Top Baseball Prospects for 2014 and Beyond
Now updated for 2014'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.
Remember: this page is the result of an automatic process that re-sorts and re-ranks players often.
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Top Twins Prospects for 2014
Current Overall SB ranking shown in grid below.
Georgia's Byron Buxton, the second overall pick of the 2012 Draft, is a speedy outfielder who might be the best overall offensive prospect in baseball today. With a natural base-stealing ability and plus speed in the outfield, he's a future star no matter how you slice it, and he's a very good bet to make a Mike Trout-sized impression on MLB in the near future. At the plate, he's a line-drive hitter with a little pop for now, but his excellent bat speed and ability to adjust portends a better future than that. Minnesota is well-known for cooking their prospects until they're well-done, and the team is a lot more than one bat away from contention, so don't expect him immediately. When he does arrive, however, it should be for the long haul.
More Scouting Book Info on Byron Buxton
SB 1 BA 1 SC 1 BP 1 SN ES 1 ML 1
He's clearly no shortstop anymore, as Scouting Book readers knew to expect, but that doesn't stop Miguel Sano from stepping into the number one prospect room in Minnesota. The biggest Latin American signing of 2009, Sano was a coup of sorts for the small market Minnesota Twins. A coveted athlete pursued by all the usual big-market teams, it was Minnesota's relentless (one might say 'piranha-like') tenacity that finally landed the youngster. While his bat is enticing, the rest of his game is more typical of a still-teenager: sloppy and inconsistent. He'll need to become a better fielder and baserunner, at the very least, before he's treated with proper respect in the big
More Scouting Book Info on Miguel Sano
SB 11 BA 6 SC 14 BP 14 SN ES 8 ML 4
Drafted as a teenager from Puerto Rico to open 2012's compensation round, Jose Orlando (J-O) Berrios is a smallish righthander with good arm strength from a compact but strong frame. His short delivery bodes well for mechanical soundness, with a fastball that can pop at 96mph and a breaking ball that looks like a real plus offering. He'll slow-cook in Minnesota after signing, but if he stays healthy, it won't be long before he's seen as a top-flight phenom in a system good at maximizing pitcher value.
More Scouting Book Info on Jose Berrios
SB 47 BA SC BP 75 SN ES ML 90
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 heir to all the kingdoms of the north. At least, those kingdoms that are bounded by Target Field.
Signed by the Twins after being selected fifth overall in 2014, Gordon could follow in the footsteps of either family member: as a pitcher he brings easy low-90's heat and a solid curveball from the right side, while as a hitter he's the proud owner of a smooth left-handed swing and good wheels to go along with it. With a good natural grace in the field and a strong arm, he might be best developed as a shortstop until and unless he proves he can't perform. Given his lineage, one probably shouldn't bet against him.
More Scouting Book Info on Nick Gordon
SB 50 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A long and lean righthander from Texas, Kohl Stewart is the embodiment of pitching potential, and as long as he remains a Twin, he's got a very good chance at reaching that potential. His stuff is very raw, and other than his slider doesn't do much, but his fastball was already cracking 90mph as a high-schooler, which means there are almost certainly a few more ticks to come. As a starter for St. Pius X in Houston, Stewart made eight starts (40 innings) in which he struck out 59 and walked 16. (His ERA was an hilarious 0.18). A multi-sport athlete, he's also done very well as a football player (as a high school senior, he threw for 2,560 yards and 28 touchdowns). In a small taste of pro baseball last season, Stewart struck out 24 Rookie league batters in 20 innings of work while walking only four. He'll step up slowly, first to A-ball in 2014, and the Twins will take their sweet time making sure he earns every promotion along the way.
More Scouting Book Info on Kohl Stewart
SB 67 BA 52 SC 41 BP 54 SN ES 76 ML 40
First drafted by the Red Sox way back in 2008, righthander Alex Meyer passed on an alleged $2M signing bonus to go attend U Kentucky, in order to reenter the draft in 2011. Apparently, he spent his time in school eating well: the youngster now tips the scales at 6-10 and 230lbs.
