Baseball America

2007 Top 100 Prospects


See also: Top 100 Prospects Breakdown By The Numbers
See also: Jim Callis Top 100 Prospects Chat
See also: Top 100 Pitchers By The Numbers Premium
See also: Top 100 Hitters By The Numbers Premium

We proudly present our annual list of the best young players in the game, the culmination of our offseason prospect rankings.

But this year we bring you the list with a twist. While we’d like to think that every player here will go on to big league success, even these players–the best of the best–could flop. Even the players at the very top of the list could fall victim to injuries, off-field trouble or poor performance.

The key is to spot these problems as early as possible. Years of prospect watching have led us to look for common flaws in players that can be red flags. These flaws can show in performance and be borne out by statistics–such as a high number of walks for a pitcher–or in a tools profile, such as position players who will “develop power.”

As you read through the top 100 list you’ll see some of these risk factors, highlighted in a current player on the list, just click on the button to see that player’s risk factor. We’ll also flash back to top 100 alumni who had similar risk factors, giving a best and worst case for the current player. (For those players, we also list their peak position in the top 100).

The top 100 list was hammered out by Editors in Chief Will Lingo and John Manuel, Executive Editor Jim Callis and National Writer Chris Kline. Callis wrote the capsules on each player.

1 DAISUKE MATSUZAKA, rhp, Red Sox
Who needs a gyroball? He has six pitches that grade out as plus or plus-plus at their best, and he’ll be the best Japanese import ever. And no, we’re not forgetting about Ichiro
Opening Day Age: 26. ETA: 2007
2 ALEX GORDON, 3b, Royals
College Player of the Year in 2005, Minor League Player of the Year in 2006 . . . Rookie of the Year in 2007
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2007
3 DELMON YOUNG, of, Devil Rays
Took the Albert Belle comparisons too far when he tossed a bat at an umpire last year, but he can rake
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2007
4 PHILIP HUGHES, rhp, Yankees
As good as Chien-Ming Wang has been, this homegrown ace will be even better
Opening Day Age: 20. ETA: 2007
5 HOMER BAILEY, rhp, Reds
The next great Texas fireballer in the tradition of Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens
Opening Day Age: 20. ETA: 2007
6 CAMERON MAYBIN, of, Tigers
Tremendous athlete had even more polish at the plate than Detroit expected
Opening Day Age: 19. ETA: 2009
7 EVAN LONGORIA, 3b, Devil Rays
Backed up his reputation as the 2006 draft’s best pure hitter by batting .315 with 18 homers in his pro debut
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2007
Risk Factor8 BRANDON WOOD, ss, Angels
More than capable at shortstop, he may shift to third base to get his power bat into the Los Angeles lineup
Opening Day Age: 22. ETA: 2007
9 JUSTIN UPTON, of, Diamondbacks
No. 1 overall pick in 2006 didn’t have a banner debut, but he still has Ken Griffey Jr. tools
Opening Day Age: 19. ETA: 2009
10 ANDREW MILLER, lhp, Tigers
The consensus top prospect in the 2006 draft was a steal at sixth overall and nearly made Detroit’s World Series roster
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008
11 TIM LINCECUM, rhp, Giants
Size doesn’t matter. His fastball-curveball combo prompts comparisons to Bob Feller and Sandy Koufax
Opening Day Age: 22. ETA: 2007
12 CHRIS YOUNG, of, Diamondbacks
White Sox fans still can’t believe their club traded his 30-30 potential to get Javier Vazquez
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2007
13 ANDREW McCUTCHEN, of, Pirates
Reached Double-A quicker than any other outfielder in a bumper 2005 high school crop
Opening Day Age: 20. ETA: 2008
14 JAY BRUCE, of, Reds
Beat out Maybin and Upton for top-prospect honors in the Midwest League last summer
Opening Day Age: 19. ETA: 2009
15 TROY TULOWITZKI, ss, Rockies
Reached the majors 14 months after signing, a franchise record for a position player
Opening Day Age: 22. ETA: 2007
16 YOVANI GALLARDO, rhp, Brewers
Led the minors in strikeouts (188 in 155 innings) and ranked third in ERA (1.86) during breakout 2006 season
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2007
17 REID BRIGNAC, ss, Devil Rays
Tampa Bay doesn’t have to fool around with B.J. Upton at shortstop any longer with Brignac on the way
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008
18 CARLOS GONZALEZ, of, Diamondbacks
As if Arizona didn’t have enough multitooled outfielders already
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008
