Final 2015 MLB Draft Prospects Ranking: 1-35

With the 2015 MLB Draft only days away, Jeff Ellis posts his final ranking of the top 2015 MLB Draft prospects. Inside, prospects 1-35 on his list.

The 2015 MLB Draft is just days away and the players have done pretty much all they can do to make their final impression on teams before the draft. Jeff Ellis returns with his final ranking of the top prospects in the 2015 MLB Draft, this time going 75 deep. Below are prospects 1-35.

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Brendan Rodgers
Lake Mary, Fla. / 6’0 / 185 lbs
  • SS
  • 1
  • Lake Mary HS

Analysis

I still believe in Brendan Rodgers. He has a skillset which can only be mirrored in the big leagues by Troy Tulowitzki. It is very hard to find plus right-handed power, let alone at shortstop. I get the negatives but wonder if a lot of people dropping him are because his season ended so long ago — Jeff Ellis

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Dansby Swanson
Marietta, Ga. / 6’1 / 0 lbs
  • SS
  • 2

Analysis

Another player who stays in the same spot, Dansby Swanson has done a bit of everything this year. Swanson looks like a future two hitter with chance to hit third. The offensive profile reminds me of Francisco Lindor, but Swanson is not as strong of a defender. Since Lindor is one of the top-10 prospects in baseball that is rather high praise. — Jeff Ellis

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Alex Bregman
Albuquerque, Nm. / 6’0 / 190 lbs
  • SS
  • 3

Analysis

It is funny to see how everyone now thinks that Alex Bregman can stick at shortstop. He was the SEC shortstop of the year ahead of Swanson. Bregman is a sure bet with the bat who has performed at a high level ever year of school. He has yet to face a level he has not mastered. He is a player who is a sure bet to not only get drafted quickly but rise up through the minors quickly. — Jeff Ellis

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Tyler Jay
Lemont, Ill. / 6’1 / 185 lbs
  • P
  • 4

Analysis

Tyler Jay has risen to my top-10 despite not being a proven starter yet. I have spent the past few weeks going over why pitching prospect fail and the top two reasons are arm injuries and command trouble. I am elevating Jay over Dillon Tate because Jay has plus future command compared to Tate whose future command is going to be average at best. Not many guys who can flash three plus pitches with command. The fact that Jay is left-handed is just a bonus. If he had been a starter all year, I think he ends up being the top pick. — Jeff Ellis

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Dillon Tate
Claremont, Ca. / 6’2 / 200 lbs
  • P
  • 5
  • UC-Santa Barbara

Analysis

Dillon Tate falls a bit because of my concerns with his command. His stuff is still electric and he has high-end velocity. He is an excellent athlete which helps him on the mound. There is some effort in his delivery and, as I mentioned, I have some concerns with his command. The worst case scenario for Tate is that he ends up being a top-shelf closer. — Jeff Ellis

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Carson Fulmer
Lexington, Ky. / 5'9 / 190 lbs
  • P
  • 6

Analysis

I nearly put Carson Fulmer over Dillon Tate. The reason Fulmer is one spot lower is that his command is average but his delivery has a lot more effort to it than Tate. Fulmer also has electric stuff and velocity and has been the top pitcher in the top conference all year. His size will concern some but not me. Every year an arm goes way too late because of height concerns and many teams end up regretting it. I don’t think it will be Fulmer this year, so maybe teams are catching on. — Jeff Ellis

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Ian Happ
Pittsburgh, Pa. / 6'0.5 / 0 lbs
  • 2B
  • 7

Analysis

Ian Happ has been in my top-10 since October. The switch-hitter has the best current and future hit tools in this draft. He had surgery before the year began and still performed even with no support in his lineup. I think he can stick at second. Every tool is average to above-average. Happ doesn’t look like a great athlete but has surprising speed. I am not sure what more he can do to be a top pick in a weaker draft like this. — Jeff Ellis

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Andrew Benintendi
Cincinnati, Oh. / 5'10 / 180 lbs
  • OF
  • 8

Analysis

No player has risen higher than Andrew Benintendi this year. He went from a player who most teams didn’t even realize was draft eligible to a lock for a top-10 pick. I have been following him since high school when he set all-time records in the state of Ohio. With Arkansas, he played top competition in the top division in baseball and put up video game numbers. He can play centerfield and has a plus hit tool. I get the size concerns which make people think he can’t hit for power, yet it is hard to fall into the homerun totals he had this year. I have been pushing his name since March and it is nice to see everyone agreeing now. — Jeff Ellis

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Kolby Allard
San Clemente, Ca. / 6'2.5 / 175 lbs
  • P
  • 9
  • San Clemente HS