A power pitcher (no kidding) with a high-90's fastball and a wicked slider, he's got stuff to burn, but a sometimes-wonky delivery and spotty command have plagued him through his young career. The Nats, flush with confidence at the depth of their rotation, parted with him in a trade to Minnesota in exchange for Denard Span, but that's no indication of any dodgy quality: he simply moves from being a top Washington pitching prospect to being a top Minnesota number one pitching prospect... and the Twins have shown a great ability to develop young arms. So while the move to Nicetown might slow his debut by a couple of years (the Twins are notoriously slow and cautious with young arms), it might also improve his chances of being solid and polished when he does arrive.
More Scouting Book Info on Alex Meyer
SB 97 BA 45 SC 49 BP 32 SN ES 62 ML 28
A well rounded outfielder with great tools and a dedicated commitment to improving his skills, Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario could be a big sleeper star for Minnesota by mid-to-late 2013. He's only twenty, but Eddie's .296/.345/.490 Midwest line (with 48 extra-base hits in 95 games) looks frighteningly good, doesn't it? Miguel Sano will get the lion's share of glowing press in the next few years, but Eddie Rosario could be right at home hitting behind him.
More Scouting Book Info on Eddie Rosario
SB 121 BA SC BP 60 SN ES 49 ML
While little brother Zach Burdi gets settled in his new Louisville dorm room, older brother Nick is on his way to Minnesota, and probably very soon. The Twins' second-round draft pick in the summer 2014, pitcher Nick Burdi is already showing off a triple-digit fastball and 90mph slider that's absolutely devasting, especially against righthanded hitters who end up flailing at empty air. Everything about Burdi screams 'closer', and in a Twins system that's atypically bereft of other top-notch relief candidates, he can now be considered one of the frontrunners. Only a few months of minor league ball seem necessary here.
More Scouting Book Info on Nick Burdi
SB 149 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Pitching prospect Trevor May, a sometimes-forgotten part of the December 2012 trade for Ben Revere, has seen his spotlight turn a bit brighter thanks to his arrival in an organization well-known for developing quality arms.
Not that he needs all that much more development: as a Phillies prospect, May was already showing three good pitches with regularity, and he's already had some pretty eye-opening success at low levels of minor league ball. He stumbled a bit when first faced with higher level batters, but that sort of adjustment period is common, and it shouldn't scare the Twins or their fans. May remains a very solid and still-developing athlete. His fastball is a standard 92-94 offering with heavy sink, and his secondary pitches (a hammer curve and a straight change) are almost ready for more advanced hitters.
More Scouting Book Info on Trevor May
SB 208 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A classic Dominican shortstop prospect tucked away in the Twins system, young Daniel Santana is a glove-first player with a developing bat. A switch hitter with good raw speed, Santana needs to develop baserunning smarts in order to be a real base-stealer, and a more-discerning eye before he's anyone's idea of an on-base threat. Still, his raw tools and hardworking attitude helped elevate his game to a .286/.329/.410 line in his very first taste of high-A ball in 2012, the best performance of his young career despite the higher level of competition.
The Twins are likely to move slowly to ensure that his progress is both real and stable before allowing the youngster to step up much more quickly than a level per year. That means if he continues to develop, 2015 is the earliest we expect him to have serious MLB value.
More Scouting Book Info on Daniel Santana
SB 238 BA SC BP SN ES ML
He's not overpowering and his stuff is only a bit above average, but lefty Sean Gilmartin exceeded expectations by pitching smarter and with more cunning than anyone in the Braves organization. His guile brought him to the attention of the value-feeding Twins, who acquired him in December, 2013. A first round selection out of Florida State in 2011, his command and control look very good, especially his changeup, which seems a lot more advanced than his experience would suggest. Can smarts and touch get him all the way to The Show? And if he does it in Minnesota, will anyone notice?
More Scouting Book Info on Sean Gilmartin
SB 288 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Three years after signing an IFA bonus totally three quarters of a million dollars back in 2009, the very young Twins prospect Jorge Polanco stepped up in rookie-league Elizabethton last year, slashing .318/.388/.514 with five homers and six stolen bases spread across 51 games while showing a real plus glove all over the diamond. It looks like all that winter ball and coaching paid off on defense, too, as the smallish prospect seems to be growing into a strong, potent athlete. He might not be the nimble, rangey shortstop that most Dominicans aspire to be, but Polanco is already looking like a solid second baseman from our seat, so that's how we'll label him for now. Give him a few years to refine his overall game and he'll be a good one.
