Every MLB Team's Top Prospect Left off the Spring Training Roster

Mike RosenbaumMLB Prospects Lead WriterFebruary 2, 2013

Every MLB Team's Top Prospect Left off the Spring Training Roster

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    With less than two weeks remaining until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, some organizations still haven’t announced all of their non-roster invitees. Typically, an assortment of veteran players and top prospects who aren’t on the 40-man roster are extended invitations to big league camp.

    Teams deliberately handpick the prospects they invite, focusing on those likely to contribute in the major leagues within a matter of years. The rest—including many of the prospects invited to big league camp—are sent to minor league spring training.

    Here’s a look at every team’s best prospect who wasn’t invited to major league spring training.

     

    *All stats courtesy of BaseballReference.com.

    *All spring training roster information courtesy of MLB.com.

    *Some of the player scouting notes appeared as part of their team’s list of top-10 prospects.

Baltimore Orioles: Nick Delmonico, 1B-3B

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    Position: 1B-3B

    DOB: 7/12/1991 (Age: 21)

    Height/Weight: 6’2”, 196

    Bats/Throws: L/R

    Drafted/Signed: Sixth round, 2011 (Farragut HS, Tenn.)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: Delmonico’s baseball bloodline continues to aid his overall projection; already has a slightly concerning injury history with back problems (2011) and left knee sprain (2012); 6’2”, 196-pound frame should mature favorably; played 51 of 94 games at first base in professional debut—also received significant playing time at second base.

    I hate the early relegation to first base, which only puts more pressure on his bat; offense ceiling would be more valuable as a third baseman; health will continue to determine where he plays.

    Left-handed hitter exhibits advanced plate discipline (73/47 K/BB in 338 at-bats in 2012) given his lack of experience; should help the development of his hit tool in coming years; has a clear feel for the strike zone with the ability to make in-game adjustments; sees the ball well out of the pitcher’s hand and spits on off-speed pitches out of the zone; still learning how to utilize his slightly above-average raw power; swing can get long and enable too much swing-and-miss, but it has some loft with extension after contact.

Boston Red Sox: Henry Owens, LHP

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    Position: LHP

    DOB: 7/21/1992 (Age: 20)

    Height/Weight: 6’6”, 190

    Bats/Throws: L/L

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2011 (Edison HS, Calif.)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: 6’6” left-hander projects through the roof, but it may take him a while to get anywhere close to his high ceiling; despite long, lanky frame, Owens repeats his mechanics better than any stats suggests; has huge stride toward the plate that aids his overall deception and, in turn, makes his entire arsenal play up; really like his arm angle and ability to deliver on a downward plane.

    Strikeout artist with an impressive three-pitch mix; fastball typically sits at 88-92 mph and can be difficult for hitters to pick up out of his hand; will occasionally flirt with 94-95 mph; breaking ball flashes above-average potential and he’s adept at adding and subtracting when necessary; would like to see him use it to back-foot right-handed hitters with more consistency; changeup is best secondary pitch and projects as a legitimate plus offering; command of overall arsenal is shaky at the moment, but his athleticism and mechanics suggest it will improve as he develops.

New York Yankees: Mason Williams, OF

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    Position: OF

    DOB: 8/21/1991 (Age: 21)

    Height/Weight: 6’, 150

    Bats/Throws: L/R

    Drafted/Signed: Fourth round, 2010 (West Orange HS, Fla.)

    ETA: 2014

    2012 Stats

    Season in Review: Williams turned in a strong follow-up campaign after batting .349/.395/.468 last season as the New York-Penn League’s top prospect. Suffered a dislocated left shoulder in late July that required season-ending surgery.

    Scouting Notes: Excellent defensive center fielder with the plus speed and more than enough range to stick at the position; left-handed hitter who gets out of the box quickly, but is a raw base-stealer.

    Has more power than frame suggests; arms and wrists loaded with quick-twitch muscles; makes a lot of contact but could stand to be more patient; solid hand-eye coordination and bat speed allow him to barrel the ball to all fields; needs to focus more on his on-base skills than power stroke.

    Red flags regarding his maturity popped up all season; developed reputation for a seemingly indifferent attitude when things weren’t going well; common attitude among prospects and almost always corrects itself.

