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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An infield prospect in a Washington system that doesn't have all that many, the fast-rising Zach Walters could muscle his way to the MLB bench in 2013. Walters, who's competent across the infield but best-deployed at third thanks to his strong arm and quick feet, could also fill in at shortstop if necessary. Walters showed a bit of power in AA last season, slashing .293/.326/.518, which puts a nice frosting on his traditionally solid on-base game. He maintained most of that even after a bump to AAA (.269/.304/.399), which shows that he's got the skills to survive, if only as a bench player.
Full Scouting Report for Zach Walters
SB 371 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A surprise pick by the Brewers in the first round of 2010, righthander Dylan Covey went to college instead, and returned in 2013, to be taken in the fourth round, by the Oakland A's. A polished pitcher with a fastball that can touch 96mph with good motion and natural sink, he also shows a hard, looping curve and a slider that's even harder. His changeup is advanced for a young player, but it still lags behind, raising early questions about his eventual role. He's worth an occasional look, but it'll be a few years before anyone is sure what they have here.
Full Scouting Report for Dylan Covey
SB 372 BA SC BP SN ES ML
With a nickname that sounds like something out of a Radical Feminist Manifesto, Manny Banuelos is a young and tiny lefthander signed out of Mexico who's already being heralded as a shining success story for the Yankees international scouting team. Man-Ban's fastball is an easy 92mph, while his changeup already looks like a plus pitch, remarkable in such a young player. He's been working on adding a curve and/or slider to his mix, which would silence those calling him a bullpen-only piece, but even his existing two-pitch arsenal has been effective so far. He'll be brought along slowly, as the ever-conservative Yankees have no need to rush him, but if his next year is as good as his last, he'll have to be considered one of the top young arms in the minor leagues.
Full Scouting Report for Manny Banuelos
SB 373 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A consistent hitter who profiles as a typical second-hole hitter, California boy Tony Wolters is a gritty baseball rat of a player who uses hustle and smarts to play higher than the level of his natural ability. A smallish infielder in the Pedroia mould, he has soft hands and a strong arm, but only average speed and range. If he keeps up his hard work, he's bound to be a fan favorite in Cleveland a few years from now.
Full Scouting Report for Tony Wolters
SB 374 BA SC BP SN ES ML
With his onetime stellar WHIP and strikeout rate tumbling somewhat following 2009 surgery, Yankee righthander Dellin Betances has been pushed a bit harder than many scouts would have preferred, and will need to reestablish some firm ground before he's ready to reclaim top prospect status. The team also pushed him way too quickly last season, probably panicking a little over their MLB bullpen woes. Still, he remains a high-ceiling if risky long-term asset: guys with stuff this wicked always seem to find their way onto MLB rosters sooner or later.
Full Scouting Report for Dellin Betances
SB 375 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A Stony Brook alumnus taken by the Houston Astros in the fifth round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft, righthander Nick Tropeano is a raw but high-ceiling pitching prospect. Moving from low to high-A last year, Tropeano posted a combined 12-7, 2.85, 1.23 season, striking out 166 hitters and walking 47 in 158 innings.
As a starter, he projects as a solid workhorse with smarts, since he outperforms his stuff on a regular basis thanks to an advanced feel for pitching and a very high quality, deceptive changeup. His makeup is very good, and 2013 will be a very good test as he tries to move up to AA and its more advanced hitters. If he can keep AA batters honest with a fastball that seldom reaches the 90's, he'll be doing the same in MLB next season.
Full Scouting Report for Nick Tropeano
SB 376 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.
Full Scouting Report for Rio Ruiz
SB 377 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A seasoned prospect looking to break into the San Francisco rotation ASAP, righthander Chris Henson is unlike most Giant pitching prospects in that he doesn't throw ungodly breaking stuff at 99mph. What he can do well, though, is
pitch. Heston has succeeded at every level by combining great command and superior pitching skill, and there's no real reason to think he can't ride his very clever arm all the way to the big leagues soon. That 2.24 ERA, 1.10 WHIP season he posted last year came across 25 AA-level starts, after all, so there are no worries here about inferior hitters or a small sample size. Bank on him being with the big club in 2014, but don't be surprised if he sneaks his way into the Giants' rotation several months ahead of schedule, either.
Full Scouting Report for Chris Heston
SB 378 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Dodgers Minor League Player of the Year for 2008, DeJesus doesn't have much left to prove in the minors, especially after idling with a bubbling .304/.343/.416 during another full year of AAA parking-lot ball in 2012. When he makes contact, he's a hitter in the Howie Kendrick style: gap to gap line drives with excellent bat control. In the field, he has soft hands and excellent (inherited?) baseball instincts.
Traded to the suddenly-rebuilding Red Sox in the August shocker of 2012 that sent Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez to L.A., and then to Pittsburgh for the acquisition of Joel Hanrahan, De Jesus provides high-upside infield potential on a team that doesn't have much left. He looks like he'll be playing in Pittsburgh very soon.
Full Scouting Report for Ivan De Jesus
SB 379 BA SC BP SN ES ML
370 to 380 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013