Every MLB Team’s Top Prospect Heading into 2014
Every MLB Team’s Top Prospect Heading into 2014
With the enormous impact of former top prospects like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, everyone around Major League Baseball fully understands the importance of home-grown talent for each and every team. Whether it is the next big time pitcher or the future star outfielder, every team has their group of players they plan to use to build a future winning franchise upon.
Some of those players will be traded away and some will be kept at home. The list of players you are about to read are the ones that no good GM worth his oats would trade. This is the top of the line, number one prospect after the 2013 season and heading into the 2014 season. Without a doubt some of these guys you will have already heard of. If they have a lot of experience then they have basically arrived and are not really a prospect anymore.
These guys, while some have a little experience from the end of the 2013 season, are inexperienced but loaded with promise. Take the time to investigate the top 20 for each team when you have the chance because it is extremely interesting to find out what exactly is coming through the pipeline for each MLB team. This list is organized by division starting with the National League East and finishing with the American League West. Leave a comment if you disagree or just want to chat about these awesome future stars.
Atlanta Braves: Lucas Sims – LHP
The #92 overall prospect in all of baseball, Sims was the 21st pick of the 2012 MLB Draft. His fastball and curveball are above average. With a little more work on his changeup, this local prospect could be exciting fans of the Braves in just a couple of years. It shouldn’t be a surprise when this team provides a string of strong pitching prospects and Sims is the cream of the crop right now.
Washington Nationals: Brian Goodwin – OF
The 34th pick of the 2011 draft, Goodwin is a 5-tool player that could burst onto the scene fairly soon for the Nationals. He has a lot of pop and profiles well as a leadoff hitter with a high on-base percentage. He also has shown the ability to drive in runs well. I don’t know what they will shift around but the Nats should make room for this kid pretty soon.
Philadelphia Phillies: Jesse Biddle – LHP
Biddle is the #41 overall prospect and #3 LHP prospect in baseball. He was drafted as the 27th pick of the 2010 MLB Draft. Having been among the strikeout and ERA leaders for his first two full seasons, Biddle is said to have a good and repeatable delivery. That is what turns a good prospect into the next superstar ace. It won’t be a long wait for Biddle as he could reach the majors in 2014.
Miami Marlins: Andrew Heaney – LHP
Heaney is the #48 overall prospect and #4 LHP prospect in baseball. He has had good to great numbers throughout his minor league career and figures to continue the trend into a front line starter for the Marlins. Considering the young trend of their starting rotation right now, Heaney might be the next to burst onto the scene as early as 2014.
New York Mets: Noah Syndergaard – RHP
Syndergaard is the #12 overall and #4 RHP prospect in baseball and was drafted as the 38th pick of the 2010 draft. There is nothing not to like about this guy who was definitely the best player the Mets got from the Toronto Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey trade. As good as Dickey was, Syndergaard will make that trade more than worth it when he arrives sometime in 2014 or 2015.
St. Louis Cardinals: Oscar Taveras – OF
Taveras is the #2 overall and #2 outfield prospect in baseball and was signed by the Cardinals in 2008. The fact that he rarely strikes out is going to work extremely well with Taveras’ developing power stroke. The Cards know how to build a prospect into a star and they are doing just that with Taveras. He’ll make a splash soon with the already successful franchise.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Jameson Taillon – RHP
Taillon is the other half of the famous combination including himself and now star pitcher Gerrit Cole. The success of Cole puts him a tad ahead of Taillon but he will definitely be back and promises to provide a good addition to the Pirates rotation in the very near future.
Cincinnati Reds: Billy Hamilton – OF
Hamilton ranks as the #15 overall and #10 outfield prospect and was taken lower in the 2009 MLB Draft than you might think considering the press he has gained. You may also mistake him as no longer being a prospect but despite the fame he has reached with his quick feet, he has only seen a few at-bats at the MLB level and a great deal other than his speed and base-stealing ability remains unproven. He is definitely going to be one of the great and exciting young players in the game this next season.
