Bleacher Report's 100 Future MLB Stars

Mike Rosenbaum@GoldenSombreroMLB Prospects Lead WriterApril 15, 2015

Bleacher Report's 100 Future MLB Stars

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    Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

    Welcome to Bleacher Report's 100 Future MLB Stars.

    The goal of the project is to assess players' individual skills using unique scoring systems for each spot on the diamond to determine who is most equipped to have an impact in the major leagues.

    For position players, this meant looking at their five respective tools (using the 20-80 scouting scale): hitting, power, speed, arm strength and defense. We tailored the distribution of points to fit each position, meaning first basemen are held to a higher power standard, catchers are held to a higher defense standard and so on. 

    For pitchers, we looked at their fastball/velocity, best breaking ball, changeup and command. And since we’re dealing strictly with prospects, we focused solely on pitchers who project as starters long term. So, no relievers.

    Another important thing to know is that we're not interested in looking back at prospects' previous seasons. Since we're talking about the future of baseball, we are mostly interested in looking ahead to determine whether certain skills could get better or worse. And since we're looking at pure upside, things such as age, experience (as in we're even including players yet to appear in a professional game) and injury have been de-emphasized.

    We sorted rankings by age in instances where multiple prospects drew the same score, with younger players getting the edge. A player had to have held rookie status (fewer than 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched, per Major League Baseball) at the start of the 2015 season to qualify for this list.

    We hope you enjoy B/R's 100 Future MLB Stars.

    Talk prospects with Mike on Twitter: @GoldenSombrero

How They're Ranked: Hitters

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    We distributed points based on players’ tools in relation to their specific positions. A few things to note regarding hitters:

    • Scores are based on individual tool grades determined by the 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 represents major league average. For more information on specific grades, please consult B/R's ranking of the top 10 prospects for each organization. 
    • Players with little or no professional experience qualified for the list.
    • Players are projected at their best, most realistic long-term position.

    Here is how players’ tools are prioritized at each position, with the exact percentage of their overall scores appearing in parenthesis:

    C: Defense (35%), Hitting (20%), Arm (20%), Power (20%), Speed (5%)

    1B: Power (40%), Hitting (30%), Defense (15%), Arm (10%), Speed (5%)

    2B: Hitting (30%), Defense (20%), Power (20%), Speed (20%), Arm (10%)

    3B: Power (30%), Hitting (30%), Defense (15%), Arm (20%), Speed (5%)

    SS: Defense (25%), Arm (20%), Hitting (20%), Power (20%), Speed (15%)

    LF: Power (30%), Hitting (25%), Defense (20%), Arm (15%), Speed (10%)

    CF: Defense (25%), Hitting (20%), Speed (20%), Power (20%), Arm (15%)

    RF: Power (30%), Hitting (25%), Arm (20%), Defense (15%), Speed (10%)

    Not every stat used for evaluating hitters can be found online, so we used simple math to determine things such as contact rates (at-bats – strikeouts / at-bats) and extra-base hit rates (extra-base hits / total hits).

    Meanwhile, all ground-ball and fly-ball rates are courtesy of Statcorner.com, while hitters’ spray charts can be found at MLBFarm.com.

How They're Ranked: Pitchers

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    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    The pitchers are ranked based on four main scouting components:

    • Fastball/velocity: 25 percent
    • Best breaking ball: 20 percent
    • Changeup: 20 percent
    • Command: 25 percent

    Each category extends beyond scouting, however, as we also considered things such as strikeout and walk rates, splits and ball-in-play tendencies, just to name a few.

    Since many starting pitching prospects project as long-term bullpen pieces in the major leagues, we considered only pitchers most likely to hold a starting role at the highest level.  

Bonus: Nos. 150-101

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Rankings of prospect Nos. 101 through 150 appear below. They may have just missed the top 100, but all still project, at worst, to be productive MLB players.

    RankPlayerAgePositionHighest Level ('14)TeamScore
    150Kevin Plawecki24CAAANYM49.25
    149Garin Cecchini233BMLBBOS50.5
    148 Nick Williams21LFAATEX50.5
    147Wilmer Difo23SSA+WSH50.75
    146Alen Hanson222BAAPIT51
    145Jorge Polanco212BMLBMIN51
    144Max Pentecost22CShort SeasonTOR51.5
    143Jhoan Urena203BShort SeasonNYM51.5
    142Jakson Reetz19CRookieWSH51.5
    141Bobby Bradley181BRookieCLE51.5
    140Aristides Aquino20RFRookieCIN51.75
    139Isael Soto18LFRookieMIA51.75
    138Yasmany Tomas24LFN/AARI52
    137Stephen Piscotty24RFAAASTL52
    136Dilson Herrera212BMLBNYM52
    135Trea Turner21SSASDP52
    134Ketel Marte21SSAAASEA52
    133Courtney Hawkins21LFA+CHW52
    132Billy McKinney20LFA+CHC52
    131Jung-ho Kang28SSN/APIT52.25
    130J.T. Realmuto24CMLBMIA52.25
    129Michael Conforto22LFShort SeasonNYM52.25
    128Brandon Nimmo22LFAANYM52.25
    127Gabby Guerrero21RFA+SEA52.25
    126Tyrone Taylor21CFAAMIL52.25
    125Daniel Robertson21SSA+TAM52.25
    124Roberto Baldoquin21SSN/ALAA52.25
    123Rio Ruiz203BA+ATL52.25
    122Orlando Arcia20SSA+MIL52.25
    121Micah Johnson242BMLBCHW52.5
    120Mallex Smith21CFA+ATL52.5
    119Dominic Smith191BANYM52.5
    118Erick Fedde22RHPN/AWSH52.75
    117Brett Phillips20CFA+HOU52.75
    116Miguel Andujar203BANYY53
    115Micker Adolfo18RFRookieCWS53
    114Aaron Blair22RHPAAARI53.25
    113Yoan Lopez22RHPN/AARI53.25
    112Lewis Brinson20CFA+TEX53.25
    111Jack Flaherty19RHPRookieSTL53.25
    110Franklin Barreto19SSShort SeasonOAK53.25
    109Gleyber Torres18SSShort SeasonCHC53.25
    108Nick Kingham23RHPAAAPIT53.5
    107Jose De Leon22RHPALAD53.5
    106Brandon Finnegan21LHPMLBKCR53.5
    105Joe Ross21RHPAAWSH53.5
    104Jose Peraza202BAAATL53.5
    103Marco Gonzales23LHPMLBSTL53.75
    102Greg Bird221BAANYY54
    101Kyle Freeland21LHPACOL54

100. Matt Olson, 1B, Oakland Athletics

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Hit

    15/24

    Matt Olson projects to have an average hit tool, as he already displays good feel for hitting with good patience and a willingness to work deep counts. While his 6’5”, 230-pound frame and long limbs leave holes in his swing and produce a considerable amount of swings and misses, Olson has proved to be one of the more patient hitters in the minor leagues with a 14.9 percent walk rate during his just over three-year career.

    Power

    24/32

    In 2014 the 21-year-old slugger led the High-A California League and ranked fourth in all of the minors with 37 home runs, and he’s now hit 61 home runs to go along with an extra-base hit rate of 51.2 percent between 2013 and 2014. Meanwhile, it’s difficult to envision any park containing Olson, especially with his perennially high fly-ball rates and power to all fields.

    Speed

    2/4

    As a first base-only prospect, Olson’s well-below-average speed figures to be a nonfactor during his career.

    Arm

    5.5/8

    A third baseman in high school, Olson’s average arm serves him well at first base.

    Defense

    7.5/12

    Olson is an underrated athlete with fluid actions and good footwork around the bag. But while he may be better defensively than the average first baseman, his future will always be tied to his production.

    Overall

    54/80

99. Austin Meadows, LF, Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

    Hit

    15/20

    Austin Meadows has a smooth, balanced left-handed swing and mature approach, both of which enabled him to hit .322 last summer at Low-A West Virginia in his first taste of full-season ball, and fuels his projection for a plus hit tool. His bat still requires the most projection of all his tools, and Meadows will need to add strength to his athletic frame, but the 19-year-old carries the upside of a .280-plus hitter in his prime.

    Power

    15/24

    At 6’3”, 200 pounds, Meadows might tap into more power by adding leverage to his relatively flat bat path, as he’s hit mostly ground balls and line drives to open his career. Meanwhile, an uptick in his power frequency should come as he becomes stronger and learns to pull the ball with greater consistency.

    Speed

    6/8

    Meadows is presently a plus runner but could lose a step if he adds significant strength to his lower half. And while he’s unlikely to steal many bases, his long, gliding strides and gap-to-gap approach should help him accrue plenty of doubles and triples.

    Arm

    6/12

    Meadows’ arm is arguably his weakest tool, as it’s strong enough for center field but doesn’t project as favorably at either corner spot.

    Defense

    12/16

    The Pirates will continue to develop Meadows in center field, but there’s a realistic chance that he’ll outgrow the position and be forced to move to left. Assuming that’s the case, the 19-year-old is even more likely to develop into a plus defensive outfielder, as his speed and range both stand to play at the corner position.

    Overall

    54/80

98. Willy Adames, SS, Tampa Bay Rays

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    Hit

    11/16

    Willy Adames started to come into his own offensively in 2014, as his fluid swing, bat speed and barrel control produced more consistent hard contact. The 19-year-old right-handed hitter also made strides in developing a more consistent approach, as his feel for the strike zone and overall selectivity resulted in improved contact and walk rates of 72.0 and 10.5 percent, respectively.

    Power

    11/16

    Adames showcased his power potential in his 2014 full-season debut, as 33.6 percent of his hits went for extra bases, including 14 triples and eight home runs. And given his projectable 6’1”, 180-pound frame, it’s easy to envision Adames adding more power in the coming years, possibly to the point where it’s an above-average tool at maturity.

    Speed

    7.5/12

    Though he’s technically just an average runner, Adames still moves well on both sides of the ball thanks to his athleticism and instincts.

    Arm

    12/16

    Adames’ arm strength is ideal for shortstop but would also profile at third base if he’s ever forced to move to another infield position.

    Defense

    12.5/20

    Adames has the athleticism, quick feet and soft hands to stick at shortstop long term. But his average range along with the likelihood of his losing a step or two with physical maturation could potentially force him off the position.

    Overall

    54/80

97. Francisco Mejia, C, Cleveland Indians

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    Hit

    10/16

    Rarely do you find a legitimate catching prospect with Francisco Mejia's kind of offensive potential, as he already demonstrates a mature approach from both sides of the plate that’s conducive to him making consistent contact as he did at short-season Mahoning Valley in 2014 (81.1 percent contact rate).

    Power

    11/16

    Mejia employs high leg lift at the plate that’s geared toward hitting for power, while his excellent bat speed and barrel control enable him to rip the bat through the zone and generate backspin carry to all fields. Right now the 19-year-old features mostly gap pop, but his particular combination of hitting mechanics, bat speed and selectiveness points to the potential for roughly 20 home runs per season at maturity.  

    Speed

    1.5/4

    He is a poor runner and unlikely to contribute on the basepaths at the highest level.

    Arm

    14/16

    Mejia’s 70-grade arm strength is among the best in the minor leagues and has helped him control the running game at lower levels while refining other defensive skills.

    Defense

    17.5/28

    Defensively, Mejia has an athletic build and moves well behind the plate, but his game-calling, receiving and blocking all have considerable gaps between the present and future. Assuming he continues to make strides in the aforementioned areas, Mejia should be able to offer at least average defense at maturity.

    Overall

    54/80

96. Amed Rosario, SS, New York Mets

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    Hit

    10/16

    Amed Rosario’s above-average bat speed and barrel control drive his contact rate (80.4 percent in 2014), but his overall hitting mechanics can be inconsistent and result in a lengthy swing at times, like when he doesn’t get his front foot down. Still, the ball jumps off Rosario’s barrel when squared up, while his approach encourages him to use the entire field.

    Power

    10/16

    As a 6’2”, 170-pound right-handed hitter, Rosario has sneaky power potential with a wiry-strong frame and above-average bat speed, but first he’ll need to address his tendency to hit the ball on the ground. The 19-year-old should develop more usable in-game power once he becomes comfortable turning on the ball, while his contact skills and speed should continue to produce doubles and triples.

    Speed

    8.25/12

    Rosario’s above-average speed shows in his ability to take extra bases and put pressure on opposing defenses. He’s fast enough to develop into a base-stealing threat, but that likely will be tied to his on-base skills, ability to read pitchers and get advantageous jumps.

    Arm

    12/16

    He possesses a hose at shortstop and isn’t afraid to show it off, as Rosario regularly unleashes strong throws while either on the run or moving away from his target.

    Defense

    13.75/20

    Rosario projects as a long-term shortstop due to his impressive athleticism, slick actions, above-average wheels and range and, last but not least, his incredibly strong arm.

    Overall

    54/80

95. Adrian Rondon, SS, Tampa Bay Rays

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    Hit

    12/16

    A 6’1”, 188-pound right-handed hitter, Amed Rondon appears to have impressive bat speed and makes an effort to stay inside the ball with a linear bat path. The 16-year-old’s lack of a stateside track record makes it difficult to comment on things such as his potential approach or ability to recognize spin, but reports suggest he’s advanced in that regard, too.

    Power

    10/16

    Rondon’s swing is ideal for making line-drive contact and piling up doubles, but it’s difficult to picture him tapping into any raw power before adding strength and possibly adjusting the path of his barrel through the zone. Going off his age, size and bat speed, it would seem that Rondon has the potential for at least average power at maturity.

    Speed

    7.5/12

    Rondon’s speed projects as a tick below average but likely will play up in games thanks to his instinct and quick reactions.

    Arm

    12/16

    He is said to have plus arm strength at shortstop, per Ben Badler of Baseball America, and there’s little doubt about whether it will be enough to remain at the position.

    Defense

    12.5/20

    Rondon's received glowing reviews for his athleticism and instincts at shortstop, and he's expected to develop the defensive chops needed to hold down the position long term.

    Overall

    54/80

94. Henry Owens, LHP, Boston Red Sox

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    Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

    Fastball/Velocity

    13.75/20

    Left-hander Henry Owens’ fastball doesn’t have the velocity to match his 6'6" size, as he works in the 88-92 mph range with arm-side run and late sinking action. However, the 22-year-old makes up for his lack of velocity with a deceptive delivery that causes both right- and left-handed hitters to swing at his arm speed and struggle to pick up the ball out of his hand.

    Best Breaking Ball

    11/16

    Owens’ curveball flashes above-average potential when he’s around the plate and especially when hitters are struggling to time his fastball. The southpaw is comfortable adding and subtracting with the pitch and can either throw it for a strike or vie for a whiff out of the zone, but it’s still his least consistent offering.

    Changeup

    12/16

    His changeup is a plus offering thrown in the upper 70s with late sink and fade to the arm side. Owens' release point for the pitch is incredibly similar to his fastball one, as he uses his long arms to create extension toward the plate. He also turns over the pitch late to generate movement.

    Command

    17.5/28

    Owens doesn’t have an overpowering arsenal, but his combination of an aggressive approach, a deceptive delivery and feel for changing hitters’ eye levels with three pitches has made him one of the more proficient strikeout artists in the minor leagues, evidenced by his 28.3 percent strikeout rate across three full-season levels prior to the start of this season.

