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 Outfield Prospects for 2015
Overall SB ranking shown in parentheses.
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 2 BA SC 3 BP SN ES 2 ML 1
An 11th round selection by the Dodgers back in 2010, outfielder Joc Pederson has already far exceeded the expectations of most scouts. A late signee, he didn't really taste pro ball until 2011, when he raked a .353/.429/.568 line at rookie-level Ogden in the Pioneer League, impressing coaches with his work ethic and ability to use his raw tools effectively: the young man stole 24 of 29 bases and played an intelligent, competent outfield while being tested at all three positions.
A patient hitter who isn't afraid to take his walks, Pederson is well on his way to becoming a well-rounded ballplayer who should be above-average in all aspects of the game. There might not be an obvious space for him in L.A. right now, but baseball has a way of making space for those with talent enough to get them to the Show in the first place. If he puts in another year like his last two, he'll be on top of the prospect lists next time around.
More Scouting Book Info on Joc Pederson
SB 17 BA SC 19 BP SN ES 28 ML 15
A tall and lanky teenager who arrived in the DR in the winter of 2011, outfielder Jorge Soler is one of the most promising Cuban prospects in baseball today. He's already shown off his tools in Dominica, and while he looks like a centerfielder right now, physically, his height and young age make it quite possible he'll be a corner fielder when he finishes growing. And if his loopy power swing develops as expected, he'll hit like one too.
He's already showing signs of MLB videogame level power at the plate, and his very strong arm is certainly real. His iffy contact skills and lack of patience at the plate, though, are equally clear indicators that he's still a rather rough gem. One bonus for his future home in The Show: the youngster already has an electric personality in his toolbox, which means he could be a real cover boy come 2015 or so.
More Scouting Book Info on Jorge Soler
SB 30 BA SC 24 BP SN ES 14 ML 48
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 are much more likely to accelerate his development by moving him to the outfield, where his bat will bring him to the Major Leagues much more quickly. Reportedly a student of the game, he'll no doubt struggle a bit while learning a new position, but he should have no real issues adjusting to any other challenge the low minors can offer. While his swing can get just a bit long at times, there's nothing to suggest he won't still be a better-than-average righthanded contact hitter with true plus power by the time he reaches MLB, and that's something the Mariners would love to have in the lineup.
More Scouting Book Info on Alex Jackson
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Georgia high schooler Austin Meadows is an outfield phenom who attracted a great deal of first round attention in MLB's 2013 first-year player draft before falling to the Pirates with the ninth overall selection. A phenom with five tool talent, Austin is one of the fastest baserunners in the country, with speed that would make him one of the fastest players in pro baseball if he can get the rest of his game to half that level. His swing is promising, featuring a smooth and easy load with the makings of real plus power from the left side. He's been compared to players like Andre Ethier and Jacoby Ellsbury, and not without reason: few ballplayers blend across-the-board abilities like this. The only thing that might keep him from a minor league roster is 2014 is his commitment to Clemson University.
More Scouting Book Info on Austin Meadows
SB 38 BA SC 52 BP SN ES 32 ML 45
A fast, slappy hitter with good speed and plus defense, Rockie prospect David Dahl looks like a good fit for the 'new' Coors Field, where speed is a special asset. He's more than a raw tools candidate, though: Dahl uses his speed well on the bases and in the field, and shows a good eye for situational hitting. For such a young player, he's quite polished already, though he'll need a couple more seasons in the minors to really reveal his true level.
More Scouting Book Info on David Dahl
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Nobody expected young Josh Bell to sign in 2011, which is probably why he fell to the Pirates in round two of the draft. But one should never underestimate the allure of five million shiny dollars, and young Bell shocked other managers by inking with the Pirates and passing on the University of Texas. Bell immediately became the biggest bat in a Pirate system that's very lacking in offensive muscle, but his primo status doesn't only come from relative dearth: he's a valid top prospect all on his own merit.
