Top Baseball Prospects for 2014
Now updated for 2014'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 Shortstop Prospects for 2014
Overall SB ranking shown in parentheses.
There aren't a lot of Arubans around MLB, but the tiny island's reputation should be well-represented by Red Sox infield prospect Xander 'Crews' Bogaerts. A player of exceptional baseball intelligence, the man from San Nicolas has a graceful, quick swing with a little natural loft that should serve him well once his body fills out a bit more. His contact is solid and strong to all fields, and he's an above-average baserunner to boot. His weaknesses to date are iffy strike zone judgement (he's young) and some awkwardness in the field, especially with his footwork (he's young). There's really not anything to worry about here, though, other than whether he'll settle at short, second or third for the long-haul. No matter where he plays, though, it's safe to pre-order your Bogaerts jersey, as long as you remember to triple-check the spelling.
Full Scouting Report for Xander Bogaerts
SB 3 BA 2 SC BP 2 SN ES 2 ML 2
With the first pick of the 2012 Draft, Houston showed a commitment to a strong future with the surprise selection of teenage phenom Carlos Correa, a natural shortstop who impressed scouts with a superior work ethic and five solid tools. His power potential is especially intriguing for a player who looks well-suited to remain at short, though he seems aware of this: his swing gets a little long and lofty at times when he reaches for the seats. Some good coaching along with the aforementioned work ethic should fix this, of course, and as he blossoms, he'll be a cornerstone of a future Astros lineup, just what the team needs to build a competitive team in the tough AL West.
Full Scouting Report for Carlos Correa
SB 5 BA 7 SC 2 BP 5 SN ES 4 ML 8
He's clearly no shortstop anymore, as Scouting Book readers knew to expect, but that doesn't stop Miguel Sano from stepping into the number one prospect room in Minnesota. The biggest Latin American signing of 2009, Sano was a coup of sorts for the small market Minnesota 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-teenager: 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
Full Scouting Report for Miguel Sano
SB 7 BA 6 SC 14 BP 14 SN ES 8 ML 4
A nominal shortstop, Puerto Rican mini-Cub Javier Baez also looks just fine at second and third, and has one of the highest overall upsides of any infield prospect in baseball. His ultimate position will probably come down to some mix of organizational need and how his body develops.
A solid all-around athlete, there's no reason to yet believe he won't stick at shortstop, thanks to a strong arm, soft hands and good feet. He hasn't yet shown the power for a corner, though, so his best route to the majors is definitely the middle of the diamond. He's not very widely known yet, but wait another year and Cubs fans will be clamoring for a Castro-Baez (or perhaps Baez-Castro) infield combination. They should sample one or the other sometime in 2014.
Full Scouting Report for Javier Baez
SB 10 BA 5 SC 13 BP 4 SN ES 7 ML 7
A high-school shortstop from Puerto Rico with a live bat and a great batting eye from both sides of the plate, Cleveland's Franky Lindor is a young and talented all-around player who shows signs of all five major league tools. His glove is pretty shiny, and his baserunning smarts and instincts are already several years ahead of his age bracket. As he works his way through several hundred thousand practice swings in the next three or four years, we'll find out if that bat can live up to early reports and carry his future into MLB.
Full Scouting Report for Francisco Lindor
SB 12 BA 13 SC 5 BP 6 SN ES 6 ML 10
The younger sibling of Seattle's Kyle, young Corey Seager is a similar infielder with bat speed that might actually be better than his big brother's. He's more likely to see action at second or third base thanks to the Dodgers' depth at shortstop, which is just fine: his body and skill set are better-suited to that sort of use anyway. He's risen swiftly through the ranks, and should be the center of attention this year whenever the topic of west coast infield prospects comes up.
