FanGraphs Top 100 Prospects

The Top 100 prospects list is extremely challenging — much more difficult to do than the Top 15s. Trying to intertwine the best prospects from 30 different organizations into one master list results in many headaches and second guesses. I settled on the finished list about a week ago and already have some reservations and desires to make minor tweaks. At some point, though, you have to cut the ties.

If you’re unfamiliar with my work (I’ve been doing these annual lists at FanGraphs for five years now), I’ll give you a brief overview of how I make my rankings. I talk to multiple contacts within the industry (mosly scouts and front office staff) when creating my Top 15 prospects and Top 100 lists. Along with insider information, I also utilize my own opinions based on live game observations and video. I’m not a scout but I’ve been watching baseball for more than 20 years and writing about prospects for more than 10.

You can read the full scouting reports for all the players and see each club’s full Top 15 prospects lists here. Click on the players’ names to see their statistics and even links to previous articles written about them at FanGraphs.

The Cream of the Crop… aka The Top 10 of the Top 100

1. Jurickson Profar, SS, Texas (2013 LVL: AAA/MLB, ETA: 2013): Just 20 years old, Profar is probably ready to be at least league average at the plate and an above-average defender. With solid big league depth ahead of him, the challenge will be to find regular playing time for him.

2. Oscar Taveras, OF, St. Louis (2013 LVL: AAA/MLB, ETA: 2013): Taveras has a chance to become the best home-grown offensive talent since Albert Pujols. The young outfielder hits for both average and power and should provide solid defense in left or right field.

3. Dylan Bundy, RHP, Baltimore (2013 LVL: AA/MLB, ETA: 2013): A once-in-a-generation talent, Bundy made A-ball hitters look like little leaguers. Injuries may be the only threat to the talented right-hander’s ability to anchor the Orioles’ starting rotation for years to come.

4. Wil Myers, OF, Tampa Bay (2013 LVL: AAA/MLB, ETA: 2013): In one of the more shocking moves of the winter, Kansas City traded the talented young slugger to the Rays, choosing to strengthen its big league pitching staff rather than build around the young, middle-of-the-order hitter. Time will tell if the decision was a prudent one.

5. Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston (2013 LVL: AA/AAA, ETA:2014 ): Bogaerts displayed uncanny power for a teenager in 2012, while also hitting more than .300. He has to tighten up his plate discipline and there are questions about his ability to stick at shortstop long term but his ceiling is immense.

6. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pittsburgh (2013 LVL: AAA/MLB, ETA: 2013): The Pirates have been a disappointment to Pittsburgh fans for too long, but Cole could help lead a new wave of talent to the big league club that should make the organization playoff contenders for years to come. He has legitimate No. 1 starter potential if he can harness the command on his fastball.

7. Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Arizona (2013 LVL: AAA/MLB, ETA: 2013): The Diamondbacks received a solid contribution from a rookie left-hander in Wade Miley in 2012 and Skaggs could be the next to impact the big league level — and the latter pitcher’s ceiling is significantly higher.

8. Jose Fernandez, RHP, Miami (2013 LVL: AAA/MLB, ETA: 2013): The big-bodied Cuba native had a breakout season in 2012 at the age of 20. Combined between two A-ball levels, he posted a 1.75 ERA with 158 strikeouts — and just 35 walks — in 134 innings. He has a chance to develop into a No. 1 or 2 starter. He should bring back a lot of value when the Marlins trade him in five to seven years.

9. Zack Wheeler, RHP, New York (NL) (2013 LVL: AAA/MLB, ETA: 2013): Wheeler is finally getting the attention that he deserves as one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball. He has the ceiling of a No. 1 or 2 starter, and could be ready for the majors in the second half of 2013.

10. Christian Yelich, OF/1B, Miami (2013 LVL: AA/AAA, ETA: 2014): Yelich has a sweet left-handed swing and he projects to hit for above-average power as he matures as a hitter. If he can stick in center field at the MLB level, his value will be immense.

The Rest of the Top 100

11. Travis d’Arnaud, C, New York (NL
12. Mike Zunino, C, Seattle
13. Taijuan Walker, RHP, Seattle

14. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh: Taillon is the first player on this list that doesn’t get enough attention, in my honest opinion. A hard-thrower with above-average control and a strong frame, he could slot in behind fellow right-handed pitching prospect Gerrit Cole in the Pirates’ starting rotation for years to come.