Analysis

Kolby Allard has the two big negative marks going into the draft: he’s undersized and he has been hurt most of the season. Allard has two potential plus pitches and an advanced feel for pitching for a player so young. Before injury, he was hitting 97 and earning comparisons to where last year’s number one pick Brady Aiken was a year ago. I think Allard is a potential front-of-the-rotation starter. The only reason he isn’t higher for me is a back injury always scares me a bit. — Jeff Ellis

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Walker Buehler
Lexington, Ky. / 6'1 / 160 lbs
  • P
  • 10

Analysis

Walker Buehler is a slight guy at 6’1 and 160 pounds. He can add some size to his frame which would help alleviate some issues. Buehler was top-five on many boards in October and then in the back of the top-10 a month ago. He had injury issues to start the year and then faded a bit down the stretch. Buehler needs to get stronger which will help as he adds more muscle. He will go in the top-20 picks but there is a good chance he now falls out of the top-10 because of size concerns. — Jeff Ellis

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Nick Plummer
Bloomfield, Mi. / 5'11 / 200 lbs
  • OF
  • 11
  • Brother Rice HS

Analysis

Last summer I saw the videos on Nick Plummer and got a lot of reports on him. Everything was glowing, as he exploded on the scene. He looked like a guy with potential plus hit and power tools and an eye that was also plus. Then he went back to Michigan and didn’t face top-level competition. In other words, everything about this season made it hard to scout him, so he dropped like a rock on most boards. I know Plummer has a small track record but it’s no smaller than Tyler Stephenson’s track record. Stephenson just had his stock rise at the right time. Plummer is undersized and more than likely a left fielder, but I am going to stick to my gut and leave him about where he has been the whole time. — Jeff Ellis

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James Kaprielian
Tustin, Ca. / 6'4 / 200 lbs
  • P
  • 12

Analysis

James Kaprielian was a likely late first rounder when the season began. He was well known out of high school but until this year his stuff had not developed as expected. He has potentially a plus slider to go along with an above-average fastball and average curve. Kaprielian is more than likely a mid-rotation starter. It should be pointed out a bonus in his favor is the positive track record for UCLA pitchers. His stock is flying up boards now and he could end up going in the top-10. — Jeff Ellis

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Jon Harris
Florissant, Mo. / 6'4 / 190 lbs
  • P
  • 13
  • Missouri State

Analysis

Jon Harris is another guy who has made himself a lot of money this year. He went from a bubble player to a guy who is going in the top-20 picks. He was very good against weaker competition, although the level of competition is a concern. He shows four legit pitches and should be a solid mid-rotation arm down-the-road. — Jeff Ellis

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Kyle Tucker
Tampa, Fla. / 6'4 / 175 lbs
  • OF
  • 14
  • Plant Senior HS

Analysis

I know I am a lot lower on Kyle Tucker than most. I don’t dislike him, it’s just the guys above him I have more confidence in. It is easy to like Tucker. He has an easy, beautiful swing along with good bloodlines. His swing generates natural plus power. I was very tempted to flip him and Nick Plummer. Tucker is bigger and also has the potential plus hit, power, and eye tool. I just trust Plummer’s hit tool a bit more. — Jeff Ellis

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Trenton Clark
Fort Worth, Tx. / 6'0 / 200 lbs
  • OF
  • 15
  • Richland HS

Analysis

Trenton Clark is another guy who has gotten more top-10 talk as the draft approaches. He is a very good natural athlete with excellent bat speed. His swing is non-conventional which might hurt him a bit. The debate on him is if he will be able to stick in centerfield and if his swing will generate power. He is a lot like Kyle Tucker and Nick Plummer. They all are very similar in grade and I could understand easily why anyone might prefer any member of this group. — Jeff Ellis

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Donny Everett
Clarksville, Tn. / 6'2 / 220 lbs
  • P
  • 16
  • Clarksville HS

Analysis

Donny Everett is a draft-and-dream type of player. He has big time velocity and the frame of an innings eater. He is one of the bigger boom-or-bust players this year. Everett needs a lot of polish. He is very far away, yet it will be hard to overlook the fact that he sits in the mid-90’s and has hit 100. He has risen to be the top right-handed prep pitcher on most boards this year. — Jeff Ellis

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Tyler Stephenson
Kennesaw, Ga. / 6'4 / 210 lbs
  • 2B
  • 17
  • Kennesaw Mountain HS

Analysis

Tyler Stephenson is a big kid with plus power. He has the size and arm everyone is looking for at the catcher position. He is a pop up kid who has really risen. His lack of exposure has helped him as teams are only seeing the positives and the sky-high potential. High school catchers are one of the riskiest investments in the draft. The fact that the track record is smaller adds to my concerns. Stephenson has All-Star potential but could struggle to reach the majors, as well. — Jeff Ellis

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Daz Cameron
McDonough, Ga. / 6'0 / 185 lbs
  • CF
  • 18
  • Eagle Landing HS

