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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Originally drafted by the Rangers, Righthander Joe Wieland is today a premium Padres pitching prospect with his sights set squarely on San Diego. A tall and thin kid with easy gas, Wieland works comfortably at 90-94mph, spiced with a genuine plus curve. Even his change shows above-average flash.
With exceptionally good command and control, he brought all that quality stuff to bear in 2012, making six starts for the Padres and posting a veteran-looking 1.27 WHIP and 24:9 strikeout to walk ratio. A fly-ball/strikeout pitcher, he should improve further in 2013 and fit perfectly into San Diego's style of play, not to mention that ballpark. If he's not in the rotation to open 2013, he will be by the end of the season.
Full Scouting Report for Joe Wieland
SB 331 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The 31st overall pick in the 2011 Draft, new Tampa Bay Ray prospect Michael Anthony Mahtook is a big, strong, fast centerfielder who starred at LSU. Mahtook hit .383 with 14 homers in his final year, and led the Southeast Conference with 39 steals. Mahtook started in A+ and ended up in AA last season, slashing a combined .277/.342/.415 with 9 homers in just under five hundred at-bats. He'll spend most (if not all) of 2013 back in AA, but he's scout's darling with good makeup and a great work ethic, and he's already showing all the tools necessary, so it's possible he could rise to action in Tampa sooner than the natural timetable suggests.
Full Scouting Report for Mikie Mahtook
SB 332 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A second round pick from the 2006 draft, outfielder Joe Benson skipped out on Purdue to jump into the Twins system, where he's been growing and developing ever since. He's the proud owner of above average wheels at near plus speed, and a solid plus arm, making his defense high quality all around. At the plate, the Twins will be looking for a little more discipline, since he does have a habit of chasing breaking balls, but other than that he's looking awfully close to ready. Benson smashed a precocious .303/.395/.485 at high-A Ft Myers, then looked outclassed in AA and during a relief stint on the MLB roster in 2012, but try not to hold that against him. He should be back and better than that in 2013.
Full Scouting Report for Joe Benson
SB 333 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Sometime in the last decade or so, the Braves got very very good at identifying catchers. Victor Caratini, a product of the PR Baseball Academy, is another in the fast-growing line of top-notch backstops coming through Atlanta's system. A reliable defensive target, he's received a great deal of praise for his framing and blocking ability, and his arm, while not a full-bore cannon, is better than many MLB catchers already. At the plate, he's a viable switch-hitter, a disciplined and well-rounded talent who projects as a 10-20 home run guy in the future. (He hit .377 with six home runs and a .549 slugging percentage in 175 ABs with Miami Dade.) Should the Braves catcher pipeline get jammed up, as it may very well, Caratini is also a capable third baseman.
Full Scouting Report for Victor Caratini
SB 334 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 335 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Taken by the Red Sox in the 10th round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft, outfielder Brandon Jacobs was sort of lost man in the Boston system ever after. Overshadowed by a number of other players while in Boston, Jacobs nonetheless slowly climbed his way into relevance, and should have an easier path to the Majors from the White Sox starting blocks.
A running back in high school, Jacobs still looks the part. Now he's a strong, fireplug-shaped outfielder destined for a corner (probably left). His fielding is still rough, and he won't win any 100m dashes, but he's got a power hitter's body and a strong (if long) swing with plus bat speed. If anything gets him to MLB, it'll be what he can do with a fastball that drifts too far over the plate. Give him another year or two.
Full Scouting Report for Brandon Jacobs
SB 336 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A fifth-round pick by the Nationals in 2013, righthander Austin Voth is a classic 'pitchability' prospect: while he lacks dominating presence or overpowering stuff, he more than makes up for it with craft and hard work. For example, while he's capable of reaching the mid-90's with his fastball, he usually works around 89-91mph for better control and movement. His curve is a 12-6 offering with good depth, and his offspeed offering has improved dramatically over the last year or two. An unlikely ace, what Voth does look like is a solid mid-rotation workhorse in the years to come.
Full Scouting Report for Austin Voth
SB 337 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A strong and rugged-looking righthander, Cleveland's Mitch Brown is a workhorse in the making. His breaking pitches don't really exist in any meaningful way yet, but the adroitness he exhibits with his sinking 94mph fastball is impressive, making him a promising project from here on out.
Full Scouting Report for Mitch Brown
SB 339 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The brother of prospect Colby, young Grant Holmes is probably the stronger pitcher, mixing a fastball that has touched 100mph with a hard, sharp-breaking curve and a promising change. He'll need to use his changeup more at the next level, though it does show some promise. He already looks like a quality reliever, but if he can convince the Dodger staff that he can handle the workload, he'll be given a chance to start first.
Full Scouting Report for Grant Holmes
SB 340 BA SC BP SN ES ML
330 to 340 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013