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 20 BA SC 11 BP SN ES 10 ML 24
A tall lefthander from California, Boston prospect Henry Owens is a raw but high-ceiling pitcher who many project as a future relief specialist, though he's shown the durability and maturity to survive as a starter. Owens fastball is a low-90's offering with movement, which should pick up a few more ticks on the radar gun as he grows and gains strength. At present, he usually mixes in two curves, one hard and one soft, with varying degrees of effectiveness, and a weak changeup that does almost no good whatsoever.
With command to improve and strength to build, Owens won't be an All-Star anytime soon, but his raw ability shouldn't be overlooked. Given another year or two of good guidance and hard work, he could find himself taking an MLB mound every fifth day, or at least for an inning or two twice a week.
Full Scouting Report for Henry Owens
SB 21 BA SC 15 BP SN ES 20 ML 20
Selected by the Reds in the first round of the 2011 Draft (27th overall), righthander Robert Stephenson was a rare high-school choice from the usually conservative Cincinnati franchise. The tall Californian overpowered his peers in his senior high school season, posting a 1.19 ERA in 76 innings that included not one but two no-hitters. A power pitcher in the classic mould, he can already top 98mph with his fastball. As always, though, it's how well his secondary pitches develop that will determine his fate in pro baseball. So far, all signs point to a 2014 opportunity
Full Scouting Report for Robert Stephenson
SB 22 BA SC 48 BP SN ES 49 ML 17
A prototypical hard-throwing Texas righthander, high-school prospect Tyler Kolek was taken by the Marlins as the second overall pick of 2014. The fastball that springs from his large, sturdy body often scrapes 100mph, and when he mixed it with a solid 12-to-6 curve, he can be almost unhittable. He's also added a slider recently, a nasty high-movement offering that's already better than most in the minor leagues. While there's no real changeup on the horizon, it might not matter: he's already more than capable of keeping batters uncomfortable and off-balance in the box. If there's a warning label on Kolek, it might be on his high-maintenance mechanics, which might suggest repeatability and command issues down the road.
Full Scouting Report for Tyler Kolek
SB 23 BA SC 22 BP SN ES 34 ML 23
The younger of Baltimore's Bouncing Baby Bundies, the growly-looking Dylan is a righthander with ace upside, but he remains relatively untested against pro hitters, and under professional pressure. His ungodly 0.25 ERA and 158 strikeouts in 71 innings as a high school senior earned him honors as the Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year, BA's High School Player of the Year Award and USA Today's National Player of the Year. That said, he's still what we in the business like to call
a high school pitching prospect, which is a term of art meant to indicate that this category of gamble is among the riskier bets in baseball. His fastball/cutter combination is a genuine plus combo, and he's been improving his command and control while working on improving his changeup in the minors. He'll need that to succeed. The Baltimore organization has done nothing in the last few years to suggest they're not one of the very best incubators for pitching talent, so overall, we're still believers.
Full Scouting Report for Dylan Bundy
SB 24 BA SC 28 BP SN ES 26 ML 12
A lefty who can touch 96mph with a sizzling fastball, Toronto's Daniel Norris is a bit of a sleeper who should be gaining a lot more attention in the months and years to come. Norris already complements his heat with a hammer curve that can be devastating, and if he manages to get a third pitch up to even major-league average, he'll be an ace on a team known for discovering gems.
Full Scouting Report for Dan Norris
SB 25 BA SC 23 BP SN ES 18 ML 25
A young, toolsy prospect with a very high ceiling, John Paul (JP) Crawford is one of the nation's best young baseball players. He has all the raw athleticism, including plus speed and superior fast-twitch muscles, to succeed almost anywhere on the diamond. Naturally, we'll see how he performs as a shortstop first, and the early signs are positive: he has soft hands and a strong arm, managing to look as smooth and practiced as any phenom Dominican. At the plate, Crawford shows a good eye for such a young hitter, with good bat control and the ability to square up and turn around on pretty much anything he's ever seen. At 6-2 and still growing, he may outgrow shortstop before his talent displaces him, but it shouldn't matter: he could be a fine future All Star centerfielder, too.
Full Scouting Report for JP Crawford
SB 26 BA SC 10 BP SN ES 7 ML 32
A sometimes-dominating college starter who struggled with control issues from time to time, Colorado prospect Eddie Butler was drafted in 2012's supplemental round on the strength of his best performances, in which he looked downright unhittable. Butler somehow produces a 98mph sinking fastball from a smallish and lightweight frame, and manages to command it well to both sides of the plate despite (or thanks to) its late life. His more traditional breaking balls are less consistent, but if the Rockies can help him to add even average command to his toolset, he'll be a powerful starter or reliever in the near future.
Full Scouting Report for Eddie Butler
SB 27 BA SC 68 BP SN ES 33 ML 26
The son of mustachioed Angel closer Bryan Harvey, North Carolina's Hunter Harvey is a big righthander with a big fastball and a quality curve. The fastball comes in at low-90 readings, though it does touch 96 on occasion. The curve, though, is what makes Harvey exceptional. Prep pitchers aren't known for having quality secondary offerings, but Harvey's Hammer (trademark pending) is a beautiful one. Harvey's change is still coming along, but it's about as well-advanced as can be expected at such an early stage of his career. He looks to be the complete pitching package, and seems likely to work his way into the middle of an MLB rotation one day.
Full Scouting Report for Hunter Harvey
SB 28 BA SC 21 BP SN ES 16 ML 31
First drafted by the Red Sox way back in 2008, righthander Alex Meyer passed on an alleged $2M signing bonus to go attend U Kentucky, in order to reenter the draft in 2011. Apparently, he spent his time in school eating well: the youngster now tips the scales at 6-10 and 230lbs.
A power pitcher (no kidding) with a high-90's fastball and a wicked slider, he's got stuff to burn, but a sometimes-wonky delivery and spotty command have plagued him through his young career. The Nats, flush with confidence at the depth of their rotation, parted with him in a trade to Minnesota in exchange for Denard Span, but that's no indication of any dodgy quality: he simply moves from being a top Washington pitching prospect to being a top Minnesota number one pitching prospect... and the Twins have shown a great ability to develop young arms. So while the move to Nicetown might slow his debut by a couple of years (the Twins are notoriously slow and cautious with young arms), it might also improve his chances of being solid and polished when he does arrive.
Full Scouting Report for Alex Meyer
SB 29 BA SC 45 BP SN ES 30 ML 27
A tall and lanky teenager who arrived in the DR in the winter of 2011, outfielder Jorge Soler is one of the most promising Cuban prospects in baseball today. He's already shown off his tools in Dominica, and while he looks like a centerfielder right now, physically, his height and young age make it quite possible he'll be a corner fielder when he finishes growing. And if his loopy power swing develops as expected, he'll hit like one too.
He's already showing signs of MLB videogame level power at the plate, and his very strong arm is certainly real. His iffy contact skills and lack of patience at the plate, though, are equally clear indicators that he's still a rather rough gem. One bonus for his future home in The Show: the youngster already has an electric personality in his toolbox, which means he could be a real cover boy come 2015 or so.
Full Scouting Report for Jorge Soler
SB 30 BA SC 24 BP SN ES 14 ML 48
20 to 30 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013