Tampa Bay Rays: Taylor Guerrieri, RHP

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 12/1/1992 (Age: 20)

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 195

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2011 (Spring Valley HS, S.C.)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: Guerrieri signed just before the Aug. 15 deadline and didn’t make his professional debut until this past season; right-hander was dominant as the top pitcher in the short-season New York-Penn League; registered a 0.87 ERA and .185 BAA with 45/5 K/BB in 52 innings; has the potential to rise quickly through the Rays’ system, but it’s doubtful the organization will accelerate his arrival; could be yet another frontline starter to emerge from 2011 draft class.

    The 6’3”, 195-pounder possesses present physical strength and quiet athleticism; strong upper body and broad shoulders leave room for favorable projection; arms works well and the ball leaves his hand well; he can get a little long on the backside and work against his body, though it does create cross-body deception in his delivery.

    Despite age and lack of experience, Guerrieri flashes the potential for four above-average-to-plus pitches; two-seam fastball is an excellent pitch in the low-to-mid-90s with considerable weight and late life to the arm side; commands the pitch effectively to both sides of plate; isn’t afraid to challenge both right- and left-handed hitters middle-in; will mix in the occasional four-seam fastball that scrapes 96 to 97 mph.

    Plus curveball is a second viable weapon with tight spin, consistent shape and late, downward bite; advanced enough to locate the pitch for strikes and bury it to induce whiffs; changeup is coming along nicely, as is his pitchability; Guerrieri is still technically under the radar, but expect that to change next season when he excels in his full-season debut.

Toronto Blue Jays: Aaron Sanchez, RHP

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 7/1/1992 (Age: 21)

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 190

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2010 (Barstow HS, Calif.)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: The top pitching prospect in the Jays’ system is also a consensus top-50 prospect; organization finally allowed greater workload this past season with excellent results; effortless and fluid delivery with a quick arm, though he’s still learning how to beat it with consistency; Highly athletic and projectable at 6’4” with ideal frame to add a bit more strength.

    Pure stuff is excellent and sets him apart from most pitching prospects; fastball registers at an easy 94-98 mph and explodes out of his hand; plus curveball has tight spin and sharp downer break, and he showed an improved feel for it this past season; changeup has some nice fade and is a viable third pitch, but is not as advanced as other two offerings; right-hander’s command still has a way to go after walking just over five batters per nine innings last season; will need to refine command as he begins to move up the ladder.

Chicago White Sox: Courtney Hawkins, OF

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    Position: OF

    DOB: 11/12/1993 (Age: 19)

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 220

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2012 (Mary Carroll HS, Texas)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: Big, physically strong player at 6’3”, 220 pounds; excellent athlete who moves better than expected; plus raw power thanks to excellent bat speed and a leveraged swing; has a tendency to overswing which leads to excessive strikeouts; pitch recognition should improve with experience; has above-average speed but will probably never be a base stealer.

    Strongest defensive asset is his plus arm; also received looks on the mound as an amateur due to low-90s fastball; will probably continue to be developed as center fielder, but he’ll likely have to move to right field as he physically matures; high ceiling given his athleticism and present skill set, but won't be rushed to the majors.

Cleveland Indians: Dorssys Paulino, 2B-3B

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    *The Indians haven't released their list of non-roster invites, but I assume that SS Francisco Lindor will be one of them. 

    Position: SS

    DOB: 11/21/1994 (Age: 18)

    Height/Weight: 6’, 175

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: July, 2011 (Dominican Republic)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: Paulino was highly impressive in professional debut, posting a 1.015 OPS with 26 extra-base hits and nine stolen bases as a 17-year-old in the rookie-level Arizona League; plate discipline was challenged following a promotion to New York-Penn League; 6’, 170-pounder has room to add more strength; wrists and forearms are loaded with quick-twitch muscles; plus bat speed; hit and power utility already present; feel for the strike zone and hard contact; plus runner; more likely to possess plus hit than power in the major leagues.

    Likely to stick at second base at the major league level; may see time at third base, but definitely not a shortstop; solid glove with improving defensive actions; average arm strength with a quick transfer and release; excelled in professional debut but still plenty of uncertainty tied to his ongoing development.

Detroit Tigers: Jake Thompson, RHP

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 1/31/1994 (Age: 18)

    Height/Weight:  6’4”, 235

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: Second round, 2012 (Rockwall-Heath HS, Texas)

    ETA: 2016

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: 6’4” right-hander was a two-way standout in high school who also received draft consideration as a hitter; physically mature but still involves some projection; possesses more athleticism than his size suggests; made impressive debut at the rookie level with a 1.91 ERA and .141 BAA, as well as 31/10 K/BB in 28 innings.

