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.
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 Southpaw Prospects for 2015
Overall SB ranking shown in parentheses.
With first Zach Wheeler and more recently Noah Syndergaard racking up column inches, it's easy to overlook the left handed part of the Future Mets Pitching Dynasty. Steven Matz is a local New York product whose recent addition of a quality change to his plus fastball has started raising more than eyebrows around the Mets training facilities: it's raising expectations. While Matz was once seen as a middle-of-the-rotation innings eater, more recent evaluations reveal him as a very likely ace, while coaches no less eminent than Dan Warthen and Frank Viola have recently started comparing Matz to Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw. While those expectations might be a tad lofty, it is worth noting that Matz has never really been challenged at any level, and it seems unlikely that AAA batters will put up much of a fight, either. But should his pitching talent magically evaporate, he could probably even help the Mets at the plate: a lumbering, power hitting first baseman in high school, he still has the physique and the swing of a corner slugger. He's going to surprise a few opposing pitchers with his bat.
With the Mets absolutely filthy in pitching prospects, it's possible Matz gets held back for most or all of 2015, but if so it'll be a shame. Now well-recovered from TJ surgery and looking nastier than ever, he's ready for MLB right now.
Full Scouting Report for Steven Matz
SB 11 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A smallish but smart-throwing lefthander from Oklahoma, Marlin prospect Andrew Heany is the proud owner of a quality three-pitch arm. On a Marlin club shallow in the pitching department, Heany could move quickly: while originally on track for 2015-16, we wouldn't be surprised to see him arrive as early as this season, especially if the Marlin rotation suffers any losses.
Full Scouting Report for Andrew Heaney
SB 16 BA SC 29 BP SN ES 58 ML 18
A very young lefthander who is raising eyebrows all over minor league ball with his electric filth*, Julio Urias is one of the most intriguing prospects in the Dodger system today. His stuff is plus-plus, and while there are concerns about his slight frame and ability to handle an MLB workload, the youngster is in good hands, and if anyone can maximize his potential as he grows, it's the Dodger coaching crew.
* Note: also a great name for a punk-jazz fusion band.
Full Scouting Report for Julio Urias
SB 20 BA SC 9 BP SN ES 9 ML 14
The number three overall pick in the 2014 draft, White Sox pitching prospect Carlos Rodon has fans dreaming of a rotation that features both Rodon and fellow lefthander Chris Sale (himself the 13th pick in 2010). Unlike the wiry, whiplike Sale, Rodon is a big, sturdy-looking college arm from North Carolina State who features a heavy 95mph fastball and a wipeout slider, both of which he commands very well. As is usual with prospect pitchers, a changeup is only barely-there, but as long as he develops a passable one, he'll be a top-tier pitcher in MLB very, very soon.
Full Scouting Report for Carlos Rodon
SB 21 BA SC 13 BP SN ES 12 ML 19
A tall lefthander from California, Boston prospect Henry Owens is a raw but high-ceiling pitcher who many project as a future relief specialist, though he's shown the durability and maturity to survive as a starter. Owens fastball is a low-90's offering with movement, which should pick up a few more ticks on the radar gun as he grows and gains strength. At present, he usually mixes in two curves, one hard and one soft, with varying degrees of effectiveness, and a weak changeup that does almost no good whatsoever.
With command to improve and strength to build, Owens won't be an All-Star anytime soon, but his raw ability shouldn't be overlooked. Given another year or two of good guidance and hard work, he could find himself taking an MLB mound every fifth day, or at least for an inning or two twice a week.
Full Scouting Report for Henry Owens
SB 22 BA SC 15 BP SN ES 20 ML 20
A lefty who can touch 96mph with a sizzling fastball, Toronto's Daniel Norris is a bit of a sleeper who should be gaining a lot more attention in the months and years to come. Norris already complements his heat with a hammer curve that can be devastating, and if he manages to get a third pitch up to even major-league average, he'll be an ace on a team known for discovering gems.
