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Scott's top 100 prospect countdown: #1-25

My top 100 list finishes up just as MiLB season gets underway


Thanks for reading these last couple weeks as I've counted down my top 100 prospects entering 2013. If you missed any of the prior three parts, here is 76-100, 51-75 and 26-50. Enjoy. Like 26-50, the countdown immediately starts with a Ray.

25. Chris Archer RHP Tampa Bay (NR): Archer has been nearly untouchable since the second half of 2012, including nearly 30 impressive innings in the majors with the Rays. He should probably be in the ML rotation right now, and I bet he does spend a significant amount of time in the majors.

24. Nick Castellanos 3B Detroit (27): I shouldn't list Castellanos as a third baseman since the Tigers seem determined to ignore anything that could improve their defense, but regardless, he could be a .300 hitter with enough power to play on a corner, whether it's in the infield or outfield.

23. Carlos Correa SS Houston (2012 pick): I'm sure I was in the minority, but I felt like choosing Correa over Mark Appel was a good baseball decision too, not just a financial one. He has the bat and power potential to bat in the middle of a major league lineup, and he can do that while staying at shortstop.

22. Miguel Sano 3B Minnesota (26): In his transition to full-season ball, Sano's big time raw power played in games as he smashed 28 home runs in 129 games as a 19 year old. His defense actually improved a bit, but he's still big and clumsy at the hot corner. He may become entirely power dependent.

21. Mike Olt 3B Texas (39): Olt should be in an ML lineup right now, but the Rangers aren't simply moving him to the outfield like Detroit did with Castellanos. It's hard to blame them for that since he plays Gold Glove caliber defense with great power. He could be a major trade piece if they choose to go in that direction.

20. Trevor Bauer RHP Cleveland (6): He certainly has to make adjustments in the majors, but I think Bauer got a raw deal in Arizona as they attempt to find the 25 true Scotsmen that are gritty enough for Kirk Gibson. If he works off his fastball more and stops over-thinking how to attack batters, this will be a steal for Cleveland.

19. Francisco Lindor SS Cleveland (22): There aren't many shortstops who can pick it better than Lindor in the minors. With his range, arm and instincts, he's the complete defensive package. He can put his bat on the ball and has a pretty good plate approach, but he has to get a bit stronger still.

18. Billy Hamilton CF Cincinnati (61): MiLB's stolen base king is very, very close to impacting the majors, and center field is a much better fit for him defensively. In 2012, he seemed to really find his identity on the field, knowing how to use his speed by any means necessary. He could still improve his efficiency on the bases.

17. Julio Teheran RHP Atlanta (5): Evidently, Teheran has made some improvements this spring, but let's wait to see it during the regular season. His changeup is tremendous, and reportedly his fastball is better now with more movement and less velocity. He just needs a consistent breaking ball to be a top pitcher.

16. Mike Zunino C Seattle (2012 pick): The recent history of college catchers taken at the top of the draft is very spotty, but Zunino was able to reach AA just months after being drafted. He has a very good all-around game with above average power, a nice approach and solid defense. Look for him in Seattle this year.

15. Anthony Rendon 3B Washington (8): All of Rendon's recent injuries can fairly be described as freak injuries, but at some point it's fair to wonder about his durability. If he's on the field, he could push Ryan Zimmerman across the diamond with superior defense plus a great eye and feel for contact at the plate.

14. Christian Yelich OF Miami (59): Yelich combines one of the best swings in the minors with a great approach to be one of the game's best pure hitting prospects. He has some nice speed and could develop above average power too. His defense may be good enough to play center field, but it's more likely he slides to left.

13. Jameson Taillon RHP Pittsburgh (23): Taillon is one of two Pittsburgh impact arms that could arrive on the scene in 2012. In addition to his mid-90's fastball and sharp curveball, he already has pretty good control for a young arm and a good feel for pitch sequencing. It would be nice to see him strike out more batters though.

12. Taijuan Walker RHP Seattle (33): Walker skipped over high-A in 2012, partly because he was mature enough to handle it, partly because no one wants a top pitching prospect playing at High Desert. He certainly struggled at times, but he has great stuff, a deep arsenal and the athleticism to improve command.

11. Jose Fernandez RHP Miami (NR): I don't agree with the decision to start Fernandez in the majors, but in a vacuum that doesn't consider service time or team competitiveness, he's ready to go. All reports indicate he's mature enough to handle any struggles, and his big fastball and pair of above average breaking balls will certainly get outs.

10. Xander Bogaerts SS Boston (50): The most impressive thing about Bogearts' 2012 season isn't that he reached AA and evolved from a power hitter to a more complete hitter, but he's improved his defense enough to give himself a chance to stay at shortstop. That kind of bat up the middle is a potential All-Star for sure.

9. Gerrit Cole RHP Pittsburgh (15): Few can match Cole's pure stuff with a fastball that can touch 100 plus a great pair of secondary pitches in his slider and changeup. He's durable with an aggressive demeanor on the mound, and he just needs to make sure he works low in the zone and doesn't elevate his pitches as often.

8. Shelby Miller RHP St. Louis (9): Miller's first half in 2012 was truly atrocious, but after some mid-season mechanical adjustments, his stuff returned to form and the results were much, much better. He earned a spot in the Cardinals' rotation, and he'll do well if he effectively mixes in his curveball and changeup.

7. Tyler Skaggs LHP Arizona (19): I'm willing to admit this may be too high, but I think he has a very high floor. He's gotten stronger as a professional, and he now throws in the low 90's on a regular basis to go along with his great curveball. His spring was awful though, and he'll have to earn his way back to the majors.

6. Travis d'Arnaud C Mets (14): The Mets are doing a great job rebuilding, and as long as he can stay healthy, he'll be a franchise player for years to come. His defense has made great strides, and his bat stands out among catchers. He has potential for plus power and can hit to all fields.

5. Zack Wheeler RHP Mets (35): For a team that won the World Series twice in three years, the Giants made a colossally dumb decision trading Wheeler for the rental of Carlos Beltran. He broke out thanks to being healthy enough to nearly throw 150 innings and improved control. His stuff was always electric, and now that he's harnessing it, the Mets could have a pair of young starters at the top of their rotation with Wheeler and Matt Harvey.

4. Wil Myers OF Tampa Bay (13): In a division where year after year, it's shown that every game counts, I think Myers should be the Rays' right fielder yesterday. I understand the financials and how hard playing in the AL East can be, but I think facing the Boston Red Sox helps him adjust better than facing the Pawtucket Red Sox.

3. Oscar Taveras OF St. Louis (37): Taveras is one of my favorite prospects in the minors. His bat speed is quick, his swing is almost wild, yet it's controlled, and his plate coverage is amazing. His raw power is enormous, and it's just too bad there's no immediate opening for him on the Cardinals right now.

2. Dylan Bundy RHP Baltimore (7): Bundy's meteoric rise to the majors last year was incredible, and it's easy to see why scouts felt he was more advanced than any prep righty in recent memory. His stuff is great, he controls his pitches well, and it would just be nice to see if his GM would let him throw his best pitch.

1. Jurickson Profar SS Texas (4): To me, this wasn't a particularly difficult choice. His tools are great, but his maturity and makeup are just as impressive (although he is not a wizard.) With the big Elvis Andrus extension, we'll be deprived of seeing Profar play defense at short, but that's not going to stop him from being an impact player in all areas of the game.

That completes the list. Of course these lists are always fluid. It's a snapshot in time, because a month or two from now, performances and new reports will dictate changes.