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Scott's top 100 prospect countdown: #26-50

We're inching closer to the cream of the crop in minor league baseball

The Rays got a taste of Kevin Gausman in spring training
The Rays got a taste of Kevin Gausman in spring training

If you missed either of the first two segments, you can check out #76-100 here and #51-75 here. The first part includes an explanation of my method for finalizing the list. The Rays began getting represented in the second part, and it won't take long for them to be represented today.

50. Taylor Guerrieri RHP Tampa Bay (94): Guerrieri's pro debut last year was very impressive, but now he's going to have to get it done in full-season ball. With the success some of the other prep arms from the 2011 draft have had, that shouldn't be a problem at all.

49. Brian Goodwin CF Washington (91): Goodwin has potential for five above average or better tools, and he put them all on display when he dominated low-A in his pro debut last year. He struggled after a big jump right to AA, but the speed, defense in center field and potential power are all there.

48. Kaleb Cowart 3B Anaheim (NR): Cowart's career prior to 2012 was pretty nondescript, but he established himself as a lone bright spot in a depleted Anaheim organization last year. Belief in Cowart is more about projection than present ability, but he has the bat, power and defense to be a force at the hot corner.

47. George Springer CF Houston (68): Springer is much more raw than the typical college draft pick, but his tools are better too. He posted big numbers in homer-happy Lancaster and has the speed and defense to go along with his power. Can he adjust his plate approach and make enough contact to use that power?

46. Jorge Soler OF Cubs (2012 signing): 2012 was a big year for Cuban imports, and the Cubs won the lottery to land the Haitian Sensation. He has great power potential, and he hit very well in his pro debut despite not having faced live pitching for months.

45. Alen Hanson SS Pittsburgh (NR): Hanson was one of two position players that had major breakout seasons for Pittsburgh's low-A affiliate in West Virginia. He's fast and can put bat on ball, and he has pretty surprising power for a pretty small player. His chances of staying at shortstop are questionable.

44. Kyle Gibson RHP Minnesota (NR): Tommy John surgery at the end of 2011 could've really derailed Gibson's career, but in the Arizona Fall League this off-season, he pitched as good as or better than ever. He's now 25 years old, but he could probably pitch in the majors tomorrow.

43. Aaron Hicks CF Minnesota (NR): Hicks, however, will start the season in the majors. He's probably not ready though. His defense is fine but skipping over AAA with an inconsistent track record of success could be risky for his future.

42. Oswaldo Arcia OF Minnesota (NR): Arcia hit 17 home runs with an OPS over .900 across two levels in 2012, and he has the kind of power potential a team like Minnesota needs. He's not really an athlete and is limited to right field, but he has the bat, power and plate approach to make it work.

41. Mason Williams CF Yankees (63): The injury bug hitting the Yankees now was being passed around their affiliates last year, and that included a dislocated shoulder that cost Williams about 50 games. His calling card is his defense and speed, but he can hit with an idea of what to do at the plate.

40. Gary Sanchez C Yankees (45): The Yankees love them some big catchers, and Sanchez is the latest to fit that mold. His power potential is enormous, and even if he has to move out from behind the plate, his bat could play at corner positions. His defense has improved, but it still leaves a lot to be desired.

39. Danny Hultzen LHP Seattle (34): Seattle was expecting Hultzen to cruise through the minors when they picked him second overall in 2011, but he hit an uncharacteristic speed bump in 2012. He lost control of the strike zone entirely, walking 75 in 124 innings. He did settle down a bit in the AFL though.

38. Matt Barnes RHP Boston (NR): Barnes actually had a pretty rough second half in high-A, but the stuff he showed is impressive nonetheless. He commands a hard, sinking fastball well, and his curveball and changeup are showing improvement. He should not have lasted until 19th overall in 2011.

37. Albert Almora CF Cubs (2012 pick): Almora was drafted out of high school, but he could probably move through the minors pretty quickly. He's a hard worker with really good bat to ball ability and a quick swing. His power will be average at best, but that's okay with great defense in center field.

36. Javier Baez SS Cubs (66): Average is not a word one would use to describe Baez's power, however. He hit about 100 home runs in the last week of spring training, but he still has a lot of work to do, particularly on his aggressive plate approach. He actually has a chance to stick at shortstop too.

35. Gregory Polanco OF Pittsburgh (NR): Polanco has the tools to be one of the most exciting prospects in baseball. He stole 40 bases in 2012, and he could add some muscle for more power at 6'4 and 170 pounds. He should be able to do all of this from center field too. He needs to keep his swing short and stay patient, but he showed a lot of improvements last year.

34. Max Fried LHP San Diego (2012 pick): Fried was the first prep pitcher off the board in 2012 thanks to the elbow issues surrounding teammate Lucas Giolito. He has power stuff with a great fastball and curveball combination, and he's more advanced than the typical high school arm.

33. Byron Buxton CF Minnesota (2012 pick): Buxton's tools are as impressive if not more so than anyone's, but my concern is the likelihood of them showing up in games. He's a great athlete, has a great arm and enormous power potential, but he's very raw. He'll have a chance to show what he can do in the Midwest League.

32. Austin Hedges C San Diego (90): Hedges is one of the best defensive catchers to be drafted in recent years, and he might be able to hit too. He has a great arm and does a great job handling the staff. He has an idea at the plate and could be a little more than a singles hitter.

31. Jackie Bradley Jr. CF Boston (NR): The Red Sox made the somewhat surprising decision to start Bradley Jr. in the majors right away, but I think he's ready. His great defense will be wasted a bit in left field, but he'll provide valuable on-base ability, ideally at the top of their lineup.

30. Jonathan Singleton 1B Houston (43): Singleton will have to serve an unfortunate 50 game "drug of abuse" suspension, but that won't stop him from being the clear best first base prospect in baseball. He has a very patient approach, and his violent swing finally started producing more power in 2012.

29. Archie Bradley RHP Arizona (18): It's not an exaggeration to say Bradley has ace potential, but severe bouts with wildness tended to emerge in 2012. The former high school quarterback throws in the mid 90's with little effort, and his secondary pitches are coming along.

28. Kevin Gausman RHP Baltimore (2012 pick): With the duo of Gausman and Dylan Bundy on the way, Jason Hammel's days of starting on Opening Day could be numbered. Gausman delivers great arm strength and a very impressive changeup, and his slider is said to be improved over his amateur days.

27. Addison Russell SS Oakland (2012 pick): Improved conditioning helped Russell move up draft boards last year, and he was able to reach low-A just months after being drafted. He's now essentially a surefire professional shortstop with great speed, and the above average power potential is still there.

26. Kyle Zimmer RHP Kansas City (2012 pick): Zimmer is relatively late to the pitching scene, but that didn't stop him from showing high enough upside to be selected 5th overall. His four seamer can touch the mid 90's, and his curveball is a true swing and miss pitch. He could move through the system quickly.

With just 25 prospects left, there are still two Rays names to be revealed, and it probably isn't particularly difficult to guess who they are. I hope to complete the list on MiLB Opening Day this Thursday.