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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Not to be confused with the older Oakland outfielder, this Michael ('Anthony') Taylor is a centerfielder in the Nationals organization. The Nats, who drafted him out of high school in the sixth round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft, have a shortage of true centerfield prospects in the system, which makes Taylor one to watch.
His great mix of power (12 homers in AAA last season) and speed (18 steals) profiles really well into a future Washington roster that seems to have more power than it knows what to do with. Taylor's eye at the plate and defense need some work, and he's still really raw with his baserunning ability, but give him another couple of years and you should see him patrolling the outfield grass in DC.
More Scouting Book Info on Michael Taylor
SB 341 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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 342 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 343 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 344 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 345 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 346 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Drafted by the Royals in 2014's first round despite posting a 0-8 record as a starter at Texas Christian, lefthander Brandon Finnegan can uncork a powerful 95mph fastball from his smallish frame. His secondary pitches, a loopy erratic slider and a below-average changeup, won't get many hitters out yet, but any time a lefthander can touch the mid or upper-90's, he's going to be coveted. The Royals are most likely to bring Finnegan along as a reliever, but the right coaching to help his secondary pitches along could make him a viable starter one day, too.
More Scouting Book Info on Brandon Finnegan
SB 347 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 348 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 349 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Jordan 'Magic' Swagerty is a righthanded pitcher in the Cardinals system who most expect to carry on from his college success as a reliever in the future. The jury is far from settled on that just yet, though: while most of the 52 strikeouts he logged in 54 innings at high-A Palm Beach last year came from the bullpen, the Cards also allowed him to make seven starts.
The former Arizona State closer certainly has shut-down stuff: that 92mph dart can touch 94 when it's used sparingly, and it could look even less hittable when it comes right after a nasty, dirt-biting slider. But it's Swagerty's advanced command of the change and curve that keeps St Louis from committing him to ninth-inning work just yet. A switch-hitter, Magic also racked up a .484 average in his junior year of high-school play, so he should enjoy National League style ball, too.
More Scouting Book Info on Jordan Swagerty
SB 350 BA SC BP SN ES ML
340 to 350 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013