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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The best in-house bet for a first-baseman of the future, Milwaukee's Hunter Morris stroked an easy .303/.357/.563 (with 28 home runs) at AA Huntsville in 2012. There's not much more he needs to prove in the minors, which means he'll be banging on Milwaukee's door in 2013.
Full Scouting Report for Hunter Morris
SB 241 BA SC BP SN ES ML
He's not overpowering and his stuff is only a bit above average, but lefty Sean Gilmartin exceeded expectations by pitching smarter and with more cunning than anyone in the Braves organization. His guile brought him to the attention of the value-feeding Twins, who acquired him in December, 2013. A first round selection out of Florida State in 2011, his command and control look very good, especially his changeup, which seems a lot more advanced than his experience would suggest. Can smarts and touch get him all the way to The Show? And if he does it in Minnesota, will anyone notice?
Full Scouting Report for Sean Gilmartin
SB 242 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A well-rounded infield prospect signed as a young IFA from Venezuela, Cesar Hernandez is currently pushing at the ceiling of the Phillies minor league system. At the plate he's a solid line-drive hitter with the potential to hit for a high average with a little pop, while on the bases, he shows near-plus speed, though he's still not very good at using it effectively. A natural second baseman who can also play a decent shortstop, it's been long-assumed he'd need to bump either Chase Utley or Jimmy Rollins to lock down a major league job: no easy task, either way. Still, with both those veterans aging and growing more expensive, his window of opportunity is approaching. And he seems ready to make a grab at it, too: that .304/.345/.436 in 2012 came in his very first taste of AA baseball, pushing him to the front of the Phillies prospect pack.
Full Scouting Report for Cesar Hernandez
SB 243 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Three years after signing an IFA bonus totally three quarters of a million dollars back in 2009, the very young Twins prospect Jorge Polanco stepped up in rookie-league Elizabethton last year, slashing .318/.388/.514 with five homers and six stolen bases spread across 51 games while showing a real plus glove all over the diamond. It looks like all that winter ball and coaching paid off on defense, too, as the smallish prospect seems to be growing into a strong, potent athlete. He might not be the nimble, rangey shortstop that most Dominicans aspire to be, but Polanco is already looking like a solid second baseman from our seat, so that's how we'll label him for now. Give him a few years to refine his overall game and he'll be a good one.
Full Scouting Report for Jorge Polanco
SB 244 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An athletic righthander from Southlake, Texas, Dodger prospect Ross Stripling leans heavily on a sinking 94mph fastball with good natural movement. His secondary pitches are qualiity curve and very good changeup, and when he's on his game he can slice and dice hitters by mixing all three pitches in the lower part of the zone. Stripling struck out a batter per inning in 12 Rookie League starts last season. but it'll be mid-2013 before the Dodgers really know what he can do. He could move quickly if he keeps up his sharp command: keep an eye on his peripherals to see whether he'll arrive in LA in mid-2014, which would be right on schedule, or sooner than that, which is very possible. Coaches are buzzing about him already.
Full Scouting Report for Ross Stripling
SB 245 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The number one son of Moss Bluff, Louisiana, San Diego's Jace Petersen is one of the organization's most promising middle-infielders. A raw, often unpolished prospect, Jace the Face nonetheless looks like a natural ballplayer. Peterson carries his athletic ability with natural grace, looking like nothing as much as a bundle of potential. His plus bat speed and first-step hustle look awfully good on film, and he looked very good handling low minors pitching over the past two seasons. He'll spend 2014 in the minors as well, but he's a fascinating prospect nonetheless.
Full Scouting Report for Jace Peterson
SB 246 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A high-school quarterback who only really focused on baseball in his senior year, Ryan McMahon is a hard-hitting prospect with plus power on the horizon, thanks to his still-growing frame and very quick bat. In the field, he looks strong and flexible enough for third base, though an outfield corner isn't out of the question, either.
Full Scouting Report for Ryan McMahon
SB 247 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Yet another spare part that came to the Astros via the Phillies farm system, SSantana is tall, projectable hitter with a long but uncluttered swing. An average runner and a strong-armed thrower, Sunday is still learning to handle breaking pitches, but for such a young talent, he's already looking like one of the best athletes in the revitalized Houston system. Give him a couple of years to get comfortable with upper-level pitching, especially those irksome breaking balls he's going to struggle with in AA, and he could be a part of a wild new AL offense in 2015 or so.
Full Scouting Report for Domingo Santana
SB 248 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A switch-hitting catcher from Indianapolis, Tucker Barnhart is an all-around ballplayer with great raw tools and more than a small idea how to apply them to the game of baseball. Drafted out of high school by the Reds back in 2009, Barnhart has shown a quality batting eye and good patience at each level of play, slashing .278/.371/.409 last season at high-A Bakersfield and earning a promotion to AA at the end of the year. He's got a little pop, but with less than a dozen homers in three hundred pro games, he won't be winning any home run derbies. Behind the plate, he's a quality receiver with what looks to be a preternatural gift for keeping pitchers in the zone. While Devin Mesoraco has the Reds catcher-of-the-future award in hand for now, Barnhart could be in the running in another couple of years.
Full Scouting Report for Tucker Barnhart
SB 249 BA SC BP SN ES ML
240 to 250 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013