Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
1. Oscar Taveras, St. Louis Cardinals
Overview: The purest hitter in the minor leagues, Taveras has the potential to be something special. His strength and hand-eye coordination are unparalleled among minor-league hitters.
2. Wil Myers, Kansas City Royals
Overview: After a disappointing, injury-plagued 2011 season at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, Myers quieted his skeptics in a big way this past season by batting .314/.387/.600 with 37 home runs in 134 games between Double-A and Triple-A Omaha.
3. Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds
Overview: The fastest baseball player of all time, Hamilton shattered the modern stolen-base record last season with 155 in 132 games. Equally as important was that he improved his on-base skills and contact rate. The Reds opted to move the former shortstop to the outfield prior to the start of the Arizona Fall League.
4. Christian Yelich, Miami Marlins
Overview: With a smooth, rhythmic left-handed swing, Yelich batted .330/.404/.519 with 20 stolen bases last season in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. Given the Marlins’ lack of long-term big-league talent, the 6’4”, 189-pound outfielder could start moving quickly this season.
5. Nick Castellanos, Detroit Tigers
Overview: Castellanos enjoyed a red-hot start to his sophomore campaign, batting .405/.461/.553 in 55 games for High-A Lakeland. The 20-year-old was subsequently promoted to Double-A Erie, where advanced pitching proved to be a challenge. It’s also important to note that the 6’4”, 210-pound outfielder was ask to move from third base to the outfield around the same time.