 had a very good first year in professional ball, striking out 91 in 109 innings while only walking 32.  A very athletic hard thrower who sits 91-94MPH with a lot of late life, Lee has better secondary pitches than scouts originally thought.  The Dodgers have a history of moving top pitching prospects quickly through their system and Zach Lee should continue that tradition.
  • 36. Miguel Sano -3B (Minnesota Twins)
    • Candidly, I’m a little uncomfortable putting an 18 year-old player this high on the list, particularly when the highest level he has played in is the short season Appy League, but there’s too much talent in Miguel Sano to ignore.  Sano was signed by the Twins in 2009 out of the D.R. for $3.15M.  He posses plus-plus power and when fully actualized in the majors, could hit 30-35 home runs.  He still is learning how to hit as is evidence by his high swing and miss ratio (77K in 267 at bats) but scouts believe his quick hands and decent batting eye will lead to a plus hit tool.
  • 37. Dellin Betances – RHP (New York Yankees)
    • Not only is Dellin Betances a very large human at 6-8 and 260 lbs, he also has nasty stuff with his fastball sitting in the mid 90’s and a plus power curveball.  In 2011 across Double-A and Triple-A, he’s struck out 142 in 126.1 innings but he also walked 70 indicating that his command is trailing his stuff.  Betances still has some development left but given the status of the Yankees rotation, he could very well make the starting rotation out of camp in 2012.  If he does, expect him to struggle a bit but remember, the upside is still there.
  • 38. Brad Peacock – RHP (Oakland A’s)
    • Not many prospect saw their stock rise in the 2011 season more than Brad Peacock.  Across Double-A and Triple-A, Peacock struck out 177 in 146.2 innings while walking only 47.  This resulted in a September callup where Peacock won his first two major league starts, although he didn’t pitch all that effective.  Peacock stuff is legitimate as he combines a 91-94MPH four seam fastball with a plus 12-6 curve that produces a lot of swing and misses.  His change-up is still a work in progress and if the A’s are smart, they will give Peacock another 12-15 starts in Triple-A to refine the pitch.  However, have you seen the A’s rotation for 2012?  They might not have that luxury.  Net-net, Peacock has strong #3 potential with #2 upside.
  • 39. Yasmani Grandal – C (San Diego Padres)
    • Something had to give in Cincinnati as the Reds were stacked with young catching prospects.  In mid December, the logjam was alleviated with a trade that sent Yasmani Grandal to the San Diego Padres.  Grandal has the offensive skill set to become an elite backstop and hit in the middle of the lineup.  Plus power and a great approach to hitting were demonstrated over three stops in 2011 (14 home runs, 16% walk rate, and a 75% contact rate).  Look for Grandal to start off 2012 in the hitter friendly confines of Kino Veterans Stadium in Tucson.
  • 40. Neil Ramirez – RHP(Texas Rangers)
    • Promoted from Single-A to Triple-A in 2011, Neil Ramirez has started to show why he was a supplemental pick in the 2007 draft.   He put things together last year with a fastball that sits 93-94MPH, a plus curve and an above average change-up.  While developmentally, Ramirez is ready to test his stuff at the highest level, the Rangers have a plethora of starting pitchers, so he’ll have to wait for space to clear.  Injuries do happen and the Rangers have a tendency to be active traders, so the chance of Ramirez seeing big league action is better than even money for 2012.
  • 41. Drew Pomeranz – LHP (Colorado Rockies)
    • Pomeranz was the first college pitcher taken in the 2010 draft by Cleveland, and then found himself a year later, traded to Colorado for Ubaldo Jimenez.  Pitching in Colorado instead of Cleveland for a guy who is more of a flyball pitcher than a ground pitcher is clearly a setback (GA/OA was 0.83).   Pomeranz does have good stuff as his fastball sits 93-95MPH to go along with a plus curve.  His change-up is still below average and he rarely throws it.  Pomeranz did make four starts in the majors in 2012 but unless he improves the change-up and starts to keep the ball down, success will be difficult.  There’s a lot to like in Pomeranz, but more development is needed.
  • 42. Wilin Rosario – C (Colorado Rockies)
    • Was having a breakout year in 2010, when knee surgery cut his season short in Double-A.  In 2011, he repeated Double-A  and continued to show considerable power by hitting 21 home runs in 405 at bat but also demonstrated a lack of plate discipline by only walking 19 times.  Defensively, Rosario has a plus arm and handles pitchers very well.  Whether we like to admit it or not, this is becoming a typical profile of a major league catcher – some pop with a poor batting average.