Full Scouting Report for Corey Seager
SB 34 BA 37 SC 25 BP 44 SN ES 18 ML 34
The switch-hitting son of the better-known outfielder, shortstop Raul (Adalberto) Mondesi is already familiar with a major league dugout, even if it's only as a place to find a treasure trove of sunflower seeds and bubble gum. While he lacks his father's power profile, Junior does have a quality bat, superior speed and sure seems to have sophisticated defensive skill. A smallish player, he looks apt to stick at shortstop, where he could grow into some sort of slappy table-setter for the Royals a few years from now. He's still some distance away from showing anyone exactly how good he'll be, but an impressive .290/.346/.386 line as a
sixteen-year-old in rookie ball was followed by a .261/.311/.361 line in A-ball last season. A substantial improvement in his strikeout rate, despite dealing with better pitching, impresses us even more than that. Forget the name-recognition, Adalberto Raul Jr. is legit all on his own.
Full Scouting Report for Raul Mondesi
SB 41 BA 47 SC 26 BP 29 SN ES 22 ML 38
We see a lot of great names here at Scouting Book, but every once and awhile there's still one that makes us do a double-take. This offensive-minded infielder's name (nephew of Indians coach Rouglas) is really named Rougned (RYOO-nyed) Odor. We're hoping that was a little less teaseworthy for a kid growing up in Venezuela than it would have been in Lubbock.
An All-Star for the Venezuelan National Team in 2009, Odor is a short infielder with good fielding instincts, a strong arm, and a sweet swing from the left side of the plate. He's a long way from the majors, with a whole life of A-ball ahead of him first.
Full Scouting Report for Rougned Odor
SB 52 BA 42 SC 59 BP 39 SN ES 64 ML 59
A slight shortstop with plus instincts, Arizona prospect Chris Owings could see a move to second base in the near future. Signed out of high school in South Carolina after being selected 41st overall in the 2009 draft, Owings is a gap-to-gap hitter with a bit of pop. He's decent defensively, and shows above average speed on the bases. He's not a likely All Star, but he could be a competent bench or utility player in the bigs at any time.
Full Scouting Report for Chris Owings
SB 56 BA 66 SC 65 BP 28 SN ES 72 ML 77
A slappy, scrappy, switch-hitting wheels player, Pirate prospect Alen Hanson was a low-visibility 2011 IFA signing from the Dominican, but one that earn more kudos for htose ever-impressive Pittsburgh scouts. Hanson would probably get more attention if his name included an Alvarez or Concepcion in there, something that looked more Latin and less Nordic. (At least 'Alexi'. Something. Make an effort, kid!)
Alexi is said to have the quick hands and feet necessary to stick at shortstop, but he also has a quick everything-else: plus speed is clearly his main offensive weapon. Power may never come, depending on how his slender frame fills out, but he's already showing superior on-base skill, and the Pirates should already be delighted with his development, no matter when he finds the ceiling.
Full Scouting Report for Alen Hanson
SB 69 BA 76 SC 77 BP SN ES 74 ML 67
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 no obvious future home in Boston. Still, 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.
Full Scouting Report for Mookie Betts
SB 77 BA 75 SC 61 BP SN ES 61 ML 62
A young, toolsy prospect with a very high ceiling, John Paul (JP) Crawford is one of the nation's best teenage baseball players. He has all the raw athleticism, including plus speed and superior fast-twitch muscles, to succeed almost anywhere on the diamond. Naturally, we'll see how he performs as a shortstop first, and the early signs are positive: he has soft hands and a strong arm, managing to look as smooth and practiced as any phenom Dominican. At the plate, Crawford shows a good eye for such a young hitter, with good bat control and the ability to square up and turn around on pretty much anything he's ever seen. At 6-2 and still growing, he may outgrow shortstop before his talent displaces him, but it shouldn't matter: he looks just as much a future All Star centerfielder as a shortstop, anyway.
Full Scouting Report for JP Crawford
SB 84 BA 78 SC 57 BP SN ES 46 ML
A big shortstop who some prefer as a future outfielder Rosell Herrera lit up scoreboards in A-level Asheville last season (), inflating his stock tremendously. He'll have to do it again in 2014 to make it onto any shortlists as a Tulo replacement, however.
