Top Baseball Prospects for 2015
Now updated for 2015'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 tall, thin lefty sneaking his way up the ladder in Tampa, Dominican pitcher Enny Romero won't get a lot of attention due to the richness of pitching the Rays have in stock, but in another system he could be a top prospect, if only for his natural ability.
Rough-edged but generally pretty projectable, his sometimes-clanky delivery seems to be the root of his control struggles, though he did pitch a little more within himself last year, so there's hope. He's been improving in that regard recently, which is critical: until he can keep that sinking 92mph fastball consistently down, he'll have to lean on the change and curve a bit too much to keep hitters honest, and neither of those pitches is quite all-there yet. Romero looked better at high-A Charlotte last year than he did at a lower level the year before, which is a great sign, and managed to increase his workload to 123 innings without any significant setbacks, quelling our earlier concerns about his stamina for now. He'll look to improve again this year and try to work his way into the AA rotation.
More Scouting Book Info on Enny Romero
SB 431 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Jordan 'Magic' Swagerty is a righthanded pitcher in the Cardinals system who most expect to carry on from his college success as a reliever in the future. The jury is far from settled on that just yet, though: while most of the 52 strikeouts he logged in 54 innings at high-A Palm Beach last year came from the bullpen, the Cards also allowed him to make seven starts.
The former Arizona State closer certainly has shut-down stuff: that 92mph dart can touch 94 when it's used sparingly, and it could look even less hittable when it comes right after a nasty, dirt-biting slider. But it's Swagerty's advanced command of the change and curve that keeps St Louis from committing him to ninth-inning work just yet. A switch-hitter, Magic also racked up a .484 average in his junior year of high-school play, so he should enjoy National League style ball, too.
More Scouting Book Info on Jordan Swagerty
SB 432 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An accomplished high-school prospect plucked from Australia by the newly-aggressive international scouting department in Boston, Daniel McGrath is a hard throwing lefthander who hit six foot three on the wall before reaching eighteen years on the calendar. He's already flirting with 92mph on the radar gun, too, and has shown signs of a plus breaking ball. With a classic pitcher's frame and a low-labor delivery, he looks like a perfect work in progress for Boston's retooling farm to develop.
More Scouting Book Info on Daniel McGrath
SB 433 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Victor Sanchez, the prize of the international free agent market in 2011, is a big-armed righthander who's growing up in a Seattle system that's positively overflowing with that particular blessing. A gifted athlete with a loose, easy motion and natural movement on his ball, he was a star in Venezuela from the time he was 12 years old, dominating hitters four years older than that with a 90mph fastball and a downright unfair curve. As a sixteen year old in showcases, Sanchez demonstrated he could hit 92 with that heater, not to mention the beginnings of a slider that has since blossomed into a genuine plus pitch. He's even shown indications of a working changeup, which is remarkable in such a young pitcher.
In his first taste of American ball at low-A Everett in 2012, Sanchez went 6-2, 3.18 over fifteen starts, striking out 69 hitters in 85 innings of work. He's still very young, of course, and his body will need to grow in just the right way to support the workload his arm is about to encounter. But right now he looks like the best Latin American pitching prospect we've seen since Julio Teheran, who was himself probably the best since some guy you may remember named Felix.
More Scouting Book Info on Victor Sanchez
SB 435 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The nephew of ex-Dodger Antonio Asuna, Mexican righthander Roberto Osuna is a raw but talented pitcher growing up in the Toronto Blue Jays system. A thick fireplug of a pitcher, Osuna uses his legs well, generating power and keeping his arms from flailing out of control, with the net result being a smooth and easily-repeatable delivery.
Osuna showed off good command of a low-90's fastball and spotty command of a developing change and slurvy curveball while performing way above his head in the much older Mexican League last season, and the Jays expect both of those pitches will improve as he develops. He's nowhere close to MLB, especially in the conditioning and mental aspects of the game, but does have the physical gifts to perform well once he gets there. Eventually.
More Scouting Book Info on Roberto Osuna
SB 436 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Venezuelan Yohander Mendez, an international signee inked by the Rangers in mid-2011, is a tall, skinny lefthander with a projectable frame and plus stuff. The most promising pitch in his arsenal is a raw but deep curve ball that he manages to throw with a motion that doesn't look all that different coming out of his hand than his 90mph fastball. He's currently hidden away in Mr Ryan's top-secret development laboratory learning how to handle his mutant powers, but when he's ready for his coming out he could be a good one.
More Scouting Book Info on Yohander Mendez
SB 437 BA SC BP SN ES ML
An outfielder universally regarded as one of the best prospect talents of the 2011 market, Dominican Elier Hernandez was locked down by the Royals. The Royals, always aggressive in the international game, popped a lot of eyes with their $3M plus contract they awarded Hernandez.
A classic high-risk, high-upside player, Elier is a strong and lithe teenager who already rattles the scales at 6-4 and 200 pounds. His baseball tools (all five of them) are very raw, but he shows plus speed, a flashy glove, an explosive bat and off-the-charts reflexes, which could propel him into the upper ranks among outfield prospects in the very near future. He's a terrific sleeper in a strong KC system that could really use him in late 2015 or so.
More Scouting Book Info on Elier Hernandez
SB 438 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Exicardo Cayones is a young outfielder from the Pittsburgh Pirates system, acquired by the Angels via the dump of Vernon Wells in 2013's preseason. A smallish player out of Venezuela, he was highly regarded enough to merit a $400K signing bonus as a 16 year old, though he hasn't developed as quickly since then as some hoped. Scouts still like his speed, what looks like good bat control, and a decent eye at the plate, though he's still learning how to put that all together into serious offensive value. Whether he's a fifth outfielder or just a late-bloomer, he's still a few years away from realizing (or falling permanently short of) his still-legitimate potential.
More Scouting Book Info on Exicardo Cayones
SB 439 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A righthanded relief specialist acquired by the Yankees in the AJ Burnett salary dump of 2012, Venezuelan Diego Moreno is a hot-stuff pitcher who lost most of 2012 to TJ surgery, and will be grinding his way back in 2013. Before the pause in his career, Moreno was really only held back by recurring command problems. He struck out 45 in 45 innings in 2011 (and walked 18) in a season split between high-A Bradenton and double-A Altoona: not eye-popping numbers, but pretty much what you want to see in a young reliever who's getting close to MLB-ready.
Before surgery, he mixed a nice 96mph fastball with a quality slider, so if he can recover, he should keep earning paychecks and promotions in the lightly-populated Yankee prospect factory. Not a high-end closer candidate, he could still slot into most any MLB bullpen as a viable contributor. Watch his control suffer, most likely, and then slowly recover, as he comes back in 2013.
More Scouting Book Info on Diego Moreno
SB 440 BA SC BP SN ES ML
430 to 440 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013