15. Kevin Gausman, RHP, Baltimore
16. Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota
17. Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota
18. Kyle Zimmer, RHP, Kansas City
19. Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta
20. Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland
21. Nick Castellanos, RF/3B, Detroit
22. Javier Baez, SS, Chicago (NL)
23. Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Toronto

24. Michael Wacha, RHP, St. Louis: The first real big shock on this list, in part because he’s ranked so high and in part because he’s ranked ahead of the likes of Shelby Miller (albeit one spot) and Trevor Rosenthal. Wacha has dominated in pro ball – both in 2012 and during this spring. Critics will say it’s because of his small sample size, as well as his limited innings due to pitch counts (rarely turning the lineup over). If you watch him pitch, though, it’s not hard to envision him dominating in longer stretches.

25. Shelby Miller, RHP, St. Louis
26. Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona
27. Chris Archer, RHP, Tampa Bay
28. Trevor Bauer, RHP, Cleveland
29. Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Houston
30. Billy Hamilton, OF, Cincinnati
31. Austin Hedges, C, San Diego

32. Robert Stephenson, RHP, Cincinnati: I don’t know why Stephenson doesn’t get more love but he’s a hard-throwing young pitcher with an impressive frame and two potentially-plus pitches (fastball, curveball). The delivery has improved and the repertoire is working itself out nicely.

33. Alen Hanson, SS, Pittsburgh
34. Carlos Correa, SS, Houston
35. Carlos Martinez, RHP, St. Louis
36. Mason Williams, OF, New York (AL)
37. Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Tampa Bay
38. Brian Goodwin, OF, Washington

39. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Washington: On the bat alone, Rendon could probably be ranked much higher on the list. Unfortunately, he’s been extremely brittle during his amateur and pro career. A third baseman, his defensive home is also in doubt thanks to the presence of Ryan Zimmerman at the big league level. A move to another position could limited his defensive value.

40. Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, Tampa Bay
41. Matt Barnes, RHP, Boston

42. Gary Sanchez, C, New York (AL): I wrestled with the exact placement of Sanchez and settled on this spot. I’m playing it safe and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him in the 15-25 range for the 2014 Top 100 list.

43. Addison Russell, SS, Oakland: A 2012 first round draft pick, Russell wowed talent observers during his pro debut — both for his on-the-field abilities, as well as his plus make-up. Add in the fact that he plays a premium position and you have an exciting up-and-comer. Personally, though, I feel expectations should be tempered until he plays in full-season ball.

44. Danny Hultzen, LHP, Seattle: Hultzen is a tough guy to rank thanks to his half-season meltdown last year that saw him walk 43 batters in 48.2 innings of work at the triple-A level. His struggles can be traced back to mechanical issues that got into his head. He’s looked better this spring.

45. Kyle Crick, RHP, San Francisco
46. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, New York (NL)

47. Mike Olt, 3B/1B, Texas: Olt has some desirable skills but he might be a little over-hyped. I want to like him more than I do but I’ve gone away underwhelmed each time I’ve seen him hit. I see a player with above-average defensive skills at third base but average to slightly-above-average skills at the plate.

48. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado: Make-up and maturity concerns may have helped magnify Arenado’s modest 2012 season. He’ll turn 22 in April, has an impact bat if he realizes his potential and is ready for triple-A.

49. Trevor Story, SS, Colorado
50. Jorge Soler, OF, Chicago (NL)
51. Albert Almora, OF, Chicago (NL)

52. Delino DeShields Jr, 2B, Houston: I get why DeShields is not found higher on a lot of Top 100 lists (including defensive questions), but he’s got pedigree, an undervalued plus tool and made significant strides in his development in 2012. If he can improve his defense, he could be an impact player; it’s not often that you find a player with legit 60+ steal capabilities. I personally think DeShields has a better chance to hit big league pitching than Reds speedster Billy Hamilton, who is much more hyped as a prospect.

53. George Springer, OF, Houston
54. Jackie Bradley, OF, Boston
55. Allen Webster, RHP, Boston
56. David Dahl, OF, Colorado
57. Jonathan Schoop, 2B/SS, Baltimore
58. Kolten Wong, 2B, St. Louis
59. Trevor Rosenthal, RHP, St. Louis
60. Gregory Polanco, OF, Pittsburgh

61. Matt Davidson, 3B, Arizona: I’ve always been a big believer of Davidson’s abilities and his improved defense should allow him to stick at the hot corner. Playing half of his games in Arizona could help pad his power numbers.

62. Luis Heredia, RHP, Pittsburgh
63. Courtney Hawkins, OF, Chicago (AL)

64. Carlos Sanchez, 2B, Chicago (AL): Probably the second most shocking ranking on list, I’m going against the field here with Sanchez — whom I doubt made any other Top 100 lists. The second baseman impresses me with his baseball skills, as well as the way he carries himself on the field. I think he gets a bit of a raw deal because he’s in the White Sox underrated system and because he doesn’t have loud tools. I truly think he’ll exceed expectations when given the opportunity.

