Baseball's Top 100 Prospects: 1-100
Posted: Friday February 8, 2008 2:26PM; Updated: Thursday February 14, 2008 6:40PM
1. Jay Bruce, CF, Reds: Imagine a young Larry Walker and you've got Bruce, who started 2007 in high Class A and ended the year with nothing left to prove in the minors after hitting .319/.375/.587 across three levels. The Reds dealt Josh Hamilton to open a spot for him.
2. Clay Buchholz, RHP, Red Sox: Last year's no-hitter was just the beginning. With fantastic command, and two pitches (fastball and curve) rated by scouts as plus-plus, Buchholz could be Boston's second-best starter as early as this year.
3. Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays: One of many reasons the Rays are going to be very good, very soon, Longoria is a solid Rookie of the Year candidate as a third baseman, and has plenty of power and patience at the plate.
4. Joba Chamberlain, RHP, Yankees: Already a well-known name after last year's debut in the bullpen, Joba will make a slow transition to starting in 2008, and the sky is the limit if he stays healthy.
5. Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Dodgers: One scout called him the best left-hander he'd ever seen in the Midwest League. He begins the year as a 20-year-old in Class AA, and could be in the big leagues before the year is out.
6. David Price, LHP, Rays: Last year's No. 1 overall pick could be in the Rays' rotation by 2009, and the staff ace in 2010, when the Rays compete for a playoff spot.
7. Travis Snider, OF, Blue Jays: One of the most gifted hitters around, Snider showed the approach of veteran as a 19-year-old, hitting .313 with tons of power coming out of his beefy 245-pound frame.
8. Colby Rasmus, CF, Cardinals: The toolsy athlete bulked up and led the Texas League with 29 home runs last year. Dealing away Jim Edmonds leaves the center field job his for the taking in 2009, if not sooner.
9. Homer Bailey, RHP, Reds: Scouts and team officials see Bailey's disappointing 2007 campaign as just a bump in the road, because his pure stuff is still ace-worthy.
10. Cameron Maybin, CF, Marlins: The top prospect going to Florida in the big Dontrelle Willis/Miguel Cabrera deal, Maybin is a tantalizing package of tools with 30/30 potential. Let's hope the Marlins don't rush him too much and instead let him work on his contact issues.
11. Rick Porcello, RHP, Tigers: One scouting director called him the best high school right-hander since Josh Beckett. With the trades Detroit made during the offseason, he's now also the shining star in their now-depleted minor league system.
12. Matt Wieters, C, Orioles: A switch-hitting catcher with power and defensive chops, the Orioles surprised many by taking the expensive Scott Boras client with the fifth pick in last June's draft, and then gave him $6 million to sign.
13. Franklin Morales, LHP, Rockies: Already achieving big-league success few left-handers at any level can match, Morales' combination of upper-90s velocity and a vicious breaking ball is tough to beat at any elevation.
14. Andy LaRoche, 3B, Dodgers: He hits, he hits for power, and he draws walks. Other teams are confused as to why the Dodgers are making him compete for the third base job in spring training, instead of writing him in the lineup for years to come, starting now.
15. Wade Davis, RHP, Rays: A 6'5" righty with a big-time fastball and one of the best curves around, Davis will just be one part of what will be a nightmare rotation for opponents facing the Rays in the years to come.
16. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF, Red Sox: His game-changing speed and the ability to hit .300 adds a new dimension to the slow, slugging Red Sox lineup, making them even better than last year.
17. Jordan Schafer, CF, Braves: One of the best defensive center fielders in the minors took a larger step forward than any other prospect in the game last year, showing power, speed, and a patient approach.
18. Desmond Jennings, CF, Rays: A fantastic athlete, Jennings made great strides in translating his tools into skills last year; the Rays think they've found the second coming of Carl Crawford.
19. Mike Moustakas, SS, Royals: The second overall pick in the draft set single-season and career home run marks for California high schoolers. He's not a true shortstop, but with that kind of bat, who cares?
20. Jarrod Parker, RHP, Diamondbacks: Some saw him as the best pure arm in last year's draft; his smallish frame and upper-90s heat had one scout calling him a right-handed Scott Kazmir.