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The 100 Best Prospects in Baseball Heading into 2013

1 of 101

Human Lottery Ticket

MT
Joy R Absalon - USA TODAY Sports

Trying to figure which prospects are for real or not is probably the hardest job in all of baseball to do efficiently. Like I said above, it truly is a human lottery ticket. For every Mike Trout or Bryce Harper, there is a Bryan Bullington or Matt Bush that reminds us how fragile top prospects really are. But if it wasn’t for prospects, in particular prospect rankings, a lot of the trades we see during the off-season and trading deadline would never happen.

When it comes to baseball fandom, prospects are easily one more the most volatile subjects to discuss and debate. On one hand, many fans don’t really care about prospects as long as a trade would help their team win now. On the other hand, however, many fans would rather see their team build from within, even if there is no guarantee that these guys will pan out.

Having said all that, here is my list for the top 100 prospects in all of baseball. Considering how tedious this process was, I’m sure I am forgetting some obvious ones, so don’t curse my name too much.

Alas, the 100 best MLB prospects heading into the 2013 season. Let’s hope these human lottery tickets pay off a little better than Tim Beckham did, eh? Note: To avoid the confusion that has arisen in the comment, it is in reverse order.

2 of 101

Corey Spangenberg (San Diego Padres)

CS
ValleyLeagueBaseball.com

Spangenberg is a speedster who can play all over the infield. Even if he is weak with the stick, he has some value.

3 of 101

Yordano Ventura (Kansas City Royals)

YV
MiLB.com

Pitchers aren't supposed to throw their weight, but the 140-pound Ventura throws over 100 MPH.

4 of 101

Manny Banuelos (New York Yankees)

MB
Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports

Banuelos will miss the 2013 season due to Tommy John surgery, but he's still a very, very talented arm to have.

5 of 101

Grant Green (Oakland Athletics)

GG
TheGoldenSombrero.com

Grant Green is an OOTP 6.5 hall of famer. But that was as a shortstop, not a centerfielder, where Green is now.

6 of 101

Jeurys Familia (New York Mets)

JF
ESPN.com

It took me about 15 tries to spell this guy's name right, but once Jeurys needs to find some control before he's moves up the top 100 list. A 1.59 WHIP just won't cut it.

7 of 101

David Dahl (Colorado Rockies)

DD
ESPN.com

Dahl might not reach the Majors for quite some time, but he has a lot of skills many scouts covet. And no matter what level it is, a .423 on-base percentage is impressive.

8 of 101

Daniel Norris (Toronto Blue Jays)

DN
CBC.ca

With a 7.97 ERA in rookie league, there might be a cause for concern, but he's still very raw and talented. He's too young to panic yet.

9 of 101

Tyler Austin (New York Yankees)

TA
MiLB.com

Austin had a .400 on-base percentage last season, which is something that should always make scouts happy.

10 of 101

Tyler Thornburg (Milwaukee Brewers)

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Benny Sieu - USA TODAY Sports

Thornburg is a guy who doesn't have the tools for being a great pitcher, yet he has had success throughout his career. The Brewers used him briefly in 2012, where he had a 4.50 ERA in 22 innings.

11 of 101

Wily Peralta (Milwaukee Brewers)

WP
Benny Sieu - USA TODAY Sports

Peralta is a tricky one to figure out. He was pretty average in AAA, but he was awesome in his five starters for the Brewers in 2012. It's safe to assume he has a chance to be a backend starter in 2013.

12 of 101

AJ Cole (Oakland Athletics)

AJ
BaseballFactory.com

Cole was the big piece in the Gio Gonzalez trade, and for good reason. The tall, lanky right-hander has a great fastball, but is lacking the secondary stuff that makes him a viable starter in the Majors right now.

13 of 101

Austin Hedges (San Diego Padres)

AH
BlogSpot.com

Hedges is better known for his defensive abilities, but it's not like he's a slouch at the plate; plus, who could hit well in San Diego anyways?

14 of 101

Addison Russell (Oakland Athletics)

AR
BronxBaseballDaily.com

Although Russell had some issues, the A's feel their 2012 first round pick will be a staple for years to come.