Full Scouting Report for Dan Norris
SB 28 BA SC 23 BP SN ES 18 ML 25
SB 67 BA SC 32 BP SN ES 29 ML
2013's Cape Cod leader in strikeouts and WHIP, Colorado lefty Kyle Freeland keeps batters very off-balance thanks to a deceptive delivery that makes his low-90's fastball look a lot hotter. It also helps that he brings it with natural sink, leading to a whole lot of poorly-struck ground balls. His secondary pitch is a biting slider that sometimes looks like more of a cut fastball, a pitch with its own completely-different movement to keep batters uncomfortable at the plate. His deception and low-arm angle, not to mention that fastball-slider combination, look like relief material to most, but the Rockies didn't use the eighth overall pick in 2014 on a player they see as a LOOGY: he'll be developed and grown as a starter first.
Full Scouting Report for Kyle Freeland
SB 68 BA SC 64 BP SN ES 99 ML 67
A top pitching prospect from the 2013 draft, Sean Manaea (rhymes with pariah) went 5-3 with a 3.34 ERA in 17 starts for Indiana State in 2012, striking out 115 batters in 105 innings while walking only 32. The son of proud parents Opal and Faaloloi (yes, he's Samoan), Sean brings a mid-90's fastball to the plate that should improve as he fills out further. His secondary offerings, a nasty slider and a developing change, aren't good enough for the Show just yet, but they're advanced for his age. Sean is also known for having a Pettitte-like pickoff move that holds even talented baserunners at bay.
Full Scouting Report for Sean Manaea
SB 70 BA SC 33 BP SN ES ML 66
A quality lefthander who looks close to MLB ready, San Diego pitcher Max Fried should see Petco sooner rather than later. Fried's fastball doesn't exceed 92mph very often, though he can add a bit more when he really needs it and gets more outs thanks to its sinking nature than its velocity, anyway. His cutter and change are average pitches already, and should be better than average by the time he's anchored into the Padre rotation.
Full Scouting Report for Max Fried
SB 71 BA SC BP SN ES 100 ML 68
SB 79 BA SC 41 BP SN ES 64 ML 98
A lefthanded power pitcher with a dominating mound presence, top Angel prospect Sean Newcomb has a heavy, sinking fastball that lives around 95mph but can reach 99, more than enough to qualify him as one of the hardest-throwing lefty prospects in the game. His sweeping, hard slider is already a strikeout pitch, while a developing change and curve, while still rough, show occasional flashes of quality. He'll need some time to smooth out his big delivery and learn to repeat it more easily, but he's an exciting pitching prospect in an organization desperately in need of some.
Full Scouting Report for Sean Newcomb
SB 87 BA SC 88 BP SN ES 48 ML 82
A smallish lefthanded pitcher from Montvale, New Jersey, Rob Kaminsky is best-known for throwing three no-hitters as a high-school junior in 2012. On his season, he surrendered only 12 hits in 53 total innings while striking out 103. His low-90's fastball reaches 93mph from time to time, and a nice low-80s changeup suggests he could be a good pitcher down the road. Best of all, his sharp curve suggests starting potential.
Full Scouting Report for Rob Kaminsky
SB 94 BA SC 97 BP SN ES 87 ML 93
Drafted by the Royals in 2014's first round despite posting a 0-8 record as a starter at Texas Christian, lefthander Brandon Finnegan can uncork a powerful 95mph fastball from his smallish frame. His secondary pitches, a loopy erratic slider and a below-average changeup, won't get many hitters out yet, but any time a lefthander can touch the mid or upper-90's, he's going to be coveted. The Royals are most likely to bring Finnegan along as a reliever, but the right coaching to help his secondary pitches along could make him a viable starter one day, too.
Full Scouting Report for Brandon Finnegan
SB 113 BA SC 93 BP SN ES ML 96
With a nickname that sounds like something out of a Radical Feminist Manifesto, Manny Banuelos is a young and tiny lefthander signed out of Mexico who's already being heralded as a shining success story for the Yankees international scouting team. Man-Ban's fastball is an easy 92mph, while his changeup already looks like a plus pitch, remarkable in such a young player. He's been working on adding a curve and/or slider to his mix, which would silence those calling him a bullpen-only piece, but even his existing two-pitch arsenal has been effective so far. He'll be brought along slowly, as the ever-conservative Yankees have no need to rush him, but if his next year is as good as his last, he'll have to be considered one of the top young arms in the minor leagues.
Full Scouting Report for Manny Banuelos
SB 128 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Top Prospects 2013