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The Top 50 pitching prospects of 2015

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

With 20 years of prospect lists on the docket, I am going back and reviewing the top prospects from my books, the STATS Minor League Scouting Notebook (1996 through 2002) and the Baseball Prospect Book (2003-2016). The very brief comments provided include a statistical summary (through the 2016 season) and a marker on whether I considered the grade verified or not.

The lists from 1996 through 2002 were unified Top 50 lists with both hitters and pitchers.
2003 was the first year with Top 50 Hitters and Top 50 Pitchers.

There is a gray area of course, some players who were not as good as expected but not exactly failures, either. For me, a bust is a player that you get nothing out of.

Generally speaking, I am more interested in the players who didn’t make it than the ones who did.

We looked at 1996 here. Players who first appeared on the list in 1996 have their stats in that article.

We looked at 1997 here. Players who first appeared on the list in '97 have their stats there.

Here's 1998. Players who first appeared on the list in '98 have their stats there.

This is 1999.

And 2000!

HAL wants you to check out 2001.

Don't miss 2002.

Here are the Top 50 hitters from 2003.

And the Top 50 Pitchers from 2003.

Want some more hitters? Here are the Top 50 from 2004.

And there are the pitchers from 2004.

Hitters? More hitters, this time from 2005.

Here are the arms from 2005.

The bats from 2006.

Don't skip the moundsmen from 2006.

The hitters of 2007.

Top Pitching prospects for 2007, led by Justin Verlander

Here are the hitters from 2008.

Pitchers galore from 2008!

Here are the bats from 2009. It didn't turn out too well.

However, the pitchers did.

The hitters from 2010 featured Buster Posey and Carlos Santana in the top five, but also Jesus Montero

The 2010 pitching list was fairly successful.

Bryce Harper led off the 2011 hitting list.

The 2011 pitching list was also a success.

Mike Trout and Harper headlined the 2012 hitting list.

Don't forget the 2012 pitchers.

Bats from 2013 are at this link.

Here are the arms from 2013.

The early results from the 2014 hitting list are good.

And the 2014 pitching list looks good at this point too.

Thus far the 2015 hitting list is sharp with Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa at the top.

2015 Pitchers

1) Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nationals, Grade A: Still a top prospect.

2) Julio Urias, LHP, Dodgers, Grade A:
Looks great so far.

3) Daniel Norris, LHP, Blue Jays, Grade A:
Incomplete but should work out.

4) Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates, Grade A:
Still a top prospect.

5) Carlos Rodon, LHP, White Sox, Grade A:
3.90 ERA in 304 innings, 3.95 FIP, fWAR 4.7; has been a solid starter to this point and should improve further.

6) Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Mets, Grade A-:
Excellent so far.

7) Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Blue Jays, Grade A-:
Excellent so far.

8) Dylan Bundy, RHP, Orioles, Grade A-:
Incomplete but making progress.

9) Robert Stephenson, RHP, Reds, Grade A-:
Still a good prospect though stock down some.

10) Brandon Finnegan, LHP, Royals, Grade A-:
3.81 ERA in 227 innings, 4.97 FIP, fWAR 0.6; advanced metrics don’t like him but he held a rotation spot in 2016 and I think he can improve from here. Incomplete.

11) Jon Gray, RHP, Rockies, Grade A-:
Looks good so far.

12) Henry Owens, LHP, Red Sox, Grade B+:

13) Andrew Heaney, LHP, Angels, Grade B+:
Incomplete due to injury.

14) Luis Severino, RHP, Yankees, Grade B+:
4.46 ERA in 133 innings, 4.43 FIP, fWAR 1.3; very good in 2015, not so good in 2016; incomplete. I think he’ll be fine if health holds.

15) Mark Appel, RHP, Astros, Grade B+:
Stock fading but still a prospect.

16) Sean Manaea, LHP, Royals, Grade B+:
Looks good so far.

17) Steven Matz, LHP, Mets, Grade B+:
3.16 ERA in 168 innings, 3.44 FIP, fWAR 3.4; excellent when healthy, will have to see how durability pans out but talent verified on a per-inning basis.

