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 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Ryan Castellani
SB 411 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Daniel Gossett
SB 412 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Matt Chapman
SB 413 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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.
More Scouting Book Info on Zach Walters
SB 414 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Scott Blewett
SB 415 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Daniel Fields
SB 417 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Tom Murphy
SB 418 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Angelo Gumbs
SB 419 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Jose Cisnero
SB 420 BA SC BP SN ES ML
410 to 420 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013