65. Aaron Hicks, OF, Minnesota
66. Oswaldo Arcia, OF, Minnesota
67. Jedd Gyorko, 3B/2B, San Diego
68. Max Fried, LHP, San Diego

69. Tony Cingrani, LHP, Cincinnati: Cingrani gets a high grade here because he’s left-handed with above-average stuff for a southpaw. He’s also close to MLB ready with three average-or-better pitches.

70. Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington
71. Daniel Corcino, RHP, Cincinnati
72. Andrew Heaney. LHP, Miami
73. Martin Perez, LHP, Texas
74. Nick Franklin, SS, Seattle
75. Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Los Angeles (AL)
76. Dorssys Paulino, SS, Cleveland
77. Kyle Gibson, RHP, Minnesota
78. Alex Meyer, RHP, Minnesota
79. Justin Nicolino, LHP, Miami
80. J.R. Graham, RHP, Atlanta

81. Roberto Osuna, RHP, Toronto: I’m surprised Osuna doesn’t get more love considering his age, skill set and results from 2012. The right-hander impressed Toronto so much that they started to refer to ‘The Big 3’ (Aaron Sanchez, Noah Syndergaard, Justin Nicolino) as ‘The Big Four.’ The emergence of the young Mexican native helped ease the front office’s concerns over parting ways with Syndergaard and Nicolino while improving the major league product.

82. Leonys Martin, OF, Texas
83. Yordano Ventura, RHP, Kansas City

84. Bubba Starling, OF, Kansas City: Our own prospect maven Mike Newman got a good look at Starling earlier this season and came away uninspired. The Kansas native appeared in just 53 games in 2012 so I’m erring on the side of extreme cautioned with the hopes he’ll have a breakout 2013 season while playing a full-season schedule.

85. Alex Colome, RHP, Tampa Bay
86. Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Tampa Bay

87. Slade Heathcott, OF, New York (AL): On talent alone, Heathcott could be higher on this list, but the ‘throw-back’ prospect has been injury prone throughout his career and has never accumulated more than 76 games played in a season. There are also some make-up/maturity issues that have cropped up in the past; if he continues to distance himself from those, while also showing more durability, he could zoomed up this list.

88. Jesse Biddle, LHP, Philadelphia
89. Casey Kelly, RHP, San Diego
90. Jake Marisnick, OF, Miami
91. Zach Lee, RHP, Los Angeles (NL)
92. A.J. Cole, RHP, Washington
93. Rymer Liriano, OF, San Diego
94. Tyler Thornburg, RHP, Milwaukee

95. Luis Sardinas, SS, Texas: In a system filled with multi-talented young shortstops, including Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar, it’s easy to understand how Sardinas gets overlooked at times. He offers above-average defense and at least average offensive skills.

96. Chris Reed, LHP, Los Angeles (NL)
97. Corey Seager, IF, Los Angeles (NL)
98. Didi Gregorius, SS, Arizona
99. Yasiel Puig, OF, Los Angeles (NL)
100. Adam Eaton, OF, Arizona

The Breakdowns

Catchers
Travis d’Arnaud
Mike Zunino
Austin Hedges
Gary Sanchez

First Basemen
Jonathan Singleton

Second Basemen
Delino DeShields Jr.
Jonathan Schoop
Kolten Wong
Carlos Sanchez

Third Basemen
Miguel Sano
Anthony Rendon
Mike Olt
Nolan Arenado
Matt Davidson
Jedd Gyorko
Kaleb Cowart

Shortstops
Jurickson Profar
Xander Bogaerts
Francisco Lindor
Javier Baez
Alen Hanson
Carlos Correa
Hak-Ju Lee
Addison Russell
Trevor Story
Nick Franklin
Dorssys Paulino
Luis Sardinas
Corey Seager
Didi Gregorius

Outfielders
Oscar Taveras
Wil Myers
Christian Yelich
Byron Buxton
Nick Castellanos
Billy Hamilton
Mason Williams
Brian Goodwin
Jorge Soler
Albert Almora
George Springer
Jackie Bradley
David Dahl
Gregory Polanco
Courtney Hawkins
Aaron Hicks
Oswaldo Arcia
Leonys Martin
Bubba Starling
Slade Heathcott
Jake Marisnick
Rymer Liriano
Yasiel Puig
Adam Eaton

