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.
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A big, athletic third base prospect from UNC who just happens to be BJ Surhoff's favorite nephew, slugger Colin Moran was selected sixth overall in the 2013 draft. He's a line-drive contact hitter with a sweet left-handed swing, and when he slashed .365/.434/.494 for the Tarheels in 2012, he locked down national attention. While he hasn't shown much power yet, he has the frame (and the genes) to develop at least average pop in the future. Not a bat-only type, Moran has also shown the sort of quickness and arm strength necessary to stick at third base.
More Scouting Book Info on Colin Moran
SB 111 BA 61 SC BP 74 SN ES 55 ML 51
Erik Johnson is a slow-cooking pitcher currently growing up in the White Sox system. Johnson, who works with a nifty low-90's fastball that comes in with natural sink and run, mixes in a slider that looks like a plus offering at times. His command is still iffy, and his changeup isn't all there yet, but the Sox seem content to move Johnson slowly and surely. After a 2012 split between low and high-A, he should reach AA in 2013.
More Scouting Book Info on Erik Johnson
SB 112 BA 63 SC 73 BP 67 SN ES 59 ML 70
A lefthanded power pitcher with a dominating mound presence, top Angel prospect Sean Newcomb has a heavy, sinking fastball that lives around 95mph but can reach 99, more than enough to qualify him as one of the hardest-throwing lefty prospects in the game. His sweeping, hard slider is already a strikeout pitch, while a developing change and curve, while still rough, show occasional flashes of quality. He'll need some time to smooth out his big delivery and learn to repeat it more easily, but he's an exciting pitching prospect in an organization desperately in need of some.
More Scouting Book Info on Sean Newcomb
SB 113 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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.
More Scouting Book Info on Lance McCullers
SB 114 BA 77 SC 77 BP 62 SN ES ML 52
The Mets first round pick (13th overall) in 2011, outfielder Brandon Nimmo earned his high draft pick with superior tools and excellent projectability, thanks to his strong, mature physical frame. Nimmo slashed a respectable .248/.372/.406 in low-A ball, and should spend 2013 working up to higher A levels. He's still young, but in an offensively weak system, he could move quickly and land in New York before 2015.
More Scouting Book Info on Brandon Nimmo
SB 115 BA SC BP SN ES 92 ML
When a high school player is projected as a first baseman, it's a sort of mixed message. On the one hand, it means that scouts have little to no faith in the player's ability to perform anywhere on the field. On the other hand, if such a player is still highly thought of, he must be one heck of a hitter. That's the case with LA-born, NY-drafted teenager Dominic Smith. The youngster has exceptional bat speed and power, and even shows enough of a discerning eye at the plate that a few scouts have conjured the ghost of Larry Walker in describing his potential. Smith's glove is actually quite good at first, and he has a strong arm, so it's possible some team will try to make a right fielder out of him, but that won't change the calculus: as long as the kid can learn to handle quality breaking balls in the minor leagues, he'll be a quality MLB ballplayer one day.
More Scouting Book Info on Dominic Smith
SB 116 BA 92 SC BP SN ES 37 ML
A catcher and pitcher in high school, Mississippi native Hunter Renfroe was drafted by the San Diego Padres (13th overall in 2013) as an outfielder, presumably signalling the team's intent to develop him quickly. And that's reasonable, given that his calling card is his offensive ability. The Cal Ripken League MVP in both 2011 and 2012, Renfro hit .395 and .366 in 2011 and 2012, respectively, and made himself known as a major power threat from the right side of the plate. He's an above-average runner, and has a real plus arm (he hit high-90's in his pitching days), which means he should be quite happy in right field soon.
More Scouting Book Info on Hunter Renfroe
SB 117 BA 80 SC BP SN ES 94 ML
A California boy with serious defensive chops at shortstop, White Sox prospect Marcus Semien slashed a tidy .273/.362/.471 with 14 homers in his first taste of high-A ball in 2012, stepping up his game from the year before. While the power surge was a pleasant surprise, Semien has long been known as a well-rounded athlete with a full toolbox, showing a soft glove and strong arm at shortstop, a patient eye at the plate and plus speed on the bases. Already a fast-riser, he'll be rocketing up prospect lists if that power increase turns out to be for real.
More Scouting Book Info on Marcus Semien
SB 118 BA 91 SC 92 BP SN ES ML
A big shortstop who some prefer as a future outfielder Rosell Herrera lit up scoreboards in A-level Asheville last season (), inflating his stock tremendously. He'll have to do it again in 2014 to make it onto any shortlists as a Tulo replacement, however.
More Scouting Book Info on Rosell Herrera
SB 119 BA 86 SC 67 BP SN ES 54 ML 99
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.
More Scouting Book Info on Zach Lee
SB 120 BA 95 SC 51 BP 84 SN ES 75 ML 63
110 to 120 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013