15 of 101

Carlos Sanchez (Chicago White Sox)

CS
MiLB.com

If the White Sox move Gordon Beckham, Carlos Sanchez might start for the White Sox in 2013, seeing as the 20-year old hit .323 at three different levels in 2012.

16 of 101

Gregory Polanco (Pittsburgh Pirates)

GP
PostGazette.com

Polanco shot up the ranks due to a marvelous 2012 season, where he had an OPS in the higher 900s.

17 of 101

Chris Archer (Tampa Bay Rays)

CA
Rob Grabowski - USA TODAY Sports

Archer could be another version of Wade Davis: a pitcher who was okay as a starter, but would be electric as a reliever.

18 of 101

Cody Buckel (Texas Rangers)

CB
MiLB.com

If MiLB numbers were any indication, the Rangers have someone special on their hands.

19 of 101

Trayce Thompson (Chicago White Sox)

TT
Jennifer Hilderbrand - USA TODAY Sports

After OPSing .899 in AA, Trayce Thompson shot up Chicago's prospect list.

20 of 101

Daniel Vogelbach (Chicago Cubs)

DV
BleacherNation.com

When John Sickels says you can be the next Prince Fielder, then you will make my Top 100 list. Vogelbach mashes for a 19-year old, slugging over .641 last season.

21 of 101

Kyle Crick (San Francisco Giants)

KC
USA TODAY Sports

Just what the Giants need -- another awesome pitcher.

22 of 101

Jesse Biddle (Philadelphia Phillies)

JB
MiLB.com

Biddle, once he finds his stuff, has a chance to be a lethal force for the Phillies.

23 of 101

Delino DeShields (Houston Astros)

DD
SBNation.com

If DeShields can get on base like he does in the Minors, he could be a valuable leadoff hitter for the Astros, who need all the help they can get.

24 of 101

Daniel Corcino (Cincinnati Reds)

DC
MiLB.com

Corcino has had some success as a starting pitcher, but his future may be in the bullpen.

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Yasiel Puig (Los Angeles Dodgers)

YP
Gary A. Vasquez - USA TODAY Sports

With all the spending the Dodgers have done in the past few months, it's easy to forget about the $42 million they spent on a prospect. Just imagine if this guy pans out...

26 of 101

Trevor Story (Colorado Rockies)

TS
DallasNews.com

Story is a future big league shortstop, which is the one thing the Rockies do not need, sadly.

27 of 101

Gary Brown (San Francisco Giants)

GB
BleacherReports.com

Brown could be a future leadoff hitter for the defending World Series champions, thanks to his great speed and his ability to get on base at a decent clip.

28 of 101

Allen Webster (Boston Red Sox)

AW
BaseballInstinct.com

Webster was the big prospect that was shipped to Boston in the megadeal with the Dodgers. It's quite possible we could see Webster with Boston as soon as this upcoming season.

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James Paxton (Seattle Mariners)

JP
Jerry Lai - USA TODAY Sports

With a newly developed changeup, Paxton could see the Mariners' rotation sooner rather than later.

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Jared Cosart (Houston Astros)

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Jerry Lai - USA TODAY Sports

Given his numbers in the Minors and the Astros' desperate need for some pitching, we could see Cosart starting this season. In case you didn't know, Cosart was the main piece of the Hunter Pence deal that the Astros did with the Phillies a couple of years ago.

31 of 101

Aaron Hicks (Minnesota Twins)

AH
Jerry Hale

Meet your replacement for Ben Revere and Denard Span.

32 of 101

Christian Bethancourt (Atlanta Braves)

CB
Daniel Shirey - USA TODAY Sports

Bethancourt's offensive numbers are pretty dicey, but his value comes from behind the plate.

33 of 101

Dan Straily (Oakland Athletics)

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Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports

It almost seems like the Athletics have some factory where they can create pitchers. Straily was a surprise in 2012, but succeeded at every level he pitched at, including 39 quality innings for the Athletics.

34 of 101

Eddie Rosario (Minnesota Twins)

ER
MiLB.com

Rosario has moved from the outfield to second base, where he could be a starter for many years to come due to his offensive prowess.

