UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
MLB

Baseball's Top 100 Prospects: 1-100

1. Jay Bruce, CF, Reds: Imagine a young Larry Walker and you've got Bruce, who started 2007 in high Class A and ended the year with nothing left to prove in the minors after hitting .319/.375/.587 across three levels. The Reds dealt Josh Hamilton to open a spot for him.

2. Clay Buchholz, RHP, Red Sox: Last year's no-hitter was just the beginning. With fantastic command, and two pitches (fastball and curve) rated by scouts as plus-plus, Buchholz could be Boston's second-best starter as early as this year.

3. Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays: One of many reasons the Rays are going to be very good, very soon, Longoria is a solid Rookie of the Year candidate as a third baseman, and has plenty of power and patience at the plate.

4. Joba Chamberlain, RHP, Yankees: Already a well-known name after last year's debut in the bullpen, Joba will make a slow transition to starting in 2008, and the sky is the limit if he stays healthy.

5. Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Dodgers: One scout called him the best left-hander he'd ever seen in the Midwest League. He begins the year as a 20-year-old in Class AA, and could be in the big leagues before the year is out.

6. David Price, LHP, Rays: Last year's No. 1 overall pick could be in the Rays' rotation by 2009, and the staff ace in 2010, when the Rays compete for a playoff spot.

7. Travis Snider, OF, Blue Jays: One of the most gifted hitters around, Snider showed the approach of veteran as a 19-year-old, hitting .313 with tons of power coming out of his beefy 245-pound frame.

8. Colby Rasmus, CF, Cardinals: The toolsy athlete bulked up and led the Texas League with 29 home runs last year. Dealing away Jim Edmonds leaves the center field job his for the taking in 2009, if not sooner.

9. Homer Bailey, RHP, Reds: Scouts and team officials see Bailey's disappointing 2007 campaign as just a bump in the road, because his pure stuff is still ace-worthy.

10. Cameron Maybin, CF, Marlins: The top prospect going to Florida in the big Dontrelle Willis/Miguel Cabrera deal, Maybin is a tantalizing package of tools with 30/30 potential. Let's hope the Marlins don't rush him too much and instead let him work on his contact issues.

11. Rick Porcello, RHP, Tigers: One scouting director called him the best high school right-hander since Josh Beckett. With the trades Detroit made during the offseason, he's now also the shining star in their now-depleted minor league system.

12. Matt Wieters, C, Orioles: A switch-hitting catcher with power and defensive chops, the Orioles surprised many by taking the expensive Scott Boras client with the fifth pick in last June's draft, and then gave him $6 million to sign.

13. Franklin Morales, LHP, Rockies: Already achieving big-league success few left-handers at any level can match, Morales' combination of upper-90s velocity and a vicious breaking ball is tough to beat at any elevation.

14. Andy LaRoche, 3B, Dodgers: He hits, he hits for power, and he draws walks. Other teams are confused as to why the Dodgers are making him compete for the third base job in spring training, instead of writing him in the lineup for years to come, starting now.

15. Wade Davis, RHP, Rays: A 6'5" righty with a big-time fastball and one of the best curves around, Davis will just be one part of what will be a nightmare rotation for opponents facing the Rays in the years to come.

16. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF, Red Sox: His game-changing speed and the ability to hit .300 adds a new dimension to the slow, slugging Red Sox lineup, making them even better than last year.

17. Jordan Schafer, CF, Braves: One of the best defensive center fielders in the minors took a larger step forward than any other prospect in the game last year, showing power, speed, and a patient approach.

18. Desmond Jennings, CF, Rays: A fantastic athlete, Jennings made great strides in translating his tools into skills last year; the Rays think they've found the second coming of Carl Crawford.

19. Mike Moustakas, SS, Royals: The second overall pick in the draft set single-season and career home run marks for California high schoolers. He's not a true shortstop, but with that kind of bat, who cares?

20. Jarrod Parker, RHP, Diamondbacks: Some saw him as the best pure arm in last year's draft; his smallish frame and upper-90s heat had one scout calling him a right-handed Scott Kazmir.

21. Joey Votto, 1B, Reds: Like any good first baseman, Votto has plenty of power and patience, and takes over at first base for the Reds this year, giving them three legitimate Rookie of the Year candidates.

