Midseason Top 50 Prospects With Analysis





The Baseball America Midseason Top 50 Prospects list is one of our tougher rankings because it's a moving target. We considered adding 2012 draftees but didn't because the signing deadline still comes after the July 1 midpoint of the season. To qualify, prospects must (a) retain their rookie eligibility and (b) be in the minor leagues on our July 1 cutoff date. That date kept the likes of Yasmani Grandal, Martin Perez and Drew Pomeranz off the list.
Top 50
Rk. Player Pos. Team
1 Dylan Bundy rhp Orioles
Was considered an advanced college arm in high school last year, but that managed to sell him short
2 Jurickson Profar ss Rangers
Minors' best combination of tools, youth and success at upper levels
3 Wil Myers of Royals
Has proven last year's struggles were the aberration; has hit for average and power everywhere else he's gone
4 Taijuan Walker rhp Mariners
Not as polished as some of the other pitchers in the Top 10, but arguably has the highest ceiling
5 Danny Hultzen lhp Mariners
Nearly big league-ready lefty has dominated at Double-A and Triple-A despite a few control problems
6 Gerrit Cole rhp Pirates
Stuff has been every bit as advertised when he was at UCLA; can touch 100 mph with plus secondary stuff
7 Tyler Skaggs lhp Diamondbacks
With Trevor Bauer promoted, Skaggs now leads Arizona's amazing collection of pitching prospects
8 Jose Fernandez rhp Marlins
Breakout star of 2012; well-regarded out of high school last year, he's shown ace potential this year.
9 Manny Machado ss Orioles
Has suffered some minor hiccups in Eastern League as he fixes swing flaws, but ceiling remains immense
10 Zack Wheeler rhp Mets
A delivery tweak from Dick Tidrow fixed control issues, but Carlos Beltran trade sent him on path to Big Apple
11 Mike Olt 3b Rangers
Appears blocked at third by Adrian Beltre, but hard not to dream on a Olt-Profar left side of the infield
12 Nick Castellanos 3b Tigers
Probably won't ever be a plus defender at third, but he's such a pure hitter that no one will care
13 Matt Barnes rhp Red Sox
A well-regarded first-round pick last year, but has proven even better than the Red Sox had hoped
14 Francisco Lindor ss Indians
Glove and leadership have been what Indians expected, but may exceed pre-draft projections on his bat
15 Jameson Taillon rhp Pirates
Hasn't dominated as much as you would expect for a pitcher with his kind of stuff
16 Archie Bradley rhp Diamondbacks
Has shown flashes of greatness, but control has wavered in first full pro season
17 Nolan Arenado 3b Rockies
Still waiting for the power to come, but sweet-swinging third baseman is a favorite for many scouts
18 Oscar Taveras of Cardinals
Just turned 20, but already is arguably the best hitter in Double-A
19 Travis d'Arnaud c Blue Jays
Sidelined by knee injury for next two months; still the best all-around catching prospect in the minors
20 Shelby Miller rhp Cardinals
Stuff is down this year but has shown signs lately that he's regaining his 2011 form
21 Christian Yelich of Marlins
Don't ask Yelich about his sub-par throws—he's heard enough about them—but everything else could be plus
22 Miguel Sano 3b Twins
Worries remain about his defense and feel for hit, but Sano has some of the best power potential in the minors
23 Jonathan Singleton 1b Astros
Home run power is up and Singleton has maintained his ability to draw plenty of walks
24 Julio Teheran rhp Braves
Has taken a step back while "2011 draft class" pitchers have taken a big step forward
25 Javier Baez ss Cubs
Faces likely shift to third base by time he reaches big leagues, but his bat is potent enough to play anywhere
26 Carlos Martinez rhp Cardinals
Was sidelined for month with shoulder tendinitis, but returned with same plus-plus fastball
27 Billy Hamilton ss Reds
His run at pro league stolen base record gets headlines; more important is his much-improved .422 OBP
28 Mason Williams of Yankees
Athletic outfielder is still raw yet delivered breakout first half with low Class A Charleston
29 Jake Odorizzi rhp Royals
May not be a front-of-rotation starter but is nearly ready to be a very good No. 3 or 4
30 Gary Sanchez c Yankees
Much like Jesus Montero, his best position is in the batter's box, but Yankees like their catchers to hit
31 Xander Bogaerts ss Red Sox
Still iffy whether he can play shortstop as he matures, but he has power and frame to handle a move to third
32 Jackie Bradley of Red Sox
It's like he picked up right where he left off as a sophomore at South Carolina in 2010
33 Matt Davidson 3b Diamondbacks
Defense at hot corner is fringy, but his power production actually has improved since leaving the Cal League
34 Matt Harvey rhp Mets
Rarely dominant and also rarely gets knocked around; Command remains his biggest issue
35 Nick Franklin ss Mariners
Plays middle infield, gets on base, has sneaky power and is in Triple-A as a 21-year-old
36 Starling Marte of Pirates
Eastern League batting champ in 2011 has traded average for power spike in 2012; defense remains plus
37 Jake Marisnick of Blue Jays
Still refining his offensive approach while playing center, producing impressive power numbers for FSL
38 Anthony Gose of Blue Jays
Plus speed, defense, arm strength; just 21 in Triple-A, where lack of polish has shown (84 SO in 341 AB)
39 Tyler Austin of Yankees
One of the breakout prospects of 2012, Austin was leading South Atlantic League in slugging (.602) . . .
40 Alen Hanson ss Pirates
. . . just ahead of Hanson (.601), who could give Pirates a power-hitting shortstop with feel for hitting
41 Cody Buckel rhp Rangers
Scouts still worry about 6-foot-1, 170-pound frame, but he gets ahead of hitters and understands his delivery
42 James Paxton lhp Mariners
The third-best pitcher in the Jackson rotation for much of the year would be many team's No. 1 pitching prospect
43 Jean Segura ss Angels
With hamstring woes behind him, Segura has gone back to being speed merchant middle infielder with pop
44 Kolten Wong 2b Cardinals
Was playing in college just over a year ago but has had no problems handling jump to Double-A
45 George Springer of Astros
Swing-and-miss issues evident in strikeout numbers (88 in 298 ABs); power-speed tools earn top 50 spot
46 Bubba Starling of Royals
Concerns about his ability to make contact have led to a predictable if slow start to his career
47. Hak-Ju Lee ss Rays
Making adjustments in Double-A offensively; speed, defense at short make him a solid future regular
48. Tyler Thornburg rhp Brewers
Made big league debut in June, then went on minors DL with sore wrist; adding evidence he can start
49. Zach Lee rhp Dodgers
He's pitched well with average stuff, reaching Double-A already, as scouts wait for velocity to come on
50 Jedd Gyorko 3b Padres
Hard to ignore dominant 2012 numbers; track record suggests he'll hit for high average, even in Petco
ALSO RECEIVING VOTES
Matt Adams 1b Cardinals
Physical lefty hitter with feel for hitting; tearing up minors but struggled with strikeouts in big league callup
Manny Banuelos lhp Yankees
Two stints on disabled list and lack of feel for strike zone can't hide 21-year-old southpaw with plus stuff
Ryan Lavarnway c Red Sox
Long track record of hitting (and with power) helps make his serviceable defense look better