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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Not to be confused with the older Oakland outfielder, this Michael ('Anthony') Taylor is a centerfielder in the Nationals organization. The Nats, who drafted him out of high school in the sixth round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft, have a shortage of true centerfield prospects in the system, which makes Taylor one to watch.
His great mix of power (12 homers in AAA last season) and speed (18 steals) profiles really well into a future Washington roster that seems to have more power than it knows what to do with. Taylor's eye at the plate and defense need some work, and he's still really raw with his baserunning ability, but give him another couple of years and you should see him patrolling the outfield grass in DC.
Full Scouting Report for Michael Taylor
SB 281 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 282 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A Dominican phenom who was hotly pursued by the Mariners and Yankees for several years, young Edward Salcedo finally signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Braves in the spring of 2010, more than making up for the team's absence of a first-round pick in the 2010 Draft. A big, strong infielder with soft hands and a very quick bat, Salcedo is currently a gap-to-gap line drive hitter, though his size and strength project out to significant power in the future, as scouts who compare him to Hanley Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez are applying only a little exaggeration.
The (certified) 20 year old appears talented enough to stick at shortstop, despite a sloppiness that comes with youth, but if he doesn't, his bat is so advanced that he will remain a top prospect, even at third base or in right field. His prime won't really start until 2014 or so, though he could get a look-see sooner than that.
Full Scouting Report for Edward Salcedo
SB 283 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Baltimore prospect (Dennis) Michael Wright is a big righthander in a system that's proven good at getting max value from so-so talents in recent years. His shortarm delivery looks a bit jagged to some scouts, and restricts his fastball to the low 90's, though it comes with good movement and some natural sink. That movement also makes his slider an ideal double-down pitch. The change is a work in progress, but it's not far off. Assuming his journey through AA is successful, Wright should be a competent middle rotation guy in another year or two.
Full Scouting Report for Michael Wright
SB 284 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A two-way player who was originally drafted by the Indians as a pitcher, Tennessee's Bryce Brentz should now be considered a full-time outfielder despite his early success on the mound. As an everyday player, he's a hard-hitting corner who should move quickly in pro baseball. Built like a tree-trunk, Brentz uses his whole body well, covering the plate with a long but strong right-handed swing. He gets maximum power from his hip rotation to splash line-drives to all fields with apparent ease. While he hasn't yet been able to reach the outfield fences with much regularity, his high contact ability should translate well to the majors, helping him avoid the all-or-nothing club that big bats often slide into. Nick Markakis is often cited as a fair comparison for Brentz's build and toolset.
Full Scouting Report for Bryce Brentz
SB 285 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 286 BA SC BP SN ES ML
St. Mary's best starter in 2012, Martin Agosta is a polished college arm who already shows three quality pitches. The 84th overall selection of the 2012 draft, Agosta is expected to remain a starter while working his way up the San Francisco ladder. Signing late, he took the mound for only 11 innings last summer, but struck out 19 rookie-league batters while he was at it. He'll be in A ball this season.
Full Scouting Report for Martin Agosta
SB 287 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Mets don't have a lot of top-notch prospects, but Michael Fulmer is pushing to become one of the most promising. An effectively-wild righthander with electric stuff, Fulmer leans heavily on a high-90's fastball that has a little natural movement, coupled with a hard slider that is difficult for hitters to find coming out of his hand. The similar delivery Fulmer uses for that fastball and slider is probably his best weapon.
Fulmer is still working on a third pitch, and if he can harness a quality change he'll be moved up the system as a starter. If the change is a bust, he'll be penciled in as a future eighth or even ninth-inning option in Flushing, where he'll be able to grind away at hitters with the two quality pitches he's already got in his holster. Give him another year to experiment.
Full Scouting Report for Michael Fulmer
SB 288 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Jordan 'Magic' Swagerty is a righthanded pitcher in the Cardinals system who most expect to carry on from his college success as a reliever in the future. The jury is far from settled on that just yet, though: while most of the 52 strikeouts he logged in 54 innings at high-A Palm Beach last year came from the bullpen, the Cards also allowed him to make seven starts.
The former Arizona State closer certainly has shut-down stuff: that 92mph dart can touch 94 when it's used sparingly, and it could look even less hittable when it comes right after a nasty, dirt-biting slider. But it's Swagerty's advanced command of the change and curve that keeps St Louis from committing him to ninth-inning work just yet. A switch-hitter, Magic also racked up a .484 average in his junior year of high-school play, so he should enjoy National League style ball, too.
Full Scouting Report for Jordan Swagerty
SB 289 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 290 BA SC BP SN ES ML
280 to 290 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013