22. Daric Barton, 1B, Athletics: A professional hitter par excellence, Barton put up a 1.068 OPS in his 18-game big-league debut. He'll start at first base for Oakland this year, and should be productive from day one.

23. Chase Headley, 3B, Padres: He hits, he hits for power, he draws walks, and he plays a nifty third base, so what else could you ask for? Have we mentioned that he was an Academic All-America in college as well?

24. Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pirates: Unduly rushed up to Class AA by the Pirates last year, McCutchen's tools still impress scouts far more than the numbers do, but he remains a sizzling power/speed center-field prospect who should eventually put fannies in the seats for Pittsburgh.

25. Reid Brignac, SS, Rays: While his 2007 campaign in Class AA didn't match his California League MVP performance from the year before, Brignac made great strides defensively, and a shortstop with 25-30 home run potential is hard to find.

26. Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Athletics: The top prospect received from Arizona in the Dan Haren deal, Gonzalez has classic right fielder skills, but he has an outside chance at starting his career in center field for Oakland this spring; the departure of Mark Kotsay creates a wide-open competition for the job.

27. Nick Adenhart, RHP, Angels: A Tommy John survivor, Adenhart pitched well in the hitting-friendly Texas League as a 20-year-old while learning to deal with getting hit by the competition for the first time in his career. It's an important lesson to learn for a pitcher who could get a big-league look by the end of the season.

28. Chris Marrero, OF/1B, Nationals: One of the Nats' '06 first-round picks, Marrero smacked 23 home runs last summer in his full-season debut. He's been converted to first base over the offseason, and could get a big-league look before his turning 21 in July of 2009.

29. Angel Villalona, 3B, Giants: Last year's most significant international free agent showed two things in his stateside debut. First, he lacks the athleticism to play third base. Second, it's not going to matter one bit because his bat is one of the best to come out of the Dominican in the last decade.

30. Neftali Feliz, RHP, Rangers: Acquired from the Braves in the Mark Teixeira deal, Feliz is a teenage wunderkind with a rocket arm that consistently delivers heat in the upper 90s. So far as a pro, he has 97 strikeouts in 71 1/3 innings, and there are many more Ks to come.

31. Matt LaPorta, OF, Brewers: The best college hitter in last year's draft, the Brewers are taking a risk by trying to teach him how to play left field, but all he needs to do is become adequate there, because at the plate, he's a monster.

32. Chin-Lung Hu, SS, Dodgers: One of the best defensive players in the minors, Hu has true Gold Glove potential in the field, and his bat came alive in 2007, as he delivered a .325 average at the upper levels of the Dodger system.

33. Jeff Clement, C, Mariners: While he's not the best defensive catcher around by any measurement, he's good enough to stay behind the plate, and 30-plus home runs annually should more than make up for any defensive shortcomings.

34. Ian Kennedy, RHP, Yankees: He's not especially big, and his stuff doesn't wow anyone, but his impeccable command and keen understanding for his craft are both off the charts, and nearly guarantee Kennedy a successful big-league career.

35. Ross Detwiler, LHP, Nationals: A power-pitching lefty taken last June with the sixth overall pick in the draft, the Nationals think Detwiler could be ready to succeed in their rotation by the end of this year.

36. Jason Heyward, OF, Braves: Another Georgia product taken by the Braves in the first round, Heyward is a ripped, six-foot-four athlete with middle of the order-impact potential as a right fielder.

37. Geovany Soto, C, Cubs: Soto had a breakout season in 2007 thanks to much-improved conditioning, and comes into this season as a serious Rookie of the Year candidate by being a good catcher who could hit 20-25 home runs.

38. Brandon Wood, 3B/SS, Angels: While his prospect stock has dipped some since his monster 2005 season in the California League because of an impatient approach, Wood's power remains special, and the Halos will give him a long look in spring training.

39. Matt Antonelli, 2B, Padres: The former Wake Forest star is a speedy on-base machine who scored 123 runs in 131 games last year while showing surprising power with 21 home runs as well.

40. Jacob McGee, LHP, Rays: McGee's size and velocity are rarely found among left-handers, but his lack of secondary pitches have some seeing him in a bullpen role in the future.

41. Johnny Cueto, RHP, Reds: While scouts might find it hard to warm up to a 5-foot-10 starting pitcher, Cueto's mid-90s fastball, hard slider, and plus command leave few worrying any more about his size.

