MLB.com’s annual list of the Top 100 Prospects gives great insight into the future faces and stars of the Major Leagues and this year’s lineup is full of Baseball Factory Alumni.
The top Baseball Factory prospect is the Washington National’s Bryce Harper, ranked as the top outfielder and second player overall. Harper was a 2008 Player of the Week and participant in the Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout. The 2010 number one draft pick split time between Single-A and Double-A last season and will look to open up the year with Triple-A Syracuse. Harper will continue his assent through the minor leagues and could potentially make a splash in the nation’s capital this season.
Baseball Factory’s top pitching alum is Jameson Taillon, the third ranked right-handed pitcher and eighth overall prospect in the Minors. Taillon was a member of the 2009 Under Armour All-America Game, Baseball Factory Top 100, powered by Under Armour, and like Bryce Harper attended an Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout. With an imposing 6-foot-6-inch build, he has a real presence on the mound and gains the mental edge against most hitters before they step into the box. Even though he spent last season with Single-A West Virginia, he will see time with Double-A Altoona and should make a late season appearance in Triple-A Indianapolis. Expect to see Taillon on or near the top of the Pittsburgh Pirate’s rotation at some point in 2013. Joining Taillon in Pittsburgh will be outfielder and the 69th overall prospect Josh Bell. Bell also participated in an Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout and was selected to the 2009 Team One Futures Game. He should reach the Majors some time in 2015.
The AL Central is full of Baseball Factory players among MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects. Pitcher Jacob Turner leads the way as the number seven righty and 15th player overall. Turner made his first Major League appearance last year for the Detroit Tigers and could start the year either in Triple-A or earn a spot in the big league rotation. He was a 2008 Under Armour All American and will soon be joined in Detroit by fellow Under Armour All-American and 51st prospect, third baseman Nick Castellanos. Even with the recent acquisition of Prince Fielder, the Tigers have said they are still committed to Castellanos and see him becoming a cornerstone of their franchise. He has the ability to hit for both average and power, a skill coveted in the Major Leagues which he first demonstrated at an Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout before being selected to the 2006 Dodgertown World Series (now the Baseball Factory Pirate City World Series) and 2009 Under Amour All-America Game.
Both Tigers will be competing against other Baseball Factory Alumni within their division. The Royals drafted Bubba Starling with the fifth pick in the 2011 draft and before playing a game in the minors he is already ranked as the Royal’s top prospect and 17th in all of baseball. He was a standout at the 2010 Under Armour All-America Game and will look to make a name for himself in the Kansas City organization. These players will also have to compete in their division against Indian’s shortstop Francisco Lindor, ranked as the 32nd overall prospect. Lindor was selected to the 2009 Team One South Showcase after a strong performance at an Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout.
The NL Central is also filled with Baseball Factory Alumni in the Top 100. Chicago Cubs Outfielder Brett Jackson is ranked 33rd overall and teammate Anthony Rizzo is ranked 37th. Jackson was a first round pick in 2009 after competing in the 2005 Baseball Factory Pre-Season All-America Tournament (now the Under Armour Pre-Season All-America Tournament), 2005 Team One West Showcase, and the Team One National. Rizzo was a sixth-round pick in 2007 after playing in the 2006 Cape Cod Classic (now the Under Armour All-America Game) and 2006 Team One South Showcase. He was recently traded to the Cubs by the San Diego Padres. Even though these players took very different paths, they will both join the Cubs at some point in 2012 and will have a big impact during both of their careers. The NL Central will also feature Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco, the 14th overall prospect. Mesoraco played in the 2006 BWI World Series and will compete for the opening day catcher’s spot in Cincinnati this season.
Other Baseball Factory Alumni Named to MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects List include:
RHP Shelby Miller (No. 5, Cardinals), 3B Nolan Arenado (No. 22, Rockies), RHP Zack Wheeler (No. 28, Mets), OF Christian Yelich (No. 35, Marlins), 3B Mike Olt (No. 43, Rangers), RHP Casey Kelly (No. 50, Padres), SS Nick Franklin (No. 52, Mariners), RHP Trevor May (No. 54, Phillies), OF Jake Marisnick (No. 58, Blue Jays), OF Bryce Brentz (No. 64, Red Sox), OF Aaron Hicks (No. 72, Twins), OF George Springer (No. 84, Astros), RHP AJ Cole (No. 88, Athletics), SS Tim Beckham (No. 92, Rays)
Baseball Factory would like to congratulate all our alumni for their achievements thus far. To be recognized by MLB.com as a Top 100 Prospect is truly an accomplishment, sure to be one of many ahead for these great young talents.
Many of our alumni began Building Their Way to Greatness at an Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout. Are you next? Register for an Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout, coming to a ballpark near you!