MLB Top Prospects: The Top 10

The countdown is over. No. 1 is here.


Baseball's Top Prospects
1 - Delmon Young, RF - Tampa Bay: There is very little doubt that Delmon Young will be an All-Star caliber hitter at the ML level. The only question surrounding the future star is his plate discipline. It could hold him back for a few years as he adjusts, but the future is still very bright.
2 - Justin Upton, SS - Arizona: Possibly the best overall prep athlete since Alex Rodriguez. Some believe he's truly the next Ken Griffey, Junior. Upton has unlimited potential and is even more gifted than his older brother.
3 - Jeremy Hermida, RF - Florida: If he stays healthy he's the odds-on favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year honors in 2006. His left-handed power stroke packs 30-homer punch and his throwing arm and instincts make him this decade's Larry Walker.
4 - Francisco Liriano, LHP - Minnesota: Liriano's stuff is rivaled among lefties only by his teammate Johan Santana. At 21, he already possesses three big-league pitches and his command is already a 65 on the 20-80 scale. Only a matter of time until he's the Twins No. 1B starter. Has ace stuff.
5 - Brandon Wood, SS/3B - Anaheim: Had an amazing breakout year in '05 but some of it must be attributed to the hitter-friendly Cal League. Still, Wood has developed into one of the top offensive prospects around. His size could push him to third base where he will have a chance to be one of the league's best.
6 - Alex Gordon, 3B - Kansas City: The top offensive player available in the 2005 Draft, Alex Gordon is a very polished hitter from a power college program; Nebraska. He has the potential to hit .300 with 35 homers and even steal a few bases while playing good defense at the hot corner. Should be ready to push Mark Teahen off the position in a hurry.
7 - Stephen Drew, SS - Arizona: Some doubt Drew's makeup and desire, but his natural skills aren't questionable. He'll move quickly through the system and could end up at any of three positions; his natural shortstop, second base and center field. His lefty stick projects well anywhere in the middle of the field.
8 - Ian Stewart, 3B - Colorado: After a hamstring injury sidelined him for the first month of 2005, Ian Stewart struggled to get back to form. Once he regained his sweet lefty swing, however, he was virtually unstoppable. Stewart combines solid plate discipline and excellent power potential with a strong desire to succeed. He'll start the year in Double-A but could be dominating Coors Field by opening day 2007.
9 - Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C - Atlanta: After answering defensive questions last season, Saltalamacchia is still stuck behind Braves' incumbent Brian McCann who is superior with the glove. Salty could move to first if he stays in Atlanta's system, but he has the skills to remain at catcher. The switch-hitter compares to Victor Martinez.
10 - Chad Billingsley, RHP - Los Angeles: With a devastating arsenel that includes a mid-90s fastball, power slider and curve, and a developing change, Chad Billingsley often draws comparisons to Kerry Wood. The righty simply needs to improve his consistency and some more time in Triple-A should get the job done. He could help the Dodgers in a push for the playoffs in '06.

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