42. Manny Parra, LHP, Brewers: Always loaded with promise despite a propensity to spend long periods of time on the disabled list, Parra finally stayed healthy enough to reach the big leagues last year and cement a bid to join Milwaukee's Opening Day rotation.

43. Steven Pearce, 1B/OF, Pirates: The slugger put up a hefty .333/.394/.622 line across three levels last year in the minors, so the Pirates are scrambling to find a way to get his bat in the big-league lineup.

44. Chris Tillman, RHP, Orioles: Now the best arm in the Baltimore system following the Erik Bedard trade, Tillman had California League scouts drooling because of his power-pitcher's frame, mid-90s velocity, and biting slider.

45. Josh Vitters, 3B, Cubs: The third overall pick in last summer's draft has remarkable hitting skills, with the rare combination of plus power and an instinctual feel for contact. His defense at third needs work.

46. Fautino De Los Santos, RHP, Athletics: The best arm going to Oakland in the Nick Swisher deal, De Los Santos was a relative unknown going into last season, but the bulky Dominican came out firing bullets in 2007 and recorded 121 strikeouts while allowing just 49 hits at low Class A ball.

47. Austin Jackson, CF, Yankees: Once one of the top prep basketball players in the country, Jackson began to translate his athleticism into baseball skills in 2007, and is now looking like a 20/20 center fielder who could be ready by 2009.

48. Jose Tabata, OF, Yankees: Tabata is a sweet-swinging teenager who looks like a surefire .300 hitter in the big leagues, but the debate is over his power potential, and the impending result will determine how much impact potential he has.

49. Eric Hurley, RHP, Rangers: Hurley hit some bumps in the road at Class AAA last year, but he projects easily as a good No. 3 starter, and could be ready as early as the All-Star break.

50. Brett Anderson, LHP, Athletics: One of the most polished teenage arms to show up in years, the son of a pitching coach already has plus-plus command, an outstanding curveball, and a very good changeup.

51. Fernando Martinez, OF, Mets: Gifted with tools, youth, and potential, Martinez has never dominated while constantly being pushed up through the Mets' system, and constant injury problems haven't helped matters.

52. Adam Miller, RHP, Indians: Armed with a plus-plus fastball/slider combination, Miller has ace-level stuff, but his inability to stay healthy has many wondering if he wouldn't be better off as a lights-out reliever.

53. Justin Masterson, RHP, Red Sox: Masterson has the best sinker in the minor leagues and is a groundball-generating machine, but the depth of the Boston rotation might mean he'll begin his career in a bullpen role.

54. J.R. Towles, C, Astros: The Brad Ausmus era comes to an end in Houston, as he'll caddy for the rookie Towles in '08. The kid has the potential to hit .280 with 15 home runs annually while also providing fine defensive skills behind the plate.

55. Carlos Triunfel, SS, Mariners: To hit .288 at high Class A as a 17-year-old is a remarkable feat, but his upside gets dinged a bit becausehe did not hit a home run in 371 at-bats, drew just 17 walks, and didn't show enough range to stay at shortstop.

56. Gio Gonzalez, LHP, Athletics: Also acquired from the White Sox over the winter in the Nick Swisher deal, Gonzalez led the minor leagues in strikeouts in 2007 thanks to one of the best curveballs in the minors.

57. Jed Lowrie, SS, Red Sox: A .300 hitter who smacked 47 doubles and 13 home runs while drawing a ton of walks, scouts have no problems believing in the bat, but they also think that he'll end up at second base in the end.

58. Elvis Andrus, SS, Rangers: Moving from Atlanta to Texas in the Mark Teixeira trade, Andrus has Gold Glove potential afield, and the potential to be an ideal No. 2 hitter in the big leagues to boot.

59. Jordan Walden, RHP, Angels: A flamethrower who got a case of draft-itis during his senior year of high school, Walden was back in the upper 90s last year, giving the Angels yet another in a long line of late-round steals.

60. Ryan Kalish, OF, Red Sox: Loaded with tools, Kalish was arguably the best position player in the New York-Penn League before his season was cut short by a wrist injury. His '08 full-season debut is definitely one to watch.