  • 43. Michael Choice – OF (Oakland A’s)
    • Oakland has searched for a long-time for a middle of the order power bat and may have found one in Michael Choice.   Taken as the #10 overall pick in the 2010 draft, Choice dominated the CAL league by hitting 30 home runs and batting .285.  While his strikeout rate was high at 28%, Choice did shorten his swing throughout the year and dropped his strikeout rate significantly without loosing power.  He does swing with maximum effort causing noticeable backside collapse ala Adrian Beltre.
  • 44. Leonys Martin – OF (Texas Rangers)
    • I’ve gone back and forth on Leonys Martin.  Originally, I didn’t believe the hype surrounding his signing, but the success in 302 at-bats in the minors changed my mind as he had an 88% contact rate to go along with a 9% walk rate.   He also managed to steal 19 bases but did get thrown out 11 times.  I’m still not totally sold on the hit-tool and could very well see him flame out.
  • 45. Yonder Alonso – 1B (San Diego Padres)
    • In 2010, Yonder Alonso batted .296, had 12 home runs and 56 RBI at Triple-A.  In 2011 in Triple-A, he batted .296, had 12 home runs and 56 RBI.  Talk about consistency!  Alonso has a nice lefty swing that profiles as a plus hit-tool and above average power.  He is ready for the major league and the trade to San Diego should open up playing time, assuming Anthony Rizzo is moved.   The problem is Petco Park, which depresses home runs for left-handed batters by 41%.
  • 46. Aaron Hicks – OF (Minnesota Twins)
    • Scouts fall in love with tools and Aaron Hicks has a ton of them.  The problem is his ability to hit has yet to catch up to his athleticism.   Part of the problem is the 78 walks he took in 443 at-bats this year in the Class-A Florida State League.  Scouts look for aggressive hitters with a good eye but Hicks is just passive at the plate.  He doesn’t swing at good pitches and then gets himself into poor hitting counts resulting in weak contact.   In the final two months of the season, Hicks batted a paltry .195.  At 22 years-old and likely to repeat Single-A, Hicks needs to start figuring things out.
  • 47. Jake Marisnick – OF (Toronto Blue Jays)
    • At 6-4 and 220lbs, Jake Marisnick looks like a ballplayer.  He has the size, speed, and athleticism to profile as a true center fielder.  He has quick hands and prenatural ability to barrel the ball.  In Low-A, he batted .320 with a great contact rate of 80% and walk rate of 9% while adding 37 steals in 45 attempts and hitting 14 home runs.  He’ll start the year in High-A and if all goes well, should progress very quickly through the Toronto organization.
  • 48. Anthony Rizzo – 1B (San Diego Padres)
    • The cutoff for prospect eligibility for positional players is 130 major league at bats.  Anthony Rizzo makes it under the wire at 128 after an unforgettable major league debut in 2011.  How unforgettable?  He had one more stolen base than home runs.  It’s clear that Rizzo has plus raw power but he also has a very long swing that major league pitchers were able to find holes resulting in 46 strikeouts in 128 at bats.  The question is will he adjust?  He makes the list because of the power and the dream but could easily fall into obscurity if he doesn’t shorten up the stroke.
  • 49. Bubba Starling – OF (Kansas City Royals)
    • Committed to play quarterback at the University of Nebraska, a $7.5M signing bonus by the Royals in 2011 draft quickly swayed Bubba Starling to try baseball as a career.  Starling is blessed with great physical skills – a 6-5 195lbs frame, great raw power and plus arm strength.  He profiles as a slugging right fielder.   The big question will be, as is almost always the case, can he hit?  The high-school competition he faced was pretty weak but scouts like his bat speed but do see his swing getting long.  Player development will be the key.
  • 50. Gary Sanchez – C (New York Yankees)
    • Gary Sanchez performance in 2010 as a 17 year-old in Rookie ball had scouts buzzing and commenting that very over-used phrase, “the ball just sounds different coming off his bat”.   In 2011, as an 18-year in Low-A, things were not as rosy.  Sanchez still demonstrated the bat speed and strength that excited scouts, but some make-up issues surfaced that eventually sent him back to extended spring training.  In the end, Sanchez played well, hitting 17 home runs with a 93K/36BB over 301 at bats but clearly there is work left to be done.  The upside, particularly at the catching position, is still very high for the young Gary Sanchez.
