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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Bad from the bullpen (7.72 ERA). Great in the rotation (2.12). That's the short version of John Hellweg's 2010 tour at high-A Inland Empire. That's enough to get him a lot of asterisks and scribbled marginalia, but it was also enough to inspire the Angels to commit to the big enigma as a starter going forward, at least provisionally.
With a high-90's fastball that looks even faster coming from his huge 6-8 frame and a serviceable change, he's definitely got the raw talent to succeed, assuming his body can obey. Also, while it's his best breaking ball, Hellweg's slider is still an angry inch away from big-league ready, so he's probably not that close yet. His experiences so far make him an interesting story to watch.
More Scouting Book Info on John Hellweg
SB 181 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Kennys Vargas
SB 182 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The premium Cuban defector available in the 2013 season, Miguel Alberto Gonzalez is aard-throwing right-hander has a fastball in the low- to miid-90s, a quality changeup and a decent curveball. He also throws a hard forkball, though it doesn't really stand out enough from the straight change to be considered an everyday offering just yet: some scouts would like to see him abandon it as an off-speed selection, suggesting he actually throw it harder. Converseley, his fastball, which can touch 96, actually works better in the low-90's, when he can produce considerable arm-side run with natural sink. But those nitpicks aren't much to fret about: Gonzalez looks only a dozen starts away from being a viable mid-rotation big-league starter right now.
More Scouting Book Info on Miguel Gonzalez
SB 184 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A strong outfielder with plus bat speed and power, Milwaukee prospect Victor Roache is more than a pull hitter: he can spray line drives to all fields, and displays superior pitch recognition. One of the best bets to succeed offensively, he'll enjoy hitting in a near-future Milwaukee lineup.
More Scouting Book Info on Victor Roache
SB 186 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A high-school catcher blessed with a B-movie monicker, Stryker Trahan was drafted by the Diamondbacks at the tail end of 2012's first round. While the final call is more than half a decade away, the early returns suggest that the tallish Trahan may be able to stick at catcher, as he possesses more than the usual strong arm requirement. If he shows aptitude for game-calling, he'll move quickly, but 'quickly' in this context still means 2016 or so.
More Scouting Book Info on Stryker Trahan
SB 187 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A strong, squat hitter with a wide open stance and plus bat speed, Cal-Poly's Mitch Haniger looks like a solid part of a future MLB offense. With accolades from all sides concerning his athleticism and professional demeanor, Hanny's only real shortcoming is a lack of speed, though good instincts and a strong arm have served him well in outfield duty to date. While there's never a shortage of possible road bumps on the way to MLB, he sure looks like a future star from here.
More Scouting Book Info on Mitch Haniger
SB 188 BA SC 80 BP SN ES ML
A big, sturdy righthander drafted by the Reds in 2014, Nick Howard spent his first two seasons at Virginia in the starting rotation, posting a 6 4 record, a 3.38 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 61 innings during his sophomore year. He moved to the bullpen last year, taking over as the team's closer and racking up 19 saves while posting an even shinier 2.15 ERA and striking out an eye-popping 50 men in 29-2/3 innings of work. Oh, and while doing all that, he also slashed .303/.345/.400 while playing a mix of third base, first base and shortstop.
Thankfully, being drafted by an NL team means we'll still see him at the plate from time to time, but it's on the mound where his future focus will be. His fastball is a 94mph sizzler that reached 98mph in closing work, and when his secondary change, slider curve are working, he's pretty much unhittable. While he could move very quickly and excel in an MLB relief role for 2015, the Reds will probably exhaust his potential as a starter before writing off that nifty four-pitch mix altogether.
More Scouting Book Info on Nick Howard
SB 189 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Jeimer Candelario is a corner infield prospect who's been rapidly moving up the planning charts for the Chicago Cubs. After showboating in the DSL as a seventeen year old in 2011, Candelario found his level in A ball in 2012, slashing .281/.345/.396 with 20 extra-base hits in 71 games with Boise. The following season, at A-level Kane County, Candelario produced at a respectable .256/.346/.396, easily adjusting to the better pitching. Questions linger about whether Candy can really handle the defensive requirements of third base. If he can't, there's a different question: can he hit with enough power to man first base productively? These questions will get answered over the next couple of years as he attempts to work his way into high and double-A ball. Lots of upside here, though there are many potential pitfalls along the way, too.
More Scouting Book Info on Jeimer Candelario
SB 190 BA SC BP SN ES ML
180 to 190 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013