With the 2015 season on its way, we’re proud to present our Top 30 prospect list. Like last year, this list will contain scouting reports for 30 players plus 3 honorable mentions (with scouting reports of their own as well). One thing to remember with these scouting reports, is that they’re a snapshot of what we know and I can just about guarantee you that our minds will change with more information about these prospects. The publication timeline will look like this:
Well, let’s get right to it then.
Height/Weight: 6’0″ 205 lbs.
Draft Information: 1st round pick (29th Overall) in 2010 Bonus: $1.116MM
2014 Stats: 43 G, 45 IP, 2.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 39.2 K%-BB%, .280 BABIP, 79.3 LOB% (Inland Empire 66ers (A+)/Arkansas Travelers (AA)/Salt Lake Bees (AAA))
What Happened In 2014: Bedrosian got his first taste of big league action and struggled with his command in his 1st go around. However, Bedrosian absolutely tore up the minor leagues, striking out 82 batters in 45 innings and posting an ERA of 2.00.
How They Improved From 2013: Bedrosian improved in every aspect imaginable in 2014. Although his peripherals were good in 2013, his strikeouts went up in 2014, he saw his walks go down, and he saw his ERA drop drastically as a result. After going through Tommy John surgery following the 2010 season, Bedrosian finally showed why he was a 1st round pick.
What We Like: Bedrosian is a short, stocky power right hander who can look unhittable at times. He has a quick and pretty easy delivery. Nothing is too outlandish with his delivery. His fastball sits in the 93-95 range with some run and bumps it up to 96-97 when needed. His slider is a plus pitch, sitting in the 82-84 mph range and shows serious bite. With 2 plus pitches, he’s able to put a ton of hitters away via the strikeout.
|Balance||40||FB||55||60||Mid 90’s heater, arm side run|
|Momentum||45||SL||60||65||Plus pitch, hard & nasty|
|Torque||50||CH||35||35||Inconsistent, not much movement|
What We Dislike: Like many relievers, he has issues with repeating his delivery. He has issues with his routine as works too slow at times. His quick delivery once he does throw leads to some inconsistent release points. Bedrosian lacks an effective change to use vs lefties and could struggle against them in the majors. He really struggled with his command in his MLB stint, mostly fastball command.
Ceiling: 2nd division Closer
Realistic Outcome: Setup Reliever 8th/7th Inning
Floor: 7th/6th Inning ROOGY
ETA: Arrived in 2014
Height/Weight: 6’4″ 185 lbs.
Draft Information: 5th round pick 2013; Bonus: $270k
2014 Stats: 12 G, 12 GS, 65.1 IP, 3.03 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 13 K%-BB%, .301 BABIP, 78.6 LOB% (Inland Empire 66ers (A+)/Arkansas Travelers (AA)/AZL Angels [rehab start] (R))
What Happened In 2014: McGowin pitched very well until his right elbow acted up and shut him down after 63.1 innings.
How They Improved From 2013: McGowin posted a very healthy 19.9 K-BB% in his first extended time in the minors. His sub 3 ERA and 3.86 FIP in High A Ball was very solid.
What We Like: McGowin has a tall, lean frame and has average command of a pretty solid arsenal. His fastball isn’t huge but it projects as an above average pitch, sitting in the 91-93 mph range with arm side run. He throws an above average curveball/slider, scouts say it’s a curve ball but it features sharper break and more sweeping action that traditional 12-6 action, pitch sits in the 78-82 mph range. Still raw in terms of exposure in the minors, plenty of potential to turn himself into a quality major league starter.
|Balance||40||FB||50||55||Good tail, deceptive|
|Momentum||40||CV||50||55||Sharp bite, sweeping action|
|Torque||45||CH||35||40||Decent depth, can’t control it|
What We Dislike: McGowin has problems repeating his delivery. He has issues pitching from the stretch. The elbow issues after small workload could foretell a sign of durability issues. He hasn’t developed a big workload yet in minors so it could take him until mid 20’s to reach majors. The changeup hasn’t developed quite yet so he could experience big platoon splits if it doesn’t develop.
Ceiling: #4/High #5
Realistic Outcome: Low #5
Floor: 6th/7th Inning Reliever
ETA: Late 2016
Height/Weight: 6’0″ 195 lbs.
Draft Information: 4th Round Pick in 2012 Bonus: $302k
2014 Stats: 136 G, 5.6 BB%, 20.9 K%, .112 ISO, .352 BABIP, 103 wRC+ (Arkansas Travelers (AA))
What Happened In 2014: Yarbrough saw his offensive numbers decline as he played half of his games in the pitcher friendly Dickey-Stephens Park at AA Arkansas. When you adjust for context, he wasn’t all that much worse as he still posted a better than league average 103 wRC+. Yarbrough still walked infrequently and struck out a good amount but he showed off his plus hit tool and ability to hit for some power. The 23 year old remains one of the best position prospects in the system even after a semi-down year.
How They Improved From 2013: Yarbrough increased his walk rate from 4.4% in 2013 to 5.6% In 2014.
