Andrew (At Work): I know it might seem trivial to ask, but if you were to guess the teams that would top the 2014 org rankings based on expected graduations and top picks in the 2013 draft, who would you see as top 5? I would speculate the Cardinals, Rangers, Mariners, Rays, and Boston to graduate a lot of talent, leaving the top 5 to be the Astros, Twins, Cubs, Marlins, and Pirates. I know injuries and poor development can occur, but could you get on board with that general assessment?
J.J. Cooper: When the season starts, none of those M's pitching prospects are projected to be in the rotation, and the same can be said for Nick Franklin. I think the Mariners could still be in the mix next year and while the Rangers might graduate some talent (Profar, Perez, Olt, Martin) they have a next wave that could keep them up there if guys like Sardinas, Grimm, Alfaro and/or Gallo have breakout years. But yeah the teams you mention are ones that should be near the top next year if everything goes well in 2013.
To be honest, I wouldn't be totally shocked (i'd still be kinda surprised though) if Sardinas tore up the carolina league to the tune of something like .320/.380/.420 to go with the sparkling D.
Given that his defense has been suggested to be superior to even Profar's, if his hit tool does develop (even without the power) then he would have to be considered one of the top middle infield prospects in the game.
86. Luis Sardinas, SS, Rangers
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A
99. Lewis Brinson, CF, Rangers
Scouting Report (most recent): Link
2012 Ranking: N/A
I love Jurickson Profar, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t give serious thought to fighting for Taveras for the no. 1 spot. Profar plays a premium position, can swing a great stick, and has a wonderful smile, so I’d be arguing an unwinnable case. But Taveras’ bat has a chance to stop wars (or start wars; whichever you prefer). I’ve never been more impressed with a young hitter than I am with Taveras. Watching him take a ball over the batter’s eye during batting practice at the Futures Game probably influenced this infatuation. I was attracted to him before, but after feeling his bat speed from 10 feet away, I started writing poetry in his name. His offensive potential is abnormal. That sh*t cray.
axtonto (wishing I was in Surpise): Out of the Rangers 6, who has the highest overall ceiling? What about overall for all players in the 101?
Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: Alfaro has a freak ceiling. Buxton for me overall. He has the raw tools to be very special; high impact.
rey (Greenville): Which SS in MiLB has the highest offensive upside, and what is it?
Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: If he can stick at SS (which I have my doubts), Bogaerts. It's the offensive potential. He could hit .300 and rip 30 HR at his peak. That's not normal. Of the guys that are guaranteed to stick at SS, you have to go with Profar. Role 7.
kojomoe (oakland): Dorssys Paulino, Adalberto Mondesi, and Luis Sardinas. Who rises the most over the next year and who has the highest offensive ceiling?
Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: Mondesi and Sardinas as legit SS prospects; Paulino is most likely a 2B in the end. Paulino has a nice bat; good contact and pop; Mondesi doesn't have a big power ceiling, but can drive the ball and will hit for average; Sardinas is a line-drive type that could hit .300 because of his 7 run. I like Mondesi as the all-around prospect.
CyMature (Cabin (Fever)): Is Lewis Brinson this year's Jordan Akins? Can Jordan Akins recover and become next year's Lewis Brinson?
Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: They both have tools, but they aren't that similar. Brinson has feel and baseball skills and Akins is a D1 football player that just happens to be on a baseball team.
davidrawnsley (Omaha): Jason, I did a cross study on your list, BA's and MLB.com's and there was one thing in common to all three lists that really surprised me. No Joey Gallo on any of the lists! I know there are still contact worries but he hit for unprecedented power as a pro, just as he ALWAYS has before. Oh, he he throws 100 off the mound, too. Surely there's room on someone's top 100 for a guy with 80 power and an 80 arm and who performs. Thanks!
Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: Legit power; arm is very strong but it doesn't play as an 80; big questions about his contact ability and his glove.
David Darrell (CA): Why didn't Robbie Erlin make the list? Dude's just a pitcher.
Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: I really like Erlin. You can make the case. He lacks upside, but his pitchability is near elite.
Aquaman (Tyler): Just saw a picture of Jairo Beras. He's an enormous human being. Thoughts?
Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: He's a very large human; needs to add more strength and mass to frame; huge power potential; not sure if he can hit or not. Too early to tell.
rangermad (tx): Where would Leonys Martin rank if eligible?
Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: Top 101. Easy. Probably in 60-80 range
Greg (Albany, NY): You've always loved Jorge Alfaro's swing, but at what point do you expect him to learn to take a walk?
Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: I'm not sure he will ever be a big walk guy. He likes to swing. It's not the best approach, but as long as he can work himself into good hitting conditions and execute if given the opportunity, I don't need him to walk a ton.
Ryan (Dallas): Still a long way away from top 100 contention, but have you seen Ronald Guzman in person this spring? Are the reports true about him bulking up quite a bit?
Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: He didn't bulk up. He's lanky 18-year-old kid that added some meat to the frame. Its not crazy meat either. He is starting to fill out. It's something I expected to see at some point. He works his *** off.
HPJoker (Ruston, Louisiana): The White Sox don't have single top prospect and the Angels only have one. Are there any guys in either of those sytems that could break the Top 100 next year?
Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: White Sox have more talent ready to step up and be counted next year than the Angels. Their system isn't very good. I really like Cowart, but then it gets thin.
Teacher (Chico): Not that I believe they are deserving, but were C.J. Cron or Nick Maronde of the Angels anywhere near the Top 101?
Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: They weren't anywhere near it, which just means they weren't in the discussion.
The Rangers have one of the elite minor leagues systems in all of baseball. I don’t really want to try to explain how deep this system is with highly talented players; instead, I’ll just let you dig into the Top 15.
