After a long day of traveling in what seemed to be never-ending traffic, I was excited to finally get situated and write about an up-and-coming shortstop prospect.
But soon after sketching an initial list of prospects for the article, I realized that it would be unfair to you, the loyal Prospect Pipeline reader, if I focused on only one prospect. Therefore, I’ve decided to share my thoughts one three of my favorite shortstop prospects in the minor leagues—for various reasons, as you’ll see.
While there’s a few more players that conceivably fit on this list, I’ll hold off on publishing their respective profiles and scouting reports until later this winter.
Having said all of that, here are three shortstop prospects who appear poised for big things in 2013.
2012 Stats: .355/.404/.610, 42 R, 26 XBH (6 HR), 9 SB, 31/15 K/BB (41 G, Rookie Arizona League); .271/.306/.407, 6 XH, 14/3 K/BB (15 G, Short-Season Mahoning Valley)
Incredibly advanced ballplayer who just turned 18 on Nov. 21; none of his defensive attributes or tools are flashy; solid-average range plays up due to his instincts; defensive actions and throws are noticeably raw but expected for a player of his age.
Right-handed hitter’s bat is elite given his age and lack of experience; above-average bat speed; bat-to-ball ability and mature approach all suggest that his hit and power tool will only continue to improve; easy but powerful swing that enable loud contact to all fields; 6'0'', 175 pounds.
2012 Stats: .339/.412/.524, 89 R, 49 XBH (11 HR), 19 SB, 79/52 K/BB (97 G, High-A High Desert); .320/.406/.476, 13 XBH (4 HR), 4 SB, 26/22 K/BB (40 G, Double-A Jackson)
At 6’2”, 185 pounds, Brad Miller, 23, possesses the quickness, range and arm strength required to remain at shortstop; overall defense can be sloppy and inconsistent; arm stroke and release point can fall out of sync with lower half; due to frequent errors, he has the athleticism and baseball IQ to play almost any other position.
Left-handed hitter has crushed the ball since Mariners made him a second-rounder in 2011; possesses more power than his frame and size suggest; excellent plate discipline allows him to track the ball deep; rips line drives to all fields as bat head stays in the zone for extended period of time; both hit and power tool project to be above average in major leagues.
2012 Stats: .269/.337/.391, 46 XBH (6 HR), 40 SB, 102/49 K/BB (130 G, High-A Lynchburg)
Example of a player whose stats may never quantify his ability and potential impact; excellent defensive shortstop with quick feet, tons of range and smooth actions in all directions; smart basestealer with above average-to-plus overall speed.
Will need to eliminate some of the swing-and-miss at-bats to his game and improve his on-base skills; showcases mostly gap power but is steadily learning to manipulate counts; continues to add strength to 6’3”, 205-pound frame.