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 60 BA 66 SC 52 BP 81 SN ES ML 71
A two-sport star in high school, Mississippi native Anthony Alford was considered unlikely to sign with an MLB ballclub out of high school, and so fell to the sneaky Blue Jays in the third round of 2012's draft. To the surprise of many, he did sign, albeit on the condition he could play football for Ole Miss while developing, and in the years since has risen swiftly to become the team's very top prospect. He's been a baseball-only athlete since October, 2014.
A nominal centerfielder who may move to right as he continues to grow, Alford is still very raw, but continues to amaze coaches with his athleticism and natural baseball instincts. A line-drive gap hitter for now, many scouts see power in his future. In the field he's a bit raw with routes, but has good speed and a strong arm, quelling any fears that he might be an all-bat prospect. Give this latecomer a year or two to polish up his game; he'll be showing off in the bigs soon enough.
More Scouting Book Info on Anthony Alford
SB 61 BA 25 SC 56 BP 44 SN ES 52 ML 42
SB 62 BA 33 SC BP 29 SN ES 49 ML 63
A young, hot arm, Kolby Allard was drafted in the first round of 2015 and promptly showed just why, striking out twelve in his first six innings of rookie ball while walking nobody. A real ace in waiting with a plus fastball and a plus curve to go with it, Allard would move to MLB very quickly on a contending team. On the patient and rebuilding Braves, he looks like a solid piece of the 2018 rotation from here.
More Scouting Book Info on Kolby Allard
SB 63 BA 84 SC 87 BP 82 SN ES 43 ML 89
One of the Mets prospects traded to the Tigers in 2015's Yoenis Cespedes deal, righthander Michael Fulmer is a near-MLB-ready pitching prospect who could impact Detroit's plans this season. A big, sturdy pitcher who has hit 98mph with his fastball, Fulmer alternates it with a hard slider, a true plus pitch with huge break. With his change and curve being much, much less polished, it's easy to imagine the big man in an MLB bullpen soon, and while that's possible, the Tigers will first exhaust their patience by letting him continue to work on those secondary pitches as a starter.
More Scouting Book Info on Michael Fulmer
SB 64 BA 47 SC 59 BP 87 SN ES 48 ML 53
A polished all-around hitter in the Cincinnati system, Florida native Jesse Winker has burned up the charts in the past two years by combining a very good eye with plus bat control with developing power. After a slow start in AA last year, Winker turned it on, ending up with a .282/.390/.433 slash line and 13 homers in 443 at-bats. Even if the power never comes, he looks like a solid offensive force in the near future. He could be a quality number two hitter.
More Scouting Book Info on Jesse Winker
SB 65 BA 51 SC 83 BP 50 SN ES 41 ML 34
The brother of prospect Colby, young Grant Holmes is probably the stronger pitcher, mixing a fastball that has touched 100mph with a hard, sharp-breaking curve and a promising change. He'll need to use his changeup more at the next level, though it does show some promise. He already looks like a quality reliever, but if he can convince the big league staff that he can handle the workload, he'll be given a chance to start first.
More Scouting Book Info on Grant Holmes
SB 66 BA 72 SC 43 BP 40 SN ES 71 ML 62
A tall, wiry righthander with three good pitches, Puerto Rico-born Jorge Lopez could be a part of a big league rotation very soon. While he works with a mid-90's fastball and commands it well, it's his curve ball that gets the best reviews, a low-speed, hard-breaking pitch that makes a lot of hitters flail horribly. He doesn't need much more development, which means we'll probably see him on an MLB diamond this season.
More Scouting Book Info on Jorge Lopez
SB 67 BA 59 SC BP 71 SN ES 75 ML 57
The son of mustachioed Angel closer Bryan Harvey, North Carolina's Hunter Harvey is a big righthander with a big fastball and a quality curve. The fastball, which used to peak in the low-90's, now reaches 98mph when it needs to, and while that's the main reason he's been zipping up prospect lists, it's his plus curveball that truly makes Harvey exceptional. Prep pitchers aren't known for having quality secondary offerings, but Harvey's Hammer (trademark pending) is a beautiful one. Harvey's change is still coming along, but it looked better at the end of the year than the beginning, which means he's right on track. A complete pitching package, he's almost certain to hit an MLB rotation sometime in the next year or so. The only question is whether he'll settle into the middle of it, or reach the top ahead of schedule.
More Scouting Book Info on Hunter Harvey
SB 68 BA SC 70 BP 58 SN ES 100 ML 85
One of the best infield arms in any system, Tampa Bay prospect Willy Adames is a nominal shortstop who may end up at third base. The young Dominican shows mature discipline and judgment in the batter's box, with a quick, powerful stroke that could translate to 20-HR power in the Bigs. Until then, he's a gap hitter with good wheels and a strong, accurate throwing arm, which is more than enough to headline Tampa's list of future stars.
More Scouting Book Info on Willy Adames
SB 69 BA 46 SC 100 BP 54 SN ES ML 81
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-born heir to the kingdoms of men. At least, those kingdoms that are bounded by Target Field.
Signed by the Twins after being selected fifth overall in 2014, Gordon could have followed in his father's footsteps (as a pitcher he brings easy low-90's heat and a solid curveball from the right side), but the Twins selected him as an everyday player and are developing him as such. A smooth, strong swing from the left side pairs up perfectly with plus wheels, and the 25 steals he tacked onto a .302/.347/.416 second-half slash line in the Midwest League sure looks good on paper. With a good natural grace in the field and a strong arm, he'll continue to be groomed as a shortstop until and unless he proves he can't perform at the position. Given his lineage and what coaches describe as a tireless work ethic, one probably shouldn't bet against him.
More Scouting Book Info on Nick Gordon
SB 70 BA 53 SC 73 BP 62 SN ES 98 ML 91
60 to 70 of 751 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013