Future 50: Appel No. 1

We're less than 90 days away from the 2013 Rule 4 draft, making it a good time to bring out the year's first edition of the Future 50, my ranking of the top 50 prospects for this year's draft. This is not a projection or "mock" draft -- I'll start doing those in May, once team preferences start to narrow around specific sets of players. This list is a ranking by talent and upside, based on my own scouting of players (live and off video) and conversations with scouts from all over the country.

As with my ranking of the top 100 pro prospects, I use the 20-80 grading scale in these comments to avoid saying "average" and "above average" thousands of times across the 100 player comments. On that scale, a grade of 50 equals major league average, 55 is above average, 60 is plus, 45 is fringy or below average and so on.