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Major League Baseball’s offseason is winding down, and before we know it pitchers and catchers will start reporting for spring training.

With that timeline in mind, most general managers are still trying to plug holes on their respective rosters or at least build depth in anticipation of position battles during spring training.

Teams are usually reluctant to break camp with young, inexperienced prospects on the big league roster—especially if they’re not already on the 40-man roster. Instead, they prefer to send them to Double- or Triple-A for a few more months of seasoning and to avoid an extra year of arbitration down the road.

However, there are numerous prospects who will have an opportunity to make an Opening Day roster in 2015, if all goes as planned, and spend the entire season in the major leagues.

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It’s never too early to start looking at the MLB draft.

This year's class is especially deep on the mound, with college pitchers such as right-hander Mike Matuella (Duke), right-hander Kyle Funkhouser (Louisville), righty Walker Buehler (Vanderbilt) and left-hander Nathan Kirby (Virginia) expected to come off the board early in the first round. Prep left-handers Brady Aiken, Kolby Allard and Justin Hooper are also in the mix.

However, impact hitters once again are few and far between in this year's class, as shortstop Brendan Rodgers and middle infielder Dansby Swanson (Vanderbilt) represent the top prep and college bats, respectively, and will likely be selected within the top 10 picks.

But with that said, endless changes are guaranteed in the class’ player rankings between now and June, as countless names will fall out of consideration and be replaced by other up-and-coming draft prospects.

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The signing of free agent Max Scherzer to a seven-year, $210 million contract improved the Washington Nationals’ starting rotation from arguably the best to undoubtedly the best in baseball.

The Nats will enter the 2015 season with three No. 1 starters in Scherzer, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg, with Gio Gonzalez, Doug Fister and Tanner Roark “filling out” the staff. However, the Scherzer signing also led to speculation that the Nats now might be more inclined to trade from their pitching depth.

Jon Morosi of Fox Sports tweeted that Washington would be willing to deal either Zimmermann or Strasburg if they landed Scherzer, which makes sense, as Zimmermann is set to become a free agent after the 2015 season and likely to command a monster free-agent contract, while Strasburg is set to follow in his footsteps the following year.

But there’s one other major reason the Nationals seemingly are willing to consider dealing young talents such as Zimmermann and Strasburg: They have baseball’s top pitching prospect in 20-year-old right-hander Lucas Giolito.

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Earlier today Prospect Pipeline completed our rankings of every organization’s top-10 prospects for the 2015 season. Now, it's now time to go back and break down every club's No. 1 prospect in the form of a team-by-team ranking.

In preparation for spring training as well as our official list of the top 100 prospects for the upcoming season, we’ve put together a tentative ranking of each team's best prospect heading into 2015. Some of the scouting notes for each player have been derived from his original scouting report.

Here are our rankings of the top prospect for all 30 MLB teams entering 2015.

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It was widely believed that top prospect Archie Bradley would spend most of the 2014 season in the major leagues, but an elbow injury in late April cut into his development and forced the organization to reassess his timeline. The right-hander looked better in this year’s Arizona Fall League, but he'll still have some questions to answer in the upcoming season.

Braden Shipley, the No. 15 pick in last year's draft, proved to be a first-round steal with a plus fastball-changeup combination, impressive athleticism and better than expected command. The team’s Compensation Round A pick from last year, right-hander Aaron Blair, has also been impressive this season, as he dominated at three levels, including Double-A.

The Diamondbacks landed another potential steal this year when Touki Toussaint fell in their lap at No. 16 overall, followed by ultra-athletic outfielder Marcus Wilson in compensation round B.

22-year-old Brandon Drury, who was acquired from the Braves in the Justin Upton deal, has a good eye at the plate, makes a lot of contact and has grown into some power. The same applies to 243-year-old third baseman Jake Lamb, who received a promotion to the major leagues in August after raking at Double-A Mobile.

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Major League Baseball is being dominated by pitching, and that's only going to continue, judging by the flood of elite young arms who are on the verge of reaching The Show.

Like these 10, who represent the sport's can't-miss pitching prospects for the 2015 season.