  • 51. Jonathan Schoop – 2B (Baltimore Orioles)
    • Many people are starting to call Jonathan Schoop a poor man’s Manny Machado.  While Machado is ranked well ahead of Schoop, as Schoop continues to mature, the comp is starting to make a lot of sense.  Schoop progressed to High-A as a 19-year old and showed a nice batting approach with an 85% contact rate and a decent 8% walk rate.  Additionally, as Schoop’s 6-2 185lbs body fills out, he projects to be a plus power hitter with 20 home run power.   While he stole 12 bases in 2011, don’t look for this to continue, particularly as he fills out.
  • 52. Oscar Taveres – OF (St. Louis Cardinals)
    • Taveras has a great lefty hit-tool with a quick level swing that barrels the ball.  While he has a very aggressive swing, he doesn’t strike-out a lot.  He currently has gap to gap power that should translate into 15-20 home run power at full development.  The open question for the young Taveras…will a .300 average with 15-20 home run potential be enough to stick at a corner outfield or does this profile as a fourth outfielder?  Remember, Taveres was one of the youngest players in Low-A and was the second youngest player to be invited to the 2011 Arizona  Fall League.
  • 53. Randall Delgado – RHP (Atlanta Braves)
    • With the big three pitching prospects in Atlanta all having their chance at the major leagues in 2011, it was Randall Delgado that pitched the best.   At 6-3 and 200lbs, Delgado has the body type at full maturity that should allow him to log big innings in the majors.  His stuff is very good as he throws a low to mid 90’s fastball to go along with a plus curve ball.  His control projects to be above average, although he does struggle with his mechanics as is evidence by his 135K/57BB strikeout to walk ratio.
  • 54. Jake Odorizzi – RHP (Kansas City Royals)
    • With many of the elite Kansas City prospects graduating in 2011 and some others playing poorly, Jake Odorizzi has moved up dramatically.  Odorizzi is extremely athletic and posses a 92-94MPH fastball with nice late movement that allows him to pitch up in the zone.  His curveball and change-up are improving and both project to be above average offerings.
  • 55. Francisco Lindor – SS (Cleveland Indians)
    • In the 2011 draft, few high-school players created more late buzz than Francisco Lindor.  At first it was all about his glove which projects to be plus with the ability to stay at shortstop.  However, as he continued with private workouts, teams got excited about his offensive ability, particularly his ability to drive balls to all fields.  Reports out of the Fall instructional league continue to be very bullish on the 17-year old with some comparing him to Jurikson Profar.
  • 56. Nick Franklin –SS (Seattle Mariners)
    • A 6-1 and 170 lbs, Nick Franklin doesn’t look like a guy that can hit 20 home runs.  However, in 2010 he hit 23 home runs and while he regressed to just seven in 2011, scouts believe in the power.  While Franklin is an aggressive hitter, he still managed to make contact 78% of the time in 2011.  The big concern is will he stay at shortstop?  Many scouts believe that a move to second base will eventually occur and for the Mariners, that could cause problems as that position is currently occupied by Dustin Ackley.
  • 57. Trevor May – RHP (Philadelphia Phillies)
    • The once loaded Philadelphia Phillies minor league system has become quickly barren as several major trades over the past two years were made to bolster their major league club.  There are still several blue chip prospects including Trevor May, the 4th round draft choice in the 2008 draft.   May has a pro body at 6-5 and 215 lbs and has swing and miss stuff as demonstrated by his 208 strikeouts in 151.1 innings in High-A.  His fastball sits in the low 90’s but because of the downhill plane, will play up.  He secondary pitches are improving, most notably his curve.  The command still needs improvement and as with most young pitchers, will determine the speed in which he makes it to the big leagues.
  • 58. Jarred Cosart – RHP (Houston Astros)
    • Jarred Cosart became more of a household name after his impressive showing in the 2011 Futures Game.  In fact, that performance went a long way to him being included in the trade that sent Hunter Pence to the Phillies.  While the stuff appears to be there, the results are not.  In 2011, across High-A and Double-A, Cosart struck out 101 batters in 144.1 innings while walking 56.  Additionally, his mechanics are not clean as he throws across his body and has significant scapular loading.  Candidly, I’m not buying the package just yet and have dropped his ranking considerably from last year.
