Updating the top prospects

With the Futures Game and more than half the minor league season in our rearview mirror, it's time to update the rankings of the top prospects in the minors.

This list doesn't include players who've graduated to the majors (Mike Trout, Domonic Brown, Jeremy Hellickson, etc.), who have exhausted or are on pace to exhaust their rookie eligibility for 2012, and there are no 2011 draftees on this list because the draftees who might be good enough to make the list haven't signed yet.

As always, I emphasize upside and favor players with the potential to be stars at their positions or to pitch at the top of a rotation.

Big Board Bar

1 Bryce Harper

Analysis: He's a future superstar with huge raw power and a constantly improving approach at the plate. And he won't turn 19 until October. Preseason Ranking: 2

2 Matt Moore

Analysis: He has three above-average to plus pitches and easy velocity, and has improved his control this year. All of that adds up to a No. 1 starter. Preseason Ranking: 16

3 Shelby Miller

Analysis: He's the best right-handed pitching prospect in the minors with a plus fastball, above-average to plus curveball and much better changeup. Preseason Ranking: 9

4 Carlos Martinez


Analysis: Another easy velocity guy who'll touch 100 and has a plus breaking ball. A native of the Dominican Republic, he originally signed with Boston in 2009, but the deal was voided because of incomplete documentation. Just wait for the flurry of stories on how the Red Sox should still have Martinez's rights once he reaches the big leagues and turns into a star. Preseason Ranking: 52


Manny Machado


Analysis: It wasn't clear how advanced (or raw) his approach was when he was drafted No. 3 in 2010, but it's clear now. He has an .816 OPS across two levels, and it's looking more likely that he'll stay at short than it did last year. Preseason Ranking: 26