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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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 361 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A righthanded power arm from The Citadel (South Carolina), Asher Wojciechowski is a strong, solid pitcher whose 94mph fastball comes with some nice natural sink. His secondary pitches need work, of course, but he's already impressing scouts with his overall gamesmanship and baseball skills. A hard worker with plus smarts, Wojo's been getting a lot of hard second looks from scouts. While he was a bit blocked in a pitching-rich Blue Jays system, since the trade to Houston his stock has been on a steady rise. In fact, he looked so good in AA at the end of the season that there's buzz he could make the weaker Astros out of Spring Training. Even if he falls short of that, he's still got all the earmarks that usually signify an early-season callup.
Full Scouting Report for Asher Wojciechowski
SB 362 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A classic example of the power-armed Texas righthander, Jacob (Jake) Johansen is a rare example of a monster arm who also boasts a viable four-pitch toolkit. His mid-90's sinking heat is complemented by better than average curveballs, changeups and sliders, all of which show occasional plus flashes, though he doesn't yet command them very well. Some coaches think he's a future bullpen arm, but the Nationals will most certainly look to slow down his development, refine his pitching skills, and build him up into a bulldog starter first.
Full Scouting Report for Jake Johansen
SB 363 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Cheslor. A Nicaraguan third baseman who seems skilled enough to stick at the position, the Royals' young slugger looked pretty darn good in his first look at A-ball in 2011 before falling a bit back to earth in 2012, though to be fair to the man, he was one of the youngest players in the league. He'll spend some time in higher A ball this year, most likely, and if all goes well be hitting AA pitchers every day in 2014. After that, well, it should be a lot of fun ahead in KC in the years to come.
Full Scouting Report for Cheslor Cuthbert
SB 364 BA SC 89 BP SN ES ML
A switch-hitting infielder of the smallish Venezuelan variety, Tiger prospect Eugenio Saurez was an IFA signee who made Tiger scouts look pretty brilliant in 2011, destroying the GCL Lwith a .341/ before being properly promoted to the NY-Penn league. Slick fielding shortstops aren't rare at lower levels, but slick-fielding shortstops who can use a bat well most definitely are, and the Tigers look like they might have struck some gold with Suarez. Eugenio's mix of power and speed looks very promising, and if he can perform at higher levels with anything like the ability he's already shown at low ones, he could be a valuable everyday part of the Detroit lineup a couple of years from now. The lack of shiny infield prospects ahead of him on the depth chart should keep him hungry, too.
Full Scouting Report for Eugenio Suarez
SB 365 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An often-overlooked part of Oakland's wheely-dealy offseason, righthander Raul Alcantara is a flamethrowing righthander with very hot stuff that he's still learning how to control. He's got a near-perfect pitcher's body and seems to show an ability to learn from coaching, an ability that shouldn't be taken for granted among the young and naturally talented. While we're not confident he will stick as a starter, he should benefit from Oakland's clever approach to pitching development, so even the 'bad' result should allow him to become a strong piece of a vibrant young bullpen in just another couple of years.
Full Scouting Report for Raul Alcantara
SB 366 BA SC BP SN ES ML
With one of the fastest home-to-first sprints since Ichiro and an OBP over .400 in his first season of pro ball, Padres prospect Cory Spangenberg is already looking very capable of sitting atop a San Diego batting order very soon. The versatile infielder played third base in college but will almost certainly be a second baseman in San Diego. He's still a bit rough around the edges, so give him a year to push his way into AA ball before you start expecting him to crack the Padres' everyday roster.
Full Scouting Report for Cory Spangenberg
SB 367 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Phillies outfield prospect Cam Perkins (he's also a decent corner infielder) is a towering ballplayer who many dismiss as a prospect because of his unusual swing. But it's hard to argue with results: Perkins slashed .299/.351/.457 across rookie and high-A ball in 2013, showing more power than expected. Defensively he's still adjusting to the outfield, but his arm looks adequate for either corner and he's got enough speed to close routes quickly enough.
Full Scouting Report for Cam Perkins
SB 368 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A surprise pick by the Yankees in the 2013 draft (26th overall), Eric Jagielo is a power-hitting third baseman from Notre Dame. He's played in the outfield and at the infield corners, and since it's third base that's the obvious need for the Yankees moving forward, that's how he should probably be treated for now. A left-handed hitter, he has the mix of patience and power that the Yankees like to find, with quick hands and a good idea of the strike zone. He'll take a couple of years, and of course we need to see how he handles better pitching, but he could be a solid MLB bat one day.
Full Scouting Report for Eric Jagielo
SB 369 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Pitching prospect Ryne Stanek is a college-seasoned righthander who looks very nearly MLB ready, at least as a wipeout reliever. Blessed with easy heat from a textbook projectable pitcher's body, Ryne mixes in a plus slider that would play in the bigs tomorrow. Of course, he's rough around the edges, fighting with control and command issues at times, and struggling to master the changeup he sorely needs to survive as a starting pitcher. Ryne started 17 games for the Razorbacks in 2012, posting an 8-4 record and a 2.82 ERA, while striking out 83 in 93 innings of work.
Ryan spurned the Mariners when they selected him from high school back in 2012, but he was re-selected by the Rays the second time around.
Full Scouting Report for Ryne Stanek
SB 370 BA SC BP SN ES ML
360 to 370 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013