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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An 11th round selection by the Dodgers back in 2010, outfielder Joc Pederson has already far exceeded the expectations of most scouts. A late signee, he didn't really taste pro ball until 2011, when he raked a .353/.429/.568 line at rookie-level Ogden in the Pioneer League, impressing coaches with his work ethic and ability to use his raw tools effectively: the young man stole 24 of 29 bases and played an intelligent, competent outfield while being tested at all three positions.
A patient hitter who isn't afraid to take his walks, Pederson is well on his way to becoming a well-rounded ballplayer who should be above-average in all aspects of the game. There might not be an obvious space for him in L.A. right now, but baseball has a way of making space for those with talent enough to get them to the Show in the first place. If he puts in another year like his last two, he'll be on top of the prospect lists next time around.
Full Scouting Report for Joc Pederson
SB 32 BA 34 SC 35 BP 50 SN ES 41 ML 36
A sleeper prospect in from the Rangers' system, right-hander Carl (CJ) Edwards was drafted as an afterthought in 2011's 48th round, but rose quickly enough through the ranks to gain the attention of the rebuilding regime in Chicago.
Edwards derives a quality mid-90's fastball (somehow) from his slight frame, complementing it with quality off-speed pitches. His plus curve has thus far infuriated lower-level pro batters. While it'll be awhile before he shows the stamina to get deep into ballgames, his ability to handle heavy workloads is really the only question mark here. He's one of the best under-hyped prospects in baseball.
Full Scouting Report for CJ Edwards
SB 33 BA 28 SC 44 BP 81 SN ES 67 ML 42
A righthander buried a bit too deep in the Blue Jays refreshed farm system, Aaron Sanchez struck out a batter per inning while moving from rookie ball to low-A Vancouver in 2011, then looked even better at A-level Lansing in 2012. Spending all of last year at high-A Dunedin, Sanchez posted a 1.19 WHIP in 86 innings while racking up a satisfactory 75:40 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His mid-90's fastball can reach the high-90's on occasion, though it moves better when thrown at less than maximum velocity. When located well it can be quite devastating, making his second pitch (a quality curve) not very necessary. The changeup isn't all there yet, but that's typical in young arms. Sanchez will be working on repeating the delivery of all three pitches this year once again. The sign everyone is watching for is improving control: if he can further reduce his walk rate, he'll be big-league ready late this season or early next.
Full Scouting Report for Aaron Sanchez
SB 34 BA 32 SC 45 BP 31 SN ES 30 ML 23
The younger sibling of Seattle's Kyle, young Corey Seager is a similar infielder with bat speed that might actually be better than his big brother's. He's more likely to see action at second or third base thanks to the Dodgers' depth at shortstop, which is just fine: his body and skill set are better-suited to that sort of use anyway. He's risen swiftly through the ranks, and should be the center of attention this year whenever the topic of west coast infield prospects comes up.
Full Scouting Report for Corey Seager
SB 35 BA 37 SC 25 BP 44 SN ES 18 ML 34
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.
Full Scouting Report for Kyle Crick
SB 36 BA 33 SC 33 BP 38 SN ES 69 ML 32
A big, strong strike thrower, Appel was selected eighth overall (Pirates) in the 2012 draft, but didn't sign, allowing him to reenter the 2013 draft, where his hometown Astros flattered him with the #1 overall selection. One of the best pitching prospects in the last few years, he should provide the big anchor the rebuilding Astros so desperately need. He'll be ready in 2014 -- heck, he's ready right now -- but the Astros will do their best to slow down his arbitration clock while they assemble the rest of a competitive team to play behind him.
Full Scouting Report for Mark Appel
SB 37 BA 39 SC 12 BP 21 SN ES 11 ML 17
A tall lefthander from California, Boston prospect Henry Owens is a raw but high-ceilinged pitcher who many project as a future relief specialist, though he's shown the durability and maturity to survive as a starter, and the Sox are expected to keep him in that role as long as possible. Owens fastball is a low-90's offering with movement, though it could pick up a few ticks as he grows and gains strength. He mixes in two curves, one hard and one soft, with varying degrees of effectiveness, and a weak changeup that does almost no good whatsoever at present.
With command to improve and strength to build, Owens won't be an All-Star anytime soon, but his raw ability shouldn't be overlooked, either. Given a couple of years of good guidance and hard work, he could find himself taking an MLB mound every fifth day, or at least for an inning or two twice a week.
Full Scouting Report for Henry Owens
SB 38 BA 40 SC 21 BP 69 SN ES 42 ML 30
A tall and lanky teenager who arrived in the DR in the winter of 2011, outfielder Jorge Soler is one of the most promising Cuban prospects in baseball today. He's already shown off his tools in Dominica, and while he looks like a centerfielder right now, physically, his height and young age make it quite possible he'll be a corner fielder when he finishes growing. And if his loopy power swing develops as expected, he'll hit like one too.
He's already showing signs of MLB videogame level power at the plate, and his very strong arm is certainly real. His iffy contact skills and lack of patience at the plate, though, are equally clear indicators that he's still a rather rough gem. One bonus for his future home in The Show: the youngster already has an electric personality in his toolbox, which means he could be a real cover boy come 2015 or so.
Full Scouting Report for Jorge Soler
SB 39 BA 41 SC 53 BP 45 SN ES 26 ML 49
A smallish but smart-throwing lefthander from Oklahoma, Marlin prospect Andrew Heany is the proud owner of a quality three-pitch arm. On a Marlin club shallow in the pitching department, Heany could move quickly: while originally on track for 2015-16 wouldn't be surprised to see him arrive as early as this season.
Full Scouting Report for Andrew Heaney
SB 40 BA 30 SC 42 BP 30 SN ES 34 ML 29
31 to 40 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013