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MLB: Top 10 Prospects for Every National League Team (End of Season Edition)

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MLB: Top 10 Prospects for Every National League Team (End of Season Edition)
Michael Chang/Getty Images
Billy Hamilton, the top prospect in the Reds organization, broke Vince Coleman's minor league stolen-base record in 2012 by swiping 155 bags.

San Francisco Giants


  1. Gary Brown (CF)
  2. Kyle Crick (RHP)
  3. Adam Duvall (3B)
  4. Joe Panik (SS)
  5. Chris Stratton (RHP)
  6. Clayton Blackburn (RHP)
  7. Heath Hembree (RP)
  8. Francisco Peguero (OF)
  9. Chris Heston (RHP)
  10. Roger Kieschnick (OF)

 

Scouting Report

A burner on the basepaths and a lockdown center fielder, Brown has four plus tools and still is developing power at the plate. While he likely will never be a perennial 25-plus home-run hitter, his ability to hit for a high average and make things happen on the bases will provide San Francisco an added dimension to their offense.

Third Baseman Adam Duvall emerged onto the scene in 2012 with a 30 home-run performance for San Jose (A), while infielder Joe Panik may be the second baseman of the future for San Francisco if he continues to hit.

Crick, Stratton and Blackburn also give the Giants three right-handed pitchers in their system who all project to be major league starters down the road. Heath Hembree may be the closest of all the pitchers to the big leagues after finishing last year in Fresno (AAA)—he remains just an injury or free-agent departure away from getting a shot in the bullpen come 2013.

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Gary Brown

Though not considered top prospects, outfielders Franscico Peguero and Roger Kieschnick could both prove to be productive major league players given an opportunity. 

 

Best Baserunner: Brown

Best Power: Duvall

Best Pure Hitter: Panik

Best Fastball: Crick

Best Pitch Arsenal: Heston

Sleeper: Kieschnick

 

Overall Grade: B

 

Arizona Diamondbacks

Norm Hall/Getty Images
Trevor Bauer

 

  1. Trevor Bauer (RHP)
  2. Archie Bradley (RHP)
  3. Tyler Skaggs (LHP)
  4. Matt Davidson (3B)
  5. Adam Eaton (OF)
  6. Keon Broxton (OF)
  7. Chris Owings (SS)
  8. Andrew Chafin (LHP)
  9. Stryker Trahan (C)
  10. Jake Barrett (RHP)

 

Scouting Report

Despite struggling in his major league debut last year, Trevor Bauer remains one of the brightest pitching prospects in the game and may be able to evolve into an ace as fast as any other pitcher in the minors. He commands a wide variety of pitches that he can throw in any count, complimented by his deep understanding of body mechanics as well as mathematical concepts he has applied to baseball. Expect him to be a Rookie of the Year candidate as soon as he is a regular in the Arizona rotation.

Behind Bauer, the Diamondbacks also have right-hander Archie Bradley and left-hander Tyler Skaggs, both of whom could be featured with Bauer at the top of Arizona's rotation one day.

Adam Eaton made his debut in 2012 and played well enough to get a consideration as a starter in 2013. Outfielder Keon Broxton may have the most offensive upside of all the position prospects in Arizona's system, but he still is raw and needs several years of seasoning. Matt Davidson may be ready to take over at third base for Arizona if the need arises during the 2013 season.

How many games will Trevor Bauer win in 2013?

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Best Baserunner: Eaton

Best Power: Davidson

Best Pure Hitter: Eaton

Best Fastball: Bradley

Best Pitch Arsenal: Bauer

Sleeper: Owings

 

Overall Grade: B+

 

Los Angeles Dodgers

 

  1. Joc Pederson (OF)
  2. Corey Seager (SS)
  3. Yasiel Puig (OF)
  4. Alex Castellanos (UTIL)
  5. Tim Federowicz (C)
  6. Zach Lee (RHP)
  7. Matt Magill (RHP)
  8. Scott Van Slyke (OF/1B)
  9. Jesmuel Valentin (SS)
  10. Pratt Maynard (C)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
Tim Federowicz

 

Scouting Report

After losing two of their top prospects to Boston during last year’s blockbuster trade that landed the Dodgers Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett, Los Angeles is looking to restock their minor league system.