  • 59. Archie Bradley – RHP (Arizona Diamondbacks)
    • While a lot of the high-school pitching hype in the 2011 draft was around Dylan Bundy, many scouts believe Archie Bradley’s upside is as good if not better.  Bradley has a pro body at 6-4 and 225lbs and can light up a gun by throwing in the upper 90’s and even tapping out in triple digits.  He already posses a nasty curve that when combined with fastball should result in a lot of swing and misses.   Expect Bradley to start out in Low-A next year and move quickly.
  • 60. Tim Wheeler OF (Colorado Rockies)
    • Taken in the first round in 2009, Tim Wheeler played poorly in 2010, hitting only .249 in the hitter friendly confines of Modesto in the CAL league.   He’s turned that around in 2011 by slamming 33 home runs and batting .287 in Double-A Tulsa.  His .287 average is being supported by a fairly high BABIP but when taken all together, there’s a lot to like with Wheeler.
  • 61. Rymer Liriano – OF (San Diego Padres)
    • If you rate Rymer Liriano’s on his April performance, it was a failure as he flat out didn’t hit in High-A going 7 for 55.  Granted it was a small sample size, but the Padres decided to move him back to Low-A where he finished 2010 (where candidly he didn’t play great) and subsequently blew-up, taking home MVP honors.  Liriano has quick strong hands that allow him to move quickly through the zone and produce decent power.  In 2011, he had an 80% contract rate, an 11% walk rate to go along with 12 home runs.  But Liriano is really about speed, stealing 65 bases in 85 attempts in Low-A.
  • 62. Xander Bogaerts – 2B/3B (Boston Red Sox)
    • The scouting reports on Xander Boagaerts are glowing.  Strong hands, quick bat with power potential.  As an 18-year in the Low-A SAL League, Bogaerts showed an aggressive style by striking out 71 times in 265 at bats but hit an impressive 16 home runs.  Scouts also talk about his make-up and believe he will quickly figure out the strike zone and could develop into a plus hit tool.  The big question is his position.  He’s currently playing shortstop but will either move to 2B or 3B next year.
  • 63. Casey Kelly – RHP (San Diego Padres)
    • Drafted as a pitcher/shortstop by Boston in the first round of the 2008 draft, it didn’t take long for Kelly to realize that the bump was going to be his home.  Kelly has a nice arsenal with the ability to throw his fastball in the low 90’s and hit 95.  He’s got an above average curve and a plus change-up.  The pitchability is not yet there as the results are underwhelming based on the stuff (105K/46BB in 142.1 innings).  The move to the San Diego will only help his long-term value.
  • 64. Billy Hamilton – SS (Cincinnati Reds)
    • Billy Hamilton stole 103 bases last year.  Let that settle in for a moment.  We are talking game changing speed ala Vince Coleman of the 80’s St. Louis Cardinals.  If you’ve not seen Hamilton, he is rail thin and that is what has everyone nervous.  The big question is will he be able to stand in there against hard throwers as he moves to the upper minors?  While he strikes out a lot (26% strikeout rate), he did barrel the ball more as the season wore on, even hitting 18 doubles along the way.  With his crazy speed, Hamilton might be the most intriguing prospect in all of baseball, particularly if you are a fantasy player.
  • 65. Kotlen Wong – 2B (St. Louis Cardinals)
    • Second baseman are generally not born but are instead made as a result of the inability to play shortstop or sometimes third base.  So it’s rare that a pure 2B gets drafted, but that is what the World Champion Cardinals did with Kolten Wong in the 2011 draft.  Wong signed quickly and took advantage of his 194 at bats in the MidWest league, batting .335 with an impressive 24K/20BB ratio.  He also contributed 5 home runs but with his strong wrist and quick swing, projects to have 15-20 home run power.  While he doesn’t have blazing speed, he should be able to steal 20 bases as well.
  • 66. Christian Yelich – OF (Miami Marlins)
    • Drafted out of high school in the first round of the 2010 draft, Christian Yelich is already showing a great approach at the plate with speed and surprising power.  In Low-A, Yelich batted .312 with a 102K/55B rate in 461 at bats.  While the strikeouts are a little high, it’s not bad for a teenager’s first foray into professional ball.  The 32 stolen bases out of 37 shows elite stolen bases ability and the 15 home runs are also encouraging.
  • 67. Anthony Gose – OF (Toronto Blue Jays)
    • Gose is another in a long-line of toolsy players that is learning how to hit…but boy are the tools good.  In Double-A, Gose stole 70 bases and hit 16 home runs but struck out 154 times in 509 AB’s.   Unless Gose can improve the hit tool, his staying power, no matter how good the tools are, will be difficult.
