These are the top prospects 20-11 of myworld’s Top 100, rating the seven publications that rated the top 100 and then averaging them out.
20. Wil Myers OF (Royals) United States (7.64) - He should be the next of the Royals position prospects to make the Royals roster. Last year was an injury ravaged year for him resulting in career worst numbers (.254, 8, 49). His slugging average went from over .500 in 2010 to .393 last year. He will probably start the season in AAA and will have to prove that last year was just an aberration before he earns a promotion. Wil did have a good AFL season where he hit .360 and slugged .674. He still has work to do as well on the defensive part of the game in right field. Because he doesn’t have great speed he has to make up for that with good jumps and routes. Being an ex-catcher his arm is plenty good for right field.
19. Travis d’Arnaud C (Blue Jays) United States (7.73) - Myworld had brief glimpses of him in the World Cup. He was tanked by Reymond Fuentes in a collision at home plate early in the games and later had to leave because of a thumb injury. I don’t know if the collision caused that injury, but this is another reason why major league teams are reluctant to have their million dollar players participate in events in which organizations are not responsible for their overall salary if they get injured. Travis is a premium catcher that has all the tools to make a good catcher, the most important of which is to command respect. He will also bring a good bat to the position after winning the Eastern League MVP after hitting .311, 21, 78. The Blue Jays were able to acquire him from the Phillies in the Roy Halladay trade.
18. Nolan Arenado 3B (Rockies) United States (7.76) - He won the MVP of the AFL, though myworld thought Mike Olt was more deserving. Still, you can’t argue with a .388 average and leading the league in extra base hits. He also drove in a minor league high 122 runs last year, hitting .298 with 20 homeruns. So he does appear to be an RBI machine. The Rockies do not have anyone blocking him at third base for the long term so a good year in AA could lead to a September callup and the starting role for the 2013 season. He is not going to be a gold glove third baseman, but he has the arm to play the position adequately. More importantly, he also has the power to fit the position.
17. Drew Pomeranz LHP (Rockies) United States (7.84) - Another Rockie that was drafted by the Indians in the first round in 2010. They traded him to the Rockies in what could be a misguided playoff run to acquire Ubaldo Jimenez. A couple years from now Drew could be the more consistent pitcher. He has a little better command of his pitches and throws lefthanded. His fastball does not have as much velocity, but at the low 90s it is fast enough from the left side. His curveball is his signature pitch. He also shows a change that is improving. Despite having better command of his pitches than Ubaldo he still needs improvement in that area. Ubaldo throws hard enough that he can get away with being effectively wild. Drew will not be able to get away with as any pitches that miss his spot.
16. Miguel Sano OF (Twins) Dominican Republic (8.07) - Miguel and Eddie Rosario dominated the Appalachian League last year, Miguel hitting .292 with 20 homeruns and 59 RBIs. Eddie won the MVP title with .337, 21, 60 numbers, but Miguel was still voted the best prospect in the league. The Twins signed Miguel for $3.15 million and moved him from shortstop to third base. At 6′3″ 230 pounds he may eventually outgrow third base and move to right field. The Twins will find a position for him because his bat will dictate that. He has exceptional power, a strong arm and should hit .300. The red flag is that he struck out 77 times in just 66 games so as he faces better hitters his weak spots could be exploited, which is mainly that he expands his strike zone to swing at too many of what the pitcher wants him to swing at. He also does not have a lot of foot speed so he won’t be a great defensive player if he has to move to the outfield.
15. Dylan Bundy RHP (Orioles) United States (8.24) - Interesting that he is the Orioles top rated prospect by Baseball America, but there is another Oriole rated higher on this list. He is reunited with his brother Bobby Bundy. Dylan has always wanted to throw harder than his older brother and he has accomplished that feat, hitting consistently in the mid-90s with his fastball. He also throws a cutter, a good breaking curveball and a change that he is still developing. He signed too late to play last year but did sign a major league contract. The last high school player the Orioles signed to a major league contract was Adam Loewen, who they rushed to the major leagues. Adam had his pitching career ended early with a shoulder problem. He is now trying to make it to the major leagues as an outfielder. At least the Orioles have one extra season they can develop Dylan in the minors before they are forced to keep him up with the major league club or put him on waivers. He is only 6′1″, small by today’s pitching standards.
14. Tyler Skaggs LHP (Diamondbacks) United States (8.3) - Tyler surprised me by being this high in the ranking. We don’t have that high of an opinion on him, but he received consistent marks from all the publications. He was drafted as a supplemental pick in the first round by the Angels and traded to the D-backs as one of four players for Dan Haren. He is lefthanded, throws in the low 90s, has an excellent curveball, which is his go to pitch and a workable change. He limited the opposition last year to an average of .217, striking out more than 11 batters per nine innings between High A and AA. He will start the season in AAA and act as depth for the Angels rotation. A callup is in the cards if injuries should hit the Angels rotation.
13. Jacob Turner RHP (Tigers) United States (8.34) - The Tigers have a reputation for advancing their pitchers quickly. Jacob was drafted in the first round of the 2009 draft, but did not play his first year. He now has two seasons under his belt and has risen to the majors for three starts and will be competing for that fifth spot in the rotation this year. An 8.53 ERA in those three starts means he will have to have an excellent spring to make the rotation. He only got three starts in AAA so the Tigers may prefer he start there and get called up once he develops some confidence. His fastball reaches the mid-90s, but sits comfortably in the low 90s. His curveball and change are good pitches that are at least major league average. Even though he averaged 10.4 K’s per nine innings in his three AAA starts, he is not overpowering, averaging only 7.7 whiffs per nine innings. That dropped to 5.7 in the majors with poor command. He needs to reign in that command in the majors if he wants to achieve success.
12. Jameson Taillon RHP (Pirates) United States/Canada (8.54) - He was born in Texas but his parents are Canadian citizens. His fastball was reported in three digits in high school, but that could have been using a very fast gun. With the Pirates he sits in the mid-90s, hitting the high 90s. He also throws a slider and curve, with a change that is still in the developmental stage. He made his professional debut last year, averaged 9.4 whiffs per nine and limited the opposition to a .249 average. He should start the 2012 season in High A. He was the second player selected in the 2010 draft right after Bryce Harper, but the Pirates indicated that Jameson was their top selection. It was a good thing they were not picking first. They selected a pitcher in the first round of the 2007 draft, passing on Matt Wieters in the first round because of contract demands. Pirate fans continually remind the team of that debacle as Daniel Moskos develops as a bullpen pitcher and the Pirates still look for a permanent catcher.
11. Trevor Baeur RHP (Diamondbacks) United States (8.57) - Trevor is not the highest rated UCLA Bruin drafted in the first round of the 2011 draft, but he is the highest rated Diamondback on this list. He throws a mid-90s fastball, an excellent curveball, which is considered his best pitch, slider, change and splitter. That sounds like one too many pitches and major league managers hate seeing pitchers get beat on their fifth best pitch. He stands only 6′1″, so he has that lack of downward plane on his fastball that scouts are always looking at. He did pitch in seven games last year, averaging an astonishing 15 whiffs per nine innings. There was some talk that the Diamondbacks would call him up to the majors to help in their playoff run, but a 7.56 ERA in AA made the decision for them. He will probably start the season in AA and with a solid year a callup to the majors is inevitable.