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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Drafted as a teenager from Puerto Rico to open 2012's compensation round, Jose Orlando (J-O) Berrios is a smallish righthander with good arm strength that springs a compact but strong frame. His short delivery suggests mechanical soundness, even if it's a bit jerky, with a fastball that can pop at 96mph and a breaking ball that looks like a real plus offering. He'll slow-cook in Minnesota after signing, but if he stays healthy, it won't be long before he's seen as a top-flight phenom in a system good at maximizing pitcher value.
Full Scouting Report for Jose Berrios
SB 41 BA SC BP 75 SN ES ML 90
A tall, thin pitcher being developed in the Padres system, Ohio native Matt Wisler looks every bit a future rotation anchor. In 20 AA starts last season, Wisler struck out almost exactly one batter per inning while walking barely more than one per game. That's exactly the sort of performance that the control-obsessed Padres love to see, and it's enough to put him in the mix for MLB consideration in mid-to-late 2014.
Wisler works a couple of different low-90's fastballs with accuracy to both sides of the plate, but it's his slow curve that turns heads and misses bats most often. How he'll perform against better opponents is an open question, but if he continues his careful, clever approach while trusting his stuff, he should succeed.
Full Scouting Report for Matt Wisler
SB 42 BA 44 SC BP 47 SN ES 39 ML 78
A high school outfielder selected fifth overall in 2013's draft, Clint Frazier is a five-tool athlete with an advanced bat for such a young player. Some scouts disparage his small size, but his athleticism and performance rival (and in most cases exceed) his more universally-praised teammate Austin Meadows. A long-term building block for the Indians, he'll be moved slowly, as the team tries to slide all the necessary pieces into place in a coordinated roster rebuild.
Full Scouting Report for Clint Frazier
SB 43 BA 48 SC 26 BP 36 SN ES 45 ML 48
One of the most appealing college hitters eligible for the 2013 MLB Draft, DJ Peterson is a hard-hitting third baseman who may end up at first or a corner outfield spot in the future. (Based on the shortage of quality 1B prospects, he seems most likely to wind up there eventually) Peterson won the Mountain West Conference triple crown in 2012, demonstrating that he can bring smooth, easy power on every plate appearance. His hitch-free swing and growing power have him zooming up prospect lists, and for good reason. Selected 12th overall by the Mariners, he immediately became one of the team's top offensive prospects.
Full Scouting Report for DJ Peterson
SB 44 BA 85 SC BP 65 SN ES ML 88
First drafted by the Red Sox way back in 2008, righthander Alex Meyer passed on an alleged $2M signing bonus to go attend U Kentucky, in order to reenter the draft in 2011. Apparently, he spent his time in school eating well: the youngster now tips the scales at 6-10 and 230lbs.
A power pitcher (no kidding) with a high-90's fastball and a wicked slider, he's got stuff to burn, but a sometimes-wonky delivery and spotty command have plagued him through his young career. The Nats, flush with confidence at the depth of their rotation, parted with him in a trade to Minnesota in exchange for Denard Span, but that's no indication of any dodgy quality: he simply moves from being a top Washington pitching prospect to being a top Minnesota number one pitching prospect... and the Twins have shown a great ability to develop young arms. So while the move to Nicetown might slow his debut by a couple of years (the Twins are notoriously slow and cautious with young arms), it might also improve his chances of being solid and polished when he does arrive.
Full Scouting Report for Alex Meyer
SB 45 BA 45 SC 49 BP 32 SN ES 62 ML 28
Georgia high schooler Austin Meadows is an outfield phenom who attracted a great deal of first round attention in MLB's 2013 first-year player draft before falling to the Pirates with the ninth overall selection. A phenom with five tool talent, Austin is one of the fastest baserunners in the country, with speed that would make him one of the fastest players in pro baseball if he can get the rest of his game to half that level. His swing is promising, featuring a smooth and easy load with the makings of real plus power from the left side. He's been compared to players like Andre Ethier and Jacoby Ellsbury, and not without reason: few ballplayers blend across-the-board abilities like this. The only thing that might keep him from a minor league roster is 2014 is his commitment to Clemson University.
Full Scouting Report for Austin Meadows
SB 46 BA 49 SC 38 BP 89 SN ES 35 ML 45
The consensus best hitting prospect available in the 2014 draft, Alex Jackson was drafted and signed by the Mariners after hitting an even .400 (with a 1.459) OPS in his last year at Rancho Bernardo High School. Nominally a catcher, the Mariners are much more likely to accelerate his development by moving him to the outfield, where his bat will bring him to the Major Leagues much more quickly. Reportedly a student of the game, he'll no doubt struggle a bit while learning a new position, but he should have no real issues adjusting to any other challenge the low minors can offer. While his swing can get just a bit long at times, there's nothing to suggest he won't still be a better-than-average righthanded contact hitter with true plus power by the time he reaches MLB, and that's something the Mariners would love to have in the lineup.
Full Scouting Report for Alex Jackson
SB 47 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A long and lean righthander from Texas, Kohl Stewart is the embodiment of pitching potential, and as long as he remains a Twin, he's got a very good chance at reaching that potential. His stuff is very raw, and other than his slider doesn't do much, but his fastball was already cracking 90mph as a high-schooler, which means there are almost certainly a few more ticks to come. As a starter for St. Pius X in Houston, Stewart made eight starts (40 innings) in which he struck out 59 and walked 16. (His ERA was an hilarious 0.18). A multi-sport athlete, he's also done very well as a football player (as a high school senior, he threw for 2,560 yards and 28 touchdowns). In a small taste of pro baseball last season, Stewart struck out 24 Rookie league batters in 20 innings of work while walking only four. He'll step up slowly, first to A-ball in 2014, and the Twins will take their sweet time making sure he earns every promotion along the way.
Full Scouting Report for Kohl Stewart
SB 48 BA 52 SC 41 BP 54 SN ES 76 ML 40
Reds prospect Jesse Winker is a solid hitting prospect who's already showing an advanced ability to work an at-bat, with power enough to line-drive anything to any field on command. He has a little pull power, but that's probably something the Reds would rather he forgot about: he's a top-to-middle of order bat who should be an on-base threat, and he hasn't found anything to slow him down yet: he led the entire Pioneer league in OBP last year. Defensively, he's competent in the outfield or a corner infield spot, but he won't win any gold gloves.
Full Scouting Report for Jesse Winker
SB 49 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The son of mustachioed Angel closer Bryan Harvey, North Carolina's Hunter Harvey is a big righthander with a big fastball and a quality curve. The fastball comes in at low-90 readings, though it does touch 96 on occasion. The curve, though, is what makes Harvey exceptional. Prep pitchers aren't known for having quality secondary offerings, but Harvey's Hammer (trademark pending) is a beautiful one. Harvey's change is still coming along, but it's about as well-advanced as can be expected at such an early stage of his career. He looks to be the complete pitching package, and seems likely to work his way into the middle of an MLB rotation one day.
Full Scouting Report for Hunter Harvey
SB 50 BA SC BP 58 SN ES 38 ML
40 to 50 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013