  • 68. Will Middlebrook – 3B (Boston Red Sox)
    • Will Middlebrooks is a big strong athletic player at 6-4 and 200lbs with above average bat speed and power to all fields.  His strikeouts were high in Double-A with 95 K’s in 371 at-bats, which if not corrected will cause concerns as he moves into Triple-A with a potential call-up to the Red Sox in September of 2012.
  • 69. Nick Castellanos -3B (Detroit Tigers)
    • Signed in the supplemental round in the 2010 draft for an aggressive $3.45M signing bonus, Nick Castellanos showed the plate approach that the Tigers envisioned.   In 507 at bats in Low-A, Castellanos struck out 130 times and walked 45 times.  Given his size at 6-4, most believe that as Castellanous fills out, his power will increase to 20-25 home runs.
  • 70. Brett Jackson –OF (Chicago Cubs)
    • The Cubs drafted Brett Jackson in the first round of the 2009 draft and saw a power/speed guy that could be a first division starter.  So far, he’s demonstrated the speed and power as was evidence by his 2011 production.  Across Double-A and Triple-A in 2011, he hit 21 home runs and stole 20 bases.  So why is he sitting at #70?  I just don’t believe in the hit tool.  There’s a lot of swing and miss in his stroke as he has a definitive two stage swing.   Until he adjusts the swing to make better contact, the 20/20 production will come with a lot of batting average downside.
  • 71. Oswaldo Arcia – OF (Minnesota Twins)
    • Signed out of Venezuela at the ripe old age of 16, Oswaldo Arcia is starting to produce on the promise.  Arcia has great bat speed combined with plus power.  Elbow surgery did slow Arcia’s progression in 2011 but he was still able to put up 13 home runs in 292 at bats across Low-A and High-A.    He should return to High-A to start 2012 and assuming there is no lingering problems from the elbow, he could be poised for a real breakout.
  • 72. Corey Spandenberg – 2B (San Diego Padres)
    • Corey Spandenberg was taken with the #10 pick in the 2011 draft, signed quickly and then tore up the Northwest league in 84 limited at bats.   His plus-speed was on full display as he managed to steal 10 bases across that span.  Spandenberg projects to have a plus hit tool with a .300 average not out of the question.  He makes great contact and has a great eye at the plate.
  • 73. Cheslor Cuthbert – 3B (Kansas City Royals)
    • Cheslor Cuthbert was one of the youngest players in the MidWest league during 2011 season at 18 years old.  He posses a lot of strength and bat speed, showing an advance approach at the plate that should project to an above average hit tool and power tool.   While he played very well in the first half, he did play poorly in the second half.  Was he simply tired or was there something else going on?
  • 74. A.J. Cole – RHP (Oakland A’s)
    • If you look at the 4.04 ERA and 1.24 WHIP from A.J. Cole, you’re looking in the wrong place.  In 89.0 innings in Low-A in 2011, Cole had 108 strikeouts in 89.0 innings and only 24 walks.  Drafted in the fourth round in 2010 to a large $2M signing bonus, A.J. Cole’s velocity increased as the season wore on to sit 94-95MPH with obvious command and the ability to cut or sink the ball.  His curve is inconsistent but the Nats are confident that he can spin it. With a major league body and projection at 6-4 and 180, you need to keep your eye on A.J. Cole as he moves to High-A in 2012.
  • 75. Drew Hutchinson – RHP (Toronto Blue Jays)
    • Drew Hutchinson was one of the more impressive pitchers in the Toronto Blue Jays system, progressing through three levels (Low-A, High-A, and Double-A) while striking out an impressive 171 batters in 149.1 and walking only 35.  Part of the success comes through a deceptive delivery as his stuff is good but not great.  He has an 89-93 fastball, through deception, explodes and sinks (1.33 GO/AO) when it gets to the plate.  His change-up is also above average but the curve still needs work as it has a tendency to get slurvy.
  • 76. Bryce Brentz – OF (Boston Red Sox)
    • Drafted in the Supplement Round of the 2010 draft, Bryce Brentz’s calling card is his plus-plus raw power.   Across Low-A and High-A in 2011, Brentz belted 30 home runs but did have some contact problems (75%) as his swing will get long as he tries to muscle up.  2012 will be an important year for Brentz as he moves to Double-A and more advanced pitching.
