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 80 BA SC 57 BP SN ES 23 ML
A college catcher with a short, powerful stroke at the plate, Mets prospect Kevin Plawecki is a throwback tough-guy catcher whose game is already quite advanced. Given a year or three to absorb the finer points of game-calling, he could blossom into a regular on a rebuilt Mets club of the near future.
Full Scouting Report for Kevin Plawecki
SB 81 BA SC BP SN ES 45 ML 59
A big, athletic third base prospect from UNC who just happens to be BJ Surhoff's favorite nephew, slugger Colin Moran was selected sixth overall in the 2013 draft, then shipped to Houston at 2014's trade deadline. Moran is a line-drive contact hitter with a sweet left-handed swing, and when he slashed .365/.434/.494 for the Tarheels in 2012, he locked down national attention. While he hasn't shown much power yet, he has the frame (and the genes) to develop at least average pop in the future. Not a bat-only type, Moran has also shown the sort of quickness and arm strength necessary to stick at third base.
Full Scouting Report for Colin Moran
SB 82 BA SC 94 BP SN ES 73 ML 64
A toolsy Cuban outfielder signed by the Red Sox in late 2014, Rusney Castillo is a well-rounded player who won a Cuban League Gold Glove as a centerfielder, though he's also comfortable in a corner or even at second base, a position at which his so-so arm can best be hidden. Yoenis Cespedes, dismissing only that arm, called him a 'a four-tool player... very comparable to Yasiel Puig', which probably explains why the Red Sox were willing to spend $72M+ on an unproven talent.
Nobody expects Puig's game-changing talent to strike twice, and the stout Castillo is obviously a much differently-sized and -shaped player, but he certainly looks high-quality from here. A high-contact, right-handed line-drive hitter who uses his plus speed and gap power to maximum effect, he slashed an impressive 324/.373/.555 line during his breakout sophomore season in the Cuban Serie Nacional league in 2011, also leading the league with 29 stolen bases, then followed that up with a .342/.408/.574 line the following year. His numbers plummeted in 2013, but we'll assume he was a little distracted by his plans to defect, which he did successfully in early 2014. He's bigger and stronger today than he was in Cuba, but how that impacts his speed and/or power game is still an open question. If he can stay within himself (his swing can get a bit long sometimes), he'll be a quality MLB regular, at worst. His upside, of course, is quite a bit higher than that.
Full Scouting Report for Rusney Castillo
SB 83 BA SC 38 BP SN ES ML
SB 84 BA SC 41 BP SN ES 64 ML 98
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 85 BA SC BP SN ES ML 70
SB 86 BA SC 53 BP SN ES 84 ML
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 87 BA SC BP SN ES ML 76
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 88 BA SC 46 BP SN ES 92 ML 44
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 89 BA SC 77 BP SN ES 89 ML 73
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 90 BA SC BP SN ES 65 ML 80
80 to 90 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013