Top Baseball Prospects for 2016
Now updated for 2016'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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SB 10 BA 11 SC 16 BP 55 SN ES 44 ML 40
Another slow-cooking pitching prospect in a system that never seems to run out, Cardinal righthander Alex Reyes is pushing against the minor-league ceiling and should be contributing in the St Louis bullpen or rotation just as soon as there's an opening. A power righthander, he's often described as a copy of Cardinal project Carlos Martinez, though he actually looks a little more like Shelby Miller in action: a big, booming fastball that he throws deep into ballgames, peppered with a mix of so-so breaking stuff that's just enough to keep hitters honest. If his changeup ever truly blossoms, he's an ace, but even without he looks like a competent middle-of-rotation arm, and he's pretty much ready to fly right now.
More Scouting Book Info on Alex Reyes
SB 11 BA 7 SC 9 BP 10 SN ES 8 ML 13
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. While his raw stuff is MLB-level already, he's got enough to learn that he really should spend another full year in the minors. Let's see if the Dodgers have enough patience for that.
* Note: also a great name for a punk-jazz fusion band.
More Scouting Book Info on Julio Urias
SB 12 BA 4 SC 7 BP 6 SN ES 5 ML 4
A complete hitter with enough pop to rack up big numbers in Colorado, prospect Brendan Rodgers also brings just enough range and arm to stick at shortstop. Drafted third overall in 2015 and dropped directly into the Pioneer League, Rodgers stepped up with a professional .273/.340/.420 line.
He'll turn 20 in mid-2016, and will probably be pushing up against AA ball right around the same time. Rockies fans are already comparing Rodgers 21-year-old Troy Tulowitzki... and they're not wrong.
More Scouting Book Info on Brendan Rodgers
SB 13 BA 40 SC 19 BP 20 SN ES 11 ML 12
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 close to anything golden anytime soon.
His bat is tremendous though, with huge power to all fields, more than any other prospect in the system: in a season split between AAA Round Rock and AA Frisco, Gallo smacked 23 homers in 87 games, slashing .240/.342/.520 along the way. With a long swing and iffy judgement, though (139 strikeouts in those same 87 games), he's got some development to do before he's ready to really join in on the Texas thunder.
More Scouting Book Info on Joey Gallo
SB 14 BA 10 SC 11 BP 8 SN ES 12 ML 9
SB 15 BA 23 SC 21 BP 28 SN ES 60 ML 24
A lefthanded power pitcher with a dominating mound presence, top Angel prospect Sean Newcomb went to the Braves in the winter of 2015, further strengthening an embarrassment of pitching riches in Atlanta's rebuild. Newcomb has a heavy, sinking fastball that lives around 95mph but can reach 99, more than enough to qualify him as one of the hardest-throwing lefty prospects in the game. His sweeping, hard slider is already a strikeout pitch, while a developing change and curve, while still rough, show occasional flashes of quality. He'll need some time to smooth out his big delivery and learn to repeat it more easily, but he's an exciting pitching prospect in an organization desperately in need of some.
More Scouting Book Info on Sean Newcomb
SB 16 BA 24 SC 20 BP 32 SN ES 30 ML 21
A young, toolsy prospect with a very high ceiling, John Paul (JP) Crawford is one of the nation's best young baseball players. He has all the raw athleticism, including plus speed and superior fast-twitch muscles, to succeed almost anywhere on the diamond. Naturally, we'll see how he performs as a shortstop first, and the early signs are positive: he has soft hands and a strong arm, managing to look as smooth and practiced as any phenom Dominican. At the plate, Crawford shows a good eye for such a young hitter, with good bat control and the ability to square up and turn around on pretty much anything he's ever seen. At 6-2 and still growing, he may outgrow shortstop before his talent displaces him, but it shouldn't matter: he could be a fine future All Star centerfielder, too.
More Scouting Book Info on JP Crawford
SB 17 BA 6 SC 2 BP 4 SN ES 4 ML
An all around standout athlete, Ranger outfielder Lewis Brinson looks like a shining star being forged deep in the heart of the Texas prospect furnace. In the field, he's always had such speed and grace that his ability has never been in doubt, but it's only recently that the offensive side of his game has started to really develop.
Brinson breezed past Low-A ball in 2014 and seemed to find his level with a .246/.307/.350 line during his year-ending tour of High-A pitching, when more patient pitchers were able to pick apart his sometimes too-aggressive swings. In 2015 he stepped up, though, adjusting to even AA pitching (.291/.328/.545) before showing off by stroking .433/.541/.567 in eight games with the AAA team in Round Rock. Along the way, Brinson kept showing ever-improving strike zone control, adjusting to newer and better pitchers at each stop, and re-learning how to make hard contact. He's got a shot in the major league outfield this season for Texas: even if he stumbles in April, he'll be a phone call away all year long.
More Scouting Book Info on Lewis Brinson
SB 18 BA 16 SC 15 BP 15 SN ES 32 ML 16
A Tampa Bay prospect who's ready to push his way into the MLB rotation, Seattle native Blake Snell zipped up prospect lists by opening 2015 with forty consecutive shutout innings, and that's pretty much his game in a nutshell: a ground-ball control freak with frustrating stuff. Snell can repeat his low-90's sinker with ease, and he leans on it heavily, mixing in a quality cutter and a classic wipeout slider to produce strikeout numbers higher than one usually sees from a sinkerballer.
Tampa Bay may not be quite ready with their retooling project, but right around the time the rest of the team gears up into win-now mode, Snell should be a part of that machine.
More Scouting Book Info on Blake Snell
SB 19 BA 12 SC 14 BP 21 SN ES 14 ML 14
Drafted as a teenager from Puerto Rico to open 2012's compensation round, Jose Orlando (J-O) Berrios is a smallish righthander with good arm strength that springs a compact but strong frame. His short delivery suggests mechanical soundness, even if it's a bit jerky, with a fastball that can pop at 96mph and a breaking ball that looks like a real plus offering. A top-flight phenom in a system good at maximizing pitcher value, there are few more certain things in the iffy business of pitching prospects: those last four starts he made at AAA in 2015 (32 strikeouts, 4 walks) made every last scout sit up and take notice.
More Scouting Book Info on Jose Berrios
SB 20 BA 28 SC 17 BP 17 SN ES 26 ML 19
10 to 20 of 751 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013