18) Marco Gonzales, LHP, Cardinals, Grade B+:
4.82 ERA in 37 innings, 5.01 FIP, fWAR -0.1; went down with Tommy John; incomplete pending recovery.

19) Archie Bradley, RHP, Diamondbacks, Grade B+:

20) Jose Berrios, RHP, Twins, Grade B+:
Terrible debut, 8.02 ERA in 58 innings, 6.20 FIP, fWAR -0.4; dominant at all levels of the minors and deserves more chances, just 22; if he stays healthy I think he’ll work it out. Incomplete.

21) Aaron Nola, RHP, Phillies, Grade B+:
4.29 ERA in 189 innings, 3.48 FIP, fWAR 3.7; very good so far when healthy. Incomplete.

22) Tyler Kolek,RHP, Marlins, Grade B+:
Struggled with command and velocity loss in 2015, missed 2016 with Tommy John. Too soon to know anything but early trends are not good.

23) Alex Meyer, RHP, Twins, Grade B+:

24) Aaron Blair, RHP, Diamondbacks, Grade B
+: Incomplete.

25) C.J. Edwards, RHP, Cubs, Grade B+:
Nice reliever.

26) Matt Wisler, RHP, Padres, Grade B+:

27) Alex "Chi Chi" Gonzalez, RHP, Rangers, Grade B+:
4.54 ERA in 77 innings, 5.06 FIP, fWAR 0.0; replacement level pitcher so far, may not be dominant enough to improve significantly. Incomplete.

28) Braden Shipley, RHP, Diamondbacks, Grade B+:

29) Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Red Sox, Grade B+
4.25 ERA in 229 innings, 4.16 FIP, fWAR 3.0; inconsistent thus far but I think he will work things out if he stays healthy. Incomplete.

30) Kyle Crick, RHP, Giants, Grade B+:
Looks like a bust at this point.

31) A.J. Cole, RHP, Nationals, Grade B+:
Still a prospect.

32) Alex Reyes, RHP, Cardinals, Grade B+: Looks great so far.

33) Michael Feliz, RHP, Astros, Grade B+
: 4.81 ERA in 73 innings, 3.60 FIP, fWAR 0.7; a decent reliever and looks like he could take a larger role going forward. Incomplete but remains promising.

34) Hunter Harvey, RHP, Orioles, Grade B+:

35) Kyle Freeland, LHP, Rockies, Grade B+:
Solid 2016 season, should make debut in ’17, still a prospect.

36) Rob Kaminsky, LHP, Cardinals, Grade B+:
Decent 2016 in Double-A, still a prospect.

37) Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pirates, Grade B:
Very good so far.

38) Jake Thompson, RHP, Rangers, Grade B:
5.70 ERA in 54 innings, 6.17 FIP, fWAR -0.4; struggled in his debut but performed well in Triple-A and will get more chances; incomplete.

39) Rafael Montero, RHP, Mets, Grade B:

40) Josh Hader, LHP, Astros, Grade B:
Remains promising with terrific strikeout rate, should make debut in ’17, still a prospect.

41) Grant Holmes, RHP, Dodgers, Grade B:
Command wobbles in A-ball but stuff is fine, still just 20, still a prospect.

42) Mike Foltynewicz, RHP, Braves, Grade B:

43) Eddie Butler, RHP, Rockies, Grade B:

44) Lucas Sims, RHP, Braves, Grade B:
Still a prospect.

45) Tyler Beede, RHP, Giants, Grade B:
Good Double-A season in ’16, debut could come in ’17, still a prospect.

46) Raisel Iglesias, RHP, Reds, Grade B:
3.42 ERA in 174 innings, 3.47 FIP, fWAR 3.0; success as both starter and reliever; talent is clear and obvious.

47) Vincent Velasquez, RHP, Astros, Grade B:
Looks good when healthy.

48) Sean Newcomb, LHP, Angels, Grade B:
Good Double-A season in ’16, should make debut in ’17, still a prospect.

49) Jack Flaherty, RHP, Cardinals, Grade B:
Two solid A-ball seasons, still a prospect.

50) Brent Honeywell, RHP, Rays, Grade B:
Another strong year in ’16 with ’17 debut possible, still a prospect.

COMMENTARY: As with the newer lists we won’t know for awhile but in general the early returns are good on this one.