Last week, we took a look at the top MLB hitting prospects for 2012. Much like the practice of signing free agents, figuring out who the hot prospects are is never an exact science. Many variables go into deciding who could possibly be a top-tier prospect.
For pitchers, those variables include velocity, command of the strike zone, repertoire of pitches, craftiness, overall make-up—these are just some of the qualities that scouts and GMs are searching for. However, even with all of the greatest of skills, it’s almost never a guarantee.
Year after year, scouts scour baseball fields in every corner of the country and beyond, searching for the next future ace. Will they come from high school or college? Can they be found on a makeshift, rundown field somewhere in the Dominican Republic? Or, will they be honing their skills in Japan?
Here is a list of the current top pitching prospects in baseball right now. With just a couple of exceptions, each pitcher on this list must have made their MLB debut after Sept. 1 or have yet to appear in the bigs.