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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A smallish lefty drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the third round of the 2011 MLB Draft, Georgia native Adam C. Morgan is a quality pitcher on his way to Citizens Bank in the near future. After spending most of the year in high-A Clearwater, Morgan enjoyed a late-season promotion to AA Reading, where he struck out 29 batters in 35 innings and turned in a 1.27 WHIP. He's likely to return to Reading for most or all of 2013, during which time he'll work on sharpening his already-plus change and trying to get some repeatable movement on his 92mph fastball, which can flatten out at times. Some scouts cringe at his stiff-legged high-effort delivery, but when you're only six feet tall, you need to generate power somehow. While a bit risky going forward, he seems to have the smarts and work ethic to succeed. Pencil him in as bullpen help next year and a fifth-starter competitor the year after that.
Full Scouting Report for Adam Morgan
SB 391 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A skinny lefthander in the Tiger system, California native Adam Wilk is an MLB-ready prospect who should see major league mound time in 2013. Wilk, who's been bubbling up the depth chart since being drafted back in 2009. He really turned the corner in 2011 when his already-fine fastball developed some late sink and his curve, a plus offering that acts as an effective changeup thanks to its frustrating slow velocity, gained a lot more bite. Wilk spent another full year AAA Toledo in 2012 for no good reason other than that the Tigers didn't really need him. In the process, he racked up another eye-popping season, posting a 3.66 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP (!) across 24 starts, while striking out nearly five times as many men as he walked: 128 in 150 innings. He really needs an opportunity, and if the Tigers won't give him one in 2013, another team would sure be happy to help.
Full Scouting Report for Adam Wilk
SB 392 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A sleeper prospect in the Nationals' system, Steven Souza is a quickly-rising bat who could be ready to help the big club in 2014 or so. After a disappointing 2011, Souza slashed a dazzling .297/.366/.572 across two levels of A-ball in 2012, adding 14 steals in the process. His power, long-expected but until now absent, also appeared, as he popped 23 homers in only 97 games. In the field, Souza has played across the spectrum from first base to shortstop, but looks most comfortable in the outfield, where his speed and athleticism are best showcased.
Full Scouting Report for Steven Souza
SB 393 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Acquired from the Blue Jays for shortstop-closer Sergio Santos, Nestor Molina is a slip of a Venezuelan righthander who might be the best pitching prospect in the White Sox system. (Yes, yes, that's a little like being the most-shy of the Kardashian sisters, but the point stands.)
Molina zipped up the charts when he went 12-3 with a 2.21 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 23 minor league starts in 2011 before sliding (some might say crashing) back to earth last season. He still shows plus control and excellent stuff, so we're hoping this year he returns to promise. The Sox are pushing him as a starter, but like teammate Addison Reed before him, Molina's crazy stuff might work best in relief. Stay tuned.
Full Scouting Report for Nestor Molina
SB 394 BA SC BP SN ES ML
He might not really be a third baseman, but his good eye and plus contact mean he should play at almost any position, and his versatility means that the M's will find a place for him when necessary. The M's Minor League Player of the Year on the strength of a .349, 25 homer season in 2011, Catricala vaulted into a leadership role immediately upon joining the system. It's starting to look like Seattle realy stole him in 2009's 10th round. The Mariners don't really have many offensive threats on the farm, but Catricala is a good one. Once the current batch of placeholding bats moves on, the team should have enough in the system to reload.
Full Scouting Report for Vinnie Catricala
SB 395 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A speedy outfielder who's been in the Giants' system since he was a 17 year old, Dominican Francisco Peguero is a solid defender with developing on-base skills. A line drive hitter whose build doesn't suggest future power (he's shaped more or less like Eugenio Velez, though he hits exclusively from the right side), Peguero will have to keep reaching base at a high clip in order to contribute. He's got some distance to close, too: despite the nice batting average, his walk rate is too low, and his speed, while above average, isn't of the base-burning variety. He tasted MLB last season, and could be back as an injury fill-in once again in 2013.
Full Scouting Report for Francisco Peguero
SB 396 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The closer at Northwest State when he was drafted in 2012, lefthander (sic) Mason Melotakis looks like a fast-track candidate to help out in the Twins bullpen sometime in the second half of 2013. Of course, that's assuming that the brain trust doesn't decide that the pitching smarts he uses to deploy his fastball-curve combo wouldn't be better migrated to the rotation. If he takes that route, let's call it 2015, instead, for proper MLB playing time.
Full Scouting Report for Mason Melotakis
SB 397 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Missouri is known for developing quality arms, and Canadian Rob Zastryzny is no exception. Selected by the Chicago Cubs in the second round of 2013, Zastryzny is univerally praised for his advanced pitchability, which is especially good for a pitcher whose fastball tops out in the low-90's. Zastryzny commands it very well, though, and is able to add and subtract velocity with good control. His change and slider are a bit sloppier, but as he sharpens up his ability, the great and repeatable arm action he already possesses should make those pitches more effective than their raw stuff would suggest. A bit of a dark horse prospect, he's an interesting case study in how good the new Cubs regime will be at talent identification.
Full Scouting Report for Rob Zastryzny
SB 398 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A UCD product drafted by the Orioles in the 13th round of the 2009 Draft, Tyler Kelly is an accomplished hitter without an obvious fielding position. He's started at every position other than center and catcher for the Oriole teams in the last two years alone. No matter where the Orioles slot him, though, he's always raked enough to surpass scouting expectations. He slashed .327/.425/.467 across three levels of play in 2012, but what really jumps out at us is that 72:79 strikeout to walk ratio. The Orioles have sexier prospects, but none who look as ready to plug into an MLB lineup as Kelly. He should see bench, UT or injury-filling duty in 2013.
Full Scouting Report for Tyler Kelly
SB 399 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Big Ten's freshman of the year in 2012, Hoosier slugger Sam Travis helped propel the team to their first ever College World Series appearance. While he lacks the size or left-handedness to really fill out most scouting checklists for first baseman, Travis's bat is exceptional enough to be worth consideration anyway. He has exceptional bat speed and strength, giving him plus power, as well as very good bat control and judgment, suggesting he'll hit for a high average as well. He's got good enough instincts and hands to handle third base in a pinch, but most scouts don't feel he has the arm for it, limiting him to first base or DH in the majors. If he stays the same sort of hitter he's been throughout college, he'll make it on those terms, too.
Full Scouting Report for Sam Travis
SB 400 BA SC BP SN ES ML
390 to 400 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013