Milwaukee Brewers: Jimmy Nelson – RHP
Nelson is the #86 ranked prospect in baseball and has seen a tiny splash of MLB action already. In his 10 innings at the big league level he only put up a 0.90 ERA and a 0.70 WHIP. There is little reason to imagine he will not make the jump to the big time in 2014. The Brewers need him to be all that he seems ready to be.
Chicago Cubs: Javier Baez – SS
Baez is the #9 overall and #4 shortstop prospect in baseball and was taken 9th overall in the 2011 draft. He is one of the rare breed of player that doesn’t strikeout that much but yet is developing a ton of power for his position. Within a couple of years he could be emerging as one of the better young offensive shortstops in the game.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Joc Pederson – OF
Pederson was the 352nd overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft but is ranked as the #43 prospect in baseball. He has all the tools to make a Puig sized splash at the major league level very soon, possibly as early as the 2014 season. Keep an eye out for his scrappy style coupled with a ton of talent.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Archie Bradley – RHP
Bradley is the #7 overall and #2 RHP prospect in baseball and was taken 7th in the 2011 MLB Draft. His fastball riding upwards of 95 MPH with sinking action forms a potentially deadly combo with his sharp curveball that should lead him to be one of the better top young starters at the major league level very soon, if not this next season sometime.
San Diego Padres: Max Fried – LHP
Fried is the #30 overall and #2 LHP prospect in baseball and was chosen as the 7th pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. The pitching hungry Padres just need to allow more time for this kids great skills to develop and they will have someone with everything they need grown right there at home.
Colorado Rockies: Jonathan Gray – RHP
Gray is the #32 overall prospect and was chosen 3rd overall in the 2013 MLB Draft. His fastball rides upwards of 100 mph, he is among the league leaders in strikeouts and ERA regularly whenever he pitches and wherever he pitches. I’m not sure how long the Rockies want to wait but it won’t be too much longer for this kid.
San Francisco Giants: Kyle Crick – RHP
Crick is the #42 overall prospect in the game and was chosen as the 49th overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. With a good fastball, curveball, slider and developing changeup, it will not be long before the fans in San Francisco have a new good kid to root for on the pitching mound.
Boston Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts – SS/3B
Bogaerts was signed in 2009 by the Red Sox and ranks as the #6 overall and #2 shortstop prospect in baseball. We know him well now from seeing him in the MLB postseason but he is still very green. Despite what tools are noticeable right now, his hitting and overall power will grow as he does. He could be a special talent turned superstar very soon for the Sox.
Tampa Bay Rays: Taylor Guerrieri – RHP
Guerrieri is the #28 overall and #9 RHP prospect in baseball and was chosen as the 24th pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. He has a fastball and a curveball that work well with his changeup already. With an ERA around 2.01 and a 0.99 WHIP, we don’t have to look past him to see the next great Rays starter to emerge from their farm system. He is right here.
Baltimore Orioles: Dylan Bundy – RHP
Bundy has had some injury trouble but ranked #14 overall and #5 RHP prospect in baseball. His future is extremely bright and you can bet it won’t be long before the ball gets seriously rolling on his MLB career. He is bound to be one of the next good starters and the Orioles could use him badly next season if he is ready to take the leap.
New York Yankees: Gary Sanchez – C
Sanchez is the #26 overall and #2 catching prospect in baseball after being signed in 2009. The Yankees are not always known for their farm system filling their needs but that is what will happen at the catcher position within the next two seasons as Sanchez has all the tools they could want. It will just take a little patience to get him there. He could be a Buster Posey or Brian McCann level talent.
Toronto Blue Jays: Aaron Sanchez – RHP
Sanchez ranks as the #20 overall and #7 RHP prospect in the game and was taken 34th overall in the 2010 MLB Draft. For all the young pitchers the Blue Jays have traded away, they have always kept this kid and that alone should tell you what he brings to the table. With an extremely good fastball and curve, he only needs a decent changeup to be very good. A killer changeup added to his arsenal would mean greatness.