Analysis

Daz Cameron was once the guy who was viewed as the slam dunk first overall selection in this draft. He still has a lot of top-10 buzz but this also comes with rumors of very high bonus demands. He is the most likely to stick in centerfield of the five big name prep outfielders. I am not sure if he has a single future plus tool. I still wonder if maybe he was a bit bored in high school and could be a guy to really blossom in the pros. — Jeff Ellis

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D.J. Stewart
Yulee, Fla. / 6'0 / 230 lbs
  • LF
  • 19

Analysis

D.J. Stewart is a numbers-over-traditional-scouting guy. He has been a top performer at FSU for three years. In high school, he was an All-State football and baseball player. He often gets hit with the bad body rep and is called a bad athlete but I don’t agree. He is a running back playing baseball. Stewart is more than likely a left fielder because he does lack foot speed. He brings one of the best eyes in this draft along with performance and some power growth this year. I think despite being smaller, he could end up hitting for power because he has a very strong build. I am going to trust the numbers with Stewart. — Jeff Ellis

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Cornelius Randolph
Griffin, Ga. / 6’1 / 190 lbs
  • 3B
  • 20
  • Griffin HS

Analysis

Cornelius Randolph is another hot name of late. Most people think that he will have to shift to third base in the pros as he just doesn’t have the feet to play shortstop. I am wondering if a lot of teams think he can stick at second instead of third because it would elevate his value even more. His hit and power tools have been on display in the Georgia state playoffs which seemed to coincide with his rise. — Jeff Ellis

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Chris Betts
Long Beach, Ca. / 6'2 / 210 lbs
  • C
  • 21
  • Woodrow Wilson Classical HS

Analysis

Chris Betts has one of the better potential power tools in this draft. He also has a potential plus hit tool, and he has shown a solid eye at the plate. His skillset reminds me a lot of Bobby Bradley from a year ago. I think much like Bradley, Betts will end up moving to first base for his career. He might end up a DH long term because of the lack of foot speed. The bat will play anywhere, though, and I strongly believe it has All-Star potential. — Jeff Ellis

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Garrett Whitley
Niskayuna, Ny. / 6'1 / 195 lbs
  • OF
  • 22
  • Niskayuna HS

Analysis

Garrett Whitley is the biggest boom-or-bust hitter in the first round of this draft. He will get comparisons to Mike Trout since both are right-handed, athletic, and from the New York/New Jersey metro area. While having all of the tools in the world, Whitley has really struggled this year. He had a much better junior than senior year. As more and more press came his way, he seemed to perform worse. He could easily be a star, but I am concerned about the performance against weak competition. — Jeff Ellis

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Kevin Newman
Poway, Ca. / 6'1 / 180 lbs
  • SS
  • 23

Analysis

Kevin Newman is a likely shortstop with above-average speed. He is the only guy to win the batting title twice on the Cape. His hit tool is plus and with the ability to play shortstop, he projects as starter there longterm. His power has been nonexistent, however, and while people think he can fix his stance and hit for more power, I worry about messing with a guy who has hit this way for so long. I am not sure he will ever be more than a high on-base percentage, solid shortstop. This, of course, still makes him a very good prospect. — Jeff Ellis

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Donnie Dewees
Crystal Lake, Fla. / 6'0 / 180 lbs
  • OF
  • 24

Analysis

Donny Dewees has a very similar skill set to Andrew Benintendi. The big difference, of course, is that Benintendi put up his numbers in the SEC while Dewees played in a much lower level. Dewees did a very good job a year ago on the Cape and was a known player heading into this season The Cape is a nice way for a player to show his stuff against top talent but it’s still a small sample size. I like him more than most because I think he is a future centerfielder with a potential plus hit tool. He is a guy who could easily make a lot of people look foolish down the road. — Jeff Ellis

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Kep Brown
Mt. Pleasant, SC. / 6’5 / 195 lbs
  • OF
  • 25
  • Wando HS

Analysis

Kep Brown has risen on my board despite being hurt. I had originally removed him thinking he might be unsignable after the injury but that does not seem to be the case. If you are looking for a Joey Gallo type with big power who might go later, here is your guy. He is a massive dude at 6’5” with a frame that screams right-handed power. He has some swing-and-miss to his game and his hit tool is a concern. He is a gamble but if he had been healthy and performed I think he would have gone in the top-15 this year easily. — Jeff Ellis

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Brady Aiken
San Diego, Ca. / 6’4 / 215 lbs
  • P
  • 26
  • IMG Academy

Analysis

This is Brady Aiken’s permanent spot in my rankings. This is the last pick in the first round and I am still leaving him there. A year ago, he was clearly the top player on my board and it is a good sign that he is releasing medicals even if his camp is limiting who can see them. He has as much upside as any player in this draft. A year ago I called him Clayton Kershaw-lite. If he was healthy, I would stand by that. — Jeff Ellis

