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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The Dodgers liked righthander Kevin Gausman a lot back in 2010, but he turned down an above-slot offer to go to LSU instead. Picked up again in 2012 by the Orioles, he's looking just as promising now as he was then: a solid pitcher with a big fastball and promising (though inconsistent) breaking stuff who could develop quickly. He's a bit of a high-risk / high-reward player for the Orioles, but when you're trying to compete in the AL East, you have to take a few chances. So far, he's looking like a very good gamble indeed: he's one of the fastest risers on every pitching chart in the business.
More Scouting Book Info on Kevin Gausman
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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.
More Scouting Book Info on Joc Pederson
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A big, strong and hungry monster with plus contact skills and off-the-charts power, Phoenix native CJ 'Crusher' Cron slashed a nasty-looking .308/.371/.629 right through the rookie Pioneer League in 2011, capped by eight homers in his final ten games. In 2012, he did much the same in the Cal League, posting a .293/.327/.516 line while knocking no less than
twenty-seven dingers. We expect he'll be crushing AA pitching sometime in 2013, just as soon as they open the cage to let him out.
More Scouting Book Info on CJ Cron
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A sometimes-dominating college starter who struggled with control issues from time to time, Colorado prospect Eddie Butler was drafted in 2012's supplemental round on the strength of his best performances, in which he looked downright unhittable. Butler somehow produces a 98mph sinking fastball from a smallish and lightweight frame, managing to command it well to both sides of the plate despite (or thanks to) its late life. His breaking balls are less reliable, but if the Rockies can help him to add even average command to his toolset, he'll be a powerful starter or reliever in the near future.
More Scouting Book Info on Eddie Butler
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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.
More Scouting Book Info on Henry Owens
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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
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A nominal third baseman, Texas prospect Joey Gallo should probably be considered a first base or DH prospect, as his fieldwork isn't anything that will get him into MLB anytime soon. His bat his tremendous though, with huge power to all fields, probably more than any other prospect in the system: that 1.169 OPS in Rookie ball portends a step up to A-levels in 2013. With a long swing and iffy judgement, though, he's got some development to do before he's ready to join in the Texas thunder.
More Scouting Book Info on Joey Gallo
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With a lively fastball that can touch 95mph, native Georgian Lucas Sims is the latest entry in the Atlanta pitching derby. He's raw, but he the righthander already gets so much life on his pitches that there's little doubt he'll be effective in some role or other.
More Scouting Book Info on Lucas Sims
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Team USA's ace for 2013's 18-and-under World Cup, lefthander Brady Aiken has raw power and solid overall athletic ability, though he's still learning how to truly pitch. His stuff is certainly there: his mid-90's fastball approaches 100mph in short use, and his curve and change are very advanced for such a young ballplayer. TNSTAAPP or not, Aiken looks like one of the best teenage arms to come along in a decade.
More Scouting Book Info on Brady Aiken
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31 to 40 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013