Outfielder Joc Pederson has been a pleasant surprise, hitting for power and using his speed on the bases and on defense. International signee Yasiel Puig also looks to be a promising outfielder in a few years, while some say last year’s first-round pick Corey Seager is a better version of his brother Kyle (with Seattle) and could be a solid middle-infield bat at the major league level one day. Alex Castellanos can play all over the diamond and may be the most advanced hitter of all the Dodgers prospects right now.

The Dodgers remain thin in the pitching department, but right-handers Zach Lee and Matt Magill look to be the closest to making a major league impact. Adding young pitching will need to be a high priority for Los Angeles going into the 2013 draft.

 

Best Baserunner: Pederson

Best Power: Puig

Best Pure Hitter: Seager

Which Dodger prospect will make his MLB debut first?

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Best Fastball: Magill

Best Pitch Arsenal: Magill

Sleeper: Castellanos

 

Overall Grade: C-

 

San Diego Padres

 

  1. Jedd Gyorko (3B)
  2. Rymer Liriano (OF)
  3. Robbie Erlin (LHP)
  4. Austin Hedges (C)
  5. Max Fried (LHP)
  6. Cory Spangenberg (2B)
  7. Nate Freiman (1B)
  8. Jace Peterson (SS)
  9. Joe Wieland (RHP)
  10. Dane Phillips (C/1B)

 

Scouting Report

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Jedd Gyorko

San Diego has been fully committed to rebuilding over the past few seasons, stockpiling prospects who will inevitably forge the future for the Padres through trades and the draft. Despite having one of the deepest minor league talent pools in the game, the organization took a huge hit when one of their most promising stars, Yasmani Grandal, tested positive for a performance-enhancing supplement and consequently will miss the first 50 games of the 2013 season.

While filling Grandal’s shoes at catcher won’t be easy, the Padres have been using top prospect Jedd Gyorko at second base recently, hoping he can learn the position in time to compete for the job in 2013. Third base, Gyorko’s natural position, is locked down by MVP candidate Chase Headley, who has emerged as one of the best players in the game at the hot corner. Gyorko has done nothing but hit since being drafted out of West Virginia, so the Padres will do whatever it takes to feature his bat in their lineup as soon as possible.

Outfielder Rymer Liriano also looks to be a star in the making for San Diego, displaying outstanding speed, defense and power potential that some compare to Andrew McCutchen of Pittsburgh. Living up to those standards won’t be easy, but Liriano has torn up the Arizona Fall League so far in 2012 and continues to improve his all-around game.

Austin Hedges was drafted because of his defense behind the plate, but has also been one of the Padres best offensive threats—if he continues to hit, his defense could put him on the fast track to replace Grandal at catcher.

On the hill, San Diego has high hopes for left-handers Robbie Erlin and Max Fried, while hoping Joe Wieland recovers from Tommy John surgery after being one of the better pitchers in the minor leagues in 2010.

Will Jedd Gyorko win the 2B job out of spring training in 2013 for the Padres?

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Best Baserunner: Liriano

Best Power: Freiman

Best Pure Hitter: Gyorko

Best Fastball: Fried

Best Pitch Arsenal: Wieland

Sleeper: Phillips

 

Overall Grade: B+

 

Colorado Rockies

 

  1. David Dahl (OF)
  2. Tyler Anderson (LHP)
  3. Trevor Story (SS)
  4. Tim Wheeler (OF)
  5. Chad Bettis (RHP)
  6. Nolan Arenado (3B)
  7. Will Swanner (C)
  8. Tyler Matzek (LHP)
  9. Kyle Parker (OF)
  10. Rafael Ortega (OF)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Nolan Arenado

 

Scouting Report

The Rockies are no stranger to homegrown talent, developing the likes of Troy Tulowitzki, Todd Helton, Matt Holliday and other stars through the years who have kept Colorado competitive despite a low budget. Their next wave of standout prospects may be arriving soon, as Colorado boasts one of the stronger minor league systems in the game.