    That Owens was able to improve his ground-ball and fly-ball rates last year between Double-A and Triple-A was encouraging, as he’ll need to command the ball down in the zone more consistently against big league hitters.

    Overall

    54.25/80

93. Reese McGuire, C, Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Hit

    10/16

    The left-handed-hitting Reese McGuire works the ball from line to line with a compact swing and good barrel control, keeping his upper body and head quiet through his weight transfer and contact point. While he batted a respectable .262 last season in 98 games for Low-A West Virginia, the 20-year-old’s 88.7 percent contact rate and .284 BABIP highlight his potential for a plus hit tool at maturity.

    Power

    9/16

    He has slightly below-average power potential, as he generates lots of strength from his core and lower half but struggles to put the ball in the air consistently. He knows what type of hitter he is and doesn’t sell out for power during games, and he’s more likely to hit doubles rather than home runs.

    Speed

    2.25/4

    McGuire is technically a below-average runner, but he’s considerably faster than the average catcher and uses his speed to leg out infield singles and even steal an occasional base.  

    Arm

    12/16

    The backstop's plus arm strength helped him nab 39 percent of attempted base stealers last season, though, amazingly, it’s just one component of his overall impressive defensive package.

    Defense

    21/28

    McGuire is a plus, almost plus-plus, defender behind the plate, as he possesses an outstanding combination of athleticism, tools and baseball savvy that will allow him to remain at the position. His catch-and-throw skills and near-elite arm strength produce consistent sub-1.9-second pop times, while his feel for sequencing and calling games can’t be understated.

    Overall

    54.25/80

92. Magneuris Sierra, CF, St. Louis Cardinals

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    Hit

    11/16

    Magneuris Sierra, 19, put himself on the map last summer by capturing the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League batting title with an absurd .386 batting average. He won’t be able to sustain such a high mark at more advanced levels, obviously, but the left-handed hitter’s quiet, line-drive stroke, barrel control and advanced approach all point to him developing into at least an above-average hitter.

    Power

    8/16

    At 5’11”, 160 pounds, Sierra’s frame requires some physical projection, but it’s unlikely he’ll ever emerge as a true power threat. However, Sierra’s game should feature plenty of gap power given his speed and knack for barreling the ball.

    Speed

    12/16

    Sierra displays his plus speed on both sides of the ball, as he’s already an advanced base stealer and baserunner with excellent range in center field.

    Arm

    8.25/12

    His arm strength is slightly above average but plays up in center field, as he had five assists at the position last season in 50 games.

    Defense

    15/20

    Sierra projects as a plus defender with similar range in center field, as he reads the ball well off the bat and covers ground aggressively with his excellent speed.

    Overall

    54.25/80

91. Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox

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    Hit

    16.5/24

    Rafael Devers has the chance to be a special hitter, as he’s only 18 years old with an innate ability to barrel the ball to all fields (80.8 percent contact rate in 2014). Pitchers at higher levels will challenge his aggressive approach, though, because it’s yet to be seen how Devers will react to quality secondary pitches and advanced sequencing.

    Power

    18/24

    Despite his young age, Devers is already a physically strong left-handed hitter. His explosive bat speed and huge extension through contact generates plus-plus raw power to all fields, the kind of power that could potentially translate to 25-plus home runs in the major leagues.

    Speed

    2/4

    Devers is a below-average runner and thus won’t make an obvious impact on the basepaths. But he moves well enough to maintain a healthy extra-base hit rate even when his batting average tapers off.

    Arm

    11/16

    Devers’ above-average arm strength is suitable for third base but lacks accuracy, though that’s something that could improve with more efficient footwork and shoulder positioning.

    Defense

    6.75/12

    There’s some doubt about whether Devers will be able to stick at third base. At 6’0” and 195 pounds, his range and overall agility will likely suffer due to added strength (which is inevitable). That could ultimately force him across the infield to first base. He’s still very young, and the organization will give him every chance to stick at the hot corner, but Devers will have to work hard on his defense.

    Overall

    54.25/80

90. Steven Souza Jr., RF, Tampa Bay Rays

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Hit

    13.75/20

    Steven Souza’s hit tool is still a bit of a question mark, as the 25-year-old spent five-plus seasons in the low minors before finally putting things together at the plate in 2012. Since then, the right-handed hitter has made more consistent contact and improved his strikeout and walk rates to the point where he now projects to have an above-average hit tool to go along with strong on-base skills.

    Power

    16.5/24

    At 6’4”, 225 pounds, Souza’s carrying tool is his plus raw power, and he’s shown more consistent in-game thump over last three seasons after tightening his approach. It remains to be seen whether he’ll make enough contact to allow his power to translate at the highest level. But his impressive track record in the minor leagues and the fact that he’ll receive regular at-bats with the Rays could lead to another season with upward of 20 home runs.

    Speed

    5/8

    Souza’s slightly better than average speed and strong instincts make him a threat on the basepaths, and it wouldn't be surprising if he continued swiping 15 to 20 bags over a full season in the major leagues.

    Arm

    11/16

    His above-average arm strength plays at all three outfield positions but probably is best suited for a corner spot, though he’s more likely to make an acrobatic catch than throw out a baserunner.

    Defense

    8.25/12

    Souza is an above-average defender capable of playing center field, but his range and aforementioned arm strength are better fits in right or left. Souza is the type of player who will surprise people once given consistent playing time, as his combination of size, athleticism, tools and secondary skills profile favorably in a big league outfield.

    Overall

    54.5/80

89. Jake Lamb, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Hit

    16.5/24

    Jake Lamb, 24, has a smooth, compact left-handed swing, with a mature approach that caters to his strong on-base skills and allows him to drive the ball from line to line. Though he consistently works deep counts and projects for an average-or-better hit tool at maturity, there is some swing-and-miss to Lamb’s game. He’s also yet to conquer same-side pitching.

    Power

    15/24

    An adjustment to Lamb’s swing last spring allowed him to create better leverage through the ball and, in turn, tap into his raw power more consistently. He’s been a doubles machine throughout his career, but Lamb should continue to clear more fences as he realizes his power potential.

    Speed

    2/4

    Lamb’s speed is only average at present, but he’s a good athlete who moves well once underway. He’ll never be a base stealer at the highest level but is fast enough to turn some singles into doubles and doubles into triples.

    Arm

    12/16

    He showcases plus arm strength from third base and has good accuracy and carry to his throws.

    Defense

    9/12

    Defense has always been Lamb’s strong suit, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he’s a legitimate plus defender at third base with excellent range, soft hands and a strong arm. He also has the agility and athleticism to stick at the position long term.

    Overall

    54.5/80

88. Chi Chi Gonzalez, RHP, Texas Rangers

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    Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

    Fastball/Velocity

    15/20

    A 6’3”, 210-pound right-hander, Chi Chi Gonzalez’s fastball registers in the 91-95 mph range, at times touching a tick or two higher, and he’s adept at cutting it to create slicing action to the glove side. The 23-year-old has an aggressive approach with the pitch, attacking both sides of the plate while consistently working down in the zone to generate ground-ball outs and other weak contact. 

    Best Breaking Ball

    12/16

    Gonzalez’s slider is his best secondary offering, as he throws it with velocity at 84-87 mph and generates good tilt and late break. It’s a plus offering and will serve as his out pitch at the highest level, though he still has room to improve in terms of chasing whiffs outside the zone.

    Changeup

    10/16

    He is still developing a feel for his changeup, but it projects as a potential solid-average offering that will help keep opposing hitters off his fastball-slider combo.

    Command

    17.5/28

    Chi Chi’s command was on the raw side coming out of Oral Roberts University, but a full season facing quality hitters between the High-A and Double-A levels helped to improve his execution within the strike zone. He has a tendency to pick at the zone at times rather than trust his stuff, but the right-hander manages to keep the ball low even in those instances and avoids hard contact.

    Overall

    54.5/80

87. Josh Bell, 1B, Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Hit

    18/24

    Josh Bell is a physically strong switch-hitter with the potential for an above-average-or-better hit tool. He employs a short line-drive stroke from the right side of the plate and a more leveraged and power-oriented swing from the left. In general, the 22-year-old has an advanced feel for the zone, evidenced by his career strikeout and walk rates of 15.8 and 8.3 percent (prior to this season), respectively, and he’s posted improved contact rates (87.1 percent in 2014) as he’s moved up the organizational ladder.

    Power

    22/32

    Bell has hit nearly three times as many doubles (64) as home runs (23) as a professional, and it’s only a matter of time until some of those two-baggers start clearing fences. As he continues to add strength and gain experience against quality pitching, it’s easy to envision Bell becoming a middle-of-the-order threat capable of hitting 20-25 home runs at maturity. 

    Speed

    2.25/4

    He is a slightly below-average runner and likely won't make a significant impact on the basepaths. That being said, he knows how to pick spots to run and could swipe around eight to 10 bags in a given season.

    Arm

    5.5/8

    Bell’s arm was never one of his better tools, and it’s become even more insignificant in the wake of his move to first base from the outfield.

    Defense

    6.75/12

    The organization moved the career outfielder to first base during last year’s Arizona Fall League. The Pirates will have one of baseball’s best outfields for years to come, so it makes sense that they are beginning to explore other ways to get his bat in the lineup. He’ll likely endure some growing pains at the new position, but with lots of hard work Bell could develop into a serviceable first baseman.  

    Overall

    54.5/80

86. Sean Newcomb, LHP, Los Angeles Angels

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Fastball/Velocity

    15/20

    The 6’5”, 240-pound Sean Newcomb's combination of size, strength and a low-effort delivery should make him a durable workhorse as a professional. Working from a three-quarters arm slot, the left-hander's fastball sits comfortably in the 92-95 mph range, topping out at 97. He’s also shown the ability to maintain it deep into games. The 21-year-old's arm action and extension toward the plate give the pitch late life, with natural arm-side run as well as some sinking action when he locates it down in the zone.

    Best Breaking Ball

    11/16

    Newcomb’s slider is average at present but flashes above-average potential, registering in the low to mid-80s with good tilt and depth. It’s a swing-and-miss offering that dives out of the zone, and he already shows feel for burying it on the back foot of right-handed hitters.

    Changeup

    11/16

    His changeup comes in at 82-85 mph with above-average fading action to his arm side, and he sells the pitch with fastball-like arm action and a smooth delivery.

    Command

    17.5/28

    The left-hander’s ability as a strike thrower leaves something to be desired, but his feel for the zone should continue to improve as he learns to sequence his pitches and repeat his delivery with more consistency.

    Overall

    54.5/80

85. Jake Thompson, RHP, Texas Rangers

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    Fastball/Velocity

    15/20

    Jake Thompson’s stuff steadily improved over the course of the 2014 season, as the 6’4”, 235-pound right-hander gained a few ticks on his four-seam fastball and consistently sat in the 93-96 mph range. The late sink and arm-side run to the right-hander’s two-seamer has helped him maintain a ground-ball rate of 40-41 percent during his ascent in the minor leagues, but the pitch loses most of its movement when he leaves it up in the zone.

    Best Breaking Ball

    12/16

    His plus slider is a legitimate swing-and-miss offering, thrown with good velocity and tight spin that produces wipeout break across two planes. The pitch is especially tough on right-handed hitters, as they combined to bat just .212 with a .584 OPS and 24.8 percent strikeout rate against the 21-year-old in 2014.

    Changeup

    10/16

    Thompson’s changeup isn’t anything special and lags well behind his fastball and slider, but the strides he’s made in developing the pitch (against advanced hitters, too) suggest it could be at least average at maturity. At worst it’ll be consistent enough to keep left-handed hitters off his fastballs.

    Command

    17.5/28

    The effort in Thompson’s delivery is likely to prevent his command from becoming better than average, portending that his realistic long-term role might be that of a late-inning reliever, possibly even a closer. However, the right-hander has become a more consistent strike thrower in the last year, and he executes his pitches with more consistency in and around the zone. At the same time, Thompson still has room for improvement in terms of commanding his two- and four-seam fastball.

    Overall

    54.5/80

84. Lucas Sims, RHP, Atlanta Braves

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    Dave Tulis/Associated Press

    Fastball/Velocity

    15/20

    At 6’2”, 195 pounds, Lucas Sims is an athletic pitcher with a quick arm that produces a plus fastball in the low to mid-90s, and he’s capable of reaching back for 95-96 mph when needed. Beyond its velocity, Sims throws his heater with good arm-side run that induces weak contact and whiffs.

    Best Breaking Ball

    11/16

    The 20-year-old features a slider and curveball in his arsenal, with the latter serving as the better pitch thanks to its shape and heavy downer action. He’ll get trapped between breaking balls at times, throwing them both with similar sweeping action in the same velocity band, but the curve projects as at least above average at maturity.

    Changeup

    11/16

    Sims’ changeup has been a work in progress as a professional, mostly because he’s struggled to repeat his release point for the pitch without telegraphing it. When he’s throwing it well the pitch flashes average potential and makes it easy to dream of the impact he can make with three consistent pitches.

    Command

    17.5/28

    The right-hander pitches to both sides of the plate with his fastball but will also dig deep at times to blow it past hitters. He struggled with some mechanical issues in 2014, but Baseball Prospectus' late-season report from his starts noted that his stuff was as crisp and promising as it was the year before. He might not miss bats like he did in 2013, but Sims’ combination of athleticism, stuff and average command will make him a successful big league starter.

    Overall

    54.5/80

83. Derek Hill, CF, Detroit Tigers

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Hit

    10/16

    Derek Hill has an advanced feel for hitting, especially for a player his age (19), as he shows solid plate discipline, plenty of bat speed and, most importantly, a desire to hit the ball the other way. The right-handed hitter’s swing is short, compact and geared for line-drive contact, although it’ll be interesting to see how he adjusts to more advanced secondary stuff. 

    Power

    8/16

    He has good strength to his 6’2”, 195-pound frame but lacks lift in his swing to be a consistent home run hitter. Therefore, Hill's power numbers will stem from his speed and ability to take extra bases. He might ultimately make enough contact to tally 10 homers annually at his peak, which would really add to his high value as a long-term center fielder.

    Speed

    14/16

    One of the fastest players in the 2014 draft class, Hill has all the makings of an impact leadoff hitter at the highest level. He's not going to offer much power, but he will beat out a lot of infield hits and has the foot speed to steal 30-40 bases in a given season.

    Arm

    7.5/12

    His average arm strength is more than enough for center field and makes him even more valuable at the position.

    Defense

    15/20

    Hill's speed and excellent instincts permit him to cover a ton of ground in center field, as he has range for days to go along with routes that are clean and precise. He plays the position with such confidence and ease that it wouldn’t come as a surprise should Hill win a defensive award or two during his career. 

    Overall

    54.5/80

82. Spencer Adams, RHP, Chicago White Sox

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    Fastball/Velocity

    15/20

    A three-sport standout while in high school in Cleveland, Georgia, Spencer Adams was also known for his dunking prowess before signing with the White Sox last June. The 19-year-old’s stock took off late last spring behind a velocity jump into the mid-90s, while the highly projectable, 6'3" right-hander’s athleticism and frame (171 lbs.) suggest he’ll gain velocity as he gets stronger and focuses on baseball-specific training.

