Top Baseball Prospects for 2015 and Beyond
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.
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 2015
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 decent 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 he has a scary wrist injury to come back from in 2015, 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 5 BA 1 SC 1 BP 1 SN ES 1 ML 1
He's clearly no shortstop anymore (as Scouting Book readers knew to expect) and a year recovering from TJ surgery won't help his ranking much, but that shouldn't stop Miguel Sano from hanging around in the uppermost prospect room in Minnesota. The biggest Latin American signing of 2009, Sano seemed like a coup of sorts for the small market 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-young player: 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 13 BA 6 SC 14 BP 14 SN ES 8 ML 4
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 39 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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 that springs a compact but strong frame. His short delivery suggests mechanical soundness, even if it's a bit jerky, 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 40 BA SC BP 75 SN ES ML 90
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 44 BA 45 SC 49 BP 32 SN ES 62 ML 28
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 48 BA 52 SC 41 BP 54 SN ES 76 ML 40
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 96 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 139 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A big, sturdy reliever who's already had two samples of MLB duty, ex-Mariner prospect Stephen Pryor has been dominating minor leaguers for a couple of seasons now, though he's bad some bad injury luck when it's been time to step up to the Bigs. Still, his multiple stops in Seattle showed that he could handle the big-league pressure, and with an increasing confidence in his big, exploding fastball, Pryor should be mowing down MLB hitters this season.
More Scouting Book Info on Stephen Pryor
SB 147 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A very big, very strong slugger signed as a teenaged free agent from Canovanas, Puerto Rico, Twins prospect Kennys Vargas draws a lot of comparisons to Kendrys Morales, and not just for the unusual first name. While his size and lack of mobility confines him to first base or DH duties, it shouldn't much matter: the switch-hitting Vargas has the sort of easy power from both sides of the plate that makes him a valuable middle-order bat. At high-A Fort Myers in 2013, Vargas slashed .267/.344/.468 while drilling 19 homers in 457 at-bats. While he still strikes out a bit too much, that's a downside the offensively-challenged Twins will gladly take if Vargas can take a full time place in the lineup for the next five or six years. He's ready for AA ball in 2014, with a late-season look in Minnesota not out of the question.
More Scouting Book Info on Kennys Vargas
SB 166 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 199 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A solid, sturdy pitcher with excellent command of three pitches, prospect Jason Adam won't be bumping anyone from the front of the MLB rotation this year, but he has a good chance to slip in at the back end sometime in 2014. Adam, a local product of nearby Overland Park (Kansas), posted a nifty 123 to 36 ratio of strikeouts to walks last year at high-A Wilmington, a career best from a pitcher who's always been labeled a high-control workhorse.
More Scouting Book Info on Jason Adam
SB 242 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 283 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 284 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 323 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 390 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 423 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Signed by the Twins in 2014 as a 24-year-old amateur pitcher who somehow escaped ever being drafted despite his 100mph fastball, Brandon Poulson is a very big, very strong righthander indeed. Poulson's 240 pound listed weight is misleading: known by friends as a fitness nut, he was a football player in college, and retains above-average speed and strength that Twins scouts have described him as one of the best athletes (not 'pitchers') that they have ever signed.
Better still, that famous fastball is one he actually commands well: he can throw it for strikes to any part of the zone with a clean, repeatable delibery. His secondary pitches are works-in-progress, as should be expected, since he hasn't exactly needed them much to date, but even a so-so breaking ball will be enough. He'll move quickly.
More Scouting Book Info on Brandon Poulson
SB 508 BA SC BP SN ES ML