Over the course of the past week we’ve incrementally been unveiling our 2013 Top Prospect rankings, 10 players at a time. Compiling this year’s rankings has been a fun, and informative, experience. Heading into it I knew that there would be a few rankings that some would not agree with – Player A is too high, Player B is too low, how could you have so many first baseman ranked?, etc. – but those opinions are part of why this list was composed in the first place. It was meant to start a discussion and express an opinion, just as these rankings always are. There is no perfect formula for determining prospect rankings. If there were, they’d all be the same.
If you want some more insight into the process behind them, be sure to read through our introductory post.
To make it easy for your to look back, here are the rankings we’ve already gone through:
- #101 through #115 (because I couldn’t settle on just 100 names)
- #91 through #100
- #81 through #90
- #71 through #80
- #61 through #70
- #51 through #60
- #41 through #50
- #31 through #40
Now that we’re towards the end (or beginning, depending on which way you look at it) of this year’s list, let’s finish the rankings off as strongly as they started.
#30 – Matt Barnes, right-handed pitcher, Boston Red Sox
Height/Weight: 6’4″, 205
Born: June 17, 1990 (age 22)
2012 Stats (combined between Class-A Greenville and High-A Salem): 7-5, 2.86 ERA, 25 GS, 119.2 IP, 29 BB (2.2 BB/9), 133 K (10.0 K/9), 1.053 WHIP
Boston has assembled an impressive group of young pitching prospects (along with Allen Webster, Henry Owens, Brandon Workman, and even the oft-injured Anthony Ranaudo), with Barnes easily at the top of the pile. The University of Connecticut product was taken in the 1st Round of the 2011 Draft for a reason and could turn out to be the best homegrown pitcher to join the Sox rotation since Jon Lester arrived.
Bold Prediction: Barnes will spend most of the year at Double-A and could earn an invite to Spring Training a year from now.
#29 – Taylor Guerrieri, right-handed pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays
Height/Weight: 6’3″, 195
Born: December 1, 1992 (age 20)
MLB Stats (with Low-A Hudson Valley): 1-2, 1.04 ERA, 12 GS, 52.0 IP, 5 BB (0.9 BB/9), 45 K (7.8 K/9), 0.769 WHIP
Most team-specific prospect lists have placed Guerrieri second among Tampa Bay’s pitchers, behind Chris Archer, but long term the South Carolina native is likely to be the better prospect.
Bold Prediction: He’ll make the jump to Double-A this year, with some struggles along the way.
#28 – Anthony Rendon, infielder, Washington Nationals
Height/Weight: 6’0″, 195
Born: June 6, 1990
2012 Stats (combined across four levels): .233/.363/.489, 6 HR, 12 RBI, 0 SB, 23 BB, 29 SO, 43 G (160 PA)
Rendon entered the 2012 season as a long shot to see time in Washington but those hopes were quickly derailed after he suffered an injury early on in the season. Entering 2013, Rendon appears even more likely to reach D.C. but where he plays remains to be seen. A third baseman by trade, Rendon has been seeing time at second base in the minor leagues as well with the hopes that his defensive versatility could prove useful when he arrives. Plus, with Ryan Zimmerman locked up for the foreseeable future, the Nationals may have to be creative to work Rendon into the lineup.
Bold Prediction: He’ll see Washington before the All Star Break, but won’t be a regular feature of the lineup until next season.
#27 – George Springer, outfielder, Houston Astros
Height/Weight: 6’3″, 200
Born: September 19, 1989 (age 23)
2012 Stats (combined between High-A Lancaster and Double-A Corpus Christi): .302/.383/.526, 24 HR, 87 RBI, 32 SB, 62 BB, 156 SO, 128 G (581 PA)
Selected a few spots ahead of Barnes in the 2011 Draft, Springer helps give UConn one heck of a prospect class. The center fielder has shown all of the tools to suggest that he’ll be able to not only reach the Majors, but have a productive career while sticking in center field. He’s still likely a year away from reaching Houston, as he could use some added minor league seasoning, but once he does he’s likely there to stay.
Bold Prediction: With only 22 games at Double-A under his belt, Spring will likely start the year at the level once again but could move quickly.
