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Jackie Bradley, Boston Red Sox
     Continuing with my countdown of the top 50 best prospects in baseball, here is today's list, from 40-31.

40.  
Alen Hanson, SS/2B, Pittsburgh Pirates, ETA: 2015: Hanson had a breakout year in high A West Virginia, as he hit .309/.381/.528. He sprays the ball to all fields and maximizes his plus speed with the occasional bunt or slap infield single. Fringy arm should eventually force him to 2B, but should be a very good offensive talent at either up-the-middle position.

39.     Nick Franklin, 2B, Seattle Mariners, ETA: 2013: Franklin does a little bit of everything with no standout tool. With a decent ability to hit for average and power, Franklin's bat should provide some punch to the hapless Mariner offense. Defensively he lacked a ton of range and the strong arm necessary for shortstop so a move to 2B is in order.

38.      Gary Sanchez, C, New York Yankees, ETA: 2014: Huge potential with the bat that includes plus power, Sanchez could be seen as the second coming of former Yankee prospect Jesus Montero. Like Montero, Sanchez is a work in progress behind the plate, with 16 errors and 18 passed balls in 91 games behind the plate. The Yankees will give him all the time necessary to develop defensively to better maximize his bat.
37.      Rymer Liriano, OF, San Diego Padres, ETA: 2014: Incredibly gifted player that drives the ball consistently and could hit 20+ home runs as he learns to turn on pitches. Also has a very strong arm and plus speed that could lead him either CF or RF at the major league level. True five tool talent with surprisingly solid approach at  the plate adds up to a monstrous ceiling for the Dominican product.

36.     Jackie Bradley, CF, Boston Red Sox, ETA: 2013: Otherworldly defender in CF with amazing range, Bradley has shown the ability with the stick as well. Batted .315/.430/.482 in two levels in 2012, Bradley has an excellent approach at the plate and sprays line drives all over the field. Should replace Ellsbury in Boston by as soon as 2013.

 35.    Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, ETA: 2014: Switch hitter that has solid pop and patience at the plate, Cowart has the 3B starter kit. Also possesses a strong arm that almost led him to be drafted as a pitcher and should be a good defender there as well.

34.      Archie Bradley,  SP, Arizona Diamondbacks, ETA: 2015: Another arm with power stuff in the Diamondbacks system, but still lacks consistency in pitches and control. Control must improve after walking 5.6 BB/9, although he will occasionally go on streaks of strike thowing. Front of the rotation potential but years away from maximizing his talent.
 
33.      Aaron Sanchez, SP, Toronto Blue Jays, ETA: 2015: Has as much potential as any pitcher in the minors. Plus-plus fastball and strong curve. Will occasionally throw a plus changeup, but it still lacks feel and consistency in addition to his currently subpar control. Regardless, his fastball alone should take him to the bigs, sitting in the mid-90's with good sink and run. If everything clicks, Sanchez could be an impact arm for the Jays.

32.      Carlos Martinez, SP, St. Louis Cardinals, ETA: 2014: Dominant fastball with severe run and sits in the mid-high 90's. Also has a well above average change but a fringe average curve. Has good command but durability is a concern given his smaller stature (6'0", 165 lbs). If starting does not work, he could be an asset in the 'pen.

31.      Jake Odorizzi, SP, Kansas City Royals, ETA: 2013: Prize of the initial Greinke trade, Odorizzi has no dominant pitches but balances a good arsenal with a low 90's sinking fastball and above average curve. Has a shot to begin 2013 in the big leagues and profiles as a middle of the rotation starter.

 


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