Outfielder David Dahl has been one of the best performers of the 2012 draft class and won MVP honors in short-season (A) rookie ball. Shortstop Trevor Story has put up great power numbers since being drafted out of high school in 2011, while playing surprisingly strong defense for his age. Tim Wheeler, Nolan Arenado and Will Swanner have also shown the ability to be forces at the plate, and should all eventually get an opportunity in the big leagues.

Left-hander Tyler Anderson has been the Rockies' best pitcher statistically since being drafted out of Oregon in 2011, but right-hander Chad Bettis has also put up solid numbers on the hill. The organization still believes former first-round pick Tyler Matzek, a left-hander who may have the most upside of the young Colorado arms, can get back on track after struggling initially.

 

Best Baserunner: Ortega

Which team drafted the best position player in the 2012 draft?

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Best Power: Dahl

Best Pure Hitter: Wheeler

Best Fastball: Matzek

Best Pitch Arsenal: Anderson

Sleeper: Bettis

 

Overall Grade: A-

 

Cincinnati Reds

 

  1. Billy Hamilton (SS)
  2. Tony Cingrani (LHP)
  3. Robert Stephenson (RHP)
  4. Daniel Corcino (RHP)
  5. DiDi Gregorius (SS)
  6. Nicholas Travieso (RHP)
  7. Neftali Soto (1B)
  8. Dan Langfield (RHP)
  9. Ryan Wright (2B)
  10. Ryan LaMarre (OF)
Michael Chang/Getty Images
Billy Hamilton

 

Scouting Report

With arguably the best base stealer since Vince Coleman topping their prospect list, Cincinnati can’t wait to plug Billy Hamilton into the leadoff spot, which seems to be the only part of the order still ailing the Reds. The only question is what position he will play, as the Reds seem to be confident with Zack Cozart at shortstop after his solid rookie season.

Hamilton has been moved to center field during the Arizona Fall League, an experiment that Cincinnati hopes will translate into getting their top prospect to the big leagues faster—possibly as soon as next season. His speed and athleticism are a perfect fit for center field, so it may just be a matter of time and repetition until Hamilton looks like a natural in the outfield. The Reds will have to consider doing the same with DiDi Gregorius, who also possesses the athleticism to make the switch.

Pitching wise, the Reds were pleasantly surprised by Tony Cingrani in 2012, who proved to be one of the best pitchers in all of the minor leagues. First-round pick Robert Stephenson also pitched well in limited action during his first pro season, and may be an ace in the making if his progression goes as planned.

 

Best Baserunner: Hamilton

How many bases will Billy Hamilton steal as a rookie in the big leagues?

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Best Power: Soto

Best Pure Hitter: Hamilton

Best Fastball: Cingrani

Best Pitch Arsenal: Stephenson

Sleeper: Wright

 

Overall Grade: B-

 

Chicago Cubs

 

  1. Albert Almora (OF)
  2. Javier Baez (SS)
  3. Jorge Soler (OF)
  4. Dan Vogelbach (1B)
  5. Brett Jackson (OF)
  6. Arodys Vizcaino (RHP)
  7. Josh Vitters (3B)
  8. Trey McNutt (RHP)
  9. Matthew Szczur (OF)
  10. Gioskar Amaya (2B)
David Banks/Getty Images
Brett Jackson

 

Scouting Report

With a new general manager in Theo Epstein manning the helm, the Chicago Cubs have already started to show signs of improving their minor league talent pool. A pair of international signings netted the Cubs shortstop Javier Baez and outfielder Jorge Soler, both of whom appear to be major league stars in the making. Baez may have to change positions because of Starlin Castro’s presence, but his bat will play wherever he ends up in the field.