    Large physical frame makes him both durable and projectable as he continues to gain experience; pounds lower half of strike zone with heavy fastballs in the high 80s, low 90s; should be a consistent low-to-mid-90s arm as he continues to develop and becomes more mechanically efficient; slider is an inconsistent pitch but flashes plus potential with occasional two-plane break and hard bite; changeup is present, as well, but is undeveloped and therefore inconsistent; could move quickly as he develops secondary weapons.

Kansas City Royals: Kyle Zimmer, RHP

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 9/13/1991 (Age: 21)

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 215

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: 1st round, 2012 (San Francisco)

    ETA: 2014

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: After the Royals selected Zimmer with the fifth-overall pick in the 2012 draft, the 6’3” right-hander reached Low-A Kane County in his professional debut; registered a 2.03 ERA with 42/8 K/BB in 40 innings across two levels; had surgery following the season to remove bone chips in his elbow; clean, repeatable mechanics; fluid arm action; lack of mileage after moving to the mound as a college sophomore.

    Zimmer’s fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s with late life; jumps out of his hand thanks to quick arm; can reach back for 96-98 mph at times; curveball projects to be a second plus pitch with sharp downer break; also throws an average slider with tight rotation; changeup has come along nicely and gives him a deep, four-pitch mix; after trading their previous top pitching prospect, Jake Odorizzi, the Royals could fast-track Zimmer this season as long as his elbow is healthy.

Minnesota Twins: Miguel Sano, 3B

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    Position: 3B

    DOB: 5/11/1993 (Age: 19)

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 195

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: Oct., 2009 (Dominican Republic)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: In his full-season debut at Low-A Beloit, Sano batted .258/.373/.521 in 129 games as a 19-year-old; 60 of 118 hits were for extra bases, including 28 home runs; struck out 144 times, but showed on-base potential with 80 walks and eight hit-by-pitches; owns the best raw power in the minor leagues with present power frequency; powerful swing generates backspin carry to all fields; has some holes and results in too many swings-and-misses; regardless, has the bat speed and strength to be successful; may never hit for average, but the power is legit.

    His defense at the hot corner is pretty terrible; present athleticism despite his 6’3”, 230-pound frame; will likely lose a step; could ultimately settle in right field or (in a worst-case scenario) at first base; has slow feet, choppy actions and plus arm strength; throws can be inaccurate due to lazy footwork.

    He's a big-time prospect with one elite tool (power), but a lot of inconsistencies and weaknesses to improve upon in upcoming seasons.

Houston Astros: Carlos Correa, SS

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    Position: SS

    DOB: 9/22/1994 (Age: 18)

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 190

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2012 (PR Baseball Academy, P.R.)

    ETA: 2016

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: No. 1 overall selection in 2012 draft posted .625 OPS in 39 games in Gulf Coast League; finished the season strong with a 1.050 OPS in 11 games in Appalachian League; just turned 18 in September; physically blessed shortstop at 6’4”, 190 pounds with five average-to-plus tools; phenomenal athleticism and baseball skills give him superstar potential; hit tool will be a work-in-progress for several years, but has above-average potential; plus bat speed projects for similar power; swing can be inconsistent, but he’ll have plenty of time for refinement.

    Fluid actions despite size; excellent instincts with above-average speed; needs to improve body control; arm is legit plus-plus and an absolute cannon; soft hands with a smooth transfer; needs more reps in game situations; will likely graduate to Low-A at some point next season as an 18-year-old; still incredibly raw with a large gap between present and future, but there’s no reason to think he can’t reach his high ceiling.

Los Angeles Angels: C.J. Cron, 1B

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    Position: 1B

    DOB: 1/5/1990 (Age: 22)

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 235

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2011 (Utah)

    ETA: 2014

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: Top power hitter in the 2011 draft proved that it would translate as professional with a big full-season debut; played the entire season with a torn labrum in throwing shoulder; limited to first base defensively and will have to work to keep his weight down.

    Bat-first prospect capable of consistently producing runs; tons of raw power from the right side and drives the ball with backspin carry; hands can be slow at times and he’ll be tardy on good velocity; punishes mistakes; excessive contact is a detriment and he needs to coax more walks; fringy defensive first baseman with slow feet who will need to stay healthy and always post big power numbers.

