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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A fireballing righthander from Tampa Bay, Houston prospect Lance McCullers (Junior) is one of the best bets to be a future star for the new-look AL Astros. With a hot-moving fastball that lives in the upper 90's and a hammer curve that can be a real strikeout pitch, he's everything the team could want. Questions about his mechanics abound, but he's young enough (just 18 when drafted) that he'll certainly have opportunities to harness himself. If the Astros contend in 2017, McCullers will probably be a big part of that movement.
Full Scouting Report for Lance McCullers
SB 101 BA 77 SC 77 BP 62 SN ES ML 52
Another promising third base prospect in Philadelphia, Dominican Maikel Franco has accelerated his course to the big leagues thanks to a blistering 2013 season with AA .339/.363/.563 line at AA Reading followed up on a spring .299/.349/.576 at A-level Clearwater. The young slugger crushed a combined 31 homers in 541 at-bats. If he stays this hot, he'll be in Philly this year, though his prime is another couple of years away. With the Phillies looking a few years away from contention, the organization may take the conservative road with Franco in order to hold down his substantial future costs.
Full Scouting Report for Maikel Franco
SB 102 BA 17 SC 16 BP 52 SN ES 63 ML 26
A smallish infielder drafted by the Tigers in the 13th round of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft, FSU alum Devon Travis has already made a career out of outperforming expectations. A late signee, Travis only sampled 25 games in the low-A NYPL, but he looked ready for wooden bats and pro baseball immediately, slashing .280 /.352/.441 while popping three homers and stealing as many bases. In the field he has the skills for short but will probably live at second base due to his size and lack of a true cannon arm. A sparkplug for a future MLB lineup.
Full Scouting Report for Devon Travis
SB 103 BA 84 SC BP SN ES ML
The younger brother of pitcher Kyle, young Bradley Zimmer is a toolsy outfielder who shows an advanced understanding of the strike zone and his own ability to work within it. His lefthanded line-drive swing is smooth and quick, and he's expected to grow into at least average power as he matures further. In the field, he has the speed and smarts to take over centerfield, though he probably has enough arm for a corner, too. He'll take a year or two to study, and likely master, minor league pitching, but he should be a good-to-great everyday player soon thereafter.
Full Scouting Report for Bradley Zimmer
SB 104 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A toolsy hitter who's already capable of spraying balls all over the field, Oakland infield prospect Daniel Robertson looks to fit well into that organization's on-base philosophy. His short swing and excellent eye look more advanced than his age, in fact. Listed by many as a shortstop, his so-so range and powerful arm look more like third base tools to us, and his workmanlike approach to the game suggest that the A's might finally have their Kevin Youkilis, even if it took an extra decade to find him.
Full Scouting Report for Daniel Robertson
SB 105 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The number two overall pick in 2011, Seattle pitching prospect Danny Hultzen is a solid lefthander who draws more than his share of Cliff Lee comparisons. With a fastball that drops in around 94mph and a no-nonsense workmanlike approach to the game, the comparison isn't far off base, either. In three seasons of duty at the University of Virginia, Hultzen went 32-5 with a 2.08 ERA. The Cavs ace also struck out a nasty 148 batters in 103 innings in his final season.
In addition to the well-advertised pinpoint fastball, he showed advanced ability to find and locate a nifty cutter, a decent change, and an occasionally-wicked slider, though he may back-shelf that one for awhile. He looked ready for MLB last season, but with not much to play for, the Mariners erred on the discretionary side, which should keep their soon-to-be-stellar rotation affordable a little bit longer. Look for him this season.
Full Scouting Report for Danny Hultzen
SB 106 BA SC 88 BP SN ES ML
A Washington draftee who made a detour to Oakland in 2012, re-Nationalized pitcher AJ Cole is a six-foot-five, lanky righthander who can touch 95mph with his fastball. Cole also mixes in a power curve and passable changeup that could develop into plus pitches with good coaching and support. He's already drawing comparisons to Justin Verlander, who was a similar pitcher at the same age, complete with the erratic control that's still holding Cole back from a breakout. Give him time and watch his peripherals. Trading a couple of MPH for greater control could accelerate his timeline.
Full Scouting Report for AJ Cole
SB 107 BA SC BP 53 SN ES 65 ML 69
Pierce Johnson is a wiry righthander snapped up by the Cubs in 2012's Supplemental Round after a few too many ballclubs were frightened away by a forearm strain. Silly ballclubs: Johnson is a legit first-round talent who brings a solid mix of three quality pitches to the mound already, and his 95mph fastball could be a real plus pitch as long as he can maintain its natural motion even when using it exclusively down in the zone, which he still struggles to do consistently. If he develops as expected, Johnson could be a solid part of a revitalized Chicago rotation come 2015 or so.
Full Scouting Report for Pierce Johnson
SB 108 BA 87 SC 64 BP 91 SN ES ML 100
Aaron Blair, a 21st round selection last season, spent the interim playing Cape Cod baseball before returning to the 2013 draft. Blair, a power righthander, can reach 95mph with his fastball, and it often looks better than that thanks to his better-than-average change. He doesn't yet command his curve with the same confidence he brings to other offerings, but overall he's a good pitcher, not just a raw arm, and he should continue to develop in the years to come.
Full Scouting Report for Aaron Blair
SB 109 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The 31st overall pick in the 2011 Draft, new Tampa Bay Ray prospect Michael Anthony Mahtook is a big, strong, fast centerfielder who starred at LSU. Mahtook hit .383 with 14 homers in his final year, and led the Southeast Conference with 39 steals. Mahtook started in A+ and ended up in AA last season, slashing a combined .277/.342/.415 with 9 homers in just under five hundred at-bats. He'll spend most (if not all) of 2013 back in AA, but he's scout's darling with good makeup and a great work ethic, and he's already showing all the tools necessary, so it's possible he could rise to action in Tampa sooner than the natural timetable suggests.
Full Scouting Report for Mikie Mahtook
SB 110 BA SC BP SN ES ML
100 to 110 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013