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 5 BA 1 SC 1 BP 1 SN ES 1 ML 1
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 23 BA 41 SC 21 BP 45 SN ES 26 ML 49
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 24 BA 34 SC 33 BP 50 SN ES 41 ML 36
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
SB 35 BA 94 SC BP 100 SN ES 47 ML 71
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 43 BA 48 SC 26 BP 36 SN ES 45 ML 48
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 46 BA 49 SC 38 BP 89 SN ES 35 ML 45
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
SB 47 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Reds prospect Jesse Winker is a solid hitting prospect who's already showing an advanced ability to work an at-bat, with power enough to line-drive anything to any field on command. He has a little pull power, but that's probably something the Reds would rather he forgot about: he's a top-to-middle of order bat who should be an on-base threat, and he hasn't found anything to slow him down yet: he led the entire Pioneer league in OBP last year. Defensively, he's competent in the outfield or a corner infield spot, but he won't win any gold gloves.
More Scouting Book Info on Jesse Winker
SB 49 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A plucky infielder usually slotted at second base despite having enough arm to stick at shortstop, Markus Lynn (Mookie) Betts is a quality ballplayer with the sort of pluck and grit that the Boston clubhouse could surely use. If he can keep whacking balls the way he did at high-A Salem last season (.341/.414/.551 in 51 games) the team will find a place for him, even if it means moving him on the diamond again.
More Scouting Book Info on Mookie Betts
SB 58 BA 75 SC BP SN ES 61 ML 62
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 64 BA SC BP 77 SN ES 97 ML 74
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 67 BA SC BP SN ES 92 ML
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 70 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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 72 BA 36 SC 83 BP 25 SN ES 28 ML 18
The son of Dodger scout Orsino Hill, outfielder Derek is one of the fastest prospects in baseball, with true game-changing speed in the Billy Hamilton fashion, though he's probably a better defender, with a stronger arm. At the plate, he's growing, already showing superior bat speed and gap power, with every possibility he could add power to an already-sweet line-drive swing as he grows into his lanky frame. Come to think of it, Starling Marte might be a better comparison.
More Scouting Book Info on Derek Hill
SB 79 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The Braves' first round selection in the 2014 First Year Player Draft, North Carolina native Braxton Davidson looks every bit the kind of player that Atlanta loves to see: a smart, well-mannered southern boy who can hit baseballs 500 feet. While he doesn't have the wheels that Justin Upton or Jason Heyward offer, he might have a bigger bat than either, and his defense looks solid enough to stick in an outfield corner. His arm, for certain, is strong enough: when moonlighting as a pitcher, he averages 92mph on the radar gun.
More Scouting Book Info on Braxton Davidson
SB 80 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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.
More Scouting Book Info on Rusney Castillo
SB 84 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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 86 BA 80 SC BP SN ES 94 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 89 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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 93 BA SC BP 60 SN ES 49 ML
Not to be confused with the older Oakland outfielder, this Michael ('Anthony') Taylor is a centerfielder in the Nationals organization. The Nats, who drafted him out of high school in the sixth round of the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft, have a shortage of true centerfield prospects in the system, which makes Taylor one to watch.
His great mix of power (12 homers in AAA last season) and speed (18 steals) profiles really well into a future Washington roster that seems to have more power than it knows what to do with. Taylor's eye at the plate and defense need some work, and he's still really raw with his baserunning ability, but give him another couple of years and you should see him patrolling the outfield grass in DC.
More Scouting Book Info on Michael Taylor
SB 95 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Top Prospects 2013