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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Like all Florida shortstops, Oscar Mercado is often compared to a young Alex Rodriguez. And there's some similarity: the lean athleticism, the discerning eye that seems to see right through pitchers, the all-around grace and strong arm from the field. He's gifted with a bit less raw power than young A-Rod was, however, and quite a bit faster: he'll be more of a consistent 40-steal threat than a 40-homer one. Still, he looks every inch a true shortstop, probably the best high school infielder of his draft class.
Full Scouting Report for Oscar Mercado
SB 249 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A lot of teams like to do it, but the Dodgers really, really, really love drafting major league bloodlines, and shortstop Jesmuel Valentin (Jose's son) will fit very nicely into that wont. A switch-hitter like his daddy, Jesmuel's swing is quite different looking, though he delivers similar plus bat speed and deceptive power. On the bases, he's above average, and in the field he seems capable of handling shortstop, though not in the most elegant way. Second base might be a better long-term home, though if he inherited his father's flexibility, he should be capable of playing any of the eight fielding positions.
Full Scouting Report for Jesmuel Valentin
SB 250 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big-bodied righthander from Orlando, Padres pitching prospect Walker (sic) Weickel was the 55th player selected overall in the 2012 draft. The 94mph he's already reaching with his fastball will increase as he fills out, and the good cut and sink he can add make him look ready to be a dominant reliever very soon. Of course, he's durable-looking and armed with a quality curveball, too, so he'll be given every possible opportunity to succeed as a starter long before it comes to that, especially given the wealth of hot relief arms in the Padre system.
Full Scouting Report for Walker Weickel
SB 251 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A strong and rugged-looking righthander, Cleveland's Mitch Brown is a workhorse in the making. His breaking pitches don't really exist in any meaningful way yet, but the adroitness he exhibits with his sinking 94mph fastball is impressive, making him a promising project from here on out.
Full Scouting Report for Mitch Brown
SB 252 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Originally drafted by the Dodgers in 2007, Matt Szczur passed on LA and went to Villanova University, where he played both baseball and football. (His complete college CV would read something like WR/RB/QB/KR/OF/2B/SS/Catcher.) Redrafted by the Cubs three years later, he thankfully dedicated himself to baseball and performed very well. Spending most of 2012 in high-A ball, Szczur (it sounds a lot like 'scissor') stroked a .295/.394/.407 line before bellyflopping during his AA dip in the pool. A small fielder but a fast one, with all the tools you'd expect from his background: good reflexes, smart and athletic, and generally durable. His centerfield defense needs work, but he'll probably have all year to work on that.
Full Scouting Report for Matt Szczur
SB 253 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A pure power hitter with iffy judgment to date, Cardinal prospect Pat Wisdom will need to live up to his name in order to hit for a high enough average to move up. That .282 last season is enough to get a promotion this year, for example, but he'll need to keep it up. He's in a good system for this, of course, as the Cardinal farm has always excelled at squeezing maximum performance from AAAA hitters.
Full Scouting Report for Patrick Wisdom
SB 254 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Chris McGuiness, a Citadel grad originally drafted by the Red Sox, came to the Indians a Rule 5 selection from Texas. That means he'll need to stick on the major league roster to remain an Indian, and there are indications he may be able to do just that. McGuiness smacked 24 homers and slashed a .268/.366/.474 line at AA Frisco last season while playing first base exclusively. If he can do that again in the majors, well... those are numbers that the Indians would take from a left-handed first baseman / designated hitter.
Full Scouting Report for Chris McGuiness
SB 255 BA SC BP SN ES ML
New York's second round pick in the 2010 Draft, young Angelo Gumbs was the first high school position player drafted that year, which should help you guess the gist of his ups and downs. To wit, and by the book: he's a gifted athlete, one of the best pure physical specimens in the Yankee stable, with all the signs of plus speed and power hanging on his room-to-grow frame.
He's got a strong arm, shows good range, and though the Yanks have thus far looked to him as an infielder, trying him out at short and second, but any position designation should be considered the lightest of pencil at this point: there's nothing about his toolset that wouldn't work well in left field, for example. Like almost all young players, he lacks real discipline or judgment in the strike zone, and he has a propensity to swing for the seats even when all the team really needs is a poke to the opposite field. But that's all a maturity thing, and the Yankees have nothing but time to season Gummo: he'll still be a teenager for two more years.
Full Scouting Report for Angelo Gumbs
SB 256 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 257 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A corner outfielder with a well-rounded toolset, Drew Vettleson is a Washington state native currently stewing in the Rays system. His lefthanded bat has good pop, as shown in the .275/.340/.432 line and 15 homers he smashed in his first taste of A-ball, 113 games played with in the Midwest League. His power will be interesting to watch as he moves up the ladder: if he can sustain numbers close to those early ones, he'll be an everyday lineup power by mid-2015.
Full Scouting Report for Drew Vettleson
SB 258 BA SC BP SN ES ML
250 to 260 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013