1. Jurickson Profar – SS (Last Year’s Rank: 1)
Profar has a very strong case as the best prospect in all of baseball. He is a precocious talent that can contribute in every aspect of the game. His plus-plus hitting ability is evident the first time you see him, and he also shows good pop with some scouts projecting average to plus power as well. Defensively, he is a very good shortstop, showing fundamentals and the ability to make the spectacular play. His arm is strong and his speed plays well in games. Profar is a superstar in the making and the Rangers will have to make room for him very soon.
2. Mike Olt – 3B (4)
In most organizations Mike Olt would enter the season as the everyday third baseman. In the Texas Rangers organization, with arguably the best infielder defender in baseball at third base in Adrian Beltre, Olt is forced to find another way to break into the big leagues, possibly at first base. Olt’s glove at third base is strong and he is a good enough baseball player to handle a variety of defensive assignments. He has easy plus power and a good approach, though he does swing through plenty of pitches.
3. Martin Perez – LHP (2)
I’m quite sure many fans suffer from severe prospect fatigue when it comes to Martin Perez. Once considered on the fast track to the big leagues, Perez has struggled to harness his impressive raw stuff and has yet to show consistency on the mound. A broken forearm this spring may set him back even further, just as he was on the verge of a big league rotation spot. Perez still has the potential to fit in the middle of the Rangers rotation, he just may have to wait until later this year.
4. Jorge Alfaro – C (10)
The Rangers have spent considerable money in Latin America in recent years and while the farm has several impressive talents from this region, next to Jurickson Profar, Alfaro could be the most impressive. He has a near-elite arm behind the plate and while he is still raw, his defensive tools are starting to play in games. He also owns light-tower power with some hitting ability and a developing approach. If Alfaro manages to maximize his tools, he could be a monster prospect, but right now, he remains extremely raw and will need a few more years of development.
5. Lewis Brinson – OF (NR)
A stud athlete, many of Brinson’s tools rate as at least plus attributes, with only his raw hitting ability lagging behind. He is an aggressive swinger that lacks advanced control of the barrel, leaving scouts to question how much he can hit against better pitching. If he hits at an average level (near the peak of his hit projection), Brinson could show above-average game power to go along with plus speed on the bases. He has the potential to defend at a high level in center field and also shows a plus arm. Brinson is a very raw, but also very talented player that sits in the classic boom or bust realm.
6. Luis Sardinas – SS (NR)
Sardinas has battled injuries as a professional and there are scouts out there that are very worried about his long-term durability. When he’s on the field he is a plus runner with good range and good hands at shortstop. His arm is strong and he profiles as a very good defender at the infield’s toughest position. He is a high-average hitter with easy contact ability but little power, making his offensive game a little soft.
7. Luke Jackson – RHP (12)
I admit, even with a complex and often times varied delivery, I can’t get past my affinity for Jackson’s leveraged fastball that sits in the 93-94 mph range and touches 98 mph on occasion. His fastball can overpower hitters and at times he shows an ability to live in the lower third of the zone, making it difficult to lift. His curveball has plus potential as a quality second pitch and while his change-up is well below-average, he is willing to mix it in at times. Jackson profiles as more of a fourth starter for me, relying heavily on two pitches and there are scouts that believe he could excel as a setup man.
8. Ronald Guzman – 1B (7)
Guzman was one of the Rangers two huge Latin American signings in 2011 and he did nothing in 2012 to tarnish his amateur resume. Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 210 pounds, Guzman has a massive big-league body that should continue to add strength. He is an extremely polished hitter for any age, showing a sound approach, good contact ability and the potential to be a plus-plus hitter. His power will flash in the plus range but is not consistently on display in games yet. Guzman lacks secondary tools and will rely entirely on his bat, making him a very risky prospect.
9. Justin Grimm – RHP (NR)
Grimm breezed through Double- and Triple-A in 2012 and reached Texas where he showed promise but also showed he needed additional development. With a broad mix of pitches and a good feel for his craft, Grimm should be able to make the adjustments necessary to succeed in the big leagues. His fastball works from 90-96 mph with his four-seamer showing in those upper registers, but the pitch also flattens out and is relatively hittable. His curveball is a true weapon and grades out as his best pitch; sitting in the plus range. He also mixes in a change-up that shows promise. Grimm can be a bit too hittable for some scouts liking and profiles as an inning-eating number four arm.
10. Nomar Mazara – OF (NR)
Mazara has bigger raw power than his 2011 J2 classmate Ronald Guzman, but he lacks the hit tool utility or projection for his power to play at its upper levels. With plus-plus raw power, even a downgrade in his useable power will allow him to hit 20-25 home runs a year as he hits in the .250-.260 range. Mazara is a decent defender with enough projection in his arm to profile in right field. His underdeveloped hitting approach and feel for the barrel could make him a little slower to develop than Guzman, but they should remain on roughly the same timetable through the minor leagues.
11. Cody Buckel – RHP (NR)
Buckel gets by with solid stuff and an exceptional feel for pitching. His fastball can reach 93-94 mph on occasion but sits a full grade lower than that and plays up because it is generally located extremely well. His secondary pitches are quality offerings and can miss bats at times, particularly when played off his fastball and located well. Buckel’s ceiling is at the back of a big league rotation but his extremely low risk level keeps him higher on the prospect radar than many pitchers with this such a profile.
1) Jurickson Profar, SS, Texas Rangers, ETA 2013
2) Oscar Taveras , OF, St. Louis Cardinals, ETA 2013
COMMENT: Can't see any of this as a surprise. I strongly considered Oscar over Jurickson, but ultimately the defense/position issue puts Profar just a tad ahead.