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 Cardinals' first pick of the 2010 Amateur Draft (25th overall), Arkansas' Zack Cox was shipped to Miami at the 2012 deadline, and assuming Miami doesn't change course four more times in the next twelve months, he should see MLB action there this year. A toolsy player with a high-end mix of baseball instincts and work ethic. his bat speed is exceptional, and allows him to turn on even the best heat while also letting him adjust to off-speed pitches with an ease seldom seen in such a young player. He's still a bit rough defensively, but he'll have time to mature as a pro player while waiting for his MLB career to begin. His bat seems close to ready now: he was probably St. Louis's best overall offensive prospect when he was shipped two seasons ago.
More Scouting Book Info on Zack Cox
SB 241 BA SC BP SN ES ML
There's a pun somewhere about a player named Pentecost being a five-tool prospect, but we're not quite sure how to put it into words. What we can say is that Kennesaw State graduate Max Pentecost could be one of the most athletic catchers in the Majors if he stays at the position long enough to reach MLB. A strong-armed, strong-willed ballplayer with 'plus-for-a-catcher' speed, Pentecost shows an advanced ability to hit for both average and power, as his MVP award from the (wooden-bat) Cape Cod League demonstrates. By the end of the summer, Pentecost had racked up a .962 OPS by spraying balls all over the field, mainly on the back of a .346 average. He'll need to spend the usual extra time in the minors, but he's a special enough prospect, especially as a catcher, that he's worth keeping a close eye on.
More Scouting Book Info on Max Pentecost
SB 242 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A classic Dominican shortstop prospect tucked away in the Twins system, young Daniel Santana is a glove-first player with a developing bat. A switch hitter with good raw speed, Santana needs to develop baserunning smarts in order to be a real base-stealer, and a more-discerning eye before he's anyone's idea of an on-base threat. Still, his raw tools and hardworking attitude helped elevate his game to a .286/.329/.410 line in his very first taste of high-A ball in 2012, the best performance of his young career despite the higher level of competition.
The Twins are likely to move slowly to ensure that his progress is both real and stable before allowing the youngster to step up much more quickly than a level per year. That means if he continues to develop, 2015 is the earliest we expect him to have serious MLB value.
More Scouting Book Info on Daniel Santana
SB 243 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A tall and thin righthander from Oakland, Joe Ross was the 25th overall draft selection in 2011, taken by the San Diego Padres. Reports on Ross are uniform in noting that his fastball and curve project to be major league average (that's good) while his change needs a great deal of work (that's bad, but not unusual for a youngster like Ross). Given the good pitching climate and coaching staff in the Padre system, Ross ranks a bit higher than he would elsewhere.
More Scouting Book Info on Joe Ross
SB 244 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The nephew of ex-Dodger Antonio Asuna, Mexican righthander Roberto Osuna is a raw but talented pitcher growing up in the Toronto Blue Jays system. A thick fireplug of a pitcher, Osuna uses his legs well, generating power and keeping his arms from flailing out of control, with the net result being a smooth and easily-repeatable delivery.
Osuna showed off good command of a low-90's fastball and spotty command of a developing change and slurvy curveball while performing way above his head in the much older Mexican League last season, and the Jays expect both of those pitches will improve as he develops. He's nowhere close to MLB, especially in the conditioning and mental aspects of the game, but does have the physical gifts to perform well once he gets there. Eventually.
More Scouting Book Info on Roberto Osuna
SB 245 BA SC BP SN ES ML 93
A solid, squarely-built righthander in the Cards' system, Texan Tyrell Jenkins was a first round (supplemental) pick in the 2010 draft. A two-sport star who almost went to Baylor as a quarterback, Jenkins works with a 92mph heater than can touch 96. At the moment, he can also bring a slow curve, a passable slider and an (unreliable) changeup to bear. It'll be the development of those secondary pitches that controls his rise through the minors. He's a couple of more years away from relevant, possible tastes of MLB notwithstanding.
More Scouting Book Info on Tyrell Jenkins
SB 246 BA SC 58 BP SN ES ML
A devasting lefthander who has struck out more than one batter per inning throughout his college career, Texan Matt Purke signed with the Nats after being drafted in 2011's third round. The man who went 16-0 as a college freshman is one of several Nats youngsters who could rise to dominate as a closer, though his lefthandedness should tempt the Nationals to at least explore using him in longer outings before committing him to a 9th inning future. Short action in 2012 showed the filthiness of Purke's stuff but also the risks inherent in banking on young pitchers: the youngster was shut down after only three starts due to shoulder problems that eventually required surgery. He'll be kid-gloved for the next little while, making him an easy-to-forget-about sleeper for 2015 or so.
More Scouting Book Info on Matt Purke
SB 247 BA SC 97 BP SN ES ML
Ynoa, the child of two accomplished ballplayers, is a towering, flame throwing teenager who already had a mid-90s fastball and an advanced changeup when he was scooped up by the Athletics for a $4.25M during 2008's IFA season.
He's hit more than his fair share of obstacles since then, and has spent as much time in operating rooms as he has on the mound. Already a veteran of Tommy John surgery before his twentieth birthday, Ynoa should finally be back on the mound in 2012 trying to work his way back to that once well-deserved phenom-hood. Expect some rehab in the Dominican and/or extended spring training, followed by a hopefully full season on assignment with the A's A-level team in Vermont. Unless he puts in more than a full season or two without improvement, it's impossible to give up on Ynoa: his potential really is (was?) that high.
More Scouting Book Info on Michael Ynoa
SB 248 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A second round pick by the Phillies in the 2011 Draft, Roman Quinn is a sleeper-ish prospect who's now looking like the best in-house bet to take over for Jimmy Rollins sometime in the 2015-2016 timeframe. A fast-developing defender with plus speed and great overall athleticism, Quinn is also a switch-hitter, helpful in the table-setting role he's learning to master. We'd still like to see a bit less sloppiness in the field, a concern of some scouts that's hard to see from raw numbers.
More Scouting Book Info on Roman Quinn
SB 249 BA SC 90 BP SN ES ML
A slight Venezuelan outfielder still busy digging his way out of the Philly farm, Carlos Tucci stroked a passable but empty .278/.330/.299 in his first taste of pro ball, so it'll be awhile until he's hammering anything in Citizen's Bank. Still, his combination of raw speed and athletic ability is nothing if not upwardly mobile. We'll know more if and when he reaches A-ball.
More Scouting Book Info on Carlos Tocci
SB 250 BA SC BP SN ES ML
240 to 250 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013