More Scouting Book Info on Jorge Polanco
SB 291 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A second round pick from the 2006 draft, outfielder Joe Benson skipped out on Purdue to jump into the Twins system, where he's been growing and developing ever since. He's the proud owner of above average wheels at near plus speed, and a solid plus arm, making his defense high quality all around. At the plate, the Twins will be looking for a little more discipline, since he does have a habit of chasing breaking balls, but other than that he's looking awfully close to ready. Benson smashed a precocious .303/.395/.485 at high-A Ft Myers, then looked outclassed in AA and during a relief stint on the MLB roster in 2012, but try not to hold that against him. He should be back and better than that in 2013.
More Scouting Book Info on Joe Benson
SB 333 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The closer at Northwest State when he was drafted in 2012, lefthander (sic) Mason Melotakis looks like a fast-track candidate to help out in the Twins bullpen sometime in the second half of 2013. Of course, that's assuming that the brain trust doesn't decide that the pitching smarts he uses to deploy his fastball-curve combo wouldn't be better migrated to the rotation. If he takes that route, let's call it 2015, instead, for proper MLB playing time.
More Scouting Book Info on Mason Melotakis
SB 397 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Daniel's little brother doesn't have the near-100mph heat of his older sibling, but he does mix his 94mph version with a power slider that's been more than just effective. While he worked most of the season as GT's closer, his bulldoggery earned him a fillin spot in Georgia Tech's rotation later in the year, and a draft selection by the pitching-savvy Twins. A future in the bullpen will always be the backup plan, but the Twins are still hoping to test him as a starter first.
More Scouting Book Info on Luke Bard
SB 430 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A long, lean OF/1B prospect with a sweet (if long) swing, Adam Walker was drafted out of Jacksonville in 2012. The son of the NFL running back of the same name, Walker Jr has some of that body type, and his game plays as expected. A big, physical player with real upper-deck power, Walker's arm is below average and he isn't that adept at route-running, which nudges him all the way down to right field or first base on the defensive spectrum. He's been compared to Giancarlo Stanton, but his longer swing and better wheels look more like a righthanded Jason Heyward from here.
More Scouting Book Info on Adam Walker
SB 535 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Max Kepler-Rozycki is a big, strong, German-born outfielder deep in the Minnesota Twins system. He gets high marks from scouts for his instincts, baseball build and raw tools. At the same time, he's very young and hasn't established much of a baseline in professional play yet: we haven't yet seen him in anything higher than Appy-League play (.262/.347/.366 in only 191 at-bats). In that time, Kepler showed decent contact ability and good speed, coupled with some pretty rough but promising defense. He's been tested in each outfield position, and seems most comfortable as a left-fielder, though that has to be written in the faintest of pencil at this point. Give Kepler a couple of years, then check back to see whether he's blossomed enough that we can start making puns about stars yet.
More Scouting Book Info on Max Kepler
SB 542 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A high school slugger cooking slowly and quietly in the Twins system, Travis Harrison might be a future answer for the team at first base or DH. Or maybe right field. In any case, not at the third base he's playing today, at least not if his quickly-expanding body has anything to say about it. It'll be awhile before we know how he can handle breaking stuff, but in the mean time, that .301/.383/.461 line he posted during his first ever pro test at rookie-league Elizabethton should give Twins fans something to dream about.
More Scouting Book Info on Travis Harrison
SB 553 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A first-round pick in the 2011 draft from the University of North Carolina, Twins shortstop prospect Levi Michael was the first everyday college player drafted first by the Twins since 1996 (Travis Lee.) Levi is an athletic switch-hitter with good bat speed and more than a hint of future power in his bat. Michael slashed .306/.432/.510 in his three years with the Tar Heels, stealing 40 bases with a nice 85% success rate.
While he played second, third and short during his UNC days, Michael's developing bat is expected to settle in at second base for the future Twins.
More Scouting Book Info on Levi Michael
SB 578 BA SC BP SN ES ML