35 of 101

Taylor Guerrieri (Tampa Bay Rays)

TG
247Sports.com

Although the level isn't the best, Guerrieri had a 1.04 ERA in 12 starts in 2012, including only five walks. Studly.

36 of 101

Luis Heredia (Pittsburgh Pirates)

LH
BaseballInstinct.com

Heredia is only 18 years old, and had a 2.71 ERA in the Minors in 2012. When I was 18, I did not have a 2.71 ERA in the Minors.

37 of 101

Bryce Brentz (Boston Red Sox)

BB
WordPress.com

Brentz's plate disclipine leaves something to be desired, but if the Red Sox rebuild, Brentz might be with the big club as early as this upcoming season.

38 of 101

Michael Choice (Oakland Athletics)

MC
UTA.edu

Before he broke his hand, Choice was showing just how deadly he could be with the bat. He is a lot like Oakland's own Chris Carter.

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Jorge Soler (Chicago Cubs)

kjj
BrewersRumors.com

Soler is as much as human lottery ticket as a player could be.

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Alen Hanson (Pittsburgh Pirates)

AH
PostGazette.com

A five-tool prospect at shortstop? Giddy up!

41 of 101

Brett Jackson (Chicago Cubs)

BJ
Charles LeClaire - USA TODAY Sports

Brett Jackson strikes out a lot, which is why the Cubs are going to tinker with his swing during the off-season. If he could consistently make contact, Jackson has the potential to start in the outfield for a long time.

42 of 101

Kevin Gausman (Baltimore Orioles)

KG
USA TODAY Sports

Gausman was the first pitcher taken in the 2012 Draft. Based on potential alone, the Orioles have to feel really good about the future of their rotation.

43 of 101

Max Fried (San Diego Padres)

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Jake Roth - USA TODAY Sports

The Padres have a lot of good, young talent, with Max Fried being a part of the future in San Diego. Considering he's fresh out of high school, it might be awhile before we see him, but he could be an ace in the future.

44 of 101

Jedd Gyorko (San Diego Padres)

JD
Daniel Shirey - USA TODAY Sports

Hey, another Padre! Gyorko can mash, seeing as he hit 30 bombs last season. He should get a chance to play with the Padres this season.

45 of 101

Matt Davidson (Arizona Diamondbacks)

MD
BleacherReport.com

He may have some growing pains this season, but Davidson will probably be Arizona's everyday third baseman coming into camp.

46 of 101

Robert Stephenson (Cincinnati Reds)

RS
VideoPress.com

Considering Stephenson already has a 97 MPH fastball and a plus curveball, you could see why the Reds are optimistic about their future pitching staff.

47 of 101

Tony Cingrani (Cincinnati Reds)

TC
Steve Mitchell - USA TODAY Sports

Cingrani's numbers are ridiculous. In 25 starts last season in the Minors, Cingrani had a 1.73 ERA, striking out more than a batter an inning.

48 of 101

Rymer Liriano (San Diego Padres)

RL
Denny Medley - USA TODAY Sports

Liriano has the potential to reach the top 20 based on his raw abilities alone. Until then, however, I must stat conservative.

49 of 101

Kyle Zimmer (Kansas City Royals)

KZ
ChicagoNow.com

Zimmer has only pitched for two years and is already a top 100 prospect. I cannot wait to see who Dayton Moore acquires for him.

50 of 101

Casey Kelly (San Diego Padres)

CK
USA TODAY Sports

Kelly should be a starter for the Padres in 2013, so we will know how good another piece is from the Adrian Gonzalez trade.

51 of 101

Brian Goodwin (Washington Nationals)

BG
MDC.edu

Goodwin has the potential to shine with the Nationals, or he might be a valuable trade chip, seeing as he has all five tools any team would want.

52 of 101

Aroyds Vizcaino (Chicago Cubs)

AV
Daniel Shirey - USA TODAY Sports

Vizcaino, who was ranked as one of Atlanta's top prospects before he was traded to the Cubs for Paul Maholm, is coming off a serious arm injury. It will be interesting to see how he is able to bounce back.

53 of 101

Mason Williams (New York Yankees)

MW
Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports

Williams should be a fixture for years to come in the Bronx, but his torn labrum injury in August is concerning.

