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Breaking Down MLB’s Top Prospects

Here’s the MLB top prospects breakdown 1-15. Click Here to see our full 1-50 rankings.  I will release my 16-30 breakdown at the beginning of the year.

1. Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins
Buxton is a rare five tool talent, that will make an instant impact for the Twins. He did struggle with a wrist injury last season, but he should be back to full health come the 2015 season. Buxton batted .334 with 55 stolen bases in 2013.  He will remind a lot of people of Mike Trout and I think he could have that type of impact his rookie season. I think you will see Buxton called up sometime in 2015, as long as he’s recovered from his wrist injury.

2. Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs
The Cubs have one of the most talented farm systems in the majors, and their number one prospect is without a doubt Kris Byrant. Bryant, like Gallo, has extreme power to all fields and he proved that hitting 43 homers in 138 games this season. Bryant isn’t the greatest defender, but his bat will make up for any mistakes in the field. I see Bryant making his debut sometime in 2015, probably early in the season.

3. Joey Gallo, 3B, Texas Rangers
Gallo is the most powerful hitter in the minors right now, hitting a total of 42 home runs in just 126 games last year. He does have some huge red flags, he strikes out a lot and his defense his below-average, but I think his ability to drive in runs will make up for that. If Gallo gets called up this year it would be to bat DH, with Adrian Beltre at third. Beltre has a vesting option for 2016, so their is a chance that Gallo could be the starting third baseman come 2016.

4. Addison Russell, SS, Chicago Cubs
Addison Russell is a future star in the Cubs organization, but we still don’t know what position he will become a star at. Russell plays shortstop, but the Cubs already have Starlin Castro their and they have Javier Baez at second. I have already mentioned that their future third baseman is Kris Bryant, so the only option for Russell will be the outfield, which is also loaded with talent. Russell has a great arm, so I think that left field is not out of the realm of possibility. Russell has the rare ability to hit for power and average. Russell is talented enough to play in 2015, but I think Chicago’s infield is too loaded and Russell will stay in the minors to work on his defensive skills in the outfield.

5. Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros
Carlos Correa is built like Alex Rodriguez was out of high school, but Correa weighs about 15 more pounds. Correa looked great in the 62 games he played in 2014, hitting .325 and stealing 20 bases. He has the ability to be a 30-30 guy, but I don’t expect him to get called up until sometime in 2016.

6. Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington Nationals
Giolito is the best pitcher in my top 50 and trust me he deserves to be ranked higher, but there is just too much talent in the minors this year. Giolito went 10-2 with a 2.20 ERA in the minors last season. His greatest asset might be his size, standing at 6’6″ and weighing 255 pounds, he towers over his opponents and is an intimidating force. The Nationals rotation is already loaded with talent, so I see Giolito getting the call in September 2015 or early 2016.

7. Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
Corey Seager will remind a lot of people of a young Troy Tulowitzki, but from the left side of the plate. Seager can hit for power and average. He also has a great arm, but lacks the defensive prowess that he needs at the big league level. I think Seager will eventually convert to third base, based on his size. If Seager improves on defense he will be ready to play sometime 2015.

8. Julio Urias, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Julio Urias is the youngest player on my list, and he doesn’t turn 19 until August 2015. Urias had a great year in the minors, posting a 2.36 ERA in 87 2/3 innings. He has a great fastball and curveball to go with great control, a rare combination especially at such a young age. I expect Urias to make his major league debut in late 2016 or 2017.

9. Jose Peraza, 2B, Atlanta Braves
The Braves have been awful when it comes to getting runners on base, that could all change with a player like Jose Peraza. Peraza could be the first true leadoff batter for the Braves, since Michael Bourn’s short term in Atlanta. Peraza was phenomenal in 2014, hitting .339 and stealing 60 bases. He is also a elite defender with a decent arm. The only thing that Peraza lacks is power and I don’t think he will need that with Freddie Freeman and Evan Gattis batting behind him.  I think Peraza will be called up sometime in 2015.

10. Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota Twins
Miguel Sano didn’t play last due to getting Tommy John Surgery, but that shouldn’t hurt his stock. Sano is a power threat every time he comes to the plate, hitting 90 homers in three minor league season. He still needs to work on his defense, and hopefully his arm will return to what it was before he had surgery. I think Sano will be called up sometime in 2015.

11. Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians
Francisco LIndor is an elite defensive shortstop with tons of upside. Lindor still needs to improve on the offensive front, but I think he will make up for any struggles on offenses with his glove. He reminds me of Andrelton Simmons, and I think Lindor will eventually be the best defensive shortstop in the American League. Lindor will probably be called up sometime in 2015, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s starting at shortstop opening day.

12. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Tyler Glasnow is an imposing pitcher, standing at 6’7″ and a fastball in the upper-90s. Glasnow posted a 1.74 ERA and going 12-5 last year. He needs to work a lot on his command and that is the only issue with his pitching. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Glasnow moved to closer in the future, if he doesn’t improve his command. I think Glasnow won’t get called up until 2016, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in September 2015.

13. Kohl Stewart, RHP, Minnesota Twins
Kohl Stewart had a great year in Single A last season, posting a 2.59 ERA with a 3-5 record in 19 starts. He’s not a strikeout pitcher averaging around six strikeouts a game, but he does force a lot of ground balls. When at his best Stewart might remind you of Justin Verlander. Stewart still has a lot to learn, and I don’t see him being called up until mid 2016 or early 2017.

14. Joc Pederson, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Joc Pederson might be playing in the big leagues come April, but for now he’s a prospect and a very good one. Pederson’s power has gradually increased every year since he was drafted by the Dodgers in 2010. He hit 33 homers last season, which was a minor league career high for the lefty. Pederson finished with a .303 batting average and an OBP of .435.  He’s a very patient hitter who will take a walk a lot, and he’s a very good base stealer, collecting 30 stolen bases and getting caught 13 times in 2014.

15. Jon Gray, RHP, Colorado Rockies
Jon Gray was the third pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, and I think the Astros missed up by taking Mark Appel over Gray. Gray is a fastball pitcher and will hit 100 mph from time to time, which leads to a lot of strikeouts. He struck out 113 batters in just 124 1/3 innings last season in Double A.  Gray also has a nice slider to go with his fastball.  The slider hits around 90 mph and will drop off and away making the batter look silly at times.  He does need to work on his changeup, especially with him playing at Coors Field in the future.  I expect Gray to be called up sometime in 2015 or early 2016.

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