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.
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SB 30 BA 27 SC 23 BP 18 SN ES 33 ML 24
Like a taller twin to Gerrit Cole, righty James Taillon is a geniune monster power arm from Texas (via Quebec), a very high-ceiling pitcher who has already cracked 100mph on radar guns. If that's not enough to get your attention, note that while his slider and change are below average, his curveball is universally acclaimed as a plus pitch. If he can hold his arm together under increasing workloads and refine his command and control to pro levels, he could be a viable #2 or #3 starter by 2014 or so, with a shot at being a genuine ace a little further down the road.
More Scouting Book Info on Jameson Taillon
SB 31 BA 22 SC 17 BP 19 SN ES 27 ML 16
A lefty who can touch 96mph with a sizzling fastball, Toronto's Daniel Norris is a bit of a sleeper who should be gaining a lot more attention in the months and years to come. Norris already complements his heat with a hammer curve that can be devastating, and if he manages to get a third pitch up to even major-league average, he'll be an ace on a team known for discovering gems.
More Scouting Book Info on Dan Norris
SB 32 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A square, powerful righthander from the University of San Francisco, KC pitcher Kyle Zimmer's calling card is his 98mph fastball, which he brings from a great rock-solid arm angle. It dazzles hitters from either side of the plate thanks to late life and movement. It's Zimmer's selection of other pitches, though, all of which look to be near-MLB ready, that will get him to the Show to stay. Give him another year or so, and you'll have a top-shelf pitcher on your hands.
More Scouting Book Info on Kyle Zimmer
SB 33 BA 23 SC 32 BP 34 SN ES 10 ML 25
The best left-handed power bat available in the 2014 draft, Cubs prospect Kyle Schwarber is one of the newest proto-stars in a dazzlingly-deep farm system that's starting to blossom in Chicago. Schwarber's bat led Indiana to its first Big Ten Championship since 1932 (sic). His very good bat speed generates lightning-bolt power, while his batting eye seems strong enough to keep his game from decaying into a single dimension. Behind the plate, he shows a strong if sometimes-erratic arm and a good head for the game, but there are enough questions about his receiving and framing skills that a move to an outfield corner is more than a possibility. The Cubs will give him a chance behind the plate, too, though, because if he can stick there, his bat could propel him to All Star status.
More Scouting Book Info on Kyle Schwarber
SB 34 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A fast, slappy hitter with good speed and plus defense, Rockie prospect David Dahl looks like a good fit for the 'new' Coors Field, where speed is a special asset. He's more than a raw tools candidate, though: Dahl uses his speed well on the bases and in the field, and shows a good eye for situational hitting. For such a young player, he's quite polished already, though he'll need a couple more seasons in the minors to really reveal his true level.
More Scouting Book Info on David Dahl
SB 35 BA 94 SC BP 100 SN ES 47 ML 71
A smart, talented righthander with College World Series experience, ex-LSU Tiger Aaron Nola was drafted by the Phillies in the summer of 2014, and should rise to the team's very top prospect ranks very shortly. He brings a nice, low-90's fastball with great natural sink from a smooth three-quarter arm slot, repeating it effortlessly and commanding both sides of the plate. His changeup might be even better, as he's able to throw it almost anywhere on command, making that fastball seem more frightening than it might look in isolation. His breaking balls aren't as sharp, but assuming the Phillies don't rush him to the Majors (and, really, why should they?) it will have time to catch up to the rest of his game, which is already MLB-caliber.
More Scouting Book Info on Aaron Nola
SB 36 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A very big kid from Texas with a pretty big arm, righthander Kyle Crick was the his district's 4A pitcher of the year in 2011. He brings a typical power heavy fastball from a high arm angle, and complements it with a slider that shows serious promise.
By all reports his change and curve are very much works in progress, though, so don't get too excited about this kid too soon. Crick's 95 strikeouts in only 68 innings of work last year shows his key ability, but that 1.27 WHIP shows he's better rounded than the average strikeout artist, too. He'll try to climb to AA in 2014, and if he looks as wicked there, he'll probably receive a rewarding cup of coffee come September.
More Scouting Book Info on Kyle Crick
SB 37 BA 33 SC 45 BP 38 SN ES 69 ML 32
A prototypical hard-throwing Texas righthander, high-school prospect Tyler Kolek was taken by the Marlins as the second overall pick of 2014. The fastball that springs from his large, sturdy body often scrapes 100mph, and when he mixed it with a solid 12-to-6 curve, he can be almost unhittable. He's also added a slider recently, a nasty high-movement offering that's already better than most in the minor leagues. While there's no real changeup on the horizon, it might not matter: he's already more than capable of keeping batters uncomfortable and off-balance in the box. If there's a warning label on Kolek, it might be on his high-maintenance mechanics, which might suggest repeatability and command issues down the road.
More Scouting Book Info on Tyler Kolek
SB 38 BA SC BP SN ES ML
If you believe in bloodlines, you have to be a fan of Nick Gordon, brother of Dee Gordon, second-born son of Tom Gordon, and natural heir to all the kingdoms of the north. At least, those kingdoms that are bounded by Target Field.
Signed by the Twins after being selected fifth overall in 2014, Gordon could follow in the footsteps of either family member: as a pitcher he brings easy low-90's heat and a solid curveball from the right side, while as a hitter he's the proud owner of a smooth left-handed swing and good wheels to go along with it. With a good natural grace in the field and a strong arm, he might be best developed as a shortstop until and unless he proves he can't perform. Given his lineage, one probably shouldn't bet against him.
More Scouting Book Info on Nick Gordon
SB 39 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Drafted as a teenager from Puerto Rico to open 2012's compensation round, Jose Orlando (J-O) Berrios is a smallish righthander with good arm strength that springs a compact but strong frame. His short delivery suggests mechanical soundness, even if it's a bit jerky, with a fastball that can pop at 96mph and a breaking ball that looks like a real plus offering. He'll slow-cook in Minnesota after signing, but if he stays healthy, it won't be long before he's seen as a top-flight phenom in a system good at maximizing pitcher value.
More Scouting Book Info on Jose Berrios
SB 40 BA SC BP 75 SN ES ML 90
30 to 40 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013