11) Manny Machado: BAL, SS- Machado was viewed as the best high school prospect coming out of high school in the “Harper Draft” and was taken #3 overall by the Orioles. Machado, 19, is still a few years away from the big leagues but comparisons of Alex Rodriguez have been made about him. While this might seems to be a bit unfair, Machado still projects to be at least an average to above average defensive shortstop with 20+ home run power and the ability to hit for a high average. If he progresses as predicted he is going to be a future All-Star and cornerstone of Baltimore’s franchise.
12) Drew Pomeranz: COL, SP- If there was any pitcher coming out of college that was ready for the majors immediately, it was Pomeranz. The centerpiece in the Ubaldo Jimenez will be given every opportunity to crack the Rockies rotation come March. A power pitching left hander with a huge frame projects to be a workhorse in the Rockies rotation for years to come. His fastball sits in the low to mid 90′s to go along with an outstanding knuckle-curve that scouts describe as a plus-plus strikeout pitch. If Pomeranz can further develop his change-up, he has all of the tools needed to become Colorado’s next ace.
13) Wil Myers: KC, OF- The next in line of the Royals outstanding prospects has finally moved out from behind the plate and into the outfield. Myers has the potential to become a middle-of-the-order hitter who can hit for power and average. Along with his great on-base skills, Myers also has an above average arm in the outfield and will be able to avoid the every day rigors of catching. A knee injury in 2011 slowed Myers down but he showed at the end of the season and in Fall League that he is back to his best. At only 20, Myers still has plenty of time to develop and can make a scary combination with Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer in the middle of the Royals order.
14) Jacob Turner: DET, SP- Turner is just about ready to join the Tigers rotation and round out one of the best group of arms in the majors. Turner’s ability to induce ground balls and throw strikes at a young age gives Detroit confidence that he can live up to the hype as a top of the rotation starter. Turner’s sinking fastball sits in the low 90′s that goes along with a potential above average change-up and curveball. He will be only 21 in 2012 and either begin the season on the big league roster or AAA. Either way, Turner is vey advanced for his age and has the potential to be a very nice compliment to Justin Verlander.
15) Taijuan Walker: SEA, SP- One word to describe the 19 year old Walker is “raw”. He is still far from a polished pitcher but has one of the most live arms in all of the minors. An explosive fastball that sinks and already touches 98 MPH on the gun along with a potential above average change-up and curveball. Walker is a big framed, athletic pitcher that is going to be a strikeout machine. 2014 is a more realistic time frame to expect Walker in Seattle as he still has to polish his game, but it seems that the Mariners have a Michael Pineda 2.0 in A-ball that has the makeup of an ace in the future.
16) Trevor Bauer: ARI, SP- The 3rd overall pick in last years draft gained notoriety for his unorthodox training routines and workouts to allow his small framed body handle heavy workloads. Bauer has drawn comparisons to Tim Lincecum with his unusual delivery and a fastball that can reach 98 MPH. Bauer also features 4 other pitches that he will throw at any point in the count that include a slider, curveball, change-up and splitter. He has the repertoire and work ethic to be a top of the rotation starter and is one of the more big league ready arms in the minors. Expect Arizona to call on Bauer early in 2012.
17) Dylan Bundy: BAL, SP- Bundy was selected 4th overall out of high school in last years draft and is probably the most high-upside player in the entire amateur crop. His senior year high school ERA was an astronomical 0.20! Bundy does not have the biggest frame but has an explosive, mid 90′s fastball to go along with two outstanding, plus-plus pitches in his slider and curveball and a change-up. He might be higher up on this list but the 19 year old hasn’t even thrown a professional pitch in the minors yet. Expect to hear his name in the future as it looks like Baltimore has finally found its ace.
18) Bubba Starling: KC, OF- Starling is a freakishly athletic player who turned down a scholarship at Nebraska to play quarterback. Most scouts think Starling can be a future 5 tool player in the big leagues even though he has not even played a game in professional ball. An outstanding center fielder, Starling has great range with a good arm and plus speed to go along with above average power at the position. Starling is predicted to be able to hit for average in the big leagues as well which would make him an all-around elite player. The Royals are going to have a nice problem to have in the future with Wil Myers, Alex Gordon, and Lorenzo Cain vying with Starling for 3 outfield spots.
19) Nolan Arenado: COL, 3B- Arenado exploded onto the scene in 2010 for Colorado in low A-ball and continued his offensive dominance into high A-ball last season. Arenado has demonstrated the ability to hit for power, average and get on base for a decent clip along the way. He has excellent plate discipline making him a very tough strikeout victim and is at the very least going to be a doubles machine.Barring any unforeseen events, Arenado will be able to remain at third base as he gets older. Coors Field is going to be the perfect home for Arenado and he could make for a great left side of the infield along with All-Pro shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
20) Devin Mesoraco: CIN, C- Mesoraco is now the undisputed catcher of the future in Cincinnati after the trade of Yasmani Grandal and pieces for pitcher Mat Latos this offseason. Mesoraco is a solid receiver and defender behind the plate and will definitely stay there for the large portion of his professional career. He also has solid 20-25+ home run power and will be a solid run producer in the middle to lower third of the Reds lineup. While Mesoraco probably wont bat over .300 or come that close, he brings all of the things that make him a franchise catcher and probably a few All-Star appearances along the way.