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 first Hawaiian first-rounder in more than a decade, lefthanded pitcher Kodi Medeiros was a star at Waiakea High before committing to Pepperdine, but with the combination of a an already-95mph fastball and two breaking balls that could be real plus pitches, he didn't exactly need much college ball, so he signed with the Brewers, who drafted him 12th overall in 2014.
While some scouts are wary about his smallish size and side-slinging low delivery, it's probably that combination that gives his pitches such electric life: his slider can break so dramatically that lefthanded hitters sometimes bail out of the box, only to see the pitch called a ball outside, on the other side of the plate entirely. His changeup is a sinking one, great for groundouts as well as strikeouts, and even his fastball has lateral sizzle. He'll need some seasoning, especially if the Brewers wish to commit to him as a starter, but if the bullpen is his destiny, he could be ready for big-league action before his 20th birthday.
Full Scouting Report for Kodi Medeiros
SB 211 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The best batting eye in the Marlins' system, ex-National Jake 'The Choirboy' Smolinski is a slow-growing outfield prospect that a few scouts seem to have forgotten about, though not for any good reason. A solid all-around player, he'll pop a few homers and steal a few bases, but the .388 OBP with 78 walks (!) he posted at Jacksonville in 2012 is pretty much the story on what he will give the Marlins.
Smolinksi's lack of stature (it's not hard to guess what his detractors call him) or of a standout tool might bore scouts, but he does pretty much everything well, with a mix of average-to-better tools across the board, including tasty morsels of both power and speed that should play well on the ragtag Marlins roster. He deserves a spot on the depleted Marlins roster; we like left field.
Full Scouting Report for Jake Smolinski
SB 212 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A power-arm in the Giants' system, Mike Kickham is yet another project in a pitching lab that's quickly becoming famous for producing quality arms. 3.05 ERA, 1.29 WHIP with 137 strikeouts in 150 innings. His control was iffy (he walked 75) but for the quality of his stuff, we can overlook that for now. Give him another year to sharpen his control and he could be another devastating San Francisco weapon.
Full Scouting Report for Michael Kickham
SB 213 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The MVP of the 2013 World Cup in Taiwan, righthander Luis Ortiz helped bring home the gold medal for the USA, notching a win and three saves for the tournament and striking out the side in the ninth to lock down the championship win over Japan. Ortiz, still a teenager when the Rangers drafted him at the end of 2014's first round, can hurl 94mph fastballs with a quick, fluid motion, while his low-80's slider is usually a quality strikeout pitch. A strong armed, well-built young man with a little room left to get even stronger, he'll need to maintain the effectiveness of those two pitches while working on a changeup if he's going to be effective in pro ball. Lucky for the Rangers, Ortiz seems to have the sort of hard-working mentality to do just that.
Full Scouting Report for Luis Ortiz
SB 214 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A strong, burly righthander with a good mix of pitches, Florida native Nick Travieso looks like he could find a nice long term home in the Cincinnati rotation, or at least the bullpen: that 94mph heat with a plus slider looks mighty attractive right now. He's a few years away, but has one of the highest upsides in the system.
Full Scouting Report for Nick Travieso
SB 215 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Originally drafted out of high school by the Oakland A's back in 2007, outfielder Gary Brown chose college instead before entering the 2010 draft, when he was selected 24th overall by the San Francisco Giants. A plus-plus runner with a centerfielder's natural graces, Brown's bat has been weak but improving (.279/.347/.385 as a 23 year old at AA Richmond in 2012), giving him the right mix of tools for an MLB leadoff slot just as soon as the big brains upstairs are willing to give him a chance.
Full Scouting Report for Gary Brown
SB 216 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A mature college star toiling in the Oriole minor league system, Christian Walker is a righthanded first baseman who has long been seen as a hitter with superior on-base skills but questionable power. He still looks like a fringe candidate from here, but a James Loney / Kevin Youkilis career wouldn't be the worst of 'bad' results, exactly. Baltimore has been very good at developing quality MLB hitters who can contribute, and Walker will almost certainly be given time and space to develop at his own pace.
Full Scouting Report for Christian Walker
SB 217 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big righthanded reliever from the glittering metropolis known as Cowpens, South Carolina, Red Sox prospect Richard (Heath) Hembree was acquired by the team as part of the 2014 deadline deal for Jake Peavy. A low-glamor, low-maintenance and highly durable farmhand, Hembree would probably take the mound 162 times each season if his coach asked him to. He looked pretty darn good at AAA Fresno in 2013, striking out 36 in 38 single-inning appearances. He did walk 20, however, which is a bit of a warning sign. Give him another half year and he should be ready to chew through some middle innings in Boston.
Full Scouting Report for Heath Hembree
SB 218 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A mature prospect in the Boston stable, righthander Alex Wilson has already shown the ability to perform as both starter and reliever in the minors, most recently going 5-3 in three starts and 37 relief appearances for the PawSox in 2012. He posted a 3.72 ERA, striking out 78 (but walking 33) in 73 total innings. As a reliever, he'll use a mix of fastballs from a high three-quarter arm slot to set up a nicely-commanded slider that's always been his strikeout pitch. His changeup is average, but he won't need to use it as a reliever, anyway, other than as an occasional surprise. He has little left to prove in the minors and should help the big club as a middle-to-late relief specialist in 2013.
Full Scouting Report for Alex Wilson
SB 219 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A high-school catcher whose future looks to be behind the plate, Baltimore prospect Chance Sisco has a good arm and soft hands, as should be expected, and his body does indeed look more like a catcher than infielder to us. At the plate, he should be able to bring his solid contact skills and quick bat to bear in the minors, while power may take a few years to really show up.
Full Scouting Report for Chance Sisco
SB 220 BA SC BP SN ES ML
210 to 220 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013