Each MLB Team's Hitting Prospect with the Greatest Upside

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistApril 23, 2013

Each MLB Team's Hitting Prospect with the Greatest Upside

0 of 30

    The most dangerous words to use when scouting and evaluating talent are ceiling and upside. Major League Baseball teams are loaded with players, both in the big leagues and throughout the minors, with plenty of both that have been unable to reach it. 

    When you use those words—and when fans read them—they think that is the final word on what a player will be. 

    Upside and ceiling are the best possible outcomes for a player. The number of players who actually reach that level is miniscule. There are more than 4,000 players scattered throughout the minor leagues, a vast majority of whom have the ceiling of an average or better big leaguer. 

    But what makes baseball such a great game—and one of the hardest to evaluate—is watching how players make adjustments as they move up the minor league ladder. 

    All that being said, here are the position players in each organization with the greatest upside. We are just looking at the potential as a hitter, so defense is not being factored into this particular discussion. 

    Note: All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted

Arizona Diamondbacks: Adam Eaton, OF

1 of 30

    Age: 23

    Highest Level: MLB (22 Games)

     

    The Upside: Above-average regular

    Top-of-the-order hitter with average, on-base skills and average power; Plus-plus speed and base-running ability will lead to a lot of stolen bases.

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: High

    Eaton would have started the season with the Diamondbacks at the top of the lineup had he not injured his elbow in spring training. He has been on the DL, but he should be coming off at some point in May. 

    After a rehab assignment to get his timing and legs back under him, Eaton will take his spot in center field and in the leadoff spot. He doesn't project to hit for a lot of power due to his small stature and contact approach, but he controls the zone well and has more than enough speed to get a lot of extra-base hits. 

Atlanta Braves: Edward Salcedo, 3B

2 of 30

    Age: 21

    Highest Level: Double-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: Above-average regular

    Big raw power; plus bat speed and quick hands through the zone; impatient at the plate and poor pitch recognition skills lead to a lot of strikeouts (130 in 471 at-bats last season). 

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Very low

    Salcedo seems destined to be one of those "what could have been" players. Some of it may not be his fault. He lost two years of critical development time as a teenager prior to signing with the Braves as MLB investigated his age

    Time is working against the 21-year-old now, as Salcedo has been moving up the ladder even though his performance hasn't really justified it. He hit .248/.315/.396 two years ago in High-A, then moved up to Double-A last year and posted a .240/.295/.412 line in 130 games. 

Baltimore Orioles: Jonathan Schoop, SS/3B

3 of 30

    Age: 21

    Highest Level: Triple-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: Above-average regular with occasional All-Star appearance

    Natural ability to barrel the ball; plus bat speed and power combination; aggressive hitter with below-average pitch recognition. 

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Moderate

    Schoop had a poor 2012 season, hitting .245/.324/.386 in 124 games due to a knee injury that plagued him virtually all year. His bat has the potential to be very good, with a solid average and on-base skills as well as 20-plus home run upside. 

    The big thing standing in Schoop's way right now is pitch recognition. He has the bat speed to hit anything but struggles to see the ball out of the pitcher's hand. Still young for a Triple-A player, Schoop could take another year to put everything together. 

Boston Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts, SS

4 of 30

    Age: 20

    Highest Level: Double-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: Superstar who garners MVP support at peak

    Explosive hit tool; bat speed with fluid swing mechanics; big power potential that already plays in games; plate discipline and pitch selection improves every year; projects to hit for high average and at least 25-30 home runs. 

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Moderately low

    Bogaerts keeps getting pushed aggressively by the Red Sox, but he does nothing to show signs of slowing down. As a 19-year-old who split time between High-A (104 games) and Double-A (23 games) last year, he hit .307/.373/.523 with 20 home runs and 60 extra-base hits. 

    As impressive as those numbers are, Bogaerts still has room to grow. He gets a little too aggressive at the plate, though he made great strides in that department last year. This is a special hitter with off-the-charts potential to hit .300 with a lot of power as a shortstop. 

Chicago Cubs: Javier Baez, SS

5 of 30

    Age: 20

    Highest Level: High-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: All-Star

    Incredible bat speed; quick hands and wrists get head through the zone in a flash; plus-plus power potential; pitch recognition and awareness need a lot of work; adjustment to advanced stuff critical. 

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Low

    Baez is one of the most entertaining players to watch hit in the minors. When he steps up to the plate, you know he is going to come up there hacking.

