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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SB 50 BA 50 SC BP 23 SN ES 51 ML 33
A quality lefthander who looks close to MLB ready, San Diego pitcher Max Fried should see Petco sooner rather than later. Fried's fastball doesn't exceed 92mph very often, though he can add a bit more when he really needs it and gets more outs thanks to its sinking nature than its velocity, anyway. His cutter and change are average pitches already, and should be better than average by the time he's anchored into the Padre rotation.
More Scouting Book Info on Max Fried
SB 51 BA 53 SC 27 BP 55 SN ES 48 ML 43
We see a lot of great names here at Scouting Book, but every once and awhile there's still one that makes us do a double-take. This offensive-minded infielder's name (nephew of Indians coach Rouglas) is really named Rougned (RYOO-nyed) Odor. We're hoping that was a little less teaseworthy for a kid growing up in Venezuela than it would have been in Lubbock.
An All-Star for the Venezuelan National Team in 2009, Odor is a short infielder with good fielding instincts, a strong arm, and a sweet swing from the left side of the plate. He's a long way from the majors, with a whole life of A-ball ahead of him first.
More Scouting Book Info on Rougned Odor
SB 52 BA 42 SC 59 BP 39 SN ES 64 ML 59
A big pitcher with an even bigger fastball, Michael Foltynewicz is a teenaged right-hander who scrapes 6-foot-6 and 220, with a heavy, moving fastball that can touch 98. Striking out 125 in 152 innings of Sally League work is a nice hint at what he can do, but the high contact and walk rates he also logged are the indicators that he's not reaching his potential yet. He's still raw, and a couple of years away, but definitely worth watching closely.
More Scouting Book Info on Michael Foltynewicz
SB 53 BA 59 SC 47 BP 43 SN ES 70 ML 54
He might sound like a designer of cheap neckties, but prospective Ranger catcher Jorge Alfaro has been making a name for himself in the damp northwest rather than the fashion outlets in airport shopping malls. A big strong right-handed bat, the still-teenaged Alfaro looks likely to stick behind the plate, where he exhibits a cannon arm of increasing accuracy. His game-calling skills are a long way off, but if that .320/.430/.750 Sally League line from 2012 is a real indicator of his potential, the Rangers will be content to wait it out.
More Scouting Book Info on Jorge Alfaro
SB 54 BA 54 SC 68 BP 41 SN ES 44 ML 39
Georgia high schooler Austin Meadows is an outfield phenom who attracted a great deal of first round attention in MLB's 2013 first-year player draft before falling to the Pirates with the ninth overall selection. A phenom with five tool talent, Austin is one of the fastest baserunners in the country, with speed that would make him one of the fastest players in pro baseball if he can get the rest of his game to half that level. His swing is promising, featuring a smooth and easy load with the makings of real plus power from the left side. He's been compared to players like Andre Ethier and Jacoby Ellsbury, and not without reason: few ballplayers blend across-the-board abilities like this. The only thing that might keep him from a minor league roster is 2014 is his commitment to Clemson University.
More Scouting Book Info on Austin Meadows
SB 55 BA 49 SC 52 BP 89 SN ES 35 ML 45
A slight shortstop with plus instincts, Arizona prospect Chris Owings could see a move to second base in the near future. Signed out of high school in South Carolina after being selected 41st overall in the 2009 draft, Owings is a gap-to-gap hitter with a bit of pop. He's decent defensively, and shows above average speed on the bases. He's not a likely All Star, but he could be a competent bench or utility player in the bigs at any time.
More Scouting Book Info on Chris Owings
SB 56 BA 66 SC 65 BP 28 SN ES 72 ML 77
Signed as a sixteen year old out of Panama back in 2008, catcher Christian Bethencourt is a toolsy ballplayer dripping with all-around talent. Competing with far-older players in 2009, the 17-year old showed flashes of power and above-average speed to complement his advanced bat control skills. In 2012, he slashed .243/.275/.291 at AA Mississippi while working primarily on his defense.
Since he's a catcher with the entire universe of game calling and defense to master, he's still a couple of years away, but he's such a shining star that he's a near-lock to rise through the prospect ranks every year before taking over in Atlanta. He's just that talented. If he settles in and looks strong in AA this year, he'll be starting in Atlanta next.
More Scouting Book Info on Christian Bethancourt
SB 57 BA 69 SC 66 BP 87 SN ES 90 ML 82
A rapidly-developing lefthander who rode a mechanical change to a breakout season last fall, Venezuelan Edwin Escobar and his plus breaking ball could reach MLB in 2014, probably in a relief capacity.
More Scouting Book Info on Edwin Escobar
SB 58 BA 56 SC 75 BP SN ES ML 95
A supplemental first round pick for the Brewers a few years back, Jake 'the Dog' Odorizzi is a tall righthander with a smooth and easy delivery that portends well for his future. Originally a part of the prospect package that moved Zack Greinke to Milwaukee, Odorizzi was a hot commodity again in 2012's offseason, as he was shipped to Tampa in favor of some more-seasoned veteran pitching. He's pretty much ready for action, though, and expectations will be high for him to fill that hole in the Rays' rotation ASAP. He'll enjoy the benefits of some nice pitching coaches, of course: Tampa is very very good at squeezing the best performance from young arms.
More Scouting Book Info on Jake Odorizzi
SB 59 BA 67 SC BP 92 SN ES ML 56
Travis D'Arnaud is one of the very top catching prospects in baseball today. Not to be confused with infielder Chase, Travis is an offensively gifted catcher who's ready for major league ball, at least from an offensive perspective. A major prize in the sell-high trade of RA Dickey in December 2012, d'Arnaud also has above-average speed for a catcher to go along with a great eye for the strike zone. While his game-calling and defense aren't quite ready for prime time (yet), he'll be pushed along quickly. He should be hitting high in a feisty, developing Mets batting order in 2014, and for years to come.
More Scouting Book Info on Travis d'Arnaud
SB 60 BA 38 SC BP 48 SN ES 36 ML 22
50 to 60 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013