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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SB 100 BA SC BP SN ES ML 97
Another product of the Mets' Latin American prospecting machine, Dominican righthander Rafael Montero is yet another hard thrower coming up fast through the minor league system. Montero has a lean and mean mound presence, not unlike the young Pedro Martinez, and he has the electric stuff to live up to that comp. Montero brings a mid-90's fastball that's solid and accurate, but it's the advanced nature of his secondary pitches (especially the wicked slider and sometimes-plus change) that frustrates hitters. And my, how those hitters do get frustrated.
Montero racked up crazy-good numbers in 2013, posting a combined 12-7 record and 2.78 ERA across 27 starts split between AA Binghamton and AAA Las Vegas. More improtant, he struck out 150 would-be hitters in only 155 innings. He looks unlikely to break camp with the Mets this spring, but he should be quick to move, should the team be ready for minor league help early in the year.
Full Scouting Report for Rafael Montero
SB 101 BA SC BP SN ES ML 94
It's not often that a college pitcher's best weapon is a changeup, but that's how it is for Gonzaga's Marco Gonzales. It's also why he's a top pitching prospect: the change is usually the hardest and last pitch for any professional to master. More traditionally. Marco commands a low-90's fastball well and leans on a good slider against lefthanded hitters. A two-way player while in college, he's no slouch with a bat, which could be extra-attractive to his future in the National League. In a Cardinal system adept at getting the most from smart pitchers, Gonzales has a very bright future.
Full Scouting Report for Marco Gonzales
SB 102 BA SC BP SN ES ML 98
A control-focused righthander from Plano, Texas, prospect Adam Miller has bounced up and down the Indian's farm system for seven full seasons, none of them outstanding but none of them awful enough to merit a sharp cut. He looked good at high-A Kinston last season, then awful at AA Akron. He's running out of time.
Full Scouting Report for Adam Miller
SB 103 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Everyone who sees the kid loves his makeup, but for some reason he never does seem to stay in one place very long. Boston will have the next opportunity to bring him up to the MLB level. At each stop so far, he's shown good strikeout ability and a knack for not giving up too many homers. He walks a few too many, but he's improving that regard, so it shouldn't hold him back too much. He's a textbook gamer as a pitcher, working his 92mph fastball to both sides of the plate and mixing in a plus curve and good changeup just often enough to keep batters off-balance.
Depending on how Boston's season shakes out, look for this quirky right hander in the mix sometime in 2013 or 2014. He's no ace anchor, but if he gets a shot at the middle of a rotation, he could move right in and be a happy cog for years to come.
Full Scouting Report for Will Inman
SB 104 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A fast-falling prospect who once had high expectations, onetime phenom Brandon Erbe once again failed to show that he could build on past success in his third run through the Orioles minor league system. Before his mid-2010 labrum surgery, he demonstrated a 98mph fastball that provided moments of dominance. But he has never really showed that he can hold down a job for a full season, and the post-surgery model has been even less durable: he tends to tire in the summer months and usually stumbles to a poor finish. This all projects 'relief pitcher', if you haven't been paying attention, and that's exactly how the Orioles finally deployed him in 2012 to mixed results. His 30 strikeouts in 30 innings are nice to look at. His 24 walks, less so.
Full Scouting Report for Brandon Erbe
SB 106 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A first round draft pick by the Orioles back in 2007, infielder Billy Rowell was once a tip-top prospect, but these days he doesn't crack many top twenty lists, despite his intact skill set. Scouts have always been of sixteen different minds on Rowell, some seeing a great future hitter, others seeing a scuffling AAAA future. The latter bunch has been more accurate of late, as even a trip back to Rookie ball failed to cure Rowell of his propensity for swinging at any and every pitch that gets close enough for him to reach. He didn't show much of the power that once looked promising, either, leaving not a whole lot to see here, other than eternal potential. He's organizational filler until he shows that he can recapture that teenaged proficiency. A gentle reminder that even first rounders are never sure-things.
Full Scouting Report for Billy Rowell
SB 107 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A righthander who outgrew his shot at the Ranger rotation, Hurley has developed steadily enough over the last few seasons, and now seems to slot into a mopup or inning-eating role with division-rival Anaheim. Hurley uses a hard, sinking fastball as well as the traditional two and four-seam varieties.
Yes, this means his three best pitches are all fastballs. His slider and change, on the other hand, are average, workable pitches, but not yet polished enough to rely upon, and that's the reason he's still probably going to start his seventh consecutive season in the minors. While he's no longer among the hottest pitching prospects in the AL West, Hurley could still fight his way to a place at the back end of the Anaheim rotation, or as the first man out of its bullpen, sometime in 2012.
Full Scouting Report for Eric Hurley
SB 108 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A tall, powerful strikeout artist, Guerra has been considered in both starting and bullpen roles for the last couple of years. He should be easy to lock up in the late rounds of a deep draft this year, but he promises to be much more attractive (and widely known) next year. With electric stuff but not much pro experience under his belt yet, Guerra will probably keep striking out a batter per inning until the Twins' brain trust can't ignore him anymore.
Full Scouting Report for Deolis Guerra
SB 109 BA SC BP SN ES ML
100 to 110 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013