Top Baseball Prospects for 2016
Now updated for 2016'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 27 SC 36 BP 25 SN ES 74 ML 64
If Tampa Bay returns to championship ball in the next couple of years, the trip will come on the backs of their very strong pitching talent, and all of that talent can be seen in young righthander Brent Honeywell. A physically athletic pitcher who flings fastballs, changeups and even screwballs from a locked-in 3/4 arm slot, Honeywell has struggled on and off with control issues, though part of that comes from the effort he's been making to refine a sometimes-wild curve ball, the weakest pitch in his arsenal. Still, Honeywell's ascension through the system will be locked to his control. No scout doubts that the stuff and gamesmanship are ready, so once he's consistently striking out more batters than he's walking, he'll be ready.
Full Scouting Report for Brent Honeywell
SB 51 BA 65 SC BP 52 SN ES 64 ML 43
A power righthander who can reach 95mph with his fastball, Aaron Blair is more noteworthy thanks to a better-than-average change that he uses very effectively as a setup pitch. While he doesn't yet command his curve with the same confidence he brings to other offerings, he's already a lot more than just a raw arm, and he should continue to develop at higher levels of play, including MLB, especially if he remains under his new tutors in Atlanta. Expect a look-see in 2016, with a 2017 rotation spot up for grabs.
Full Scouting Report for Aaron Blair
SB 52 BA 60 SC BP 43 SN ES 39 ML 56
A lefthander acquired in the trade of KC's trade for Johnny Cueto, Cody Reed is a fast-rising lefthander in a system that could use some starting pitching. The hard-thrower broke out in 2015, posting a shiny 2.41 ERA with 144 strikeouts in 146 innings split between high- and double-A ball. His mid-90's heater would play in MLB right now, as would the erratic but electric slider, but it's that developing change that is propelling him up prospect lists. If it's on, he'll be in Cincinnati this season.
Full Scouting Report for Cody Reed
SB 53 BA 34 SC 48 BP 47 SN ES 54 ML 66
Like a taller twin to Gerrit Cole, righty James Taillon is a geniune monster power arm from Texas (via Quebec), a very high-ceiling pitcher who has already cracked 100mph on radar guns. If that's not enough to get your attention, note that while his slider and change are below average, his curveball is universally acclaimed as a plus pitch. If he can hold his arm together under increasing workloads and refine his command and control to pro levels, he could be a viable #2 or #3 starter at any time, with a legitimate shot at being an ace a little further down the road.
Full Scouting Report for Jameson Taillon
SB 54 BA SC 53 BP 51 SN ES ML 54
Gary Sanchez is a young but promising backstop from Austin, Texas with a tantalizing upside that should not be ignored. He's a big boy who could further grow into a Joe Mauer shape, and his bat comes from the same forest as the Minnesota superstar, if not quite the same tree. Unless he becomes part of a package used to upgrade Yankee pitching, he'll remain one of their top young players in the years to come.
Full Scouting Report for Gary Sanchez
SB 55 BA 36 SC 65 BP 92 SN ES 57 ML 59
SB 56 BA 52 SC 74 BP 56 SN ES 34 ML 58
SB 57 BA 67 SC 49 BP 57 SN ES 27 ML 50
A speedster with a quality bat, Yankee infield prospect Jorge Mateo is the best looking option to anchor shortstop for the Yankees for the long term, though he's got a little work left to do in the minors first. A true plus runner with game-changing speed, Mateo is a raw hitter, but he shows natural aptitude for working the count and finding balls to drive. When he makes contact, it's of the sprayed line-drive variety, though he certainly does reach light towers during batting practice, so the potential for more power is there, too. In the field, he shows good range, quick feet, a soft glove and a strong arm, all of which means he's very likely to maintain the shortstop gig. Mateo looked pretty comfy in high-A Tampa last year (.321/.374/.452 with 11 steals in 84 ABs), and while he may start there again this year, he'll end up in AA.
Full Scouting Report for Jorge Mateo
SB 58 BA 26 SC 82 BP 65 SN ES 55 ML 30
A possible long-term heir to Troy Tulowitzki's erstwhile shortstop throne in Colorado, Trevor Story is a hard-hitting infield prospect who's getting very close to major league ready. While the presence of even-more-highly-regarded Brendan Rogers may push Story to second or third base, he's still got all the makings of a regular position player.
Full Scouting Report for Trevor Story
SB 59 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A quality shortstop prospect born of the Atlanta system, Venezuelan Jose Peraza has an all-around strong offensive toolset, hitting for average and with good gap power while also showing plus speed and savvy on the bases. He slashed .296/.350/.374 and stole 25 of 30 bases while moving up from Danville to the GCL in 2014. In the field he looks like a true shortstop, with the range and arm to stay at the position. A new member of the Reds with a much more clear path to the majors than he had with the Braves, Peraza is looking to break out in 2016... and he very well might do just that.
Full Scouting Report for Jose Peraza
SB 60 BA 66 SC 52 BP 81 SN ES ML 71
50 to 60 of 751 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013