Mattison's Top 40 Minor League Prospects

Senior Minor League writer Dustin Mattison takes a look over the minor leagues and ranks his Top 40 prospects.

It is definitely prospect season, as we just finished our annual countdown of the St. Louis Cardinals top 40 prospects. In keeping with that theme, I recently compiled my top 40 prospects across minor league baseball.

The list is a mixture of high upside talent along with what seem to be can't-miss solid, if not spectacular performers. Unfortunately, no Cardinals prospect made my cut but there are a couple that could possibly join the list next year.

(Click on the highlighted names to be taken to each player's free player page, with a wealth of additional information.)

1. Stephen Strasburg – No prospect has been hyped like the right-hander but no one has the talent that he possesses.

2. Jason Heyward – Just edged out for the top spot; he should be a perennial All-Star.

3. Buster Posey – Has the tools to be one of the top five catchers in all of the MLB.

4. Brian Matusz – Should settle in to the Baltimore rotation in just his second full pro season.

5. Jesus Montero – He won't stick behind the plate but his bat will play anywhere.

6. Desmond Jennings – Ridiculous. Tampa keeps producing young, talented outfielders.

7. Aroldis Chapman - Cuban pitchers have had a tough track record but Chapman has the upside to be one of the elite pitchers in the game.

8. Neftali Feliz - Proved he could be a dominant reliever; will eventually get a chance to be a top of the line starter.

9. Madison Bumgarner – Why worry? He is 20 years old and already with MLB experience.

10. Carlos Santana – The bat is ready; I still question the defense.

11. Christian Friedrich - The guy I was hoping the Cardinals would take in the first round instead of Wallace in 2008.

12. Justin Smoak - Great plate discipline and a glove good enough to one day bring home a Gold one.

13. Pedro Alvarez – Showed everyone what he brings to the table in 2009, an All-Star caliber bat.

14. Casey Kelly – Look for him to blow up now that he is concentrating on pitching.

15. Mike Stanton – Struggled with contact at Double-A but still put up impressive power numbers.

16. Michael Taylor – I love his polish and maturity. Should play in Oakland a long time, or until he is eligible for a raise.

17. Wade Davis – Should nail down the fifth spotter start in Tampa during 2010.

18. Dustin Ackley – Fantastic polish at the plate; should be in Seattle sooner rather than later.

19. Alcides Escobar – The Brewers traded J.J. Hardy to open a spot for this soft-handed shortstop.

20. Brett Wallace – I don't care what position he plays, he is going to hit.

21. Domonic Brown – As far as potential, he may have as much as anyone on the list.

22. Jeremy Hellickson – Are you kidding me? The Rays have too many young arms; it's just not fair.

23. Jhoulys Chacin – He has a heavy sinker and the ability to induce the groundball. He should eat up innings as he matures.

24. Martin Perez – The southpaw has plenty of upside; I just want to see more.

25. Kyle Drabek – Love his potential, worry about his size.

26. Fernando Martinez - Great tools package; I think his shelf life as a prospect works against him.

27. Chris Carter – Monster power potential but will he make enough contact?

28. Mike Montgomery – Young left-hander has the potential to be a future ace.

29. Tyler Matzek – The third Rockies pitcher could be the best of them all.

30. Lonnie Chisenhall - All he has done is hit since being drafted.

31. Matt Moore - Another Rays pitcher is a strikeout machine. Still needs to develop his command but it should come with experience.

32. Dan Hudson – Came out of nowhere to put together one of the best pitching performances in the Minor Leagues.

33. Aaron Hicks – Fantastic athlete with great patience especially for a young hitter.

34. Ryan Westmoreland – A potential 30-30 player that needs to try and ignore the Boston hype machine.

35. Todd Frazier – Not a sexy pick but he just hits and provides versatility at every level.

36. Jenrry Mejia – With a fastball in the mid-nineties, he has the potential to be a frontline starter if the New York spotlight allows him to develop.

37. Brett Lawrie – I am still not sure about the switch to second base but I am sure he has an elite bat.

38. Starlin Castro – The electric shortstop could be a fixture up the middle at Wrigley for years to come.

39. Jarrod Parker – Came back strong from TJ surgery, command of his pitches should come as he gets off more of the rust.

40. Aaron Crow – Has the potential to be a frontline starter or an elite reliever with two nasty pitch combo.

Premium Article New! 2010 Draft Q&A Series. An exclusive series has begun in which we will interview top high school and college prospects forecasted to go early in the 2010 draft. Only for subscribers!

First up in the "2010 Draft Q&A" series is Pasadena (CA) high school right-hander Dylan Covey: link.

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Dustin Mattison can be reached via email at Follow Dustin on Twitter.

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