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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An infield prospect from the Washington system, the fast-rising Zach Walters is at least MLB-bench ready right now, which is probably what inspired the Indians to snatch him up at 2014's trade deadline. 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 391 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Headline writers the world over are definitely praying for him to become an MLB closer one day, but right now Scott Blewett has all the makings of an innings-eating starter. Drafted by Kansas City near the end of 2014's second round, Blewett is a very big pitcher with a fastball that isn't quite as heavy as you'd expect, at least not yet: give him a couple more years to work on that. He shows a curve and change that at times look MLB-ready, though he doesn't have near the consistency to lean on them much, especially as he tires in later innings. Now a member of the Royals, he'll be working on that command and stamina in one of the better farm systems for just that.
Full Scouting Report for Scott Blewett
SB 392 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Tigers' sixth round pick in 2009, high school shortstop Dan Fields is the son of former Tigers' hitting coach Bruce Fields, which might explain his allegedly-advanced hitting ability as well as the stretch that the team took by selecting him so early. Big and strong for a real shortstop, even in this post-Ripken era, Fields is probably better off at third base or in the outfield, but it shouldn't really matter where he plays: he'll rise or fall on his bat, which we have to assume will get a lot of careful coaching in the years to come.
Full Scouting Report for Daniel Fields
SB 394 BA SC BP SN ES ML
One of Colorado's top catching prospects, 2012 third rounder Tom Murphy slashed .288/.349/.462 in 212 at-bats with the low-A Tri-City Dust Devils in 2012. Reminding some scouts of JP Arencebia, Murphy makes strong and solid contact from gap to gap, with a level swing and developing power that should help him reach the cheap seats more as he fills out. He's not a base-clogger, with good speed and good baserunning smarts for a catcher. Murphy is a standout defensive backstop with an above average arm (he shot down 42% of base stealers last season.) He'll take a couple of years to sharpen his game-calling and hopefully keep his strikeout totals from climbing as he gets stronger, but other than that he looks like a pretty sweet catcher of the future to us.
Full Scouting Report for Tom Murphy
SB 395 BA SC BP SN ES ML
New York's second round pick in the 2010 Draft, young Angelo Gumbs was the first high school position player drafted that year, which should help you guess the gist of his ups and downs. To wit, and by the book: he's a gifted athlete, one of the best pure physical specimens in the Yankee stable, with all the signs of plus speed and power hanging on his room-to-grow frame.
He's got a strong arm, shows good range, and though the Yanks have thus far looked to him as an infielder, trying him out at short and second, but any position designation should be considered the lightest of pencil at this point: there's nothing about his toolset that wouldn't work well in left field, for example. Like almost all young players, he lacks real discipline or judgment in the strike zone, and he has a propensity to swing for the seats even when all the team really needs is a poke to the opposite field. But that's all a maturity thing, and the Yankees have nothing but time to season Gummo: he'll still be a teenager for two more years.
Full Scouting Report for Angelo Gumbs
SB 396 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A hard-throwing righthander in the Astros system, pitcher Jose Cisnero is a young strikeout artist who seems to be finally harnessing an ability to control his heat. While he's maintained a nice 10-ish K:BB ratio throughout his minor league career, it's only recently that he's shown adeptness at enticing hitters to make poor contact, helping his results in the process. In addition to the nifty fastball, he mixes in a sinking two-seam version and a very good slider. His off-speed pitches aren't stellar, but thus far he hasn't really needed them. While he's shown enough stamina to start, his max effort delivery and stuff make him most attractive as a reliever. Either way, we should see what he's got in mid-2013, if not sooner.
Full Scouting Report for Jose Cisnero
SB 397 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A hard-hitting centerfielder from the city of shortstops, Micker Zapata wows scouts with explosive bat speed and plus plus power. Combine that with his superior defensive chops (he should stick in center) and you have all the makings of a future superstar here... assuming he learns how to handle breaking balls.
Full Scouting Report for Micker Zapata
SB 398 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A powerful righthanded reliever ready to help out in Washington right now, Miami-born Christian (CJ) Garcia is one of many young bullpen weapons the Nats plan to use to defend their NL East title. A mature prospect, Garcia has already thrown seven full seasons of minor league ball, maintaining a strikeout rate of more than a batter per inning (and more than 10 per 9 for most of that career.) He's been a reliever for the team so far, but he has the guile and pitch selection to start. His fastball is a naturally-moving mid-90's dart that he controls well, and to which he can add natural sink on command. His changeup is solid, the type one would expect from a veteran pitcher, and his curve, when it's on track, is an unhittable shame-maker. He's a strong candidate to anchor the Washington bullpen in 2013, but should the team be shy a rotation member at any point in the next couple of seasons, he may be a terrific in-house replacement, too.
Full Scouting Report for Christian Garcia
SB 400 BA SC BP SN ES ML
390 to 400 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013