Top 100 MLB Prospects for 2015

bryant, kris

What was a Pepper Baseball tradition is now a Sons of ’84 tradition with our (6th) annual Top 100 Prospect list for 2015.  The list consists of players who may or may not make an impact in 2015 and is more based on potential.  It is worth noting that the higher the player is on a list, the more likely they are to make an impact this year or at least for the most part.

The list was initially created for my minor league fantasy draft but has evolved annually.  This year I’ve created a ranking system from ten different lists that I found relevant based on their top 10’s and eliminated others I couldn’t agree with.  I then will remove the players highest and lowest ranking and average the remaining eight sites.  Without any doubt, the top two prospects in all of baseball are Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton who was our #1 last year but suffered through an injury plagued season and Kris Bryant, the third baseman for the Chicago Cubs who collected 43 home runs at two levels last season.  It was a tight race for the top spot, however Bryant placed first seven times out of the ten relevant lists.

Unfortunately, no Detroit Tigers make my list this year, but some former ones do.

Without further ado, here are your Pepper Baseball Top 100 Major League Baseball Prospect for 2015 (bolded if they were named on all lists):

  1. Kris Bryant, 3B/CHC – .325 average, 43 homers, 1.098 OPS, and even 15 steals in his second full season in the minors, what’s not to like?  The only drawback right now is that Bryant did strike out 162 times in 2014.  He’ll make it tough on the Cubs this spring not to take him north, but we all may have to wait until May/June for the Cubs to start the arbitration clock late
  2. Byron Buxton, OF/MIN – The consensus #1 prospect in all of baseball last year, Buxton suffered through numerous injuries in 2014 and instead of competing for a job in the Twins outfield, it’s most likely he’ll start out in the minor due to the lack of at bats on 2014.  When healthy though, look for a 5-tool player developing power and hitting tools and may be a poor man’s Mike Trout in the long run
  3. Carlos Correa, SS/HOU – Correa, the top pick in the 2012 draft started out as hot as could be last season at High-A Lancaster, hitting .325 with 6 homers and 57 RBI, with 20 steals before suffering a broken fibula, ending his season.  Correa is now fully healthy and entering his age 20 season in hopes of picking up where he left off.  It’ll be interesting seeing how quickly he moves through the system this year
  4. Addison Russell, SS/CHC – The key piece in the Jeff Samardzija trade last season.  Russell is seen as a true shortstop with great hands and footwork to go along with a smooth stroke.  Russell is the only other player to be listed in the top-2 on any the 10 lists we used for rankings
  5. Lucas Giolito, RHP/WAS – Giolito has been handled with kit-gloves after recovering form Tommy John surgery in 2013.  He dominated in 98 innings at Hagerstown (A) last season with a 10-2 record, 2.20 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 10.1 K/9 ratio.  Expectations are for Giolito to rack up innings this year at High-A and Double-A levels before auditioning for a spot in the rotation in 2016
  6. Corey Seager, SS/LAD – The future third baseman exploded last year in both high-A and Double-A where he hit for a combined .349 average in his age 20 season and combining for 20 homers and 97 RBI.  His 115 k’s are of concern, but his learning capability offensively shows that those should decrease over time
