Baseball America thinks highly of the quartet of Louisville Bats. Devin Mesoraco came in a solid third, behind Tampa Bay pitching phenom Matt Moore and Atlanta hurler Julio Teheran. Interestingly, Zack Cozart checked in at No. 11 and as the top-ranked shortstop, ahead of first baseman/left fielder Yonder Alonso, who is ranked 13th. Todd Frazier rounded out the Top 20.
BA writer James Bailey wrote that he is impressed with Mesoraco’s defensive improvement under Bats manager and former MLB catcher Rick Sweet. Bailey added that Mesoraco has a consistent swing, power and a strong knowledge of the strike zone with no holes pitchers may exploit. Mesoraco posted a line of 15-71-.289/.371/.484 in AAA, with 43 of his 126 hits going for extra bases.
Bailey wrote that Cozart is the most complete middle infield prospect in the league and described him as a smart hitter who can bat at the top of the order while providing slightly above average defense. Bailey likes that Cozart uses the whole field and profiles as an above average hitter. Cozart put up an impressive 7-32-.310/.357/.467 line with nine steals in 11 attempts. He knocked 35 of 100 hits for extra bases.
Bailey likes Alonso’s "pure swing" and ability to hit for power and average. He also likes Alonso’s discerning eye at the plate and his ability to hit the ball where it is pitched. Bailey suggested Alonso can get by defensively in left field, but should be at first base. Alonso’s line was 12-56-.296/.374/.486, with 40 of his 106 hits being non-singles.
Frazier has plus power to all fields, according to Bailey, but doesn’t have the plate discipline to hit for average. Bailey figures Frazier can play multiple positions but fits better at third base or left field than at second base or shortstop. Frazier finished with a line of 15-46-.260/.340/.467 and was 17-for-21 in stolen bases attempts. Frazier smacked 34 extra base hits among his 82 hits.
The Reds and Rays led the league with four players apiece in the Top 20. Atlanta, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Boston placed two each on the list. The Yankees, Washington, White Sox and Pittsburgh each landed one player in the rankings.