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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Grant Hockin certainly has the look of his grandfather, Brewer great Harmon Killebrew, if not the same aptitude for smashing baseballs. What he does have, he dispenses from the mound, with a nice array of fastballs (92-94mph) and breaking balls (a sinking change and a splitter that also sinks) that all come from the same nice-and-easy arm action. He's also got a so-so slider that could use a little more work. He doesn't have ace stuff, at least not right now, but his expertise and heritage will go a long way. Signed by the Indians, who drafted him near the end of 2014's second round,
More Scouting Book Info on Grant Hockin
SB 221 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A rapidly-maturing slugger who rose to attention in the Rangers system, Mike Olt ('Mike Olt!') is a legit third-base candidate whose defense is already passable, though his first-step could use some improvement. Olt hit .288/.398/.579 with 28 dingers at AA Frisco in 2012, good enough to enter discussions as a 2013 starting possibility in Arlington, despite the lack of any clear position at which for him to play. After a full year of trade rumors, he finally landed in Chicago at 2013's midseadson in the trade that sent Matt Garza to Texas. In the smaller park and with a young team growing up alongside his bat, his career is in a good place.
More Scouting Book Info on Mike Olt
SB 222 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Dodgers' first round pick in 2007, righty Chris Withrow has been growing into a premium power arm, and that's exactly what the Dodgers are looking for. His fastball, the best in the Dodger system, still lives around 93 but can hit 98 on occasion and always comes in with good movement. His improving curve is a potential strikeout pitch, an 11-5 hammer that he's comfortable throwing in almost any count. A onetime middle-rotation candidate who's recently been seeing more action from the bullpen Withrow went 3-3, 4.65 at Chattanooga in his third full year of AA ball, but if he's really a reliever now, the important numbers are the ones that show he struck out more than a batter per inning. He should work in Chavez Ravine this season, and he could make mincemeat of NL hitters, at least the first time they see him.
More Scouting Book Info on Chris Withrow
SB 223 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Luis Ortiz
SB 224 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Nick Travieso
SB 225 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Gary Brown
SB 226 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big righthanded reliever from the glittering metropolis known as Cowpens, South Carolina, Giants pitcher Richard (Heath) Hembree is a low-glamor, low-maintenance and highly durable farmhand who would probably take the mound 162 times each season if his coach asked him to. He looked pretty darn good at AAA Fresno last year, 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 San Francisco.
More Scouting Book Info on Heath Hembree
SB 227 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A huge righthanded power pitcher from Texas, Brandon Workman is probably best known for striking out 10 batters while throwing a no-hitter in March of 2009. With the build and style of a solid, sturdy innings-eater, Workman works his fastball and cutter around 92-94mph, and can throw his 12-6 curve for strikes on command at any time. He's still developing a straight change, but he's already looking pretty polished as-is, and he'd probably be almost ready to step into a less-picky MLB rotation right now. In Boston, he'll need another year.
More Scouting Book Info on Brandon Workman
SB 228 BA SC 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 229 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A huge beast of a pitcher, the six foot eight Anthony Ranaudo is one of many premium righthanded arms from the 2010 Amateur Draft. The LSU alum works with a mid-90's fastball on an (obviously) downward plane, mixing in an average curve and changeup that will have to improve before he's MLB-worthy. There are still some concerns with his mechanics, as is often the case with tall pitchers, and his slightly jerky delivery worries a few scouts. Despite those concerns, though, Ranaudo is a pitcher with significant upside who should be worth the XL risk the Sox took on him.
More Scouting Book Info on Anthony Ranaudo
SB 230 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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Top Prospects 2013