MLB prospects to watch in 2013
For many MLB teams, the future is right around the corner. See which prospects, listed in alphabetical order, could make an impact in the big leagues in 2013. Compiled by Nick Klopsis
Pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays
Archer has a plus fastball and a good slider, but he gave up 62 walks at AAA Durham in 2012. Those control issues may force him to the bullpen, be it as a closer or a setup man. If he can tame his stuff, he could be a potential top-of-the-rotation starter.
Third base, Colorado Rockies
Arenado played in his second straight Futures Game in 2012, going 1-for-3. He's a good hitter with nice arm strength at the hot corner.
Pitcher, Cleveland Indians
Bauer, like Skaggs, pitched in the majors last year for the Diamondbacks but is still technically a rookie. Known for his unorthodox pre-game preparation, he should benefit from a fresh start in the Indians' rotation.
Outfield, San Francisco Giants
Brown had 33 stolen bases in 2012 and exhibited good range in the outfield. He should project into a good leadoff hitter as long as his bat can continue to develop.
Pitcher, Baltimore Orioles
Scouts have raved about Bundy's stuff since he was drafted in 2011. The 20-year-old righty has a good fastball and a knee-buckling curve that should only get better with age.
Outfield, Detroit Tigers
Castellanos, 20, is a solid hitting prospect who earned Futures Game MVP last year with a home run and three RBI. His ability to make contact is his best attribute at this stage, and he has shown some pop that will continue to develop with time.
Pitcher, Cincinnati Reds
Cingrani, a lefty, saw the bigs in his first pro season. His fastball and changeup helped him strike out 11.2 batters per nine innings in the minors and should be his out pitches in the majors.
Pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates
Yankees fans may remember Cole as the team's first-round pick in 2008. Cole went to UCLA instead, and the decision paid off. He developed a big-time fastball as well as a plus slider and was drafted first overall by the Pirates in 2011. Cole has rocketed through the minors and should see the bigs this season.
D'Arnaud was the key figure in the R.A. Dickey deal and should fill a big hole behind the plate for the Mets at some point. He's seen his star drop a little due to injury -- he tore his PCL late last year -- but has a strong bat and is solid defensively.
Third base, Arizona Diamondbacks
Davidson has developed well at the plate and in the field for the Diamondbacks. He has the tools to become a solid hitter who can hit for power and average as well as a good defender.
Outfield, Arizona Diamondbacks
No, this isn't the Adam Eaton who pitched for 10 seasons with five different teams. This Adam Eaton is a solid fielder who has always hit above .300 and posted a .400 OBP at each level in minors. He has plus speed and a very strong arm, and should become a threat at the top of the lineup.
Shortstop, Seattle Mariners
Franklin is a solid all-around prospect who could see time at the majors early on thanks to his defensive prowess. The 21-year-old has good speed and plays both middle infield positions well. Franklin is a switch hitter with a good eye and a quick bat.
Pitcher, Minnesota Twins
Gibson recovered from Tommy John surgery late in 2011 to showcase three good pitches. His sinking fastball is his best pitch, and his changeup also features some drop.
Shortstop, Arizona Diamondbacks
Gregorius was shipped the Diamondbacks in the three-team deal that sent Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati and Trevor Bauer to Cleveland. The 22–year-old went 8-for-21 in six major-league games in September and has all the tools to succeed both at the plate and in the field.
Second base/third base, San Diego Padres
Gyorko has mostly played third but could have chance to play second coming out of Spring Training. He is solid at the plate, hitting .328 with 24 home runs at AAA Tuscon last year.
Outfield, Cincinnati Reds
Not since Rickey Henderson has baseball seen someone as fast as Billy Hamilton. The 22-year-old shattered the professional stolen base record last year with 155 bags swiped. Hamilton makes good contact on his swings, but the switch-hitter can also just beat out routine ground balls. He moved from shortstop to centerfield during the Arizona Fall League to maximize his speed.
Shortstop, Miami Marlins
Hechevarria was traded by the Toronto Blue Jays as part of the Marlins' offseason fire sale. He is a plus defender with great instincts at shortstop. He benefitted from a hitter-friendly park in AAA Las Vegas, and may need to show that his bat is for real in order to step up to the majors.
Pitcher, Seattle Mariners
Hultzen, a lefty, had trouble in AAA after lighting it up in AA during the first half of the season. He has good stuff but needs to work on his control.