54 of 101

Kaleb Cowart (Los Angeles Angels)

KC
OCRegister.com

Considering the Angels really have no future at third base, it's Cowart's to lose.

55 of 101

Kolten Wong (St. Louis Cardinals)

KW
Advocare.come

Kolten Wong is still the best name ever, and he's pretty good to boot.

56 of 101

George Springer (Houston Astros)

GS
Daniel Shirey - USA TODAY Sports

Unlike in year's past, the Astros actually have some decent prospects, with Springer being a legitimate five-tool guy.

57 of 101

Mike Zunino (Seattle Mariners)

MZ
Brad Barr - USA Today Sports

Who doesn't like catchers who can mash? Zunino is exactly that, which should make Seattle fans very, very happy.

58 of 101

Martin Perez (Texas Rangers)

MP
Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

Although Perez struggled a bit last season, he's still too young to pass judgement on his future.

59 of 101

Zach Lee (Los Angeles Dodgers)

ZL
TheGoldenSombreo.com

Dodger fans hope the touch of Clayton Kershaw can turn Lee into a superstar.

60 of 101

Aaron Sanchez (Toronto Blue Jays)

AS
MiLB.com

The Blue Jays have several good arms in their farm system. Sanchez is just another example, seeing as he had a 2.49 ERA in 90 innings last season.

61 of 101

Gary Sanchez (New York Yankees)

GS
BronxBaseballDaily.com

Sanchez fills the void that was left after the Yankees traded Jesus Montero. With the current catching situation in New York, don't be surprised if Sanchez is rushed to the Majors.

62 of 101

Jackie Bradley (Boston Red Sox)

JB
Brace Hemmelgarn - USA TODAY Sports

Bradley had 52 walks in 286 plate appearances. That is drool worthy.

63 of 101

Alex Meyer (Minnesota Twins)

AM
Denny Medley - USA TODAY Sports

Meyer is great acquisition for the Minnesota Twins, a team that needs pitching in a big way.

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Matt Barnes (Boston Red Sox)

MB
Denny Medley - USA TODAY Sports

Considering Barnes already has good command of his changeup, the Red Sox might have gotten a gem from the 2011 Draft. With that changeup, it will allow Barnes to get put on the fast track. And if you want to know how important a good changeup is, see Bard, Daniel.

65 of 101

Albert Almora (Chicago Cubs)

AA
Tumblr.com

We won't see Almora for awhile, but he is a nice blue-chipper for Theo and company.

66 of 101

Nolan Arenado (Colorado Rockies)

CR
Jerry Lai - US TODAY Sports

Arenado won the AFL MVP award in 2011, but struggled a bit in 2012. There really isn't a whole let left for Arenado to prove in the Minors, so we could see him with the Rockies in 2013.

67 of 101

Hak-Ju Lee (Tampa Bay Rays)

HKL
Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports

Lee doesn't get his recognition from the bat, it's his fielding that has scouts drooling. At worst, Lee could play in the majors as a defensive wizard, something the Rays value.

68 of 101

Jake Marisnick (Miami Marlins)

MM
ReleasePoints.com

Marisnick was a part of the blockbuster deal that involved the Marlins and Blue Jays earlier in the off-season. Needless to say, if all things go according to plan, Marisnick will make some team really happy in about five seasons.

69 of 101

Xander Bogaerts (Boston Red Sox)

XB
Bloguin.com

Ok, if Kolten Wong isn't the best name ever, Xander Bogaerts most definitely is. Bogaerts' future might not be at shortstop, but his bat allows him to play anywhere.

70 of 101

Miguel Sano (Minnesota Twins)

MS
ArticleWN.com

Sano is only 19 and still growing, which will cause him to switch from shortstop - - the position he signed with the Twins as. Sano should give Twins fans a lot of optimism, figuring he will be a stud at the hot corner for several seasons.

71 of 101

Archie Bradley (Arizona Diamondbacks)

AB
BleacherReport.com

At 6'4 and 225 pounds, you don't really have to worry too much about Bradley's durability. He is a true athlete, seeing as he played multiple sports in high schools, but he's got the pitching thing down pretty well.