Detroit Tigers: Nick Castellanos – OF
Castellanos is the #11 overall and #3 outfield prospect in the game and was taken 44th overall in the 2011 MLB Draft. He has tasted MLB pitching just long enough to know it is tough to make that big jump. Nonetheless this kid is going to make that jump very soon and we should all get to see just how the Tigers can manage to keep his developing power out of the line-up. Chances are they will stick him in there every day very soon.
Cleveland Indians: Francisco Lindor – SS
Lindor is the #1 shortstop prospect in baseball and the #5 prospect overall. With great defense rising to the surface for an already plus offensive player, it is no wonder that Terry Francona talks so favorably about this kid. He will probably find a way to burst onto the scene in 2014 for the Tribe and isn’t likely to give the starting job up once he gets the role.
Kansas City Royals: Kyle Zimmer – RHP
Zimmer ranks #29 overall and as the #10 RHP prospect in baseball. He was taken as the 5th pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. 2014 might not quite be the season for Zimmer but with a possibility for four plus pitches, he will be well worth the wait when he is ready to go.
Chicago White Sox: Courtney Hawkins – OF
Hawkins ranks as the #63 overall prospect in baseball and was taken as the 13th overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. It might take a little more time than some hope, possibly a couple of seasons but when Hawkins has the time to develop his skill-set, the entire baseball world is bound to take notice if he does so the way he seems capable.
Minnesota Twins: Byron Buxton – OF
Buxton was somewhat of a surprise to fall all the way to the 2nd overall pick of the 2012 MLB Draft and ranks as the #1 outfield prospect as well as the top overall prospect in MLB. This kid may be a year plus away from the MLB level as the Twins are bound to wait until he is surely ready, but he is going to be special. The awesome Twins farm system has done it again. Buxton is the next big thing from their rich history.
Oakland Athletics: Addison Russell – SS
Russell was the 11th pick in the 2012 MLB Draft and is already seeing time at Triple-A. The 19-year old is ranked as the #17 overall and #5 shortstop prospect in baseball. The big and quick jump to Triple-A might have been a bit of a shocker to Russell but he looks to be one of the best young shortstops to come along in quite some time. It may take another season for him to grow as they need him to but he is going to be good when he arrives in MLB.
Texas Rangers: Jorge Alfaro – C
Alfaro is the #4 catching and #55 overall prospect in baseball and was signed in 2010. He has future skills that the Rangers would kill for and they are certainly willing to wait for. When he is able to have his skills grow from where they are to the next level, he should be one of the top overall catchers in MLB within five years.
Los Angeles Angels: Kaleb Cowart – 3B
Cowart is the #77 overall and #7 third base prospect in baseball and was taken as the 18th overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. The Angels fans have to look at their current roster and wonder why they have paid so much for free agents when the best player on the team is home grown. The next answer to Mark Trumbo and Mike Trout is Cowart. This guy might not hit at quite the rate those guys do but he has that potential and will be a plus offensive guy maybe as early as the 2014 season.
Seattle Mariners: Taijuan Walker – RHP
Walker is the #4 overall and #1 RHP prospect in the game and it more than showed with his performance at the very end of the 2013 season. There is little doubt that this kid is going to get a real chance at MLB stardom at the beginning of the 2014 season. He could be next season’s freakishly good rookie starting pitcher in the way Jose Fernandez was this year.
Houston Astros: Carlos Correa – SS
Correa is currently the #8 overall and #3 shortstop prospect in baseball and was taken 1st overall in the 2012 MLB Draft. He still has some room to grow but his defensive skills already appear to make him someone similar to Andrelton Simmons. If Correa’s offense continues to develop better each season he might even be better than that. There is a reason the Astros drafted this guy higher than Buxton and it wasn’t money.