Top Baseball Prospects for 2015
Now updated for 2015'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 2015
Overall SB ranking shown in parentheses.
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 125 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 127 BA SC BP SN ES 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 big league dirt, but he's exactly the sort of scrappy, line-drive hitting middle infielder who could ride out a long career away from the bright lights of bigger markets.
More Scouting Book Info on Taylor Lindsey
SB 134 BA 93 SC 74 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 141 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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 148 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 164 BA SC BP SN ES 80 ML 66
A Miami-born infield prospect in the Marlin system, Avery Romero was drafted by the team in the third round (104th overall) of the 2012 Amateur Draft. While he lacks the quickness or arm strength many scouts want to see from a shortstop, it might not matter. He's almost as valuable a prospect as a second or third baseman, because his bat is the real appeal here. Romero slashed an impressive .297/.357/.411 line at low-A Batavia in 2013, and while he looked overmatched in a late-season callup to the Sally League, we're willing to write that off as jitters. A premium bat at shortstop is an asset not to be discarded lightly, and so the Marlins will very likely continue to groom and move the young Romero slowly and carefully.
More Scouting Book Info on Avery Romero
SB 233 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 269 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 282 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 291 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A gritty, hard-noised infielder taken by the Nationals in the second round of the 2012 draft, Anthony (Tony) Renda will be compared to Dustin Pedroia for the rest of his career. And it's not just his small size and tenacity that earn the comp, either: Renda has plus bat speed, which means in time he could disply enough power to bang balls into outfield walls and occasionally over them. For now, though, he's a singles hitter with great hustle and baseball instincts, which means he could be a fan favorite in Washington by 2015.
More Scouting Book Info on Tony Renda
SB 293 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Drafted by the Yankees in 2012's fifth round out of the University of Arizona, hitting prospect Robert (Rob) Refsnyder went largely unreported-upon at the time, but has blossomed into one of New York's best young players thanks to a solid .283/.408/.404 slash line at high-A Tampa in 2013. Better still, he walked more often than he struck out, all while showing an increasing propensity for the power game. His short, powerful stroke looks quite polished, and when combined with that batting eye, looks likely to make him a very good on-base machine for the near-future Yankee ballclub.
Originally an outfielder, he's not fleet-of-foot nor strong-armed enough to profile very well there, and so the Yankees have been trying to turn him into an infielder over the past two seasons, with second base the most likely destination.
More Scouting Book Info on Rob Refsnyder
SB 312 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An IFA signed from the Dominican in 2012, Tiger prospect Domingo Leyba is a versatile middle infielder who seems gifted at all aspects of the game. While he goes unnoticed by many scouts due to his small size and lack of showstopping power, he's a quietly-effective hitter, spraying balls to all fields from both sides of the plate. In the field, he has soft hands but iffy range, making second or third base his most likely job postings in the future.
More Scouting Book Info on Domingo Leyba
SB 314 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 339 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 374 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Angelo Gumbs
SB 388 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An infielder with legit five-tool potential, Pirate prospect Jacoby Jones was drafted by the team in 2013's third round, and should take a long and slow route to MLB. Jones zipped up the charts when he won the Cape Cod League's home run derby last season, and his speed is either plus or plus-plus, depending on who you ask, so he's got the raw ability. In results-based viewpoints, however, he's clearly showing his inexperience. He struck out far too much (55 times in 139 ABs in that Cape Cod showcase), and he really hasn't found a home in the field yet, though his tools suggest the outfield might be best. It'll be awhile before he learns how to play well enough to really take advantage of his toolset, but if he develops as expected, he could be an all-around All Star quality player one day.
More Scouting Book Info on Jacoby Jones
SB 403 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Top Prospects 2013