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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SB 50 BA SC 32 BP SN ES 29 ML
SB 51 BA SC 61 BP SN ES 54 ML
A fireballing righthander from Tampa Bay, Houston prospect Lance McCullers (Junior) is one of the best bets to be a future star for the new-look AL Astros. With a hot-moving fastball that lives in the upper 90's and a hammer curve that can be a real strikeout pitch, he's everything the team could want. Questions about his mechanics abound, but he's young enough (just 18 when drafted) that he'll certainly have opportunities to harness himself. If the Astros contend in 2017, McCullers will probably be a big part of that movement.
More Scouting Book Info on Lance McCullers
SB 52 BA SC BP SN ES ML 75
The consensus best hitting prospect available in the 2014 draft, Alex Jackson was drafted and signed by the Mariners after hitting an even .400 (with a 1.459) OPS in his last year at Rancho Bernardo High School. Nominally a catcher, the Mariners are much more likely to accelerate his development by moving him to the outfield, where his bat will bring him to the Major Leagues much more quickly. Reportedly a student of the game, he'll no doubt struggle a bit while learning a new position, but he should have no real issues adjusting to any other challenge the low minors can offer. While his swing can get just a bit long at times, there's nothing to suggest he won't still be a better-than-average righthanded contact hitter with true plus power by the time he reaches MLB, and that's something the Mariners would love to have in the lineup.
More Scouting Book Info on Alex Jackson
SB 53 BA SC 44 BP SN ES 59 ML 34
SB 54 BA SC 56 BP SN ES 71 ML 65
A smart, talented righthander with College World Series experience, ex-LSU Tiger Aaron Nola was drafted by the Phillies in the summer of 2014, and should rise to the team's very top prospect ranks very shortly. He brings a nice, low-90's fastball with great natural sink from a smooth three-quarter arm slot, repeating it effortlessly and commanding both sides of the plate. His changeup might be even better, as he's able to throw it almost anywhere on command, making that fastball seem more frightening than it might look in isolation. His breaking balls aren't as sharp, but assuming the Phillies don't rush him to the Majors (and, really, why should they?) it will have time to catch up to the rest of his game, which is already MLB-caliber.
More Scouting Book Info on Aaron Nola
SB 55 BA SC 60 BP SN ES 57 ML 43
If you believe in bloodlines, you have to be a fan of Nick Gordon, brother of Dee Gordon, second-born son of Tom Gordon, and natural heir to all the kingdoms of the north. At least, those kingdoms that are bounded by Target Field.
Signed by the Twins after being selected fifth overall in 2014, Gordon could follow in the footsteps of either family member: as a pitcher he brings easy low-90's heat and a solid curveball from the right side, while as a hitter he's the proud owner of a smooth left-handed swing and good wheels to go along with it. With a good natural grace in the field and a strong arm, he might be best developed as a shortstop until and unless he proves he can't perform. Given his lineage, one probably shouldn't bet against him.
More Scouting Book Info on Nick Gordon
SB 56 BA SC 39 BP SN ES 43 ML 37
A fast, slappy hitter with good speed and plus defense, Rockie prospect David Dahl looks like a good fit for the 'new' Coors Field, where speed is a special asset. He's more than a raw tools candidate, though: Dahl uses his speed well on the bases and in the field, and shows a good eye for situational hitting. For such a young player, he's quite polished already, though he'll need a couple more seasons in the minors to really reveal his true level.
More Scouting Book Info on David Dahl
SB 57 BA SC 31 BP SN ES 27 ML 39
The number one catching prospect in the Padre system until Yasmani Grandal came to town, Austin Hedges is still a top prospect with a very high ceiling. Not quite as ready for the majors as Grandal was, Hedges is still barely out of high school. But he's very valid: long-seen as a strong-armed defensive catcher, he slashed an unexpectedly-solid .260/.333/.390 in 86 games split between high and double-A in 2013, propelling him into the 'complete catcher' category. He's not quite ready, especially in the game-calling department, but he's not very far off, either. Despite his youth, 2015 is his sweet spot, and he could get a look at Petco even sooner than that.
More Scouting Book Info on Austin Hedges
SB 58 BA SC 80 BP SN ES 74 ML 22
Another promising third base prospect in Philadelphia, Dominican Maikel Franco has accelerated his course to the big leagues thanks to a blistering 2013 season with AA .339/.363/.563 line at AA Reading followed up on a spring .299/.349/.576 at A-level Clearwater. The young slugger crushed a combined 31 homers in 541 at-bats. If he stays this hot, he'll be in Philly this year, though his prime is another couple of years away. With the Phillies looking a few years away from contention, the organization may take the conservative road with Franco in order to hold down his substantial future costs.
More Scouting Book Info on Maikel Franco
SB 59 BA SC 20 BP SN ES ML 54
A catcher and pitcher in high school, Mississippi native Hunter Renfroe was drafted by the San Diego Padres (13th overall in 2013) as an outfielder, presumably signalling the team's intent to develop him quickly. And that's reasonable, given that his calling card is his offensive ability. The Cal Ripken League MVP in both 2011 and 2012, Renfro hit .395 and .366 in 2011 and 2012, respectively, and made himself known as a major power threat from the right side of the plate. He's an above-average runner, and has a real plus arm (he hit high-90's in his pitching days), which means he should be quite happy in right field soon.
More Scouting Book Info on Hunter Renfroe
SB 60 BA SC 86 BP SN ES 39 ML 71
50 to 60 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013