Shortstop, Boston Red Sox
Iglesias has been thrown around as the potential answer at shortstop for the Red Sox. He certainly has the defensive ability to play the position, but he still has a lot of work to do at the plate to really be a n immediate contributor.
Shortstop, Tampa Bay Rays
Lee, from South Korea, is a great defender with good range. He's also a threat on the basepaths, stealing 127 bases in four pro seasons. There are questions about his bat, though, especially after he hit just .261 in his first season at AA.
Pitcher, St. Louis Cardinals
After rocketing through the Cards' farm system, Miller saw some early struggles in AAA but came on late and made the team's postseason roster. He has a very good fastball that runs in on batters. Miller should have a shot to start in the big leagues out of spring training thanks to Chris Carpenter's injury.
Outfield, Tampa Bay Rays
Myers was the centerpiece of the offseason deal that sent James Shields to the Royals. The 22-year-old is a solid all-around prospect with good bat speed and developing power. He's spent most of his time in right field but has also played a little in center.
Pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays
Odorizzi went to the Rays along with Wil Myers as part of James Shields deal. The 22-year-old righty dominated the Pacific Coast League in 2012, going 11-3 with a 2.93 ERA. His fastball and curveball will be his go-to pitches when he cracks the big leagues.
Third base, Texas Rangers
Olt is a big-time third base prospect, but his path is blocked by current Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre. Olt, who played in 16 games for the Rangers last season, has a great bat and is a solid fielder. The question is where Olt will play -- the Rangers tried him at first, third and right field in his short September stint, but he appeared most comfortable at the hot corner.
Pitcher, Seattle Mariners
Paxton is a good southpaw power pitcher. He struck out 10.6 batters per nine innings in two seasons, including 110 last year. He has a nice fastball, and his curveball has good break to it.
Pitcher, Milwaukee Brewers
Peralta went 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA in six September starts for the Brewers in 2012 despite a subpar season with AAA Nashville. He has a plus fastball with some sinking action and a good slider, both of which should continue to develop.
Pitcher, Texas Rangers
Perez, a lefty, fell off last season after shooting all the way up to AAA in 2011. He has a good fastball, but his changeup is his best pitch.
Second base/shortstop, Texas Rangers
Profar could be the next teenage rookie sensation in 2013. The 19-year-old Curacao native is a true five-tool prospect who should make an impact in the majors this season.
Pitcher, St. Louis Cardinals
The 22–year-old came up huge for the Cardinals in postseason, throwing 8 2/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen with just two hits allowed and 15 K's. A lot of those strikeouts can be chalked up to his triple-digits fastball -- one of the best in the game -- and his solid curveball. Rosenthal was a starter in the minors and could be in the rotation in the absence of Chris Carpenter.
Sanchez received a $3 million signing bonus from the Yankees in 2009 and, while he is still young, has a lot of promise. He has major-league power off the bat and a cannon for an arm. He had a few maturity issues last season but appears to have grown past them.
Pitcher, Arizona Diamondbacks
The 21-year-old southpaw made six starts for Arizona in 2013 but still retains rookie eligibility. Skaggs has a plus curveball and a good fastball that should strike out a lot of batters.
Outfield, St. Louis Cardinals
Taveras, shown here trying to steal second in the 2012 Futures Game, is another youngster with a strong bat. The 20-year-old's got a good eye at the plate and is a threat to mash one out of the park as much as he is to get a routine base hit.
Pitcher, Atlanta Braves
Teheran was called up to the majors at age 21 after a rapid rise through the minors, but struggled in his only two appearances. Even after getting demoted to AAA Gwinnett, Teheran suffered from control issues all season, particularly with his fastball. He'll need to fix that if he wants another crack at the big leagues.
Pitcher, Boston Red Sox
Webster, second from right in this photo, was the centerpiece of the deal that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to Dodgers. His best pitch is his live sinking fastball, and he also features a nice changeup that also has some drop to it.
Wheeler came to the Mets in the deal that sent Calos Beltran to the San Francisco Giants. His big-time fastball and curveball helped him strike out 148 batters in 149 minor league innings. He reached AAA last season and could be a mid-to-late-season call-up.
Williams projects into a decent outfielder, though he may be a bit away from seeing time in the big leagues. Still, he has plus speed and good instincts in the field.
Catcher, Seattle Mariners
Zunino, the son of longtime scout Greg Zunino, is a more well-rounded backstop than current Mariners catcher/designated hitter Jesus Montero. Zunino has a strong, accurate arm, and can hit for power and average.