Top Baseball Prospects for 2015
Now updated for 2015's Top Prospects
Scouting Book's Top Prospects list is a Combined List, a calculated summary of the overall valuations of the entire prospect universe.
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He's clearly no shortstop anymore (as Scouting Book readers knew to expect) and a year recovering from TJ surgery won't help his ranking much, but that shouldn't stop Miguel Sano from hanging around in the uppermost prospect room in Minnesota. The biggest Latin American signing of 2009, Sano seemed like a coup of sorts for the small market Twins. A coveted athlete pursued by all the usual big-market teams, it was Minnesota's relentless (one might say 'piranha-like') tenacity that finally landed the youngster. While his bat is enticing, the rest of his game is more typical of a still-young player: sloppy and inconsistent. He'll need to become a better fielder and baserunner, at the very least, before he's treated with proper respect in the big
More Scouting Book Info on Miguel Sano
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The classic all-promise righthander, Arizona's Archie Bradley is a potentially-outstanding pitcher who's only a changeup short of a major league career very, very soon. Of course, that's the pitching equivalent of a hitter who can handle everything except a curve ball, so this youngster's future will depend mighty heavily on how many MPH he can
subtract when called upon to do so. If he stumbles, his big fastball and plus curve should still serve his team well in relief, but we won't know for another year or so which road he'll be taking.
More Scouting Book Info on Archie Bradley
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A very young lefthander who is raising eyebrows all over minor league ball with his electric filth*, Julio Urias is one of the most intriguing prospects in the Dodger system today. His stuff is plus-plus, and while there are concerns about his slight frame and ability to handle an MLB workload, the youngster is in good hands, and if anyone can maximize his potential as he grows, it's the Dodger coaching crew.
* Note: also a great name for a punk-jazz fusion band.
More Scouting Book Info on Julio Urias
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A righthander with three possible plus pitches, righthander Lucas Giolito had a chance to be drafted #1 overall until he was sidelined by UCL problems. If he's really back at full strength, he's one of the best pitching prospects left in the Washington system, or any system, and the team's best bet to be a future ace. And considering the depth and quality of that system, that's really something. With a stable of quality arms at all stages of development, the Nats are better-poised, pitching-wise, for the coming decade than any team in baseball. Think of them as the anti-Cubs.
More Scouting Book Info on Lucas Giolito
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A tall lefthander from California, Boston prospect Henry Owens is a raw but high-ceiling pitcher who many project as a future relief specialist, though he's shown the durability and maturity to survive as a starter. Owens fastball is a low-90's offering with movement, which should pick up a few more ticks on the radar gun as he grows and gains strength. At present, he usually mixes in two curves, one hard and one soft, with varying degrees of effectiveness, and a weak changeup that does almost no good whatsoever.
With command to improve and strength to build, Owens won't be an All-Star anytime soon, but his raw ability shouldn't be overlooked. Given another year or two of good guidance and hard work, he could find himself taking an MLB mound every fifth day, or at least for an inning or two twice a week.
More Scouting Book Info on Henry Owens
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A nominal third baseman, Texas prospect Joey Gallo should probably be considered a first base or DH prospect, as his fieldwork isn't anything that will get him any golden hardware. His bat is tremendous though, with huge power to all fields, probably more than any other prospect in the system: that 1.323 OPS in Rookie ball earned him a step up to the A-leagues in 2013, and he should reach AA in 2014. With a long swing and iffy judgement, though, he's got some development to do before he's ready to join in the Texas thunder.
More Scouting Book Info on Joey Gallo
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A switch-hitting catcher of the type the Red Sox have kept on trying to develop for the last decade, Cleveland native Blake Swihart has the tools necessary to succeed in the big leagues, assuming his game-calling head can develop as expected. Already blessed with solid contact ability from either side of the plate, (.448/.492/.845 for Team USA two years ago, .298/.366/.428 at high-A Salem in 2013) he's also showing a strong and accurate throwing arm already. If he has to move away from the plate, he could be a competent third baseman, since he doesn't really have the legs for the outfield, but if that happened he would drop a great deal in value, since there are many other young third basemen with similar offensive pop.
More Scouting Book Info on Blake Swihart
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A righthander buried a bit too deep in the Blue Jays refreshed farm system, Aaron Sanchez struck out a batter per inning while moving from rookie ball to low-A Vancouver in 2011, then looked even better at A-level Lansing in 2012. Spending all of 2013 at high-A Dunedin, Sanchez posted a 1.19 WHIP in 86 innings while racking up a satisfactory 75:40 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His mid-90's fastball can reach the high-90's on occasion, though it moves better when thrown at less than maximum velocity. When located well it can be quite devastating, making his second pitch (a quality curve) not very necessary. The changeup isn't all there yet, but that's typical in young arms. Sanchez will be working on repeating the delivery of all three pitches this year once again. The sign everyone is watching for is improving control: if he can contain or further-reduce his walk rate, he's big-league ready and should spend the bulk of the year in the majors. If not, he'll be up and down until he can do so.
More Scouting Book Info on Aaron Sanchez
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A smallish but smart-throwing lefthander from Oklahoma, Marlin prospect Andrew Heany is the proud owner of a quality three-pitch arm. On a Marlin club shallow in the pitching department, Heany could move quickly: while originally on track for 2015-16, we wouldn't be surprised to see him arrive as early as this season, especially if the Marlin rotation suffers any losses.
More Scouting Book Info on Andrew Heaney
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The number three overall pick in the 2014 draft, White Sox pitching prospect Carlos Rodon has fans dreaming of a rotation that features both Rodon and fellow lefthander Chris Sale (himself the 13th pick in 2010). Unlike the wiry, whiplike Sale, Rodon is a big, sturdy-looking college arm from North Carolina State who features a heavy 95mph fastball and a wipeout slider, both of which he commands very well. As is usual with prospect pitchers, a changeup is only barely-there, but as long as he develops a passable one, he'll be a top-tier pitcher in MLB very, very soon.
More Scouting Book Info on Carlos Rodon
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Top Prospects 2013