Oakland Athletics: Daniel Robertson, 3B-SS

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    Position: 3B/SS

    DOB: 3/22/1994 (Age: 18)

    Height/Weight: 6’0", 190

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: Supplemental first round, 2012 (Upland HS, Calif.)

    ETA: 2016

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: 6’0", 190-pounder possesses present strength with the frame and work ethic to add more as he develops; batted .297/405/.554 with the A’s rookie-level affiliate; one of my favorite hitters from the 2012 draft class; advanced plate discipline and sound swing give him the potential to be at least an above-average hitter; good pitch recognition with plate discipline beyond his years; effortless swing with smooth weight transfer and fluid wrist action; has power, but it’s primarily to the gaps at the moment; should improve as he settles in and gains more experience.

    Saw time at shortstop this season, but doesn’t possess the quickness and athleticism to remain there long term; will likely shift over to third base full time and play alongside Addison Russell for years to come; like Russell, he has the offensive upside to move through the A’s system quickly.

Seattle Mariners: Victor Sanchez, RHP

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    *Note: Nine of the Mariners' top-10 prospects have been invited to major league camp.

    Position: RHP

    DOB: 1/30/1995 (Age: 18)

    Height/Weight: 6’, 255

    Bats/Throws: R.R

    Drafted/Signed: 2011 (Venezuela)

    ETA: 2016

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: Commanded largest signing bonus ($2.5 million) in organization’s history for an international prospect; opened plenty of eyes in his pro debut for short-season Everett as a 17-year-old (3.18 ERA, .213 BAA in 15 starts); stocky 6’, 255-pound frame calls for little projection and he’ll have to work hard to keep off additional weight as he matures.

    Physically strong right-hander who understands how to use his core and lower half; has been lauded for his moxie and aggressiveness on the mound; showcases advanced command of his low-90s fastball that’s well beyond his years; changeup is best secondary offering with impressive late fade out of the strike zone; utilized both a slider and curveball this past season, though neither serve as a standout pitch; slider has the potential to be the better of the two breaking balls; advanced knowledge of how to attack hitters and pitch to weaknesses.

Texas Rangers: Jorge Alfaro, C

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    Position: C

    DOB: 6/11/1993 (Age: 19)

    Height/Weight: 6’2”, 185

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: Jan. 2010 (Colombia)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: One of my favorite catching prospects in the game, Alfaro combines tons of natural ability with quickly improving baseball skills; incredibly agile and aggressive behind the plate; boasts a legit plus-plus arm that ranks among the best in the game; could benefit from streamlining more throws rather than relying on sheer arm strength; still raw and a blocker as receiver but has improved with experience; speed is above-average relative to the position.

    Right-handed hitter employs a hyper-aggressive approach; gets out on his front side too often, especially when chasing breaking balls; plus raw bat speed should yield easy power once he’s able to harness it; needs to work more counts and improve bat-to-ball ability; hasn’t shown a defined approach, though it should come with more experience; big-time catching prospect with loud tools and chance to be exceptional as a big leaguer.

Atlanta Braves: Lucas Sims, RHP

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 5/10/1994 (Age: 18)

    Height/Weight: 6’2”, 195

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2012 (Brookwood HS, Ga.)

    ETA: 2016

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: He is athletic with a live arm but an inconsistent arm slot; mechanics will need to be ironed out as he develops; fastball registers in the 90-93 mph range, though reports had him scraping 95-97 mph in the spring; Sims flashes potential for a four-pitch mix of at least average offerings; both his curveball and slider show plenty of potential but lack overall consistency; curveball was the better of the two in high school; slider was better in his professional debut; changeup is a work-in-progress but should be serviceable pitch by the time he reaches major leagues.

Miami Marlins: Justin Nicolino, LHP

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    Position: LHP

    DOB: 11/22/1991 (Age: 21)

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 160

    Bats/Throws: L/L

    Drafted/Signed: Second round, 2010 (University HS, Fla.)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: Showed pitchability and polish in full-season debut at Low-A Lansing; registered a 2.46 ERA and .241 BAA, and walked only 21 batters in 124.1 innings; projectable 6’3”, 160-pound frame with room to grow; exceptional at repeating his mechanics; can make it look easy; minor cross-body delivery lends to his overall deception; advanced feel for mixing his pitches and when to add/subtract; high-floor, mid-rotation upside.

