Every prospecting outlet releases a Top 100 Prospect List and we at Prospect Junkies are no exception. I’m the first to admit that there is quite a bit of subjectivity in the list below. I’m quite biased in that I value a player’s ceiling more than I do his probability of reaching that ceiling. Some of the rankings listed below might contradict previous positional rankings that I’ve posted over the past view months but I have a very good explanation. I changed my mind.
It’s also important to note that this list was finalized before the brain surgery of Ryan Westmoreland or the season ending injury to Jared Mitchell. Westmoreland would have been moved down, but the extent of which is not yet known. Mitchell likely would have stayed close to his original ranking.
Enough of this palaver, lets get this show on the road.
1. Jason Heyward – OF – ATL. Looks like he may have played his last minor league game.
2. Stephen Strasburg – RHP – WAS. The best draft prospect to come along in ages, if reaches half of his ceiling, he’ll be a perennial all star.
3. Desmond Jennings – OF – TB. Has there ever been a faster outfield than Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton, and Jennings?
4. Carlos Santana – C – CLE. A switch hitting catcher with power, OBP skills and a strong arm. What’s not to like?
5. Brian Matusz – LHP – BAL. I think Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein put it perfectly when he stated that Matusz’ greatest strength is his lack of weaknesses.
6. Jesus Montero – C – NYY. A truly special bat with zero chance to stick at catcher.
7. Neftali Feliz – RHP – TEX. Even his floor – a power relief pitcher, is pretty high.
8. Buster Posey – C – SF. Kills left handed pitching, strong plate discipline and the quick feet and strong arm to become a plus defender.
9. Pedro Alvarez – 3B – PIT. The 28% K rate is not ideal, but the 1.009 OPS he posted in AA is.
10. Dustin Ackley – OF/2B – SEA. A future batting champion and Silver Slugger at whatever defensive position he ends up calling home.
11. Justin Smoak – 1B – TEX. Matt Wieters HS teammate is a switch hitting power hitter who walks as much as he Ks.
12. Mike Stanton – OF – FLA. More power than Alvarez, but also a higher AA K rate (33.1%) and a much lower BB rate (9.1%).
13. Madison Bumgarner – LHP – SF. A one pitch pitcher, but you can’t argue with the results. I’m anxious and skeptical to see how he’ll do with a large sample size of MLB starts.
14. Domonic Brown – OF – PHI. Is this the year his stat line will match his talent?
15. Aroldis Chapman – LHP – CIN. Showing better command than I anticipated.
16. Martin Perez – LHP – TEX. Strong 3 pitch mix for this 19 year old.
17. Alcides Escobar – SS – MIL. Could have a better year than Elvis Andrus did in ’09.
18. Tyler Matzek – LHP – COL. Was #2 player on draft board for several teams in 2009.
19. Aaron Hicks – OF – MIN. 5 tool player in every sense of the word.
20. Michael Taylor – OF – OAK. The Stanford product should shine in Oakland.
21. Ryan Westmorland – OF – BOS. Scary speed power combination for such a young kid. Scary brain surgery.
22. Logan Morrison – 1B – FLA. 18% walk rate in AA stint last season.
23. Jeremy Hellickson – RHP – TB. His numbers suggest dominance rare for his small stature.
24. Casey Kelly – RHP – BOS. Red Sox let him fail at SS so he’d realize his future is on the mound.
25. Wade Davis – RHP – TB. Earned #5 spot in rotation of a contending team.
26. Brett Wallace – 3B – TOR. I can’t see a scenario where he sticks at 3B but bat can be special.
27. Kyle Drabek – RHP – TOR. His ceiling depends on his ability to refine his change up.
28. Christian Friedrich – LHP – COL. Who would have guessed that the Rockies would gain a reputation for developing pitching?
29. Jarrod Parker – RHP – ARI. Tommy John surgery doesn’t diminish elite status.
30. Jacob Turner – RHP – DET. It worked the last time the Tigers took a HS pitcher in the 1st round. (Rick Porcello – 2007)
31. Casey Crosby – LHP – DET. Strikeout potential who could thrive as he uses his change up more.
32. Lonnie Chisenhall – 3B – CLE. Once batted #3 on a South Carolina team that included future 1st rounders Justin Smoak and Reese Havens. Then got kicked off the team.
33. Michael Montgomery – LHP – KC. A 6’5 lefty who throws in the high 90s. What’s not to love?
34. Josh Bell – 3B – BAL. Needs to hit lefties better but the Orioles got a steal in exchange for George Sherrill. Fitting I guess since they stole him for Eric Bedard.
35. Miguel Sano – SS – MIN. Long shot to reach his ceiling, but his ceiling is as high as anyone on this list.
36. Starlin Castro – SS – CHC. More power potential than Escobar but not the same guy with the glove.
37. Chris Carter – 1B – OAK. Big power, but not a fan of the swing.
38. Derek Norris – C – WAS. Love his OPS potential.
39. Zach Britton – LHP – BAL. If you haven’t figured it out, I love lefties with a good feel for a change up.
40. Jaff Decker – OF – SD. Bad bodied outfielder with Power and OBP skills.
41. Yonder Alonso – 1B – CIN. If he can learn to hit lefties, he could be a star. If not, he’s still be good.
42. Freddie Freeman – 1B – ATL. Hoping be be closer to the ’08 version than the ’09 version.
43. Jhoulys Chacin – RHP – COL. Reminds me a little of Yovanni Gallardo. But ultimately, just not as good.
44. Matt Moore – LHP – TB. Big time K potential, but needs to overcome some control issues.
45. Zack Wheeler – RHP – SF. 6th overall pick in the 2009 draft has more polish out of HS than Madison Bumgarner did at this age.
