Updated Top 25 MLB prospects
Because I don't have enough going on right now, I thought this might be a good time to revisit my offseason pro prospects ranking and make some changes to the Top 25 based on graduations and early reports. The update is based on conversations with scouts and front-office executives about these players, but the basis is the more extensive work and larger samples that went into the offseason Top 100. If I moved a player substantially from that list, it's because something tangible has changed.
Any player currently in the majors is ineligible for the list since, should he stay in the majors the rest of the year, he'll lose his rookie status for 2012 and will no longer qualify for the rankings by January.
1. Mike Trout, CF, L.A. Angels: He's still just 19 and hitting .294/.403/.506 in Double-A, and getting better as the season goes on, with a .333/.462/.495 line in May and more walks than strikeouts for the month. He offers plus defense in center, plus speed, plus bat and future above-average power, and could help the Angels later this year if they can find their way out of the Sea of Disappointing Outfielders. Previous position: No. 1
2. Bryce Harper, RF, Washington: Hitting .326/.412/.584 as an 18-year-old (14 months younger than Trout) in low-A, although I can't imagine he'll see the end of June there. Harper barely played center earlier in the year but started there five times in the past nine games, a shift that would drastically increase his value. The trouble he had with off-speed stuff in Arizona hasn't been an issue in the Sally League and he's also showing patience he didn't have when playing just twice a week in Fall League. He won't get to the majors this year, but should make his debut in the second half of 2012. Previous position: No. 2
3. Jesus Montero, C/DH, N.Y. Yankees: A weird April, when he hit for average with no walks -- literally, zero walks -- and little power has been followed by a May when he drew a few walks but hasn't hit either. (He's in the midst of one of those meaningless hitting streaks that gets overreported -- "Montero has hit safely in 10 straight games!" -- since he's a whopping 11-for-41 in that span with 16 punchouts.) I'm holding on this one, because I think he'll hit and no one is reporting anything significantly wrong with him except over-eagerness at the plate; I imagine there's some frustration that the Yankees are employing a guy hitting .174/.292/.348 in a spot Montero could fill. Previous position: No. 4
For the rest of the prospects, plus who is close, who fell off and who Keith is watching, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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