    Best Breaking Ball

    11/16

    Adams’ slider is a potential above-average offering thrown in the mid-80s with tight spin and late, two-plane break that is ideal for missing bats at any level.

    Changeup

    11/16

    The right-hander’s changeup represents the weakest offering in his arsenal almost by default, as he rarely needed a third pitch in high school given his dominant fastball-breaking ball(s) combination. Regardless, the pitch should be at least average at maturity with decent fading action and good speed differential.

    Command

    17.5/28

    Adams’ control and command last summer in his professional debut were arguably just as impressive as his stuff in high school, as the right-hander posted a remarkable 59-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 41.2 innings in the Rookie-level Arizona League. Meanwhile, his athleticism, fluid delivery and consistent arm action should allow him to maintain command of his promising arsenal as he moves up the ladder.

    Overall

    54.5/80

81. A.J. Cole, RHP, Washington Nationals

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    Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

    Fastball/Velocity

    16.25/20

    A.J. Cole’s fastball sits at 93-97 mph with natural sink and decent arm-side run, and he demonstrates good command of the pitch, especially when challenging right-handed batters on the inner portion of the plate. The right-hander’s velocity is deceiving due to his wiry frame, easy delivery and clean arm action, and it allows him to sneak up on opposing hitters.

    Best Breaking Ball

    10/16

    The 23-year-old threw a more refined slider in the low-80s last season, but it’s still a largely inconsistent offering that projects as average at maturity. More specifically, he has the arm speed to throw a good breaking ball but struggles with his release point, so the pitch will vary.

    Changeup

    11/16

    His changeup is an above-average pitch and also his most consistent secondary offering, as the right-hander made strides with his feel for throwing it last season in the high minors.

    Command

    17.5/28

    Cole’s fastball will play light when he leaves it up in the zone, but he has worked hard to improve his command to keep the ball down (and in the park). Beyond that, he’s posted good strikeout and walk rates in each of the last two seasons, highlighting a merger of his big-time arm strength and strike-throwing ability.

    Overall

    54.75/80

80. Bradley Zimmer, CF, Cleveland Indians

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Hit

    11/16

    Widely considered one of the better college batters in last year's draft class, Bradley Zimmer lived up to that reputation in his professional debut with a .302/.400/.492 batting line and 20 extra-base hits in 48 games between the New York-Penn and Midwest Leagues. A left-handed hitter, Zimmer, 22, has a smooth, quiet swing with a line-drive-oriented bat path through the hitting zone. His swing is long at times but doesn’t prevent him from consistently getting the barrel to a solid contact point, and his ability to recognize secondary pitches is highly advanced for his age.

    Power

    10/16

    Power is Zimmer’s weakest tool, but his bat speed and lower-half strength suggest it could be average in his prime. He shows plus raw power to his pull side during games that might improve power by adding a modified leg kick and/or deep hand load—basically something that creates a more pronounced weight transfer. Regardless, Zimmer will always be a source of doubles and triples thanks to a line-to-line approach and strong contact skills.

    Speed

    11/16

    His above-average speed gives him impact potential on both sides of the ball, though he might lose a step by adding significant strength. He’s an aggressive base stealer who could amass roughly 20 steals over a full season.

    Arm

    9/12

    Zimmer’s plus, accurate arm is more than enough for center field and would support a move to either corner spot.

    Defense

    13.75/20

    The 6'4" Zimmer’s highest ceiling is as a center fielder, where he consistently gets good jumps thanks to a strong first step and great instincts. Meanwhile, his combination of above-average speed and long, gliding strides translates to above-average range.

    Overall

    54.75/80

79. Jesse Winker, LF, Cincinnati Reds

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Hit

    16.25/20

    Jesse Winker is one of the best pure hitters in the minor leagues, as he features a smooth, compact stroke from the left side of the plate and is adept at using the entire field. More importantly, Winker possesses plate discipline and pitch recognition well beyond his years, which is reflected through his impressive strikeout (17.5 percent), walk (14.3 percent) and on-base (.401 OBP) rates over 1,100 minor league plate appearances through 2014.

    Power

    16.5/24

    The 6’3”, 210-pound left-handed batter has hit at least 15 home runs in each of his first two years in full-season ball, while his effortless swing and steadily improving opposite-field power suggest more will come. Even if his power doesn’t translate at the highest level, Winker’s 35.6 percent extra-base hit rate prior to this year indicates that he’ll still supply plenty of doubles.

    Speed

    4.5/8

    The 21-year-old Winker is a below-average runner, but he moves well enough on the basepaths to convert some singles into doubles and steal an occasional base.

    Arm

    7.5/12

    Much like his speed, Winker’s arm strength is below average, but he gets the most out of it to deliver accurate throws.

    Defense

    10/16

    Winker’s defense has steadily improved over the last two seasons, but he’s still limited to only left field due to his lack of speed and arm strength.

    Overall

    54.75/80

78. Nomar Mazara, RF, Texas Rangers

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    Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

    Hit

    12.5/20

    Nomar Mazara’s hit tool has the potential to be average, although his swing does have some unnecessary movement and, at times, lacks fluidity, leading to a high whiff rate. However, the 19-year-old did show a more refined approach last season, raising his walk rate by more than 3 percent. It’s also worth noting that the left-handed hitter continued to struggle against same-side arms, highlighted by his .200/.268/.331 batting line in 142 plate appearances.

    Power

    19.5/24

    The 6'4", 205-pounder features plus bat speed, whipping the barrel through the zone with controlled force to generate effortless plus raw power to all fields. Meanwhile, the fact that it has already translated during games in the form of 20-plus home runs at such a young age is very encouraging.

    Speed

    4/8

    Although Mazara is a below-average runner, he still moves well enough on the basepaths to maintain a high extra-base hit rate (40.5 percent in 2014).

    Arm

    12/16

    Mazara’s plus arm strength is a true weapon in right field, as he’s accrued an impressive 26 outfield assists since the start of the 2013 season.

    Defense

    6.75/12

    Mazara’s combination of average range and plus arm strength make him a clean fit in right field at the highest level, though there is some concern that he might outgrow the position years down the road.

    Overall

    54.75/80

77. Monte Harrison, RF, Milwaukee Brewers

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    Hit

    12.5/20

    Monte Harrison’s bat lags behind his other tools, but that’s mostly a result of having never focused on baseball exclusively. Yet, his patient approach and willingness to take walks during his pro debut were pleasant surprises, as he posted an impressive .261/.402/.339 batting line with a 13.8 percent walk rate in the Rookie-level Arizona League.

    Power

    15/24

    At 6’3”, 220 pounds, Harrison is both physically strong and incredibly athletic, with a combination of bat speed and raw strength that could translate to at least average power at maturity. 

    Speed

    6/8

    The 19-year-old’s plus speed helped him make an immediate impact on the basepaths last season, as the toolsy outfielder paced the Arizona League with 32 stolen bases in 50 games.

    Arm

    13/16

    Harrison’s plus-plus arm strength was considered to be among the best in the 2014 draft class, and there’s no question that it has him destined for a career in right field.

    Defense

    8.25/12

    Before he signed with the Brewers, Harrison was a three-sport standout known mostly for his highlight-reel dunks and rating as a 4-star recruit wide receiver, per 247Sports. Harrison’s plus speed and range are clean fits in center field, but he also saw time in right field during his pro debut and will likely continue to receive playing time at both positions moving forward.

    Overall

    54.75/80

76. Touki Toussaint, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Fastball/Velocity

    15/20

    A 6’3”, 185-pound right-hander, Touki Toussaint’s fastball sits in the low to mid-90s and has climbed as high as 96-97 mph in the past. The 18-year-old produces effortless velocity with his athletic delivery and lightning-quick arm, though he had problems staying on top of the ball at times during his 2014 professional debut.  

    Best Breaking Ball

    13/16

    Toussaint complements his heater with a curveball that was arguably the best, most projectable secondary pitch among righties in last year’s draft class. Thrown in the low 70s with exceptional depth and a sharp two-plane break, the pitch projects as a plus offering capable of inducing whiffs at any level.

    Changeup

    11/16

    The key for Toussaint moving forward will be developing a changeup, as it could determine whether he’s a starting pitcher or reliever in the major leagues. The pitch flashes average potential, although it’s likely to remain a work in progress for the right-hander over the next few seasons.

    Command

    15.75/28

    If Toussaint’s changeup comes along as hoped and he’s able to improve both his control and command—which might take a while—he could serve as a front-of the-rotation starter at maturity. If that doesn’t work out, the right-hander would still have a lot of potential in a bullpen role.

    Overall

    54.75/80

75. Kyle Schwarber, LF, Chicago Cubs

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Hit

    15/20

    Considered by many to be the best pure hitter in the 2014 draft class, Kyle Schwarber projects for a 60 hit tool at maturity, as his plus bat speed and knack for barreling the ball helps him generate ringing contact from line to line (78.3 percent contact rate in 2014 professional debut). Besides his feel for hitting and big-time power, Schwarber's best attribute is his knowledge of the strike zone and corresponding ability to work counts and recognize pitches.

    Power

    19.5/24

    A 6’0”, 235-pound left-handed hitter, Schwarber’s combination of enormous raw power and a natural fly-ball tendency could translate to 25-30 home runs at the highest level. The 22-year-old drives the ball to all fields with ease, using his incredibly strong wrists and powerful lower half to create backspin carry. Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that Schwarber demolished righties last season to the tune of a .353/.434/.658 batting line.

    Speed

    4/8

    He knows how to move on the basepaths and will even swipe a handful of bags in a given season despite having well-below-average speed. But for what it’s worth, the big man carries his large frame well with relatively quick footwork, and he shouldn’t have any problems going from station to station.

    Arm

    7.5/12

    Schwarber's arm strength is average, which is one of several reasons he won't stick behind the plate. Specifically, he has a long, slow release that makes it difficult to throw out even average baserunners. However, those same throwing mechanics played well in left field last summer during his pro debut, when he tallied three assists in 36 games at the position.

    Defense

    9/16

    He appeared in only 20 contests behind the plate compared to 36 in left field during his professional debut, but he worked hard on refining his defensive chops during the fall instructional league and is set to receive more looks behind the plate in 2015. However, keeping Schwarber behind the plate is more about maximizing his offensive value rather than it being his best defensive position. It’s only a matter of time until the team finally moves him to left field full time.

    Overall

    55/80

74. Brandon Drury, 3B, Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Hit

    18/24

    Brandon Drury is one of the more underrated hitters in the minor leagues, as he features a short but powerful swing that produces booming line drives to the deepest parts of any ballpark. The 22-year-old’s approach is equally impressive, as he demonstrates an advanced feel for the zone and recognizes secondary pitches better than most players his age, and his 82.2 percent contact rate and high line-drive rate last season highlight his potential for a plus hit tool at maturity.

    Power

    16.5/24

    Drury has good strength to his 6’1”, 215-pound frame and probably will always be a line-drive hitter with the potential for 40-50 doubles and a high extra-base hit rate in a given season. However, the improvements he made to his approach and bat path last year resulted in an uptick in his fly-ball rate and, ultimately, a career-high 23 home runs. More importantly, Drury’s power has even more room to improve, as it’s seemingly just a matter of time until some of his line drives begin clearing fences.

    Speed

    2/4

    His well-below-average speed is easily Druy's weakest tool, but he moves well and has quicker feet than one might expect given his muscular build.

    Arm

    11/16

    Drury showcases above-average arm strength across the infield, while his athleticism and internal clock allow him to execute challenging throws on the run.

    Defense

    7.5/12

    His improved defense—a product of endless on-field reps—and mobility at third base last season boosted his projection to that of at least a league-average defender. The Diamondbacks had him begin working out at second base in the fall to potentially increase his versatility, and Drury responded by taking to the position quickly during spring training. However, his best position is still third base.

    Overall

    55/80

73. Maikel Franco, 3B, Philadelphia Phillies

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    Ricardo Arduengo/Associated Press

    Hit

    15/24

    Maikel Franco doesn’t miss many fastballs, but his recognition of secondary pitches is fringy and prevents him from consistently barreling such offerings. The 22-year-old right-handed hitter employs an aggressive approach that borders on free-swinging, as he’s posted low strikeout (14.6 percent) and walk rates (6.3 percent) from 2010 through 2014. Franco’s contact skills will eventually serve as a strength, but not before he can develop a better feel for the zone and utilize the entire field. Therefore, there’s reason to worry that Franco’s batting average might always be heavily tied to his batting average on balls in play (BABIP).

    Power

    19.5/24

    A 6’1”, 215-pounder, Franco's strong wrists and plus bat speed fuel his projection for plus power, which could manifest in the form of 25-plus home runs at maturity. He’s always posted ground-ball rates that have been high for his respective level at the time, and it’ll be interesting to see whether that trend hinders his power frequency in the major leagues.

    Speed

    1.75/4

    Franco will be a nonfactor on the basepaths, as he’s a below-average runner and likely to lose speed with physical development.

    Arm

    12/16

    His above-average arm strength is a clean fit at third base, as he shows surprising athleticism with his ability to get rid of the ball with quick throws.

    Defense

    6.75/12

    Franco has decent lateral range at the hot corner to go along with good hands and above-average arm strength, but his lack of mobility and quickness could force a move to first base down the road. For now, however, the Phillies have every reason to keep him at the more valuable position.

    Overall

    55/80

72. Aaron Nola, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies

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    Fastball/Velocity

    13.75/20

    Working from a low-three-quarter arm slot, Aaron Nola sits at 92-94 mph with a heavy fastball that induces both whiffs and weak contact with late sinking action as well as arm-side run.

    Best Breaking Ball

    10/16

    The right-hander’s curveball is an average offering that tends to play up when thrown off his well-located fastball, as he throws the pitch in a variety of counts and to both sides of the plate. Nola shows good feel for his breaking ball, throwing it in the 78-82 mph range with depth and tight rotation. It could be a bat-misser and an out pitch with refinement in the minor leagues.

    Changeup

    12/16

    The 21-year-old also does a nice job of keeping hitters off balance with his changeup, which registers in the 83-85 mph range with good arm-side fade, as his low-three-quarters arm angle and release point aids the effectiveness of the offering.

    Command

    19.25/28

    Nola owned the best command of any pitcher in the 2014 draft class (345/52 K/BB ratio over 332 innings at LSU), and it carried over into his professional debut last summer. The right-hander floods the zone with three above-average or better pitches and, in general, possesses a feel for his craft well beyond his years. His entire arsenal should always play up thanks to his above-average command profile.

    Overall

    55/80

71. Jorge Alfaro, C, Texas Rangers

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    Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

    Hit

    9/16

    The right-handed hitting Jorge Alfaro has the bat speed to turn around velocity but struggles to recognize spin and keep weight on his back side, resulting in a considerable amount of swings and misses. He still manages to make fairly consistent contact, evidenced by his 74.6 percent contact rate in 2014, and is adept at driving the ball across the entire field. But his aggressive approach limits his ultimate hit-tool potential.

    Power

    12/16

    At 6’2”, 225 pounds, Alfaro generates plus bat speed as well as plus raw power thanks to a combination of strength and athleticism, although most of his over-the-fence pop goes to his pull side. The 21-year-old has the potential to hit 20-plus home runs at the highest level, but that’s only if he can tighten his approach and make swifter in-game adjustments at the plate.  

