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 righthander acquired in trade from the Phillies, Astro prospect Josh Zeid is a classic relief ace who reminds scouts of Octavio Dotel. His fastball slider combination is enough to shred weak hitters, while his seldom-used change was once his best weapon, back when he was considered a starting pitcher. As a proto-closer, he won't need it much, though he may use it occasionally when faced with a tough lefty. Zeid's command has always been superior, which bodes well for an MLB future that should be relatively free of highlight-reel meltdowns.
More Scouting Book Info on Josh Zeid
SB 421 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A native of Miami, Jorge 'Tony' Sanchez is an offensive-minded catcher in the style of Matt Wieters (though with less power) or Buster Posey (but with less defensive prowess). He does show enough skill to stick at catcher, though, and his bat is legitimate. He's pretty much major league ready today, and we'll certainly see him in Pittsburgh this year.
More Scouting Book Info on Tony Sanchez
SB 422 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A mature college star toiling in the Oriole minor league system, Christian Walker is a righthanded first baseman with superior on-base skills but questionable power. He looks like a fringe candidate from here, but a James Loney / Kevin Youkilis career isn't out of the question here. Baltimore has been very good at developing quality MLB hitters who can contribute, after all.
More Scouting Book Info on Christian Walker
SB 423 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A former top prospect who's slid a bit in the ranks thanks to another year of shaky control, Baltimore righthander Parker Bridwell is young enough that he shouldn't suffer a serious discount. He still features great raw stuff and a true plus fastball that springs from a perfect pitcher's frame, so the Orioles will give the kid a few more chances. To get a handle on his future, watch his walk rate in 2013.
More Scouting Book Info on Parker Bridwell
SB 424 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An all-around athelete who could probably play any position (he's even pitched), Pittsburgh prospect Wyatt Mathisen will probably be groomed as a catcher in order to maximize his baseball smarts and cannon arm. Of course, there's nothing stopping the Pirates from developing him otherwise, so nothing will be certain here for another year or two. Whatever they do, they'll be getting a plus contact hitter who's shown more than a glimmer of power, too.
More Scouting Book Info on Wyatt Mathisen
SB 425 BA SC BP SN ES ML
2011 was a pitching-deep draft, so Dillon Maples, who might have gone in the first few rounds any other year, fell all the way to round 14, which means he might end up being the steal of the season. The Cubs, who also had to spend second round money to talk him out of UNC, end up with a short-arming righthander with bulldog attitude and a selection of developing fastballs and breaking balls. His sometimes-great changeup, though, is what will take him to the big leagues. If the Cubs can harness his stilted delivery, he should move quickly. He's very polished for such a young player.
More Scouting Book Info on Dillon Maples
SB 426 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big lefty from Stanford who seems to be adjusting to pro baseball very well, White Sox prospect Scott Snodgress went 7-3 across two levels of A-ball, posting a combined 3.00 ERA and 1.25 WHIP, striking out 128 hitters in 140 innings of work. His fastball sits in the low-to-mid 90's, though it's a quality curve that looks like his best weapon to date. A straight change is coming along, too. He's being groomed as a starter, but his success against lefty hitters (especially with that curve) means that LOOGY work will always be around for him to fall back upon.
More Scouting Book Info on Scott Snodgress
SB 427 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A strike thrower with excellent command of his limited stuff, Pirate prospect Phil Irwin is a pitching artist who's shown enough cleverness and guile to consistently outperform the expectations of scouting experts across baseball. Rising three levels of ball in 2012, Irwin posted a composite WHIP of 1.097 and struck out 117 hitters in 130 innings, while walking only 24. Twenty four. That's impressive. Irwin accomplishes all this with a fastball that barely scrapes 90, though he throws it so well that he gave up only eight home runs all year. He mixes in decent but unspectacular breaking balls (slider, curve) and a changeup that works well enough to confuse batters. Some say he can't succeed with such mediocre stuff at higher levels, but he's been proving doubters wrong his whole career. We like him as a dark horse to possibly break out and catch MLB's attention in 2013.
More Scouting Book Info on Phil Irwin
SB 428 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Small but tough, Red Sox prospect Sean Coyle is a scrappy infielder from Pennsylvania who seems engineered to perform well in Boston. Coyle's batting eye looks sabermetrically-promising already, and when he swings, he displays great bat speed from a short, compact stroke.
He's still a line-drive and gaps hitter, and unless he gets on the Pedroia Plan he should remain one, though his plus speed can make his bat into a strong offensive asset. In the field, he's a bit of a tweener, with defense that projects as adequate at several positions but great at none of them. He won't ever be replacing Pedroia or Middlebrooks in production, but he does look like a capable stand-in for the Mike Aviles of the world: he could be a solid everyday major leaguer someday.
More Scouting Book Info on Sean Coyle
SB 429 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A tall lefthanded pitching prospect from Kentucky, young Hunter Green is a typical all-potential prospect with the body and raw stuff to succeed, assuming he can actually, you know, learn how to pitch. His low-90's fastball is good, if erratic, and should get faster as his body develops further. His change has a nice natural sink already, and though his arm action is a bit iffy, it's unusual enough to see any sort of quality changeup from so young a player. His best raw offering is probably his hammer curve, though he doesn't yet have the ability to really command it effectively. A prototypical high-ceiling, high-risk pitching candidate.
More Scouting Book Info on Hunter Green
SB 430 BA SC BP SN ES ML
420 to 430 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013