Top Prospects 2014 - 20-11

Myworld has put together the top 100 prospect lists from MLB.com, scouting book, baseball haven and baseball america, averaged them out and come up with our own top 100 list.  Below is the top prospects between 20 and 11 as we work our way down to number 1.  If you want to take a look at previous top 100 lists for myworld you can go to http://www.myworldofbaseball.com/id13.html.

20. George Springer OF (Astros) - George was a first round pick of the Astros in 2011 out of Connecticut.  Because he was drafted out of college he is older than most prospects (24).  Last year he hit 37 homeruns and stole 45 bases.  The Astros wanted to negotiate a contract extension with him that would go into his first year of free agency.  If he had agreed to that extension odds are he would be the Astros starting right fielder this year.  He did not agree to the extension and the Astros sent him to the minor leagues the next day.  The timing may have been bad, but Springer and his agent are considering filing a grievance.  It is hard to argue L.J. Hoes is a better right fielder than George Springer.  The only thing George needs to work on is his ability to make contact.  That may prevent him from hitting for a high average in the major leagues.  His defense is good enough to play centerfield and he has the potential for 30 plus power.  This spring he seemed to be working on his patience, taking a lot of pitches.

19. Billy Hamilton OF (Reds) - Billy was a second round pick of the Reds in 2009.  He was somewhat of an unknown until he stole 103 bases in 2011.  He topped that in 2012 stealing 155 bases.  That translates to more than one stolen base per game.  The Reds moved him from shortstop to centerfield where his speed is more of an asset.  With the departure of Shin-Soo Choo the Reds have an opening in centerfield.  Billy needs to get on base in order to steal bases and create havoc from the leadoff position.  His stolen base totals for 2013 dropped to 75 when his OBA dropped 100 points.  Billy has no power to hit homeruns so he needs to keep the ball on the ground or on a line to be successful.

18. Travis d’Arnaud C (Mets) - Travis was a first round supplemental pick of the Phillies in 2007.  The Phillies sent him to the Blue Jays for Cy Young award winner Roy Halladay and the Blue Jays traded him to the Mets for Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey.  Injuries have prevented him from making a major league impact.  Last year he made his major league debut, hitting only .202, but he has played less than 100 games in three of his last four seasons.  Travis has a power bat that can hit for average.  He also has the defensive tools to make him an average catcher.  With the offense he is expected to contribute the Mets will take that, but they have to find a way to get him in the lineup.

17. Jonathan Gray RHP (Rockies) - Gray was the second overall pick in the 2013 draft.  The Rockies gave him nine starts, five of them as high as High A.  In High A he finished with a 0.75 ERA and a .128 opposition average.  He also struck out 36 hitters in 24 innings.  Gray was hitting triple digits with his fastball, sitting comfortably in the mid-90s.  At 6′4″ 250 pounds he should be an innings eater.  Gray throws a good slider and has the potential for a decent changeup.  He should rise up the Rockies system quickly, starting the 2014 season in AA with a good spring.  The biggest challenge for him is to achieve success in the Rocky Mountain High.

16. Gregory Polanco OF (Pirates) - Polanco starred in the winter league last year.  The Pirates signed him for $150,000 but wanted him to move from the mound to the outfield.  He struggled his first three seasons but had a break out year in 2012 when he hit .325 with 16 homeruns.  To prove that the 2012 season was no fluke he hit .312 in High A last year, but found AA a bit more challenging.  Polanco has the potential to be a five tool player.  He has centerfield speed, with a right field arm and the ability to make contact to hit for average and the strength to hit for power.  With a good spring there is a chance of him making the Pirate roster as their starting right fielder.  Only Jose Tabata and Travis Snider stand in his way.

15. Addison Russell SS (Athletics) - Addison was a first round pick of the Athletics in 2012.  What was surprising about the pick is he was a high school player, something the Athletics try to stay away from.  He has done nothing but hit, showing the ability to hit for power and average.  The only tool falling short in his game is an average arm.  This could force a move to second, but the Athletics will keep him at short to allow him to prove he doesn’t belong.  Expect him to make his debut in 2014, at the latest as a September callup.  It will all depend on the effectiveness of Jed Lowrie at shortstop.

14. Kevin Gausmann RHP (Orioles) - Kevin was a first round pick of the Orioles in 2012.  With the Dylan Bundy arm surgery he has a better shot of making it in the Orioles rotation this year.  His fastball sits in the mid 90s, but arrives at the plate pretty straight.  His above average change makes the fastball velocity that much more impressive.  Once he can improve the consistency of his breaking pitch (slider) he could become a number one starter.  Major leaguers sat on his fastball last year, resulting in a 5.66 ERA and a .276 opposition average.  He used to have a tradition of eating miniature donuts in between innings for each of his starts, but he has learned to break away from that tradition.  It is better for his teeth and his weight.

13. Nick Castellanos 3B (Tigers) - Nick was a first round supplemental pick of the Tigers in 2010.  When the Tigers moved Miguel Cabrera to third the Tigers moved Nick to the outfield.  Now that Miguel is moving back to first, the Tigers have stated Nick will be their starting third baseman this year.  His hands seem a little stiff defensively, but he has not played this position in the last couple years.  He does have a bat with the potential to hit for a lot of power.  His biggest challenge for the 2014 season is not trying to replace the lost production of Prince Fielder.  In 2014 he just needs to be better than Miguel Cabrera at the position last year.

12. Noah Syndergaard RHP (Mets) - Noah was a first round supplemental pick of the Blue Jays in 2010.  The Blue Jays included him and Travis d’Arnaud in a trade with the Mets to acquire R.A. Dickey.  He throws his fastball in the mid-90s, resulting in a 11.5 strike outs per 9 innings in AA.  He still must gain consistency with his secondary pitches before joining Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler in the Mets rotation.  This could give the Mets three potential aces.

11. Dylan Bundy RHP (Orioles) - Dylan was the fourth overall pick of the Orioles in 2011.  Drafted out of high school, he moved through the system quickly, making his major league debut in 2012.  It all may have been too quick for him.  He missed the 2013 season because of Tommy John surgery.  Prior to the surgery Dylan threw in the mid-90s.  When myworld saw him pitching in September during the Orioles playoff race he was sitting in the low 90s.  Dylan also has the best curveball in the Orioles system.  He will start the 2014 season in AA.  Only a battle for a playoff spot will give the Orioles the temptation of calling him up in 2014.

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