61. Matt Latos, RHP, Padres: Disappointed by not being a first-round pick in 2006, the big right-hander spent a year in junior college, where he showed better maturity, better stuff, and got his first-round money ($1.25 million) in the end.

62. Engel Beltre, OF, Rangers: A classic boom-or-bust type, Beltre has the tools to be a superstar, but he's just 17 years old and a long way from achieving that.

63. Brent Lillibridge, SS, Braves: A little engine that can do a little bit of everything. He hits, has gap power, gets on base, fields well, and has plus speed. Yunel Escobar blocks him, for now.

64. Gerardo Parra, OF, Diamondbacks: A hitting machine, Parra led the Midwest League in batting last year with a .320 mark. Now he just needs to either add power to his game, or prove that he won't have to move to a corner down the road.

65. Carlos Gomez, CF, Twins: The top Met prospect flipped in the Johan Santana deal moves to a land of opportunity in Minnesota, as the center field job vacated by Torii Hunter is wide open.

66. Scott Elbert, LHP, Dodgers: The 2005 first-round pick pitched just 14 innings in 2007 before requiring minor shoulder surgery. The fact that he's still ranked on this list tells you just how special his arm is.

67. Alan Horne, RHP, Yankees: It's been a long, strange trip for Horne, who was a first-round pick by the Indians in 2001. Since then he's pitched for three different colleges, undergone Tommy John surgery, and finally put it all together in 2007, leading the Class AA Eastern League in ERA and strikeouts.

68. Carlos Carrasco, RHP, Phillies: The top Philly prospect got rushed to Class AA last year, but he nonetheless could hit the big-league rotation by the end of this season, just months after his 21st birthday.

69. Chris Perez, RHP, Cardinals: With one year left on Jason Isringhausen's deal, the Cardinals think they've already found his heir apparent in Perez. The former Miami closer allowed just 23 hits in 54 2/3 innings last year.

70. Brandon Jones, OF, Braves: A bit of a late bloomer due to injuries and some early football aspirations, Jones is lined up to take over in left field for Atlanta this year, and has 20-20 potential.

71. Bryan Anderson, C, Cardinals: The anti-Yadier Molina -- Anderson proved he can hit by flirting with .300 at Double-A as a 20-year-old, but he needs to work on his defense.

72. Luke Hochevar, RHP, Royals: The No. 1 overall pick in 2006 scuffled in his full-season debut, but Royals officials still have faith in him, and think he just needs to trust his stuff.

73. Michael Main, RHP, Rangers: Arguably the top high school outfielder in last year's draft, but an even better pitcher, Main flashed mid-90s heat consistently in his pro debut while striking out 34 in 28 innings.

74. Chris Davis, 3B, Rangers: Davis' light-tower power is nearly unmatched in the minor leagues, but so is his propensity for strikeouts, and he's a poor-fielding third baseman.

75. Chorye Spoone, RHP, Orioles: A wide-bodied righty, Spoone can generate strikeouts and groundballs with equal effectiveness; it's pronounced 'Cory' when you select him in your fantasy draft.

76. Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Brewers: A million-dollar arm handicapped by off-field issues. Jeffress can hit 100 mph with his fastball, and would rank much higher on this list if not for the multiple positive tests for marijuana.

77. Taylor Teagarden, C, Rangers: Power, patience and a ton of strikeouts Teagarden sounds like the next Mickey Tettleton, only the new edition is a very good defensive player as well.

78. Wes Hodges, 3B, Indians: His greatest strength is his lack of weaknesses; the former Georgia Tech star might lack that one plus-plus tool, but he does nearly everything well.

79. Deolis Guerra, RHP, Twins: A high-ceiling arm who held his own at high Class A as an 18-year-old. He could develop into an ace, but he's still a long way from that, and he's yet to stay healthy for a full season.

80. Chris Nelson, SS, Rockies: After two nondescript years at low Class A, the ninth overall pick of the 2004 draft began to come into his own last year, showing plus power, plus speed, and the potential to be a good defensive shortstop as well.

81. Michael Burgess, OF, Nationals: Entering the year as one of the top high school bats in the country, Burgess dropped in the draft because of a disappointing senior year. Once picked, he rebounded to lead the Gulf Coast League in both slugging and on-base percentage in his pro debut.

