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Baseball's top 10 prospects entering the 2014 season

The Twins' No. 2 overall pick in 2012 is the consensus No. 1 choice

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The 2012 Major League Baseball draft isn't looking too shabby.

Michael Wacha, the No. 19 overall selection in 2012, was 4-1 with a 2.64 ERA in the 2013 playoffs for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Eight spots above Wacha, the Athletics selected shortstop Addison Russell, who is regarded as a top-15 prospect by every major scouting service.

At the top of the 2012 draft, the Astros chose shortstop Carlos Correa, who is ranked as Scout.com's No. 3 overall prospect.

At No. 2, the Twins selected outfielder Byron Buxton, who has pulled off a Bryce Harper-like sweep as the consensus No. 1 prospect by the likes of Scout, Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus and MLB.com.

We looked at the 2014 rankings of four of the best in the business -- Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, MLB and Scout. To break any close calls, we looked at each player's history on Baseball-Reference's outstanding website.

With all of that in mind, here is our consensus list of baseball's top prospects entering the 2014 season (all statistics are through 2013):

1. Byron Buxton, OF, Twins

Age: 20; Draft: No. 2 overall, 2012; Key stats: In 653 at-bats in the minor leagues, the five-tool outfielder is batting .312 with 17 homers, 97 RBI, 66 stolen bases, 142 runs and a .906 OPS. Once he overcomes a wrist injury, he will open the 2014 season in Double-A.

2. Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox

Age: 21; Draft: Signed as a free agent in 2009; Key stats: In a combined 444 at-bats in Double- and Triple-A last season, Bogaerts batted .297 with an .865 OPS, 15 homers, 67 RBI and seven steals. He opened the 2014 campaign as Boston's starting shortstop.

3. Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals

Age: 21; Draft: Signed as a free agent in 2008; Key stats: In 1,446 at-bats in the minors, he has hit .320 with 46 homers, 277 RBI, 34 steals and an .895 OPS. He started 2014 in Class AAA.

4. Javier Baez, SS, Cubs

Age: 21; Draft: No. 9 overall, 2011; Key stats: He moved from advanced-Class A to Double-A in 2013, and combined to crack 37 homers, drive in 111 runs and steal 20 bases. Baez batted .282 with a .920 OPS and 98 runs last season. He opened 2014 in Triple-A.

5. Carlos Correa, SS, Astros

Age: 19; Draft: No. 1 overall, 2012; Key stats: That's three shortstops in the top five, but this one has a ways to go before he reaches the big leagues. Correa batted .320 with nine homers, 86 RBI, 10 steals and an .872 OPS in 450 at-bats in Class A last season. He opened the 2014 season in advanced-Class A.

6. Archie Bradley, SP, Diamondbacks

Age: 21; Draft: No. 7 overall, 2011; Key stats: He was lights out in Double-A in 2013, compiling a 12-5 record with a 1.97 ERA and 119 strikeouts in 123 1/3 innings. The right-hander was sent to Triple-A at the start of the 2014 season, but he might not stay there long.

7. Taijuan Walker, SP, Mariners

Age: 21; Draft: No. 43 overall, 2012; Key stats: In a combined 25 starts in Double- and Triple-A, Walker was 9-10 with a 2.93 ERA and 160 Ks in 141 1/3 innings. He started three games for the Mariners last season, and he began 2014 in their starting rotation.

8. Addison Russell, SS, Athletics

Age: 20; Draft: No. 11 overall, 2012; Key stats: He spent almost all of 2013 in advanced-Class A, before closing the season by playing three contests in Triple-A. In a combined 442 at-bats, Russell batted only .269 and struck out 125 times last season, but he also racked up 17 homers, 60 RBI, 21 steals and had an .865 OPS. He started 2014 in Class AA.

9. Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians

Age: 20; Draft: No. 8 overall, 2011; Key stats: The fifth shortstop in our top 10 batted .303 last season and is a .306 career hitter in the minors. But Lindor doesn't have much pop -- he had two homers, 34 RBI and a .787 OPS in advanced-Class A and Double-A in 2013. He was sent to Double-A to begin the 2014 campaign.

10. Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs

Age: 22; Draft: No. 2 overall, 2013; Key stats: Cubs fans, at least your team has two of baseball's top 10 prospects. Bryant tore up Class A pitching in 2013 -- hitting .336 with nine homers, 32 RBI and a 1.078 OPS in 128 at-bats after he was selected second overall. He opened 2014 in Double-A.

Honorable mention

  • Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins: Ranked sixth by Baseball America, 14th by Baseball Prospectus, fourth by MLB and 14th by Scout entering 2014.
  • Gregory Polanco, OF, Pirates: No. 10, Baseball America; No. 24, Baseball Prospectus; No. 13, MLB; No. 6, Scout.
  • Noah Syndergaard, SP, MetsNo. 16, Baseball America; No. 11, Baseball Prospectus; No. 11, MLB; No. 16, Scout.
  • Jonathan Gray, SP, RockiesNo. 12, Baseball America; No. 16, Baseball Prospectus; No. 14, MLB; No. 22, Scout.
  • Dylan Bundy, SP, OriolesNo. 15, Baseball America; No. 15, Baseball Prospectus; No. 20, MLB; No. 18, Scout.
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