Through the draft, Chicago found first baseman Dan Vogelbach, who may have the most pure power in the minors, as well as toolsy outfielder Albert Almora, Chicago’s first-round pick in 2012. Outfielder Brett Jackson and third baseman Josh Vitters made their Cubs debut last season with mixed results, but may be on a short leash because they are leftovers from the last regime’s draft and development plan.

The Cubs are still searching for young pitching, having lost prospects Andrew Cashner and Chris Archer to trades in recent years. Acquiring Arodys Vizcaino from Atlanta was a start for the new ownership, but adding young pitching will certainly be the focal point of the organization going forward.

 

Best Baserunner: Almora

How long will it take the Cubs to get back to the postseason?

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Best Power: Vogelbach

Best Pure Hitter: Almora

Best Fastball: Vizcaino

Best Pitch Arsenal: McNutt

Sleeper: Vitters

 

Overall Grade: B

 

Pittsburgh Pirates

 

  1. Gerrit Cole (RHP)
  2. Jameson Taillon (RHP)
  3. Gregory Polanco (OF)
  4. Alen Hanson (SS)
  5. Josh Bell (OF)
  6. Barrett Barnes (OF)
  7. Luis Heredia (RHP)
  8. Alex Dickerson (OF)
  9. Tony Sanchez (C)
  10. Justin Wilson (LHP)

Who is the better pitching prospect for the Pirates?

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Scouting Report

Seemingly since Doug Drabek took his Cy Young with him into retirement, the Pirates have been looking for an ace to anchor the top of the rotation. Several first-round picks never materialized for Pittsburgh on the hill, while they made the mistake of trading Jason Schmidt to San Francisco right before he entered his prime.

The long wait could finally be over for the Bucs, who have built a solid core of young pitching through the draft in recent years. Former No. 1 overall pick Gerrit Cole has moved quickly through the system and has the markings of a future ace—he could get an opportunity to prove it as soon as 2013, as Cole’s command and poise are beyond his years.

Another former first-round pick, Jameson Taillon, has also been dominant in the lower levels of the minor leagues, but isn’t quite as polished as Cole yet. Given another year or two to develop, Taillon could join Cole in Pittsburgh to form a promising young core of pitching.

While the Pirates don’t have as many frontline position prospects, there are a handful of hitters in the minors who could be more than serviceable major leaguers at some point in their career. Outfielders Gregory Polanco and Josh Bell have the most upside of the group, but shortstop Alen Hanson and outfielders Barrett Barnes and Alex Dickerson could also prove to be quality hitters. Outfielder Starling Marte earned enough at-bats in 2012 to graduate from prospect qualifications, but still remains one of Pittsburgh’s brightest young hitters.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Gerrit Cole

With a solid nucleus of Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker, James McDonald and other developing position players, a couple of energetic rookies could prove to be enough to end the Pirates long playoff drought very soon.

 

Best Baserunner: Barnes

Best Power: Bell

Best Pure Hitter: Hanson

Best Fastball: Cole

Best Pitch Arsenal: Cole

Sleeper: Dickerson

 

Overall Grade: B+

 

St. Louis Cardinals

 

  1. Oscar Taveras (OF)
  2. Kolten Wong (2B)
  3. Michael Wacha (RHP)
  4. Shelby Miller (RHP)
  5. Matt Adams (1B)
  6. Carlos Martinez (RHP)
  7. James Ramsey (OF)
  8. Jordan Swagerty (RHP)
  9. Patrick Wisdom (3B)
  10. Carson Kelly (3B)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Oscar Taveras

 

Scouting Report

A number of solid drafts over the past several seasons has put the Cardinals in an envious position—being an annual contender with a well-stocked minor league system. The 2012 season gave Cardinals fans a glimpse of right-hander Shelby Miller and first baseman Matt Adams, but several other frontline prospects are making their way to St. Louis in a hurry.

