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 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 111 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Athletics drafting a high-school player with their first round pick? Times have changed in the land of Moneyball. Now a member of the Cubs' farm, Billy McKinney is an advanced bat from Texas who might enjoy a quick rise through minor-league baseball, assuming his coaches find a fielding position for him.
Full Scouting Report for Billy McKinney
SB 112 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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 113 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 114 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 115 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 116 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 117 BA SC 93 BP SN ES 93 ML 81
A well rounded young outfielder in the KC system, Dominican Jorge Bonifacio has received a little more attention of late, ever since Wil Myers left the building. At age 19, Bonifacio didn't rattle at all when promoted to A ball in 2012, slashing .282/.336/.432 with 10 homers and breaking a sweat. He might want to turn up the accelerator a bit, of course: he's only 25 of 41 in stolen base attempts, a poor success rate for a player with such good speed. He'll be in the minors another year or two, but could join Bubba Starling in a potent young Royal outfield soon enough.
Full Scouting Report for Jorge Bonifacio
SB 118 BA 90 SC 81 BP 99 SN ES ML 91
The Red Sox first round pick in 2011, UConn's Matt Barnes was the 2011 Big East Pitcher of the Year. With a 98mph fastball and a curveball that's downright impossible on a good day, he already looks like he could be a part of a big-league rotation. Of course, those two pitches are really his entire bag right now, and it's pretty likely that no matter how good they are, a two pitch combo won't work very well the third or fourth time through an MLB order. To fix this shortcoming, he'll work on developing his all-important third pitch, a change that's sometimes reasonable-looking, but definitely still raw. He'll do that while working in the minors this year, while the Red Sox try to train him to their style of play and development. Watch for him in mid-to-late 2013.
Full Scouting Report for Matt Barnes
SB 119 BA SC BP 94 SN ES 89 ML 86
A power righthander who many see as the next Dodger ace, first round draft pick Zach Lee has a ways to go before he's a sure thing, but he did nothing to frighten away believers in 2011, racking up a great start to his pro career in A ball. With a 92mph fastball, plus curve and a developing change, he's a young pitcher worth worth watching closely: that 103:32 strikeout to walk ratio he posted across two leagues in 2012 portends a solid future.
Full Scouting Report for Zach Lee
SB 120 BA 95 SC 51 BP 84 SN ES 75 ML 63
110 to 120 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013