    Speed

    2.5/4

    Alfaro’s average speed is especially strong for the position and could make him a rare dual-threat catching prospect at maturity, with the potential for double-digit home runs and stolen bases.

    Arm

    14/16

    He features an absolute cannon behind the plate, and his 70-grade arm strength and an aggressive mindset make him one of the more electrifying catching prospects in the minor leagues.

    Defense

    17.5/28

    Alfaro has as much upside as any catcher in the minor leagues, as he’s incredibly agile and aggressive behind the plate. However, his blocking and receiving are inconsistent and even sloppy at times, which is why, despite having a cannon on his right arm, he threw out only 28 percent of attempted base stealers last season and allowed 23 passed balls in 90 games behind the plate.

    Overall

    55/80

70. Nick Gordon, SS, Minnesota Twins

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    Hit

    11/16

    A left-handed hitter, Nick Gordon generates above-average bat speed with strong, loose wrists, while his advanced barrel control helped him make contact 80.6 percent of the time last season in his professional debut. The 19-year-old keeps his hands inside the ball, with the barrel staying in the hitting zone for an extended period of time, while his line-drive approach from left-center back up the middle highlights his potential to hit for average.

    Power

    8/16

    Gordon already has good strength to his 6’0”, 160-pound frame and more power should emerge as he grows into his body and adds muscle, giving him the potential for 12-15 home runs at maturity. Most of his present power is to the left-center field gap, but that’s likely to change as he learns to turn on the ball.

    Speed

    9/12

    He is an outstanding athlete with plus speed—but not nearly as fast as his older brother, Dee—that plays on both sides of the ball. He possesses the wheels to be a base-stealing and extra-base threat, but after he swiped 11 bags in 18 attempts last summer, it’s clear that Gordon needs to improve his jumps and general feel for reading pitchers.

    Arm

    12/16

    Gordon’s plus arm strength was the best among middle-of-the-diamond players in the 2014 draft class, as he also received consideration as a right-handed pitcher (like his father, Tom "Flash" Gordon) with a low 90s fastball. As a shortstop, Gordon features a quick arm stroke and release, and he consistently squares his shoulders to ensure accuracy.

    Defense

    15/20

    Beyond being a plus athlete with smooth actions, Gordon is a sure-handed defender who stands out for his instincts and creativity at shortstop. He was, without question, the best defensive shortstop in the Rookie-level Appalachian League last summer, and there’s little doubt about whether he can stick at the position long term.

    Overall

    55/80

69. Forrest Wall, 2B, Colorado Rockies

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    Hit

    18/24

    One of the best pure hitters in the 2014 draft class, Forrest Wall’s lightning-quick hands and explosive wrists generate plus-plus bat speed, while his short, compact left-handed swing casts line drives all over the field. Wall also has surprising plate discipline for such a young player and recognizes pitches well—a notion reflected by his 32 strikeouts against 27 walks in 2014—and he’s proved capable of driving both fastballs and off-speed pitches.

    Power

    9/16

    Wall’s size (6'0", 176 lbs) and the lack of loft at the end of his swing translates to below-average over-the-fence power, but he’s going to be a doubles machine thanks to his consistently strong contact and high-end speed. Projecting the 19-year-old to hit 10-12 homers with 30-plus doubles in a season is reasonable, although it wouldn’t be surprising if he surpassed expectations. 

    Speed

    14/16

    One of the best pure runners in the 2014 draft class, Wall is going to put up huge stolen base totals during his professional career. Meanwhile, his 18 stolen bases, six triples and 48 runs scored in 41 contests last summer offered a glimpse at how Wall’s speed impacts games.

    Arm

    4/8

    Wall's arm strength was never an asset, but it's gotten progressively worse in the last few years due to a separated shoulder and torn labrum. That being said, it’s still plenty strong for the keystone and should serve him well at the highest level.

    Defense

    10/16

    Despite his above-average range at second base, Wall doesn't project to be more than average defensively due to limited arm strength and a lack of body control.

    Overall

    55/80

68. Lewis Thorpe, LHP, Minnesota Twins

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    Fastball/Velocity

    16.25/20

    Lewis Thorpe’s fastball has plus projection, already registering 89-94 mph, while his frame and arm action suggest the potential for a mid-90s peak. The well-built left-hander’s long arm generates outstanding movement on the pitch and makes him tough on righties and lefties alike. However, it also makes it difficult for him to consistently throw strikes and work deep into games.

    Best Breaking Ball

    12/16

    The 6’1”, 160-pound Australian’s knee-buckling curveball projects as a plus pitch, registering at 78-80 mph, but his control of it is still very raw and will require lots of work upon his return from Tommy John surgery.

    Changeup

    11/16

    Thorpe’s changeup is an above-average offering, thrown with fastball arm action and late fade at 80-83 mph.

    Command

    15.75/28

    He may not be the biggest guy in the world, but Thorpe makes great use his height to drive balls into home plate, combining a clean, simple arm action and easily repeatable mechanics.

    Overall

    55/80

    Injury Update: Thorpe will soon undergo Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, per LaVelle Neal of the Star Tribune. The 19-year-old is expected to miss the entire 2015 season and the beginning of 2016.

67. Grant Holmes, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Fastball/Velocity

    16.25/20

    At 6’1”, 215 pounds, Grant Holmes is a thick, durable right-hander who uses his broad shoulders and strong lower half to produce a plus fastball in a 93-96 mph range with late life, and he’s even scraped triple digits in the past. Holmes’ impressive heater helped him strike out 29.6 percent of the hitters he faced last summer and induced loads of ground balls.

    Best Breaking Ball

    13/20

    Holmes, 19, features a wipeout curveball with sharp break in the low to mid-80s. His fastball-breaking ball combination was particularly effective against right-handed hitters last summer in his professional debut, as they batted just .170/.248/.255 and struck out 37 percent of the time.

    Changeup

    10/16

    He also has a raw but promising changeup that will be crucial to his success against left-handed hitters.

    Command

    15.75/28

    Holmes demonstrated impressive fastball command in his professional debut and piled up strikeouts using his breaking ball. The effort to his delivery raises some concerns regarding his future command, and he'll need to develop at least a serviceable changeup. But the organization will give Holmes ample time to make adjustments as he moves up the ladder. 

    Overall

    55/80

66. Matt Wisler, RHP, Atlanta Braves

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Fastball/Velocity

    15/20

    An athletic and projectable right-hander, Matt Wisler pounds both sides of the plate with a low-90s fastball, thrown with natural sinking action and decent arm-side run. The pitch tends to get hammered when he leaves it up in the zone, however, which was the case last season when he allowed 21 home runs in 146.2 innings (1.3 HR/9).

    Best Breaking Ball

    11/16

    His slider is an above-average offering thrown with excellent depth and a two-plane break in the 80-82 mph range. The pitch makes him highly effective against same-side hitters, whom he fanned 26 percent of the time in 2014.

    Changeup

    10/16

    Wisler, 22, will also mix in a changeup that flashes plus with late dropping action but is thrown too firmly, registering at 86-88 mph. Therefore it's relatively easy to time for left-handed hitters.

    Command

    19.25/28

    While his fly-ball and home run tendencies will be less of an issue in the pitcher-friendly confines of Turner Field, Wisler still hasn’t figured out how to retire left-handed batters, which was evidenced by their collective .279/.333/.462 batting line against him in 2014. However, the fact that he posted a 6.6 percent walk rate last season between Double-A and Triple-A, maintained a consistent strikeout rate and generated a healthy amount ground balls in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League suggests his advanced command profile will translate at the highest level.

    Overall

    55.25/80

65. Tim Anderson, SS, Chicago White Sox

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Hit

    11/16

    A right-handed hitter, Tim Anderson’s excellent bat speed and barrel awareness drive his knack for making consistent contact (76.4 percent contact rate in 2014) across the entire field. His approach is super-aggressive, though, and given his respective strikeout and walk rates of 22.5 and 2.5 percent last season, upper-level arms have the potential to exploit it.

    Power

    9/16

    Anderson’s in-game power comes mostly in the form of doubles and triples at the present, but he does have good pull-side power that suggests he may be able to hit upward of 12-15 home runs, possibly even more if he can improve upon his low fly-ball rate.

    Speed

    10.5/12

    His plus-plus speed is his best tool and makes him a threat to steal every time he reaches base. However, the 21-year-old’s stolen base totals likely will be tied to his on-base skills, which, as explained above, currently leave something to be desired.

    Arm

    11/16

    Anderson’s arm strength is above-average and projects favorably at shortstop. It has a tendency to play up at times on account of his quick arm action and release.

    Defense

    13.75/20

    His future at shortstop is rooted in his athleticism and range, as both his glove and footwork are inconsistent and require refinement. Anderson certainly has the raw ability to stick at the position long term. The only question is whether his secondary skills can ever catch up.

    Overall

    55.25/80

64. Raimel Tapia, LF, Colorado Rockies

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    Hit

    15/20

    A left-handed hitter, Raimel Tapia’s swing mechanics are somewhat unusual but don’t hinder his feel for hitting, as the 21-year-old posted an 81.3 percent contact rate last year in his full-season debut. Tapia’s hit tool could ultimately be plus or better at maturity thanks to his plus bat speed, preternatural bat-to-ball ability and feel for using the entire field. Lastly, he proved to be adept at hitting same-side pitching last season with a .313/.356/.446 batting line vs. lefties.

    Power

    15/24

    Tapia already generates big extension after contact, and more power should come as he adds strength to his lean 6’2”, 185-pound frame. While he showed considerably more power at Asheville’s home park last season, Tapia still held his own on the road with a .304/.374/.377 batting line and 16 doubles.

    Speed

    6/8

    He is a plus runner who stole 33 bases in 47 attempts last season, while a significant number of his 157 hits were infield singles.

    Arm

    8.25/12

    Tapia possesses above-average arm strength that profiles in either center or left field at the highest level.

    Defense

    11/16

    His above-average speed translates to similar range in left field. His all-out style of play can hurt him at times, whether it is taking too aggressive of a route or trying to make an impossible play. But he’ll have plenty of time to refine his defense in anticipation of his arrival in the major leagues.

    Overall

    55.25/80

63. Ryan McMahon, 3B, Colorado Rockies

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    Hit

    16.5/24

    The left-handed hitting Ryan McMahon projects as an above-average hitter with plus bat speed, good barrel control and an effortless, pretty swing that generates hard contact across the entire field. The 20-year-old has a fair amount of swing-and-miss to his game (25.9 percent strikeout rate in 2014) like any young masher, but so far it hasn’t detracted from his ability to make consistent contact and reach base at a high clip.

    Power

    18/24

    At 6’2”, 185 pounds, McMahon is already loaded with strength and should have room to add even more without sacrificing athleticism. McMahon’s raw power already shows in games, as he ranked second in the South Atlantic League last season in runs (93), doubles (46) and OPS (.860), and first in RBI (102). And if his 49.3 percent extra-base hit rate and 41.6 percent fly-ball rate are signs of what's to come, then it might not be long until McMahon emerges as one of the premier sluggers in the minor leagues.

    Speed

    2.25/4

    Though a decorated quarterback in high school in Santa Ana, California, McMahon is a fringe-average runner who is nearly guaranteed to lose speed with physical maturation.

    Arm

    11/16

    McMahon's above-average arm plays well at the hot corner, as he uses his height to get on top of the ball and throw darts across the infield.

    Defense

    7.5/12

    He is an athletic third baseman for his size and generally has a good feel for the position. But after committing 32 errors during his 2014 full-season debut, McMahon will require considerable refinement in order to reach his projection as an average defender.

    Overall

    55.25/80

62. Tyler Kolek, RHP, Miami Marlins

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    Fastball/Velocity

    17.5/20

    At 6’5”, 250 pounds, Tyler Kolek has everything one looks for in a potential front-of-the-rotation starting pitcher, including plus-plus fastball velocity. Working on a downhill plane from a three-quarters arm slot, the 19-year-old operated comfortably in the mid-90s with his heater and reached triple digits prior to the June draft. During his pro debut, however, the right-hander’s heater sat more in the 92-95 mph range and lacked movement.

    Best Breaking Ball

    12/16

    Kolek’s secondary arsenal will require thorough development, but his curveball flashes plus potential when it’s right, thrown with force and tight rotation that gives it hard, downer break.

    Changeup

    10/16

    He didn’t need a changeup as an amateur, but left-handed batters exploited his lack of a third pitch last summer, as they hit .314/.419/.457 against the big right-hander.

    Command

    15.75/28

    It will be difficult for Kolek—who posted a 13.1 percent walk rate (5.3 BB/9) in his 2014 professional debut—to reach his ceiling as a front-of-the-rotation starter without first drastically improving his control and command. His fastball command should improve as he irons out his delivery and gains experience, although that won’t count for much if his secondary pitches fail to develop.

    Overall

    55.25/80

61. Alex Jackson, RF, Seattle Mariners

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    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Hit

    15/20

    Alex Jackson might have the potential for a plus hit tool at maturity, but right now his swing can become long and prevent him from getting to hittable pitches out over the plate like he should. However, that’s a fairly common issue with young power hitters, and one that is often resolved naturally as they adjust to quality professional arms. That being said, Jackson’s 69 percent contact rate and 27.1 percent strikeout rate last summer in the Arizona League confirmed some of the reservations regarding his hit tool. But at the same time, there’s no reason to make drastic predictions based on the small sample sizes from a teenage player’s professional debut.

    Power

    18/24

    Jackson’s projection for plus power stems from the combination of explosive bat speed and the extension he achieves through contact, as he effortlessly drives the ball with backspin carry to all fields. Viewed by many as the top prep hitter in the 2014 draft class, the 19-year-old projects as a middle-of-the-order hitter thanks to his plus bat speed, natural hitting ability and big-time raw power.

    Speed

    4.5/8

    He is a good athlete who moves well for his size, but the likelihood of him adding even more strength to his 6’2”, 215-pound frame makes it difficult to conceive of him as anything but a below-average runner.

    Arm

    11/16

    Jackson’s above-average arm strength is a clean fit in right field, though he does have a tendency to get underneath some throws when using too quick of an arm stroke.

    Defense

    6.75/12

    His jumps and routes need work after moving from catcher to right field upon turning pro, but his athleticism, speed and arm strength are all fits at the position. More importantly, Jackson’s transition to the outfield full time should get him to the major leagues faster than he would have as a catcher, as it allows him to focus on his offensive development almost exclusively.

    Overall

    55.25/80

60. Justin O'Conner, C, Tampa Bay Rays

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    Hit

    9/16

    The right-handed-hitting Justin O’Conner will always have some swing-and-miss to his game on account of his aggressive approach, which was why it was so crucial he trimmed his strikeout rate to a manageable 14.6 percent in 2014. Just as important was the fact that he made contact at a 75.4 percent clip and did so despite walking just 3.8 percent of the time in 424 plate appearances. Specifically, the 23-year-old learned to trust his strong wrists/forearms last season and tightened his pitch selection, which in turn improved his contact rate, trimmed his strikeout rate and allowed him to tap into more power.

