Whether or not a top prospect is on their team’s 40-man roster has nothing to do with how they’re viewed by the organization. Typically, it’s a product of the player’s proximity to the major leagues. If they are still housed in the lower minors, it simply doesn’t make sense to allocate a roster spot for someone still several years away.
As a prospect ascends his organization’s farm system, he is often added to the roster in anticipation of a call-up. Also, players are commonly included on the 40-man roster as a means of protection from the Rule 5 draft—a process that usually takes place in mid-to-late November.
Having said all that, there are numerous highly regarded prospects yet to be added to the 40-man roster who are likely to spend a majority of the 2013 season in the major leagues.
Here’s a look at five of those players.