MLB.com is counting down the top ten players by position in advance of the unveiling of the Top 100 Prospects in baseball on January 29th at 9 PM EST on MLB Network. The first two lists have been revealed and they contain the top ten right-handed and top ten left-handed pitching prospects right now. The Arizona Diamondbacks are well-represented on both lists with righty Archie Bradley checking in at number eight and Tyler Skaggs taking the top spot on the lefty side. For Skaggs and Bradley, this is the second straight year both have appeared on their respective lists.
Tyler Skaggs, the #1 rated left-handed pitching prospect in baseball. Image: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Skaggs has already had his taste of Major League experience last season making six starts in 2012 with the D’backs. Last year at this time, the 21-year old southpaw made the list at number four, right behind Danny Hultzen of the Seattle Mariners. This year, Hultzen landed in the number two spot mainly because of control issues at Triple A Tacoma. There is a poll up on MLB.com asking fans who they think is the best prospect. Currently, it is Hultzen in a runaway with 44% of the vote with Skaggs in second place at 19%. Perhaps I am biased, but the fact that Skaggs has had a certain degree of success already at the big league level indicates that he is the one with the brightest future. As far as the Top 100 goes, my guess is that Skaggs will be ranked no lower than #15.
As for Bradley, he inches up one spot from the 2012 list. He was the 7th pick in the 2011 draft out of Broken Arrow High School in Broken Arrow, OK. He has less notoriety than fellow Sooner State righty Dylan Bundy from the Baltimore Orioles who claimed the top righty spot this year. Bradley’s 152 strikeouts in 136 innings was impressive at Class A South Bend in 2012 while his 84 walks were cause for concern. At 6’4, 225 pounds, the 20-year old certainly has the frame to evolve into a number one or number two starter. In the poll for top righties, Bradley finished last with 2% of the vote with Bundy out in front garnering 21% and the New York Mets’ Zack Wheeler getting 18%. Those of us who voted for Bradley may soon have the last laugh.
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