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 Colorado's top catching prospects, 2012 third rounder Tom Murphy slashed .288/.349/.462 in 212 at-bats with the low-A Tri-City Dust Devils in 2012. Reminding some scouts of JP Arencebia, Murphy makes strong and solid contact from gap to gap, with a level swing and developing power that should help him reach the cheap seats more as he fills out. He's not a base-clogger, with good speed and good baserunning smarts for a catcher. Murphy is a standout defensive backstop with an above average arm (he shot down 42% of base stealers last season.) He'll take a couple of years to sharpen his game-calling and hopefully keep his strikeout totals from climbing as he gets stronger, but other than that he looks like a pretty sweet catcher of the future to us.
Full Scouting Report for Tom Murphy
SB 341 BA SC BP SN ES ML
New York's second round pick in the 2010 Draft, young Angelo Gumbs was the first high school position player drafted that year, which should help you guess the gist of his ups and downs. To wit, and by the book: he's a gifted athlete, one of the best pure physical specimens in the Yankee stable, with all the signs of plus speed and power hanging on his room-to-grow frame.
He's got a strong arm, shows good range, and though the Yanks have thus far looked to him as an infielder, trying him out at short and second, but any position designation should be considered the lightest of pencil at this point: there's nothing about his toolset that wouldn't work well in left field, for example. Like almost all young players, he lacks real discipline or judgment in the strike zone, and he has a propensity to swing for the seats even when all the team really needs is a poke to the opposite field. But that's all a maturity thing, and the Yankees have nothing but time to season Gummo: he'll still be a teenager for two more years.
Full Scouting Report for Angelo Gumbs
SB 342 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A hard-throwing righthander in the Astros system, pitcher Jose Cisnero is a young strikeout artist who seems to be finally harnessing an ability to control his heat. While he's maintained a nice 10-ish K:BB ratio throughout his minor league career, it's only recently that he's shown adeptness at enticing hitters to make poor contact, helping his results in the process. In addition to the nifty fastball, he mixes in a sinking two-seam version and a very good slider. His off-speed pitches aren't stellar, but thus far he hasn't really needed them. While he's shown enough stamina to start, his max effort delivery and stuff make him most attractive as a reliever. Either way, we should see what he's got in mid-2013, if not sooner.
Full Scouting Report for Jose Cisnero
SB 343 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big, strong lefthander who has already mastered the don't-mess-with-me look so important to mound presence, the Angels' own Nick Maronde found college success after transforming into a closer at the University of Florida. After being drafted by the Angels, he rocketed through the minors and wound up as a surprise LOOGY specialist in Anaheim before the end of year. He's the best lefty prospect in the Angels system today. If he returns to starting duty, he could be very good in another year or so. If the team leaves him in the bullpen, on the other hand, he could be great.
Full Scouting Report for Nick Maronde
SB 345 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A 6-6, 250lb monster back in high school, Taylor avoided an early draft by committing to Stanford. When he emerged from college, he was gobbled up by the Phillies in the same 5th round selection that netted them Ryan Howard six years earlier. Scouts saw similar things in the two sluggers.
After ditching his 'Stanford Swing' for a bigger and more wide open hammer, Taylor started to tear up the minors in 2009. He strikes out a bit too much, especially on quality breaking pitches, but his new owners in Oakland have never been afraid of that kind of hitter as long as the production averages out. As an outfielder, he has limited range, though his speed is probably average, or even a bit better than average. His strong throwing arm that suggests right field is his natural position. While his approach at the plate looks crude, he's actually a pretty polished product: until the flurry of winter trades that overhauled the A's farm system and the major league club at the same time, Taylor was a decent odds favorite to win a starting job with the MLB club. Now, he looks more like a bench or AAA option, at least for early in the year. He's very likely to be be first in line if the team needs in-season outfield help, however.
Full Scouting Report for Michael Taylor
SB 346 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A powerful righthanded reliever ready to help out in Washington right now, Miami-born Christian (CJ) Garcia is one of many young bullpen weapons the Nats plan to use to defend their NL East title. A mature prospect, Garcia has already thrown seven full seasons of minor league ball, maintaining a strikeout rate of more than a batter per inning (and more than 10 per 9 for most of that career.) He's been a reliever for the team so far, but he has the guile and pitch selection to start. His fastball is a naturally-moving mid-90's dart that he controls well, and to which he can add natural sink on command. His changeup is solid, the type one would expect from a veteran pitcher, and his curve, when it's on track, is an unhittable shame-maker. He's a strong candidate to anchor the Washington bullpen in 2013, but should the team be shy a rotation member at any point in the next couple of seasons, he may be a terrific in-house replacement, too.
Full Scouting Report for Christian Garcia
SB 347 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Once a top Royals pitching prospect, Kyle Smith was traded to the Astros in mid-2013. Drafted out of high school by KC in the 4th round of the 2011 Draft, Smith is built more like an infielder than a power pitcher, barely tipping the scales at 180lbs and not cracking the six-foot barrier at all. But he can pitch, using a true plus curve to make his average 92mph fastball look a lot more impressive than it would be alone. He shows an advanced ability to work counts and outsmart hitters already, as evidenced by the 12.2 batters he struck out per game in Rookie and A ball in 2012. He needs only a little improvement to his changeup to have a chance to break out.
Full Scouting Report for Kyle Smith
SB 348 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The 20th overall selection of the 2011 Draft, lefthander Tyler Anderson is a high upside pitcher who most scouts agree is close to MLB-ready. Many see a younger version of Jeff Francis, a fast-moving pitcher who was able to succeed even in rarefied Colorado. In his last year of college ball, Anderson struck out 114 batters in just 108 innings, mainly on the strength of a solid fastball-change combination that he commands well. His other pitches aren't anything to write home about, but he's good enough right now that he could step into a mediocre Colorado rotation and improve it immediately.
Full Scouting Report for Tyler Anderson
SB 349 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A strong, burly outfielder drafted by the Tigers in 2011, Texas native Tyler Collins is a high-potential offensive player in a system that needs them. Collins, who has flown a little under the radar thanks to a detour in Australian baseball (an All-Star, thank ya mate), Collins shows good bat control to go along with his significant power, and has better wheels than one might expect from his body type. He'll need another year of simmering stateside before he's ready for big-league play, but he shouldn't be ignored: he slashed .313/.360/.534 at low-A ball in 2011, and a matching .290/.371/.429 in 2012 at high-A. Let's see what he does with AA pitchers.
Full Scouting Report for Tyler Collins
SB 350 BA SC BP SN ES ML
340 to 350 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013