Top 100 Prospects: Kevin Goldstein's Top Rated Hitting Prospects

SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 24: Anthony Rizzo #27 of the San Diego Padres hits a double during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Petco Park on June 24, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

Continuing in the series of Top 100 Prospects articles, today I provide Kevin Goldstein's top rated hitting prospects for 2012. Kevin is the prospect expert over at Baseball Prospectus where he writes his annual Top 11 prospects for each team. Actually, he lists the team's top 20 prospects, in a tiered format, but writes a mini scouting report for each in his Top 11.

A look at Goldstein's 5-star and 4-star rated hitting prospects after the jump:

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5 Star

Christian Yelich, FLA

MIguel Sano, MIN

Manny Machado, BAL

Wil Myers, KC

Bubba Starling, KC

Brett Jackson, CHC

Josh Bell, PIT

Nolan Arenado,COL

4 Star

George Springer, HOU

Jonathan Singleton, HOU

Eddie Rosario, MIN

Joe Benson, MIN

Jonathan Schoop, BAL

Cheslor Cuthbert, KC

Javier Baez, CHC

Rymer Liriano, SD

Jedd Gyorko, SD

Cory Spangenberg, SD

Anthony Rizzo, SD

Austin Hedges, SD

Starlin Marte, PIT

Robbie Grossman, PIT

Wilin Rosario, COL

Goldstein is usually aggressive with some of his rankings, and he has shown that to be true thus far. I am a bit surprised with the 5 Star ranking for Bubba Starling and Josh Bell, due to their age and inexperience. But the Brett Jackson rating floors me, as I am pretty sure Goldstein has been cooler on him in the past. Actually, he ranked Jackson as a 4 Star prospect in 2011, so I am not sure what he did in 2011 that pushed him up a ranking.

I am very interested in seeing if the Twins actually move Eddie Rosario to second base in 2012. Rosario hit .337-.397-.670 with 21 HRs, 60 RBI and 17 SBs in the rookie league last year, so he is a bit old for the league.

A few other guys I am interested in are Robbie Grossman and Rymer Liriano. Liriano hit .319-.383-.499 with 12 HRs and 65 stolen bases in the Midwest League in 2011. Goldstein thinks he will stop running so much in the future as he is a muscular kid. Grossman dominated High A last year to the tune of .294-.418-.454 with 13 HRs, 56 RBIs and an excellent 111-104 K/BB rate.

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