    Power

    11/16

    Speaking of raw power, O’Conner has always shown plenty of it, but he finally showcased it regularly during games last season and had 44.1 percent of his hits go for extra bases—including 31 doubles and 10 home runs during his time in the hitter-friendly Florida State League (High-A).

    Speed

    2/4

    O’Conner’s speed technically is below-average, but it can play up thanks to his plus athleticism and stands out among his peers.

    Arm

    16/16

    He possesses an absolute cannon behind the plate, but the reason his arm grades as an elite tool also reflects his ability to get something on every throw (with accuracy, too) from several different arm slots.

    Defense

    17.5/28

    Defensively, O’Conner’s athleticism and arm strength produce pop times that consistently register in the 1.75- to 1.85-second range. He’s also adept at blocking laterally and keeping the ball in front, which allows him to explode from the couch and generate momentum into throws. His receiving skills—especially pitch-framing—are still developing and lag behind his advanced catch-and-throw skills. But given the progress he’s made since moving behind the plate in 2010, there’s no reason to think O’Conner will be anything less than an average defender at maturity.

    Overall

    55.5/80

59. Dalton Pompey, CF, Toronto Blue Jays

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    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    Hit

    12/16

    Dalton Pompey, 22, is an exceptional athlete with a wiry-strong 6’2”, 195-pound frame that’s ideal for adding more strength moving forward. The switch-hitter’s strong hands and quick wrists translate to plus bat speed from both sides of the plate, resulting in hard contact across the whole field. Though he’s young and relatively inexperienced, Pompey already has an advanced feel for the strike zone and recognizes pitches, the combination of which resulted in an 80 percent contact rate and 10.3 percent walk rate in 2014 across four levels, including the major leagues.

    Power

    9/16

    Pompey’s swing is geared primarily toward hard, line-drive contact, but he’s gotten stronger and added some lift from both sides of the plate over the past year, which in turn has helped him tap into his raw power. Even if he doesn’t offer more than below-average power, Pompey is still a safe bet to tally plenty of doubles and triples with his impressive speed and line-to-line approach.

    Speed

    12/16

    His high contact rate and on-base skills permit his plus speed to translate on the basepaths and could lead to upward of 30 stolen bases annually.

    Arm

    7.5/12

    Pompey has average arm strength that plays up in center field.

    Defense

    15/20

    Defensively, Pompey profiles as a long-term center fielder thanks to his consistently strong jumps, plus range and closing speed.

    Overall

    55.5/80

58. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Boston Red Sox

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Fastball/Velocity

    15/20

    A 6’2”, 200-pound left-hander, Eduardo Rodriguez normally works in the low 90s with his fastball, but he sat in the 92-96 mph range more frequently during the second half of the 2014 season. The 22-year-old’s velocity tends to play up thanks to the deception in his delivery, while his smooth finish generates some late sink and arm-side run.

    Best Breaking Ball

    11/16

    Rodriguez’s slider has improved considerably since the beginning of the 2013 season, as it’s developed into an above-average offering in the mid-80s with tight spin and swing-and-miss bite. The pitch was highly effective against same-side hitters last season at the Double-A level, as Rodriguez held them to just a .216/.252/.261 batting line with zero home runs and 35 strikeouts against just six walks.

    Changeup

    12/16

    His changeup has plus potential, registering in the 82-84 mph range with good sinking action, but his feel for the pitch varies from start to start. Thoroughly developing the pitch will be a priority for Rodriguez moving forward, as a more consistent changeup would undoubtedly improve his effectiveness against right-handed hitters.

    Command

    17.5/28

    Rodriguez has a strong feel for keeping hitters off balance with sequencing, and his strike-throwing ability and smooth delivery suggest his secondaries should continue to improve with experience. He’s already consistently around the strike zone but has room left to grow in terms of commanding his fastball and changeup. Rodriguez should have success in the major leagues even if his command doesn't progress as expected, as his ability to miss bats with three pitches inside and outside of the zone from the left side makes him a valuable commodity.

    Overall

    55.5/80

57. Max Fried, LHP, Atlanta Braves

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    Denis Poroy/Getty Images

    Fastball/Velocity

    15/20

    A 6’4” left-hander, Max Fried works in the low 90s with his fastball and touches 94-95 mph, but his projectable frame suggests there’s more velocity to come. The downhill plane on which he throws the pitch makes it an extremely heavy offering and difficult for opposing hitters to lift. In his 2013 full-season debut, the he posted ground-ball and fly-ball rates of 56.5 and 19.6 percent, respectively, over 118.2 innings at Low-A Fort Wayne.

    Best Breaking Ball

    12/16

    The 21-year-old basically has two curveball variations, with one version registering at 74-78 mph with big-time depth and late biting action, and the other in the low 70s with more sweep than downer action. Overall, the pitch has the potential to grade as a plus offering.

    Changeup

    11/16

    Fried’s changeup represents his least advanced offering, but the left-hander demonstrated some feel for the pitch before his elbow injury, throwing it around 80-83 mph with sink.

    Command

    17.5/28

    He made only five starts between the Arizona League and Low-A Fort Wayne in 2014 before his ulnar collateral ligament gave out and required season-ending Tommy John surgery in mid-August. His potential for average command in addition to his durable build, repeatable mechanics and front-of-the-rotation stuff give him one of the higher ceilings of all left-handed pitching prospects. However, the elbow injury has caused him to fall behind the developmental curve.

    Overall

    55.5/80

56. Rob Kaminsky, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals

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    Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

    Fastball/Velocity

    15/20

    Rob Kaminsky’s fastball sits at 88-92 mph, and he’ll top out around 94, while his smooth, balanced delivery causes the pitch’s velocity to play up. It lacks significant movement, but Kaminsky commands it to both sides of the plate against right- and left-handed hitters, and he isn’t afraid to attack under the hands.

    Best Breaking Ball

    12/16

    The 20-year-old left-hander’s curveball gives him a second plus offering, as it’s a power breaking ball at 78-82 mph with tight spin, excellent depth and late downward bite. Thrown from the same release point as his fastball, Kaminsky’s curveball is the type of hammer that is equally effective against right- and left-handed hitters, as they batted .196 and .186, respectively, against him last season.

    Changeup

    11/16

    He uses his low-80s changeup sparingly given the effectiveness of his fastball and curve, but he does have good feel for turning it over to create late fade and sink.

    Command

    17.5/28

    Kaminsky projects to have at least average command of his three-pitch mix, while his high baseball IQ gives him knowledge of how to sequence his offerings. The southpaw didn’t miss as many bats as expected last season at Low-A Peoria—he posted a league-average strikeout rate of 19.4 percent—but he still generated tons of weak contact by changing speeds and sequencing pitches.

    Overall

    55.5/80

55. Clint Frazier, RF, Cleveland Indians

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    Hit

    12.5/20

    Clint Frazier’s disappointing 2014 full-season debut saw him make contact at a 66 percent clip and strike out 161 times in 542 plate appearances (29.7 percent strikeout rate). However, he still produced a respectable 10.3 percent walk rate behind an approach that noticeably improved during the second half of the season. While Frazier’s pitch recognition is raw and his approach features too many swings and misses, his favorable fly-ball and line-drive rates highlight his potential for at least an average hit tool with comparable on-base skills.

    Power

    19.5/24

    The right-handed hitting Frazier's wrists and forearms are loaded with strong, quick-twitch muscles that help generate off-the-chart bat speed and one of the more explosive swings in the minor leagues. There are concerns about whether his raw pitch recognition and penchant for swinging and missing will limit his power utility, as was the case in 2014. But there’s no questioning that Frazier possesses the plus-plus raw power to be a regular 25-plus homer threat in his prime.

    Speed

    5/8

    Frazier’s speed is slightly above average at the present, but he’s likely to lose a step or two with physical maturation. And while he may not be a burner, the 20-year-old gets out of the box and runs the bases well, while his quick first step and aggressive mindset could lead to seasons with 10-15 steals early in his career.

    Arm

    11/16

    An injury during his senior year of high school zapped some of Frazier’s arm strength, but it’s still an above-average tool that plays up thanks to his short arm stroke and quick release.

    Defense

    7.5/12

    The Indians decided to develop Frazier in center field, where his offensive ceiling is most attractive, but the inconsistency of his jumps and routes last season, as well as the likelihood he also loses speed in future years, means he’ll eventually move to a corner outfield spot, likely right field.  

    Overall

    55.5/80

54. Manuel Margot, CF, Boston Red Sox

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    Hit

    11/16

    Manuel Margot stands out for his explosive right-handed swing and aggressive approach. But behind all that effort are excellent bat-to-ball skills and a genuine feel for using the whole field, the combination of which resulted in an 87.1 percent contact rate in 2014 between both Class-A levels. Margot’s swing has holes that limit his opposite-field power, as his bat angle will flatten out before reaching the ideal contact point through the zone, thus limiting his extension and lift through the ball to right field.

    Power

    9/16

    Margot, 20, is an outstanding athlete with natural strength to his wiry frame and legit pull-side power that should continue to play in games against better pitching. He also improved his extra-base hit rate to 34.2 percent in his 2014 full-season debut, setting career highs in doubles (25) and home runs (12), and posted fly-ball rates that were above-average at both Class-A stops.

    Speed

    13/16

    His top tool is speed, as he’s a plus-plus runner who wreaked havoc on the basepaths last season with 42 stolen bases in 115 games. However, opposing catchers threw him out 15 times (73.7 percent success rate) on the year, which highlighted his inconsistent jumps and overall lack of feel for picking spots to run, both of which will undoubtedly improve with experience.

    Arm

    7.5/12

    Margot’s arm strength is only average but more than enough for center field.

    Defense

    15/20

    He shouldn’t have any problems remaining up the middle for the long haul, as he’s a rangy defender with advanced secondary skills that show through his first-step reads, routes and positioning. Even if Margot’s bat doesn’t develop as expected, he should still offer plenty of value as a big league center fielder based on the merits of his defense and speed.

    Overall

    55.5/80

53. Kohl Stewart, RHP, Minnesota Twins

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    Genevieve Ross/Associated Press

    Fastball/Velocity

    15/20

    At 6’3”, 195 pounds, Kohl Stewart is an excellent athlete with present physicality and room to add strength. The 20-year-old right-hander features a plus fastball that consistently registers in the 91-95 mph range, and there's a realistic chance Stewart could sit in the mid-90s at maturity. Meanwhile, his ability to work on a steep downhill plane with the pitch helped him induce ground balls at a 54.3 percent clip last season—well above the Midwest League average of 45.4 percent—and he allowed just four home runs in 87 innings.

    Best Breaking Ball

    12/16

    Stewart’s plus slider serves as his out pitch, as the right-hander throws it with force in the low to mid-80s with good depth and tilt. It didn’t lead to as many strikeouts for Stewart last season as many expected it would, but it still made him extremely tough on right-handed hitters, who collectively batted .207 and slugged just .274.

    Changeup

    11/16

    He spent his first full professional season developing his changeup after rarely throwing it in high school, and, for the most part, the right-hander made noticeable strides. There’s still plenty of work to be done, but Stewart’s changeup flashes slightly above-average potential with late sinking action in the high 70s.

    Command

    17.5/28

    Stewart’s athleticism and ability to repeat both his delivery and release point paid immediate dividends last season in the form of 2.48 walks per nine innings and a .228 opponents batting average. However, his emphasis on fastball command and developing a third pitch detracted from his strikeout potential, as Stewart fanned just 17.2 percent of all batters he faced (6.41 K/9).  

    Overall

    55.5/80

52. Eddie Butler, RHP, Colorado Rockies

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    Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

    Fastball/Velocity

    16.25/20

    Working from a low three-quarters arm slot, Eddie Butler produces a 94-97 mph fastball with exceptional sink and run to the arm side. He doesn’t miss many bats with the pitch despite its impressive velocity and late movement, but it generates a ton of ground balls and weak contact, especially from right-handed hitters.

    Best Breaking Ball

    10/16

    The 6’2”, 180-pound right-hander complements his heater with a slider in the high 80s, though the pitch has taken a step backward in the last year in terms of its depth and bite. Still, it’s at least an average offering and should net the 24-year-old whiffs at the highest level if located down in the zone.

    Changeup

    12/16

    He also possesses a plus changeup that registers in nearly the same velocity range as his slider but falls off the table with late, heavy tumbling action. While it represents his best secondary offering, the fact that left-handed hitters combined to bat .290/.342/.507 with seven home runs in 228 plate appearances against him last season means the pitch requires further refinement.

    Command

    17.5/28

    Butler attacks the strike zone with average command of a deep arsenal that features a unique blend of plus velocity and movement. But after striking out 22.7 percent of hitters he faced from 2012 to 2013, the right-hander suffered a concerning regression in that department last year with a 12.6 percent strikeout rate (4.9 K/9). Butler’s ability to read hitters and attack weaknesses lends to his underrated feel for pitching, and he’s likely to generate plenty of weak contact in the major leagues even if he fails to miss bats.

    Overall

    55.75/80

51. Sean Manaea, LHP, Kansas City Royals

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Fastball/Velocity

    16.25/20

    Sean Manaea’s fastball works comfortably in the low 90s and reaches 94-95 mph, and he uses his 6'5" height and long arms to create a downhill plane toward the plate. The pitch results in lots of weak contact for Manaea, who held opposing hitters to a .228/.315/.308 batting line last season and yielded only a handful of home runs.

    Best Breaking Ball

    12/16

    The 23-year-old southpaw’s slider has plus potential. He throws it at 82-85 mph with tilt and late biting action, but he still has a ways to go in terms of executing the pitch with consistency. It will always play up because Manaea hides the ball so well during his arm swing and then works on the same plane as his fastball, but big league hitters, especially righties, won’t chase it out of the zone.

    Changeup

    10/16

    Manaea’s changeup should settle in around average but has a chance to play up with improved fastball command. He throws it on the firm side at 84-87 mph and at times struggles to repeat his arm action, causing it to linger up in the zone. But there are also instances in which he turns it over ridiculously well and generates late sinking action and/or arm-side run.

    Command

    17.5/28

    He projects for average command because of the effort to his delivery and low three-quarters arm slot, but his blend of velocity, stuff and deception will always enable him to miss bats with ease as he did during his 2014 professional debut (28.4 percent strikeouts, 10.8 K/9). Improving his fastball command specifically should result in more ground balls for the left-hander, not to mention set up his secondary pitches much better.

    Overall

    55.75/80

50. Marcos Molina, RHP, New York Mets

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    Fastball/Velocity

    16.25/20

    A 6’3”, 188-pound right-hander, Marcos Molina is an impressive athlete with present strength and plenty of room for growth. His fastball already sits at 94-96 mph and seemingly jumps on opposing hitters. It also doesn’t hurt that Molina is fearless with the pitch. The 20-year-old’s dominant heater allowed him to carve up short-season hitters last season, as he posted a 30.7 percent strikeout rate while inducing ground balls nearly 50 percent of the time. He was especially tough on right-handed hitters, who collectively batted .142/.209/.213 against Molina on the year.

    Best Breaking Ball

    10/16

    His breaking ball is his least inconsistent offering and varies from start to start, as it at times resembles a true curveball but can also play like a slurve with less depth and bite. It’s still a potential swing-and-miss offering at maturity, but right now it’s very much a work in progress.

