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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Originally drafted by the Dodgers in 2007, Matt Szczur passed on LA and went to Villanova University, where he played both baseball and football. (His complete college CV would read something like WR/RB/QB/KR/OF/2B/SS/Catcher.) Redrafted by the Cubs three years later, he thankfully dedicated himself to baseball and performed very well. Spending most of 2012 in high-A ball, Szczur (it sounds a lot like 'scissor') stroked a .295/.394/.407 line before bellyflopping during his AA dip in the pool. A small fielder but a fast one, with all the tools you'd expect from his background: good reflexes, smart and athletic, and generally durable. His centerfield defense needs work, but he'll probably have all year to work on that.
More Scouting Book Info on Matt Szczur
SB 331 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A Dominican phenom who was hotly pursued by the Mariners and Yankees for several years, young Edward Salcedo finally signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Braves in the spring of 2010, more than making up for the team's absence of a first-round pick in the 2010 Draft. A big, strong infielder with soft hands and a very quick bat, Salcedo is currently a gap-to-gap line drive hitter, though his size and strength project out to significant power in the future, as scouts who compare him to Hanley Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez are applying only a little exaggeration.
The (certified) 20 year old appears talented enough to stick at shortstop, despite a sloppiness that comes with youth, but if he doesn't, his bat is so advanced that he will remain a top prospect, even at third base or in right field. His prime won't really start until 2014 or so, though he could get a look-see sooner than that.
More Scouting Book Info on Edward Salcedo
SB 332 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Baltimore prospect (Dennis) Michael Wright is a big righthander in a system that's proven good at getting max value from so-so talents in recent years. His shortarm delivery looks a bit jagged to some scouts, and restricts his fastball to the low 90's, though it comes with good movement and some natural sink. That movement also makes his slider an ideal double-down pitch. The change is a work in progress, but it's not far off. Assuming his journey through AA is successful, Wright should be a competent middle rotation guy in another year or two.
More Scouting Book Info on Michael Wright
SB 333 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A two-way player who was originally drafted by the Indians as a pitcher, Tennessee's Bryce Brentz should now be considered a full-time outfielder despite his early success on the mound. As an everyday player, he's a hard-hitting corner who should move quickly in pro baseball. Built like a tree-trunk, Brentz uses his whole body well, covering the plate with a long but strong right-handed swing. He gets maximum power from his hip rotation to splash line-drives to all fields with apparent ease. While he hasn't yet been able to reach the outfield fences with much regularity, his high contact ability should translate well to the majors, helping him avoid the all-or-nothing club that big bats often slide into. Nick Markakis is often cited as a fair comparison for Brentz's build and toolset.
More Scouting Book Info on Bryce Brentz
SB 334 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A fourth round high school draft pick and late sign for the Astros, Rio Ruiz took only 152 at-bats in rookie ball last year, but that was enough to impress scouts. He's uniformly rated as a plus defensive third baseman, but reviews are mixed on the quality of his bat. He shows a quick, smooth swing and ability to reach all fields, but also a propensity to chase bad pitches and strike out a very great deal. We really need to see a full season of minor league ball before we know what we have, here.
More Scouting Book Info on Rio Ruiz
SB 335 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A two-way player who most prefered as a pitcher, Tuscon native Alex Verdugo was drafted and signed as an outfielder by the Dodgers at the tail end of the 2014 draft's second round.
On the mound, Verdugo is a left-handed pitcher who brings a nice tilted 92mph fastball from a three-quarter slot, along with a looping curve and a change that has some promise. At the plate, he's a lefty-swinging line drive hitter who nailed baseballs to a .532 clip as a high-school senior. Scouts admire how his short, compact swing generates power nonetheless. Obviously, he's a project that will take a few years to develop, but the Dodgers are very good at this sort of thing, at least if their experience with James Loney is any indication.
More Scouting Book Info on Alex Verdugo
SB 336 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A 13th-round pick out of Northwestern in 2009 (Astros) outfield prospect Jake Goebbert rose to national attention as a member of the A's farm system. In a 2013 season split between Oakland's AA and AAA affliates, Goebbert slashed .262/.354/.474 with 22 home runs in 126 games. But the stat we like the most? Jake struck out on 99 occasions in those games... but also took 62 walks. While most see him as a fourth outfielder with a big bat and not much else, he's got a little more in the toolbox than that. He can provide decent corner defense with a quality arm, and even brings a little speed: he's racked up 33 steals in four minor league seasons so far.
More Scouting Book Info on Jake Goebbert
SB 337 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A pure power hitter with iffy judgment to date, Cardinal prospect Pat Wisdom will need to live up to his name in order to hit for a high enough average to move up. That .282 last season is enough to get a promotion this year, for example, but he'll need to keep it up. He's in a good system for this, of course, as the Cardinal farm has always excelled at squeezing maximum performance from AAAA hitters.
More Scouting Book Info on Patrick Wisdom
SB 338 BA SC BP SN ES ML
St. Mary's best starter in 2012, Martin Agosta is a polished college arm who already shows three quality pitches. The 84th overall selection of the 2012 draft, Agosta is expected to remain a starter while working his way up the San Francisco ladder. Signing late, he took the mound for only 11 innings last summer, but struck out 19 rookie-league batters while he was at it. He'll be in A ball this season.
More Scouting Book Info on Martin Agosta
SB 339 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Mets don't have a lot of top-notch prospects, but Michael Fulmer is pushing to become one of the most promising. An effectively-wild righthander with electric stuff, Fulmer leans heavily on a high-90's fastball that has a little natural movement, coupled with a hard slider that is difficult for hitters to find coming out of his hand. The similar delivery Fulmer uses for that fastball and slider is probably his best weapon.
Fulmer is still working on a third pitch, and if he can harness a quality change he'll be moved up the system as a starter. If the change is a bust, he'll be penciled in as a future eighth or even ninth-inning option in Flushing, where he'll be able to grind away at hitters with the two quality pitches he's already got in his holster. Give him another year to experiment.
More Scouting Book Info on Michael Fulmer
SB 340 BA SC BP SN ES ML
330 to 340 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013