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 hard-throwing righthander, Corey Denton was the throw-in pick the Rangers gained when they acquired Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante from Miami in the offseason. A college closer at Texas, the Tigers promised to give Knebel's stuff a chance in a starting role first. That stuff is solid enough, too: his high-90's heat is offset by a power curve that looks like a plus pitch at times.
More Scouting Book Info on Corey Knebel
SB 301 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A howitzer-armed high school catcher from Oklahoma, Jonathan Denney promises both offense and defense from the backstop position. Denney has the makings of real plus power coupled with great pitch recognition. A smart player, he has soft hands and great reflexes behind the plate, and seems capable of handling a pitching staff someday, too. That means he should stay at catcher, where he has the most value. Drafted in the third round of 2013's draft by the Red Sox, he's in the right system for the kind of player he seems to be.
More Scouting Book Info on Jonathan Denney
SB 302 BA SC 86 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
A tall, lithe righthander in the Mets system, Dominican-born Luis Mateo is a hard-throwing pitcher with a quality change. He outclassed the NY-Penn League last year, striking out 85 and walking only 9 in 73 innings, but he was a 22 year old pitching to younger hitters. He'll push through A-ball this year, and if he maintains anything close to those great numbers, he'll be in AA and knocking on the door in 2014.
More Scouting Book Info on Luis Mateo
SB 304 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A smallish IFA import from Guadalajara, Mexico, Christian Villanueva moved slowly through the Ranger system for a few years before being shipped north to Chicago at 2012's trading deadline. CV, who was a malnourished-looking 150lbs when he signed, has been bulking up as hoped, adding strength while still smashing baseballs with quick, easy power. Even his smooth defensive play hasn't suffered: he still looks pretty capable of covering shortstop if necessary.
At A-level Hickory in 2011 he was overshadowed by Jurickson Profar, but Villanueva quietly put up a very impressive offensive line of his own, with 17 homers and 32 steals (in 38 attempts). His base-stealing fell off a cliff last season, but he still produced offensive numbers. He still has a lot to prove, especially once he sees some quality breaking stuff at higher levels, but if that power/speed combination holds up as his body blossoms, he could soon become a high-impact contributor in the new-look Cubs offense we're all waiting to see come 2014 or so.
More Scouting Book Info on Christian Villanueva
SB 305 BA SC BP SN ES ML
He may sound like a fashion designer, but young Foster Griffin is actually one of baseball's more exciting young pitching prospects. A lefthander drafted straight out of First Academy (a K-12 Independent/Christian school in Florida) by the Royals in 2014, Griffin already has a low-90's fastball that hums, but it's his advanced command of a low-80's changeup that really captures scouting attention. A slider lags behind as his third-best pitch, but even that's more than adequate for such a young player. He'll be steeped in pro ball and moved slowly by the Royals, an organization known for not rushing young prospects.
More Scouting Book Info on Foster Griffin
SB 306 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A top-flight hitter with exceptional pitch-recognition, Virginia outfielder Mike Papi attracted a lot of attention in the 2014 draft. Most scouts had him pegged as a late first rounder, though he lasted a hair longer, falling to Cleveland with the 38th overall pick. His left-handed swing is short and quick, delivering line drives with regularity. With some growth presumably left in his lanky frame, his power could yet develop into more than that, too. In the field, he's limited to first base or a corner outfield spot, though his baseball sense makes up in part for somewhat below-average speed and defensive prowess.
More Scouting Book Info on Mike Papi
SB 307 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big righthander drafted in 2009's fourth round, San Diego's Keyvius Sampson looked pretty darn fine in his first season of A-ball back in 2011, going 12-3, 2.90, 1.10 across 24 starts. He struck out 143 batters, three times as many as he walked, with a K/9 rate near 11. He slid somewhat in 2012, though to be fair, a lot of pitchers find humility in their first trip to the Texas League. Sampson's control still needs work, but there's not much else to complain about here: he has guile, mound presence, confidence and calm when dealing his 94mph fastball (with movement), hammerish curve and even his newest pitch: a fading change with plenty of sink. Issues with recurring elbow soreness seem to be in his past, but note:
seem to be.
More Scouting Book Info on Keyvius Sampson
SB 308 BA SC BP SN ES ML
One of the best viable catching prospects in the 2014 draft, Michigan native Blake Anderson was snapped up a lot earlier than expected by the value-hunting Marlins in the first compensation round. Not surprisingly, he also signed with a below-slot bonus more in line with a third or fourth rounder. A big, strong catcher with a cannon arm and better-than-expected mobility for a man his size, his defense doesn't seem to be in question. As a big-framed strong young man, too, he projects to hit for good power in the future. What questions do linger in conversations about Anderson, though, all revolve around whether or not he'll hit for a high enough average to be a of everyday value to an MLB lineup one day.
More Scouting Book Info on Blake Anderson
SB 310 BA SC BP SN ES ML
300 to 310 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013