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 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 402 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 403 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 405 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 406 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.
Full Scouting Report for Ryan Castellani
SB 408 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.
Full Scouting Report for Daniel Gossett
SB 409 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.
Full Scouting Report for Matt Chapman
SB 410 BA SC BP SN ES ML
400 to 410 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013