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.
Remember: this page is the result of an automatic process that re-sorts and re-ranks players often.
If you think you have found a mistake, please read
this blog entry before telling us. Then tell us. The Best Second Base Prospects for 2014
Overall SB ranking shown in parentheses.
The 22nd overall pick of the 2011 player draft, tiny Hawaiian Kolten Wong already looks like St. Louis's second baseman of the very near future. A polished college hitter with a 1.013 career OPS, he's also a developing fielder who should be able to improve the .964 he recorded in his very first taste of professional baseball. He still has room to grow and improve, but he's going to need to be challenged with major league pitching in order to do it. He's ready.
More Scouting Book Info on Kolten Wong
SB 30 BA 58 SC 30 BP SN ES 91 ML 58
Brock Holt is a fiery, undersized infielder who moved to Boston as part of the trade for Joel Hanrahan. Scouts don't love him, but he keeps on producing no matter where he plays, and he clearly has an advanced understanding of the game's finer points. Holt slashed .322/.389/.432 in AA for the Curve in 2012, then hit a tidy .292 when called up to Pittsburgh. He'll be a phone call away from Fenway in 2013 as the most-ready infield replacement for whoever falls to injury first.
He might not have obvious star potential, but he's a solid player, and it's almost a shame that he's probably destined to be a utility man. At least he'll be a good, old-school gritty one. And of course, when they make the cartoon version of the Red Sox, he'll be voiced by F. Jon Benjamin. So there's that.
More Scouting Book Info on Brock Holt
SB 94 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A high-quality hitter laboring deep in the shadows of the Atlanta system, Tommy La Stella combines exceptional plate discipline with good pop. That .302/.386/.460 line from high-A Lynchburg last came with 32 extra base hits in 85 games, and he could look even better in AA, once adjusting a little. His speed is above average, and his baserunning skills are already very good. His glove is less tested but seems capable, especially at second base. While he might not be a tip-top prospect, he's a very good one, and could be contributing in a Braves lineup sometime in 2014.
More Scouting Book Info on Tommy La Stella
SB 100 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A shortstop who's probably better off at second or third, Curacao native Jonathan Schoop's second turn through high-A ball in the Oriole system was a lot more successful than his first. Schoop silenced critics by slashing .271/.329/.375 at Carolina after shredding the low-A Sally League with a .316/.376/.514 line in the spring of 2011. In 2012, facing AA for the first time, he looked a little more grounded (.245/.324/.386) but wasn't beaten by the better pitching and continued to play solid defense. A high-contact hitter with developing power, Schoop is still adding bulk, which should help some of the 24 doubles he hit in 2011 turn into future homers. As it is, he still looks near ready for the bigs, with only another year or so of eyeball-training remaining. He'll return to AA to open 2013, and should apply a new focus. If he takes the expected step forward, he'll be ready for MLB action in 2014.
More Scouting Book Info on Jon Schoop
SB 101 BA SC BP 82 SN ES 86 ML
A strong infielder with a nice line-drive stroke and an eye that's beyond his young years, second base prospect Taylor Lindsey showed better glovework than expected in low-level pro ball. He'll try to take his sparkplug style of play up to A-level in 2013. He's a couple of years away from scratching a living from the Anaheim dirt, but he's exactly the sort of scrappy, line-drive hitting middle infielder that the Angels are so good at drafting and developing. He's probably no superstar, but he will stick in MLB and play well when his time comes.
More Scouting Book Info on Taylor Lindsey
SB 137 BA 93 SC 74 BP SN ES ML
A smallish infielder drafted by the Tigers in the 13th round of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft, FSU alum Devon Travis has already made a career out of outperforming expectations. A late signee, Travis only sampled 25 games in the low-A NYPL, but he looked ready for wooden bats and pro baseball immediately, slashing .280 /.352/.441 while popping three homers and stealing as many bases. In the field he has the skills for short but will probably live at second base due to his size and lack of a true cannon arm. A sparkplug for a future MLB lineup.
More Scouting Book Info on Devon Travis
SB 141 BA 84 SC BP SN ES ML
A top-tier hitting prospect whose glamor was dulled by two different shoulder injuries in high school, Rockies infielder Forrest Wall remains one of the best teenaged bats in the game, even if his recovering shoulder limits him to second base duties for now. A good athlete with fringe-plus speed, Wall's left-handed swing is short and quick, making regular hard contact and producing consistent array of line drives to all fields. His power ceiling is higher than one might expect, at least if batting practice light shows count, but he's probably better off sticking to the gaps for now.