Right-Handed Starters
Dylan Bundy
Gerrit Cole
Jose Fernandez
Zack Wheeler
Taijuan Walker
Jameson Taillon
Kevin Gausman
Kyle Zimmer
Julio Teheran
Aaron Sanchez
Michael Wacha
Shelby Miller
Archie Bradley
Chris Archer
Trevor Bauer
Robert Stephenson
Carlos Martinez
Taylor Guerrieri
Matt Barnes
Kyle Crick
Noah Syndergaard
Allen Webster
Trevor Rosenthal
Luis Heredia
Lucas Giolito
Daniel Corcino
Kyle Gibson
Alex Meyer
J.R. Graham
Roberto Osuna
Yordano Ventura
Alex Colome
Jake Odorizzi
Casey Kelly
Zach Lee
A.J. Cole
Tyler Thornburg

Left-Handed Starters
Tyler Skaggs
Danny Hultzen
Max Fried
Tony Cingrani
Andrew Heaney
Martin Perez
Jesse Biddle
Chris Reed

The American League (48 prospects)

AL East (18 prospects)
Baltimore: 3
New York: 3
Toronto: 2
Boston: 4
Tampa Bay: 6

AL Central (15 prospects)
Kansas City: 3
Cleveland: 3
Minnesota: 6
Detroit: 1
Chicago: 2

AL West (15 prospects)
Oakland: 1
Seattle: 4
Texas: 5
Houston: 4
Los Angeles: 1

The National League (52 prospects)

NL East (15 prospects)
New York: 3
Miami: 5
Atlanta: 2
Philadephia: 1
Washington: 4

NL Central (19 prospects)
St. Louis: 6
Cincinnati: 4
Pittsburgh: 5
Chicago: 3
Milwaukee: 1

NL West (18 prospects)
Arizona: 5
San Diego: 5
San Francisco: 1
Los Angeles: 4
Colorado: 3



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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects, depth charts and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.


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scotman144
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scotman144
3 years 5 months ago

Very fine work. This is a fantastic resource and the breakdown at the end positionally and by league/team is also very informative. Thank you.

Baltar
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Baltar
3 years 5 months ago

I second this comment. I also loved the format, with the comments on the top ten and selected others and the listings by position and team.

Balthazar
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Balthazar
3 years 5 months ago

I’ll reinforce the love here Marc. Your rationales are evident, and I find much to agree with. Nice to see the deflator on the hype-factor, and moreover, guys who slid down the list did so for obvious reasons. Pitchers got bonuses for pure stuff, but if there’s a bias to have that’s a sound one, and it’s good that your perspective is plain. It’s hardest to get a read on how you’re rating the hit tool for some guys relative to others, but hey, that’s just about the hardest thing of all to evaluate for minor league guys, how well their contact rates will tranlate against big league pitching. Your ‘surprises’ seem mostly in the area of raising otherwise undervalued players, and again that’s a good emphasis to have, to me; if you move someone a long way, it’s because they _do_ something positive in tangible results rather than ‘I just don’t dig his swing/secondary stuff’ or so forth.

You’ve settled on a good approach, to me. I’d say that this is the best balanced Top 100 Prospect list I’ve seen for this season.

I tend to see Max Fried and Corey Seeger in a better light. I’m with you on DeShields vs. Hamilton also; lots of doubt about whether Billy hits well enough for his basepath zip to matter much. I tend to a little more skepticism on Bogaerts (gotta love the package though), Yelich, Brian Goodwin, and Gary Sanchez. But those are minor niggles. Who wants it more matters more than my vague intimations about a guy.

jim
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jim
3 years 5 months ago

are you going to be a regular commenter here? having a balthazar and a baltar might get kind of confusing…

Balthazar
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Balthazar
3 years 5 months ago

I’m an irregular commentor, jim. Baltar was here first (and I’m curious where he got the handle for my own reasons), and I signed on before I saw his monicker. I’m attached to Balthazar, though, so I’m holding to it for now. The ‘voice’ is different, so there’s no confusion if you choose to read either of us.

haslone
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haslone
3 years 5 months ago

Kinda bearish on Soler. Expected him to be higher especially after this Spring.

Matt
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Matt
3 years 5 months ago

Well he has bumped Soler up from his Cubs rankings – he’s now above Almora…

tommy
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tommy
3 years 5 months ago

yeah,ST is definately something to put emphasis on /s

Ian
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Ian
3 years 5 months ago

Kind of strange you have Twins as Twins three times – #16 &17, 65 & 66, and 77 & 78

William
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William
3 years 5 months ago

Where would Tyler Austin be on this list? Kinda surprised to not see him. Any reason you don’t value him as highly as other prospect-watchers?

One Mans Opinion
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One Mans Opinion
3 years 5 months ago

I had no idea prospect evaluators were allowed to write pleasant words about the White Sox system.

JT
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JT
3 years 5 months ago

Glad to see Teheran ranked as high as 19th. Too many prospect lists have dropped him to the 40’s, which is way too low.