  • 77. John Lamb – LHP (Kansas City Royals)
    • John Lamb, Danny Duffy, and Mike Montgomery were the lefties of the future for the Kansas Royals.  Duffy made it to the show and had limited success, Montgomery lost his command and Lamb had Tommy John Surgery.   Best laid plans…  While there is now considerable risk placed on John Lamb as not everyone recovers from TJS, the talent is still there.   His fastball sits at 92-94MPH with above average control and command and his curve and change-up both flash plus.  Three above average pitches with above average command?  I’ll take it, TJS or not.
  • 78. Grant Green – SS/OF (Oakland A’s)
    • Drafted as a shortstop, moved to second, and now it appears he will make his way to the majors as an outfielder.  Grant Green is a nice athletic player with an upside of a solid regular.  Fans in particular got excited in 2010 when he hit 20 home runs in the California league, but for many young players, the power leaves upon promotion to Double-A.  I would look for a .270 player with 10-15 home run power and 10 stolen bases.
  • 79. Jedd Gyorko – 3B (San Diego Padres)
    • When you first see Jedd Gyorko, you don’t think, “WOW, that guy looks like a ballplayer.”  Short and squat at 5-10 and 195 lbs, Jedd Gyorko posses a great hit tool with nice bat speed and above average power potential.   In 2011, he had an excellent 80% contact rate and 11% walk rate.  Based on his lack of athleticism, Gyorko may eventually move to a corner outfield spot.   While he demonstrated power in the hitter friendly CAL league, the home runs didn’t follow him to Double-A.
  • 80. Sonny Gray – RHP (Oakland A’s)
    • Sonny Gray is not a physically imposing pitcher, standing only 5-10 and weighing a nice squatty 200lbs.  He is though a strikeout pitcher due to his plus power curve that is clearly a swing and miss pitch.   He was able to get 22 innings in professional ball during 2011, primarily in Double-A and was impressive, striking out 20 batters and walking only 6.  Look for Gray to start 2012 in Double-A with a potential September call-up.
  • 81. Derek Norris – C (Washington Nationals)
    • Derek Norris appears to be your prototypical young catcher working his way to the majors.  He has power as is evidence by his 20 home runs in Double-A in 2011 but he also struck out 117 times in 339 at bats.  I’ll save you the trouble of running for your calculator, that’s a 65% contact rate.  What might set him apart and make him a solid regular major leaguer is he’s a walk machine.  Last year, he had a walk rate of 20% and in 2010, his walk rate was a ridiculous 30%.
  • 82. Mason Williams – OF (New York Yankees)
    • Signed as a $1.45M overslot 4th round draftee in the 2010 draft, Mason Williams was one of the poster children for Bud Selig’s clamp down on draft spending.  The early results are showing that Williams was well worth the money.  With plus-plus speed and very good defensive centerfield skills, the Yankees revamped his swing to increase the time through the zone in order to drive more pitches.  The results in 2011 were encouraging.  In 289 at bats in the NY Penn league, Williams batted .349 with a decent .468 SLG while striking out only 41 times and walking 20 times.  Oh yeah, he stole 28 bases.
  • 83. Matt Szczur – OF (Chicago Cubs)
    • In 2010, Szczur picked baseball over football as he signed a complicated deal with the Cubs.  When drafted, scouts knew Szczur had plus-plus speed but worried that he would hit enough.  In 2011, that was not a problem as he batted .293 across Low-A in High-A to go along with 24 stolen bases.   His contact rate was nearly 90% but his walk rate was a paltry 6%.  He’s a bit of a slappy hitter, so don’t expect a lot of power once fully developed.
  • 84. Zack Cox – 3B (St. Louis Cardinals)
    • Drafted as a first rounder in the 2010 draft, Cox signed for an impressive $3M signing bonus based on his hit tool.  The hit tool did not fail in his first year of professional ball, batting .306 across High-A and Double-A with a 98K/40BB in 516 at bats.  The concern when he came out of college was his ability to hit for power.  In High-A, he hit only three home runs in the cavernous Florida State League but upon promotion to the more hitter friendly Texas League, he hit 10 bombs.  With little speed and average defensive skills, Cox will need to develop some pop in order to be viewed as a first division starter.
  • 85. Allen Webster – RHP (Los Angeles Dodgers)
    • At 21 years-old, Allen Webster is already deemed to be a very polished pitcher with a 92-94MPH fastball with heavy sink that produced a very high number of ground ball outs (1.76 GO/AO in 2011).  He has a plus change-up with an improving curve and a great strikeout rate of 135K in 145 innings.  With his stuff and command, it was surprising that he gave up a 101 hits in 90 innings in the Double-A.  Should we chalked it up to a very unlucky BABIP or is his stuff just hittable to more advanced hitters?