Outfielder Oscar Taveras, regarded by some as the best pure hitter in the minors, has earned that reputation by hitting better than .300 in each of the past three seasons. In 2012, he added a new dimension to his game, swatting more than 20 home runs for the first time in his career.

Second baseman Kolten Wong, a first-round pick by St. Louis in 2011 out of the University of Hawaii, has also shown a natural feel for hitting and looks to be one of the most advanced prospects at the plate in the minors. Wong could be a rare breed of rookie who threatens to hit .300 or better in his first year at the major league level thanks to a sound approach and compact swing.

James Ramsey was one of two first-round picks by St. Louis in 2012, bringing his up-tempo play and passion to an organization that loves throwback ballplayers.

Who is a better pure hitter?

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Pitching wise, St. Louis is grooming a trio of young arms to eventually replace aging veterans like Chris Carpenter and Kyle Lohse. Miller made his debut out of the bullpen this season, displaying a mid-to-upper 90s heater and good breaking pitches in limited action—once the opportunity arises, the Cardinals would like to feature him in the rotation. Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez are several years away from competing for rotation jobs, but both possess live arms and have been hard to hit in the minors.

 

Best Baserunner: Wong

Best Power: Adams

Best Pure Hitter: Taveras

Best Fastball: Miller

Best Pitch Arsenal: Wacha

Sleeper: Ramsey

 

Overall Grade: A

 

Bob Levey/Getty Images
George Springer

Houston Astros

 

  1. George Springer (OF)
  2. Jonathan Singleton (1B)
  3. Carlos Correa (SS)
  4. Mike Foltynewicz (RHP)
  5. Delino DeShields Jr. (2B)
  6. Jarred Cosart (RHP)
  7. Lance McCullers Jr. (RHP)
  8. Domingo Santana (OF)
  9. Asher Wojciechowski (RHP)
  10. Nolan Fontana (SS)

 

Scouting Report

A move to the American League West in 2013 may prove to be a brutal initiation to one of the toughest divisions in baseball for the Astros, but those growing pains could eventually result in an ascent to the top if Houston can successfully continue to assemble young talent.

The talent is there for the Astros, who added another potential major leaguer (Carlos Correa) with the first overall pick of the 2012 draft last season. While Correa needs several years to develop into what some scouts believe could be a young Alex Rodriguez, Houston has a number of prospects who could be making an impact with the big league club as early as next season.

Will Delino DeShields Jr. steal more than 100 bases in 2013?

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Outfielder George Springer is a prototypical five-tool prospect, boasting raw power and plus speed that could translate into a 30-30 player in his prime. If he can cut down on strikeouts and learn to handle the breaking pitches he is bound to see, Springer will be a formidable presence in any lineup.

One of the prized returns of the Hunter Pence deal in 2011, Jonathan Singleton reminds many of a young Ryan Howard, a lumbering presence who shows power to all fields and a knack for driving in runs. A strong spring training could land Singleton the big league job at first base, where he could be a Rookie of the Year candidate with a hitters haven like Houston to play in.

Delino DeShields Jr. would likely have received much more publication about his 100-plus steal season in 2012, but he did it during a season where Billy Hamilton of the Reds stole 155 bags—nevertheless, DeShields Jr. can fly and could be next year’s stolen-base leader in the minors if Hamilton ends up playing center field for Cincinnati.

Mike Foltynewicz, Jarred Cosart and Asher Wojciechowski all had solid seasons on the mound, putting each in position to compete for a job at some point in 2013 for Houston.

Lance McCullers Jr. pitched well in the low levels of the minors in 2012 and will have time to climb the minor league ladder as one of the younger arms in the system.

It’s going to still be a year or two at least before we talk about Houston contending in the AL West, but with some of the brightest young talent in the game residing in the minors, there is a lot of optimism about the future of the Astros.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Scooter Gennett (right)

 

Best Baserunner: DeShields Jr.

