Every MLB Team's Top Prospect Left off the 40-Man Roster for 2012
With Prospect Pipeline's Top 50 in place, it's time to feature some of the other prospects that were not lucky enough to make the list.
As I continue to write prospect scouting reports for every organization, I will also be ranking prospects by position, tools, roster status and estimated time of arrival.
Today, we look at every team’s top prospect not on their respective 40-man roster. While you may recognize some familiar faces on this list from the original Top 50, there is also a host of new players appearing on a Prospect Pipeline list for the first time this season.
Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees
Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
Hak-Ju Lee, Tampa Bay Rays
Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles
Jake Marisnick, Toronto Blue Jays
Trayce Thompson, Chicago White sox
Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
Nick Castellanos, Detroit Tigers
Wil Myers, Kansas City Royals
Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins
Jurickson Profar, Texas Rangers
Kaleb Cowart, Los Angeles Angels
A.J. Cole, Oakland Athletics
Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners
Christian Bethancourt, Atlanta Braves
Height/Weight: 6’2”, 190 lbs.
Drafted/Signed: 2008, Panama
Single-A: .303/.323/.430, 6 SB, .127 ISO, 102 wRC+ (235 PA)
High-A: .271/.277/.325, .054 ISO, 66 wRC+ (175 PA)
Overview: Bethancourt has the athleticism and raw tools to be an All-Star catcher. Now it’s just a matter of putting it all together. He’s an average receiver with a rocket arm and fluid release that consistently produces sub-1.9 pop times.
At the plate he will swing at almost anything and rarely walks, though he does have superb hand-eye coordination that helps him square the ball up with consistency. He’s shown some gap power early in his career, which leads some to believe that he may hit for average power.
At 20 years old, his on-field demeanor is immature, and he can get lazy in his approach and blocking behind the plate. He has decent speed for a catcher but isn’t the base-stealing type.
After playing nearly 100 games between Low and High-A last season, Bethancourt will begin the his 2012 campaign at Double-A.
Team Rank: No. 4
Top 50 Rank: N/A
Trevor May, Philadelphia Phillies
Alex Meyer, Washington Nationals
Height/Weight: 6’9”, 220 lbs.
Drafted/Signed: 2011, first round (University of Kentucky)
2011 Stats: DNP
Overview: At 6’9”, Meyer features a fastball that sits in the mid-to-upper-90s and occasionally flirts with triple digits. His two seam fastball, which registers in the low-90s with considerable arm-side run, will need to become more prevalent in his arsenal.
When it’s on, Meyer’s power slider serves as a legitimate out pitch and generates plenty of swing-and-misses. Rounding out his arsenal is a steadily improving changeup, though it still needs extensive development to be a usable pitch at the big-league level.
Given his towering frame, Meyer has a tendency to lose a feel for his mechanics, as his arms and legs get out of sync with his torso, causing balance issues throughout his delivery, as well as an inconsistent arm slot.
Considering he was a college pitcher, Meyer should be ready for full-season in 2012. If things don’t go smoothly, his big-time size and arm profile well as a closer.
Team Rank: No. 3
Top 50 Rank: N/R
Christian Yelich, Miami Marlins
Zack Wheeler, New York Mets
Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs
Taylor Jungmann, Milwaukee Brewers
Height/Weight: 6’6”, 220 lbs.
Drafted/Signed: 2011, first round (University of Texas)
2011 Stats: DNP
Overview: Selected by the Brewers with the 12th overall pick in the 2011 draft, Jungmann had been one of the top collegiate pitchers since his freshman year at Texas. At 6’6”, 220 pounds, the lanky right-hander throws each of his pitches on a downward plane and isn’t afraid to attack opposing hitters. Although he can reach back for a 95-96 mph fastball, he typically works in the 92-94 range with late life.
His slider continues to improve—his size, arm slot, and arm speed have always generated above-average tilt—and is considered his best secondary offering. Like most young pitchers, Jungmann was considered a power pitcher in college and therefore lacks an above-average changeup. However, it’s decent and could grade as a 60 in time.
Considering he signed at the last minute, Jungmann will get his first taste of professional baseball in 2012. Given his collegiate experience, he will likely begin the season at High-A Brevard County—unless he wows the organization enough during spring training to begin at Double-A.
Keep your eye on Jungmann. If he progresses swimmingly, the right-hander could be on the fast track to the big leagues.
Team Rank: No. 2
Top 50 Rank: N/R
Jarred Cosart, Houston Astros
Shelby Miller, St. Louis Cardinals
Jameson Taillon, Pittsburgh Pirates
Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds
Tyler Skaggs, Arizona Diamondbacks
Gary Brown, San Francisco Giants
Robbie Erlin, San Diego Padres
Height/Weight: 5’11'', 190 lbs.
Drafted/Signed: 2009, third round (HS—Scotts Valley, CA)
Double-A (Padres): 26 IP, 1.38 ERA, 2.28 FIP, 10.73 K/9, 1.38 BB/9, 0.69 HR/9
Double-A (Rangers): 66.2 IP, 4.32 ERA, 3.53 FIP, 8.24 K/9, 0.95 BB/9, 1.22 HR/9
Overview: While many of the elite arms on this list have blazing hot fastballs and need to come up some in terms of commanding pitches and developing usable third pitches, Erlin already has plus secondary offerings and command. His breaking ball has terrific shape as does his changeup, and he locates both nearly as well as his fastball.
His fastball works in the 88-91 mph range, but can reach 93 mph when he lets one go. Erlin gets great plane on his pitches despite only being 6'0", and has fluid, repeatable, and athletic mechanics that should keep him healthy. His 2.99 ERA across two leagues (including 16 starts in the Texas League) and 154 strikeouts in 147.1 innings reflect just how dominant Erlin can be despite not having prototypical ace stuff. He only walked 16 batters all season, and despite a bit of a propensity for fly balls, Erlin projects as a very solid No. 2 option in the Show.
Organizational Rank: No. 4
Top 50 Rank: N/R
Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
Zach Lee, Los Angeles Dodgers
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