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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A Miami-born infield prospect in the Marlin system, Avery Romero was drafted by the team in the third round (104th overall) of the 2012 Amateur Draft. While he lacks the quickness or arm strength many scouts want to see from a shortstop, it might not matter. He's almost as valuable a prospect as a second or third baseman, because his bat is the real appeal here. Romero slashed an impressive .297/.357/.411 line at low-A Batavia in 2013, and while he looked overmatched in a late-season callup to the Sally League, we're willing to write that off as jitters. A premium bat at shortstop is an asset not to be discarded lightly, and so the Marlins will very likely continue to groom and move the young Romero slowly and carefully.
More Scouting Book Info on Avery Romero
SB 221 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A lanky but powerful pitching prospect signed as an IFA by the Dodgers way back in 2007, Dominican Carlos Frias is a quality starter who could be groomed as a lights-out reliever. The right-handed Frias rose through three levels of play in 2013, posting a combined 8-7 record with a respectable 3.31 ERA and a decent 1.36 WHIP. While he walks a few too many (his strikeout to walk ratio last year was only 5:2), his natural sinker induces a high enough ground-ball rate that he doesn't need to lean on strikeouts all that much, anyway. His fastball clocks in around 95mph, and he delivers it with the sort of loose, easy motion that looks easy to manage. While his changeup isn't all there yet, he already looks like a possible fifth-starter or swingman for the Dodgers in 2015 or so.
More Scouting Book Info on Carlos Frias
SB 222 BA SC BP SN ES ML
If there's one thing the Detroit farm has in spades, it's left-handed pitching, so it's not surprising that they dealt some of that surplus, including young Brian Flynn, for deadline help in 2012. A huge, sturdy power pitcher with good control, Flynn brings a heavy, heavy 96mph fastball down and in on hitters, and it's almost always enough to send them back to the bench. With a dominating mound presence and enough control to hold games in check, he's a fascinating upside guy in a crazy Miami system that could be going anywhere.
More Scouting Book Info on Brian Flynn
SB 223 BA SC 99 BP SN ES ML
The younger brother of Oriole prospect John, righthanded pitcher Mitch Keller was selected and signed by the Pirates at the tail end of the 2014 Draft's second round. The younger Keller's fastball is a 92-94mph offering that can be slightly flat, but Keller controls it well and can maintain his velocity late into games. More impressive is the tilted curve that's gained a lot more break in the last year or two, and a better than average changeup that looks good in limited use so far. He'll be developed slowly, no doubt, but he could be a solid middle-of-the-rotation candidate for the Pirates only a couple of years from now.
More Scouting Book Info on Mitch Keller
SB 224 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A 2011 Golden Spikes Award finalist at the University of Texas, righthander Talor Jungmann was drafted by the Brewers in the first round and signed with big bonus money. He's already a polished and complete pitching package with crazy-good stuff and a nice-and-easy delivery, albeit one with an odd and twitchy follow-through. Perhaps best of all, he's the rarest of flamethrowers: the kind who doesn't fall in love with his own heat, preferring to dismantle hitters with changing speeds and great lateral control. He looked great in high-A ball in 2012, compiling a professional 11-6 record with a 3.53 ERA and 1.34 WHIP for the Manatees. He did show a little more wildness than expected, though, which means he really needs to rein himself in while preparing for AA's more patient and dangerous batters.
More Scouting Book Info on Taylor Jungmann
SB 225 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Jonathan 'Mac' Williamson is a quick rising outfield prospect in the San Francisco system. Drafted in the third round in 2012, Williamson is an athletic ballplayer with a sweet power stroke. After signing, Mac quickly disposed of rookie ball and landed in low-A Salem, where he slashed an impressive .342/.392/.596 line in 29 games.
More Scouting Book Info on Mac Williamson
SB 226 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A lefthanded pitcher who also looks good in the outfield, high-schooler Trey Ball is probably the best of the 2013 draft class when it comes to viable two-way players. As a pitcher, Ball brings a fastball/slider/change combination from an easy three-quarter arm slot, with the slider being his best pitch at the moment. His velocity lasts deep into games, further supporting the scouting eye view that he has 'clean' mechanics. At the plate, he shows a quick bat that generates good power, especially to the opposite field. He's a better than average baserunner, though not a true plus one. He's most likely to be given his first opportunity as a pitcher, but it's awfully nice to know he has quality athletic ability and baseball tools to fall back on, should that fail to work out.
More Scouting Book Info on Trey Ball
SB 227 BA 89 SC 54 BP SN ES ML 96
The Cardinals' first pick of the 2010 Amateur Draft (25th overall), Arkansas' Zack Cox was shipped to Miami at the 2012 deadline, and assuming Miami doesn't change course four more times in the next twelve months, he should see MLB action there this year. A toolsy player with a high-end mix of baseball instincts and work ethic. his bat speed is exceptional, and allows him to turn on even the best heat while also letting him adjust to off-speed pitches with an ease seldom seen in such a young player. He's still a bit rough defensively, but he'll have time to mature as a pro player while waiting for his MLB career to begin. His bat seems close to ready now: he was probably St. Louis's best overall offensive prospect when he was shipped two seasons ago.
More Scouting Book Info on Zack Cox
SB 228 BA SC BP SN ES ML
There's a pun somewhere about a player named Pentecost being a five-tool prospect, but we're not quite sure how to put it into words. What we can say is that Kennesaw State graduate Max Pentecost could be one of the most athletic catchers in the Majors if he stays at the position long enough to reach MLB. A strong-armed, strong-willed ballplayer with 'plus-for-a-catcher' speed, Pentecost shows an advanced ability to hit for both average and power, as his MVP award from the (wooden-bat) Cape Cod League demonstrates. By the end of the summer, Pentecost had racked up a .962 OPS by spraying balls all over the field, mainly on the back of a .346 average. He'll need to spend the usual extra time in the minors, but he's a special enough prospect, especially as a catcher, that he's worth keeping a close eye on.
More Scouting Book Info on Max Pentecost
SB 229 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A tall and thin righthander from Oakland, Joe Ross was the 25th overall draft selection in 2011, taken by the San Diego Padres. Reports on Ross are uniform in noting that his fastball and curve project to be major league average (that's good) while his change needs a great deal of work (that's bad, but not unusual for a youngster like Ross). Given the good pitching climate and coaching staff in the Padre system, Ross ranks a bit higher than he would elsewhere.
More Scouting Book Info on Joe Ross
SB 230 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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Top Prospects 2013