19 ANDY LaROCHE, 3b, Dodgers
Takes after brother (slugging Pirates first baseman Adam) more than father (former all-star reliever Dave)
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2007
20 MIKE PELFREY, rhp, Mets
Made the majors three months into his pro career, and should be even better now with his new slider
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2007
21 MATT GARZA, rhp, Twins
Unheralded 2005 first-rounder already has become a mainstay in Minnesota’s rotation
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2007
22 FERNANDO MARTINEZ, of, Mets
Followed up an impressive debut as a 17-year-old by holding his own in the Arizona Fall League
Opening Day Age: 18. ETA: 2009
23 ADAM MILLER, rhp, Indians
Regained knockout slider and plus fastball and refined his changeup after 2005 elbow injury
Opening Day Age: 22. ETA: 2007
24 CLAYTON KERSHAW, lhp, Dodgers
Joins fellow 2006 first-rounder Andrew Miller as the top two lefthander prospects in baseball
Opening Day Age: 19. ETA: 2009
25 BILLY BUTLER, of, Royals
His bat will have to carry him, but it can–he’s a career .344/.417/.564 hitter in pro ball
Opening Day Age: 20. ETA: 2007
26 RYAN BRAUN, 3b, Brewers
With Corey Koskie ailing, Braun could be Milwaukee’s Opening Day third baseman
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2007
27 JOSE TABATA, of, Yankees
Friendly rivalry with Martinez began last season in low Class A and will pick up soon in New York.
Opening Day Age: 18. ETA: 2009
28 ADAM JONES, of, Mariners
Good call by Seattle to shelve his mid-90s fastball and make him an everyday player
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2007
29 COLBY RASMUS, of, Cardinals
Broke Bo Jackson’s Alabama state prep home run record and has continued to drive the ball as a pro
Opening Day Age: 20. ETA: 2009
Risk Factor30 FRANKLIN MORALES, lhp, Rockies
Few lefthanders can match his mid-90s fastball or power curveball . . .
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008
31 SCOTT ELBERT, lhp, Dodgers
. . . though this Missouri product, who has similar swing-and-miss stuff, is one who can
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008
32 LUKE HOCHEVAR, rhp, Royals
After a celebrated holdout, he improved his stock in indy ball and went first in the ’06 draft
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2008
33 JACOBY ELLSBURY, of, Red Sox
Boston downplays Johnny Damon comparisons, but the parallels are hard to ignore
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2008
34 NICK ADENHART, rhp, Angels
He’s making Los Angeles look very smart for signing him for $710,000 out of the 2004 draft even though he needed Tommy John surgery
Opening Day Age: 20. ETA: 2008
35 JEFF NIEMANN, rhp, Devil Rays
Put two years of health problems behind him and started pitching to his potential in the second half of 2006
Opening Day Age: 24. ETA: 2007
36 JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA, c, Braves
Wrist injury led to an off year in 2006, but he’s still the game’s best catching prospect
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008
37 JACOB McGEE, lhp, Devil Rays
Has a chance for three plus pitches, posts dominant numbers and still flies under the prospect radar as part of a loaded Devil Rays farm system
Opening Day Age: 20. ETA: 2009
38 HUNTER PENCE, of, Astros
Won’t win any style points, but he hits for power and average and has improved his running and defense, and he should move into the Houston outfield this season
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2007
39 ADAM LIND, of, Blue Jays
He just hits: .392 in his final season at South Alabama, .319 in the minors and .367 in a September callup
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2007
40 CHRIS VOLSTAD, rhp, Marlins
Polished prep product pounds the bottom of strike zone, and he led all pitchers in the Top 100 Prospects list in groundball outs last season
Opening Day Age: 20. ETA: 2009
41 CARLOS CARRASCO, rhp, Phillies
Made huge strides last year, cutting his ERA in low Class A from 7.04 in 2005 to 2.26
Opening Day Age: 20. ETA: 2009
42 JASON HIRSH, rhp, Rockies
Acquired from the Astros in the Jason Jennings deal, he should be nearly as effective at a fraction of the cost
Opening Day Age: 25. ETA: 2007
43 JOEY VOTTO, 1b, Reds
Led the Southern League in AVG (.319), OBP (.408) and SLG (.547) after Cincinnati turned him loose at the plate
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2007
Risk Factor44 JAMES LONEY, 1b, Dodgers
Bat finally came back to life in 2006; led minors in hitting (.380) and had a nine-RBI game in majors
Opening Day Age: 22. ETA: 2007
45 JOSH FIELDS, 3b, White Sox