What We Like: Yarbrough’s hit tool should keep him near a league average hitter. Good line drive approach. His defense is sound. He’s about an average/above average defender who makes up for lack of great speed with a good 1st jump. Above average speed. Average baserunner. If his discipline improves a bit or he sees an uptick in power, he could be a very good player.
|Hit||50||55||Line drive approach, compact swing, best tool in the shed.|
|Power||35||40||Doubles hitter, has shown decent power in minors|
|Glove||45||50||Above average, good 1st step, average lateral quickness, good instincts|
|Arm||35||40||Nothing special with the arm but adequate for 2B.|
|Run||40||45||Above average runner, hasn’t translated into many stolen bases|
What We Dislike: He’s a hacker at the plate. His approach could get exposed in the majors. The lack of walks and high strikeout rate could mean he’s a utility guy. His overall value relies a lot on him hitting for average. His power tool could play below average in the majors.
Ceiling: Average Regular
Realistic Outcome: Below-Average Regular
Floor: Bench Option
Height/Weight: 6’4″ 190 lbs.
Draft Information: 3rd Round pick in 2014 Bonus: $575k
2014 Stats: 9 G, 2 GS. 15.1 IP, 7.04 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 12.3 K%-BB%, .405 BABIP, 62% LOB (Orem Owlz (R))
What Happened In 2014: Ellis didn’t pitch much in thew Angels org because he was playing in the College World Series where he showed just why the Angels drafted him.
How They Improved From 2013: Is now in the Angels organization and $575,000 richer.
What We Like: There’s a lot to like with Ellis, the body is nice, the mechanics and delivery are smooth (for the most part), the repertoire is very good for a third round pick, however the best part about this, is that Ellis will make an impact very soon on the big league club. So, back to his delivery, everything checks out except Ellis does display a bit of arm drag, which is concerning and hopefully the coaches can help kink that out, however that might be a tough task considering he’s a college pitcher and college players don’t change too much when they’re they get into an organization. The fastball is an average pitch, nothing much to get into there, but the curve and change are very nice, the change is a comparable pitch to Morin’s and the curve has some really solid bite.
|Balance||60||FB||50||55||Sits low 90s but can touch 95, has a bit of run to it|
|Momentum||50||CV||40||50||A nasty pitch with sharp break but can get inconsistent because of the arm drag in Ellis’ delivery, if that’s kinked out it’s easily a 60 pitch|
|Torque||45||CH||55||60||Ellis’ best pitch by far, would be one of the best in the organization|
What We Dislike: Like I was saying earlier, there is an issue with the arm drag, it shouldn’t be too serious of an issue as far as injuries go, but it’s the difference between Ellis being a #2 pitcher and a #5. Overall though, there’s not too much to dislike with Ellis, he has a pretty nice floor.
Realistic Outcome: #3
Height/Weight: 6’3″ 215 lbs.
Draft Information: 3rd Round pick in 2011 by the Braves Bonus: $261k
2014 Stats: 132 G, 14.6 BB%, 25.1 K%, .175 ISO, .401 BABIP, 145 wRC+ (Mississippi Braves (AA))
What Happened In 2014: Kubitza put up another solid year for the Mississippi Braves, posting gaudy on-base numbers (.405 OBP) and showing some speed as well (21 SB).
How They Improved From 2013: Kubitza put up very similar numbers to his 2013 season in games (132), walk rate (14.6% in 2014 compared to 15.2%), strikeout rate (25.1% compared to 25%), ISO (.175 in both years). However, Kubitza’s BABIP heavily increased from .344 in 2013 to .401 in 2014, which is something to keep an eye on in 2015.
What We Like: Kubitza’s approach from the left-side of the plate is tremendous. He has excellent bat control and just plain knows how to hit. He works into deep counts, he has a super smooth line drive stroke and he knows how to hit the ball the other way. Kubitza is his attitude and work ethic. Similar to Kole Calhoun, Kubitza is consistently praised for his ability to be a spark plug in the lineup and clubhouse. Combine that with his outstanding work ethic, and you have a player that can play above his (already pretty solid) skill set. He’s probably not ready for a full-time gig in 2015, but he’s close and if David Freese struggles, Kubitza is more than capable of stepping in and holding his own.
|Hit||40||55||A solid approach at the plate, smooth swing, a good mechanics, giving a solid-average grade because of the plate discipline|
|Power||40||55||Hasn’t hit many homers in the minors but with his approach and swing path, he could hit anywhere from 18-23 homers a year|
|Glove||50||50||Nothing too flashy but gets the job done|
|Arm||60||60||A very good arm, should be able to hold up at 3B and he could play a passable LF|
|Run||50||55||Shows solid speed, lots of triples, smart baserunner.|
What We Dislike: The real concern for Kubitza is the strikeouts and how lucky he has been in the minors. The strikeouts make sense in that if he’s walking a lot, he’s getting into long AB’s with a lot of pitches. This is a pretty normal thing. However, even though it’s normal it’s a concern because of his BABIP which is extremely high. Kubitza could be one of those players that are fast and hit the ball hard and they’re able to maintain a high BABIP, however a BABIP over .400 is unsustainable.
Ceiling: 1st Division Third-Baseman
Realistic Outcome: Above-Average Regular
Floor: Average Regular