Balthazar
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Balthazar
3 years 5 months ago

A few (too many) words here on Danny Hultzen. I don’t disagree at all with his placement on the list, but there’s more to the picture. Everyone talks about his walk rate, and should; it’s high, real, and a huge concern. Folks _don’t_ talk about his K9 or HR9—but they should. These are just as real. I didn’t care for him that much when drafted, but actually like him _more_ now.

Out of college, Hultzen threw over the top. He hit 94 occasionally but sat 90-91 IIRC. His breaking pitches were decent but not remarkable. He had good control, a plus change-up, a feel for pitching, and plus make-up. He looked like a mid-rotation lefty if all went well, and he polished up his curve or something.

The Ms wouldn’t leave that alone: they changed his arm slot to three-quarters. This reportedly greatly improved his deception, which upped his K rate. This _greatly_ improved the tilt on his slider which turned into a jack-nasty pitch, and upped his K rate. This may have helped his velocity, as he sat at 92-93 for most of the year, i.e. more velocity and more consistency with it. The change may have hurt his change-up in AA where it reportedly flatened a bit, but then again at the end of the year is change-up was rated his best pitch. Hultzen’s BB9 also went to 3.82 in AA, and a frightening 8 in AAA (in 48 innings at year’s end however). Despite this, in AA he was giving up half a hit an inning, the league couldn’t touch him, and he went up a level on merit after just 75 pro innings.

Let’s be clear. Hultzen’s control problems are not physical. There’s nothing wrong with his elbow or arm. Furthermore, Hultzen isn’t ‘wild’ per se. In 124 innings he walked *ouch* 75, hit 7 guys, and hat 12 WPs. He also only gave up 4 HRs in those 124 innings of AA and AAA ball. Hultzen isn’t missing in the zone; he isn’t missing ‘up.’ The change in arm slot has added so much run and cut to his pitches that he’s having trouble picking up the strike zone. This shouldn’t be a surprise since after pitching for, what?, 12 years with an overhead motion where the pitches drop in the same plane, he’s now throwing with tilt ant torque where his stuff is moving like crazy. And Hultzen did get frustrated by year’s end, though I’m interested to hear Marc’s confirmation (evidently from insiders) that the movement issues got into his head more than his body. Hultzen would just lose it sometimes in August (likely overthrowing too) and walk so many he’d get pulled. This was at a career innings high by then where he did in fact get hit in the zone more also, but also it was in a small number of innings against more patient AAA hitters in his first year in pro ball.

Nobody can succeed with a K9 of 6 in aggregate; that’s a big deal, and all concerns are merited. On the plus side, Hultzen: a) has better than advertised velocity and quite good for a lefty, b) two off-speed pitches which appear to be plus, c) K9 against the high minors which is elite by any standard (nearly 10), d) HR suppression against the high minors which is elite by any standard (call it .32), F) debuted in AA and was promoted on merit as unhittable there after 75 innings. The ONLY negative on Hultzen is his stuff is now so live he has not, after six months, mastered keeping it in the zone, and has gotten a bit frustrated over that by the point he may have begun to tire late in the season too.

I have no idea if Hultzen has mastered his new delivery as of April 2013. I don’t know if he’ll master it this year. In the worst case, he goes back to his old delivery, and comes up as a solid lefty rotation arm. But I’m betting that with more reps Hultzen does get his control of the zone using a three-quarter deliver. With the K rates he demonstrated over 124 innings (9.44 in AA, 10.54 in AAA), even his AA BB9 of 3.82 could likely cut it, though of course he doesn’t project to that kind of number in MLB yet, no. On his positives, Hultzen is surely the best LHP in the minors, and would be pushing the top ten on this list. On his one HUGE negative, he doesn’t make it to the majors. Too _much_ movement is a problem which pitchers have had better success at overcoming than too little, so I’ll hold to that. It often takes several _years_ however, so that has to be borne in mind.

I like Hultzen’s upside. It’s elite, and he has a real chance to surprise. But not a certainty; Skaggs is more certain at this point, that’s fair. We had best keep Hultzen’s positives in mind, however; they’re real.

Balthazar
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Balthazar
3 years 5 months ago

For a comparable to Danny Hultzen, take a look at Clayton Kershaw’s ages and career progression. That’s what Hultzen could be. It just may take several years to master stuff which moves like that. But even walking close to _5_ per nine innings, Kershaw was a 4 Win pitcher who only has gotten better. His control is decent now, with the HR rates to match. He filed off the negatives, but the positives stayed constant.

YanksFanInBeantown
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YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 5 months ago

Hahahaha, good one.

Kershaw had a better K/BB in the majors than Hultzen did in AA at age 22.