This former college quarterback is working out much better for Chicago than Joe Borchard did
Opening Day Age: 24. ETA: 2007
46 IAN STEWART, 3b, Rockies
Worst year of his pro career still included .803 OPS as 21-year-old in Double-A
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008
47 BILL ROWELL, 3b, Orioles
Barry Bonds aficionado has premium power potential but may outgrow third base sooner than later
Opening Day Age: 18. ETA: 2009
48 DEXTER FOWLER, of, Rockies
Five-tool center fielder has added switch-hitting, strength and polish since signing
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2009
49 FELIX PIE, of, Cubs
Chicago loves his tools and his history of winning–four championships in five pro seasons
Opening Day Age: 22. ETA: 2007
50 TRAVIS BUCK, of, Athletics
Has hit at least .302 at each of his four pro stops and .328 overall
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2007
51 CLAY BUCHHOLZ, rhp, Red Sox
His fastball hit 97 mph at the end of last season, and at times it’s his fourth-best pitch
Opening Day Age: 22. ETA: 2008
52 DONALD VEAL, lhp, Cubs
His delivery isn’t quite as unconventional as former Chicago farmhand Dontrelle Willis’, but his stuff is better
Opening Day Age: 22. ETA: 2008
53 TRAVIS SNIDER, of, Blue Jays
Some scouts called him the best hitter in the 2006 draft; won Appy League MVP award in his pro debut
Opening Day Age: 19. ETA: 2009
54 CHUCK LOFGREN, lhp, Indians
Several clubs liked minor league wins leader (17) better as a hitter out of high school
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008
Risk Factor55 RYAN SWEENEY, of, White Sox
Has been on the fast track since hitting .367 in big league camp as a 19-year-old
Opening Day Age: 22. ETA: 2007
56 JOHN DANKS, lhp, White Sox
Quality young pitching is hard to acquire, yet White Sox traded for Danks and Gio Gonzalez this offseason
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2007
57 HUMBERTO SANCHEZ, rhp, Yankees
Key piece to Gary Sheffield trade could help New York as a starter or a reliever this year
Opening Day Age: 24. ETA: 2007
58 TROY PATTON, lhp, Astros
Combination of stuff and polish got him to Double-A at age 20
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008
59 JONATHAN SANCHEZ, lhp, Giants
The definition of missing bats: 74 whiffs, 27 hits allowed in 55 innings last year
Opening Day Age: 24. ETA: 2007
60 CARLOS GOMEZ, of, Mets
Career-high .773 OPS last year shows he’s only scratching the surface of his potential
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008
61 ERICK AYBAR, ss, Angels
Could be a valuable piece of trade bait with Orlando Cabrera ahead of him and Brandon Wood behind him
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2007
62 JEFF CLEMENT, c, Mariners
With Kenji Johjima in Seattle, Clement could move to first base when his power bat is ready for the majors
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2008
63 MIGUEL MONTERO, c, Diamondbacks
Proved his 2005 breakout was no fluke, allowing Arizona to deal Johnny Estrada to get Doug Davis
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2007
64 TREVOR CROWE, of, Indians
Prototype center fielder will have to find a new home with Grady Sizemore in Cleveland
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2008
Risk Factor65 ELVIS ANDRUS, ss, Braves
Kept his head above water in low Class A at age 17, and he has offensive potential to go with plus defense and speed
Opening Day Age: 18. ETA: 2010
66 GLEN PERKINS, lhp, Twins
Pitched well enough in September to beat out Matt Garza for a spot on Minnesota’s playoff roster
Opening Day Age: 24. ETA: 2007
67 DARIC BARTON1b, Athletics
Think the Cardinals might regret giving up Dan Haren and Barton in the Mark Mulder trade
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2007
68 ERIC HURLEY, rhp, Rangers
More fun to watch than any member of the Rangers’ more-heralded (and since-disbanded) D-V-D trio
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008
69 BRAD LINCOLN, rhp, Pirates
Has overpowering stuff, but spring forearm strain was the latest of a litany of injuries since signing
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008
70 JAIME GARCIA, lhp, Cardinals
Not a bad pro debut for a 22nd-round pick: reached high Class A at age 19 and pitched in the Futures Game
Opening Day Age: 20. ETA: 2008
71 KEVIN SLOWEY, rhp, Twins
Has the best command of any prospect in baseball, evidenced by 235-30 K-BB ratio in 221 innings
Opening Day Age: 22. ETA: 2007
72 GIO GONZALEZ, lhp, White Sox
The White Sox liked him so much they reacquired him this winter after including him in the Jim Thome deal a year earlier
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008
73 PHILIP HUMBER, rhp, Mets
