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 hard-throwing righthander, Corey Knebel was the throw-in pick the Rangers gained when they acquired Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante from Miami in the offseason. A college closer, many scouts want to see Knebel's stuff get a chance in a starting role first. That stuff is solid enough, too: his high-90's heat is offset by a power curve that looks like a plus pitch at times.
Full Scouting Report for Corey Knebel
SB 231 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A second round (2011) draft pick of the Atlanta Braves, shortstop Nick Ahmed moved to the Diamondbacks when the team removed Justin Upton's salary and headaches from their makeup. A sharp-hitting, well-heeled infielder who's progressing rapidly, he's the shadow on Didi Gregorious's heels, and he could be a starting shortstop in MLB by late 2014.
Full Scouting Report for Nick Ahmed
SB 232 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.
Full Scouting Report for Brian Flynn
SB 233 BA SC 99 BP SN ES ML
A big, solid catching prospect from Charleston, SC who's committed to South Carolina but probably signable, Nick Ciuffo is regarded as a perfect proto-catcher, both strong and athletic. He's a better than expected runner and shows good all-around tools, including a very good pop time and a strong arm behind the plate. A left-handed bat, he pleases scouts with a basic, line-drive approach with very good bat speed. If he develops as expected, he could be a future franchise catcher for Tampa Bay.
Full Scouting Report for Nick Ciuffo
SB 234 BA SC BP SN ES 95 ML
The 967th player taken in the 2011 Amateur Draft, Oakland outfield prospect Billy Burns has zoomed up the charts thanks to his quick bat and even quicker feet. The switch-hitting speedster from Georgia slashed a breakout .325/.434/.360 line at AA Harrisburg in 2013, attracting the attention of the equally fiesty Billy Beane, who traded for him that winter. While he's as quick and sure-handed as a centerfielder can be, he won't hit for power, but if he can get on-base, he'll definitely make things happen.
Full Scouting Report for Billy Burns
SB 235 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A third base prospect in the Washington Nationals system (how discouraging for him), Matt Skole is also the brother of the better-known Jake. While Jake went to Texas in 2010's first round, Matt was drafted by the Washington Nationals in 2011's 5th.
A solid hitter with a plus eye at the plate and a nice-looking power swing that doesn't mess up his timing much, he looked very good at high-A Carolina in 2012, slashing .314./355/.486, which should be enough to get himself a ticket to AA ball this season and Washington's speed-dial thereafter. How he handles the increasingly-ungodly breaking balls in AA will be the bellweather for Skole, but there's no reason to doubt him yet. If he puts together another strong year in the minors, we'll probably see him in September.
Full Scouting Report for Matt Skole
SB 236 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A pitcher with enough bat to play a corner, Portland native Carson Kelly was selected by the Cardinals at the tail end of 2012's second round on the strength of that bat. A likely third baseman thanks to his cannon arm, he generates plus bat speed and shows a good ability to adjust to pitching at the plate. St Louis has always loved pitchers who can hit; in Kelly they may have landed a hitter who can pitch, too.
Full Scouting Report for Carson Kelly
SB 237 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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.
Full Scouting Report for Avery Romero
SB 238 BA SC BP SN ES ML
No relation to Russ, though the righthanded pitcher does have at least one other thing in common with the catcher: both are viable backups at third base. Most baseball people are following the Dodgers' lead and are still looking at Ethan as a pitcher first, and his 2012 mound-work was his best ever: 13-6, 3.48, 1.25 WHIP in 27 Eastern and Southern League AA starts. Martin leads with a usually-straight fastball and falls back on a hard slider coming from a compact frame, a combination that makes him look like more of a reliever than a starter. He's closer, but still not really ready, and needs to get his walks a little more under control, but when he does add some experience to his talent, he could be yet another in a long string of powerful arms that came out of the Dodger system.
Traded to Philadelphia at 2012's deadline, Martin's challenge would seem to be a little bit greater today, but by all accounts he has the character and strength of will to weather adversity: tools that could prove helpful in the City of Brotherly Love.
Full Scouting Report for Ethan Martin
SB 239 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A pure fire relief ace in the Padre system, RJ Alvarez is on a fast track to join a bullpen known for having both depth and quality. RJ posted a crazy-good 12.5 strikeout-per-nine rate in A-level Cedar Rapids last season, and will be working hard to get his 100mph heater up against more advanced hitters this season.
Full Scouting Report for RJ Alvarez
SB 240 BA SC BP SN ES ML
230 to 240 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013