    What separates him from other free-swingers is bat speed. 

    You can tell Baez is different because of the way his hands just explode through the zone, generating some of the best bat speed you will ever see. He has a lot of work to do as a hitter, because he needs to identify pitches and learn to lay off some out of the zone. 

    Through April 21, Baez has a 23-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio because his patience at the plate is nonexistent. 

Chicago White Sox: Courtney Hawkins, OF

6 of 30

    Age: 19

    Highest Level: High-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: Above-average hitter with plus power

    Plus raw power; good bat speed; tremendous athleticism (as evidenced by his backflip at the draft last year); big, strong frame and leverage in swing; long swing leads to high strikeout total and likely limits average to around .260-.270

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Low

    The White Sox turned some heads last year by grabbing Hawkins with the No. 13 pick, abandoning their philosophy of not spending to draft premium talent. He immediately became their top prospect, with a chance to be their best homegrown hitter in a long time. 

    Hawkins is not a great natural hitter. He will likely strike out quite frequently due to a big swing. But because the bat speed is so good and the plus raw power did show up in limited action last year (eight home runs, 480 slugging in 59 games), he should be able to make his swing work. 

    It is also possible that, as Hawkins climbs the ladder and he adjusts to advanced pitching, his hit tool improves. For now, he looks like a plus power hitter with a solid average and on-base skills. 

Cincinnati Reds: Billy Hamilton, OF

7 of 30

    Age: 22

    Highest Level: Triple-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: All-Star with high OBP and stolen base total

    Game-changing speed that should allow moderate hit tool to play up; solid bat speed; contact-oriented line-drive swing; more gap power than over-the fence; as long as he puts ball in play, speed should lead to a lot of extra-base hits

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Moderate

    Hamilton has arguably the best individual tool in all of baseball: speed. He can change games ways that no other player can because he can move like no one else. The problem becomes whether you think he will hit enough to use that speed. 

    Not a physically imposing player, Hamilton does have solid bat speed and can make contact. It is just a matter of what kind of contact he induces. If he can reach a point where he is consistently driving the ball into gaps against big league pitching, he will be a superstar. 

    If pitchers are able to punish Hamilton on the inner half of the plate to expose his limited power, it will be hard for him to get on base enough to play everyday.

    That speed, though, gives you hope that he can do anything. 

Cleveland Indians: Dorssys Paulino, SS

8 of 30

    Age: 18

    Highest Level: Low-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: All-Star with plus power and hit tool

    Bat control and power are very advanced for such a young player; hands explode through the zone; good approach at the plate and capable of working deep counts; needs experience and challenge of full-season league before we get a better idea of the future.

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Extremely low

    Paulino is one of those players who could shoot up a lot of prospect rankings this season now that he is getting a taste of a full-season league.

    He has tremendous offensive upside, even greater than that of his fellow Cleveland shortstop, Francisco Lindor. What Paulino has to do is prove he can handle himself in A-ball this year, and then the rest of the tools will follow in the coming years. 

    Considering the fact that he is just 18 years old, Paulino is at least three or four years away from being in the big leagues. That is why the likelihood of him reaching his ceiling is so low, but his potential is very high. 

Colorado Rockies: David Dahl, OF

9 of 30

    Age: 19

    Highest Level: Low-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: All-Star with tremendous all-around skill set 

    Incredible bat-to-ball skills thanks to impeccable hand-eye coordination; advanced approach and pitch recognition; great athlete; natural feel for hitting rarely seen in high school player; projects to hit for average, solid homer power, good speed and high on-base skills. 

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Extremely low

    Dahl had a strong debut last season in the Pioneer League, hitting .379/.423/.625 with 41 extra-base hits in 67 games. He showed all of the hitting tools that made him a top-10 pick in last year's draft, and he only figures to get better the further up the ladder he moves. 

    Not a typical power hitter, Dahl does have good home-run projection. But he figures to be more of a 15-homer per year player with a lot of doubles and triples thanks to his speed and ability to hit the ball in the gap. 

    His ability to control the bat in the zone and recognize pitches will allow him to hit for average and get on base at a high clip. 

Detroit Tigers: Nick Castellanos, 3B/OF

10 of 30

    Age: 21

    Highest Level: Triple-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: All-Star with .300 average and 20 homers

    Rare hitting ability; quick twitch actions; consistently puts barrel to ball, generating hard contact to all fields; improving power; pitch recognition is as good as anyone in the minors; discipline still a work-in progress. 