More Scouting Book Info on Josh Bell
SB 41 BA SC 34 BP SN ES 60 ML 29
The Cubs number one pick in 2012, outfielder Albert Almora projects to be a Northside star one day soon. Signed when he was only 18, he's not quite ready yet, but he's already got scouts drooling: his across-the-board toolset is solid, and he's still improving. His leadership ability and poise are especially impressive, as he performed very well under the highest possible levels of pressure throughout his award-laden high-school career. Outpacing older players during his first shot at A-level ball last season, Almora slashed a very mature .329/.376/.466. He'll probably spend most of 2014 at high-A Daytona in an attempt to slow him down a little, but it probably won't work: he should be in AA sometime this summer, and he looks like a probably Futures Game star from the get-go.
More Scouting Book Info on Albert Almora
SB 43 BA SC BP SN ES ML 36
A hard-hitting prospect who gained US attention only at the tail end of the 2014 season, Yasmany 'El Trueno' Tomas is yet another big, strong Cuban outfielder in the Cespedes-Puig-Castillo tradition, though he's less toolsy and more of a pure-power threat than any of those. While Tomas did participate in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, most of his time has been logged with the Havana Industriales, where he played from age 18 through 23 and developed a reputation for big, majestic home runs... and an even bigger reputation for big, sweeping strikeouts. He's probably a bit sub-average in the field, but he does have a strong throwing arm. He looks most suited to a corner outfield position and a middle-of-the-order batting spot. He could use a season of minor league ball in order to refine his patience, but he's unlikely to get that much patience from his new owners, given his price tag.
More Scouting Book Info on Yasmany Tomas
SB 46 BA SC 30 BP SN ES ML
WIth one of the sweetest, simplest lefthanded swings in the minors, Reds prospect Jesse Winkler has nonchalantly lifted his prospect cred to the highest levels. A patient hitter despite his young age, Winkler is a bit of a throwback: an all-around ballplayer who's not afraid to take pitches where they're thrown, which means he projects to hit for a high average, if not the sort of power one expects to see from a corner bat. No matter: most scouts say Winkler is the best hitter the Reds have had in the system since Joey Votto. He should be fun to watch.
More Scouting Book Info on Jesse Winkler
SB 48 BA SC 62 BP SN ES 40 ML 40
Yet another spare part that came to the Astros via the Phillies farm system, SSantana is tall, projectable hitter with a long but uncluttered swing. An average runner and a strong-armed thrower, Sunday is still learning to handle breaking pitches, but for such a young talent, he's already looking like one of the best athletes in the revitalized Houston system. Give him a couple of years to get comfortable with upper-level pitching, especially those irksome breaking balls he's going to struggle with in AA, and he could be a part of a wild new AL offense in 2015 or so.
More Scouting Book Info on Domingo Santana
SB 49 BA SC 47 BP SN ES ML 50
A high school outfielder selected fifth overall in 2013's draft, Clint Frazier is a five-tool athlete with an advanced bat for such a young player. Some scouts disparage his small size, but his athleticism and performance rival (and in most cases exceed) his more universally-praised teammate Austin Meadows. A long-term building block for the Indians, he'll be moved slowly, as the team tries to slide all the necessary pieces into place in a coordinated roster rebuild.
More Scouting Book Info on Clint Frazier
SB 54 BA SC 46 BP SN ES 92 ML 44
A catcher and pitcher in high school, Mississippi native Hunter Renfroe was drafted by the San Diego Padres (13th overall in 2013) as an outfielder, presumably signalling the team's intent to develop him quickly. And that's reasonable, given that his calling card is his offensive ability. The Cal Ripken League MVP in both 2011 and 2012, Renfro hit .395 and .366 in 2011 and 2012, respectively, and made himself known as a major power threat from the right side of the plate. He's an above-average runner, and has a real plus arm (he hit high-90's in his pitching days), which means he should be quite happy in right field soon.
