2014 MLB Draft: Top 30 Prospects

06/09/2013

To help deal with Draft withdrawal, I’ve put together a quick Top 30 list for the 2014 MLB Draft. There are some elite starting pitchers coming out of the college ranks, and the prep side boasts some strong offensive contributors up the middle of the field. The high school side also has at least two or three big arms that could go early next year, though it’s a bit hard to nail down prep pitching this early (think Clinton Hollon projections last summer). The rest of the Top 30 follow after the break.

  1. Carlos Rodon, LHP (NC State): You could have make an argument for Rodon going 1:1 this year. His stuff, K rate, polish, and mechanics all point to him being a strong 1 or 2 starter.
  2. Trea Turner, SS (NC State): Strong hit tool and approach with plus speed up the middle, all of which make up for just around solid power potential.
  3. Alex Jackson, INF/C (California HS): The most complete high school player available. It seems likely that teams would prefer him at third once he goes pro, even though he’s quite good behind the plate.
  4. Tyler Beede, RHP (Vanderbilt): Live fastball and a strong breaking ball, but needs to improve his walk rate. Has clean mechanics and already has the build for pro ball.
  5. Michael Cederoth, RHP (San Diego State): Currently sits from 92-98, although he’s been clocked at 100 on his fastball in 2013. Both his slider and curve have shown flashes of being plus.
  6. Aaron Nola, RHP (LSU): The righty was sitting in the low-to-mid 90s consistently in 2013, holding his velocity late into games. He controls his fastball well, only allowing 17 walks in 109 IP.
  7. Touki Toussaint, RHP (Florida HS): One of the hardest throwers in this high school class, with a plus curve to boot.
  8. Nick Gordon, SS (Florida HS): Right there with Jackson for all-around value, though he could be the better defender of the two.
  9. Nick Burdi, RHP (Louisville): As a reliever he consistently touches 100+ mph. His slider is equally ridiculous as it maxes out in the low 90s. He also showed improved command in 2013. It would be fun to watch Burdi as a starter next year.
  10. Kyle Schwarber, C/1B (Indiana): One of the best wOBA’s (#13) in all of Division I at .479. The sophomore already has a strong approach and power stroke (17 HRs). Not entirely sure he sticks at catcher, though.
  11. Sean Newcomb, LHP (Hartford): Will be the highest pick out of the America East Conference since Travis Jankowski, and might just go higher (he went 44th). Newcomb struck out 92 in 72 IP, posting a 2.81 FIP with his mid 90s fastball.
  12. Brandon Finnegan, LHP (TCU): He’s overshadowed by Rodon as far as college lefties go, but Finnegan has touched the upper 90s with a plus breaking ball (and posted nearly an identical FIP to Rodon).
  13. Jacob Gatewood, SS/OF/P (California HS): Another strong all-around bat from the high school class. Not sure he avoids a shift to 3rd base considering his size (6’5″, 190 lbs.).
  14. Bryce Montes De Oca, RHP, (Kansas HS): Good velocity on his fastball, currently sitting in the low-to-mid 90s, with two developing offspeed pitches. Big frame at 6’7″, 255 lbs.
  15. Derek Fisher, OF (Virginia): Even though he underwhelmed a bit in 2013, he’s one of the best offensive prospects at the college level.
  16. Jeff Hoffman, RHP (East Carolina): The righty has shown a strong low-to-mid 90s fastball, and two potentially-plus offspeed pitches. Doesn’t strikeout as many as the other big college arms though (7.06 K/9 IP).
  17. Luke Weaver, RHP (Florida State): Has a strong two pitch mix with a low-to-mid 90s fastball and a quality slider. With excellent control, the righty posted a fantastic 2.90 FIP, only walking 17 in 92  IP.
  18. Kel Johnson, 1B (Georgia HS): One of the best power bats in the high school ranks. Remains to be seen if he ends up at 1st base, or if he can play a solid outfield.
  19. Liam Sabino, SS (New Jersey HS): He’s repeatedly shown that he has the tools to stick at short. Sabino’s quick swing could lead to well above average offensive production once he reaches Vanderbilt, or the pros.
  20. Casey Gillaspie, 1B (Wichita State): One of the more interesting pure college bats on the board for next June. Gillaspie has excellent bat speed that produces solid power, although it may need to improve a bit for first base.
  21. Gaereth Morgan, OF (Toronto HS): Has lots of power with still plenty of room to grow. Might challenge anyone else in the high school ranks for power potential, even if he’s a bit raw.
  22. Cameron Varga, RHP (Ohio HS): Varga had one of the better fastballs on display last summer, regularly showing strong low-to-mid 90s offerings.
  23. David Peterson, LHP (Colorado HS): Probably the best lefty available in the high school ranks. At 6’7″, 210 lbs. with a fastball just touching 90 mph, he still has plenty of room for projection.
  24. Matt Chapman, SS (Cal State Fullerton): By all indications, he has the tools to be a strong defender at short. Add in the fact that he already has a strong approach and solid pop, and he has a lot of all-around value.
  25. Mike Papi, OF (Virginia): Strong on base skills and hit tool, though he needs to hit for more power to be a regular at a corner position.
  26. Austin Cousino, OF (Kentucky): One of the more toolsy college outfielders available in 2014. Will need to make more consistent contact to warrant an early-round pick though.
  27. Jack Flaherty, 3rd/RHP (California HS): The next big prospect to come out of Harvard-Westlake High. Most like him as a hitter, probably because his velocity only sits in the high 80s. If either his power at the plate jumps, or his velocity on the mound, it may make the decision easier.
  28. Michael Conforto, OF (Oregon State): The PAC-12 outfielder has a quality hit tool and improving approach, but will need to hit for more power. Even so, he has a high floor. 
  29. Joey Pankake, SS (South Carolina): Quietly may settle in as the 2nd best college shortstop available. Has some interesting potential at the plate, even though he’s a bit raw as a hitter.
  30. Mark Zagunis, C (Virginia Tech): Was a fixture of the Hokies lineup in 2013, and should be a nice all-around value next spring.