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 120 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Tim Beckham
SB 121 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Anthony Ranaudo
SB 122 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Alex Guerrero
SB 123 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Nick Williams
SB 124 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Ben Lively
SB 125 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Justin Nicolino
SB 126 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Eduardo Rodriguez
SB 127 BA 65 SC 72 BP 61 SN ES 43 ML 68
A smallish infielder with good all-around skills but no eye-popping tools, Christian Arroyo doesn't have an obvious fielding position, but he does have a quality line-drive hitter's swing, short and compact. Even if he ends up a utility player, he seems to have the polish and poise to be a good one.
More Scouting Book Info on Christian Arroyo
SB 128 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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.
More Scouting Book Info on Jorge Bonifacio
SB 129 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Matt Barnes
SB 130 BA SC BP 94 SN ES 89 ML 86
120 to 130 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013