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 toolsy outfielder with plus speed and defensive polish, Dominican Eloy Jimenez was generally considered the prime prospect of the 2013 international signing season. While he's played primarily center field thus far, his general athleticism and toolset suggest he could handle pretty much any place on the diamond, other than perhaps catcher. One of many high-upside signings that could redefine the rebuilt Cubs by 2016 or so, Jimenez will first have to work his way up from rookie ball. We can't wait to see him.
Full Scouting Report for Eloy Jimenez
SB 431 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A shortstop who'll probably end up at second or third base, Cardinal prospect Greg Garcia is a solid on-base machine with good plate discipline and a nifty line-drive swing. He could sneak into the Cardinal lineup sometime this season, especially if the ballclub turns into a Red Sox style revolving door for shortstops, which is quite possible.
Full Scouting Report for Greg Garcia
SB 432 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A football star (safety) at Rutgers, Mariner prospect Pat Kivlehan is a raw, toolsy player with no end of potential, though it'll be awhile before we know if he'll ever reach it. The 2012 New Jersey Collegiate Baseball Association Division Player of the Year gained the M's attention by hitting .392 with 14 home runs, not to mention 24 steals in 28 attempts. A third baseman for now, he may end up in a corner outfield position or even first base, but it won't matter as long as his natural batting eye keeps on controlling plate appearances.
Full Scouting Report for Patrick Kivlehan
SB 433 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An offensively-capable shortstop, White Sox prospect Tyler Saladino rapped out a nifty .270/.363/.501 line in his first high-A experience in 2011, a full-season tour with the Winston-Salem Dash. If he keeps rising in the system, he'll probably need to move to second base in deference to franchise player Alexei Ramirez, but he has the skills and arm to play from the more challenging position, too. While his power numbers looked like the regressed in 2012, notice that his overall hitting actually improved: signs of a maturing prospect. He might be a breakout candidate.
Full Scouting Report for Tyler Saladino
SB 434 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Yankees second round pick in 2013, Gosuke Katoh was a high-school infielder from San Diego with a very polished and well-rounded toolset. He's played mainly second base, but don't let that fool you: Katoh could play anywhere on the diamond thanks to fast feel, an accurate (though not especially strong) arm and very soft hands. His speed even makes him a viable outfielder, should the Yanks take that approach. A slap hitter with a compact angle of attack, a convenient left-handed stance and the aforementioned plus speed, Katoh looks like a junior version of Ichiro Suzuki: a leadoff hitter by any measure. His power isn't legit, at least not now, but like Ichiro he's more than capable of popping a few home runs if and when he chooses to let loose. A disciplined ballplayer, he could surprise many by grinding his way to MLB sooner than expected.
Full Scouting Report for Gosuke Katoh
SB 435 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big lefthander who looks destined for the bullpen unless Pittsburgh can fix him, Andy Oliver came to the team via a 2012 trade.
Oliver works with a 96mph fastball that blows away lesser hitters, with an above-average change to keep them honest, though he struggles to locate it successfully, leading to an unacceptably high number of walks. His breaking pitches aren't quite ready for prime time yet, either. Time and patience is needed here.
Full Scouting Report for Andy Oliver
SB 436 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A gritty, hard-noised infielder taken by the Nationals in the second round of the 2012 draft, Anthony (Tony) Renda will be compared to Dustin Pedroia for the rest of his career. And it's not just his small size and tenacity that earn the comp, either: Renda has plus bat speed, which means in time he could disply enough power to bang balls into outfield walls and occasionally over them. For now, though, he's a singles hitter with great hustle and baseball instincts, which means he could be a fan favorite in Washington by 2015.
Full Scouting Report for Tony Renda
SB 437 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A hard-hitting corner outfielder from Florida, Colorado's Kent Matthes is one of the most powerful bats on the Rockies farm. A very impressive 2011 season at high-A Modesto (.334/.378/.642... that's a 1.020 OPS, folks) was cut short by hand surgery, and he never really returned to any level close to that in the ensuing season.
We'll assume he needed more recovery time than expected, and keep our eyes on his potential, which remains huge. Matthes also brings better than expected speed for such a big guy, plus a pretty decent glove to work everyday. If he can return to his pre-surgery form, he'll be in Denver before 2013 is finished. A safer bet would be 2014, however.
Full Scouting Report for Kent Matthes
SB 438 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A powerful left-handed bat from the Detroit system, outfielder Danry Vasquez was acquired at 2013's deadline by the Houston Astros. A tall Venezuelan with a propensity to swing at everything and hit most of it, Vasquez looked overmatched in a brief taste of A-ball in 2012, though his earlier track record and plus bat speed both suggest that he should be a solid hitter a couple of years from now. How and where he is deployed in the field will dictate whether he'll be a fast-rising and useful asset, or a slow-developing but ultimately more valuable one.
Full Scouting Report for Danry Vasquez
SB 439 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big righthander in the pitching-rich Mariner system, young Carson Smith is seen by most scouts as a future closer. Working in the hitting haven of the Cal League in 2012, Smith posted an impressive 2.90 ERA and struck out 72 hitters in 60 innings of work, confusing batters with a mix of fastballs and changeups delivered with his signature whiplike arm movement. He'll step up to AA in 2013, and if he looks even close to that good again, could be in the Mariners' bullpen by September.
Full Scouting Report for Carson Smith
SB 440 BA SC BP SN ES ML
430 to 440 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013