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Moderate

    The Tigers are always aggressive with their prospects, especially the elite ones. Castellanos has handled every move with great ease, tearing apart the Florida State League with a .405/.461/.553 line in 55 games last year before moving to Double-A. 

    Even though Castellanos struggled adjusting to advanced off-speed stuff after the jump, he was still young for the level and never lost his swing trying to do too much. He needs to get better against advanced pitching before he is ready to make the final jump. 

    It also doesn't help him that the Tigers moved him to the outfield, where his offensive profile doesn't look as good as it did when he was at third base. Between being pushed hard and learning a new position, things have started slowly for Castellanos this year. 

Houston Astros: Carlos Correa, SS

11 of 30

    Age: 18

    Highest Level: Low-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: All-Star hitter with average and 25-plus home-run power

    Natural hitting ability; calm, easy swing mechanics and explosion through the zone; plus bat speed and control in the zone; solid pitch recognition already; outstanding plate coverage; will grow into a 25-30 homer player.

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Extremely low

    Carlos Correa was the best pure hitter available in the 2012 draft. The 18-year-old handled himself well with a 50-game stint in the Gulf Coast and Appalachian Leagues, leading the Astros to push him to Low-A as an 18-year-old. 

    It is still early, but Correa is hitting .250/.390/.500 with three home runs, 15 strikeouts and 11 walks in the Midwest League. He could move quickly through the system if he keeps up that pace, though the Astros are in no rush to get him to the big leagues. 

    He fits the bill of a No. 3 hitter at his peak, with the ability to hit .280 with a .360 on-base percentage and .500 slugging. 

Kansas City Royals: Bubba Starling, OF

12 of 30

    Age: 20

    Highest Level: Low-A

     

    The Upside: All-Star with plus power and speed combination

    Tremendous athlete; plus raw power and bat speed; vast improvement needed, as his pitch recognition and strike-zone awareness are below-average; high-impact skills, but still very raw in baseball. 

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Extremely low

    Bubba Starling was the best pure athlete in the 2011 draft and stayed close to home when Kansas City grabbed him with the No. 5 pick. He was considered very raw when drafted, as he split time between baseball and football. 

    The Royals were very conservative with Starling last year, holding him down in the Appalachian League. He showed that he still needed a lot of work offensively despite hitting .275/.371/.485, as he struck out 70 times in 200 at-bats. 

    Starling's ability to recognize pitches and make contact are alarming, though he does still have bat speed and will show raw power. He has a long, long way to go before we see his potential on display, despite being 20 years old and making his first appearance in a full-season league. 

Los Angeles Angels: Kaleb Cowart, 3B

13 of 30

    Age: 20

    Highest Level: Double-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: Above-average regular with solid contact skills and above-average power

    Good bat speed; plus power from both sides of the plate; developing consistency from the left side; solid plate recognition skills; contact hitter who won't strikeout or walk a lot; needs to make more solid contact to hit for high average and keep OBP respectable. 

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Moderate

    Cowart has a solid swing and good approach at the plate, one that got better last season. He did swing and miss more than you would like, but he also walked 67 times in 135 games. His power arrived when he hit 16 home runs. 

    There isn't a ton of power projection left with Cowart, so he could end up settling in the 20-homer range as he moves up the ladder and into the big leagues. His ability to make consistent, hard contact is going to determine his offensive ceiling. 

Los Angeles Dodgers: Yasiel Puig, OF

14 of 30

    Age: 22

    Highest Level: Double-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: All-Star who hits for average and big power in the middle of a lineup

    Bat speed is very good; shows plus raw power in batting practice and will eventually show it in games with more experience; limited exposure to advanced pitching could delay debut; must learn to hit breaking balls; aggressive swinger.

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Low

    Despite tearing the cover off the ball in spring training, Yasiel Puig still has a lot of work to do before we know what, ultimately, he becomes when he makes it to the big leagues. His raw tools are very strong, though probably not as high as some would like to think. 

    Puig has very good bat speed and big power potential, so he could turn into a .280 hitter with at least 25 home runs. He is also in very good physical condition, weighing a solid 245 pounds. But whether he can adjust to advanced off-speed stuff in Double-A is going to be critical. 

    Until we have a bigger sample size to judge, Puig is going to be more of a pipe dream than an actual elite talent.

