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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SB 380 BA SC BP SN ES 85 ML
The Chicago Cubs made Vitters the third overall pick in the 2007 draft, and while he's not yet lived up to expectations, the hope in Hopeland is that he'll develop 25-homer power soon, because Theo really needs someone to replace the departed Aramis Ramirez. He's not a perfect prospect, though: in addition to wishy-washy discipline (he strikes out four times as often as he walks), one cause for concern is that he might need to move from third base to left field, but if he continues to maintain his overall offensive numbers at higher levels of play, the Cubs will find room for him somewhere.
Full Scouting Report for Josh Vitters
SB 381 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A powerful righthander with a long, lean frame, Monmouth export Pat Light was Boston's third overall draft pick in 2012, one with a high ceiling but a few more rough edges than some top prospects. Already touching 98mph with his fastball, he appears to havea little room to grow left in him, too, which is almost scary to consider. He might be better served by subtraction, though, as his top-speed fastball looks a little flat to us. Light's slider and change aren't there yet, as he struggles to throw them for strikes, but both have good movement, so there's signiificant potential here. If his body and touch develop alongside each other, he could be a regular in Fenway by 2014.
Full Scouting Report for Pat Light
SB 382 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A ripening player who's outperformed scouting expectations at every level of minor league ball, Angel third base prospect Luis Jimenez pops up on sabermetric radar a lot more often than he does in spiral notebooks or conference calls. Jimenez's impressive .309/.334/.495 AAA numbers in a full season with Salt Lake might look freakish, but it's exactly consistent with the .302/.338/.518 line he's posted in a five year minor league career that's included every level of play in six different leagues. He's even raked in winter ball.
Old-time scouts grouse about his smallish frame and lack of 'big league' power, but any team that can get an .856 OPS and solid fielding from a short, line-drive hitting third baseman is a very lucky team indeed. Look for him to touch MLB this season. A great 'unknown' breakout candidate.
Full Scouting Report for Luis Jimenez
SB 383 BA SC 91 BP SN ES ML
A strike-throwing righthander from the Dominican, Ariel Pena is a pitcher who uses a combination of raw heat and deceptive stuff to embarrass hitters. Spending most of 2011 at high-A Inland Empire, Pena went 10-6 while striking out almost 11 batters per game, mainly with his wipeout slider, though he did also walk nearly five. That mix of unhittable and wild has always been attached to Pena, though he's shown control improvements of late.
The good news when fishing for further upside with Pena is that after his 98mph fastball, the pitch he has the next-best handle on is a low-90's sinker, not the electric but erratic slider: that mix portends a future in the rotation, rather than the bullpen duty often assigned to hot but wild young arms.
Full Scouting Report for Ariel Pena
SB 384 BA SC 68 BP SN ES ML
Originally drafted out of high school by the Mets, lefty pitcher AJ Reed opted to go to the University of Kentucky instead, where he dominated with a heavy, sinking fastball and sweeping curve. As a new member of the Astros system, however, he'll almost certain be developed as a first-baseman or corner outfielder, because his bat is even better than his arm, with very good bat speed and the makings of true plus power. He's nowhere close to fleet of foot, and so he's probably destined for a corner spot, but he's good enough with the glove to avoid being a liability. He'll take some time to brew, but he could be a surprise everyday contributor to Houston's young lineup come 2017 or so, with the potential for a look-see earlier than that.
Full Scouting Report for AJ Reed
SB 386 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A medium-sized lefthanded pitcher with excellent pitchability and smarts, Miami graduate Andrew Suarez was drafted and signed by the Nationals in the summer of 2014. His fastball is only low-90's, but comes in with nice natural movement, and the pitches he mixes in (a classic change, curve, slider combination) all look like at least average offerings in pro ball, especially if he continues to throw all of them for strikes. Suarez looks like a middle-rotation candidate right now, but give him a couple of years to practice on better and better hitters, and see how he adjusts and grows.
Full Scouting Report for Andrew Suarez
SB 387 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The rare kind of lefty who can hit the upper 90's, Tigers prospect Casey Crosby has been working hard to grow in the shadow of Rick Porcello, who presumably has a better publicity department. Crosby has a live curve and a developing change, but his command isn't ready for the majors just yet, as evidenced by the iffy ratios he displayed over the past two seasons in the minors. Still, the Tigers know good stuff when they see it, and tried him in MLB last year to so-so results. If he sharpens his touch a bit, he could step in as a strong number two or three in the Tigers rotation by the end of 2014. He already has good mound presence, great baseball smarts and instincts, and the competitiveness to succeed, so it really does look like a simple accumulation' of time and experience is all that's missing.
Full Scouting Report for Casey Crosby
SB 389 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The prospect formerly known as Rafael Figueroa finally took his turn on the mound in the DSL in the summer of 2012, showing off the 99mph fastball that helped him rise to attention in the first place. A nominal starter thanks to his quality curve and change, he'll try to push his way through A-ball in 2014, but he could also move to the bullpen on short notice, should the Yankees see a need for late-inning heat.
Full Scouting Report for Rafael De Paula
SB 390 BA SC BP SN ES ML
380 to 390 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013