Ask BA: 2014 Draft’s Top Prospects
While next year’s draft class is a definite improvement over those of the last two years, I came up with nine guys I thought clearly belonged but agonized over the final spot. Both John Manuel and Aaron Fitt are bullish on Louisiana State righthander Austin Nola, so I let them talk me into putting him at No. 10:
1. Carlos Rodon, lhp, North Carolina State
Spectacular summer with Team USA cements him as clear top prospect for now.
2. Jeff Hoffman, rhp, East Carolina
Starred in Cape Cod League last two summers with mid-90s fastball, big-breaking curve.
3. Tyler Kolek, rhp, Shepherd (Texas) HS
His size (6-foot-6, 250-pounds), consistent upper-90s fastball make him the top prep prospect.
4. Trea Turner, ss, North Carolina State
More than just a burner, he also offers hitting prowess and the ability to stick at shortstop.
5. Alex Jackson, c/of, Rancho Bernardo HS, San Diego
Plays a premium position, has some of the best power potential in the 2014 crop.
6. Jacob Gatewood, ss, Clovis (Calif.) HS
Put on a show during Home Run Derby at Citi Field, may wind up at third base down the road.
7. Tyler Beede, rhp, Vanderbilt
Can make hitters swing and miss with three pitches but can’t always control and command them.
8. Touki Toussaint, rhp, Coral Springs (Fla.) Christian HS
Has struggled with command this summer but his premium stuff is impossible to deny.
9. Brady Aiken, lhp/of, Cathedral Catholic HS, San Diego
Projectable athlete could have three plus pitches in time, reminds me of Trey Ball at same stage.
10. Aaron Nola, rhp, Louisiana State
With his solid fastball, plus changeup and impressive pitchability, he’ll move quickly in pro ball.