Top Baseball Prospects for 2016
Now updated for 2016'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 2016
Overall SB ranking shown in parentheses.
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. At the very least, scouts aren't taking the Seager name for granted, anymore. Corey has risen swiftly through the ranks to become one of the most coveted farm assets in baseball. While he may be destined for third base someday, for now the path looks clear for him to take over as LA's everyday shortstop in 2016.
More Scouting Book Info on Corey Seager
SB 1 BA 1 SC 1 BP 1 SN ES 1 ML 1
The thirteenth overall selection in the 2014 draft, Washington infield prospect Trea Turner has the eye, bat and legs to be a premium tablesetter on top of an MLB roster someday. Better than the usual crop of defense-first players with speed, Turner also brings a plus contact bat and very good plate discipline to his game, at least when he doesn't get homer happy. Hopefully the Nats will remind Turner they don't need him to be a power threat: they'll be more than happy enough with the on-base skills and superior defense he's more equipped to deliver.
More Scouting Book Info on Trea Turner
SB 2 BA 9 SC 12 BP 13 SN ES 28 ML 8
The first player drafted overall in 2015, Georgia native Dansby Swanson sent shockwaves through baseball when he was traded to the Atlanta Braves in the winter of 2015 for a package that included ace Shelby Miller. Swanson, who immediately becomes Atlanta's top prospect and is one of the best shortstop prospects in all of baseball, is a five-tool threat who is expected to stick at shortstop. Swanon's best year in college was his final one, when he slashed a .348/.441/.648 line with 14 home runs for Vanderbilt. Pending a serious drop-off as he adjusts to professional pitching, Swanson looks like a near-lock to be a part of the Braves plan for the next decade.
More Scouting Book Info on Dansby Swanson
SB 7 BA 17 SC 10 BP 28 SN ES 13 ML 11
A future star already shaking the launch pad in Milwaukee, shortstop Orlando Arcia will make a play to be the everyday Brewers shortstop this season, and his talent level is more than enough to make it likely he'll succeed. A quick righthanded bat with a very strong line-drive swing should be enough to keep him in the lineup, while slick glovework and plus range suggest he'll stick at shortstop, too. Get used to the name.
More Scouting Book Info on Orlando Arcia
SB 9 BA 8 SC 5 BP 12 SN ES 10 ML 7
A complete hitter with enough pop to rack up big numbers in Colorado, prospect Brendan Rodgers also brings just enough range and arm to stick at shortstop. Drafted third overall in 2015 and dropped directly into the Pioneer League, Rodgers stepped up with a professional .273/.340/.420 line.
He'll turn 20 in mid-2016, and will probably be pushing up against AA ball right around the same time. Rockies fans are already comparing Rodgers 21-year-old Troy Tulowitzki... and they're not wrong.
More Scouting Book Info on Brendan Rodgers
SB 13 BA 40 SC 19 BP 20 SN ES 11 ML 12
A young, toolsy prospect with a very high ceiling, John Paul (JP) Crawford is one of the nation's best young 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 could be a fine future All Star centerfielder, too.
More Scouting Book Info on JP Crawford
SB 17 BA 6 SC 2 BP 4 SN ES 4 ML
SB 20 BA 42 SC 23 BP 39 SN ES 19 ML 22
A toolsy infielder in a system rife with them, shortstop Ozzie Albies smacked .310/.368/.404 with 29 steals in Low-A ball last year, showing off a jam-packed toolbox missing nothing but power. Still, he's got everything else, including a great work ethic and natural knack for the game. While he seems permanently blocked by Dansby Swanson in Atlanta, there's nothing preventing either of them from moving to second, third or even centerfield if necessary. Talent like this always finds somewhere to play, after all.
More Scouting Book Info on Ozzie Albies
SB 24 BA 63 SC 32 BP 37 SN ES 20 ML 29
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 when the grown-ups aren't watching. 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 a proper 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. 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.
More Scouting Book Info on Raul Mondesi
SB 26 BA 29 SC 50 BP 16 SN ES 73 ML 37
A wiry, athletic shortstop who makes even difficult plays look effortless, Cubs prospect Gleyber Torres is the latest in an embarrassment of infield riches for Chicago. The club won't be able to play as much talent as it's acquired and developed, which means the team may be looking to move some of its talent to the outfield (or to another franchise, likely for pitching.)
Wherever he fields, Torres has a quick, aggressive approach from the right side of the plate, with an offensive game that looks a lot like ex-Cub Starlin Castro.
More Scouting Book Info on Gleyber Torres
SB 31 BA 41 SC 40 BP 41 SN ES 15 ML 28
A possible long-term heir to Troy Tulowitzki's erstwhile shortstop throne in Colorado, Trevor Story is a hard-hitting infield prospect who's getting very close to major league ready. While the presence of even-more-highly-regarded Brendan Rogers may push Story to second or third base, he's still got all the makings of a regular position player.