    Fastball sits 88-92 mph; commands it to both sides of the plate; challenges both right-handed and left-handed hitters; changeup is a plus offering and easily his best pitch; thrown with deceptive arm action relative to fastball; features late fade out of the zone; comfortable throwing it in any count; mixes in a curveball that has improved over the last year; gets too loopy at times; uses entire arsenal efficiently; keeps hitters off balance with tough sequencing.

New York Mets: Noah Syndergaard, RHP

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 8/29/1992 (Age: 20)

    Height/Weight: 6’5”, 200

    Bats/Throws: L/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2010 (Legacy HS, Texas)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: 6’5” right-hander has a power pitcher’s frame and frontline starter upside; physical presence on the bump who throws everything on a solid downward plane; repeats mechanics well given his size and features a strong core; fastball sits in the mid-90s with late, arm-side life and he’ll even flirt with triple-digits in shorter stints; uses to amass a healthy mix of strikeouts and ground-ball outs.

    Curveball has plus potential as it’s a tight-breaker with late, downward bite; command of the pitch is inconsistent and will be challenged at higher levels; features better command of his changeup, though it’s not as dynamic of a pitch; offering is thrown with deceptive arm speed; if breaking ball doesn’t develop as planned, he still has an incredibly high ceiling as a late-inning reliever.

Philadelphia Phillies: Jesse Biddle, LHP

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    Position: LHP

    DOB: 10/22/1991 (Age: 21)

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 225

    Bats/Throws: L/L

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2010 (Germantown Friends HS, Penn.)

    ETA: 2014

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: Biddle thrived as a 20-year-old at High-A last season after refining his mechanics; eliminated some of the cross-body delivery that hindered his command in 2011; uses 6’4” frame to advantage and throws on a downward plane.

    Works 90-93 mph running fastball in and out; doesn’t catch as much plate with the pitch as he used to; curveball features tight spin and late, downer bite; comfortable throwing it for a strike as well as spotting to induce whiffs; changeup vastly improved this past season and gives him a chance to have three at least above-average offerings.

Washington Nationals: Brian Goodwin, OF

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    Position: OF

    DOB: 11/2/1990 (Age: 22)

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 195

    Bats/Throws: L/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2011 (Rocky Mount HS, N.C.)

    ETA: 2014

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: One of the rare college players with a considerable gap between athleticism and baseball skills; was impressive in all facets of the game in full-season (and professional) debut and reached Double-A; saw his prospect stock take off over the course of the 2012 season due to his power-speed potential and advanced plate discipline.

    Left-handed hitter’s swing can still be inconsistent, but when he’s in a groove, it’s pretty; features quick hands and a surprisingly explosive swing that yields slightly above-average power—mostly to his pull side; has the ability to hit velocity; can fall into funks where he commits to pitches too early and tries to pull everything; hits the ball hard the other way when hands stay relaxed; has advanced plate discipline but not necessarily a true feel for the strike zone; possesses above-average speed that’s more noticeable in the outfield than on the basepaths.

    Has the athleticism and defensive actions to stick in center field; shows good closing speed and covers a lot of ground; strong arm is a fit at all three outfield positions; blocked at each spot in the major leagues.

Chicago Cubs: Albert Almora, OF

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    Position: OF

    DOB: 4/16/1994 (Age: 18)

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 170

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2012 (Mater Academy, Fla.)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: Premium athlete who showcases all five tools as well as a mature work ethic and advanced baseball skills; 6’1”, 170-pound frame leaves room for projection; above-average bat speed results in consistent, hard contact to all fields; quiet and efficient swing with little wasted movement; power will develop as he matures and should be above average by the time he reaches the major leagues; all-around offensive skill set highly advanced for his age; 20-20 offensive upside with above-average hit tool.

    Slightly above-average runner who demonstrates excellent instincts in center field through his reads, jumps and positioning; average arm that’s best suited for center field; above-average defensive outfielder with the natural ability and baseball IQ to stick in center; may not take him long to reach the major leagues relative to other class of 2012 draftees.

Cincinnati Reds: Robert Stephenson, RHP

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 2/24/1993 (Age: 19)

    Height/Weight: 6’2”, 190

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2011 (Alhambra HS, Calif.)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: Stephenson enjoyed an excellent professional debut in the Pioneer League; was later promoted to Low-A Dayton; 6’2” right-hander is advanced for his age with a distinct feel for both his arsenal and strike zone.