  • 86. Nate Eovaldi – RHP (Los Angeles Dodgers)
    • Nate Eovaldi had Tommy John surgery in his junior year of high school and that scared many teams off from signing him.  The Dodgers took the plunge in the 11th round and have been rewarded as Eovaldi made his major league debut at the ripe old age of 21.  He wasn’t overly effective as he walked 20 in 35 innings but his stuff and minor league track record predict a promising future.  Eovaldi throws a heavy 92-93MPH two-seam fastball hitting higher and causing lots of ground balls (GO/AO of 1.49).  His curveball is above average and even flashes plus, while his change-up is still pretty fringy.  While he might have been rushed, there’s a lot to like here.
  • 87. George Springer – OF (Houston Astros)
    • After Anthony Rendon, many scouts considered George Springer to be the best college positional bat in the 2011 draft.   He has a nice combination of power and speed but his swing can get a little long and is therefore prone to strikeout a lot.  Scouts do love his make-up, so he should take instruction well and hopefully correct both his erratic approach and propensity to strikeout.    While there is huge upside in Springer, it doesn’t come free.
  • 88. Josh Bell – OF (Pittsburgh Pirates)
    • Josh Bell had everyone convinced that he was going to the University of Texas to play on a partial scholarship for three years.  However, a $5M signing bonus plus a fund set aside to pay for four years at a University down the road goes a long way.  Bell is blessed with tremendous physical gifts, including a lot of natural raw power and the ability to make hard contact.  He is an older high school player and will actually turn 20 during his first year of pro ball but is also relatively advanced for most players coming directly from high school to professional ball.
  • 89. Josh Vitters – 3B (Chicago Cubs)
    • Taken #3 overall in the 2007 draft, Josh Vitters continues to confound everybody in baseball.  He has one of the best right-handed strokes in any level of professional baseball, but his approach is one of the worse.  Without changes, Vitters will never become the elite player that the Cubs thought they drafted.  Make-up is an overused phrase, but in my mind, a player who is unwilling to take instruction and continue to believe he has all the answers is the definition of bad make-up.  Most thought last year was the make it or break it year, I’m giving it one more year.
  • 90. Robbie Erlin – LHP (San Diego Padres)
    • If you look only at stats, Robbie Erlin looks like the best pitcher in the minors.  In 2011, across High-A and Double-A, he struck out 154 batters in 147.1 innings while only walking 16.  You know you have good control when you can name the guys you walked!  The fastball is only average at 88-91MPH but since he throws strikes, he gets ahead of batters and puts them away with two plus secondary pitches -a nasty curve and even better change-up.  The move to San Deigo is what has gotten me excited as I believe that profile will play well in the Petco Park and the poor offensive environment of the NL West.
  • 91. Addison Reed – RHP (Chicago White Sox)
    • It’s a little frightening when the best prospect in an MLB organization is a relief pitcher, but that is the sad case with the Chicago White Sox and years of playing by the slot recommendation of Major League Baseball.  That said, Addison Reed is a very good pitcher.  With the ability to throw in the upper 90’s with a nasty slider and also an above average change-up, Reed could eventually profile as a starter but most scouts believe he will be most effective as an “all-out” late inning reliever.  Don’t be shocked if Addison Reed becomes the White Sox closer as early as 2012, he’s that good.
  • 92. Matt Davidson – 3B (Arizona Diamondbacks)
    • Drafted in the supplemental round of the 2009 draft, Matt Davidson brings a combination of a quick bat with a nice approach to the plate that should enable him to become a solid regular third baseman in the big leagues.  In 2011 in High-A, Davidson hit 20 home runs but did strikeout an alarming 147 times in 535.  Given his quick power stroke, this is hopefully more of being overly aggressive as opposed to have a flaw in his swing.  Expect Davidson to start 2012 in Double-A.
  • 93. Tyrell Jenkins – RHP (St. Louis Cardinals)
    • St. Louis is stacked with elite pitching prospects and while Tyrell Jenkins might be one of the lesser known pitching prospects, his stuff and athleticism are as good as anyone in the system.  Jenkins was taken in the Supplemental Round of the 2010 draft with a $1.3M signing bonus to lure him away from Baylor as a wide receiver.   Jenkins sits 93-96MPH with a tight 12-6 curve and an emerging change-up.   He’ll move to full season ball next year at Low-A, where more fans will get a chance to see what all the excitement is about.