More Scouting Book Info on Hunter Renfroe
SB 58 BA SC 86 BP SN ES 39 ML 71
SB 59 BA SC 56 BP SN ES 71 ML 65
A toolsy Cuban outfielder signed by the Red Sox in late 2014, Rusney Castillo is a well-rounded player who won a Cuban League Gold Glove as a centerfielder, though he's also comfortable in a corner or even at second base, a position at which his so-so arm can best be hidden. Yoenis Cespedes, dismissing only that arm, called him a 'a four-tool player... very comparable to Yasiel Puig', which probably explains why the Red Sox were willing to spend $72M+ on an unproven talent.
Nobody expects Puig's game-changing talent to strike twice, and the stout Castillo is obviously a much differently-sized and -shaped player, but he certainly looks high-quality from here. A high-contact, right-handed line-drive hitter who uses his plus speed and gap power to maximum effect, he slashed an impressive 324/.373/.555 line during his breakout sophomore season in the Cuban Serie Nacional league in 2011, also leading the league with 29 stolen bases, then followed that up with a .342/.408/.574 line the following year. His numbers plummeted in 2013, but we'll assume he was a little distracted by his plans to defect, which he did successfully in early 2014. He's bigger and stronger today than he was in Cuba, but how that impacts his speed and/or power game is still an open question. If he can stay within himself (his swing can get a bit long sometimes), he'll be a quality MLB regular, at worst. His upside, of course, is quite a bit higher than that.
More Scouting Book Info on Rusney Castillo
SB 64 BA SC 38 BP SN ES ML
The child of two championship athletes (football and olympic swimming), Mets prospect Michael Conforto is a powerful lefty-swinging outfielder with a big uppercut swing that suggests he'll be a three-true-outcomes type of slugger in the majors one day. That power is what matters, as he's below-average defensively and doesn't have much speed or range to speak of, though his arm is strong enough for an outfield corner.
More Scouting Book Info on Michael Conforto
SB 66 BA SC 70 BP SN ES 41 ML 78
The Mets first round pick (13th overall) in 2011, outfielder Brandon Nimmo earned his high draft pick with superior tools and excellent projectability, thanks to his strong, mature physical frame. Nimmo slashed a respectable .248/.372/.406 in low-A ball, and should spend 2013 working up to higher A levels. He's still young, but in an offensively weak system, he could move quickly and land in New York before 2015.
More Scouting Book Info on Brandon Nimmo
SB 75 BA SC 82 BP SN ES 91 ML 60
An outfield prospect drafted deep in the 16th round of 2010's Rule 4 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays, the switch-hitting Dalton Pompey is a toolsy, defense-first ballplayer with a potent mix of nascent ability. In 2013, during a full season at A-level Lansing, Dalton spent time in all three outfield slots, though he seemed most comfortable in center, showing good range and smart route-running. At the plate, he was also quite at home, slashing a respectable .261./358/.394 and swiping 38 bases in 115 games, though his base-stealing skills are still a bit rough around the edges. His power game, too, isn't all there yet, and may never arrive (he's not a large man), but all other aspects of his game look very good, and scouts can't say enough about his makeup and work ethic. He'll be a AA player for at least part of 2014, and will be on the bench/callup shortlist for the Blue Jays in 2015.
More Scouting Book Info on Dalton Pompey
SB 84 BA SC 66 BP SN ES 42 ML 87
A high-school running back with plus speed and great instincts in the outfield, Milwaukee prospect Tyrone Taylor could yet grow into a corner, though right now he looks like future leadoff material. Shaking off doubts he could handle pro pitching, Taylor slashed a combined .387/.434/.667 in two Rookie league stops in 2012, opening the door for A-ball and ungodly breaking stuff. He cranked a .274/.338/.400 line at A-level Wisconsin, with 8 homers in 485 at-bats. He'll probably open 2014 back in A-ball, though a hot start could see an early promotion here. He's still a couple of years away.
More Scouting Book Info on Tyrone Taylor
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SB 98 BA SC 57 BP SN ES 23 ML
Top Prospects 2013