72 of 101

Francisco Lindor (Cleveland Indians)

FL
OrlandoSentiel.com

Want to know why the Indians want to deal Asdrubal Cabrera? Look no further than Francisco Lindor, who will be the Indians' shortstop of the future.

73 of 101

Trevor Rosenthal (St. Louis Cardinals)

TR
Peter Aiken - USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Rosenthal took the baseball world by storm in the postseason, dominating out of the bullpen for the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2013, however, Rosenthal will likely be in the starting rotation, which is a scary thought for all of the NL Central teams.

74 of 101

Carlos Correa (Houston Astros)

CC
Troy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports

Correa is very raw, seeing as he was the first pick of the 2012 Draft, but he still has all the tools to be an awesome big league shortstop.

75 of 101

Anthony Rendon (Washington Nationals)

AR
USAFutureWatch.com

With Ryan Zimmerman locked up, the Nationals might use Rendon as trade bait to net something big.

76 of 101

Jose Fernandez (Miami Marlins)

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Peter G. Aiken - USA TODAY Sports

Fernandez has the body, the skills, and the stuff to be a legitimate number one for the Miami Marlins. In 25 starts last season, Fernandez went 14-1 with a 1.75 ERA.

77 of 101

Nick Franklin (Seattle Mariners)

NF
TheNewsTribune.com

The Mariners have good hitting prospects, but it seems like none of them can hit when they come to Safeco. It's quite perplexing.

78 of 101

Julio Teheran (Atlanta Braves)

JT
Daniel Shirey - USA TODAY Sports

It feels like we have been talking about Julio Teheran for several years now. I feel like it's put up or shut up time for Teheran, especially if the Braves use him in the rotation come 2013.

79 of 101

Carlos Martinez (St. Louis Cardinals)

CM
DPLBaseball.com

Hey, if you're compared to Pedro Martinez, who is easily one of the most dominating pitchers of all-time, I'm sold on you.

80 of 101

Jake Odorizzi (Tampa Bay Rays)

JO
Denny Medley - USA TODAY Sports

Odorizzi, who has been passed around like a village bicycle, is now a member of the Tampa Bay Rays, where enjoy his services for years to come. Andrew Friedman >>>

81 of 101

Javier Baez (Chicago Cubs)

JB
Perfectgame.org

How does a future infield of Starlin Castro and Javier Baez sound, Cubs fans? To me, it sounds pretty darn good, too.

82 of 101

Byron Buxton (Minnesota Twins)

BB
ESPN.com

Buxton, who was supposed to be the number one pick over Correa, has the potential to be a major player for the Twins. He, as many others on this list, has all five tools to be a big star.

83 of 101

Bubba Starling (Kansas City Royals)

BS
ESPN.com

Bubba Starling seems like a name that would be used in a baseball movie - - just saying. Anyways, Starling is probably one of the most toolsy players in the Minors, considering he chose to play professional baseball over being a QB at Nebraska.

84 of 101

Jonathan Singleton (Houston Astros)

JS
H. Darr Beiser - USA TODAY Sports

Oh, it's another top prospect from the Hunter Pence deal. Ruben Amaro FTL. Singleton is your prototypical first baseman, who might play for Houston in 2013.

85 of 101

Christian Yelich (Miami Marlins)

CY
Denny Medley - USA TODAY Sports

Yelich is a talented, young outfielder that could be with Miami as early as this season. He will definitely be a nice hitter to have at the top of the Marlins' order.

86 of 101

Oscar Taveras (St. Louis Cardinals)

OT
Peter G. Aiken - USA TODAY Sports

Whenever Carlos Beltran decides to stop being awesome, Oscar Taveras will be there for the St. Louis Cardinals. In 477 at-bats, he had a .953 OPS for St. Louis' AA team.

87 of 101

Jameson Taillon (Pittsburgh Pirates)

JT
Denny Medley - USA TODAY Sports

At 6'6, Taillon is an intimidating guy to look at on the bump. He should start for the Pirates at some point in 2013, figuring that he has four plus pitches at his disposal.

