Major League Baseball Top 50 Prospects: Pre-Spring Edition

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Major League Baseball Top 50 Prospects: Pre-Spring Edition
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
Orioles starter Dylan Bundy tops the list of MLB prospects as Spring Training nears.

1. Dylan Bundy, RHP, Baltimore Orioles

 What more can I say? Dylan Bundy has the size and stuff to be a dominant front-end starter. I expect the Baltimore Orioles to ease him into the majors as he continues to mature as a pitcher. He’s only going to get better, which is scary—isn’t it?

 

2. Wil Myers, OF, Tampa Bay Rays 

Tampa got a huge steal out of Wil Myers in the trade with Kansas City. His patience was very good here and there last year, but when it went away, he slumped pretty harshly. If he continues to show improvements as he did in 2012 and takes walks, he’ll be that star bat to hit alongside Evan Longoria in the future.

 

3. Oscar Taveras, OF, St. Louis Cardinals 

Oscar Taveras has really rocketed up the charts for me. Just 20 years old (21 in June), he's been signed with St. Louis since 2008 and has made short work of the minors.

In Double-A last season he hit a jaw-dropping .321 with 23 home runs, 94 RBI and a 56:42 K:BB line. His discipline at the plate is very good and helped him rack up a .380 OBP with a close-to-average .323 BABIP.

This was the first year the power part of his game came out, and he hasn't hit under .316 since the Rookie League in 2010. 

 


4. Jurickson Profar, SS, Texas Rangers 

Jurickson Profar struggled in his short appearance with the Texas Rangers, but his potential still remains sky-high. Profar seems destined to start the year in Triple-A unless Ian Kinsler is shifted in the field but more grooming will only help him.

Did I mention he’ll only be 20 come Opening Day, too?

 

5. Trevor Bauer, RHP, Cleveland Indians 

Trevor Bauer never really strayed too far from his minor league K/9 rates, registering a 9.4 with Arizona in 2012 compared to 11.2 in Double-A and 10.6 in Triple-A. The issue was his questionable control that finally caught up to him, which saw his BB/9 rate climb from 4.8 (AA) to 3.8 (AAA) to 7.2 (MLB).

If he reins in that control, he has the repertoire to dominate.

 

6. Danny Hultzen, LHP, Seattle Mariners 

Danny Hultzen had such staggering Double-A numbers (8-3, 9.4 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 to name a few) that he had fans clamoring for a promotion to Seattle. The right move, Mariners brass proved, was Triple-A, which is where Hultzen’s control took a hit. His strikeout rate actually improved to 10.5, but his walks took a huge hit, rising to 8.0. His BABIP also went from .203 to .351 during his promotion.

 

He’ll be up in due time and likely be a star in the cavernous Safeco Field.

 

7. Taijuan Walker, RHP, Seattle Mariners 

Imagine this rotation, coming soon: Felix Hernandez, Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker. Still, few hitters but Walker is in line to join the King and his fellow prospect in a projected formidable rotation of young arms. Walker’s advanced numbers were better than his common numbers, so good things are to come.

He may actually end up beating Hultzen to Seattle.

 

8. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates 

Gerrit Cole absolutely dominated the minors in 2012, registering a strikeout rate no lower than 9.2 and a walk rate no higher than 3.5. Even scarier is that his BABIP numbers were near average at .267 in Single-A, .315 in Double-A and .375 in one Triple-A start.

He could be a sleeper to join Pittsburgh sooner than expected in 2013.

 

9. Shelby Miller, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals 

Shelby Miller was plummeting on lists after a horrid-looking start to 2012.

 

Fortunately, he rebounded and produced a 10.5 K/9 and 2.6 B/9 in six appearances in St. Louis, one start. His 2.28 FRA and 1.89 FIP were fantastic, and he’s should be back on his way to to- prospect level.

I’m betting on him here to keep it up.

 

10. Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Tyler Skaggs struggled in his time up with Arizona, but he still has top-notch stuff. With Trevor Bauer now out of his way, he only needs to be aware of Archie Bradley usurping his path to the desert.

 

11. Zack Wheeler, RHP, New York Mets

12. Bubba Starling, OF, Kansas City Royals

13. Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians

14. Nick Castellanos, 3B/OF, Detroit Tigers

15. Travis d'Arnaud, C, New York Mets

16. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

17. Mike Olt, 3B, Texas Rangers

18. Billy Hamilton, SS, Cincinnati Reds

19. Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

20. Christian Yelich, OF, Miami Marlins

21. Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves

22. Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins

23. Javier Baez, SS, Chicago Cubs

24. Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota Twins

25. Jose Fernandez, RHP, Miami Marlins

26. Albert Almora, OF, Chicago Cubs

27. Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Houston Astros

28. Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays

29. Jorge Soler, OF, Chicago Cubs

30. Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros

31. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies

32. Carlos Martinez, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals

33. Starling Marte, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

34. Nick Franklin, SS, Seattle Mariners

35. Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Tampa Bay Rays

36. Matt Barnes, RHP, Boston Red Sox

37. Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston Red Sox

38. Gary Sanchez, C, New York Yankees

39. Jake Marisnick, OF, Miami Marlins

40. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington Nationals

41. Jackie Bradley, OF, Boston Red Sox

42. Mason Williams, OF, New York Yankees

43. Matt Davidson, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks

44. Mike Zunino, C, Seattle Mariners

45. Alen Hanson, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates

46. Martin Perez, LHP, Texas Rangers

47. Jedd Gyorko, 3B, San Diego Padres

48. Alex Meyer, RHP, Minnesota Twins

49. George Springer, OF, Houston Astros

50. Max Fried, LHP, San Diego Padres

 

Next Best Five: Kolten Wong (2B, St. Louis Cardinals),  Zach Lee (RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers), Kaleb Cowart (3B, Los Angeles Angels), Kevin Gausman (RHP, Baltimore Orioles) and Brett Jackson (OF Chicago Cubs).

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