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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Well, it's a better name for a pitcher than 'Homer', that's for sure. Described at the time of his signing (Padres, 2007) as 'a big arm with a power breaking ball' who looked a bit unrefined, Pelzer didn't do anything to shake that label in his time with San Diego and Baltimore. That breaking ball is a sizzling slider, and when it's matched up against the 98mph fastball he keeps in his back pocket, the combination can be close to unhittable. He's still a mess mechanically and has trouble repeating his delivery, however, leading to some ugly outings, and that oh-so-important third pitch isn't yet on tap. He needed a strong 2012 with Baltimore to earn his place on the 40-man roster, and couldn't do it, leading to his release. He was last seen playing independent ball in Long Island. Maybe the Yankees will get desperate one day.
Full Scouting Report for Wynn Pelzer
SB 231 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The 100mph cannon hanging from Dominican Waldis Joaquin's shoulder could be handy to any number of MLB teams who need a little more firepower in the bullpen. He's erratic, and his secondary pitches aren't quite ready for prime-time yet, but coaches who watch him inevitably fall in love with his Zumaya-like power, which means he'll keep receiving opportunities to dominate.
Full Scouting Report for Waldis Joaquin
SB 232 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A top third base / outfield prospect in the Padres system, James (JD) Darnell is a well-rounded hitter who has more than just corner pop. Darnell also boasts real doubles hustle and good baserunning skills, despite raw speed that's only average. His fielding is a work in progress for now, and it's possible that his training may be cut short with a move across the diamond to first base in the future, but at present he looks like a good long-term value for the Padres, and his work in the minors will continue to focus on fielding drills and defense while he competes for an MLB job that he's almost qualified for already.
Full Scouting Report for James Darnell
SB 233 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A lefty-hitting corner outfielder, Giant prospect Roger Kieschnick is a raw five-tool talent with both power and speed potential, and it's not at all surprising that he shares his nickname ('Hawk') with Hall of Famer Andre Dawson. In the field he's a giant with deceptive speed, a highlight-reel daredevil without any detectable fear of walls or other barriers. He's got above-average range which should improve as he polishes his routes and jumps, and an arm that has moments of true cannon-power. He's grappled with an awkward swing at times, and he'll need some more polish, but he could be a good one.
Full Scouting Report for Roger Kieschnick
SB 234 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Acquired from the Royals at the tail end of the 2009 season, pitcher Danny Gutierrez jumped onto the prospect boards in 2008 as a 96mph monster in the Midwest League. Since then, his curve and change have developed a little to complement the fastball, but his control is still too iffy to judge and his overall progress has been slow. The Ranger tried him at high-A last year, and he looked occasionally great but overall pretty average. His mechanics and release point are sound and fairly consistent, though, and his easy, repeatable motion should be good enough right now to let him focus on his command and control. He's a fading sleeper who's only got another year or two to really step up.
Full Scouting Report for Danny Gutierrez
SB 235 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big lefthander who looks destined for the bullpen unless Pittsburgh can fix him, Andy Oliver came to the team via a 2012 trade.
Oliver works with a 96mph fastball that blows away lesser hitters, with an above-average change to keep them honest, though he struggles to locate it successfully, leading to an unacceptably high number of walks. His breaking pitches aren't quite ready for prime time yet, either. Time and patience is needed here.
Full Scouting Report for Andy Oliver
SB 237 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The kind of all-around outfielder that Dexter Fowler once promised to be, Sacramento State's Tim Wheeler was universally regarded as one of the safest 'college hitters' available in the 2009 draft. With plus speed and a good set of instincts for the outfield, he's a solid defender, while his high-contact, high-smarts approach to hitting have always made it look like it could fit right into the top of the Rockies order soon enough.
He hit a career-best .303 in 2012 in AAA, though his power evaporated mysteriously, and he's still struggling to steal bases efficiently. He needs to put in more work.
Full Scouting Report for Tim Wheeler
SB 238 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big right-hander who projects as an innings-eating workhorse down the road, Brewer prospect Eric Arnett throws a 94mph fastball with heavy sink, and complements it with a still-erratic low-80's slider. A still-developing splitter and changeup are also in the quiver, though he doesn't use either with confidence just yet.
Full Scouting Report for Eric Arnett
SB 239 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A huge, daunting figure who can touch 99mph with his heater, White Sox righthander Simon Castro is one of the most promising pitchers in a system that's not especially deep in pitching to begin with. Castro's slider is probably his best pitch, and when he's locating the fastball at the same time, he's nearly unhittable. Some scouts see a closer in Castro, but for now the Sox will follow the path the Padres started, and keep pushing him as a rotation member. One thing is sure: he's got the frame necessary to carry 200 innings, so they're probably wise to squeeze him into the rotation if possible.
Full Scouting Report for Simon Castro
SB 240 BA SC BP SN ES ML
230 to 240 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013