To avoid any confusion, that means these pitchers should be making a major impact in the upcoming year.

Thus, you won't see elite arms like Lucas Giolito of the Washington Nationals, Tyler Glasnow of the Pittsburgh Pirates or Luis Severino of the New York Yankees, all of whom are a bit too far away to take the majors by storm this year. Same goes for 18-year-old Los Angeles Dodgers phenom Julio Urias.

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While the San Francisco Giants’ system is top-heavy with pitching prospects, many of the organization’s top young arms profile as either back-end-starter types or guys who might not throw enough strikes to even stick in the rotation.

Right-hander Kyle Crick, 22, might have the highest ceiling in the system, but both his control and command were a mess last season in the Eastern League. Clayton Blackburn, another right-hander, has the highest probability to reach his projected ceiling in the big leagues, as he has good command of a four-pitch mix to go along with a feel for sequencing. 

Ty Blach, 23, is basically a left-handed version of Blackburn, as he lacks overpowering stuff but features advanced command of three pitches. And don’t sleep on hard-throwing right-hander Keury Mella, who's right there with Crick in the conversation for most upside.

The Giants went after Vanderbilt righty Tyler Beede in the first round (No. 14 overall) of the draft, and, unfortunately, his lack of control/command puts him in the same boat as Crick. However, based on what Crick hasn’t accomplished over the past two seasons, I’d give Beede better odds of reaching his potential.


If case you haven’t been paying attention, the San Diego Padres and first-time general manager A.J. Preller have been busy this offseason.

Since the beginning of December, the Padres have added some of baseball’s premier right-handed power hitters through trades in outfielders Justin Upton, Matt Kemp and Wil Myers, as well as catcher Derek Norris.

Amazingly, Preller was able to acquire the aforementioned players without giving up the organization’s three best prospects. However, that’s not to say the club didn’t part with a vast collection of promising young players: SS Trea Turner (will officially be traded in mid-June), LHP Max Fried, RHP Zach Eflin, RHP Joe Ross, RHP Joe Wieland, RHP Burch Smith, CF Mallex Smith, INF Jace Peterson, RHP R.J. Alvarez, 1B Jake Bauers and 3B Dustin Peterson.

Austin Hedges is still one of the better catching prospect in baseball thanks to his elite defensive chops, but his bat dragged behind the rest of his game this past season at Double-A San Antonio.

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The Colorado Rockies have quietly built one of baseball’s more exciting farm systems, as they have several impact prospects already knocking on the door of the major leagues and even better young talents on the rise.

Right-handed pitcher Jon Gray, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 draft, is one of the top pitching prospects in baseball heading into 2015, while Eddie Butler still has the mid-rotation potential despite an injury-plagued campaign in 2014.

Outfielder David Dahl made up for his lost 2013 season with an impressive performance across both Class-A levels, while breakout prospects Raimel Tapia, Ryan McMahon and Jose Briceno put up monster numbers in the South Atlantic League.

Even Trevor Story, who tanked in his first taste of the California League last year, enjoyed a solid bounce-back campaign, finishing the season at Double-A Tulsa. Meanwhile, left-hander Tyler Anderson, the Rockies’ first-round pick in 2011, turned in the best season of his career at Tulsa and pitched the Drillers deep into the postseason.


The Dodgers system stands out for its collection of potential star-caliber players as well as its overall depth, with a balance of high-ceiling and high-floor talents that should have the organization in a position to succeed for years to come.

2012 first-rounder shortstop Corey Seager enjoyed a historically good 2014 campaign, batting nearly .350 and pacing the minors in doubles while reaching Double-A Chattanooga for the first time.

Center fielder Joc Pederson, who became the first Pacific Coast League player since 1954 to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a season, was included among the Dodgers’ September call-ups, and he appears to be the team’s preferred center fielder going forward. Meanwhile, outfielder Alex Verdugo, the team’s second-round pick last June, absolutely raked in his professional debut and should be ready for a full-season assignment in 2015.

Finally, I’d be remiss not to mention 24-year-old outfielder Scott Schebler, as his outstanding showing at Double-A last season proved that his power and overall production from 2013 wasn’t a California League fluke.