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 70 BA SC 94 BP SN ES 73 ML 64
SB 71 BA SC 41 BP SN ES 64 ML 98
A fireballing righthander from Tampa Bay, Houston prospect Lance McCullers (Junior) is one of the best bets to be a future star for the new-look AL Astros. With a hot-moving fastball that lives in the upper 90's and a hammer curve that can be a real strikeout pitch, he's everything the team could want. Questions about his mechanics abound, but he's young enough (just 18 when drafted) that he'll certainly have opportunities to harness himself. If the Astros contend in 2017, McCullers will probably be a big part of that movement.
Full Scouting Report for Lance McCullers
SB 72 BA SC BP SN ES ML 75
Luke Jackson is a young, strong and raw righthander cooking up in the Texas Ranger system. Blessed with an easy 95mph fastball, Jackson overpowered Carolina League (High A) hitters in 2012 with 74 strikeouts in 65 innings of work, but didn't need much more than that heater to do it: his finesse and pitching savvy still have some distance to cover before he's Arlington ready. His curve and change aren't suitable for higher levels of minor league ball yet, but he's in a good system for development and shows the sort of pitcher's body and strength that old-school coaches love. If you like raw projectability over eye-popping early results, Jackson's your man.
Full Scouting Report for Luke Jackson
SB 73 BA SC BP SN ES ML 70
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.
Full Scouting Report for Christian Bethancourt
SB 74 BA SC BP SN ES ML 76
The Mets first round pick (13th overall) in 2011, outfielder Brandon Nimmo earned his high draft pick with superior tools and excellent projectability, thanks to his strong, mature physical frame. Nimmo slashed a respectable .248/.372/.406 in low-A ball, and should spend 2013 working up to higher A levels. He's still young, but in an offensively weak system, he could move quickly and land in New York before 2015.
Full Scouting Report for Brandon Nimmo
SB 75 BA SC 82 BP SN ES 91 ML 60
A slappy, scrappy, switch-hitting wheels player, Pirate prospect Alen Hanson was a low-visibility 2011 IFA signing from the Dominican, but one that earn more kudos for htose ever-impressive Pittsburgh scouts. Hanson would probably get more attention if his name included an Alvarez or Concepcion in there, something that looked more Latin and less Nordic. (At least 'Alexi'. Something. Make an effort, kid!)
Alexi is said to have the quick hands and feet necessary to stick at shortstop, but he also has a quick everything-else: plus speed is clearly his main offensive weapon. Power may never come, depending on how his slender frame fills out, but he's already showing superior on-base skill, and the Pirates should already be delighted with his development, no matter when he finds the ceiling.
Full Scouting Report for Alen Hanson
SB 76 BA SC 77 BP SN ES 89 ML 73
The best left-handed power bat available in the 2014 draft, Cubs prospect Kyle Schwarber is one of the newest proto-stars in a dazzlingly-deep farm system that's starting to blossom in Chicago. Schwarber's bat led Indiana to its first Big Ten Championship since 1932 (sic). His very good bat speed generates lightning-bolt power, while his batting eye seems strong enough to keep his game from decaying into a single dimension. Behind the plate, he shows a strong if sometimes-erratic arm and a good head for the game, but there are enough questions about his receiving and framing skills that a move to an outfield corner is more than a possibility. The Cubs will give him a chance behind the plate, too, though, because if he can stick there, his bat could propel him to All Star status.
Full Scouting Report for Kyle Schwarber
SB 77 BA SC 85 BP SN ES 90 ML 72
When a high school player is projected as a first baseman, it's a sort of mixed message. On the one hand, it means that scouts have little to no faith in the player's ability to perform anywhere on the field. On the other hand, if such a player is still highly thought of, he must be one heck of a hitter. That's the case with LA-born, NY-drafted teenager Dominic Smith. The youngster has exceptional bat speed and power, and even shows enough of a discerning eye at the plate that a few scouts have conjured the ghost of Larry Walker in describing his potential. Smith's glove is actually quite good at first, and he has a strong arm, so it's possible some team will try to make a right fielder out of him, but that won't change the calculus: as long as the kid can learn to handle quality breaking balls in the minor leagues, he'll be a quality MLB ballplayer one day.
Full Scouting Report for Dominic Smith
SB 78 BA SC BP SN ES 65 ML 80
Aaron Blair, a 21st round selection last season, spent the interim playing Cape Cod baseball before returning to the 2013 draft. Blair, a power righthander, can reach 95mph with his fastball, and it often looks better than that thanks to his better-than-average change. He doesn't yet command his curve with the same confidence he brings to other offerings, but overall he's a good pitcher, not just a raw arm, and he should continue to develop in the years to come.
Full Scouting Report for Aaron Blair
SB 79 BA SC 83 BP SN ES 37 ML 79
A compact, wiry shortstop from Tuscaloosa, Tim Anderson's biggest weapon is his plus-plus speed, though he's also a good enough contact hitter to make that speed dangerous. A good but not standout shortstop, he shows plus range but only a so-so arm, which suggests a move to second base might be coming in the future. The 17th overall selection of the 2013 draft, he'll be moved slowly... it'll take some time for his hitting ability to develop enough to handle quality breaking stuff.
Full Scouting Report for Tim Anderson
SB 80 BA SC 84 BP SN ES 67 ML 81
70 to 80 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013