More Scouting Book Info on Trevor Story
SB 36 BA SC BP SN ES ML
A compact, wiry shortstop from Tuscaloosa, Tim Anderson's biggest weapon is his plus-plus speed, though he's also a good enough contact hitter to make that speed dangerous. A good but not standout shortstop, he shows plus range but only a so-so arm, which suggests a move to second base might be coming in the future. The 17th overall selection of the 2013 draft, he'll be moved slowly... it'll take some time for his hitting ability to develop enough to handle quality breaking stuff.
More Scouting Book Info on Tim Anderson
SB 46 BA 45 SC BP 19 SN ES 45 ML 47
SB 58 BA 52 SC 74 BP 56 SN ES 34 ML 58
A speedster with a quality bat, Yankee infield prospect Jorge Mateo is the best looking option to anchor shortstop for the Yankees for the long term, though he's got a little work left to do in the minors first. A true plus runner with game-changing speed, Mateo is a raw hitter, but he shows natural aptitude for working the count and finding balls to drive. When he makes contact, it's of the sprayed line-drive variety, though he certainly does reach light towers during batting practice, so the potential for more power is there, too. In the field, he shows good range, quick feet, a soft glove and a strong arm, all of which means he's very likely to maintain the shortstop gig. Mateo looked pretty comfy in high-A Tampa last year (.321/.374/.452 with 11 steals in 84 ABs), and while he may start there again this year, he'll end up in AA.
More Scouting Book Info on Jorge Mateo
SB 60 BA 26 SC 82 BP 65 SN ES 55 ML 30
A quality shortstop prospect born of the Atlanta system, Venezuelan Jose Peraza has an all-around strong offensive toolset, hitting for average and with good gap power while also showing plus speed and savvy on the bases. He slashed .296/.350/.374 and stole 25 of 30 bases while moving up from Danville to the GCL in 2014. In the field he looks like a true shortstop, with the range and arm to stay at the position. A new member of the Reds with a much more clear path to the majors than he had with the Braves, Peraza is looking to break out in 2016... and he very well might do just that.
More Scouting Book Info on Jose Peraza
SB 61 BA 66 SC 52 BP 81 SN ES ML 71
One of the best infield arms in any system, Tampa Bay prospect Willy Adames is a nominal shortstop who may end up at third base. The young Dominican shows mature discipline and judgment in the batter's box, with a quick, powerful stroke that could translate to 20-HR power in the Bigs. Until then, he's a gap hitter with good wheels and a strong, accurate throwing arm, which is more than enough to headline Tampa's list of future stars.
More Scouting Book Info on Willy Adames
SB 70 BA 46 SC 100 BP 54 SN ES ML 81
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-born heir to the kingdoms of men. At least, those kingdoms that are bounded by Target Field.
Signed by the Twins after being selected fifth overall in 2014, Gordon could have followed in his father's footsteps (as a pitcher he brings easy low-90's heat and a solid curveball from the right side), but the Twins selected him as an everyday player and are developing him as such. A smooth, strong swing from the left side pairs up perfectly with plus wheels, and the 25 steals he tacked onto a .302/.347/.416 second-half slash line in the Midwest League sure looks good on paper. With a good natural grace in the field and a strong arm, he'll continue to be groomed as a shortstop until and unless he proves he can't perform at the position. Given his lineage and what coaches describe as a tireless work ethic, one probably shouldn't bet against him.
More Scouting Book Info on Nick Gordon
SB 71 BA 53 SC 73 BP 62 SN ES 98 ML 91
A line-drive hitter with the kind of inside-out swing that should be illustrated in textbooks, New York infield prospect Gavin Cecchini is probably destined for second or third base in the near future. As long as he continues to develop, he should be able to hold down either position in MLB shortly: the .317/.377/.442 line he slashed at AA Binghamton is about all one can expect from a 22-year-old.
More Scouting Book Info on Gavin Cecchini
SB 76 BA SC 79 BP SN ES 89 ML 87
A top offensive prospect in a system not known for much lately, Giants infielder Christian Arroyo projects as a real plus bat with a pretty line-drive swing that couldn't possibly look any more effortless. Arroyo shows a bit of pull power but is really a gap-hitter for now. In the field, he doesn't quite have big league quickness at short, but he could be average or even a bit better at the position thanks to his cool demeanor and soft hands. A move to third looks most likely, especially if his power develops a bit. He'll be looking to crack AA ball in 2016.
More Scouting Book Info on Christian Arroyo
SB 85 BA 62 SC 61 BP SN ES 65 ML 82
Back in 2012, the Mets paid out what was at the time a franchise record for an IFA, signing 17-year old Dominican infielder Amed Rosario to a $1.75M contract. He's been developing ever since, and developing well, becoming a well-rounded true shortstop with near-plus speed and defense. A contact hitter who hasn't shown any propensity for power, his fortunes will rise and fall on how much contact he can make with his long, easy swing. So far, it's working out.
More Scouting Book Info on Amed Rosario
SB 121 BA 58 SC BP 96 SN ES 42 ML 79
Top Prospects 2013