Miami Marlins: Christian Yelich, OF

15 of 30

    Age: 21

    Highest Level: Double-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: Superstar with high average and above-average power

    Natural hitting ability; quick hands get through the zone and barrel the ball; easy, fluid swing with no wasted motion; plus speed and base-running skills; power production gets better every year; improved pitch recognition. 

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Moderate

    Yelich is a tremendous athlete with incredible hitting ability. He has a very calm, confident approach at the plate. His hand-eye coordination and quick wrists get the barrel of the bat through the zone with solid contact. 

    The fact that Yelich rotates his hips so well during his swing leads to his power potential. He is looking more and more like a .300 hitter with 20-25 homers per year. If he can do that and play center field, this is a superstar talent. 

    It is possible the Marlins could give Yelich a look in the big leagues during the second half, though a full season at Double-A wouldn't be the worst thing for his development. 

Milwaukee Brewers: Victor Roache, OF

16 of 30

    Age: 21

    Highest Level: Low-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: Above-average regular with big power 

    Bat speed; huge raw power; solid approach at the plate; a lot of swing-and-miss in his game; recognizing off-speed stuff and timing will determine how successful hit tool is; could be a No. 5 hitter. 

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Extremely Low

    Roache starts this season at a disadvantage, as he broke his wrist last February and was unable to play for Georgia Southern before being drafted. The Brewers saw enough of his power prior to the injury to take him in the first round. 

    Having played in just two games this season, no one can say definitively where Roache is at right now. He has the upside of a big power hitter. The average will never be very high because he has a long swing and the strikeouts will pile up, but as long as he can keep it around .250 with 30 home runs, he will be a big leaguer. 

Minnesota Twins: Byron Buxton, OF

17 of 30

    Age: 19

    Highest Level: Low-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: Five-tool superstar and MVP candidate

    Plus tools across the board; big raw power; easy swing mechanics; plus-plus speed; great athleticism; plus bat speed with quick hands to drive the ball; some baseball IQ already, but will need plenty of work; high school competition was weak. 

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Extremely low

    Buxton is so far away that it is hard to say that he will reach that ceiling, but he is also very young and already playing in a full-season league at the age of 19. The Twins are being aggressive with their top prospect because they know when everything clicks, Buxton will be one of the three or four best prospects in baseball. 

    Think of Buxton as a better baseball version of Bubba Starling. Buxton has better raw and present tools than Starling, with a higher ceiling. 

New York Mets: Brandon Nimmo, OF

18 of 30

    Age: 20

    Highest Level: Low-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: Above-average regular with plus hit tool

    Incredibly raw even with a season of professional experience; plus bat speed; improved pitch selection and discipline; solid runner who should steal 10-15 bases; full season experience will provide better analysis of where he is. 

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Extremely low

    Nimmo came from a small high school in Wyoming that didn't even play baseball, so he had to make people take notice of him through various travel teams and leagues. The raw talent was so good that the Mets drafted him with the 13th pick in the 2011 draft. 

    A very good athlete with a strong hit tool and some developing power, Nimmo has at least three years of development ahead of him. It will be a slow process, but the reward could be huge. 

New York Yankees: Gary Sanchez, C

19 of 30

    Age: 20

    Highest Level: High-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: All-Star catcher with big power 

    Incredible offensive talent; plus bat speed; excellent hands; unorthodox swing that he manages to control enough to hit for average and power; plus power already showing in games; plate discipline is one big weakness. 

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Low

    Sanchez has done nothing but hit in his first three minor league seasons. He has never had an OPS below .820 and has seen his home run total jump from eight in 2010 to 18 last year. As long as the Yankees can help him become adequate behind the plate, he will be a superstar. 

    The young catcher continues to get better and better with each task that has been put in front of him, so don't be shocked to see him play one more full season in the minors before getting a look in New York sometime next year. 

Oakland Athletics: Addison Russell, SS

20 of 30

    Age: 19

    Highest Level: High-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: All-Star and potential MVP candidate

    Tremendous offensive talent; easy swing; line-drive and gap power at present that projects as plus as he matures and adjusts to advanced pitching; plus bat speed; quick wrists through the zone; good eye and approach at the plate already. 

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Moderate

    Russell seems to thrive when his back is against a wall. He famously lost nearly 20 pounds between his junior and senior seasons to prove to scouts that he could stay at shortstop, but then came questions about how much offensive upside he would have without the added weight. 