Best Power: Springer

Best Pure Hitter: Correa

Best Fastball: Cosart

Best Pitch Arsenal: Foltynewicz

Sleeper: Fontana

 

Overall Grade: A-

 

Milwaukee Brewers

 

  1. Hunter Morris (1B)
  2. Wily Peralta (RHP)
  3. Scooter Gennett (2B)
  4. Taylor Jungmann (RHP)
  5. Tyler Thornburg (RHP)
  6. Victor Roache (OF)
  7. Logan Schafer (OF)
  8. John Hellweg (RHP)
  9. Clint Coulter (C)
  10. Jed Bradley (LHP)

How many home runs will Hunter Morris hit as a rookie?

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Scouting Report

After watching Hunter Morris pummel minor league pitching in 2012, the Brewers had to feel a little better about letting Prince Fielder sign with Detroit. While it didn’t replace his bat at the major league level, Morris launched more than 30 home runs and drove in more than 100, putting him in position to earn the big-league first-base job in 2013. Given a chance to start a full season, Morris has the bat to compete for a Rookie of the Year nomination next year.

Milwaukee also thinks they have an eventual replacement for Rickie Weeks in second baseman Scooter Gennett, who has hit for a high average at every stop in the minor leagues. With a small build and fiery style of play, Gennett projects as a tough out at the top of the lineup and has the speed to steal 15-20 bases per year.

Drafted in the first round in 2011, Victor Roache had to recover from a broken wrist after being one of the best power hitters in all of college baseball. Once fully healthy, Roache has as much upside with the bat as any prospect in the organization.

After losing Zack Greinke last season to the Angels, the Brewers not only played better as a team but also discovered the right-handed arm of Wily Peralta in their rotation. They also were pleased to watch Jean Segura, the top prospect Milwaukee received in return for Greinke, play increasingly well at shortstop as the season progressed.

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Julio Teheran

Taylor Jungmann was a perennial ace at the University of Texas for Augie Garrido, something the Brewers hope he will blossom into with their organization. Jungmann is durable and an innings eater, also being closer to the big leagues than other Brewers prospects because of his collegiate background.

 

Best Baserunner: Gennett

Best Power: Morris

Best Pure Hitter: Gennett

Best Fastball: Hellweg

Best Pitch Arsenal: Jungmann

Sleeper: Schafer

 

Overall Grade: C+

 

Who would you consider the top prospect in the Braves organization?

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Atlanta Braves

 

  1. J.R. Graham (RHP)
  2. Joe Terdoslavich (3B)
  3. Julio Teheran (RHP)
  4. Christian Bethancourt (C)
  5. Sean Gilmartin (LHP)
  6. Alex Wood (LHP)
  7. Nick Ahmed (SS)
  8. Lucas Sims (RHP)
  9. Edward Salcedo (SS/3B)
  10. Mauricio Cabrera (RHP)

 

Scouting Report

Lacking any headline prospects, the Braves minor league system is composed of a handful of players who aren’t projected to be much more than utility men at the major league level.

With Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman moving on to the big leagues in recent seasons, Atlanta has seen the likes of right-hander J.R. Graham and third baseman Joe Terdoslavich jump towards the top of the rankings.

Julio Teheran, their top prospect from a year ago, has struggled to regain the form that made some scouts think he could be a future ace—for now he is just trying to adjust to Triple-A.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Adeiny Hechavarria

Catcher Christian Bethancourt is solid defensively and could prove to be a long-term replacement for Brian McCann, while shortstop Nick Ahmed has been impressive with the bat and adds above-average speed on the bases.

Left-handers Sean Gilmartin and Alex Wood are the top southpaws in Atlanta’s organization, both of whom interest the Braves rotation, which will likely only feature one lefty next season (Mike Minor).

Without any five-tool prospects jumping off the board, the Braves are hoping to find some overachievers in this group to help aid one of the most consistent franchises in all of baseball.

 

Best Baserunner: Ahmed

Best Power: Terdoslavich

Best Pure Hitter: Terdoslavich

Best Fastball: Teheran

Best Pitch Arsenal: Graham

Sleeper: Gilmartin

Who was the best player the Marlins got in return for their recent 12-player trade?

