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 fast-developing outfielder who slashed .309/.364 /.403 at AA Mississippi last year, Thomas David (Todd) Cunningham is one of Atlanta's most-potent future offensive threats. A switch hitter, Cunningham combines an ability to hit for a high average with good speed and developing power. Cunningham has true plus speed and can cover a large amount of outfield ground, though he's still learning to use that speed effectively on the bases. He'll be ready for MLB in another year or so: if there's no place for him in Atlanta, he could become a significant mid- or offseason trade target for a team without a clear CF option.
Full Scouting Report for Todd Cunningham
SB 319 BA SC BP SN ES ML
By most measures, he's the least of the three prospects the Padres landed for Mat Latos, but USC righthander Brad Boxberger is still no slouch. The 43rd player selected in the 2009 draft is a strong, stout pitcher who projects as a middle-of-rotation arm for the Padres in the near future, thanks to his pro-level collection of above-average pitches and his ability to survive under pressure. He works with a 92-94mph fastball that he'll work in on hitters quite fearlessly, and he complements it with a decent-and-improving curve. Most interestingly, though, he features a nifty sinking change that could be a real strikeout pitch for him once he learns to command it a bit more consistently.
Full Scouting Report for Brad Boxberger
SB 320 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big, hard-throwing Dominican righthander signed by the Mets as an international free agent in 2006, Cleto is a raw pitcher who features a moving fastball at 97mph, a real thunderbolt that looks like a genuine plus pitch. His slider is a work in progress, however, and his other pitches aren't anything special yet.
Cleto was acquired by the Cardinals in the 2011 offseason after a Cal League year with Seattle in which he posted a 6.16 ERA in 23 appearances (21 starts). If his change develops, he could still blossom into a strong starting role, but so far (as expected/feared) its' been the slider that's developed best, earmarking Cleto as a late-inning strikeout artist: in nine late-season innings with the MLB Cards last year, Clete struck out fifteen hitters. Expect him to remain a bullpen weapon in 2013, with a move to the rotation possible one day down the road.
Full Scouting Report for Maikel Cleto
SB 321 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A smallish closer candidate who came from the Padres minor league system, U Missouri alum and current Diamondback prospect Matt Stites ran his high-90's fastball right through the Midwest League in 2012, posting this insane performance line that contains no typographical errors: 50 innings, 0.74 ERA, 0.58 WHIP, 60 strikeouts and (wait for it) 3 walks.
Stites complements his heat with a 'changeup' that still clocks in the high 80's and a breaking ball that's either a 12-7 slider or a hard curve, depending on your school of thought. Either way, it's devastating when it comes in unannounced. Despite his smallish stature, Stites has all the confidence and swagger you expect from a quality relief pitcher. He's shown no fear of any hitter, at least not yet.
Full Scouting Report for Matt Stites
SB 322 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A surprise pick by the Brewers in the first round of 2010, righthander Dylan Covey went to college instead, and returned in 2013, to be taken in the fourth round, by the Oakland A's. A polished pitcher with a fastball that can touch 96mph with good motion and natural sink, he also shows a hard, looping curve and a slider that's even harder. His changeup is advanced for a young player, but it still lags behind, raising early questions about his eventual role. He's worth an occasional look, but it'll be a few years before anyone is sure what they have here.
Full Scouting Report for Dylan Covey
SB 323 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An athletic righthander from Southlake, Texas, Dodger prospect Ross Stripling leans heavily on a sinking 94mph fastball with good natural movement. His secondary pitches are qualiity curve and very good changeup, and when he's on his game he can slice and dice hitters by mixing all three pitches in the lower part of the zone. Stripling struck out a batter per inning in 12 Rookie League starts last season. but it'll be mid-2013 before the Dodgers really know what he can do. He could move quickly if he keeps up his sharp command: keep an eye on his peripherals to see whether he'll arrive in LA in mid-2014, which would be right on schedule, or sooner than that, which is very possible. Coaches are buzzing about him already.
Full Scouting Report for Ross Stripling
SB 324 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.
Full Scouting Report for Keyvius Sampson
SB 325 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Red Sox second-round pick (87th overall) in 2012, righthander Jamie Callahan fits with the club's new focus on developing future pitching. Callahan is what scouts call a 'projectable' righty, and features a low-90's fastball that can reach 96mph, albeit at the cost of what little movement he can impart. His curveball is a classic twelve-to-six model that looks very solid, and his changeup, while spotty, actually looks like it might end up being the best pitch of the three. If that comes to pass, look out: Callahan will be a number-one pitcher. If he even half-masters it, he could still be a solid number three.
Full Scouting Report for Jamie Callahan
SB 326 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big lefty from the 2012 draft class, Giant prospect Steven Okert is a likely reliever and possible closer of the future, at least if his track record closing at Oklahoma is any indication. He could move quickly into the Giants' bullpen, perhaps a soon as late 2013. At low-A Salem late last year, Okert struck out 22 batters in 26 innings, and he'll attempt to make the jump into AA shortly. Other than repeating his delivery and logging experience, he's pretty much an MLB-ready reliever.
Full Scouting Report for Steven Okert
SB 327 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A contrarian righthander in a system stuffed with lefties, Dominican pitcher Brenny Paulino looks like a good candidate to bolster Detroit's pitching staff (or perhaps bullpen) in the years to come. Still a bit raw with youth, Paulino is a tall and thin slinger who can already hit 96mph on the radar gun with a nice fastball that features exceptional natural movement. That's often a big indicator of MLB success down the road. As should be expected, his breaking stuff (a curve and an iffy slider) and change are quite a distance behind in terms of quality, but he'll have a couple of years to work on those now that's moved stateside to continue his development. While he's not nearly as polished as some of Detroit's older prospect pitchers, his upside might actually be the highest in the group. Of course, a lot of risk comes along with that.
Full Scouting Report for Brenny Paulino
SB 328 BA SC BP SN ES ML
320 to 330 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013