This year’s Top 100 Prospects list comes with a warning: This might be the thinest compilation of the top 100 players, in terms of future ceilings, since I’ve been writing about prospects (approximately 10 years).
Most teams are now more willing to save money by entrusting starting roles to rookies, rather than overpay for modest performances from established and overpaid (replacement level or worse) veterans. Although I don’t have specific numbers to back up the following comment, it seems as thought clubs, for the most part, are also more willing to aggressively push their top prospects (especially pitchers) through their systems — with players such as Jose Fernandez, Michael Wacha, Archie Bradley and Robert Stephenson as recent examples.
In the case of the pitchers, it could be a matter of front offices wanting to ensure the players’ most effective seasons occur at the big league level during cost-controlled years while also ensuring the club can closely monitor their investments in an effort to mitigate injuries. It’s also possible that more of the top pitching talents are rising through the minors with premium velocity, which allows them to better hold their own as inexpensive, replacement-level talents (ie. No. 4/5 starters), or better, while working on their secondary offerings and command/control at the big league level.
Click on the players’ names to see their player pages and full stats breakdown. Read the rest of this entry »