Top Baseball Prospects for 2014
Now updated for 2014'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.
Remember: this page is the result of an automatic process that re-sorts and re-ranks players often. If you're coming to this page directly, you're missing 9/10ths of what we do, so please
also visit our
home page, and read this blog entry before telling us how stupid we are. Thanks!
You know what the Atlanta Braves really need? More overpowering pitchers with electric stuff. No, wait, actually, they already have more of those than they know what to do with. No matter, JR Graham is exactly that kind of righthanded prospect, and he won't let a niggling thing like a logjam stop his 100mph sizzler.
A fourth round pick who has already surpassed the expectations of most scouts (you clever, clever Braves, you) Graham mixes his nasty fastball with a diving slider and a proto-cutter that he's still struggling to keep down and under control, but he's in exactly the right system to learn that. Still young, he probably won't be an MLB factor as an every-fifth-day starter for another couple of seasons, but if he stays healthy, he could be a quicker bullpen phenom in Atlanta. He's certainly got the stuff.
Full Scouting Report for JR Graham
SB 111 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The fourth overall pick in the draft, righthander Trevor Bauer was overshadowed by rotation mate Gerrit Cole while at UCLA, but after turning pro he became one of the most impressive young arms anywhere in the minors, and he's as hot a ticket in our book as Cole is today.
Bauer is a smallish pitcher, with a bit of an unconventional motion, but his quirks are not the flaky flamethrower type, they're more of a dazzling bag-of-tricks variety. While he can reach 100mph if he wishes (we promise), he doesn't actually pitch there, preferring to stay down around 94mph with great and varying movement on his selection of sliders and cutters. He's also got a good head for the game and shows an Ichiro-level commitment to stretching and conditioning exercise. Acquired as the main return for Shin Soo Choo in a threeway trade via Cincinnati, it's possible Bauer will break camp with the Indians, but his real prime time won't be until midseason or even 2014.
Full Scouting Report for Trevor Bauer
SB 112 BA 83 SC BP SN ES ML 73
The first son of Niceville, Florida, Milwaukee prospect Jimmy Nelson is an enormous bear of a pitcher pulling himself up the minor league system. After dominating the high-A Florida League with a 2.21, 1.082, 77:25 performance, Nelson moved up to AA Huntsville at midseason. While his numbers against more advanced hitters suffered, Nelson's always been good at challenges, so watch for him to step up again in 2013. Nelson works with a nice matched fastball and slider that he commands well, though his control isn't quite up to snuff. Some scouts think his delivery is too busy, but it's difficult to be certain.
What we do know is that his changeup doesn't change much, and can't be counted on in a pinch, which means Nelson becomes a two pitch pitcher under pressure. With his size and intimidation factor, that sounds like a future reliever to us.
Full Scouting Report for Jimmy Nelson
SB 113 BA 96 SC BP SN ES ML 83
The Mets top infield prospect, Wilmer Flores is on a trajectory for Flushing that will be difficult to derail. Flores's reached AA in 2012, slashing .311/.361/.494 in 66 Binghamton games that included 8 homers and 18 doubles. He's still a year or so away from Flushing, and it's possible he could outgrow shortstop, but right now he looks like he could be a slightly-dimmer East Coast version of Starlin Castro by early 2014.
Full Scouting Report for Wilmer Flores
SB 114 BA SC BP 71 SN ES ML
A righthanded pitcher from San Pedro de Macoris, DR (his parents must have missed the shortstop delivery truck), Alexander Colome is a right-handed pitcher in the Rays system. Improving his control somewhat last season, Colome struck out 90 and walked 43 in 92 innings split between AA and AAA
His 94mph heat is probably enough to guarantee a comfy career all on its own, but it won't have to: his second pitch is a power curve that's almost ready, though the control could still improve further. He should see time in an MLB uniform this year.
Full Scouting Report for Alex Colome
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
A shortstop who's probably better off at second or third, Curacao native Jonathan Schoop's second turn through high-A ball in the Oriole system was a lot more successful than his first. Schoop silenced critics by slashing .271/.329/.375 at Carolina after shredding the low-A Sally League with a .316/.376/.514 line in the spring of 2011. In 2012, facing AA for the first time, he looked a little more grounded (.245/.324/.386) but wasn't beaten by the better pitching and continued to play solid defense. A high-contact hitter with developing power, Schoop is still adding bulk, which should help some of the 24 doubles he hit in 2011 turn into future homers. As it is, he still looks near ready for the bigs, with only another year or so of eyeball-training remaining. He'll return to AA to open 2013, and should apply a new focus. If he takes the expected step forward, he'll be ready for MLB action in 2014.
Full Scouting Report for Jon Schoop
SB 117 BA SC 87 BP 82 SN ES 86 ML
The 2009-10 Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year, Kaleb Cowart is a switch-hitting two-way player that the Angels flip-flopped on a couple of times before finally deciding they'd most like to see him as a full-time infielder. That's a shame, because as a pitcher he's blessed with easy heat in the 92mph range and can also touch 95mph on occasion.
As a fielder, he's a plus defender with quick feet and the expected cannon arm. At the plate, he's a nominal switch hitter who is stronger from the right side, with a long swing but good bat speed. His overall balance of two-way skills has drawn comparisons to Ethan Martin and Casey Kelly. He's probably a better hitter than either of those, though.
Full Scouting Report for Kaleb Cowart
SB 118 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Yankees top international signee back in 2007, righthander Arodys Vizcaino got a taste of MLB ball in 2011 and was looking like he would be back to stay in 2012, at least until x-rays found irreparable damage in his elbow, necessitating TJ surgery to replace his shredded ligaments. Pre-surgery, his fastball hovered in the low 90s, but could get even harder once he is fully recovered. He is known to complement his heat with an already-superb curve and a developing change, which he'll hopefully remember how to throw come 2014.
He's special enough to not write off, and may end up looking like a steal for the Cubs one day.
Full Scouting Report for Arodys Vizcaino
SB 119 BA SC BP SN ES ML
One of Japan's most talented all-around ballplayers, Oakland rookie Hiroyuki Nakajima is a toolsy, accomplished shortstop with a good line-drive swing and an exemplary work ethic. Playing all season at shortstop for Seibu in 2011, Hiroyuki slashed .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs and 27 doubles, which is actually a poor year compared to his .310/.381/.479 career line. He also stole 21 out of 23 bases, showing exceptional skill. He's a solid player, with the same speed and discipline usually seen in Japanese players, plus a little more power than American fans might expect. A three-hole hitter with Seibu, Hiro would fit well into the number two or seven slot for the A's, or as a decent lead off man.
Full Scouting Report for Hiroyuki Nakajima
SB 120 BA SC BP SN ES ML
110 to 120 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013