Full Scouting Report for Rosell Herrera
SB 87 BA 86 SC 64 BP SN ES 54 ML 99
A headline acquisition as part of the trade of pitcher Matt Garza, Hak-Ju Lee is a big, powerful shortstop from Korea who's now prominently positioned in the Tampa Bay system. Already a polished hitter (.261/.336/.360 at AA Montgomery last year), Lee seems to have the footwork and arm to stick at shortstop, too, and he's shown improvement in the field every season. His 37 steals in 2012, a career best, is also a highlight worth remembering. As projected, he should get a shot at everyday Tampa life in 2013.
Full Scouting Report for Hak-Ju Lee
SB 91 BA SC 69 BP SN ES 79 ML 84
A smallish shortstop in the Cubs system, the switch-hitting Arismendy Alcantara is a toolsy Dominican who's been impressing scouts with his improving bat and solid defense. The octosyllabic shortstop raised his slash line to a career-best .302/.339/.447 with 25 steals in 2012 while playing at high-A Daytona, the toughest level of his life to date. That's enough to raise eyebrows. In the field, Alcantara has played all over the infield but looks most comfortable at short, where he shows above-average range and a strong arm. He'll be pushing for AA duty in 2013, and could be a factor from the Cubs bench the year after that.
Full Scouting Report for Arismendy Alcantara
SB 93 BA 100 SC 88 BP 83 SN ES 71 ML 89
A California boy with serious defensive chops at shortstop, White Sox prospect Marcus Semien slashed a tidy .273/.362/.471 with 14 homers in his first taste of high-A ball in 2012, stepping up his game from the year before. While the power surge was a pleasant surprise, Semien has long been known as a well-rounded athlete with a full toolbox, showing a soft glove and strong arm at shortstop, a patient eye at the plate and plus speed on the bases. Already a fast-riser, he'll be rocketing up prospect lists if that power increase turns out to be for real.
Full Scouting Report for Marcus Semien
SB 96 BA 91 SC BP SN ES ML
An offense-first Cuban shortstop signed by the Dodgers in 2013's winter, Alex Guerrero could probably start at second base for any of half the teams in MLB. Guerrero is the proud owner of a career .302/.383/.527 line across eight seasons of Cuban League play. More intriguingly, he stroked an average of 20 home runs each of his last four seasons seasons... and those are 90-game seasons. If even part of that prowess translates to MLB, he could provide some above-average production for the Dodgers very soon, probably while playing second base.
Full Scouting Report for Alex Guerrero
SB 98 BA SC BP SN ES ML
The younger brother to Boston's Garin, shortstop Gavin Cecchini is a contact hitter with solid tools who could develop into exactly the franchise shortstop the Mets suddenly need. He'll need a few years, though, and there are some legitimate-sounding concerns about whether he can round out his game well enough to be a front-line starter. We'll wait and see.
Full Scouting Report for Gavin Cecchini
SB 112 BA 74 SC BP 51 SN ES 53 ML 57
The Mets top infield prospect, Wilmer Flores is on a trajectory for Flushing that will be difficult to derail. Flores's reached AA in 2012, slashing .311/.361/.494 in 66 Binghamton games that included 8 homers and 18 doubles. He's still a year or so away from Flushing, and it's possible he could outgrow shortstop, but right now he looks like he could be a slightly-dimmer East Coast version of Starlin Castro by early 2014.
Full Scouting Report for Wilmer Flores
SB 118 BA SC BP 71 SN ES ML
One of Japan's most talented all-around ballplayers, Oakland rookie Hiroyuki Nakajima is a toolsy, accomplished shortstop with a good line-drive swing and an exemplary work ethic. Playing all season at shortstop for Seibu in 2011, Hiroyuki slashed .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs and 27 doubles, which is actually a poor year compared to his .310/.381/.479 career line. He also stole 21 out of 23 bases, showing exceptional skill. He's a solid player, with the same speed and discipline usually seen in Japanese players, plus a little more power than American fans might expect. A three-hole hitter with Seibu, Hiro would fit well into the number two or seven slot for the A's, or as a decent lead off man.
Full Scouting Report for Hiroyuki Nakajima
SB 123 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Top Prospects 2013