  7. Francisco Lindor, SS/CLE – A strong spring could force the issue of taking the 21-year old Lindor north where he’ll anchor the shortstop position for years for the Indians with both great defensive capabilities as well as offensive ability to hit for average and eventual gap power with speed to boot.
  8. Joey Gallo, 3B/TEX – Gallo is an intriguing player with off the charts power (40 homers in 2013 and 42 in 2014) and similar off the charts lack of plate discipline (172 k’s in 2013, 179 in 2014), however he’s just 21 this season and will most likely start out at Triple-A to work on his strike zone awareness
  9. Julio Urias, LHP/LAD – The infamous scouting trip where the Dodge signed Yasiel Puig, also netted the team Urias as a 16-year old in 2012.  A tumor in his left eye that was removed and concerned teams of future blindness, which now seems to be less of an issue.  Moving in to his age 18 season, Urias will start at Double-A most likely after a 2-2 year at high-A Rancho Cucamonga with a 2.36 ERA, 1.106 WHIP, and 11.2 K/9 ratio. Urias could be the first 19-year pitcher to start a game in the Majors since Felix Hernandez did it in 2005
  10. Miguel Sano, 3B/MIN – Sano has been on the prospect scene since 2010, however he’s just moving in to his age 21 season.  The major power threat lost all of 2014 due to Tommy John surgery, but is expected to be fully ready for the season.  When healthy, Sano has shown great power with 35 homers in 2013 and 32 in 2012, but like many young hitters is prone to striking out as well. Miguel is expected to start out in the minors at Double-A or Triple-A
  11. Noah Syndergaard, RHP/NYM
  12. Joan Moncada, 2B/BOS – Signed with the Red Sox 2/23 and at 19, is expected to be a couple years away from playing in the Major’s.  His sounds to be in amazing shape and due to his size is expected to move from shortstop to second base in the US.
  13. Joc Pederson, OF/LAD – Pederson made his Major League debut last season for the Dodgers after hitting .303 at Triple-A Albuquerque with 22 homers and 30steals.  He didn’t show much in his time with the big club, but is expected to take over in the outfield giving LA the opportunity to trade Matt Kemp
  14. Jorge Soler, OF/CHC – Gave Cubs fans a glimpse of the future as he made his Major League debut in August last season, getting hits in 10 of his first 19 at bats with 3 homers.  Signed through 2020, he’s just the beginning of the Cubs super prospects to make their debut
  15. Tyler Glasnow, RHP/PIT – Absolutely dominated last season at High-A Bradenton, where he went 12-5 with a 1.74 ERA, 1.044 WHIP and 11.4 K/9 ratio.  The Pirates however have been notorious for taking their time with pitching prospects and will be interesting to see if they do the same with Glasnow
  16. Blake Swihart, C/BOS – Has turned himself in to a solid defender with good hitting ability and showing power with 13 homers in 2014.  Could crack the opening day lineup for Boston
  17. Carlos Rodon, LHP/CWS – Showed considerable promise after being drafted 3rd in the 2014 draft with 24.1 innings of work and being promoted all the way up to Triple-A Charlotte with some wanting a Major League debut for Rodon in September
  18. Archie Bradley, RHP/ARZ
  19. Daniel Norris, LHP/TOR
  20. Dylan Bundy, RHP/BAL – A victim of over usage in high school, Bundy had Tommy John surgery in 2013 after skyrocketing through the Orioles system and pitching 1.2 innings in the bigs in 2012 as a 19-year old (did not make start however).  Bundy started his comeback, pitching 41.1 innings last year at two levels in A-ball
  21. J.P. Crawford, SS/PHI – Phillies shortstop of the future made Jimmy Rollins expendable showing very good defense and a good hitting ability to go along with speed.  At least a year away if not two.
  22. Jon Gray, RHP/COL – The 3rd pick in the 2013 draft has plus velocity with a good slider, however control seems to be a concern
