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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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 401 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 402 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 403 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big power lefty from Kent State who's already had TJ surgery, Diamondback prospect Andrew Chafin was an A-round selection in the 2011 draft, though many expected him to go sooner than that. His fastball is a 94mph offering with a nice natural sink, perfect for Chase Field, and he locates it well inside and out to frustrate all types of batter. His secondary pitches, a curve and slider, are average and a bit erratic, but he'll have time to refine those, along with his underused and underdeveloped change. While he closed during his early days in college, he should now be considered a middle-rotation candidate as long as his bionic arm stays attached.
Full Scouting Report for Andrew Chafin
SB 405 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.
Full Scouting Report for Chad Pinder
SB 406 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.
Full Scouting Report for Austin Schotts
SB 408 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.
Full Scouting Report for Cody Buckel
SB 409 BA SC BP SN ES ML
400 to 410 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013