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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The child of two championship athletes (football and olympic swimming), Mets prospect Michael Conforto is a powerful lefty-swinging outfielder with a big uppercut swing that suggests he'll be a three-true-outcomes type of slugger in the majors one day. That power is what matters, as he's below-average defensively and doesn't have much speed or range to speak of, though his arm is strong enough for an outfield corner.
More Scouting Book Info on Michael Conforto
SB 211 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The number one son of Moss Bluff, Louisiana, San Diego's Jace Petersen is one of the organization's most promising middle-infielders. A raw, often unpolished prospect, Jace the Face nonetheless looks like a natural ballplayer. Peterson carries his athletic ability with natural grace, looking like nothing as much as a bundle of potential. His plus bat speed and first-step hustle look awfully good on film, and he looked very good handling low minors pitching over the past two seasons. He'll spend 2014 in the minors as well, but he's a fascinating prospect nonetheless.
More Scouting Book Info on Jace Peterson
SB 212 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A polished college shortstop from St. John's, Joe Panik is the closest thing to MLB-ready in the Giants system today, though he's more likely than not to be deployed at second base for the big club. After signing with the team in 2011, he went straight to low-A Salem, where he promptly hammered out a nifty .341/.401/.467 line with six homers and thirteen stolen bases, all in only 270 at-bats. Last year's .297/.368/.402 line might look like a step back, but considering it came along with a promotion to high-A San Jose, it's very good production. As long as he plays up to his level, he'll be all set as a fixture in SF sometime in 2014, with a callup in late 2013 not out of the question.
More Scouting Book Info on Joe Panik
SB 213 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A highly-prized prospect for his combination of power and speed, Rodriguez was a free-agent prize when he was stolen by the Reds as a Latin American free agent in 2008. A very young and very raw talent, he probably has the highest ceiling of any hitter in the Reds' system... but he's a long way from polished or proven. Before he can move up through the minors, he'll need to learn to hit breaking balls, and to stop swinging at everything he can reach. He's still a year or two away from the Bigs, though, so hold your horses.
More Scouting Book Info on Yorman Rodriguez
SB 214 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A crafty righthander from Juan Encarnacion's home town in Puerto Rico, Braves prospect Mauricio Cabrera is a sturdy-looking pitcher with a low-90's fastball and two quality secondary pitches. While it's not unusual to see a snappy curve in a young player, it is quite special to see a changeup as good as Cabera's. He looked good in his first full season of pro ball at rookie Danville, striking out twice as many as he walked and missing bats to the tune of a 1.18 WHIP. He'll move up as quickly as he gets comfortable, which shouldn't take long.
More Scouting Book Info on Mauricio Cabrera
SB 215 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A dead-red power hitter who will need to learn some discipline to succeed as a pro, high school slugger Mitch Nay was lucky enough to be drafted by an American League ballclub with no fear of offense-only ballplayers. He's a long way away, and comes with significant risk attached, but Nay could be a contributor from a corner infield spot as early as 2017.
More Scouting Book Info on Mitch Nay
SB 217 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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.
More Scouting Book Info on Kodi Medeiros
SB 218 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Jake Smolinski
SB 219 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Michael Kickham
SB 220 BA SC BP SN ES ML
210 to 220 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013