Here's my first ranking of the top 100 prospects for the 2010 Rule 4 draft, based on what I've seen and what I've heard from scouts thus far this spring. It's not a projection of where these players will be selected, but my assessment of their values as players. I also don't consider signability, which is largely an unknown factor at this point anyway. This list was compiled in consultation with Jason A. Churchill, who is my main co-contributor to the almost-daily MLB draft blog on Insider.
Bryce Harper remains No. 1 on my list, and I don't see anyone close enough right now to potentially unseat him. Manny Machado has a pretty strong grip on the No. 2 position over prep right-handers Jameson Taillon and Karsten Whitson, as well as big-performing left-hander Drew Pomeranz.
It's a strong draft for right-handed pitching and for catching, and weak in the middle infield and in college bats. It's a good year to draft in the top 5, but not a great year to draft 6-20 unless some more top players pop up between now and the draft. And that may very well happen, so look for these names and the order to change quite a bit over the next seven weeks, with changes more likely as you head farther from the top of the list.
Bryce HarperC6-3205 Analysis: Destroying a JC conference as a 17-year-old, he's an impact bat with a plus arm. My video scouting of Harper is located here. Feb. 19: No. 1
Manny MachadoSS6-2180 Analysis: Tall, athletic shortstop with a quick bat and a 70 arm. Feb. 19: No. 22
Drew PomeranzLHP6-5235 Analysis: Big lefty with subpar mechanics but a strong track record of missing bats. Feb. 19: No. 18
Jameson TaillonRHP6-5215 Analysis: Unusual arm strength, up to 98 mph as a starter, but hitters see his fastball. Feb. 19: No. 3
Karsten WhitsonRHP6-4195 Analysis: The best command of the premium prep arms in the class, with a chance for four pitches. Feb. 19: No. 15