    Changeup

    12/16

    Molina’s changeup projects to be a plus offering once fully developed, thrown with fastball-like arm speed and late fade and sinking action at 84-86 mph. More importantly, the right-hander already has a feel for locating it down in the zone and throws it with conviction against same-side hitters.

    Command

    17.5/28

    His command still has a ways to go like any 20-year-old pitcher's does, but the fact that he’s already a consistent strike thrower who keeps the ball down and understands how to set up hitters with sequencing is certainly encouraging. Meanwhile, Molina could begin moving up the ladder quickly if those characteristics translate at full-season levels as they did in the New York-Penn League.

    Overall

    55.75/80

49. Jorge Mateo, SS, New York Yankees

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    Hit

    10/16

    The right-handed hitting Jorge Mateo has loose wrists and a natural feel for barreling the ball, as his above-average bat speed and strong top hand produce hard contact from line to line. He’s demonstrated promising barrel control as a professional, posting a 78.4 percent contact rate during parts of three seasons prior to 2015, but he has a tendency to lead with his front hip and drift toward the ball rather than explode through the point of contact. And while Mateo has always shown a willingness to take his walks, the 19-year-old’s lack of experience against quality arms makes it difficult to gauge his approach and pitch recognition.

    Power

    8/16

    At 6’0, 188 pounds, Mateo has an athletic, wiry-strong frame that should fill out nicely, leaving plenty of room for him to add strength without sacrificing speed. Mateo’s present gap power will always net him plenty of doubles and could potentially evolve into double-digit home runs at maturity. No one would be surprised if Mateo dominates MLB’s leaderboard for triples for a portion of his career.

    Speed

    12/12

    His elite speed really stands out on offense, as he’s an infield-hit and base-stealing machine who puts constant pressure on opposing defenses. Specifically, the has 64 stolen bases in 76 attempts in the last three years, including a career-high 49 steals in only 64 games in 2013.

    Arm

    12/16

    Mateo’s plus arm strength is already a clean fit at shortstop, and it stands to get even stronger as the speedy shortstop adds strength to his frame.

    Defense

    13.75/20

    Mateo is an inconsistent, raw defender like most teenage shortstops, so don’t read too far into the high error totals he might post in the low minors. Beyond that, Mateo shows good hands and transfer skills, while his speed translates to plus lateral range and his quick feet allow him to make sudden athletic adjustments.

    Overall

    55.75/80

48. Ozhaino Albies, SS, Atlanta Braves

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    Hit

    11/16

    Ozhaino Albies opened eyes with his hitting ability last year in his first professional campaign, as the switch-hitter (in his age-17 season) made contact 88.4 percent of the time, accrued more walks than strikeouts and batted .364 in 239 plate appearances between the Gulf Coast and Appalachian Leagues. Albies features a loose, fluid swing from both sides of the plate to go along with good bat speed and preternatural bat-to-ball skills. His plus speed and strong ground-ball tendencies suggest that his overall batting average will depend heavily on his batting average on balls in play, although his strong on-base skills should help offset some of those concerns.

    Power

    8/16

    Unfortunately, Albies’ slight build (5’9”, 150 pounds) and contact-driven approach mean he’s unlikely to hit for power. However, his impressive wheels and knack for putting the ball in play should net him plenty of doubles and triples.

    Speed

    9.75/12

    Albies’ impressive athleticism and plus-plus speed allow him to impact games on both sides of the ball, making him a constant threat to run or take an extra base on the basepaths as well as a rangy defender at shortstop.

    Arm

    12/16

    His arm strength is mostly average at present, but given his age and the physical development remaining on his body, there’s reason to believe the 18-year-old’s arm will become a potential plus tool.

    Defense

    15/20

    Albies is an impressive athlete with the speed, quickness and range to remain at shortstop long term.

    Overall: Potential All-Star

    55.75/80

47. Aaron Judge, RF, New York Yankees

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    Hit

    12.5/20

    Aaron Judge is an enormous human being at 6’7”, 275 pounds, but he doesn’t have a typical big-man’s swing. The 22-year-old right-handed hitter features a surprisingly compact stroke, keeping his hands close to his body throughout, while his barrel stays in the hitting zone for an extended period of time so as to generate consistently hard contact. Judge probably will always have some swing-and-miss to his game, as his height and natural swing length can make him susceptible to good velocity on the hands as well as soft stuff away. However, he also employs a patient approach that allows him to see lots of pitches, and he appears to track the ball well laterally, as his 15.8 percent walk rate last season highlights a solid foundation of on-base skills.

    Power

    19.5/24

    Judge’s swing lacks lift, but the combination of his tremendous physical strength, above-average bat speed and huge extension after contact allows him to effortlessly rope line drives over fences to the deepest part of any park. Basically, Judge drops bombs to all fields when he fully extends his arms, showing the raw power and power frequency necessary to hit upward of 25 home runs in his prime. He could even end up surpassing that total by turning on more inside fastballs as well as those at the top of the zone.  

    Speed

    4.5/8

    He runs better than one might expect given his frame, showing average speed on both sides of the ball. But he’s very likely to lose some of that giddyap with natural physical development.

    Arm

    12/16

    His plus arm strength is ideal for right field at the highest level, as he employs a quick release and gets on top of throws, generating good carry with improving accuracy.

    Defense

    7.5/12

    Judge moves well in right field, showing solid closing speed in all directions, especially toward the line. He has good range that stems from a combination of average speed and his enormous stride, while his arm strength is above-average.

    Overall: Potential All-Star

    56/80

46. Andrew Heaney, LHP, Los Angeles Angels

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Fastball/Velocity

    13.75/20

    At 6’2”, Andrew Heaney’s frame is both wiry and athletic with room to add strength. As for his stuff, the left-hander features an above-average two-seam fastball that sits in the low 90s and touches 94 with late life. His command of the pitch was challenged last season in the major leagues, especially against right-handed hitters, but there isn’t any reason to believe it won’t improve with experience.

    Best Breaking Ball

    11/16

    His go-to secondary pitch is an above-average slider that he can throw for a strike early in the count and then use it to put hitters away by going out of the zone when ahead. Add in his deceptive delivery and low arm slot, and it’s easy to understand why left-handed hitters batted just .194/.246/.269 against the 23-year-old last season between the minor and major leagues.

    Changeup

    12/16

    The left-hander made significant progress developing his changeup last season, a response to facing further advanced right-handed hitters. Clocking in at 81-83 mph, the pitch should be a plus offering at maturity, especially with improved command to his arm side.

    Command

    19.25/28

    Heaney’s normally strong command came apart last season in the major leagues, as at times he appeared to be picking around the zone rather than trusting his combination of stuff and deception. The left-hander’s advanced pitchability leaves room for his command to steadily improve, though it might take some time for him to truly gain a feel for how to attack right-handed hitters at the highest level.

    Overall

    56/80

45. D.J. Peterson, 1B, Seattle Mariners

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Hit

    16.5/24

    D.J. Peterson has the potential to be a .270-plus hitter in the major leagues thanks to his outstanding bat-to-ball skills and advanced approach. The right-handed hitter’s swing is compact and powerful, as he attacks the ball throughout the zone and utilizes the entire field. He does have some swing-and-miss to his game, reflected by his 21.2 percent strikeout rate last season between High-A and Double-A, but it doesn’t prevent him from making consistently hard contact against right- and left-handed pitchers alike.

    Power

    24/32

    The 23-year-old flashed his big-time raw power last season with 31 home runs, 31 doubles and a 42.9 percent extra-base hit rate in his first full professional season. He’ll probably whiff more often against advanced pitching, but his lofty, powerful swing and strong fly-ball tendency should result in good power frequency even if strikeouts are an issue. Peterson projects to hit 22-25 home runs (possibly more) in the major leagues, but his contact skills and pull-side power work so well together that even a 15- to 18-homer floor seems realistic.

    Speed

    2/4

    He is a good athlete but a below-average runner. He moves well enough to move station to station and will steal the occasional base, but the team shouldn’t expect him to provide positive value on the basepaths in the major leagues.

    Arm

    6/8

    Peterson’s plus arm is his best defensive asset, not to mention a major reason he’s still receiving semi-regular playing time at third base. However, it obviously will carry considerably less value if he plays full time at first base.

    Defense

    7.5/12

    He's is a third baseman at the present, where he’s a tolerable defender with good arm strength and surprising mobility for his size (6'1", 210 lbs). However, he doesn’t project well physically at the hot corner and therefore has seen increased time playing time at first base, where his defensive profile is a much cleaner fit.

    Overall

    56/80

44. J.P. Crawford, SS, Philadelphia Phillies

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    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    Hit

    12/16

    A left-handed batter, J.P. Crawford has the potential for a plus hit tool with loose wrists, quick-twitch forearm muscles and above-average bat speed. He currently shows a contact-oriented approach and solid bat-to-ball skills, though his swing can get long at times and the barrel will drag. The 20-year-old shortstop made contact 84 percent of the time last year between Low-A and High-A, and the fact he walked (12.1 percent) almost as often as he struck out (13.8 percent) as a younger player facing advanced pitching speaks to his huge upside with the stick.

    Power

    9/16

    Crawford projects for fringe-average power at maturity, as his advanced approach and line-drive swing produces more ground balls than fly balls. He did show some natural raw power to his pull side last year in the High-A Florida State League, hitting eight home runs in 271 plate appearances, and it’s possible he ends up turning in 10-15 long balls and 25 doubles annually.

    Speed

    9/12

    His plus speed enabled him to steal 24 bases last year in his first full season, but the fact that he was successful in only 63.2 percent of attempts (24 for 38) means base-stealing efficiency will be an area of focus moving forward.

    Arm

    11/16

    Crawford’s above-average arm strength as well as his fast arm stroke produce accurate throws across the infield with carry, and he does a nice job of generating momentum toward his target with athletic footwork.

    Defense

    15/20

    He is an impressive athlete with the speed, range and arm strength to remain at shortstop long term, but he needs to work on his body control as well as some other nuances of the position. Beyond that, he demonstrates a natural feel for playing there and managing the speed of the game—characteristics that are prominent among baseball’s premier shortstops.

    Overall

    56/80

    Injury Update: Crawford suffered an oblique strain on March 25 and is expected to miss four to six weeks, per Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

43. Rusney Castillo, CF, Boston Red Sox

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    Charles Krupa/Associated Press

    Hit

    11/16

    A .315 hitter in 323 games over parts of five seasons in Cuba’s Serie Nacional, Rusney Castillo generates hard contact to all fields with quick wrists and a line-drive bat path. The 27-year-old’s aggressive approach, bat-to-ball skills and plate coverage should continue to result in high contact and low walk rates, but he’ll likely have more swing-and-miss to his game in the major leagues given the quality of pitchers’ secondary offerings. Even if that turns out to be the case, Castillo’s natural feel for hitting and capacity for making in-game adjustments should make him at least an above-average hitter with average on-base skills in The Show.

    Power

    11/16

    Castillo may only be 5’9”, 195 pounds, but he’s a physically strong right-handed hitter with good bat speed and enough length to his swing to be a 20-homer threat. While he’s shown mostly pull-side power during his brief time with the Red Sox (including spring training), Castillo is also capable driving the ball out of the park to center field.

    Speed

    13/16

    Castillo’s top tool is his plus speed, as it permits him to leg out extra-base hits with ease and makes him a threat to steal each time he’s on base. He swiped 68 bases in 323 games in Cuba with a single-season high of 29 in 2010, but he also was successful just 70.8 percent of the time (68 of 96).

    Arm

    7.5/12

    His arm strength is only average but plays up thanks to a short stroke and quick release that don’t detract from his accuracy.

    Defense

    13.75/20

    Castillo’s athleticism and speed made him a versatile defensive player in Cuba, as he saw playing time at second and third base early in his career before transitioning to the outfield. His speed translates to above-average range in center field, and he gets consistently strong jumps on balls hit to his right and left. But there also are times when he’ll drift while tracking hits over his head.

    Overall

    56.25/80

42. Alex Meyer, RHP, Minnesota Twins

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    Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

    Fastball/Velocity

    17.5/20

    One of the tallest pitching prospects in the minor leagues, The 6'9" Alex Meyer has a massive frame with long limbs but demonstrates a better feel for his mechanics than most pitchers of that size. The right-hander’s fastball registers between 93 and 97 mph and, thanks to his height and extension toward the plate, enters the zone on a steep downhill plane. It tends to flatten out when he leaves it up in the zone and in turn can be too hittable, but he usually does a good job keeping the ball down and induces ground balls at a favorable rate (46.8 percent in 2014).

    Best Breaking Ball

    13/16

    Meyer’s plus slider is a true bat misser, thrown in the 84-87 mph range with sharp, wipeout break. The pitch, along with his impressive fastball, helped him strike out 27.4 percent (10.6 K/9) of the hitters he faced last season in the Triple-A International League. There’s little doubt it will continue to generate a favorable number of whiffs in the major leagues, especially against right-handed hitters.

    Changeup

    10/16

    The 25-year-old improved his changeup last season to the point where it projects as an average or better offering at maturity. Meyer’s feel for his changeup, which he throws in the low 80s with decent fading action, noticeably lags behind his two other offerings, as he has a tendency to leave it elevated or lose it wide to his arm side. And considering left-handed hitters batted .269/.365/.420 against him last season, it almost goes without saying that his establishing more consistency with the pitch could go a long way.

    Command

    15.75/28

    With a 6’9”, 220-pound frame and ridiculously long arms, Meyer’s ability to repeat his mechanics and take the ball in and out of the zone is impressive. That being said, he does have bouts of inconsistency and will issue his share of walks (4.4 BB/9 in 2014). Meyer’s combination of height, arm slot and stuff creates an unusual look for opposing hitters, but he’ll need to throw more quality strikes with his entire arsenal to be a successful starting pitcher in the major leagues.

    Overall

    56.25/80

41. Albert Almora, CF, Chicago Cubs

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Hit

    11/16

    The right-handed-hitting Albert Almora has a compact swing with preternatural barrel control that allows him to stay inside the ball and make consistent contact, which he did at an 86.4 percent clip last season between High-A and Double-A. Having posted above-average line-drive rates and low strikeout rates at every minor league stop, Almora appears to have the makings of an easy .270-plus hitter at maturity. However, the soon-to-be 21-year-old’s ugly 2.7 percent walk rate last season also highlighted his need for more selectivity moving forward, especially with his contact rate likely to decline against more advanced pitching.

    Power

    9/16

    He should develop at least fringe-average power as he continues to grow into his 6’2”, 180-pound frame. His line-drive stroke and aggressive approach likely will limit his over-the-fence potential, but Almora’s speed and ability to spray the ball across the entire field should help him pile up 25-plus doubles and a few triples in a given season.

    Speed

    11/16

    Almora’s above-average speed shows in his ability to take extra bases on balls in play but doesn’t aid him as a base stealer, as he’s swiped just 15 bags in 25 attempts over parts of three seasons.

    Arm

    9/12

    His arm is both strong and accurate from center field, and it can be argued that it even plays up given his smooth transfer and quick release.

    Defense

    16.25/20

    Almora’s speed plays up in center field thanks to his great reads and jumps, while his tremendous instincts and innate feel for positioning could net him several Gold Glove Awards during his career.

