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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Once a two-pitch thrower with superior stuff, righthanded pitching prospect Taylor Guerrieri returned from Tommy John surgery as a much more well-rounded pitcher with good command of four different pitches, even though, for now, he's lost a tick or two from his heat. His fastball, now in the low-90's, has late sink and run that keeps hitters grounding out weakly, while his curve and slider are showing more life than ever before. Even his changeup looks like a new pitch, though he'll probably only show it to lefthanded hitters from here on out. Hell probably start in AA, but he's right in line for a callup at any time.
Full Scouting Report for Taylor Guerrieri
SB 92 BA SC 99 BP 84 SN ES 35 ML
Clay Bellinger's son Cody comes with all the expected baseball DNA intact, but he's a different sort of player, less fleet but more gifted with a power stroke that could translate into 30 home runs in MLB one day. In the field he's probably only a first baseman, though a very quick and smooth one who could be a defensive star at the position. A student of the game in more ways that one, he's been known to study statistics and scouting reports in great depth to prepare himself for opponents and to help sharpen his own approach day to day. He'll try to keep on the path to AA in 2016.
Full Scouting Report for Cody Bellinger
SB 93 BA 54 SC BP SN ES 92 ML
A first round draft pick from those sneaky Twins in 2015, Tyler Jay is a smart, well-rounded pitcher who projects to be a well-oiled part of the Minnesota pitching machine in the years to come. Jay has precocious command off a plus fastball and slider, which is all he ever needed as a college closer. Of course, the Twins would like to see if they can grow him into a rotation anchor first, so he'll need to keep working on his curve and change, both of which have potential.
Full Scouting Report for Tyler Jay
SB 94 BA 80 SC 51 BP SN ES 61 ML 60
A raw talent with one of the liveliest arms in any system, Haitian-born Touki Toussaint has a violent delivery and absolutely electric stuff: his 95mph fastball has natural movement yet can still reach 98mph, while his plus curve is a real knee-buckler. His changeup is still developing, naturally, but he already seems unafraid to use it in any count. As a point of fact, Toussaint doesn't seem to be much afraid of anything, an attitude that should help him mow down hitters, especially in the low minors. If he can refine his delivery enough to repeat his pitches without spinning out of whack, he'll rise up to be an ace in the Majors one day. Even without the polish, though, he could be an effective relief pitcher in very short order, despite his young age.
Full Scouting Report for Touki Toussaint
SB 95 BA 90 SC BP SN ES 80 ML
A first-round pick in 2015, righthander Erick Fedde is a below-the-radar pitching prospect who won't stay there for long, not even in pitching-rich Washington. His recovery from TJ surgery will make a mess of his control for a time, and he'll probably spend most of the year in A-ball, but as the year matures and Fedde returns to strength, expect that 96mph sinking fastball to get an increasing number of swings and misses. His changeup looked very good at times before his injury, and should be along a few months after that.
Full Scouting Report for Erick Fedde
SB 96 BA 82 SC BP SN ES ML 78
A Washington draftee who made a detour to Oakland in 2012, re-Nationalized pitcher AJ Cole is a six-foot-five, lanky righthander who can touch 95mph with his fastball. Cole also mixes in a power curve and passable changeup that could develop into plus pitches with good coaching and support. He's already drawing comparisons to Justin Verlander, who was a similar pitcher at the same age, complete with the erratic control that's still holding Cole back from a breakout. Give him time and watch his peripherals. Trading a couple of MPH for greater control could accelerate his timeline.
Full Scouting Report for AJ Cole
SB 97 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A mature Cuban prospect originally signed by the Dodgers as an IFA, Hector Olivera slashed a capable .253/.310/.715 for Atlanta after the Braves acquired him at the 2015 trading deadline. Olivera has a quick bat from the right hand side, and his swing has just enough natural loft that he should nail a few dingers here and there, but for the most part he'll be an all-fields hitter with better strike zone management than most Cuban imports. In the field, he's nothing special, but can handle either second or third base adequately, thanks to a solid glove and a pretty strong arm. He's no game-changer, but he's MLB-capable and ready to go for 2016.
Full Scouting Report for Hector Olivera
SB 98 BA 55 SC BP SN ES ML
A protege pitching machine from the Dominican Republic, Royals prospect Miguel Almonte outclassed his peers in his first taste of American pro ball in 2013, rocketing into the league's ERA leaders and all the way to the Futures Game. Almonte leans heavily on the give-and-take of his mid-90's fastball (that's the give) and near-plus changeup (that's the take), leaving a frustrated pile of would-be hitters in his wake. His breaking ball, a slurvy slider (or maybe it's a hard curve) is nothing special, but it's coming along, and if the fastball-change combo keeps looking this good, he won't need it much anyway. A poor man's Felix Hernandez? Maybe.
Full Scouting Report for Miguel Almonte
SB 99 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The consensus best hitting prospect available in the 2014 draft, Alex Jackson was drafted and signed by the Mariners after hitting an even .400 (with a 1.459) OPS in his last year at Rancho Bernardo High School. Nominally a catcher, the Mariners chose to accelerate his development by moving him to the outfield, where, it was assumed, his bat would bring him to the Major Leagues much more quickly. That plan didn't seem to work out much in 2015, when he disappointed at low-A Clinton, looking overmatched and easily-discouraged almost every time out. If you're looking for bright spots, note that he did manage the transition to right field easily, and hope that he'll be able to start 2016 with a clean slate.
Full Scouting Report for Alex Jackson
SB 100 BA SC BP 94 SN ES 95 ML 94
91 to 100 of 750 Prospects
Top Prospects 2013