- Dan Szymborski, ESPN Insider
Wednesday marks the first day of the release of the Baseball Tonight 500. For the second year in a row, ESPN's panel of experts rated players based on our predicted 2013 performance and ranked the top 500.
The bottom 100 goes live Wednesday, and while 401-500 may not initially sound like the most exciting, predicting the future is extremely difficult and it's inevitable that some of the players at the bottom of the rankings will jump up. Way up. Looking back at last year's 401-500, if we re-ranked the players based on their 2012 WAR (wins above replacement), six players would have made the top 100: Kris Medlen, Josh Reddick, Alberto Callaspo, Alex Rios, Jamey Carroll and Darwin Barney made us all eat a little bit of crow.
In all likelihood, some of the guys in the 401-500 range will have us coming back for seconds by the end of the upcoming season. In 2012, the average top 100 player produced 3.2 WAR, so I asked the ZiPS projection system to list the players in the bottom 100 most likely to hit that mark in 2013. Here are six players with at least a 15 percent chance of eclipsing that mark in 2013, listed in order of the likelihood of that happening.
Jose Quintana (No. 424) | LHP, Chicago White Sox
7hAndrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews
1dAdam Rubin and Jesse Rogers