    Overall

    56.25/80

40. Michael Taylor, CF, Washington Nationals

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    Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

    Hit

    9/16

    Michael Taylor has made significant strides at the plate in terms of his swing mechanics and approach, but his 30 percent strikeout rate last season between the minors and majors indicates he’ll always have some serious swing-and-miss to his game. Specifically, Taylor has a tendency to overstride and drag the bat through the zone, while the fastball-based timing of his swing makes him vulnerable to velocity up in the zone as well as hard breaking stuff off the plate. The 24-year-old’s contact rate is still alarmingly low (65.5 percent in 2014), but his on-base skills and zone discipline have steadily improved over the last two seasons.

    Power

    11/16

    Taylor has always possessed good strength to his 6’3”, 210-pound frame, but he finally grew into his power in 2014 to hit a career-high 24 home runs. Taylor’s plus bat speed and extension through contact generates plus power to all fields and enables him to go deep to any part of the park. His mixture of power and speed also means he’ll accrue plenty of extra-base hits, which he’s done 40.5 percent of the time since the beginning of the 2013 season.

    Speed

    12/16

    With 88 stolen bases in the last two years, Taylor knows how to use his wheels. He needs to clean up his ability to read pitchers and pick spots, and he can get too upright at times when taking off, but that shouldn’t prevent him from stealing 20-plus bags annually.

    Arm

    8.25/12

    Taylor’s strong, very accurate arm is an underrated weapon, as he’s hosed 50 baserunners from center field in 324 games over the last three seasons.

    Defense

    16.25/20

    Speed and defense are Taylor’s carrying tools, as he’s a top-flight athlete with plus speed and the ability to cover tons of ground in the outfield with his long strides. Specifically, Taylor gets terrific reads, takes great routes and goes back on the ball better than many big league center fielders, although he has been a bit wall shy during his brief time in the major leagues. 

    Overall

    56.5/80

39. Hunter Renfroe, RF, San Diego Padres

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    Hit

    11.25/20

    Hunter Renfroe, 23, is an aggressive hitter who takes healthy hacks and will always have some swing-and-miss to his game. That being said, his plate discipline and approach are better than one might expect for a power hitter, as he demonstrates a good feel for the strike zone, consistently uses the entire field and makes enough contact (73.3 percent contact rate in 2014) to hit for a respectable batting average. But what really separates Renfroe from other mashers is his knack for squaring up to the ball, and he’s just missing a lot of pitches at this point in his career that he won’t in the future.

    Power

    19.5/24

    A 6’1”, 215-pound right-handed hitter, Renfroe generates enormous raw power with his sheer strength, explosive bat speed and a leveraged swing—the combination of which produced 21 home runs last season and another six in the Arizona Fall League. Additionally, Renfroe’s strong fly-ball tendency and ability to drive the ball with backspin carry from line to line make it easy to envision his power translating to 25-plus home runs with a high extra-base hit rate at the highest level.

    Speed

    5.5/8

    Renfroe is a slightly above-average runner who will likely lose a few steps given his muscular build and lack of physical projection. He should retain enough speed to still make an impact on the basepaths, whether it’s legging out an extra-base hit or occasionally stealing a base.

    Arm

    12/16

    His plus arm strength is a perfect fit in right field, as he’s long on the back side and comes through straight over the top to generate accurate throws with excellent carry. He also likes to bait runners into challenging his cannon arm, which is how he tallied an impressive 13 outfield assists last season (11 from right field).

    Defense

    8.25/12

    Much like his arm strength, Renfroe’s speed and athleticism are also ideal for a career in right field. His speed gives him good range in all directions and he’s an aggressive defender, though his jumps and routes leave something to be desired.

    Overall

    56.5/80

38. Austin Hedges, C, San Diego Padres

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    Hit

    9/16

    Double-A pitchers challenged Austin Hedges' approach last year, as the 22-year-old posted a career-worst strikeout rate of 19.5 percent against only a 5 percent walk rate. And while he batted just .225 with a .268 on-base percentage on the season, the right-handed hitter’s 79.2 percent contact rate, high line-drive rate and .269 BABIP highlight his room for improvement at the dish.

    Power

    8/16

    Power has never been Hedges’ calling card and never will be, but he does have enough gap pop and speed to produce 20-25 doubles at the highest level. When he does jump the yard it’s almost exclusively to straightaway left field. However, with room to add strength to his 6’1”, 200-pound frame, it wouldn’t be a surprise if some of Hedges' drives to right-center field began to clear more fences.

    Speed

    2/4

    Hedges may only be a 40-grade runner, but his speed really stands out among his catching peers. He has the ability to quietly steal upward of eight to 10 bases at maturity, although his impact on the basepaths will always be tied to his on-base clip.  

    Arm

    13/16

    He is able to essentially shut down the running game with his outstanding catch-and-throw skills, insanely quick transfer and nearly plus-plus arm strength. His consistency and accuracy to each base reflect his high level of confidence, while his athleticism allows him to execute precise throws from various arm angles.

    Defense

    24.5/28

    Hedges’ defense is about as good as it gets for a catching prospect. His quickness, range and footwork efficiency are unparalleled among his peers, and the combination of them will give him a chance to be a big leaguer for a long time. Hedges’ stats from last season confirm this much, as he registered a 38 percent caught-stealing rate last season and committed only six passed balls in 106 Double-A games behind the plate. Meanwhile, plenty of good things can be said about his game-calling and feel for handling pitchers.

    Overall

    56.5/80

37. Raul Mondesi, SS, Kansas City Royals

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Hit

    10/16

    Raul Mondesi is a switch-hitter who has a clean swing from both sides of the plate, with bat speed and barrel awareness that suggest the potential for at least an average hit tool at maturity. The 19-year-old struggled mightily last season in the High-A Carolina League, posting strikeout and walk rates of 25.9 and 5.1 percent, respectively, but he still managed to make contact 72 percent of the time. Beyond his issues with pitch selection, Mondesi will get very pull-happy at times and make an undesirable amount of weak contact.

    Power

    9/16

    It’s hard to get a read on Mondesi’s true power potential at the moment, as he’s still figuring out his identity as a hitter, but he definitely showed more power in 2014, especially from the left side of the plate. He’s still growing into his wiry 6’1”, 185-pound frame, but the fact that Mondesi set career highs with eight homers and a 37 percent extra-base hit rate last season bodes well for his ultimate power potential.

    Speed

    10.5/12

    Mondesi’s 70-grade speed is his best tool, as he posts nearly elite straight-line times from home to first base (especially when batting left-handed) and easily turns singles into doubles and doubles into triples. He improved his efficiency on the basepaths last season with 17 steals in 21 attempts, and it’s safe to assume his annual stolen-base totals will trend up with better on-base skills.

    Arm

    12/16

    His plus arm strength is ideal for shortstop, as his fluid arm action and quick release produce rockets across the infield. His body control has improved over the last year and he’s learned to square his shoulders to his target with greater consistency, both of which have led to more accurate throws.

    Defense

    15/20

    Defensively, Mondesi’s athleticism and tools are always on display at shortstop, as he possesses the range, quickness, actions and instincts to develop into a long-term impact player at the position. He also made strides with the glove last season and nearly cut his error total from 2013 in half, although the youngster will need a few more years to refine his defensive chops.

    Overall

    56.5/80

36. Michael Gettys, CF, San Diego Padres

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    Hit

    8/16

    Michael Gettys’ swing mechanics hinder his ability to make consistent contact, which helps explain his 28.3 percent strikeout rate and 69 percent contact rate last summer. Specifically, he tends to dip with his back shoulder and then force a high finish with his hands, limiting the time his barrel stays in the hitting zone. Plus, Gettys’ fringy pitch recognition and overaggressive approach only amplify his weaknesses and highlight the huge gap between his present ability and potential.

    Power

    9/16

    The right-handed-hitting Gettys possesses excellent strength on his 6’1”, 203-pound frame, while his explosive bat speed and plus raw pull-side power give him the potential for 10-15 home runs at maturity. The 19-year-old should also accrue plenty of doubles and triples on account of his plus-plus speed, though that surely will be tied to his ability to make consistent contact.

    Speed

    14/16

    Gettys’ 70-grade speed contributes to his being a dynamic player on both sides of the ball. Offensively, his wheels make him a threat in the batter’s box as much as they do on the basepaths, which explains why Gettys led the Rookie-level Arizona League last summer with 66 hits in addition to stealing 14 bases in 16 attempts.

    Arm

    10.5/12

    His arm strength is nearly unparalleled among his peers at the position, as he famously was gunned at 100 mph from the outfield last summer in a predraft showcase. Gettys' cannon will play up in center field, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he ranked among the league leaders in outfield assists at the position for years to come.

    Defense

    15/20

    There’s no doubt he’ll spend his career in center field, where his top-flight wheels translate to excellent range in all directions. Gettys’ reads and routes are raw and will need considerable refinement, but his speed and range should give him a greater margin for error while his skills develop.  

    Overall

    56.5/80

35. Kyle Zimmer, RHP, Kansas City Royals

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Fastball/Velocity

    16.25/20

    Employing a clean, repeatable delivery, Kyle Zimmer’s fastball works comfortably in the mid-90s with late life, and he has the ability to reach back for something in the 96-98 mph range as needed. The plane he creates with the pitch along with its late movement have produced ground balls more than 50 percent of the time, though it also can be rather hittable when he fails to command it down in the zone, which was the case during the first half of the 2013 season.

    Best Breaking Ball

    12/16

    Zimmer’s curveball is a second plus pitch, thrown with excellent pace and a sharp downer break at 78-81 mph. When he's healthy, the right-hander’s breaking ball is a major source of whiffs, evidenced by his 30.8 percent strikeout rate in 2013, and it should work nicely as his out pitch in the major leagues.

    Changeup

    11/16

    He also features an above-average changeup that checks in at 84-86 mph with late fading action out of the zone. The pitch has proven to be highly effective against left-handed hitters when paired with his advanced fastball command, as they collectively batted just .216 against Zimmer back in 2013.

    Command

    17.5/28

    Zimmer’s impact with the Royals will come down to whether he can stay healthy for an extended period of time. The 23-year-old right-hander has shown above-average control of four pitches, at times even working within the zone too often. But given his strong control profile, Zimmer’s command is likely to improve as he gains experience against upper-level hitters—guys who force him to execute pitches rather than just pump strikes.

    Overall

    56.75/80

    Injury Update: Zimmer had a debridement procedure done on his troublesome right shoulder last October, but the right-hander is expected to begin pitching in minor league games by May 10, according to Andy McCullough of The Kansas City Star.

34. Jon Gray, RHP, Colorado Rockies

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Fastball/Velocity

    16.25/20

    At 6’4”, 255 pounds, Jon Gray works on a consistent downhill plane with his plus fastball, sitting in the 93-96 mph range. He topped out at 102 mph during a 2013 college start at Arkansas while pitching for Oklahoma but didn’t throw nearly as hard last season in Double-A. Instead, the right-hander emphasized sharper command and cleaner mechanics over velocity. It’s still an impressive pitch with loads of potential, but it’s become clear that Gray won’t be a flamethrower like he was in college.

    Best Breaking Ball

    12/16

    Gray backs his fastball with a plus slider that projects as his out pitch at the highest level, thrown at 83-86 mph with late, wipeout break and sharp tilt. The 23-year-old’s slider remained effective last season in spite of his drop in velocity, as he showed the ability to throw it for a called strike and then take it out of the zone when vying for a whiff. The pitch continues to be tough on same-sided hitters, too, as they collectively batted .233 with a 22.2 percent strikeout rate last season against Gray.

    Changeup

    11/16

    His changeup represents his weakest offering, but he made strides developing the pitch last season to the point where it’s now above average. Gray throws the pitch in the low 80s with convincing arm action and shows good feel for turning it over to create late fading action.

    Command

    17.5/28

    Gray’s numbers weren’t spectacular last year in his first full professional season, but the right-hander’s feel for his overall arsenal was better than expected and still has room for considerable improvement. Opponents knocked his heater around at times, which led to an elevated fly-ball rate, and he specifically struggled with commanding the pitch when behind in the count. Another concern is that the quality of his pitches and command suffers when he has runners on base, which likely is tied to his lack of athleticism when working from the stretch position.

    Overall: No. 2 Starting Pitcher

    56.75/80

33. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Fastball/Velocity

    16.25/20

    Jameson Taillon, 23, is a true power pitcher with a durable 6’5”, 245-pound frame and big-time arm strength. The right-hander’s fastball sits between 93 and 97 mph with late, hard run to the arm side, and his velocity tends to play up due to the extension generated by his long arms. The downhill plane he creates on his fastball makes it difficult to lift and should generate favorable ground-ball rates at the highest level.

    Best Breaking Ball

    12/16

    Taillon’s curveball grades as an easy plus pitch, thrown with tight spin and sharp, two-plane break at 83-85 mph. His feel for the offering can be inconsistent at times as it either catches too much plate or lingers up in the zone. But it’s a legit swing-and-miss offering with knee-buckling break when it’s right.

    Changeup

    11/16

    His changeup is a work in progress—even more so now after he underwent Tommy John surgery last spring and lost a full year of development. The right-hander tended to throw it a bit on the firm side, usually in the 83-86 mph range, prior to his elbow injury, which in turn limited his ability to generate sink and fade.

    Command

    17.5/28

    While Taillon has never had problems throwing strikes, the right-hander’s ability to toss quality strikes has been challenged during his ascent through the minor leagues. There’s no reason Taillon should be as hittable as he’s been (8.3 hits per nine innings) given the strength of his fastball and curveball, and he’ll now have to patiently address those concerns coming off elbow surgery.

    Overall

    56.75/80

    Injury Update: Taillon, who underwent Tommy John surgery last April, could be ready to pitch in a minor league game by May.

32. Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins

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    Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

    Fastball/Velocity

    16.25/20

    Jose Berrios may only be 6’0”, 187 pounds, but the young right-hander is loaded with arm strength, working in the 93-96 mph range with his fastball. He can dial it up even more, too, as he reportedly hit 101 mph in his start July 20 last year, per New Britain Rock Cats announcer Jeff Dooley. Berrios relies on his heater heavily, using it to attack hitters throughout the zone (and outside of it). And while his willingness to pitch toward the top of the zone led to a slightly elevated fly-ball rate in 2014, the fact that Berrios held opposing hitters to a .227 batting average and allowed just six home runs in 139.2 innings speaks to his ability to generate weak contact.

    Best Breaking Ball

    12/16

    Berrios possesses an advanced feel for his curveball, as he’s adept at manipulating the pitch’s velocity and shape so as to give right-handed hitters an inconsistent look. The offering, which registers anywhere from 78 to 83 mph, tends to play up due to his ability to repeat his arm slot and work on the same plane as his fastball.  

    Changeup

    11/16

    His best secondary offering is a future plus changeup that he throws with deception and good fading action in the low 80s. The difference in velocity compared to his fastball alone makes it very effective, while his continually increasing confidence in the pitch has turned it into a legitimate swing-and-miss offering in the last year.