    It was just a 55-game sample, but Russell put so many of those doubts to rest by showing his incredible hit tool. He posted a .369/.432/.594 line across three levels and is already playing at High-A as a 19-year-old. 

Philadelphia Phillies: Larry Greene, OF

21 of 30

    Age: 20

    Highest Level: Low-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: Above-average regular with huge power

    Big raw power; solid bat speed; long swing that leads to a lot of strikeouts, but has enough discipline to work counts and take walks; has to make more consistent contact to hit for average.

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Extremely low

    Greene struggled in his first taste of pro ball last year, posting a .272/.373/.381 line in 70 games in the New York-Penn League. That has lowered the expectations for him, at least to some extent, but he has some time to bring his stock back up. 

    What will be critical for Greene is getting that raw power to play in games. Even with the small sample caveats, he has hit just .143/.294/.143 in four games at Low-A. Working the count is his best skill right now, but it can't be the only thing he has working for him. 

Pittsburgh Pirates: Josh Bell, OF

22 of 30

    Age: 20

    Highest Level: Low-A

     

    The Upside: All-Star outfielder with plus power

    Plus-plus bat speed from both sides of the plate; excellent hip rotation and hand acceleration; plus raw power; advanced plate discipline and strong approach; staying healthy will be key in 2013. 

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Low

    One of the prizes in Pittsburgh's farm system heading into last season, Bell battled injuries and was only able to play in 15 games. He is going to be behind the curve a bit in 2013, but with his natural bat speed and ability to work counts, he should have a big season. 

    Bell profiles easily as an everyday right fielder with plus power and a .280 average at his peak. Losing development time is not something he can afford at this stage of his career. 

St. Louis Cardinals: Oscar Taveras, OF

23 of 30

    Age: 20

    Highest Level: Triple-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: Superstar and MVP candidate

    Incredible hit tool; hand-eye coordination is best in minors; squares up good and bad pitches; violent swing but makes it work with excellent bat control; aggressive approach works because he rarely swings and misses.

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: High

    Taveras had a breakout season in 2012 when his power finally showed up. He hit 23 home runs at Double-A, six more than he had hit in his first three minor league seasons combined. Add that with his natural ability to make loud contact on any pitch, and you have a superstar corner outfielder. 

    The only reason Taveras is in the minors right now is because the Cardinals have so much outfield depth already at the big league level. He is nearly ready for The Show and figures to be a mainstay as soon as he gets there. 

San Diego Padres: Rymer Liriano, OF

24 of 30

    Age: 21

    Highest Level: Double-A (2012)

     

    The Upside: All-Star corner outfielder

    Plus raw power; solid bat speed; swing gets long at times, but contact rate has improved as he has moved up the ladder; approach is solid and should generate enough walks to keep OBP high; solid runner. 

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: Low

    Liriano is already at a disadvantage because he will miss the entire 2013 season after having Tommy John surgery in February. That is a shame, since he had really come into his own the last two years and still had more room left to grow. 

    No one knows what Liriano will look like when he returns. In a just world, he would step right back into Double-A without missing a beat and finally show some of that power he displayed in batting practice at the Futures Game last July. 

    He still has the highest offensive ceiling of any Padres prospect, but it will be a long time before we see him put those skills to good use again. 

San Francisco Giants: Gustavo Cabrera, OF

25 of 30

    Age: 17

    Highest Level: N/A (Signed out of Dominican Republic last July)

     

    The Upside: Star right fielder with power and speed

    Plus bat speed; above-average raw power; plus speed; uncoordinated swing will get him beat by good velocity early in his career until he makes adjustments; lack of pro experience makes him all projection at this point.

     

    Likelihood he reaches ceiling: Extremely low

    Considering Cabrera has not played in a league since signing with the Giants out of the Dominican Republic last summer, all that we have on him are notes and projections. It is going to be at least four years before we have a strong gauge on what his future is. 

    For the Giants, a team that is loaded with pitching in the minors and not a lot of position players, Cabrera represents the best hope the franchise has to churn out an All-Star at some point. His swing is going to need some overhauling, as he is very slow to react to anything right now, but the bat speed and power combination should make the transition easier. 

Seattle Mariners: Gabriel Guerrero, OF

26 of 30

    Age: 19

    Highest Level: Low-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: Star right fielder with big power potential

    Plus bat speed; terrific athleticism; wiry frame right now that will fill out as he gets older; big power potential; lack of refinement; approach will determine how high he can climb; solid plate discipline right now. 

