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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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.
Full Scouting Report for Mitch Nay
SB 221 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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,
Full Scouting Report for Grant Hockin
SB 222 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.
Full Scouting Report for Kodi Medeiros
SB 223 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 224 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 225 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.
Full Scouting Report for Mike Olt
SB 226 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.
Full Scouting Report for Chris Withrow
SB 227 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 228 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 229 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 230 BA SC BP SN ES ML
220 to 230 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013