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Overall Grade: D

 

Miami Marlins

 

  1. Jose Fernandez (RHP)
  2. Christian Yelich (OF)
  3. Marcell Ozuna (OF)
  4. Andrew Heaney (LHP)
  5. Jake Marisnick (OF)
  6. Adam Conley (LHP)
  7. Justin Nicolino (LHP)
  8. Adeiny Hechavarria (2B/SS)
  9. Zach Cox (3B)
  10. Danny Black (2B)

 

Scouting Report

With their most recent fire sale, the Marlins not only dumped million dollar contracts into the Blue Jays' hands, but also received three of their top prospects in the deal.

Outfielder Jake Marisnick, the most notable of the prospects Miami received, has earned five-tool praise from some scouts, but hasn’t had the numbers in the minors to match the hype. A change of scenery and continued development could turn Marisnick into the prize of the trade for the Marlins, who also netted left-handed pitcher Justin Nicolino and infielder Adeiny Hechavarria in the trade.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Zack Wheeler

Meanwhile, top prospect Jose Fernandez looks to be an ace in the making, going 14-1 in the minors in 2012, with an ERA under 2.00. If he makes it look that easy in 2013, the Fish won’t wait long to reel him in to Miami—he could be a Cy Young candidate waiting to happen.

Last year’s first-round pick Andrew Heaney gives the Marlins three left-handed pitchers who rank among their top ten prospects, a luxury few teams have.

Outfielders Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna also appear to be on their way to the big leagues, both displaying above-average power that could translate to 20-25 home runs per season.

Even if it takes a year or two to recover from unloading nearly all of their major league ready talent, the Marlins have the prospect pieces in place to be serious contenders as soon as 2014.

 

Best Baserunner: Marisnick

Best Power: Ozuna

Best Pure Hitter: Yelich

Best Fastball: Fernandez

Best Pitch Arsenal: Fernandez

Is Wilmer Flores ready to take over for David Wright at third if he is traded during the offseason?

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Sleeper: Black

 

Overall Grade: B+

 

New York Mets

 

  1. Zack Wheeler (RHP)
  2. Wilmer Flores (3B)
  3. Jeurys Familia (RHP)
  4. Brandon Nimmo (OF)
  5. Michael Fulmer (RHP)
  6. Rafael Montero (RHP)
  7. Matt Den Dekker (OF)
  8. Gavin Cecchini (SS)
  9. Cesar Puello (OF)
  10. Danny Muno (SS/2B)

 

Scouting Report

After watching Matt Harvey shatter Tom Seaver’s strikeout record for a major league debut, the Mets are anticipating another hard-throwing right-hander ascending to the big league club soon—Zack Wheeler.

Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
Darin Ruf

Acquired from the Giants last season in the Carlos Beltran traded, Wheeler has been a top prospect in both organizations after being a former first-round pick by San Francisco. Following the trade, Wheeler struck out 31 batters in 27 innings for St. Lucie (A), walking just five during that span. He built upon his success in 2012 after being promoted to Double-A, putting him on track for a 2013 debut for New York if things go well in Triple-A.

Third baseman Wilmer Flores comes in as the Mets top position prospect, hitting .300 with 18 home runs and 75 RBI last season as a 22-year-old. If David Wright departs the Big Apple, Flores may be one reason the Mets feel comfortable letting the face of their franchise play in another city.

New York’s first-round pick in 2011, Brandon Nimmo was tabbed as a five-tool player coming out of high school, but is still attempting to reach those expectations. Even if he isn’t the All-Star the Mets envisioned, Nimmo has the skills to be a productive everyday outfielder.

Outfielder Matt Den Dekker is a scrappy, throwback player who will get the most out of his ability—his speed, ability to make contact and range on defense will make him an asset to a team.

 

Best Baserunner: Cecchini

Best Power: Flores

How many home runs will Darin Ruf hit in the majors in 2013?