46. James Darnell – 3B – SD. Walks as much as he K’s, posted .468 OBP in Low A, and hit 20 HR last year.
47. Brett Lawrie – 2B – MIL. Not a strong defender, but the bat is advanced.
48. Jared Mitchell – OF – CWS. Ankle surgery will derail his season, but his future is still bright.
49. Jiovanni Mier – SS – HOU. Strong professional debut provided glimpse at potential.
50. Todd Frazier – 2B – CIN. If he finds a permanent defensive home (it won’t be 2B) his bat will make him a success.
51. Tyler Flowers – C – CHW. Could be #2 catcher in Chicago now, but he needs to play every day and refine his defensive skills.
52. Mike Leake – RHP – CIN. Straight from Arizona State to the Reds rotation. Insane to me, but he did have the second most polish (Strasburg) of any college pitcher in the 2009 draft.
53. Mike Trout – OF – ANA. I think he’ll have a better career than Donovan Tate.
54. Ben Revere – OF – MIN. Speed and hit tools are advanced, and he shows some patience too.
55. Will Myers – C – KC. In a deep HS catching class of 2009, he’s the best.
56. Tanner Scheppers – RHP – TEX. He throws 99 now. But shoulder injury past scares me.
57. Aaron Crow – RHP – KC. There once was debate as to who was better: Crow or Matusz.
58. Julio Teheran – RHP – ATL. Pencil thin righty throws 3 has 3 potential plus pitches.
59. Mike Moustakas – 3B – KC. Take a pitch!
60. Tony Sanchez – C – PIT. Still not the 4th best talent in the 2009 draft, but better than expected.
61. Simon Castro – RHP – SD. A strikeout pitcher who cut his BB rate in half in 2009.
62. Lars Anderson – 1B – BOS. I still believe he’ll hit, thanks to his selectivity, but he’ll need to prove it this year.
63. Fernando Martinez – OF – NYM. I once thought he was overrated, now I’m thinking he’s underrated.
64. Dee Gordon – SS – LAD. A slap hitter who will struggle as he plays against better defenses.
65. Donovan Tate – OF – SD. Pretty raw but the athletic ability is there.
66. Ike Davis – 1B – NYM. Should be starting in New York by year end.
67. Jose Tabata – OF – PIT. He’s 21. His wife is 44. Not judging, I just find it interesting.
68. Michael Saunders – OF – SEA. Rookie of the Year sleeper once Milton Bradley gets kicked off the team.
69. Dan Hudson – RHP – CWS. The first call up to the South Side this year.
70. Grant Green – SS – OAK. Short stroke and power, with a good enough glove to stick at SS.
71. Kyle Gibson – RHP – MIN. Could be steal of 2009 draft if arm is healthy.
72. Arodys Vizcaino – RHP – ATL. A product of the Javier Vasquez trade, I’m interested to see how he’ll perform in his first year of full season professional baseball.
73. Alex White – RHP – CLE. A power pitcher with a plus splitter.
74. Jose Iglesias – SS – BOS. Gaining a legendary reputation for his glove work.
75. Chad James – LHP – FLA. The 2009 HS pitching draftee that not enough people talk about.
76. Jason Castro – C – HOU. Solid after being a surprise top 10 pick in the 2008 draft.
77. Jenrry Mejia – RHP – NYM. Will we get a look at him in an 8th inning role this year?
78. Shelby Miller – RHP – STL. I think three years at Texas A&M would have been good for him.
79. Drew Storen – RHP – WAS. May close out both of Washington’s September wins this year.
80. Austin Jackson – OF – DET. Does everything just a tick above average.
81. Chris Withrow – RHP – LAD. Control is sometimes an issue for this live arm.
82. Phillipe Aumont – RHP – PHI. Reminds me a little of top 2010 prep pitcher Jameson Taillon. But not as good.
83. Matt Dominguez – 3B – FLA. Future Gold Glover if he can hit enough to make it to the Show.
84. Jordan Lyles – RHP – HOU. Advanced feel for his change up. May struggle in the hitters paradise that is the High A California League.
85. Wilmer Flores – SS – NYM. He won’t end up at SS, but the bat has some serious pop.
86. Michael Brantley – OF – CLE. A prospect with the ability to lead off is more rare than I would have guessed.
87. Christian Bethancourt – C – ATL. Decent plate discipline for such a young kid.
88. Josh Vitters – 3B – CHC. Needs to take a walk.
89. Tim Beckham – SS – TB. Any move off of SS will hurt his value.
90. Jake Arrieta – RHP – BAL. Underrated. Overshadowed by Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, and Zach Britton.
91. Hank Conger – C – ANA. A full healthy season could land him in the top 50 on this list next year. Or in Anaheim.
92. Eric Hosmer – 1B – KC. Was not good last year. Not giving up yet.
93. Jay Jackson – RHP – CHC. A two way stud at Furman, a one way star as a pro.
94. Noel Arguelles – LHP – KC. 20 year old Cuban lacks polish.
95. Brett Jackson – OF – CHC. Scary athletic ability.
96. Josh Reddick – OF – BOS. The Mike Cameron acquisition will delay his arrival but he could get a decent amount of playing time later this season.
97. Mike Minor – LHP – ATL. Polish but not a particularly high ceiling.
98. Michael Inoa – RHP – OAK. We’ll finally get to see some professional innings this year.
99. Gaby Sanchez – 1B – FLA. Beat out Logan Morrison for now. Has pop and patience.
100. Nick Weglarz – OF – CLE. Reminds me a little of Adam Dunn. Takes walks and can drive the ball out of the park to the opposite field.