88 of 101

Nick Castellanos (Detroit Tigers)

NC
Denny Medley - USA TODAY Sports

The lone Tiger that is on my top 100 list is a good one. Castellanos won the Futures' Game MVP this year, which should be a harbinger for things to come.

89 of 101

Shelby Miller (St. Louis Cardinals)

SM
Jake Roth - USA TODAY Sports

Between Miller and Rosenthal, the Cardinals will have no problems replacing Kyle Lohse, and they might have one of the best rotations in the National League.

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Taijuan Walker (Seattle Mariners)

TW
Denny Medley - USA TODAY Sports

Walker reminds me a lot of a young Edwin Jackson. He has a lot of things that make you "ooh and ahh", but it's a little early to declare him a top 10 prospect right now. If he improves further, then it's feasible that he's a top 10 talent.

91 of 101

Billy Hamilton (Cincinnati Reds)

BH
Denny Medley - USA TODAY Sports

If Billy Hamilton has a .340 on-base percentage, he could probably steal 100 bases. He truly is a special talent to have. At worst, he can be like Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez and steal home in a pinch.

92 of 101

Danny Hultzen (Seattle Mariners)

DH
H. Darr Beiser - USA TODAY Sports

Hultzen and Walker should be forces to be reckon with for multiple seasons in the Pacific Northwest. Just imagine if the Mariners have both of those guys and Felix Hernandez in the same rotation. Yikes.

93 of 101

Mike Olt (Texas Rangers)

TR
Debby Wong - USA TODAY Sports

MIKE OLT! If you don't get this reference, then that's a shame. Considering the Angels signed Josh Hamilton, I almost expect Olt to be on a new team pretty soon.

94 of 101

Travis D'Arnaud (Toronto Blue Jays)

TDA
Daniel Shirley - USA TODAY Sports

I love Travis D'Arnaud. If healthy, there's really no reason for the Jays not to start him next season.

95 of 101

Trevor Bauer (Cleveland Indians)

TB
Liz Condo - USA TODAY Sports

It's a tad bit concerning that the Diamondbacks basically dumped the guy. His attitude is a bit brash, but Bauer should succeed at the big league level. No matter what happens, it was a great trade for the Indians.

96 of 101

Tyler Skaggs (Arizona Diamondbacks)

TS
Matt Kartozian - USA TODAY Sports

Although the Diamondbacks did dump Bauer, it's not like they don't have other incredible pitching prospects - - Tyler Skaggs is proof of that. Although he struggled in his six starts with Arizona, Skaggs dominated at two levels last season. He should be a fixture in Arizona's rotation for several seasons.

97 of 101

Gerrit Cole (Pittsburgh Pirates)

GC
Peter G. Aiken - USA TODAY Sports

With Gerrit Cole and the previously mentioned Jameson Taillon, the Pirates should have a scary 1-2 punch for many, many seasons.

98 of 101

Zack Wheeler (New York Mets)

ZW
Gary A. Vasquez - USA TODAY Sports

Zack Wheeler for Carlos Beltran might be one of the worst trades in the past decade. We should see Wheeler in 2013, but the Mets might want to delay his start to aid them during his arbitration years.

99 of 101

Dylan Bundy (Baltimore Orioles)

DB
Peter G. Aiken - USA TODAY Sports

Who are the five best pitching prospects in all of baseball? Dy-lan, Dy-lan, Dy-lan, Dy-lan, and Dy-lan, he pitches hot fire. For real, though, Bundy is everything and a bag of chips, seeing as he had a 2.08 ERA in 23 starts last season.

100 of 101

Jurickson Profar (Texas Rangers)

JP
Jayne Kamin-Oncea - USA TODAY Sports

With Michael Young off the roster, Profar might find his way on the big league roster this season. If not, he won't be too far off from playing everyday in Arlington. Profar does everything one would want at shortstop: hit, field, run, and do all of it extremely well.

101 of 101

Wil Myers (Tampa Bay Rays)

WM
Matt Ryerson - USA TODAY Sports

If Andrew Freidman had his own meme, it would be something like this: Top Prospect in Baseball; Trade for Him. The first three prospects are pretty interchangeable, but I can't argue against a guy who has a .600 slugging percentage.

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