My Top 11 Prospects for 2013

1) Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Grade A-: He hit 21 HRs and finished the season with a slugging % of .497, so it looks like he's finally starting to tap into his natural power. Strikeout rate rose a bit, but he walks a lot, so it shouldn't be a concern going forward. Some scouts say his defense projects to be above-average, and others say it'll simply be average, but obviously the bat is what makes him an elite prospect. Should arrive in Houston some time in mid-to-late 2013.

2) Carlos Correa, SS, Grade A-: You can make a case for him being the #1 prospect in the system, but I think Singleton's got the edge on him simply because he's so far away from the majors. Has terrific makeup and possesses very quick hands. Has tremendous power potential, and should hit for average as well. Defensive instincts are excellent, and his arm will easily be a plus-plus one. Scouts are optimistic that he'll remain at SS despite his big frame.

3) Delino DeShields Jr., 2B, Grade B+: Eclipsed the 100 stolen base mark. Repeated Low-A last year, but was still one of the youngest players in the league. Made big improvements at both the plate and in the field. Doesn't have the greatest arm in the world, but his footwork and athleticism will allow him to stay at 2B. Strikes out a bit too much, but that comes with almost all young players. Despite being short, he's a strong guy, and projects to hit 10-15 HRs a year. Will likely face some AA action this year, and we'll a learn a lot about him when he does.

4) George Springer, OF, Grade B+: He's a classic power-speed guy. One of the few prospects in the minors who has legitimate 20-20 potential, and maybe even more than that. Will take a fair number of walks. Defense is outstanding with his plus speed and plus arm. Strikes out at an alarming rate, mainly due to having severe difficulty with hitting breaking balls. His age isn't exactly on his side, as he is 23. Can't afford to have a poor year in AA.

5) Lance McCullers Jr., RHP, Grade B+: Possesses the best fastball in the system, as it can reach triple digits at times, and it usually sits in the 94-97 range with good movement, especially up in the zone. Has a power breaking ball that projects to be a plus pitch, but he'll eventually need to command it better. Has a solid changeup that could turn into an above-average pitch. Doesn't have the typical 6'3" or 6'4" frame, but he's a strong guy, so I'm not worried about him potentially morphing into a closer, yet.

6) Jarred Cosart, RHP, Grade B: Cosart has the most electric arsenal in the system, and perhaps one of the most electric in the minors. His power sinker sits in the 95-98 range, and has gotten up to 99 occasionally. Has a great curveball that sits in the 80-82 range, and he commands it pretty well. Does a good job of keeping the ball down, and rarely gives up HRs. Induces a lot of groundballs, but doesn't strikeout as many batters as he probably should. Has a good changeup, but he doesn't throw it that often. When he gets rattled, he completely loses the zone. Has the stuff of a #2 or even an ace, but it's likely he ends up as a good #3. Decent chance that he winds up as a closer.

7) Mike Foltynewicz, RHP, Grade B: Borderline B-. This might be a bit light, but I'm going to wait-and-see with him. He repeated Low-A, but he was fantastic there. Has a great fastball that sits in the 93-97 range, and has a curveball that could develop into a plus pitch.His changeup is his best secondary pitch, though, as many scouts project it to be a plus one. Needs to work on his command if he's going to do even remotely well at Lancaster, or perhaps at Corpus Christi. Has the big, athletic frame of a workhorse, and could develop into a #2 if he pans out.

8) Rio Ruiz, 3B, Grade B: Borderline B-. Fell in the draft due to medical issues, but he would have likely been taken in the 1st round had it not been for those medical issues. Has an awfully pretty swing, as it's very balanced while still producing a good amount of speed. Should have above-average power while hitting for a high average. Has a plus arm at the hot corner, but his fundamentals need work. One of the more intriguing prospects in the system.

9) Nick Tropeano, RHP, Grade B: Borderline B-. Tropeano is my favorite prospect in the system. He has a good fastball that sits in 92-95 range, and he commands it well. His best pitch, however, is his changeup, which is probably one of the better changeups in the minors. He not only survived pitching at High-A Lancaster, but he excelled there, as he put up good strikeout numbers while keeping his ERA down to just 3.31. Made progress with his mechanics, and as a result his velocity picked up on all of his pitches, most notably on his aforementioned fastball. Has a breaking ball that is no better than average right now, and doesn't project to be much better than that. Should develop into a solid #3.

10) Domingo Santana, OF, Grade B-: The uber-toolsy Santana made progress at the plate last year, as his walk rate went up significantly. His arm is easily a plus one, but his glove needs some work. He struck out 28% of the time at Lancaster, and while that's an alarming rate, I'm not all that concerned, yet. Santana turned 20 during the season, so he was definitely one of the youngest players in the league. He has big time power potential, and his overall ceiling is very high, so if he can somehow improve his strikeout rate this year at AA, he'll be near the top of this list come this time next year.

11) Vincent Velasquez, RHP, Grade B-: Velasquez bounced back in a big way last season at Tri-City after missing the previous season with Tommy John surgery. He has a very good fastball that sits in the 93-96 range with good movement, and has an excellent slider that projects to be a plus pitch. Only started 9 games, but he struck out 51 batters in 45.2 innings, and his ERA was a good one at 3.35. Overall command is decent. He'll need to develop his third pitch more, which I believe is a changeup, but his fastball-slider combination is going to do some serious damage in Low-A next year. Like Santana, he can be at the top of this list next year if he has a great season.

OTHERS: Robbie Grossman, OF; Joe Musgrove, RHP; Asher Wojciechowski, RHP; Colton Cain, LHP; Adrian Houser, RHP; Carlos Perez, C; Matt Dominguez, 3B; Jonathan Villar, SS; Ross Seaton, RHP; Rob Rasmussen, LHP; Jio Mier, SS; Nolan Fontana, SS; Tyler Heineman, C; Kevin Comer, RHP; Ariel Ovando, OF; Brett Oberholtzer, LHP; Matt Heidenreich, RHP.

Would appreciate any feedback.

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