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Chipper Jones’ career didn’t end as poetically as it could have, but what a career it was. He was the third-best No. 1 overall draft pick in baseball history (behind only Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr.), and the second-best switch-hitter ever (trailing only Mickey Mantle). And the next time someone tries to claim that Rookie ball stats might mean anything, remind them that Jones batted .229/.321/.271 in the Gulf Coast League in his 1990 pro debut.

For four straight years, Jones ranked in the top four on our annual Top 100 Prospects list. He was No. 4 in 1992 (after Brien Taylor, Todd Van Poppel and Roger Salkeld), No. 1 in 1993, No. 2 in 1994 (Cliff Floyd) and No. 3 in 1995 (Rodriguez, Ruben Rivera).

    Could you give us the draft order and also who the top 5-10 guys are heading into next year's baseball draft? I'm a Twins fan, and the draft is my only hope because Minnesota obviously won't spend a ton of money on big-name free agents.

    Brian Hylden
    Washington DC

The draft order for the first round is below, subject to change if any teams outside of the top 10 picks sign a free agent who merits compensation. If a free agent’s former club offers him a one-year deal with a salary that matches the average of the top 125 salaries from 2012 (roughly $13.5 million), the new team forfeits its first-round pick (unless it’s in the top 10, in which case the second-rounder is forfeited). The old club gets a choice at the end of the first round (but not the new team’s selection).

Each team’s approximate bonus pool to sign its picks in the first 10 rounds is in parentheses. Those numbers are based on the 2012 pick values, which will be adjusted upward to reflect the increase in MLB’s revenues this year. Bonus pool money will shift from one team to another every time a competitive-balance lottery pick is traded (those deals only can occur during the regular season) or a compensation free agent changes clubs.

1. Astros ($10,880,000)
2. Cubs ($9,822,500)
3. Rockies ($9,490,700)
4. Twins ($7,700,700)
5. Indians ($7,693,000)
6. Marlins ($8,870,700)
7. Red Sox ($6,341,900)
8. Royals ($7,741,200)
9. *Pirates ($8,226,500)
10. Blue Jays ($5,941,300)
11. Mets ($6,487,300)
12. Mariners ($5,694,600)
13. Padres ($6,330,400)
14. Pirates (see above)
15. Diamondbacks ($6,766,200)
16. Phillies ($5,601,800)
17. Brewers ($5,660,200)
18. White Sox ($4,864,100)
19. Dodgers ($4,780,900)
20. Cardinals ($4,698,300)
21. Tigers ($6,035,500)
22. Angels ($4,584,300)
23. Rays ($4,525,900)
24. Orioles ($5,940,000)
25. Rangers ($4,419,900)
26. Athletics ($5,541,900)
27. Giants ($4,317,500)
28. Braves ($4,266,800)
29. Yankees ($4,216,300)
30. Reds ($5,596,600)
31. Nationals ($4,116,500)
*Compensation for failure to sign 2012 first-rounder Mark Appel.

As always, college pitchers will be in demand, so Stanford righthander Mark Appel, Arkansas righty Ryne Stanek and Indiana State lefthander Sean Manaea could be the top three picks in some order. Sorting other top-10-pick candidates into demographics, there are high school bats (outfielder Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier, both from Georgia) and arms (lefty Trey Ball from Indiana, righty Kohl Stewart from Texas) as well as college position players (North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran, San Diego third baseman Kris Bryant, Stanford outfielder Austin Wilson) and pitchers (Florida righty Jonathan Crawford, Mississippi righty Bobby Wahl). The best-case scenario for the Twins, who need pitching and have plenty of outfielders, is that one of the big three college arms gets to them at No. 4.

    I was quite elated to see that Reds lefthander Tony Cingrani was one of five pitchers to make Baseball America's Minor League All-Star Team. But when I received your issue with the minor league Top 20 Prospects lists, I saw six pitchers rated ahead of Cingrani in the Double-A Southern League and two more in front of him in the high Class A California League. He ranked No. 11 on both lists. Why are so many pitchers listed ahead of Cingrani, who looked very impressive in three outings with the Reds?

    Ron Coons
    Louisville

Our all-star team and our minor league Top 20s reflect different balances of performance and prospect status. The all-star team puts more weight on what a player accomplished in the immediate past. Cingrani was an easy choice as one of the four best starting pitchers in the minors after he went 10-4, 1.73 with 172 strikeouts in 146 innings. He ranked first in the minors in ERA, second in whiffs and fifth in strikeouts per nine innings (10.6) and opponent average (.191).

We base the Top 20s on what a player is going to accomplish in the future. Cingrani is one of the better lefthanded pitching prospects in the game, with a lively 91-95 mph fastball and an effective changeup with fade. However, scouts aren’t completely sold that he can be a big league starter without a better breaking ball. He has improved his slider but it’s still a fringy pitch.

The first four guys on our Southern League Top 20 are Trevor Bauer (Diamondbacks), Taijuan Walker (Mariners), Tyler Skaggs (Diamondbacks), Danny Hultzen (Mariners)—all elite arms. Cingrani outperformed them all, which is why he made the all-star team (as did Bauer), but he’s not a better prospect than any of them, which is why he ranks lower on the Top 20.

    My heart dearly desires that Pirates lefthander Rinku Singh make it. I looked at his numbers and they were . . . pretty good! Can he get to the big leagues?

    Andy Utschig
    Brufut, Gambia

I believe this is our first Ask BA question ever from Gambia . . . Singh is the pitcher who won “Million Dollar Arm,” a 2008 reality-TV show designed to find India’s best young pitching prospect. The contest drew 37,000 entrants, with Singh beating righthander Dinesh Patel in the finals. The Pirates signed them for $10,000 each that November.

While Patel got released after washing out in Rookie ball in 2010, Singh has made it to low Class A, where he spent all of this season. He went 3-1, 3.00 in 39 relief appearances, posting a 65-18 K-BB ratio and a .257 opponent average in 72 innings.

Unfortunately, Singh makes for a better story than a prospect. He’s already 23 and his scouting reports aren’t glowing. His best pitch is a sinking changeup that still grades as below average, and he also has an 83-85 mph fastball and a soft cutter/slider. He does throw strikes and it’s a credit to him that he had made it this far, but Singh is the longest of longshots to one day reach the majors.

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