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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Adys (or, sometimes, Adis) Portillo is a hard-throwing right-hander who shows more polish than most Venezuelan prospects. Portillo exhibits a dominating mound presence and great composure, featuring a moving fastball that tops out at about 94mph. It's the raw stuff he wields with three possible plus pitches, though, that puts him into the upper ranks of pitching prodigies.
More Scouting Book Info on Adys Portillo
SB 371 BA SC BP SN ES ML
One of the highest-rated high school prospects in the 2013 draft class, San Diego's Ian Clarkin is a lefthanded pitcher with two quality pitches. Both his fastball and curve should mature into better-than-average pitches in the future, with the hammer curve showing real plus potential. Scouts are mixed on the quality of his change, probably because it varies so much from outing to outing. He'll need that change to mitigate righthanders, so if he can refine it, he'll be a solid middle-rotation starter one day. If not, he's still got some potential as a lefty specialist. His mechanics are simple, leveraging a compact delivery from a high leg kick, and he has good finishing habits that might prevent injuries along the way. As with all high school pitching prospects, however, there's a lot that can go wrong along the way here.
More Scouting Book Info on Ian Clarkin
SB 372 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The most-likely catcher of the future in Philadelphia, Mexican prospect Sebastian Valle is a young offensive dynamo with plus bat control and a powerful swing that should play at any level. Already holding his own against much older competitors, Valle is due to hit AA sometime in 2012. Give him another year or two to master the intricacies of handling a top-flight pitching staff, and he should be a fixture in Philly soon enough.
More Scouting Book Info on Sebastian Valle
SB 373 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A solid, sturdy pitcher with excellent command of three pitches, KC prospect Jason Adam won't be bumping anyone from the front of the MLB rotation this year, but he has a good chance to slip in at the back end sometime in 2014. Adam, a local product of nearby Overland Park (Kansas), posted a nifty 123 to 36 ratio of strikeouts to walks last year at high-A Wilmington, a career best from a pitcher who's always been labeled a high-control workhorse. Expect a higher workload in AA ball this year, with perhaps a slight regression in numbers, followed by likely uptick in early 2014. After that, it's Kauffman all the way.
More Scouting Book Info on Jason Adam
SB 374 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An offense-first catcher who nonetheless stands a decent chance of remaining behind the plate, Louisiana high-schooler Chase Vallot was drafted by the Royals in 2014's first compensatory round, the 40th overall selection. Vallot has great bat speed and better than average power (he even won the Perfect Game National's Home Run Derby in June.) He's a bit sloppy behind the plate when it comes to blocking and quick transfers, but he moves well and has a strong enough arm to make up for a release that's a little awkward at present. Allow him a year or four to refine the catching side of his game, and he should be a solid MLB backstop. If you want to see him sooner than that, he's got enough speed and athleticism to handle an outfield corner, too.
More Scouting Book Info on Chase Vallot
SB 375 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Another solid all-around young catching prospect from a draft class full of them, Ypsiliati native Coulter has the makings of real plus power and good bat control. Behind the plate, he's shown a strong arm and good reflexes, which means he might remain there, too.
More Scouting Book Info on Clint Coulter
SB 376 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A combination catcher/third base prospect in the Yankees system, JR Murphy jumped from A ball (.257/.322/.374 at Tampa) to AA (.231/.306/.408 at Trenton), and continues to develop in a slow-but-sure fashion on the farm. He has no real speed (no surprise there) but does show a plus batting eye, great patience, and a short, powerful swing from the right side.
His power is still developing, but it seems very likely to arrive in time. There are divergent opinions on his game-calling and catcher's defense potential, but he's got time to learn that, and he was signed for his bat, anyway. Even if he's only a third baseman in the future, he should have what's necessary to be New York's own Brandon Inge in another year or two. He's on track to spend all of 2013 in AA ball, with a mid-to-late 2014 callup the most sensible timeline.
More Scouting Book Info on JR Murphy
SB 377 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A hulking righthander from Peculiar, Missouri, Angel prospect Mark Sappington was taken in the fifth round of the 2012 Draft and dispatched to Pioneer League Orem, where he quickly showed enough to explain his selection earlier than many expected. At Orem, Sappington struck out 34 in 36 innings while posting a 1.28 WHIP, a solid enough piece of work to earn him a season of A ball in 2013. Sappington works with a mid-90's fastball with natural sink, perhaps thanks to his high delivery. His secondary pitches are iffy, controlwise, but show enough liveliness to merit a close eye. The slider in particular could be his out pitch for many years to come. He looks a lot like a reliever (or even closer) to us, but for the time being he's being pushed as a rotation option for a future Angels club, sometime around 2016. We think he'll be in the bullpen a couple of years before that.
More Scouting Book Info on Mark Sappington
SB 378 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A mature prospect in the Mets system, slugger Anthony Aliotii was penciled into many future lineups in Flushing after slashing a .324/.416/.480 line across two levels of play in 2013. His all-around game isn't quite up to top prospect snuff, however: while he plays a bit of outfield he's pretty much locked to first base, and the speed he showed in his younger years seems to have dried up completely. Still, on a Mets team devoid of much offensive punch, he could provide an immediate boost.
More Scouting Book Info on Anthony Aliotti
SB 379 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Until recently the fastest-rising player on the Yankee farm, outfielder Tyler Austin destroyed four (four!) levels of minor league ball in 2012, averaging .322/.400/.559 from rookie ball all the way up to AA, and that AA line wasn't bad in itself: a .286 average in a player's very first taste of high-level minors is something special. Austin is a right-handed hitter with a quick and strong swing to all fields, which makes him extra-potent once his advanced batting eye and patience is brought to bear. His power is rapidly approaching plus, and while he'll be no leadoff-type base stealer, a middle-order back with better than average speed is exactly what the Yankees are looking for these days. Slowed by injuries to open 2014, he should return to fast-rising status by midseason.
More Scouting Book Info on Tyler Austin
SB 380 BA SC BP SN ES 85 ML
370 to 380 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013