    Command

    17.5/28

    Big league hitters are likely to challenge Berrios’ lack of downhill plane and ability to pound the bottom of the strike zone. But his explosive fastball and feel for changing speeds with both secondaries should continue to give him a slightly greater margin for error. The 20-year-old’s command is highly advanced for his age, evidenced by his 7.2 percent walk rate in 274 career minor league innings prior to this year, and there aren’t enough positive things to say regarding his ability to sequence pitches and change speeds.

    Overall

    56.75/80

31. Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Fastball/Velocity

    17.5/20

    At 6’4”, 230 pounds, Archie Bradley is an excellent athlete with a durable, projectable frame that’s ideal for a heavy workload. The right-hander’s 94-97 mph fastball is an absolute bowling ball thrown with superb plane and late sinking action that makes it incredibly difficult for batters to lift, which is why his home runs per nine innings rate (HR/9) sits at a shade over 0.3 for his four-year career. On top of that, Bradley has held opposing hitters to a .233 batting average—with right-handed hitters batting just .221—over the last two seasons, which speaks to his ability to limit hard contact.

    Best Breaking Ball

    12/16

    A year ago Bradley’s curveball arguably would have received a 70 grade, giving him one of the better fastball-breaking ball combinations among minor league starters. Unfortunately, the right-hander’s curve hasn’t been the same since his return from a 2014 elbow injury. It’s still a swing-and-miss offering he throws with power at 81-84 mph. But he now delivers it from a considerably lower arm slot, and it lacks the depth and downer action that made it so great. It’s also worth noting that Bradley added a promising slider to his arsenal last fall: a pitch that in theory makes sense given his falling release point but has the potential to impact his curveball usage and consistency.  

    Changeup

    10/16

    If there is a silver lining to the decline of Bradley’s curveball last season, it’s that it helped accelerate the development of his changeup. Thrown at 83-85 mph with decent arm-side sinking action, Bradley’s changeup has average potential but stands to play up with better fastball command, especially given his similar release points for both pitches.

    Command

    17.5/28

    Bradley took a huge step forward with his command and control in 2013 between the High-A and Double-A levels. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about his 2014 campaign, as the then-21-year-old struggled to consistently pound the zone and ultimately walked 13.2 percent of all hitters he faced. The right-hander’s up-and-down season made it clear that his command, particularly that of his fastball, needs further refinement, as his inability to get ahead of hitters with his heater limited the effectiveness of his secondary pitches, especially his once-dominant curveball.

    Overall

    57/80

30. Luis Severino, RHP, New York Yankees

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    Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Fastball/Velocity

    17.5/20

    Luis Severino may be undersized at 6’0”, 195 pounds, but the right-hander’s electric arm speed generates an explosive mid-90s fastball that reaches 97-98 mph. The velocity he produces is a product of pure arm strength and the deception in his delivery, as Severino employs a short stride to the plate that sets up his lightning-quick arm. The 21-year-old demonstrates an advanced feel for the pitch, attacking hitters to both sides of the plate, and he isn’t afraid to climb the ladder and air it out up in the zone.

    Best Breaking Ball

    10/16

    Severino’s slider is his least developed offering, registering at 83-86 mph with some depth. The right-hander struggles to consistently execute the pitch, as he tends to sling it across his body rather than work from his fastball/changeup slot. As a result, the offering will feature more spin than bite and linger up in the zone, making it easy to identify for opposing hitters. Lastly, Severino seemingly would benefit from throwing his slider with more velocity given his changeup range, an adjustment that could also help him generate tighter spin.

    Changeup

    12/16

    His changeup is nearly as impressive as his heater, as it’s a plus offering (nearly plus-plus) thrown in the low to mid-80s with outstanding fading action that helped him hold left-handed hitters to a paltry .197/.257/.260 batting line in 2014. It also features excellent speed differential compared to his fastball, while his confidence in the pitch as well as his ability to consistently command it down in the zone played a major role in his excellent ground-ball and strikeout (27.8 percent) rates last season.

    Command

    17.5/28

    Severino’s lack of downhill plane limits his command ceiling in theory, but the right-hander has made it work thus far with his plus strike-throwing ability (5.9 percent walk rate in 2014) and overall feel for sequencing. While he has tendency for working up in the zone with his fastball, the 21-year-old’s knack for keeping the ball in the park (0.2 HR/9 in 221.1 career innings) shouldn’t be discounted. He needs to clean up his breaking ball, but his fastball and changeup are both dynamic offerings that should continue to aid his rapid development while still fostering success.

    Overall

    57/80

29. Joc Pederson, CF, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Hit

    11/16

    Joc Pederson projects to be an above-average hitter at maturity, as his explosive swing and barrel control produces hard contact across the whole field. Equally impressive are his feel for working counts and getting on base, reflected by his 14 percent walk rate in 1,631 full-season plate appearances from 2011 to 2014, as well as the fact he made significant strides against left-handed pitching last season. Pederson’s 66.5 percent contact rate and 26.9 percent strikeout rate last season in Triple-A highlighted some of the concerns about whether his bat will translate at the highest level. However, with a career .302/.405/.524 batting line over five minor league seasons, he should be able to make the necessary adjustments and hit for a respectable average.

    Power

    12/16

    He has improved his power numbers at every minor league stop, culminating with a career-high 33 home runs and 40 percent extra-base hit rate last season at Triple-A Albuquerque. The left-handed hitter’s plus raw power should play in the major leagues even if he fails to hit for average, as he is patient enough to wait out specific pitches each trip to the plate. And while he’s strong enough to jump the yard to all fields, Pederson’s explosive hip rotation and slightly upper-cut bat path produces more consistent power to his pull side.

    Speed

    11/16

    The 22-year-old's consistency on the basepaths rivals his power frequency, as he has swiped at least 26 bases in each of the last four seasons. Beyond that, his knack for getting on base and using his speed to put pressure on opposing defenses should always make him a consistent source of both extra-base hits and runs scored.

    Arm

    8.25/12

    Pederson’s above-average arm strength is his weakest tool but still comparatively strong for the position, and it stands to improve with better accuracy.

    Defense

    15/20

    He is a strong defender in center field, with above-average range, good instincts and continually improving jumps and routes to the ball. His angles to balls hit in the gaps can be overaggressive at times, but there’s no reason to doubt his ability to stick at the position long term.

    Overall

    57.25/80

28. Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays

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    Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

    Fastball/Velocity

    17.5/20

    Aaron Sanchez is one of the more projectable right-handed pitching prospects, with a ridiculously athletic frame and effortless, drool-worthy arm action that produces a 94-97 mph fastball. Meanwhile, he consistently hit 98-99 mph last season out of Toronto’s bullpen. Beyond the impressive velocity, the natural sinking action and arm-side run to Sanchez’s heater causes it to jump on opposing hitters, and it’s a major component in his longtime outstanding ground-ball rates and ability to keep the ball in the park.

    Best Breaking Ball

    13/16

    Sanchez’s curveball is flat-out nasty, as he throws it with power at 81-84 mph with tight spin and knee-buckling bite. When paired with his dominant fastball, it’s easy to understand why right-handed hitters batted and slugged just .201 and .263, respectively, against him last season.

    Changeup

    11/16

    Thrown with fastball-like arm speed, Sanchez’s changeup will flash plus at 88-89 mph and features late fading action out of the zone. He threw it sparingly in 2014 out of the Blue Jays bullpen, but the pitch will be hugely important this year as a member of the team’s starting rotation.

    Command

    15.75/28

    Sanchez’s fastball command hasn’t come together as hoped during his rise through the minor league levels as a starting pitcher. However, the 22-year-old demonstrated a better feel while pounding the zone last season as a reliever, which in turn allowed him to better utilize his curveball. He still has problems pitching to left-handed hitters on account of his varying fastball command, but that trend should begin to improve as a starter with increased use of his changeup.

    Overall

    57.25/80

27. Robert Stephenson, RHP, Cincinnati Reds

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    Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

    Fastball/Velocity

    17.5/20

    A 6’2”, 200-pound right-hander, Robert Stephenson possesses nearly elite arm strength that produces an electric, plus-plus fastball in the 94-99 mph range. The velocity is impressive, but Stephenson also has a tendency to overthrow the pitch, which causes it to flatten out and prevents him from consistently working down in the zone. As a result, the 22-year-old yielded fly balls roughly 36 percent of the time last season as well as 1.2 home runs per nine innings.

    Best Breaking Ball

    13/16

    A plus curveball that’s an absolute hammer at 73-75 mph with sharp downer action headlines Stephenson's secondary arsenal. Paired with his fastball, the right-hander’s deuce helped him generate whiffs at an above-league-average rate last season at Double-A Pensacola, with a 23.3 percent strikeout rate and 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

    Changeup

    11/16

    Stephenson throws a changeup that’s a bit on the firm side at 85-88 mph, but his feel for the pitch noticeably improved last year when Double-A competition forced him to develop it. While the pitch obviously lags behind his fastball and curveball, Stephenson still managed to hold left-handed hitters to a .180 batting average in 199 plate appearances on the year.

    Command

    15.75/28

    A full season in Double-A taught Stephenson that pitching up in the zone, no matter how hard he throws, is a recipe for disaster against advanced hitters. Stephenson’s confidence in sequencing pitches comes undone when he gets in trouble, causing him to rely heavily on and overthrow his fastball. Beyond his struggles keeping the ball in the park, the right-hander’s walk rate nearly doubled in 2014 due to his inconsistent fastball command and inconsistent secondary execution.

    Overall

    57.25/80

26. Daniel Norris, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays

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    Fastball/Velocity

    15/20

    Daniel Norris’ explosive fastball, which he throws in the 91-96 mph range with late life, headlines his deep arsenal. He’s capable of reaching back to blow it by a hitter up in the zone but also adept at taking something off so as to generate arm-side movement. Furthermore, the 21-year-old southpaw aggressively pitches to both sides of the plate with his heater, and most of the time, he does an admirable job keeping the ball below the knees.

    Best Breaking Ball

    12/16

    He throws two different breaking balls in a curveball and slider, though only the latter projects as a plus pitch at maturity. Thrown at 83-87 mph, Norris’ slider is highly effective when he throws it off his fastball, as the pitch tends to feature a sharp, late break as it nears the plate, appearing like a fastball out of his hand almost the entire way.

    Changeup

    11/16

    Norris’ 82-86 mph changeup isn’t as advanced as his slider, but it still profiles as an above-average offering. He’s already proved it can be highly effective against right-handed hitters, who collectively batted .201/.276/.304 against him last season.

    Command

    19.25/28

    Norris struggled to find the zone early in his career, but he’s turned things around in a hurry after making a mechanical adjustment in late 2013 while at Low-A Lansing. The adjustment allowed him to execute his full arsenal both inside and outside of the strike zone in 2014, resulting in consistently weak contact as well as drastically improved strikeout (11.7 K/9) and walk (3.1 BB/9) rates. The 21-year-old always had been difficult to square up, but his knack for throwing strikes and generating whiffs last season pushed his overall effectiveness to a whole new level. However, Norris still has a ways to go in terms of refining his control and command, especially when pitching with runners on base or when behind in the count.

    Overall

    57.25/80

25. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Washington Nationals

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    Fastball/Velocity

    18.75/20

    Reynaldo Lopez may be undersized at 6’0”, 185 pounds, but the right-hander has huge arm strength that consistently produces fastballs in the 94-98 mph range. Lopez’s heater proved to be especially difficult to lift, let alone barrel, last season, as the 21-year-old induced ground balls more than 60 percent of the time while holding opposing hitters to a pathetic .149/.226/.195 overall batting line over 83.1 innings.

    Best Breaking Ball

    11/16

    The rest of Lopez’s arsenal isn’t as dynamic as his heater, however, as only his curveball currently flashes above-average potential, registering in the mid- to upper 70s with late but inconsistent bite. However, the right-hander’s quick arm suggests he might be able to tighten up the pitch moving forward, possibly throwing it with more rotation so as to generate additional downer action.

    Changeup

    10/16

    Lopez’s 84-86 mph changeup will require considerable refinement in the coming years, but he already demonstrates a good feel for sequencing the pitch as a means of keeping opposing hitters off balance.

    Command

    17.5/28

    The fact that Lopez enjoyed such a remarkable breakout season in 2014 without an obscene strikeout rate was a testament to his ability to pound the zone with quality strikes and exploit hitters’ weaknesses. His overall command is still lacking given his inexperience, but there’s something to be said for his ability to consistently get outs in the manner in which he did last year.

    Overall

    57.25/80

24. David Dahl, CF, Colorado Rockies

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    Hit

    12/16

    A left-handed batter, David Dahl has the potential for a true plus hit tool thanks to tremendous hand-eye coordination, preternatural barrel-to-ball ability and plus bat speed. With a balanced setup and a swing that allows him to use the entire field, the 21-year-old Dahl shows advanced barrel control and a feel for the strike zone, both of which were reflected by his 82 percent contact rate in 2014. Dahl's fringy pitch recognition and selection are his biggest areas for improvement moving forward, so don't read too far into the difference between his strikeout (16.8 percent) and walk (5.1 percent) rates last year. Other than that, he’s also proved to be adept at hitting both right- and left-handed pitching.

    Power

    10/16

    Dahl’s power should at least be average at maturity, but there’s also a very real chance he surpasses that modest projection as he continues to develop physically and refines his approach. Though he hit just 14 home runs in 2014, Dahl’s speed helped him leg out many doubles and triples and fueled his impressive 41.2 percent extra-base hit rate.

    Speed

    12/16

    His plus speed is a weapon on both sides of the ball, as he’s fast enough to pile up extra-base hits to go along with double digits in stolen bases. Defensively, Dahl’s wheels lend to his strong profile in center field, and his speed should be more than enough to remain at the position.

    Arm

    8.25/12

    Dahl’s strong, accurate arm suits him well in center field, as he notched an impressive 13 outfield assists in 99 games at the position last season.

    Defense

    15/20

    His above-average speed translates better in center field than it does on the basepaths, as he has plus range with excellent closing speed and ideal arm strength. The 21-year-old also gets excellent jumps and takes direct routes to the ball, and he’s particularly advanced at tracking down balls hit toward the wall.  

    Overall

    57.25/80

23. Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Hit

    12/16

    A 6’4", 215-pound left-handed hitter, Corey Seager has the potential for a plus hit tool in his prime, though there may always be some swing-and-miss to his game. Seager has an easy, direct swing that allows him to sting the ball from line to line, and there aren’t enough positive things to say about his ability to pick apart pitchers and hit in all counts. Seager is likely to draw his share of walks, but considering his outstanding bat-to-ball skills and barrel control through the hitting zone, there’s no reason for him to deviate from his aggressive approach. And finally, Seager actually fared equally well against same-side pitchers as he did righties in 2014, posting a 1.065 OPS and 24 extra-base hits in 126 plate appearances against southpaws.

    Power

    12/16

    Seager always had shown impressive power to the opposite field, but last season, he learned to turn on the ball more consistently and saw his power numbers spike as a result. Overall, Seager amassed 75 extra-base hits in 2014 (45.2 percent extra-base hit rate) and led all minor leaguers with 50 doubles, and he’ll only get stronger moving forward. Therefore, it’s not crazy to think Seager, like his older brother, Kyle, will be an annual 20-homer threat at the highest level.

    Spee