10 prospects who just missed
These promising players came up just a little bit shy of the top 100 list
As always, when I compile my rankings of the top 100 MLB prospects, I start with a longer list of candidates, including the top prospects in each organization, and gradually narrow the number of players on the master list as I make calls, review notes and video, write up capsules, and circulate drafts of the top 100 to trusted sources -- a process that leaves a few players just on the outside of the final ranking. Here are the 10 players who just barely missed the top 100 (in no particular order), including full capsules for two players I wrote up before deciding to bump them from that final list.
Will Middlebrooks, 3B: He emerged as one of the top Red Sox prospects last season with a breakout year at age 22 with Double-A Portland, showing raw power and plus defense at third base, a position that's really down around the majors right now. Middlebrooks has filled out his 6-foot-4 frame, so his rotational swing now produces home runs instead of just long fly balls. But his approach at the plate is a real weakness that pitchers started to exploit when he was called up to Triple-A and in the Arizona Fall League -- especially with better off-speed stuff.
For a full breakdown of the 10 players who just missed Keith Law's top 100 -- plus access to the top 100 and all of Law's writing throughout the year -- become an ESPN Insider.
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ESPN Insider's Keith Law tracks the game's best prospects throughout the 2012 major league season.