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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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 321 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A squat, powerful outfielder from the Dominican, the switch-hitting Abraham Almonte is an underhyped prospect who came up in the Yankee system. Acquired by the Mariners in a spring 2013 trade for reliever Shawn Kelley, his value increased somewhat in a system bereft of offensive potential. As a Mariner, Almonte put up his best minor league season to date in 2013, slashing .300/.394/.482 in 516 games split between AA and AAA, including a razor-sharp .314/.403/.491 at the higher level of play. His fifteen homers (11 in AAA) was almost double his previous season high. Despite his fireplug stature, Almonte also shows good speed in the outfield and on the basepaths (20-of-27 steals in 2012). While he might not be one of baseball's top outfield prospects, his nice mix of tools could yet blossom into an everyday corner, especially on a DH-friendly roster.
Full Scouting Report for Abraham Almonte
SB 322 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 325 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A squat, mature 1B-3B-DH prospect who's spent several years mashing baseballs in the San Francisco Giant system, the righthanded Adam Duvall has proven just about all there is to prove in the minors. He's quietly risen one level per year since being signed in 2009, racking up a composite .346/.506/.852 slash line in the process, with a roughly 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio appropriate for a slugger of his ilk. At AA Richmond in 2013, Duvall seemed to take a step back, but nonetheless nailed 17 home runs in 430 plate appearances. Ignored by many for being too small and too right-handed for most MLB needs, he could definitely provide some extra right-handed pop to a lineup that needs it.
Full Scouting Report for Adam Duvall
SB 326 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 327 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An infielder from Seattle currently hard at work on the Arizona farm, Jake Lamb is a lefthanded slugger with a strong arm, making him look like a prototypical third baseman so far. The rookie Pioneer league was obviously no challenge to Lamb in 2012 (.329/.390/.539) but he should find some grounding in A-ball this season, presumably in an attempt to refine his batting eye. He's got good pop and decent speed, making for a player with good all-around potential. As a college hitter he could move quickly.
Full Scouting Report for Jake Lamb
SB 328 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A lot of teams like to do it, but the Dodgers really, really, really love drafting major league bloodlines, and shortstop Jesmuel Valentin (Jose's son) will fit very nicely into that wont. A switch-hitter like his daddy, Jesmuel's swing is quite different looking, though he delivers similar plus bat speed and deceptive power. On the bases, he's above average, and in the field he seems capable of handling shortstop, though not in the most elegant way. Second base might be a better long-term home, though if he inherited his father's flexibility, he should be capable of playing any of the eight fielding positions.
Full Scouting Report for Jesmuel Valentin
SB 329 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 330 BA SC BP SN ES ML
320 to 330 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013