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 powerful righthander with genuinely filthy stuff, ex-Pirate prospect Victor Black looks like a future closer, as long as he can throw his prime stuff with consistency. At AA Altoona in 2012, Black struck out an ungodly 85 batters in only 60 innings of work, wrapping up 38 games for the Curve and earning respect as one of the league's nastiest relievers. Since moving to Flatbush, he's quickly become a fascinating bullpen option for the Mets in 2015... and maybe even sooner than that.
Full Scouting Report for Victor Black
SB 491 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Matt Magill is a nearly MLB-ready right-handed pitching prospect in the Dodger system. He relies on a 92-94mph fastball that's at worst average, and sometimes shows enough movement to be near plus, but his best pitch is his strikeout slider, which he commands very well. Magill went 11-8 in 26 starts for AA Chattanooga last season, striking out an eye-popping 168 batters in only 146 innings while holding them all to a .232 average. If there's a knock against him, other than the usual spelling of his surname, it's that he doesn't have real plus stuff, and still needs to learn to pitch to contact a little better: throughout his career, hitters who manage to make contact make pretty solid contact. With the Chattanooga roster bursting at the seams, he's likely to spend most of 2013 in AAA Albuquerque, with hopes of bolstering the Dodger roster sometime in midseason. If that doesn't happen, he's a 2014 rotation candidate.
Full Scouting Report for Matt Magill
SB 492 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The kind of all-around outfielder that Dexter Fowler once promised to be, Sacramento State's Tim Wheeler was universally regarded as one of the safest 'college hitters' available in the 2009 draft. With plus speed and a good set of instincts for the outfield, he's a solid defender, while his high-contact, high-smarts approach to hitting have always made it look like it could fit right into the top of the Rockies order soon enough.
He hit a career-best .303 in 2012 in AAA, though his power evaporated mysteriously, and he's still struggling to steal bases efficiently. He needs to put in more work.
Full Scouting Report for Tim Wheeler
SB 493 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A fast-developing outfielder who slashed .309/.364 /.403 at AA Mississippi last year, Thomas David (Todd) Cunningham is one of Atlanta's most-potent future offensive threats. A switch hitter, Cunningham combines an ability to hit for a high average with good speed and developing power. Cunningham has true plus speed and can cover a large amount of outfield ground, though he's still learning to use that speed effectively on the bases. He'll be ready for MLB in another year or so: if there's no place for him in Atlanta, he could become a significant mid- or offseason trade target for a team without a clear CF option.
Full Scouting Report for Todd Cunningham
SB 494 BA SC BP SN ES ML
By most measures, he's the least of the three prospects the Padres landed for Mat Latos, but USC righthander Brad Boxberger is still no slouch. The 43rd player selected in the 2009 draft is a strong, stout pitcher who projects as a middle-of-rotation arm for the Padres in the near future, thanks to his pro-level collection of above-average pitches and his ability to survive under pressure. He works with a 92-94mph fastball that he'll work in on hitters quite fearlessly, and he complements it with a decent-and-improving curve. Most interestingly, though, he features a nifty sinking change that could be a real strikeout pitch for him once he learns to command it a bit more consistently.
Full Scouting Report for Brad Boxberger
SB 495 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big, hard-throwing Dominican righthander signed by the Mets as an international free agent in 2006, Cleto is a raw pitcher who features a moving fastball at 97mph, a real thunderbolt that looks like a genuine plus pitch. His slider is a work in progress, however, and his other pitches aren't anything special yet.
Cleto was acquired by the Cardinals in the 2011 offseason after a Cal League year with Seattle in which he posted a 6.16 ERA in 23 appearances (21 starts). If his change develops, he could still blossom into a strong starting role, but so far (as expected/feared) its' been the slider that's developed best, earmarking Cleto as a late-inning strikeout artist: in nine late-season innings with the MLB Cards last year, Clete struck out fifteen hitters. Expect him to remain a bullpen weapon in 2013, with a move to the rotation possible one day down the road.
Full Scouting Report for Maikel Cleto
SB 496 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A smart, athletic Venezuelan whose offensive game has improved markedly since his signing, Oakland prospect Renato Nunez projects as one of those non-lumbering third basemen with solid all-around baseball skills. After proving his bona fides in the DSL last year, Nunez went on to rake .325/.403/.550 in stateside Rookie ball, making him a lock for A-level play in 2013. While he doesn't yet show much grace at third, he does have a strong enough arm for it, and he's already shown that he's not afraid of working very hard to study and improve his game now that he's got a tantalizing career ahead. He's a fast riser who is quickly convincing scouts that he deserves far more attention than he's yet received.
Full Scouting Report for Renato Nunez
SB 497 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Critics howled when Baltimore reached for Simon too early in the draft, but after he posted sub-1.00 WHIPs at three different levels of play in 2011, they became a lot quieter. A very tall, ground-ball throwing righthander from Arizona, Kyle Simon could churn through batters at almost any level as long as he keeps repeating his delivery, and so far he's shown every sign of being able to do just that, day in and day out. A hard worker without the glitz of a rockstar prospect or 100mph strikeout arm, Simon was shipped to the Phillies as part of the midseason Jim Thome trade in 2012. He's looking like a viable future closer from here, and could be a hot setup arm before that.
Full Scouting Report for Kyle Simon
SB 498 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big, strong hitter who's all potential at this point, Aaron Judge is drooled over by some scouts due to his raw power and sheer physical strength. Perhaps best known as the winner of the the TD Ameritrade Home Run Derby in 2012, Judge hasn't yet really shown that he can hit for big power in ballgames that count. While he isn't yet reaching many grandstands, he is a decent all-around talent, with a good eye at the plate and better than average speed on the bases. In the field, he's not much to write about, but his appeal has nothing to do with the glove, anyway. Selected by the Yankees in the compensation round of 2013's draft, he'll spend some time learning to hit curve balls and play first base, we're betting.
Full Scouting Report for Aaron Judge
SB 499 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Red Sox second-round pick (87th overall) in 2012, righthander Jamie Callahan fits with the club's new focus on developing future pitching. Callahan is what scouts call a 'projectable' righty, and features a low-90's fastball that can reach 96mph, albeit at the cost of what little movement he can impart. His curveball is a classic twelve-to-six model that looks very solid, and his changeup, while spotty, actually looks like it might end up being the best pitch of the three. If that comes to pass, look out: Callahan will be a number-one pitcher. If he even half-masters it, he could still be a solid number three.
Full Scouting Report for Jamie Callahan
SB 500 BA SC BP SN ES ML
490 to 500 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013