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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Casey Kelly is big, strong pitcher who came to San Diego from Boston in the Adrian Gonzalez trade. Young Kelly is already 6-3 and 200lbs, with more size and strength to come as he fills out.
He took an uncomfortable step backwards with the Red Sox back in 2010, which probably precipitated their sudden willingness to part with the once-untouchable asset, but his stuff is still there, just waiting for his ability to catch up: Kelly's fastball was rated the best heatuh in the Red Sox system in 2010. And so was his curve. And so was his changeup. Put all that together with his plus control, and it seems pretty clear we're looking at a possible Padres success story. Like any pitching prospect, he needs luck on his side to stay healthy, and if he gets that, he'll be a solid number two or three starter, and maybe even a future ace.
Full Scouting Report for Casey Kelly
SB 161 BA SC BP SN ES ML 87
A smart ballplayer who makes up for iffy tools with good skills and a hard-working approach to the game, Cleveland outfielder Tyler Naquin has a pretty lefthanded swing that can already pepper the gaps, with the potential for more power to come as he grows into his body a little. In the field he has a good glove and a strong arm, good enough for a corner spot already.
Full Scouting Report for Tyler Naquin
SB 162 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Originally signed out of the Dominican Republic by the A's back in 2010, righthander Michael Feliz saw that contract evaporate when he failed a requisite PED test. He was picked up by the Astros for less than half the signing amount. At Tri-City in 2013, Feliz looked promising, posting a 1.96 ERA to lead the short-season NY-Penn League. His 95mph fastball has been clocked as high as 99, and his slider, while still in development, already looks MLB-ready, at least on good days. On bad days, his dragging arm action can impair his command of both pitches, leaving him hittable up in the zone. Still very raw, he nonetheless shows all of the attributes associated with relief aces, and he should be on the long-term radar of those charting possible future closers in Houston.
Full Scouting Report for Michael Feliz
SB 163 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The fastest player in the 2012 draft class, young DJ Davis has base-stealing skills to burn to go along with great range in the outfield, signalling a bright future in a major league outfield as long as he can bring his bat along with him: MLB-average offensive production is all that's needed here, and Davis should be able to get there with a couple of years of experience and hard work.
Full Scouting Report for DJ Davis
SB 164 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An exceptional pitcher drafted and signed by the Red Sox out of Mt Pleasant (Texas) High School, Michael 'Meat' Kopech is a very tall, lanky pitcher who's been throwing 98mph fastballs since his mid-teens. He achieves this velocity with a twist of jangly yoga, bending himself backwards slightly before snapping his long right arm forward to deliver the ball, then landing with a little bonus shimmy. This gives his delivery a little deception, especially to new hitters, gives his fastball a downward tilt that's very difficult to square up, and lends considerable depth and break to his slurvy slider, which is probably his best strikeout weapon right now. If he adds a semi-reasonable changeup to his arsenal, he's going to be very, very good. Assuming he doesn't jam up his chakras with wooly young girls, that is.
Full Scouting Report for Michael Kopech
SB 165 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A very big, very strong slugger signed as a teenaged free agent from Canovanas, Puerto Rico, Twins prospect Kennys Vargas draws a lot of comparisons to Kendrys Morales, and not just for the unusual first name. While his size and lack of mobility confines him to first base or DH duties, it shouldn't much matter: the switch-hitting Vargas has the sort of easy power from both sides of the plate that makes him a valuable middle-order bat. At high-A Fort Myers in 2013, Vargas slashed .267/.344/.468 while drilling 19 homers in 457 at-bats. While he still strikes out a bit too much, that's a downside the offensively-challenged Twins will gladly take if Vargas can take a full time place in the lineup for the next five or six years. He's ready for AA ball in 2014, with a late-season look in Minnesota not out of the question.
Full Scouting Report for Kennys Vargas
SB 166 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A two-way player who the White Sox have chosen to develop as an outfielder, young Courtney Hawkins has plus power potential, though his swing also comes with more than the preferred number of gaping holes, at least for now. He'll have a couple of more years to tighten that up, of course.
Full Scouting Report for Courtney Hawkins
SB 167 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A Dominican lefthander signed in 2012, Giant prospect Adalberto Mejia showed good control in his first visit to American ball, charting a respectable 3.97 ERA and 1.34 WHIP across 107 innings. He spent half his time as a starter and half in relief, as the Giants are looking hard at him as a fast-track bullpen option. Should they reconsider, he could impress with his quality changeup. If he remains in the bullpen, it'll be his low-90's fastball with decent motion and occasional wipeout slider that are called upon most often.
Full Scouting Report for Adalberto Mejia
SB 168 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Not to be confused with the Mississippi product and Royals prospect of the same name, the Cody Reed drafted and signed by the Diamondbacks in 2014 is a stronger, sturdier and younger lefty who could be a faster-riser despite his younger age and later start in pro ball. He's also even more of a power pitcher. In his senior year of high school, he posted a 10-2 record and a 0.46 ERA, not to mention racking up five different no-hitters. Most of his appeal comes from his mid-90's fastball and strong, projectable frame, but his changeup shows flashes of brilliance, and his slider/cutter (we've watched it hundreds of times and we're still not sure) is a real professional's offering. Still very young, he's also blessed with almost everything he needs to succeed in the bigs, so he could move rather quickly. As always, consistency of command, especially with that off-speed pitch, will set the milestones here.
Full Scouting Report for Cody Reed
SB 169 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A Venezuelan righthander getting a great deal of 2013 attention in Detroit, Bruce Rondon is a pitcher stuffed with stuff, though still a bit challenged for control of it. In other words, a prototypical closer in the making. Not a huge man, Rondon nonetheless gets plenty of action on his heavy fastball, which can break 100mph but usually clocks-in closer to 96. His best trick, however, is the way he adds deception with a low arm angle that's near-sidearm. Not only does that arm action make his fastball hard to pick up, it also makes his slider have more movement than it really needs, which is probably the main cause of some of that wildness. Rondon displayed an occasional change back in 2009, but that's nothing he'll really be needing in the bullpen, so it's probably best to consider it at least semi-retired.
Rondon reall could use another year of cooking in order to practice dealing with more patient hitters, the kind less likely to flail at his dirtballs, but the Tigers could use him in the bullpen immediately. Whether or not he opens 2013 closing for the team, he'll almost certain end the season that way.
Full Scouting Report for Bruce Rondon
SB 170 BA SC 63 BP SN ES ML
160 to 170 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013