And he skipped the Daniel Cabrera impersonation at the end.

Balthazar
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Balthazar
3 years 5 months ago

No, Yanker, you’re mistaken. Kershaw did not have ‘better control than Hultzen’ until his _third year_ in MLB.’ And you are comparing the wrong issue in how you are using age. Age of performance isn’t just about future ‘physical projection,’ it’s about experience with a particular skill set against a particular level of competition. Start with the facts:

Hultzen – year, level, K9, BB9, IP

12 AA 9.44 3.82 75.1
12 AAA 10.54 7.95 48.2

Kershaw

07 A 12.39 4.62 97.1
07 AA 10.68 6.20 24.1
08 AA 8.66 2.79 61.1
08 NL 8.36 4.35 107.2
09 NL 9.74 4.79 171.6
10 NL 9.34 3.57 204.1

Hultzen _changed his mechanics_ coming into 2012. He’s having to learn over how to pitch. One has to consider his ‘development time’ with that pitching approach in terms of looking how fast or slow he is mastering it. Same with Kershaw, who always threw much the same stuff in the same way.

For Kershaw, it wasn’t until his 4th year as a professional with 370+ innings under his belt that he mastered his mechanics well enough to get his BB9 under 4. It took Kershaw _four years_; that’s very typical. He’s only gotten better. For Hultzen, his first _three months_ pitching with new mechanics which make his stuff move like crazy, he had arguably better results than Kershaw over his first three months. Speaking strictly of control, Kerhsaw never sustained a walk rate better than Hultzen’s AA numbers until 300 more innings pitched. Of course Hultzen was years older at the same level, we should expect him to do ‘a little better.’

Kershaw did his Cabrera impression, only it was his first time in AA in a small number of innings. If you want to argue that Kershaw’s second trip in AA in 08 was ‘the real guy,’ there’s several hundred subsequent innings that say no it wasn’t. Similarly, if you want to argue that 48 innings in AAA are ‘the real Hultzen’ we have sample size and other issues which undercut that. My point is that everyone wants to see those 48 innings as the only feature of Hultzen, whereas the rest of the year and results suggest a better matrix.

I have no idea if Hultzen will become ‘like Kershaw.’ His movement, deception, K rate, and HR suppression suggest that this is a good comparison however; as does their broadly comparable difficulty keeping their pitches in the strike zone. Kershaw was younger at each level, and his physical projection has earned him a bit more velocity. Hultzen being older, started higher and has progressed faster. Just what you’d expect for both guys. Hultzen only has 124 innings with his new mechanics; yes, he’s struggled with them, and likely will struggle longer, maybe for sevral years. Kershaw was an effective MLB pitcher after 180 minor league innings, even with a MLB BB9 of 4.5+, though, keep that in mind. And it still took him four years in total to get his mechanics and command together. There are historical comparables to that also. Koufax is the archetypal example of course, and there’s Billy Pierce also (who should be in the Hall of Fame).

If you’re going to see the negatives for Hultzen—and we all should—see the positives also, and the ceiling and comparables which they actualy imply.

YanksFanInBeantown
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YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 5 months ago

Kershaw was 19 when he had a better K/BB ratio splitting Low-A and AA than Hultzen did splitting AA/AAA at age 22 after 3 years of pitching at a major college program.

And he was much better at AA as a 20 year old in his third professional season than Hultzen was as a 22 year old coming out of 3 years at a major college program.

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 5 months ago

Actually, he had a better K/BB in the majors at age 20 than Hultzen did splitting AA and AAA after 3 years at a major college program.

Jim
Guest
Jim
3 years 5 months ago

Where’s Jim Henderson?

Bobby A
Guest
3 years 5 months ago

How about Chris Archer over Trevor Bauer?

Simon
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Simon
3 years 5 months ago

Hak Ju-Lee seems to be ranked way too high. We’re talking about a guy with a 358 slugging % in Double A. If the guy isn’t a threat in the lineup he shouldn’t be in the top 50. He strikes out a lot for a no power guy. That is rather alarming. I don’t think he’s such an unreal defender to justify the ranking. List seems very high on all Tampa prospects Archer, Guerreri, Colome. I don’t understand what Colome has done to justify being ranked where he is. He’s 25 in double A.

YanksFanInBeantown
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YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 5 months ago

Lee is supposed to be an unreal defender and he’s stealing 40 bases even with that low OBP.

He also had a more than decent second half offensively, so he’s definitely in the margin of error of the top 50.

Simon
Guest
Simon
3 years 5 months ago

Just saying Lee has gotten lots of hype in the prospect world when a guy like Hechavarria is arguably a better hitter and defender and Marc didn’t even put him in his top 100 last year when he was eligible. Just pointing out the Rays guys always get a little bump in his rankings. He had Moore ranked ahead of Harper and Trout.

