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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SB 150 BA 74 SC 84 BP 51 SN ES 53 ML 57
A big, sturdy reliever who's already had two samples of MLB duty, ex-Mariner prospect Stephen Pryor has been dominating minor leaguers for a couple of seasons now, though he's bad some bad injury luck when it's been time to step up to the Bigs. Still, his multiple stops in Seattle showed that he could handle the big-league pressure, and with an increasing confidence in his big, exploding fastball, Pryor should be mowing down MLB hitters this season.
More Scouting Book Info on Stephen Pryor
SB 151 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Yangervis Solarte is a talented, switch-hitting infield prospect who somehow slipped through both the Twins and Rangers systems before landing on the New York Yankees' opening day roster in 2014. Drafted as an IFA from Valencia, Venezuela, Solarte has played all over the diamond, though the Rangers seem to prefer his hands at second base, where his tools (a little power, a little speed) look most valuable.
After taking his AA career to a .329/.367/.466 plateau in the Eastern League's 2011 campaign, Solarte did much the same with AAA pitching in 2012, slashing .288/.340/.405 with 11 homers at AAA Round Rock. A four time MiLB All Star, Solarte has little left to prove in the minors, and on an injury-riddled Yankee team, he should stick.
More Scouting Book Info on Yangervis Solarte
SB 152 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Great name, great tools, great upside. He even has the Good Face. Bubba Starling is a Royals proto-outfielder who has that mix of speed, power and grace that so few sluggers manage. Only Jason Heyward in recent years really matches the sweet swing and long stride of Starling. He's very young and very raw, of course, so don't get too excited too soon (do Royals fans ever get excited, really?), but he's probably one of the best offensive prospects in all of baseball already, and he's still one of the youngest.
More Scouting Book Info on Bubba Starling
SB 153 BA SC 69 BP SN ES ML
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.
More Scouting Book Info on JR Graham
SB 154 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Trevor Bauer
SB 155 BA 83 SC 71 BP SN ES ML 73
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.
More Scouting Book Info on Kaleb Cowart
SB 156 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big, lean lefty who's been pitching under the radar for the past two seasons, Cuban Roenis Elias has stuff and guile enough to succeed in MLB, though the jury is very much still out on whether his best use would be from the bullpen or rotation. Elias, who defected from Cuba without much fanfare three years ago, was a Southern League All-Star last season posting a 3.18 ERA while striking out a tidy 121 batters in 130 innings. He's likely to open the season back in AA Jackson, but with the Mariner rotation looking iffy to open the season, he could be called upon for a spot start or two, plenty of opportunity to raise his stock even further.
More Scouting Book Info on Roenis Elias
SB 157 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Arodys Vizcaino
SB 158 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Pirates swear he's only eighteen years old, but young Luis Heredia sure looks a lot older than that, both physically and when you take a look at what he can do with a baseball. The big (6-6, 210) kid from Sinaloa throws hard: he touched 96mph in rookie ball as a sixteen-year old (!?), and he looks like as he grows into his body, he'll be able to increase number in the future, too.
Even as-is, though, that fastball will be enough if he can complement it with any decent secondary pitches. Good news for his mother and the fan club: Heredia's already packing a changeup that looks better than anything most 20-year olds can throw, and his work-in-progress curve is showing great movement, even if he can't really control it yet. He's only due to sample A-ball in 2013, which means he's still go a long way to go before he's wowing them in MLB, and we'll probably be hearing about all those other great Pirate pitching prospects first, but if his body holds together, the H-Bomb could be something special a few years down the road. Felix Hernandez comparisons are not completely outrageous here.
More Scouting Book Info on Luis Heredia
SB 159 BA SC 87 BP SN ES ML
A thickly-built, wide-framed power bat from Texas who moves pretty well for his size, Mike Choice is a player destined for an outfield corner rather than the centerfield he played at UT. He draws comparisons to Pedro Alvarez for his body type and the attack angle of his quick right-handed swing. As an advanced bat with an excellent work ethic and (by all reports) a solid character, he's pretty much ready for MLB now, though the rawness of his tools will show for another year or three. Brought home to Texas in the 2013 trade of speedy Craig Gentry and right-hander Josh Lindblom, Choice should, if nothing else, feel a little more comfortable.
More Scouting Book Info on Michael Choice
SB 160 BA 98 SC BP 79 SN ES ML 72
150 to 160 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013