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Ashe Russell
Indianapolis, Ind. / 6’4 / 195 lbs
  • P
  • 27
  • Cathedral HS

Analysis

A lot of people I trust really like Ashe Russell. He has the frame and athleticism that allows scouts to see a lot of potential growth. He already sports a solid fastball and slider. I do have some concerns he might end up in bullpen. There is some effort to his delivery. The upside is pretty clear. Russell is interesting as he is one of the players who really has a large range on a variety of boards. — Jeff Ellis

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Mike Nikorak
Stroudsburg, Pa. / 6'5 / 205 lbs
  • P
  • 28
  • Stroudsburg HS

Analysis

No player has had a worse month than Mike Nikorak. In April everyone was excited about his added muscle and the fact he was hitting 98 MPH. Going by the reports I have, despite the velocity uptick, he has been very hittable. The stuff seems good but there are some concerns with him of late. I always get nervous with pitchers when they are clearly talented but hitters seem to find a way to hit them. — Jeff Ellis

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Ke'Bryan Hayes
Tomball, Tx. / 6'1 / 230 lbs
  • 3B
  • 29
  • Concordia Lutheran HS

Analysis

Ke’Bryan Hayes is another player with the rumor of a high salary demand. I would not be shocked at all if he ends up going to school. He reminds me a ton of his father, Charlie Hayes. Ke’Bryan is a potential gold glove defender at third. His hit tool and eye are above-average. I am not sure how much power he has. If he can develop any power, he could be special. His dad was a very under-rated player. If Hayes turns into his father, he will be a very good pick. — Jeff Ellis

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Scott Kingery
Phoenix, Az. / 5'11 / 175 lbs
  • 2B
  • 30

Analysis

Scott Kingery is another of the players on this list who had a rough May. His average torpedoed towards the end of the year, dropping more than 70 points. Arizona did not make the College World Series despite having two likely top-50 picks this year and another likely first-round bat in next year’s class. Kingery should move quickly in the pros as a future leadoff hitter and second baseman. I see two future plus tools up the middle which is incredibly valuable. — Jeff Ellis

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Nathan Kirby
Midlothian, Va. / 6’2 / 185 lbs
  • P
  • 31

Analysis

Nate Kirby was a guy I was a little down on to start the year. His command left him during the College World Series a year ago and he has had trouble with command at points throughout his career. I see more of a back-end arm in him. He was better as sophomore than a junior, which is also a concern, and his injury made it very hard to scout him. — Jeff Ellis

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Cody Ponce
Upland, Ca. / 6'5 / 235 lbs
  • P
  • 32
  • Cal Poly, Pomona

Analysis

Cody Ponce is a big-bodied right-hander with a lot of first round buzz. He needs to work on his secondary stuff. Ponce is further away than your typical college arm. He has had some injury issues and when you mix in the fact he pitched at a lower level I think he ends up sliding a bit. He is a big kid at 6’5” and 235 and looks like a possible back-end innings eater type to me. — Jeff Ellis

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Tristan Beck
Corona, Ca. / 6’4 / 160 lbs
  • P
  • 33
  • Corona HS

Analysis

I am not sure how signable Tristan Beck is. He seems very set on the idea of going to Stanford. If he goes to there, he has to become a favorite to be the top pick in the 2018 draft. He is a big kid with an advanced feel for pitching. He stands 6’4” but only weighs 160 pounds. Beck has hit the mid 90’s and it is easy to see him doing it more consistently as he adds muscle. He needs some more coaching but he has mid-rotation, if not higher, upside. — Jeff Ellis

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Phil Bickford
Westlake Village, Ca. / 6'4 / 200 lbs
  • P
  • 34
  • Southern Nevada

Analysis

Phil Bickford is a big guy with big velocity. I am still not sure he will be more than a reliever in the future. He made a smart move by declaring this year because this class is so much weaker than next year’s class. Bickford’s changeup needs a lot of work and his command and velocity can disappear at points, which is why I have him much lower on this list than he will end up going. — Jeff Ellis

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Thomas Eshelman
Carlsbad, Ca. / 6’2 / 0 lbs
  • P
  • 35
  • Cal-State Fullerton

Analysis

Thomas Eshelman is going to be a very interesting case study. He has one of the best tools in this entire class. He has shown historically amazing command in the college ranks and I would grade his command at least a 70. He has been a dominant player since day one at Fullerton. If he had been in the minors out of high school, he would have gotten a shot in the majors by now. Eshelman should end up in Double-A before the year is done. I think his command could allow him to be a mid-rotation pitcher. He has four average pitches, but the ability to hit his spots should allow him to be a solid pitcher very quickly. — Jeff Ellis

Click here for prospects 36-75


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