Paul S
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Paul S
3 years 5 months ago

I can’t think of anyone who would say Hech is a better hitter despite his .312 average last year. Lee has consistently shown the ability to draw walks at an above average rate and can be a big stolen base threat. Additionally, he could become very close to as good a defender as Hech.

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 5 months ago

Hech isn’t a better hitter at all. Lee had a .267/.356/.366 line after June 1st (66 games) last year with 24 steals as a 22 year old in AA. Hechavarria hit .235/.275/.347 with 18 steals in 111 games at AA.

The difference between Hech and Hak Ju Lee? AAA Las Vegas.

james
Guest
james
3 years 5 months ago

not sure if it mattered he had moore above trout and harper. TO be honest, Harper looked a good year away from the bigs, and Trout had struggled with his cup of coffee the year prior.

Moore actually had a very good season last year, and would have been a RoY shoe in about 80% of the time. Trout was unreal, and I doubt he does it ever again, i am thinking a less injury prone carl crawford.

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 5 months ago

More like a healthy Grady Sizemore.

Soma Holiday
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Soma Holiday
3 years 5 months ago

I’m not sure if Lee’s defense will play as high at the ML level. He strikes me as a guy w/ confidence issues.

Simon
Guest
Simon
3 years 5 months ago

The walk rate is far less impressive when you consider he strikes out 20 percent of time and has little to no power. Hard to imagine big leaguers issuing many walks to this guy.

Clifford
Guest
Clifford
3 years 5 months ago

elvis andrus has pretty darn good value in the bigs right now, doesnt he? Not saying Lee is anywhere near as good as Andrus right now, but a SS with plus plus defensive skills doesnt have to be Tulo at the plate to have good value in the bigs. This isnt a top 100 fantasy baseball prospects list. look at a guy like Jamey Carrol from last year. he had only a .317 SLG% with 1 HR, yet he still ammassed 2.4 WAR because he was elite defensively. if Lee could consistently produce 2.5-4.0 WAR seasons, his ranking here will seem too low.

As for Colome, over the last 3 seasons, hes got a 3.74 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 8.3 K/9…his main issue is control, but everything ive read on him says hes got nasty stuff. Finally, I couldnt disagree more with what you said about Archer. I dont understand why people are so low on him. He had a rough 2011 season, ill give you that…but take away that year, and over his last 3 minor league campaigns, we’re talking about a guy whose gone 28-16 with a 2.91 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 9.7 K/9, and .206 BAA. Again, control has been his major downfall, as he has only allowed a combined 279 hits in 379.1 IP over that period.

Simon
Guest
Simon
3 years 5 months ago

If it is the case that defense justifies this rank, why was Lee ranked in the 20s last year when Andrelton Simmons (a better defender?) with similar offensive numbers was back in the 90s. For Lee to justify such a rank he has to be an above average offensive guy and the evidence supporting such a case is slim.

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 5 months ago

He looked like an above average offensive guy who had grown into doubles power at this point last year. He was well, well above average offensively in 2011. Simmons’ wOBA was actually .030 lower, so I really don’t see how they had similar offensive numbers.

Clifford
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Clifford
3 years 5 months ago

Since when are we talking about last year’s ranking anyway? This is the 2013 list.

Bobby A
Guest
3 years 5 months ago

This is the first list with Archer over Bauer, and after looking closer at their pages on Fangraphs, I’m getting talked into it. Thanks, Marc!

Steve
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Steve
3 years 5 months ago

Bauer was dropped for that rap…

steveoh
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steveoh
3 years 5 months ago

Not having Tyler Austin on this list at all is a significant oversight.

Clifford
Guest
Clifford
3 years 5 months ago

Considering hes not on BP’s Top 101 list either, and lists that I have seen him on usually have him in the 75-90 range, i would say that calling his exclusion a significant oversight really just indicates how much of a Yankees homer you are.

brian
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brian
3 years 5 months ago

Yankee fans are meowing especially loud today

Preston
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Preston
3 years 5 months ago

As a Yankee fan I have to agree, it’s just a different way of valuation. I would personally include Austin and exclude Heathcott. But they are opposite ends of the spectrum. Heathcott is all upside with huge question marks. Austin has been super productive, but his lack of athleticism and the fact that he doesn’t have elite power caps his ceiling. It wouldn’t be an oversight to exclude either one (or both for that matter).

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 5 months ago

Yup, this.