    Fastball is a plus pitch with effortless 94-96 mph velocity, sometimes even more; commands it well to both sides of the plate and isn’t afraid to aggressively attack opposing hitters; has an advanced feel for fading changeup and sells it with a similar arm speed; his breaking ball will need to be cleaned up, but its present pace and shape suggests it’ll be at least an above-average pitch; with more experience and ongoing development of his secondary pitches, Stephenson should have no problem reaching his ceiling as a frontline starter.

Milwaukee Brewers: Clint Coulter, C

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    Position: C

    DOB: 7/30/1993 (Age: 19)

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 210

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2012 (Union HS, Wash.)

    ETA: 2016

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: Older high-school prospect who turned 19 in July; drafted as a bat-first catcher with tons of present physical strength; impressive professional debut in the rookie-level Arizona League; batted .302/.439/.444 with 11 extra-base hits and 40/37 K/BB;

    His hit tool already flashes plus potential; plate discipline is highly advanced considering his age and lack of experience; line-drive swing yields loud contact to all fields; legitimate feel for the strike zone; power will come once he adds some loft to his swing and gains experience.

    Coulter will be a work-in-progress behind the plate for at least several years; was incredibly raw in pro debut; amassed 21 passed balls in 26 games and threw out runners at a 16-percent clip; has the size and mobility to remain behind the plate; blocking, game-calling and receiving skills require considerable refinement.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Gregory Polanco, OF

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    Position: OF

    DOB: 9/14/1991 (Age: 21)

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 170

    Bats/Throws: L/L

    Drafted/Signed: April, 2009 (Dominican Republic)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: An incredibly raw but athletic prospect; very projectable 6’4”, 170-pound frame with plenty of room to add strength; outstanding tools and secondary skills; had a monster breakout season at Low-A West Virginia, batting .235/.388/.522 with 48 extra-base hits (16 home runs), 40 stolen bases and 64/44 K/BB in 116 games as a 20-year-old.

    Although he’s still young, the left-handed hitter has the potential for an above-average hit tool in the major leagues; showcases excellent bat speed and bat-to-ball ability; already comfortable driving the ball to all fields; always swings to drive the ball, which helps explain his improved power utility; strikes the ball with backspin carry; due to his plus athleticism, speed and range, he projects to remain in center field where his bat, power and speed are at a premium; prospect stock could jump even higher with a strong follow-up campaign at High-A Bradenton.

St. Louis Cardinals: Tyrell Jenkins, RHP

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 7/20/1992 (Age: 20)

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 192

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2010 (Henderson HS, Texas)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: At 6’4”, 192 pounds, Jenkins is still more of a raw athlete than pitcher at this point; has developed slower than expected since signing, which isn’t surprising given his lack of mound time as a prep; battled shoulder fatigue and a strained lat during the 2012 season, will need to improve offseason training and conditioning; lean, athletic frame is highly projectable, as is his smooth, whippy arm; high release point may need to be tweaked in order to improve his overall command.

    Fluid arm action results in a mid-90s fastball that explodes out of his hand; struggles to locate the pitch and get ahead in counts; breaking ball can be too loopy at times and doesn’t draw as many whiffs as it should; feel for his changeup has improved, though there’s still a long way to go in terms of command his full arsenal.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Andrew Chafin, LHP

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    Position: LHP

    DOB: 6/17/1990 (Age: 22)

    Height/Weight: 6’2”, 205

    Bats/Throws: R/L

    Drafted/Signed: 1st round, 2011 (Kent State)

    ETA: 2014

    2012 Stats 

    Scouting Notes: 6’2” left-hander had an inconsistent full-season debut in 2012; struggled mightily after an excellent opening month; lost a feel for the strike zone and was relegated to the bullpen; eventually worked his way back into the rotation to finish the season; the 22-year-old led the Cal League with 11.04 K/9.

    Impressive pure stuff but lacks the control and command to make it truly effective; mechanics lack fluidity and are choppy; ball comes out of his hand with ease, but everything else involves effort; finish is inefficient and could be simplified or at least modified; fastball sits in the low-to-mid-90s; can reach back for a few more ticks in shorter stints; manipulates the pitch in both directions by mixing in two-seamers and cutters; slider is filthy, a potential plus-plus pitch with a sharp, wipeout break; induces whiffs from both right- and left-handed hitters; nearly a big-league ready pitch that also projects favorably out of the bullpen; changeup is present and improved over the course of the 2012 season; potential to be a third at-least-average offering; development of both command and control will ultimately determine whether he sticks as a starter or is expedited to the major leagues as a reliever.