More Scouting Book Info on Forrest Wall
SB 144 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Yangervis Solarte is a talented, switch-hitting infield prospect who somehow slipped through both the Twins and Rangers systems before landing on the New York Yankees' opening day roster in 2014. Drafted as an IFA from Valencia, Venezuela, Solarte has played all over the diamond, though the Rangers seem to prefer his hands at second base, where his tools (a little power, a little speed) look most valuable.
After taking his AA career to a .329/.367/.466 plateau in the Eastern League's 2011 campaign, Solarte did much the same with AAA pitching in 2012, slashing .288/.340/.405 with 11 homers at AAA Round Rock. A four time MiLB All Star, Solarte has little left to prove in the minors, and on an injury-riddled Yankee team, he should stick.
More Scouting Book Info on Yangervis Solarte
SB 152 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A powerful Colombian infielder who'll probably settle at second base, Pirate prospect Dilson Herrera rose to attention-worthy status by hitting his way out of Rookie ball (.281/341/.482) and into low-A at the age of 18. Herrera has a nice speed/power combination (twelve steals, eight dingers in sixty games) and decent enough foot and glovework to cover shortstop if necessary. He's raw, like any teenage player, but he shows a strong work ethic and natural aptitude for the trials of the middle infield. If his power is legitimate, he'll be a fast-riser in the system.
More Scouting Book Info on Dilson Herrera
SB 170 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The junior Delino is a shorter, stronger, faster and very much more righthanded version of his father. Which is to say, he's not very much like his father at all. What Delino is is a highly athletic all around ballplayer with superior defensive skills, a contact bat that should play at almost any position and serious plus plus speed. While he's still a ways from MLB, he's been making steady up-the-ladder progress through the minors, putting the work in: it's more than just his built-in athleticism and bloodline that puts him at the front of Houston's weak farm.
More Scouting Book Info on Delino DeShields
SB 197 BA SC BP SN ES 80 ML 66
A polished college shortstop from St. John's, Joe Panik is the closest thing to MLB-ready in the Giants system today, though he's more likely than not to be deployed at second base for the big club. After signing with the team in 2011, he went straight to low-A Salem, where he promptly hammered out a nifty .341/.401/.467 line with six homers and thirteen stolen bases, all in only 270 at-bats. Last year's .297/.368/.402 line might look like a step back, but considering it came along with a promotion to high-A San Jose, it's very good production. As long as he plays up to his level, he'll be all set as a fixture in SF sometime in 2014, with a callup in late 2013 not out of the question.
More Scouting Book Info on Joe Panik
SB 213 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Cesar Hernandez
SB 290 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Jorge Polanco
SB 291 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Another product of the Latin American scouting machinery that runs overtime in Cleveland, infield prospect Ronnie Rodriguez looks like another success already. While it's too early to judge him in detail, Rodriguez turned one of our favorite tricks as a second-year player, improving on his lower-level results by slashing .264/.300/.452 as a 20-year old at high-A Carolina. He's a fast-riser in a system full of sleepers.
More Scouting Book Info on Ronnie Rodriguez
SB 303 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An offensive-minded infielder from Japan's Pacific League, Kensuke Tanaka slashed .300/.350/.363 with in 505 plate appearances last season for the Nippon-Ham Fighters. Widely known as a solid glove man, he also showed plus speed and basestealing ability early in his career, though that has faded as he's matured.
More Scouting Book Info on Kensuke Tanaka
SB 313 BA SC BP SN ES ML
With one of the fastest home-to-first sprints since Ichiro and an OBP over .400 in his first season of pro ball, Padres prospect Cory Spangenberg is already looking very capable of sitting atop a San Diego batting order very soon. The versatile infielder played third base in college but will almost certainly be a second baseman in San Diego. He's still a bit rough around the edges, so give him a year to push his way into AA ball before you start expecting him to crack the Padres' everyday roster.
More Scouting Book Info on Cory Spangenberg
SB 367 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A UCD product drafted by the Orioles in the 13th round of the 2009 Draft, Tyler Kelly is an accomplished hitter without an obvious fielding position. He's started at every position other than center and catcher for the Oriole teams in the last two years alone. No matter where the Orioles slot him, though, he's always raked enough to surpass scouting expectations. He slashed .327/.425/.467 across three levels of play in 2012, but what really jumps out at us is that 72:79 strikeout to walk ratio. The Orioles have sexier prospects, but none who look as ready to plug into an MLB lineup as Kelly. He should see bench, UT or injury-filling duty in 2013.
More Scouting Book Info on Tyler Kelly
SB 399 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Top Prospects 2013