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 BP SN ES ML 53
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.
Full Scouting Report for Aaron Nola
SB 51 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.
Full Scouting Report for Nick Gordon
SB 52 BA SC 39 BP SN ES 43 ML 37
A high school outfielder selected fifth overall in 2013's draft, Clint Frazier is a five-tool athlete with an advanced bat for such a young player. Some scouts disparage his small size, but his athleticism and performance rival (and in most cases exceed) his more universally-praised teammate Austin Meadows. A long-term building block for the Indians, he'll be moved slowly, as the team tries to slide all the necessary pieces into place in a coordinated roster rebuild.
Full Scouting Report for Clint Frazier
SB 53 BA SC 46 BP SN ES 92 ML 44
A Cardinal prospect picked up in the St. Louis treasure trove known as 2012's Supplemental draft round, California native Stephen Piscotty is an offensive-first corner glove who won the Cape Cod batting title in 2011, also picking up the award as the league's best pro prospect. While his name almost makes us wish he was a part of the Tampa Bay farm system, he'll do just fine in St. Louis, too. He should move quickly through the ranks.
Full Scouting Report for Stephen Piscotty
SB 54 BA SC BP SN ES 62 ML 51
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.
Full Scouting Report for Austin Hedges
SB 55 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.
Full Scouting Report for Maikel Franco
SB 56 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.
Full Scouting Report for Hunter Renfroe
SB 57 BA SC 86 BP SN ES 39 ML 71
SB 58 BA SC 56 BP SN ES 71 ML 65
2013's Cape Cod leader in strikeouts and WHIP, Colorado lefty Kyle Freeland keeps batters very off-balance thanks to a deceptive delivery that makes his low-90's fastball look a lot hotter. It also helps that he brings it with natural sink, leading to a whole lot of poorly-struck ground balls. His secondary pitch is a biting slider that sometimes looks like more of a cut fastball, a pitch with its own completely-different movement to keep batters uncomfortable at the plate. His deception and low-arm angle, not to mention that fastball-slider combination, look like relief material to most, but the Rockies didn't use the eighth overall pick in 2014 on a player they see as a LOOGY: he'll be developed and grown as a starter first.
Full Scouting Report for Kyle Freeland
SB 59 BA SC 64 BP SN ES 99 ML 67
A top pitching prospect from the 2013 draft, Sean Manaea (rhymes with pariah) went 5-3 with a 3.34 ERA in 17 starts for Indiana State in 2012, striking out 115 batters in 105 innings while walking only 32. The son of proud parents Opal and Faaloloi (yes, he's Samoan), Sean brings a mid-90's fastball to the plate that should improve as he fills out further. His secondary offerings, a nasty slider and a developing change, aren't good enough for the Show just yet, but they're advanced for his age. Sean is also known for having a Pettitte-like pickoff move that holds even talented baserunners at bay.
Full Scouting Report for Sean Manaea
SB 60 BA SC 33 BP SN ES ML 66
50 to 60 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013