Blew out his elbow 15 starts into his pro career in 2005, but bounced all the way back last year
Opening Day Age: 24. ETA: 2008
74 NEIL WALKER, 3b, Pirates
Bat may take off now that he has a healthy wrist and has moved out from behind the plate
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008
75 JOBA CHAMBERLAIN, rhp, Yankees
Hawaii Winter Ball performance indicates he could be a steal with the 41st overall pick last June
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008
76 GREG REYNOLDS, rhp, Rockies
Quibble with his strikeout rate if you must, but he has stuff, size, command, makeup . . . and he wins
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008
77 BRETT SINKBEIL, rhp, Marlins
Added 35 pounds of muscle and turned himself into a first-rounder in three years at Missouri State
Opening Day Age: 22. ETA: 2008
78 BRANDON ERBE, rhp, Orioles
Baltimore stole hometown high schooler in 2005′s third round; now he’s throwing 92-97 mph
Opening Day Age: 19. ETA: 2009
79 ELIJAH DUKES, of, Devil Rays
His volatile temper still overshadows his wondrous tools
Opening Day Age: 22. ETA: 2007
80 JEFF SAMARDZIJA, rhp, Cubs
Most accomplished wide receiver in Notre Dame history has huge upside on the mound
Opening Day Age: 22. ETA: 2009
81 DANIEL BARD, rhp, Red Sox
His fastball eats up bats like few others, thanks to its velocity (up to 100 mph) and heavy life
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2009
82 ALBERTO CALLASPO, 2b, Diamondbacks
The minors’ best contact hitter will threaten Orlando Hudson’s job if he continues to add power
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2007
83 MICHAEL BOWDEN, rhp, Red Sox
His delivery may be unorthodox, but it works for him and his stuff is unquestionable
Opening Day Age: 20. ETA: 2009
84 UBALDO JIMENEZ, rhp, Rockies
Kept pace with Felix Hernandez until he came down with a stress fracture in his shoulder in 2004
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2007
85 MATT ALBERS, rhp, Astros
Has matured significantly, physically and mentally, since signing as a 23rd-round draft-and-follow
Opening Day Age: 24. ETA: 2007
86 BRIAN BARTON, of, Indians
Has an aerospace engineering degree from Miami–and more pure baseball ability than Crowe
Opening Day Age: 24. ETA: 2008
87 BRANDON MORROW, rhp, Mariners
Can blow hitters away with his fastball, slider or splitter
Opening Day Age: 22. ETA: 2008
Risk Factor88 DREW STUBBS, of, Reds
Great tools across the board made him a potential No. 1 pick in the 2006 draft, but questions about his bat pushed him to No. 8
Opening Day Age: 22. ETA: 2009
89 KURT SUZUKI, c, Athletics
Has provided clutch hits at Cal State Fullerton, throughout the minors and with Team USA
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2008
90 MATT HARRISON, lhp, Braves
The closest thing Atlanta has had to Tom Glavine since Glavine left as a free agent
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2008
Risk Factor91 WILL INMAN, rhp, Brewers
Solid stuff, tremendous command have led to 16-2, 1.77 record and 193-36 K-BB ratio in pro ball
Opening Day Age: 20. ETA: 2009
92 CHRIS IANNETTA, c, Rockies
Offensive-minded catcher gives Colorado eight players on this list, more than any other club
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2007
93 BRENT LILLIBRIDGE, ss, Braves
An underrated part of the Adam LaRoche/Mike Gonzalez deal, he could fill Atlanta’s second-base void
Opening Day Age: 23. ETA: 2008
94 CHRIS PARMELEE, of/1b, Twins
Advanced hitting skills, developing power made him the 20th overall pick last June
Opening Day Age: 19. ETA: 2010
95 COLLIN BALESTER, rhp, Nationals
Pitching-needy Washington might think about promoting him, but he needs a solid year in the minors
Opening Day Age: 20. ETA: 2009
96 SEAN WEST, lhp, Marlins
Has more stuff than most southpaws and plenty of mound savvy, too; looked great last season after early-season shoulder soreness
Opening Day Age: 20. ETA: 2009
97 WADE DAVIS, rhp, Devil Rays
Formed potent one-two punch in Midwest League with McGee last year, and capped strong finish with a no-hitter in his final start
Opening Day Age: 21. ETA: 2009
98 MICAH OWINGS, rhp, Diamondbacks
Now a full-time pitcher, he made a run at the national prep home run record and was a two-way star in college
Opening Day Age: 24. ETA: 2007
99 PEDRO BEATO, rhp, Orioles
Went from Tommy John surgery in 2004 to $1 million supplemental first-rounder in 2006
Opening Day Age: 20. ETA: 2009
100 DELLIN BETANCES, rhp, Yankees
He’s raw, but he also has good stuff and plenty of projection remaining.
Opening Day Age: 19. ETA: 2010

Minors | #2007 #Rankings #Top 100 Prospects

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