#26 – Jonathan Singleton, first baseman, Houston Astros
Height/Weight: 6’2″, 235
Born: September 18, 1991 (age 21)
2012 Stats (with Double-A Corpus Christi): .284/.396/.497, 21 HR, 79 RBI, 7 SB, 88 BB, 131 SO, 131 G (555 PA)
Singleton may have had a realistic shot at seeing significant time in Houston this year if not for a 50 game suspension he’ll now be serving to start the year. While the incident doesn’t affect his status as the game’s top first base prospect, it will delay his arrival to the Astros lineup. I wouldn’t rule out seeing him in Houston before 2013 ends.
Bold Prediction: Singleton will get off to a torrid start when he returns from suspension, will cool down, but will still make his way into an Astros lineup before September.
#25 – Bubba Starling, outfielder, Kansas City Royals
Height/Weight: 6’4″, 180
Born: August 3, 1992 (age 20)
2012 Stats (with Rookie Level Burlington): .275/.371/.485, 10 HR, 33 RBI, 10 SB, 28 BB, 70 SO, 53 G (234 PA)
A local product who turned down the chance to play quarterback at one of the nation’s top collegiate programs, Royals fans have high hopes for Starling. Starling didn’t wow anyone in his first taste of professional baseball, but it’s worth noting that he was just 19 through most of the season and he still has time to grow as a player.
Bold Prediction: Is a jump to Double-A sometime this year too aggressive?
#24 – Billy Hamilton, shortstop/outfielder, Cincinnati Reds
Height/Weight: 6’1″, 160
Born: September 9, 1990 (age 22)
2012 Stats (combined between High-A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola): .311/.410/.420, 2 HR, 45 RBI, 155 SB, 86 BB, 113 SO, 132 G (605 PA)
Hamilton became a household name as he cruised to a new single season record for stolen bases, eclipsing Vince Coleman’s old mark. He’s set to start the year at Triple-A, but he’s nearly assured of seeing time with the Red this coming season. Perhaps the lone remaining question is whether he sticks at a center fielder or does the team move him back to shortstop.
Bold Prediction: Hamilton will get thrown out in his first stolen base attempt.
#23 – Mike Olt, third baseman, Texas Rangers
Height/Weight: 6’2″, 210
Born: August 27, 1988
2012 Stats (with Double-A Tulsa): .288/.398/.579, 28 HR, 82 RBI, 4 SB, 61 BB, 101 SO, 95 G (421 PA)
MLB Career: .152/.250/.182, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB, 5 BB, 13 SO, 16 G (38 PA)
Olt did nothing but mash the ball in the minor leagues, enough to earn a late season callup but also enough to find himself the subject of trade rumors for much of the winter. Olt is still with Texas but doesn’t project to get much playing time right off the bat for the Rangers, not with Adrian Beltre still entrenched at third and Mitch Moreland/Lance Berkman primed to take most of the at bats at first base/DH. He’ll find his way into the lineup, just not right away.
Bold Prediction: Texas will make a move before the July trade deadline, either to move Olt or make room for him.
#22 – Jameson Taillon, right-handed pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates
Height/Weight: 6’6″, 225
Born: November 18, 1991 (age 21)
2012 Stats (combined between High-A Bradenton and Double-A Altoona): 9-8, 3.55 ERA, 26 GS, 142.0 IP, 38 BB (2.4 BB/9), 116 K (7.4 K/9), 1.113 WHIP
Somewhat lost in the shadows of organization-mate Gerritt Cole, Taillon still took some significant steps in his development over the past season.
Bold Prediction: Taillon will reach Triple-A this year and is a longshot at a September callup.
#21 – Francisco Lindor, shortstop, Cleveland Indians
Height/Weight: 5’11″, 175
Born: November 14, 1993 (age 19)
2012 Stats (with Class-A Lake County): .257/.352/.355, 6 HR, 42 RBI, 27 SB, 61 BB, 78 SO, 122 G (568 PA)
Lindor has yet to establish himself at the plate, but the defensively-sound shortstop could be the first Indians perennial All Star since Omar Vizquel.
Bold Prediction: He’ll start to find his bat, though not much power, and will earn a mid-season promotion to Double-A.