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 43 SC BP 36 SN ES 62 ML 48
An aggressive, athletic catcher with a whole lot of as-yet-untapped potential, Cubs prospect Willson 'Double El' Contreras looks like the catcher of the future Wrigley fans have been waiting for. With a cannon arm and a thunderous bat, he projects as the complete package. His fielding and blocking skills are also better than average, which means he should remain at catcher, even if his game-calling experience isn't all there yet. At the plate, he's a line-drive machine with very fast hands and more than a suggestion of real power down the road. On the downside, he can get very pull-happy and shows a tendency to try to swing his way out of slumps, which isn't something that works well at the major league level very often. Still, he's young, and with good coaching should end up an everyday lineup threat on a team that seems overflowing with great young hitters.
Full Scouting Report for Willson Contreras
SB 51 BA 67 SC 49 BP 57 SN ES 27 ML 50
Another raw athlete in a draft filled to the brim with such potential, ex-Ranger prospect Nick Williams fit the cliche perfectly: great natural tools and athleticism, good speed, strong arm, very raw skills, and a swing that shows glimmers of greatness... but also one full of more holes than a beer-league infield. While his game has tightened up a lot in the last year or so, he's still lacking some of the polish needed for the higher levels of pro ball. Give him another year or two.
Full Scouting Report for Nick Williams
SB 52 BA 27 SC 36 BP 25 SN ES 74 ML 64
A forgotten 13th round pick in 2010, third baseman Brandon Drury wound up MVP of the Appy League in 2011 as an 18 year old slugger. While he looked a lot more mortal at higher levels since, that's just reality setting in. The fact is, he's a top corner prospect, a gritty player who could become a fan favorite. As much an all-around infielder as he is a well-rounded hitter, he doesn't have any dazzling tools, and he isn't always pretty in the field, but he almost always gets the job done. Fans will like him.
Full Scouting Report for Brandon Drury
SB 53 BA 94 SC 76 BP 72 SN ES ML
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 54 BA 65 SC BP 52 SN ES 64 ML 43
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 55 BA 34 SC 48 BP 47 SN ES 54 ML 66
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 56 BA 36 SC 65 BP 92 SN ES 57 ML 59
SB 57 BA 52 SC 74 BP 56 SN ES 34 ML 58
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 58 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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 59 BA 26 SC 82 BP 65 SN ES 55 ML 30
The classic all-promise righthander, Arizona's Archie Bradley is a potentially-outstanding pitcher who's only a changeup short of a major league career very, very soon. Of course, that's the pitching equivalent of a hitter who can handle everything except a curve ball, so this youngster's future will depend mighty heavily on how many MPH he can
subtract when called upon to do so. If he stumbles, his big fastball and plus curve should still serve his team well in relief, but we won't know for another year or so which road he'll be taking.
Full Scouting Report for Archie Bradley
SB 60 BA SC 63 BP 48 SN ES 84 ML 72
50 to 60 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013