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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One of the higher-upside hitters in the 2012 Draft, Tampa Bay's Richie Shaffer is a nominal third baseman who can not only play first, but also a corner outfield position, thanks to his powerful arm. A right-handed hitter, Shaffer has strong wrists that deliver real plus bat speed. He only logged 138 plate appearances at low-A Hudson Valley last year, but he looked good doing it: .308/.406/.487 with four dingers and a nice walk rate for a player whose strike zone judgment has been a question to date. His power potential high, so he's definitely worth keeping an eye on, even if he struggles a bit moving up the ladder.
Full Scouting Report for Richie Shaffer
SB 301 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A speedy outfielder with leadoff potential, National Eury Perez is one of the hidden gems in the still-underappreciated Washington system. Perez looked solid and impressive during a season split between AA and AAA in 2013, slashing .314/.344/.361 nd swiping 51 of 66 bases (that's 77 percent, good enough for us.) Perez even ended the season with the MLB Nationals, getting into thirteen games (mainly as a pinch runner) and stealing three bases. He'll be 23 in 2013, and looks ready to help the team immediately, though it'll probably be from the bench again, at least initially.
Full Scouting Report for Eury Perez
SB 302 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A massive lefthander from New York state who grew even more massive during his time in Texas, Sean Nolin is an advanced Blue Jay prospect who spent most of 2012 in high-A ball. At Dunedin, Nolin racked up a nice 2.19 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in fifteen starts, striking out more than a batter per inning while walking less than a third as many. Nolin mixes a very good slider with a decent curve, but it's his plus change that makes his low-90's fastball look a couple of ticks better than that. On the newly-depleted Blue Jay farm, he's one of the nearest to ready. If he dominates at AA the way he did at lower levels, he'll be in Toronto before the year is up.
Full Scouting Report for Sean Nolin
SB 305 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A solid, sturdy pitcher with excellent command of three pitches, prospect Jason Adam won't be bumping anyone from the front of the MLB rotation this year, but he has a good chance to slip in at the back end sometime in 2014. Adam, a local product of nearby Overland Park (Kansas), posted a nifty 123 to 36 ratio of strikeouts to walks last year at high-A Wilmington, a career best from a pitcher who's always been labeled a high-control workhorse.
Full Scouting Report for Jason Adam
SB 306 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Like all Florida shortstops, Oscar Mercado is often compared to a young Alex Rodriguez. And there's some similarity: the lean athleticism, the discerning eye that seems to see right through pitchers, the all-around grace and strong arm from the field. He's gifted with a bit less raw power than young A-Rod was, however, and quite a bit faster: he'll be more of a consistent 40-steal threat than a 40-homer one. Still, he looks every inch a true shortstop, probably the best high school infielder of his draft class.
Full Scouting Report for Oscar Mercado
SB 307 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big-bodied righthander from Orlando, Padres pitching prospect Walker (sic) Weickel was the 55th player selected overall in the 2012 draft. The 94mph he's already reaching with his fastball will increase as he fills out, and the good cut and sink he can add make him look ready to be a dominant reliever very soon. Of course, he's durable-looking and armed with a quality curveball, too, so he'll be given every possible opportunity to succeed as a starter long before it comes to that, especially given the wealth of hot relief arms in the Padre system.
Full Scouting Report for Walker Weickel
SB 308 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Originally drafted by the Rangers, Righthander Joe Wieland is today a premium Padres pitching prospect with his sights set squarely on San Diego. A tall and thin kid with easy gas, Wieland works comfortably at 90-94mph, spiced with a genuine plus curve. Even his change shows above-average flash.
With exceptionally good command and control, he brought all that quality stuff to bear in 2012, making six starts for the Padres and posting a veteran-looking 1.27 WHIP and 24:9 strikeout to walk ratio. A fly-ball/strikeout pitcher, he should improve further in 2013 and fit perfectly into San Diego's style of play, not to mention that ballpark. If he's not in the rotation to open 2013, he will be by the end of the season.
Full Scouting Report for Joe Wieland
SB 309 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A second round pick from the 2006 draft, outfielder Joe Benson skipped out on Purdue to jump into the Twins system, where he's been growing and developing ever since. He's the proud owner of above average wheels at near plus speed, and a solid plus arm, making his defense high quality all around. At the plate, the Twins will be looking for a little more discipline, since he does have a habit of chasing breaking balls, but other than that he's looking awfully close to ready. Benson smashed a precocious .303/.395/.485 at high-A Ft Myers, then looked outclassed in AA and during a relief stint on the MLB roster in 2012, but try not to hold that against him. He should be back and better than that in 2013.
Full Scouting Report for Joe Benson
SB 310 BA SC BP SN ES ML
300 to 310 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013