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 160 BA 98 SC BP 79 SN ES ML 72
The younger brother of pitcher Kyle, young Bradley Zimmer is a toolsy outfielder who shows an advanced understanding of the strike zone and his own ability to work within it. His lefthanded line-drive swing is smooth and quick, and he's expected to grow into at least average power as he matures further. In the field, he has the speed and smarts to take over centerfield, though he probably has enough arm for a corner, too. He'll take a year or two to study, and likely master, minor league pitching, but he should be a good-to-great everyday player soon thereafter.
More Scouting Book Info on Bradley Zimmer
SB 161 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A sixth round selection by the O's in 2011, catcher and third baseman Nick Delmonico probably had the best pure power bat in the Baltimore system at draft time, and he's shown flashes of that power already in pro ball. The best indicator for possible future success comes not from seeing his legit power, however, but in noticing that his success in high school came mainly on the strength of patience and selectivity at the plate: if that kind of discipline can be nurtured in pro ball, he could be a very powerful offensive force indeed. Now a Brewer thanks to the shrewd dumping of Francisco Rodriguez in mid-2013, he'll continue to develop in another system known for sharpening young hitters.
More Scouting Book Info on Nick Delmonico
SB 162 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The starting shortstop on the 18 and under U.S. National Team, Phoenix native Cole Tucker is a potent switch-hitter with a vicious line-drive stroke that's most deadly from the left side of the plate, especially when his plus speed is factored into the equation. He doesn't have much power yet, but doesn't need it: many of those gap doubles will bloom into home runs as he grows into his body, without any special effort required. In the field, he's got soft hands, plus range and a strong arm: everything one looks for in a true shortstop. It'll be a few years before the rest of his game catches up to the level of polish he shows in the field, but he should be worth the wait.
More Scouting Book Info on Cole Tucker
SB 163 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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.
More Scouting Book Info on Casey Kelly
SB 164 BA SC BP SN ES ML 87
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.
More Scouting Book Info on Bruce Rondon
SB 165 BA SC 63 BP SN ES ML
Victor Sanchez, the prize of the international free agent market in 2011, is a big-armed righthander who's growing up in a Seattle system that's positively overflowing with that particular blessing. A gifted athlete with a loose, easy motion and natural movement on his ball, he was a star in Venezuela from the time he was 12 years old, dominating hitters four years older than that with a 90mph fastball and a downright unfair curve. As a sixteen year old in showcases, Sanchez demonstrated he could hit 92 with that heater, not to mention the beginnings of a slider that has since blossomed into a genuine plus pitch. He's even shown indications of a working changeup, which is remarkable in such a young pitcher.
In his first taste of American ball at low-A Everett in 2012, Sanchez went 6-2, 3.18 over fifteen starts, striking out 69 hitters in 85 innings of work. He's still very young, of course, and his body will need to grow in just the right way to support the workload his arm is about to encounter. But right now he looks like the best Latin American pitching prospect we've seen since Julio Teheran, who was himself probably the best since some guy you may remember named Felix.
More Scouting Book Info on Victor Sanchez
SB 166 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A top pitching prospect from the 2013 draft, Sean Manaea (rhymes with pariah) went 5-3 with a 3.34 ERA in 17 starts for Indiana State in 2012, striking out 115 batters in 105 innings while walking only 32. The son of proud parents Opal and Faaloloi (yes, he's Samoan), Sean brings a mid-90's fastball to the plate that should improve as he fills out further. His secondary offerings, a nasty slider and a developing change, aren't good enough for the Show just yet, but they're advanced for his age. Sean is also known for having a Pettitte-like pickoff move that holds even talented baserunners at bay.
More Scouting Book Info on Sean Manaea
SB 167 BA SC BP 78 SN ES ML
A high-ceiling pitching prospect who scouts love for his arm strength and projectable frame, Tupela honey Chris Stratton projects as a future stalwart for the Giants. He's experienced as a reliever, but the repeatable nature of his four quality pitches looks a lot better in a starting spot to us. Stay tuned.
More Scouting Book Info on Chris Stratton
SB 168 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Billy McKinney
SB 169 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A powerful Colombian infielder who'll probably settle at second base, Pirate prospect Dilson Herrera rose to attention-worthy status by hitting his way out of Rookie ball (.281/341/.482) and into low-A at the age of 18. Herrera has a nice speed/power combination (twelve steals, eight dingers in sixty games) and decent enough foot and glovework to cover shortstop if necessary. He's raw, like any teenage player, but he shows a strong work ethic and natural aptitude for the trials of the middle infield. If his power is legitimate, he'll be a fast-riser in the system.
More Scouting Book Info on Dilson Herrera
SB 170 BA SC BP SN ES ML
160 to 170 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013