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.
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 6 BA 7 SC 2 BP 5 SN ES 4 ML 8
A Florida prep infielder with a plus power bat and better than average speed, shortstop Addison Russell will probably grow out of the position very soon, but he'll look quite good as a third baseman, too. Now a member of the Cubs, he's one of the best hitting prospects in the system, and could get a chance in the Bigs earlier than expected, assuming Theo and Co assemble their other missing pieces in short order.
Full Scouting Report for Addison Russell
SB 7 BA 14 SC BP 7 SN ES 3 ML 12
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 8 BA 2 SC BP 2 SN ES 2 ML 2
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
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 11 BA 6 SC 14 BP 14 SN ES 8 ML 4
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 15 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 24 BA 37 SC 8 BP 44 SN ES 18 ML 34
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 26 BA 42 SC 53 BP 39 SN ES 64 ML 59
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 29 BA 47 SC BP 29 SN ES 22 ML 38
If you believe in bloodlines, you have to be a fan of Nick Gordon, brother of Dee Gordon, second-born son of Tom Gordon, and natural heir to all the kingdoms of the north. At least, those kingdoms that are bounded by Target Field.
Signed by the Twins after being selected fifth overall in 2014, Gordon could follow in the footsteps of either family member: as a pitcher he brings easy low-90's heat and a solid curveball from the right side, while as a hitter he's the proud owner of a smooth left-handed swing and good wheels to go along with it. With a good natural grace in the field and a strong arm, he might be best developed as a shortstop until and unless he proves he can't perform. Given his lineage, one probably shouldn't bet against him.
Full Scouting Report for Nick Gordon
SB 50 BA SC BP SN ES ML
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 55 BA 66 SC 36 BP 28 SN ES 72 ML 77
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 68 BA 75 SC 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 72 BA 78 SC BP SN ES 46 ML
A polished college shortstop from Texas, Hunter Dozier was selected eighth overall in the 2013 draft by the Kansas City Royals. Dozier ranked among the top ten in the Southland Conference in virtually every offensive category last season, and in 55 games this year, Dozier hit .396 with 17 homers and a dozen stolen bases. A right-handed hitter, Dozier has very strong hands, and while he's capable of turning on and pulling inside pitches, he does most of his best work by leaning on his plus bat control to hit liners to the opposite field and gap. A very good runner, he'll steal a few bases, but he's not a true plus-speed threat. In the field, he looks solid and capable of sticking at shortstop, assuming he doesn't outgrow the position: at 6-4 and 220, he's already pushing the envelope. He'll need a year or two in the minors to adjust to and master quality breaking stuff, but other than that asterisk, he looks to be the complete package.
Full Scouting Report for Hunter Dozier
SB 79 BA SC BP 96 SN ES ML
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 87 BA 76 SC 61 BP SN ES 74 ML 67
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 92 BA 100 SC 56 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 118 BA 91 SC 92 BP SN ES 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 119 BA 86 SC 67 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 124 BA SC BP SN ES 79 ML 84
A promising high-school bat scooped up by the Rockies in 2011's compensation round, Irving alum Trevor Story is a sweet-swinging youngster with an all-fields line drive stroke, and better than average wheels in the field.
After a .268/.364/.436 line across 47 rookie league games, Story stepped up to A ball and performed much the same, slashing .277/.367/.505 in a full season and showing advanced baserunning ability to boot . He's viable at either short or third right now, but won't be MLB-ready for a couple more years.
Full Scouting Report for Trevor Story
SB 129 BA SC BP SN ES ML
Top Prospects 2013