  • 94. Joe Wieland – RHP (San Diego Padres)
    • Wieland was the other finesse pitcher in the Mike Adams trade at the 2011 trading deadline.  His fastball ranges in the 88-92MPH range with a big breaking curve.  His average change-up completes the arsenal.   The results in 2011 across High-A and Double A were extremely impressive with 150 strikeouts in 155.2 inning with only 21 walks.  As with Robbie Erlin, high control and command pitchers with average to above average stuff can play very well in Petco and the NL West.
  • 95. Alex Meyer – RHP (Washington Nationals)
    • Alex Meyer is a high risk/high reward prospect.  Taken as the 23rd pick in the 2011 draft, Meyer has great stuff with a plus 94-96MPH explosive fastball to go along with a plus-plus slider with late life and tilt.  The problem is the control and at 6-9, he’s got a tough job ahead of him.   In fact, many scouts don’t believe his control will ever get about average and that could eventually force him to the bullpen.   His stuff is elite but whether he can harness and control the stuff is where the risk exists.
  • 96. Starling Marte – OF (Pittsburgh Pirates)
    • I’m not sold on Starling Marte.  On the positive side, he’s got plus-plus speed that translates into speed on the base path as well as excellent range in the outfield.  In fact, he’s a joy to watch in the outfield, seemingly able to catch anything hit near him.  The problem is an overly aggressive approach at the plate.  Marte swings at everything, walking 22 times in 536 at bats in Double-A.  Fortunately he does make contact and with his speed, has a chance to reach base frequently.  Throw in some above average power and Marte has a chance to be a star if he can just temper his overly aggressive approach at the plate.
  • 97. Justin Nicolino – LHP (Toronto Blue Jays)
    • Justin Nicolino was the best pitcher in the Northwest League in 2011 with a 64K/11B over 52 innings.  Nicolino was drafted in the second round of the 2010 draft and at 19 years old, has a nice three pitch arsenal that includes a 90-92MPH fastball with a lot of sink (1.44 GO/AO rate).  He’ll pick up where he left off in Low-A to start the 2012 season.  With his maturity and arsenal, a mid season promotion to High-A seems reasonable.
  • 98. Chad Bettis – RHP (Colorado Rockies)
    • Bettis was taken in the second round of the 2010 draft out of Texas Tech University.   He has plus velocity, sitting 93-94 and touching higher.  His secondary pitches are ok but still need work with an above average curve and a below average change-up.   He pitched the entire 2011 season in the hitter friendly California league and dominated, striking out 184 in 169.2 and walking only 45.  They key will be the development of his change-up.  If it progresses, he could be a solid #3 with #2 upside.  If not, he has a chance to be a late inning reliever.
  • 99. Jed Bradley – LHP (Milwaukee Brewers)
    • Taken with the #15 pick in the 2011 amateur draft, Bradley is a power lefty with a major league frame at 6-4 and 225 lbs.  His fastball sits at 88-94MPH with sink; which is a broad range and therefore shows some inconsistencies.  He also has a plus slider and his change-up is decent for a college pitcher, but will need to improve.  Scouts love his makeup and believe he will quickly advance through the system.
  • 100. Javier Baez – SS (Chicago Cubs)
    • One of the better high school positional prospects in the 2011 draft, Javier Baez has a very quick bat with plus raw power.   While he was drafted as a shortstop, most scouts believe he will outgrow the position and have to move to 3B.  He got very high marks in the Arizona Instructional League, which is good as the big black mark against Baez was a questionable make-up.
  • 101. Luis Heredia – RHP (Pittsburgh Pirates)
    • Luis Heredia fits the profile of a #101 ranking in a Top 100 list – a kid who has sky high potential but with tremendous risk.  Heredia who hails from Mexico, signed one of the largest international bonuses at $2.6M in 2010 for Pittsburgh.  He’s a big kid at 6-6 and 205lbs and has an electric fastball that can flash in the upper 90’s.  He’s already proven an ability to spin a curve and his change-up has flashed plus potential.  Ignore the stats in the Gulf league because at 16-years old, what can you really expect?  Next year, Heredia could be a legitimate Top 50 prospect or be put in the bucket of woulda/coulda.

FP911 Staff

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