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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A big, strong Dominican ox in the Mets system, Domingo Tapia is a righthanded pitcher with serious, serious heat. His fastball is probably the best on the Mets farm, and one of the best in the minors today. Tapia used that heater to strike out 101 hitters last season in 108 A-ball innings (19 starts) while walking only 32. He should start 2013 in high A, spend 2014 in AA, and join the Mets late that year.
Full Scouting Report for Domingo Tapia
SB 281 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A pure tools selection by the Orioles in the 2008 draft, high school centerfield star Xavier Avery will be one of the fastest players in MLB one day. The question has always been whether he will have enough bat to get there and to stick on the roster. The answer to the first question, at least, is yes: he snuck almost 100 ABs from the injury-rattled Orioles in 2012, doing well enough (.223/.305/.340) to get some consideration this spring. To answer the second question, have a look at his numbers over three and a half seasons of minor league ball: .260/.325/.356 with a 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio and a 74% steal success rate. That looks like a fourth outfielder to us, but it was enough to get the attention of the Seattle Mariners, who acquired him in a 2013 post-deadline swap for veteran Michael Morse.
Full Scouting Report for Xavier Avery
SB 283 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. He'll take some time to learn the finer points of the baseball arts, but he's already looking very good with the broad strokes.
Full Scouting Report for Ryan McMahon
SB 284 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A tall righthander who mixes a hard breaking ball in with his high 90's heat, Jonathon Crawford is one of the best pitchers of 2013's draft class. In 2012, Crawford went 6-2 with a 3.13 ERA and a 73:24 K:BB ratio across 78 innings for the Florida Gators, leading the team to the College World Series. His changeup and curve are works-in-progress, but if even one of those two can come along to a level even close to his fastball, he'll be a mid-rotation starter in the Bigs in only a year or three.
Full Scouting Report for Jonathon Crawford
SB 285 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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 286 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big righthander from Alabama, Chase Whitley is a raw but promising pitcher who shows flashes of good command with three decent-looking pitches. His low-90's fastball has a little natural sink, while his slider, which comes across at about 86mph, has nice tailing action. His changeup is only so-so, at least so far, but could develop into a quality offering against left-handers. While he's most likely destined for bullpen work in MLB once he's ready, Whitley has also had minor league success as a starter. His walk rate, a frequent problem over the past few seasons, seems to have fallen to an acceptable level, which means there's not much holding him back from at least a look-see in MLB soon.
Full Scouting Report for Chase Whitley
SB 287 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 288 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The final player drafted in the second round of 2014's First Year Player draft, Ronnie Williams is a smallish righthander. While his size didn't get him much consideration, his 98mph fastball certainly got him attention from the Cardinals, who signed him quickly and assigned him to their Gulf Coast facility for close observation and training. Many are already comparing Williams to the similarly-built Chris Archer, who not only found success in MLB, but found it very quickly. The Cardinals like Williams's easy, repeatable delivery, and their coaches detect an advanced feel for the curve and changeup. That means St Louis will develop Williams as a starter, with a bullpen assignment only a measure of last resort at this time.
Full Scouting Report for Ronnie Williams
SB 289 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 290 BA SC BP SN ES ML
280 to 290 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013