Colorado Rockies: Trevor Story, SS

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    Position: SS

    DOB: 11/15/1992 (Age: 20)

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 175

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2011 (Irving HS, Texas)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: Admittedly one of my favorite prospects in the game; turned in monster full-season debut at Low-A Asheville in age-19 season, batting .277/.367/.505 with 67 extra-base hits (18 home runs) and 15 stolen bases; potential for at least above-average tools across the board; more athleticism and natural ability than his size portends; baseball skills are advanced for his age.

    6’1”, 175-pound shortstop has a smooth, effortless right-handed swing; plus bat speed results in loud contact; drives the ball especially well to right-center; understands how to drive through the baseball; raw power with developing power frequency; mashes fastballs; potential for above-average hit tool; needs to improve against southpaws; present swing-and-miss tendency should be ironed out over time; don’t be surprised if he has a Nolan Arenado-like (circa 2011) season at High-A.

    Shortstop does everything in the field; above-average speed results in similar range in all directions; already showcases big-league defensive actions; intuitive player who positions himself according to in-game scenarios; no doubt in my mind that he can stick at the position and handle it at the highest level; plus arm is more than enough for the position; if he develops as expected, Story could supplant Troy Tulowitzki or Josh Rutledge at shortstop in Colorado in a few years.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Corey Seager, SS-3B

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    Position: SS-3B

    DOB: 4/27/1994 (Age: 18)

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 195

    Bats/Throws: L/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2012 (Northwest Cabarrus, N.C)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: At 6’3”, 205 pounds, has present physicality with room to tack on additional strength; in my opinion, far more projectable than his brother, Kyle (Mariners); highly impressive left-handed bat with the potential for above-average hit and power tool; exhibits all-around good habits that are uncommon in an 18-year-old; has an easy, direct swing that allows him to sting the ball from line-to-line with impressive power to the opposite field; noticeably employs a consistent approach at the plate and doesn’t get himself out; he’s selective but it doesn’t impede his ability to attack and drive the ball.

    Played shortstop exclusively in professional debut despite larger frame; I like that the Dodgers are willing to develop him there, which gives his bat even more value; possesses average speed on both sides of the ball that tends to play up due to his instincts; range is only average but enough to remain at shortstop for the time being; plus arm is suitable for either left-side-of-the-infield position; there’s a good chance he outgrows the position as he matures and shifts to third base.

San Diego Padres: Max Fried, LHP

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    Position: LHP

    DOB: 1/18/1994 (Age: 18)

    Height/Weight: 6’4’, 185

    Bats/Throws: L/L

    Drafted/Signed: 1st round, 2012 (Harvard-Westlake HS, Calif.)

    ETA: 2016

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: Selected with the seventh-overall draft pick in 2012, Fried made his professional debut in the rookie-level Arizona League; reports said he wasn’t fully healthy and pitching at 100 percent; registered a 3.57 ERA with 17/6 K/BB in 17.2 innings; athletic and projectable southpaw with lots of polish for his age; has a smooth delivery and fluid arm action.

    Fastball ranges anywhere from 88-93 mph with arm-side action; left-hander’s curveball is easily his best offering with a big break and the potential to draw lots of swing-and-misses; changeup also flashes at least above-average potential and is thrown with deceptive arm speed; given his three-pitch mix and overall polish relative to his age, it’s easy to envision Fried as a No. 2 starter in a few years, especially in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.

San Francisco Giants: Kyle Crick, RHP

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    Position: RHP

    DOB: 11/30/1992 (Age: 20)

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 220

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    Drafted/Signed: First round, 2011 (Sherman HS, Texas)

    ETA: 2015

    2012 Stats

    Scouting Notes: Possesses highly projectable frame at 6’4”, 220 pounds and has little mileage on his arm; lack of experience can also be attributed to overall rawness; present plus fastball at 94-97 mph, but struggles to command the pitch with consistency.

    Slider is still a work-in-progress, but flashes plus potential when thrown with tight spin; still working on getting on top of pitch rather than coming around the side; changeup vastly improved over the course of 2012 season and should be at least a third above-average offering; aggressively attacks hitters and maintains  consistent approach even when command is shaky; has the potential to the Giants’ next homegrown, frontline starter.