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.
Remember: this page is the result of an automatic process that re-sorts and re-ranks players often.
If you think you have found a mistake, please read
this blog entry before telling us. Then tell us. The Best Catching Prospects for 2016
Overall SB ranking shown in parentheses.
An aggressive, athletic catcher with a whole lot of as-yet-untapped potential, Cubs prospect Willson 'Double El' Contreras looks like the catcher of the future Wrigley fans have been waiting for. With a cannon arm and a thunderous bat, he projects as the complete package. His fielding and blocking skills are also better than average, which means he should remain at catcher, even if his game-calling experience isn't all there yet. At the plate, he's a line-drive machine with very fast hands and more than a suggestion of real power down the road. On the downside, he can get very pull-happy and shows a tendency to try to swing his way out of slumps, which isn't something that works well at the major league level very often. Still, he's young, and with good coaching should end up an everyday lineup threat on a team that seems overflowing with great young hitters.
Full Scouting Report for Willson Contreras
SB 51 BA 67 SC 49 BP 57 SN ES 27 ML 50
Gary Sanchez is a young but promising backstop from Austin, Texas with a tantalizing upside that should not be ignored. He's a big boy who could further grow into a Joe Mauer shape, and his bat comes from the same forest as the Minnesota superstar, if not quite the same tree. Unless he becomes part of a package used to upgrade Yankee pitching, he'll remain one of their top young players in the years to come.
Full Scouting Report for Gary Sanchez
SB 56 BA 36 SC 65 BP 92 SN ES 57 ML 59
A solidly-built catcher/third-base prospect from Kent, Washington, Reese McGuire doesn't quite deserve the Bryce Harper comparisons he sometimes inspires, but he's not all that far off, either. An offensive monster at a young age, he should enjoy the benefits of further physical development over the next couple of years, which means those towering homers will get even more awe-inspiring. Best of all, he gets that power from a short, quick stroke that doesn't look like any kind of all-or-nothing swing. Behind the plate, he looks very very good, definitely good enough to stick at catcher if his body plays along. He's still young and a little raw, but there are few players from the 2013 draft class with a higher ceiling.
Full Scouting Report for Reese McGuire
SB 104 BA SC 93 BP 76 SN ES ML 98
SB 105 BA 96 SC BP SN ES ML
He might sound like a designer of cheap neckties, but prospective Phillies catcher Jorge Alfaro has been making a name for himself in the damp northwest rather than the fashion outlets in airport shopping malls. A big strong right-handed bat acquired from Texas in the Cole Hamels trade, the fresh-faced Alfaro looks likely to stick behind the plate, where he exhibits a cannon arm of increasing accuracy. His game-calling skills aren't all there yet, but the bat looks like it will play: his .261/.326/.432 minor league slashline is enough to earn MLB duties as a catcher, after all. The Phillies are looking at him as a long-term catcher, so expect him to move slowly.
Full Scouting Report for Jorge Alfaro
SB 130 BA SC 97 BP 70 SN ES 82 ML 96
A linebacker-shaped backstop in the Mike Napoli mold, California native Jacob Nottingham is a dead-pull hitter with plus raw power and a developing game behind the plate. With good receiving skills and a strong arm, he seems destined to remain at catcher, though a move to first base or even DH is always possible if he doesn't work out. His bat seems to play well, though. After leading low-A ball with a .931 OPS for the first half of the year, Nottingham finished 2015 in high-A Lancaster and Stockton following his trade to Oakland.
Full Scouting Report for Jacob Nottingham
SB 143 BA SC BP 66 SN ES ML
SB 165 BA 97 SC BP SN ES ML
SB 173 BA 98 SC BP SN ES ML
A mature prospect who could rise to the top of the Dodger depth chart at catcher at any time, Austin Barnes appeared in 20 games for the big club in 2015, though never behind the plate. A converted infielder still learning receiving skills, he nonetheless has the makeup and physicality enough to move quickly, especially if the thin Dodger depth at catcher gives way.
Full Scouting Report for Austin Barnes
SB 177 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A catcher who zipped into AA ball at the tender age of 20, Chance Sisco is the best bet to replace Matt Wieters behind the dish in Baltimore in the years to come. A calm, still hitter who likes to drive balls into the gap, he's more of a doubles hitter than a slugger for now, but one with very good bat control and plus skills on the bases, quite remarkable in the face of his average-catcher speed. He has good arm strength behind the plate, though many scouts don't think his defense is coming along quickly enough for him to stick at catcher. He'll need to master the receiving part of the game, though, because right now, Sisco doesn't seem likely to ever show enough power for a corner spot, and he doesn't seem to have the hands or quickness for second base.
Full Scouting Report for Chance Sisco
SB 228 BA SC BP SN ES 81 ML
A toolsy catcher with a nice, short, compact swing, Max Pentecost suffered a serious setback after shoulder surgeries in 2014 and 2015, raising questions about whether he'd ever reach the power potential scouts saw in him earlier. Even if it doesn't come all the way back, though, he's got enough other skills, including spray-chart covering line drive ability, to make it as an everyday catcher one day. If the shoulder can't hold up again, he might be looking at a move to first or second base, which would harm his prospect value considerably.
Full Scouting Report for Max Pentecost
SB 349 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Top Prospects 2013