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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The number three overall pick in the 2014 draft, White Sox pitching prospect Carlos Rodon has fans dreaming of a rotation that features both Rodon and fellow lefthander Chris Sale (himself the 13th pick in 2010). Unlike the wiry, whiplike Sale, Rodon is a big, sturdy-looking college arm from North Carolina State who features a heavy 95mph fastball and a wipeout slider, both of which he commands very well. As is usual with prospect pitchers, a changeup is only barely-there, but as long as he develops a passable one, he'll be a top-tier pitcher in MLB very, very soon.
Full Scouting Report for Carlos Rodon
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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
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An 11th round selection by the Dodgers back in 2010, outfielder Joc Pederson has already far exceeded the expectations of most scouts. A late signee, he didn't really taste pro ball until 2011, when he raked a .353/.429/.568 line at rookie-level Ogden in the Pioneer League, impressing coaches with his work ethic and ability to use his raw tools effectively: the young man stole 24 of 29 bases and played an intelligent, competent outfield while being tested at all three positions.
A patient hitter who isn't afraid to take his walks, Pederson is well on his way to becoming a well-rounded ballplayer who should be above-average in all aspects of the game. There might not be an obvious space for him in L.A. right now, but baseball has a way of making space for those with talent enough to get them to the Show in the first place. If he puts in another year like his last two, he'll be on top of the prospect lists next time around.
Full Scouting Report for Joc Pederson
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Yes, he sounds like a character from snowy Skyrim, but Texan Noah Syndergaard is more of a dusty cowpoke than a haughty Jarl. The Blue Jays thought highly enough of him to say 'no' to the Oakland A's when the Athletics were shopping Gio Gonzalez around in 2011, but they caved in 2012 when the Mets dangled Cy Young winner RA Dickey, making Noah one of the very top Mets pitching prospects today.
The move to New York means he's no longer a sleeper candidate, and now that he's an NL talent, he's even more appealing. When this polished righthander arrives, it'll be thanks to the plus command he shows with his decent 94mph fastball and near-plus curve. Of course, as with any young pitcher, it'll be the quality of his developing change that will determine whether he's an ace or a middle-of-the-pack starter a year or two from now. He's very, very close to ready.
Full Scouting Report for Noah Syndergaard
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A towering righthander who's as good at intimidating hitters as he is at actually throwing baseballs, Pirate prospect Tyler Glasnow might not be as well-known as some of Pittsburgh's other pitching prospects, but his ceiling is just as high. He doesn't command it perfectly, but isn't afraid to use it inside as well as outside, which is enough to keep hitters skittish. Glasnow shows a big curve on occasion that's impressive when it works, and a changeup that's rough but promising. He's firmly a prospect of the 'good stuff, needs to master it' type. Another couple of years of easy repetition is all that's needed here. Give him a couple hundred more innings.
Full Scouting Report for Tyler Glasnow
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The switch-hitting son of the better-known outfielder, shortstop Raul (Adalberto) Mondesi is already familiar with a major league dugout, even if it's only as a place to find a treasure trove of sunflower seeds and bubble gum. While he lacks his father's power profile, Junior does have a quality bat, superior speed and sure seems to have sophisticated defensive skill. A smallish player, he looks apt to stick at shortstop, where he could grow into some sort of slappy table-setter for the Royals a few years from now. He's still some distance away from showing anyone exactly how good he'll be, but an impressive .290/.346/.386 line as a
sixteen-year-old in rookie ball was followed by a .261/.311/.361 line in A-ball last season. A substantial improvement in his strikeout rate, despite dealing with better pitching, impresses us even more than that. Forget the name-recognition, Adalberto Raul Jr. is legit all on his own.
Full Scouting Report for Raul Mondesi
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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
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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
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With a lively fastball that can touch 95mph, native Georgian Lucas Sims is the latest entry in the Atlanta pitching derby. He's raw, but he the righthander already gets so much life on his pitches that there's little doubt he'll be effective in some role or other.
Full Scouting Report for Lucas Sims
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The number one catching prospect in the Padre system until Yasmani Grandal came to town, Austin Hedges is still a top prospect with a very high ceiling. Not quite as ready for the majors as Grandal was, Hedges is still barely out of high school. But he's very valid: long-seen as a strong-armed defensive catcher, he slashed an unexpectedly-solid .260/.333/.390 in 86 games split between high and double-A in 2013, propelling him into the 'complete catcher' category. He's not quite ready, especially in the game-calling department, but he's not very far off, either. Despite his youth, 2015 is his sweet spot, and he could get a look at Petco even sooner than that.
Full Scouting Report for Austin Hedges
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20 to 30 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013