82. Greg Reynolds, RHP, Rockies: The second overall pick in the 2006 draft was dominating at Class AA before shoulder problems cut short his season. He's a huge right-hander whose groundball-generating ways should fit in perfectly at Coors Field.

83. Gorkys Hernandez, CF, Braves: The best prospect picked up by Atlanta in the Edgar Renteria deal, Hernandez earned Midwest League MVP honors in 2007. He has a line-drive bat to go with incredible speed that serves him well in the field and on the basepaths.

84. Henry Sosa, RHP, Giants: One of last year's bigger surprises, Sosa began pumping out mid-90s gas while posting an ERA under one in the South Atlantic League. He stumbled a bit after a promotion to High-A and needs to harness his control.

85. Radhames Liz, RHP, Orioles: The best pure arm in the Baltimore system hits the mid-90s with regularity and has a knee-buckling curve, but poor mechanics and control have most seeing him as an eventual late-innings reliever.

86. Jair Jurrjens, RHP, Braves: The other big name received from the Detroit in the Renteria deal, Jurrjens will be expected to step right into the Atlanta rotation after already holding his own in the big leagues as a 21-year-old last fall.

87. Aaron Poreda, LHP, White Sox: The club's 2007 first-round pick has incredible velocity for a left-hander touching 99 mph and he has a chance to be something special if he can build a complete arsenal around it.

88. Chris Volstad, RHP, Marlins: A finesse arm attached to a six-foot-seven power-pitcher's frame, Volstad's ability to throw strikes and keep the ball on the ground could get him into the big leagues by the end of the year.

89. Hank Conger, C, Angels: The Korean-American's given name is Hyun-Choi, but his grandfather nicknamed him Hank after Henry Aaron fitting, because Conger has impressive power, especially for a catcher.

90. Max Scherzer, RHP, Diamondbacks: Arizona's top pick in 2006 looked good after a nearly one-year holdout, but most scouts see him as a closer in the end, as his secondary stuff lags behind his outstanding fastball.

91. Casey Weathers, RHP, Rockies: The first reliever drafted last June, Weathers could move quickly and be ready for a big-league look by the end of the year. His plus-plus fastball/slider combination is devastating when he's throwing both pitches for strikes.

92. Dexter Fowler, CF, Rockies: The toolsy Fowler missed most of '07 with a broken hand, but he could be an exciting power/speed combination in center field.

93. Wladimir Balentien, OF, Mariners: The best power prospect in the Seattle system, Balentien should generate high home-run and strikeout totals in the big leagues, but there's probably no opening for him until 2009.

94. Neil Walker, 3B, Pirates: A former first-round pick, Walker made a successful conversion to third base in 2007 while also beginning to show signs of life with the bat as a switch-hitter with nice power.

95. Michael Bowden, RHP, Red Sox: The only pitcher to succeed in the PlayStation-like atmosphere of High-A Lancaster last year, Bowden struggled a bit following a promotion to AA ball, but he was also among the youngest players in the league.

96. Joe Savery, LHP, Phillies: Last summer's first-round pick (19th overall) could be one of the steals of the 2007 draft. He dropped due to some arm soreness, but when healthy he was seen as a sure-fire top 10 selection.

97. Ben Revere, CF, Twins: A surprise first-round pick last June, Revere has game-changing speed, as evidenced by 10 triples and 21 stolen bases in his 50-game pro debut.

98. Trevor Cahill, RHP, Athletics: Proof that "Moneyball" is a dead issue; Cahill was a high school pitcher that Oakland selected with its first pick in 2006, and he was the best pitcher in the Midwest League during the second half of last season.

99. Chris Carter, 1B, Athletics: The top young slugger in the White Sox system spent 11 days with the Diamondbacks organization before getting flipped to Oakland in the Dan Haren deal. Power is his only plus tool, but he's got a ton of it.

100. Lars Anderson, 1B, Red Sox: Another big first baseman with good hitting skills and a keen batting eye, but scouts are still waiting for the power that he shows in batting practice to manifest itself in games.

To get more in-depth comments of Kevin Goldstein's Top 100 prospects list, pick up a copy of the best selling baseball annual, Baseball Prospectus, by clicking here.

More MLB

SI.com

Drag this icon to your bookmark bar.
Then delete your old SI.com bookmark.

SI.com

Click the share icon to bookmark us.