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Best Pure Hitter: Flores

Best Fastball: Wheeler

Best Pitch Arsenal: Wheeler

Sleeper: Den Dekker

 

Overall Grade: B-

 

Philadelphia Phillies

 

  1. Darin Ruf (1B)
  2. Julio Rodriguez (RHP)
  3. Tommy Joseph (C)
  4. Jesse Biddle (LHP)
  5. Trevor May (RHP)
  6. Cody Asche (3B)
  7. Larry Greene (OF/1B)
  8. Brody Colvin (RHP)
  9. Sebastian Valle (C)
  10. Lisalberto Bonilla (RHP)

 

Greg Fiume/Getty Images
Anthony Rendon, pictured with fellow Nats prospects Brian Goodwin (right) and Lucas Giolito (left).

Scouting Report

The Phillies have used the minor league system in recent years to bolster what was one of the most consistent big-league winners in baseball. As their best players continue to age, it’s becoming clear that there may be a youth movement for the Phillies if they are able to stay competitive in the NL East.

They made the first step towards rebuilding by sending Hunter Pence to San Francisco for catcher Tommy Joseph and outfielder Nate Schierholtz, while finding gems like Darin Ruf and Cody Asche late in the draft.

Ruf went on a power surge at the end of last season that resulted in him winning the Double-A home-run title over Mike Olt of Texas during the last week of the season. Despite being old for a prospect (26), Ruf is much more polished and experienced as a hitter than many of the young prospects in the game.

Originally a 20th-round draft pick, Ruf has increased his home-run total every year he has been in the minors, while also hitting better than .300 in three separate seasons.

Pitchers Trevor May and Jesse Biddle are the next in line to get a look in Philadelphia, both of whom can pile up the strikeouts.

 

Best Baserunner: Asche

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Best Power: Ruf

Best Pure Hitter: Asche

Best Fastball: May

Best Pitch Arsenal: Rodriguez

Sleeper: Greene

 

Overall Grade: C-

 

 Washington Nationals

 

  1. Anthony Rendon (3B)
  2. Alex Meyer (RHP)
  3. Matthew Skole (3B)
  4. Brian Goodwin (OF)
  5. Lucas Giolito (RHP)
  6. Sandy Leon (C)
  7. Eury Perez (OF)
  8. Matt Purke (LHP)
  9. Zach Walters (SS)
  10. Sammy Solis (LHP)

 

Scouting Report

Having the first overall pick in the draft two years in a row yielded Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper for the Nationals, helping them transform from perennial cellar dweller into the class of the NL East in a few short seasons.

While their current class of prospects can’t quite match the star power of Strasburg and Harper, there are several players quickly rising through the minors.

Third baseman Anthony Rendon was considered one of the best pure hitters in draft memory when taken by the Nationals in the first round in 2011, but a series of injuries kept him out of action for most of his first pro season. When healthy, Rendon possesses one of the smoothest swings in the game and has blossoming power. If he can shake the injury bug, Rendon could compete for batting titles one day and is above average defensively.

Another third baseman, Matthew Skole had a breakout year in the minor leagues for the Nationals, blasting 27 home runs to go along with 104 RBI. With two of their best offensive prospects manning the same position (already owned by All-Star Ryan Zimmerman in Washington), at least one is likely to end up somewhere else on the diamond at some point.

Outfielder Brian Goodwin also continues to show improvement in the minor leagues and has been a pleasant surprise, displaying power, speed and plus defense that has him on the fast track to the majors.

The Nationals also have high hopes for pitchers Alex Meyer, Lucas Giolito, Matt Purke and Sammy Solis, all of whom were high draft picks but still are yet to translate their talent into consistent production. With one of the better rotations in the National League, Washington can afford to allow their young arms to develop, or use them as trade chips to make another push towards the postseason in 2013.

 

Best Baserunner: Goodwin

 

Best Power: Skole

Best Pure Hitter: Rendon

Best Fastball: Giolito

Best Pitch Arsenal: Purke

Sleeper: Perez

 

Overall Grade: B

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