Ranking the 5 Best Power-Hitting Prospects for 2013

Mike Rosenbaum@GoldenSombreroMLB Prospects Lead WriterJanuary 11, 2013

Ranking the 5 Best Power-Hitting Prospects for 2013

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    Upon Bryce Harper’s graduation from the minor to major leagues, the prospect realm lost its most promising power hitter. While there’s no other player who showcases as much raw power or the capacity for a similar power frequency at such a young age, there are several prospects that currently boast 70-to-80-grade power. Each of these players projects to hit at least 30-plus home runs annually in their prime.

    Here’s a look at the five best power-hitting prospects to follow closely headed into the 2013 season.

5. Joey Gallo, 3B, Texas Rangers

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    2012 Power Stats

    .293/.435/.733, .440 ISO, 29 XBH, 18 HR (43 G, Arizona League)

    .214/.343/.464, .250 ISO, 6 XBH, 4 HR (16 G, Short-Season Spokane)

    Scouting Report: Physical specimen at 6’5”, 205 pounds; received consideration as a right-handed pitcher as well as corner infielder; prodigious, 80-grade power resulted in Rookie-level Arizona League home run record (18); quick wrists and explosive bat speed give him effortless raw power; streaky hitter whose swing can get long at times; comfortable working counts and taking walks, but may always have considerable swing-and-miss to his game.

4. Dan Vogelbach, 1B, Chicago Cubs

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    2012 Power Stats

    .324/.391/.686, .363 ISO, 21 XBH, 7 HR (24 G, Arizona League)

    .322/.423/.608, .287 ISO, 20 XBH, 10 HR (37 G, Short-Season Boise)

    Scouting Report: Absolutely jaw-dropping, plus-plus raw power; compact swing allows him to track the ball deep and effortless drive the ball to all fields; potential for above-average-to-plus hit tool; advanced feel for the strike zone relative to his age and experience; direct bat path and with a strong top hand; plus makeup and work ethic; fierce on-field competitor; will have to continue to rake, as his bat will dictate his development and ascent to big leagues.

3. Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston Red Sox

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    2012 Power Stats

    .303/.379/.507, .204 ISO, 45 XBH, 15 HR (104 G, High-A Salem)

    .326/.351/.598, .272 ISO, 15 XBH, 5 HR (23 G, Double-A Portland)

    Scouting Report: At 6’3”, 175 pounds, Bogaerts is physically mature and should add more strength as he fills out; right-handed hitter, has upright stance; big leg lift load gets all of his weight to backside and then through the ball; vicious swing results in loud contact to all fields; possesses plus bat with plus raw power to all fields; hit tool has developed better than expected despite aggressive, free-swinging approach; has posted oddly low line-drive rates through minor-league career; will have to cut down on strikeouts and chase less breaking balls.

2. Wil Myers, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

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    2012 Power Stats

    .351/.421/.739, .388 ISO, 25 XBH, 13 HR (35 G, Double-A NW Arkansas)

    .304/.378/.554, .250 ISO, 44 XBH, 24 HR (99 G, Triple-A Omaha)

    Scouting Report: At 6’3”, 205 pounds, Myers possesses a wiry, projectable frame that should allow him to add strength without getting too bulky; upper body is loaded with quick-twitch muscles that allow him to seemingly flick his wrists at the ball without sacrificing hard contact; setup is upright and slightly open, which helps him tap into his awesome pull-side power; excellent bat-to-ball skills suggest he’ll have at least an above-average hit tool; his 140 strikeouts in 134 games isn’t pretty, but remember he was implementing an entirely new approach; he still has a tendency to drop his back shoulder and get long; will get out on his front foot and cast hands around ball; both are mechanical/timing issues that will be ironed out.

1. Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota Twins

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    2012 Power Stats

    .258/.373/.521, .263 ISO, 60 XBH, 28 HR (129 G, Low-A Beloit)

    Scouting Report: In his full-season debut at Low-A Beloit, Sano batted .258/.373/.521 in 129 games as a 19-year-old. Of his 118 hits, 60 were for extra bases, including 28 home runs. He struck out 144 times, but showed on-base potential with 80 walks and eight hit-by-pitches.

    He has the best raw power in the minor leagues and present power frequency. His powerful swing generates backspin that carries to all fields, but has some holes and results in too many swings and misses. Still, he has the bat speed and strength to be successful. He may never hit for average, but the power is legit.

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