Top Baseball Prospects for 2015
Now updated for 2015'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 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, NiTro (how can we resist?) 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 he only needs to log another hundred or so minor league innings to be polished enough for MLB. A quality back-of-rotation candidate for a rapidly-improving Astros franchise.
More Scouting Book Info on Nick Tropeano
SB 391 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Virginia Tech third baseman Chad Pinder, drafted in 2013's second round by the Oakland A's, Chad Pinder is known for an advanced hitting approach and ability to hit to all fields. His power is of the gap variety for now, and his speed is so-so, but his solid defense and demonstrated ability to adjust to better pitching portends well for his future in MLB.
More Scouting Book Info on Chad Pinder
SB 392 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Yet another offense-first outfielder in the Tiger system the improbably-named Austin Schotts is a smallish player with a gritty demeanor and an impressive stick. Schotts slashed a nice .310/.360/.452 in his first taste of the professional game last year, earning a late-season promotion to A-ball. We'll watch him smash through that level in 2013, then see how he handles higher levels next season.
More Scouting Book Info on Austin Schotts
SB 393 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An unsexy pickup by the Rangers at the bottom of the second round of the 2010 Draft, California righthander Cody Buckel was overlooked by many scouts due to his small stature, but he certainly shows pitching ability. His real ability was on display at AA Frisco in 2012, however, as he struck out 68 hitters in 69 innings of work, (10 starts) while walking only 23. Not bad for a 20-year old.
Buckel's fastball picked up a tick or two, but still seems to max out at not much more than 94mph, though he controls it well and mixes in three other pitches that are all pretty advanced for his age: even his proto-change looks better than you'd expect from such a young pitcher. Of course, he's still a small guy with a whiplike delivery and a high strikeout rate, so no matter how well he does, you know what most scouts are thinking: future closer.
More Scouting Book Info on Cody Buckel
SB 394 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An infielder with legit five-tool potential, Pirate prospect Jacoby Jones was drafted by the team in 2013's third round, and should take a long and slow route to MLB. Jones zipped up the charts when he won the Cape Cod League's home run derby last season, and his speed is either plus or plus-plus, depending on who you ask, so he's got the raw ability. In results-based viewpoints, however, he's clearly showing his inexperience. He struck out far too much (55 times in 139 ABs in that Cape Cod showcase), and he really hasn't found a home in the field yet, though his tools suggest the outfield might be best. It'll be awhile before he learns how to play well enough to really take advantage of his toolset, but if he develops as expected, he could be an all-around All Star quality player one day.
More Scouting Book Info on Jacoby Jones
SB 395 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A second-round pick by the Rockies in 2014, righthander Ryan Castellani is probably an excellent fit for Colorado, as his repitoure is tailor-made for Coors Field. Castellani works from a 94mph sinker, which he throws about 70 percent of the time, mixed with occasional changes and breaking balls that look a lot better than average for prep pitchers. He's likely to add size and strength as he fills out, so as long as his mechanics remain in check, he should be a safe bet to reach MLB as a mid-rotation workhorse in a few years.
More Scouting Book Info on Ryan Castellani
SB 397 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Drafted but unsigned by the Red Sox in 2011, Daniel Gossett went to Clemson instead, and that's where he sharpened his game to its current sparkle. Gossett is a control pitcher who nonetheless complements his pinpoint fastball with a hard breaking slider. One of the better changeups in college ball keeps hitters honest, which is important, because that 92mph fastball won't blow many away. Some scouts look at his smallish size and relegate him to the bullpen immediately, and it's true that his slider could be devastating in short use, but the A's (who drafted and signed him in 2014) will try their best to keep him as a rotation candidate unless he pitches his way out of contention.
More Scouting Book Info on Daniel Gossett
SB 398 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A third baseman with a cannon arm that can touch 98mph, it should come as no surprise that many scouts want to see Oakland prospect Matt Chapman converted to pitching ASAP. The Athletics haven't made any official plans public, but it seems wisest to keep growing Chapman as an everyday player, while keeping that arm available as a backup plan. As an offensive force, he's raw but shows flashes of greatness, occasionally making the sort of ringing hard contact that makes coaches look up from their clipboards. The key word there, however, is occasionally: most of his moonshots to date have come in batting practice; he's not nearly consistent enough in-game to be an everyday bat, at least not yet, despite what seems to be superior strike-zone knowledge and judgment. As a raw talent, he's fascinating, but a wait-and-see approach is very much in order here.
More Scouting Book Info on Matt Chapman
SB 400 BA SC BP SN ES ML
390 to 400 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013