  23. Hunter Harvey, RHP/BAL
  24. Henry Owens, LHP/BOS
  25. Robert Stephenson, RHP/CIN
  26. Jameson Taillon, RHP/PIT – Yet another victim for Tommy John surgery in 2014 with the Pirates hope to get Taillon back by mid-season
  27. Raul Mondesi, SS/KC
  28. David Dahl, OF/COL
  29. Braden Shipley, RHP/ARZ
  30. Tyler Kolek, RHP/MIA – The best description that I have read about Kolek comes from Keith Law of ESPN, who refers to him as a “golem” essentially due to Kolek’s 6’7″ 275 pound frame.  It’s worth noting that he hit 100mph and born after I graduated high school (in ’95)
  31. Andrew Heaney, LHP/LAA
  32. Luis Severino, RHP/NYY
  33. Alex Jackson, C/SEA – Very good power and hit tools, the Mariners will switch Jackson from a catcher to outfielder this year
  34. Mark Appel, RHP/HOU
  35. Aaron Sanchez, RHP/TOR
  36. Rusney Castillo, OF/BOS – His 10 game teaser after defecting from Cuba and singing with the Red Sox is surely something to look forward to seeing more of for Boston fans
  37. Austin Meadows, OF/PIT
  38. Jesse Winker, OF/CIN
  39. Jorge Alfaro, C/TEX
  40. Alex Meyer, RHP/MIN
  41. Kyle Schwarber, C/CHC – The #4 pick out the 2014 draft class
  42. Jose Peraza, 2B/ATL
  43. Aaron Nola, RHP/PHI
  44. Jose Berrios, RHP/MIN
  45. Josh Bell, OF/PIT
  46. Kyle Zimmer, RHP/KC
  47. D.J. Peterson, 1B/SEA
  48. Kohl Sterwart, RHP/MIN
  49. Dalton Pompey, OF/TOR
  50. Nick Gordon, SS/MIN – Son of Tom “Flash” Gordon, was drafted with the 4th pick in last years draft and will eventually gain gap power
  51. Yasmany Tomas, OF/ARZ
  52. Maikel Franco, 1B/PHI
  53. Steven Matz, LHP/NYM
  54. Matt Wisler, RHP/SD
  55. Aaron Judge, OF/NYY
  56. Michael Taylor, OF/WAS
  57. Eduardo Rodriguez, RHP/BOS
  58. Kevin Plawecki, C/NYM
  59. Steven Souza, OF/TB
  60. Nomar Mazara, OF/TEX
  61. Albert Almora, OF/CHC
  62. Sean Manaea, LHP/KC
  63. Eddie Butler, RHP/COL
  64. Jake Thompson, RHP/TEX – Traded by the Detroit Tigers for Joakim Soria and may be ticketed for the bullpen in the big leagues vs the rotation
  65. Aaron Blair, RHP/ARZ
  66. Hunter Renfroe, OF/SD
  67. Clint Frazier, OF/CLE
  68. Alexander Reyes, RHP/STL
  69. Michael Foltnewwicz, RHP/ATL
  70. Marco Gonzales, LHP/STL
  71. Manuel Margot, OF/BOS
  72. Tim Anderson, SS/CWS
  73. Jeff Hoffman, RHP/TOR
  74. A.J. Cole, RHP/WAS
  75. Alex Gonzalez, RHP/TEX
  76. Raimel Tapia, OF/COL
  77. Austin Hedges, C/SD – Could be the best defensive catcher in the minors right now, the question is, will he hit?
  78. C.J. Edwards, RHP/CHC
  79. Kyle Freeland, LHP/COL
  80. Lucas Sims, RHP/ATL
  81. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP/WAS
  82. Sean Newcomb, LHP/LAD
  83. Daniel Robertson, SS/OAK
  84. Hunter Dozier, 3B/KC
  85. Nick Kingham, RHP/PIT
  86. Brandon Nimmo, OF/NYM
  87. Michael Conforto, OF/NYM
  88. Stephen Piscotty, OF/STL
  89. Matt Olsen, 1B/OAK – A true Billy Beane guy, as Olsen lead the minors in walks last year and finished with a .404 on base percentage and .947 OPS after mashing 37 homers
  90. Branndon Finnegan, LHP/KC
  91. Reese McGuire, C/PIT
  92. Trea Turner, SS/SD
  93. Max Fried, LHP/SD
  94. Rafael Devers, 3B/BOS
  95. Ryan McMahon, 3B/COL
  96. Vince Velasquez, RHP/HOU
  97. Orlando Arcia, SS/MIL
  98. Grant Holmes, RHP/LAD
  99. Alen Hanson, SS/PIT
  100. Andrew Susac, C/SF

Just missed: Touki Toussaint RHP/ARZ, Jake Lamb 3B/ARZ, Ozhaino Albies SS/ATL, Kyle Crick RHP/SF, Garin Cecchini 3B/BOS, Dominic Smith 1B/NYM, Dilson Herrera 2B/NYM, Rio Ruiz 3B/ATL, Raisel Iglesias RHP/CIN, Miguel Almonte RHP/KC

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6 thoughts on “Top 100 MLB Prospects for 2015

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