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 big, limber righthander who was hitting 98mph on the radar gun before going under the Tommy John knife in May 2014, pitcher Jeff Hoffman still has enough upside to be selected ninth overall by the Blue Jays in that summer's draft. Before surgery, Hoffman was commanding that fastball along with a plus curve (a true 12-6 knee-buckler that he used as a strikeout pitch) and a very good changeup, two pitches that he'll need to rebuild in the years to come. A textbook long-term investment by the Blue Jays.
Full Scouting Report for Jeff Hoffman
SB 111 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Austin Wates has a compact, line-drive swing from the right side that's done about all he can do in the minors: that .304/.375/.429 line at AA Corpus Christi last year is enough to indicate his future: he's ready for MLB right now.
To stick on the MLB roster, though, he'll need to show he can perform reliably with the same sharp eye and quick hands that have kept him on the radar. His mix of a good eye and near-plus speed, with a little power on top, could play well enough to play everyday in a poppy Marlins lineup, too.
Full Scouting Report for Austin Wates
SB 112 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big, strong strikeout artist who's been held back thus far by control issues, homegrown Phillies lefty Jesse Biddle still gets a very high nod thanks to his crazy-good stuff. He struck out a batter per inning at low-A Lakewood last year, which is enough to give him a pass (for now) on the fact that he also walked exactly one batter per odd inning. 96
Full Scouting Report for Jesse Biddle
SB 113 BA 71 SC 60 BP 94 SN ES 77 ML 53
A classic 'tools' player, BA's 2007 Youth Player of the Year Tim Beckham seemed like a safe pick for Tampa Bay as the #1 overall pick of the 2008 draft, if you can ever consider high school players 'safe'. While he's still a year or two away from breaking into the big leagues and some of the shimmer has faded from his aura, he's been making measurable progress on the farm, increasing his baserunning smarts and showing improving patience at the plate in the last two seasons.
Beckham still shows most of the hands and footwork needed for shortstop, too, and he hasn't yet physically outgrown the position, though he may need to move to second base to make way for Tampa's hotter shortstop prospects. If that happens, his bat might still carry him anyway: Beckham still has very quick wrists and an effortless-looking swing that could translate to 'easy power' down the road. He probably won't be the same superstar he was once projected to be, but he could be a useful piece of an MLB club soon.
Full Scouting Report for Tim Beckham
SB 114 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A huge beast of a pitcher, the six foot eight Anthony Ranaudo is one of many premium righthanded arms from the 2010 Amateur Draft. The LSU alum works with a mid-90's fastball on an (obviously) downward plane, mixing in an average curve and changeup that will have to improve before he's MLB-worthy. There are still some concerns with his mechanics, as is often the case with tall pitchers, and his slightly jerky delivery worries a few scouts. Despite those concerns, though, Ranaudo is a pitcher with significant upside who should be worth the XL risk the Sox took on him.
Full Scouting Report for Anthony Ranaudo
SB 115 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An offense-first Cuban shortstop signed by the Dodgers in 2013's winter, Alex Guerrero could probably start at second base for any of half the teams in MLB. Guerrero is the proud owner of a career .302/.383/.527 line across eight seasons of Cuban League play. More intriguingly, he stroked an average of 20 home runs each of his last four seasons seasons... and those are 90-game seasons. If even part of that prowess translates to MLB, he could provide some above-average production for the Dodgers very soon, probably while playing second base.
Full Scouting Report for Alex Guerrero
SB 116 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Another raw athlete in a draft filled to the brim with such potential, Ranger prospect Nick Williams fit the cliche perfectly: great natural tools and athleticism, good speed, strong arm, very raw skills, and a swing that shows glimmers of greatness... but also one full of more holes than a beer-league infield. While his game has tightened up a lot in the last year or so, he's still lacking some of the polish needed for the higher levels of pro ball. Give him another year or two.
Full Scouting Report for Nick Williams
SB 117 BA 97 SC BP 88 SN ES ML
Florida native Ben Lively, a solid righthander with a very polished four pitch arsenal, was drafted by the Reds in 2013's fourth round. While the fastball/slider looks like his best combination, his change and curve are good enough that the Reds will probably let him develop as a starter until and unless he stumbles hard. Of course, thanks to some deception in his throwing motion, coupled with that quality slider, he's got a very good possible future as a reliever in his back pocket, too.
Full Scouting Report for Ben Lively
SB 118 BA SC BP SN ES ML
One of the bundle of top prospects sent to Miami for Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and company in November, Justin Nicolino is a finessey lefty in the Tom Glavine fashion. Nicolino can dial his fastball up to 92 or 93, but not much more than that. It's more than enough, though. Nicolino had what might be the best debut by a Jays prospect ever in 2011, and has continued to blossom since. If he makes the big leagues in 2013, which is possible, he'll do it on the strength of an easy, repeatable throwing motion (balls will come down, down, down on hitters from his tall frame and overhand motion) and a propensity to throw strikes, strikes and more strikes.
Full Scouting Report for Justin Nicolino
SB 119 BA SC 93 BP SN ES 93 ML 81
A lightly-built lefthanded starter from Venezuela, Boston prospect Eduardo Rodriguez is a steadily-developing pitcher who could help out the BoSox of the near future. He's risen smoothly through the minors so far, and is getting very close to MLB-quality.
Rodriguez isn't a strikeout artist, at least not yet, but his excellent control and quality slider do seem to inspire poor contact from hitters, giving him excellent ground ball ability. His fastball, which can touch 95mph, is good enough thanks to its natural movement, but his changeup isn't special yet. Keep an eye on him when he starts to face more advanced hitters to see if they're fooled as easily as low-level ones have been.
Full Scouting Report for Eduardo Rodriguez
SB 120 BA 65 SC 72 BP 61 SN ES 43 ML 68
110 to 120 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013