     

    Likelihood he reaches ceiling: Extremely low

    If you like players with good bloodlines, it is hard to find one better than Guerrero. He is the nephew of former MVP Vladimir Guerrero and signed with the Mariners as a 17-year-old in February 2011. 

    Guerrero brings a ton of tools to the table, as well as a lot of projection that could ultimately raise his already-high ceiling. He has moved up from the Dominican Summer and Arizona Rookie Leagues last year to the Midwest League for 2013. It is an aggressive move, but one that could pay huge dividends down the road. 

Tampa Bay Rays: Wil Myers, OF

27 of 30

    Age: 22

    Highest Level: Triple-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: All-Star corner outfielder and one of the premier bats in MLB

    Quick hands and explosive wrists generate big power; drives ball out to all fields; uppercut swing does lead to a lot of strikeouts, but approach and pitch recognition are so good he should hit for average and get on base. 

     

    Likelihood of reaching ceiling: High

    Myers was the prized piece the Rays acquired in the James Shields trade last December. His bat was good enough to play in the big leagues out of spring training, but his defense in right field needed work. Plus, the Rays always play conservatively with prospects.

    But Myers is a special hitter. His power came in a big way last year, as he hit 37 home runs thanks to a slight tweak in his swing where he stayed upright and was able to generate more leverage in his swing. 

    When you combine that kind of power with a great eye and discipline at the plate, Myers has the profile of a superstar talent that you can build a lineup around for the next decade. 

Texas Rangers: Joey Gallo, 3B

28 of 30

    Age: 19

    Highest Level: Low-A (2013)

     

    The Upside: All-Star outfielder with tremendous power

    Quick hands explode through the zone, leading to loud contact; plus-plus power; below-average plate discipline; needs to overhaul approach at the plate to keep average up enough to show pop in games. 

     

    Likelihood he reaches ceiling: Extremely low

    Gallo can be one of the most exciting prospects to watch. In his first season at Low-A, he has already hit six home runs in just 18 games. He can drive the ball as well as anyone in the minors and is one of the few big-time power hitters coming up. 

    The problem is, Gallo has such poor plate discipline right now that we don't know if he will ever hit the ball enough to show the power in games as he faces more advanced stuff. There is nothing wrong with the swing, as he generates tremendous bat speed and really gets through the zone. 

    But unless Gallo can recognize off-speed stuff out of the zone and let it go, he will not become the player his raw talent suggests he should. 

Toronto Blue Jays: D.J. Davis, OF

29 of 30

    Age: 18

    Highest Level: Short Season (2012)

     

    The Upside: All-Star center fielder with great hit and speed combination

    Incredible athlete; true plus-plus speed; natural hitter; ability to keep hands in zone to barrel balls; line-drive swing with gap power now that should turn into average home-run pop in the future; exciting raw talent. 

     

    Likelihood he reaches ceiling: Extremely low

    D.J. Davis is the kind of prospect you want to watch just to see the development. He has an exciting set of tools that, while still very raw, makes him look like the best player on the field when you watch him in warmups and, at times, during games. 

    Time is of the essence, as he is not even going to play in a full-season league until 2014. Davis has the potential to be one of the best all-around center fielders in the game, with the ability to hit for average, average home-run power and elite speed.

Washington Nationals: Anthony Rendon, 3B

30 of 30

    Age: 22

    Highest Level: MLB (2013)

     

    The Upside: All-Star third baseman with average and power

    Natural ability and feel for hitting; explosive hands he keeps in the zone; plus raw power that should play in games with more experience; loud, easy contact; pitch recognition needs work; health will determine ultimate role. 

     

    Likelihood he reaches ceiling: Moderately high

    Rendon is a player who just has to stay healthy, first and foremost. He played in just 43 games last season due to an ankle injury, which is nothing new for the third baseman.

    Dating back to his time at Rice, Rendon has had various ankle problems that have led to some doubts about his ability to play 140 to 150 games on a consistent basis. 

    When he is playing, Rendon is a rare talent. A tremendous defensive third baseman, he has a plus bat that projects to hit for average and plus power thanks to his ability to square up pitches in the zone.

    His timing will be a little rusty as he works his way back into game shape, but the Nationals have liked enough of what they saw in a small sample size this season to at least give him a look at third base in the big leagues while Ryan Zimmerman is on the DL. 

     

    For more prospect talk, or if you just want to discuss baseball, feel free to hit me up on Twitter.