Chris Blessing
Guest
3 years 5 months ago

Congratulations Marc for finishing off your 2012-2013 prospect rankings! Whether everyone agrees or disagrees with Marc on his rankings, give it up to the man. While prospect lists are fun to compile, it involves hours upon hours of work.

wobatus
Guest
wobatus
3 years 5 months ago

Yeah, respect for the effort. I like a list that takes some chances. Just as a note, while Carlos Sanchez isn’t on any other top 100s, he is on Law’s list of 10 just outside his top 100. Still, 64 is a bold rank for him. If Beckham’s struggle continues he could be up fairly soon.

rageon
Guest
rageon
3 years 5 months ago

Bundy is now a once-in-a-generation talent? In the last 15 years, we’re already had Mark Prior, David Price, and Felix Hernandez. That’s a lot of once-in-a-generation talents for half a generation.

Crapshoot
Guest
Crapshoot
3 years 5 months ago

Stephen Strasburg

Izzy Hechkoff
Guest
Izzy Hechkoff
3 years 5 months ago

Strasburg is probably the only one that was a once in a generation talent.

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 5 months ago

I think Prior is up there too. Until Dusty broke him, of course.

Luke in MN
Guest
Luke in MN
3 years 5 months ago

And just last year Matt Moore was often being ranked ahead of (truly) once-in-a-generation position-players Harper and Trout. I’m no Bundy expert, but I suspect that “standard-issue top pitching prospect in baseball” is more accurate than “once-in-a-generation talent.”

Balthazar
Guest
Balthazar
3 years 5 months ago

‘Once in a generation’ is a cliche phrase, and I’d avoid it for that reason. —But if it fits any pitching prospect since Pedro, it fits Bundy. Look at his age, man, he’s just 20. Perfect mechanics, fine size for a pitcher, good athlete. Every pitch is plus, nd he’s not even allowed to use them all. Crushing minor league pitching, good control, doesn’t give up HRs. Determined son-of-a-gun whose life is pitching. I liked Felix’s pitch repertoire more coming up, but Bundy’s mechanics and control are much better. Strasburg has ‘better size’ but much worse mechanics too.

Dylan Bundy is the best pitching prospect _as a package_ in a generation. It’s not just ‘he throws X hard against minor leaguers/college guys.’ The only reason he’s not #1 on this list is that position players rate higher and the guys above him are there on merit.

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 5 months ago

I think you mean “since Strasburg” because Bundy is not as good a prospect as Strasburg was.

Balthazar
Guest
Balthazar
3 years 5 months ago

What I know is you mean to hammer in your say, sans any evidence since you present none. The evidence for Bundy given in the view of scouts and evaluators onlie is that Bundy is younger when drafted into pro ball, has comparable velocity, has a wider repertoire of pitches, is fanatical about his conditioning, and has vastly better mechanics. The evidence which can be inferred for Strasburg is ‘throws 100 till his arm blows up.’ A ‘prosepct’ is the entire package, not just a particular attribute of that one likes or dislikes. Bundy at 18 >> Strasburg at 18, and as a package > than Strasburg at 21.

That’s not to diminish SS; both pitchers are in the extreme elite of talents. Whether Strasburg or Bundy have more success over their years of club control we’ll have to see also. But as a prospect, Bundy is simply better than Strasburg was.

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 5 months ago

I’ll just quote John Sickels on Bundy:

“i’d say not as good as SS but better than most”

JohnM
Guest
JohnM
3 years 2 months ago

Given that Bundy is now slated to undergo TJS, I have to comment on his “perfect mechanics”. In short, they’re anything but. Guys who throw with a catcher’s motion, who cock their elbow behind them rather than extending their arm and lengthening the lever, almost always end up having TJS, especially the harder throwers. Bundy fits this profile to a “T”. I laugh when I see a guy throw this way and then someone raves about his perfect mechanics. It just means they have no idea what proper mechanics are for a pitcher. You want perfect mechanics? Look at video of Curt Schilling back in the day. You want more bad mechanics? Look at video of Tommy Hanson or Joba Chamberlain. What happened to them? Oh yeah, TJS. And if you’re thinking it’s easier to call after the fact, let me give you a couple good TJS candidates for down the road – Phil Hughes, Patrick Corbin.

O'Jones
Guest
O'Jones
3 years 5 months ago

Alen Hanson and Greg Polanco are typically mentioned in the same breath, and frequently ranked back to back. However, you have hanson almost 30 spots ahead. is that purely positional value, or do you see something else in his talent set?

tommy
Guest
tommy
3 years 5 months ago

hanson is also a year younger and at a premium position

Z.....
Guest
Z.....
3 years 5 months ago

you didnt have to specifically take a shot at the marlins when talking about Jose Fernandez. Regardless of the fact that its likely true, thats a shot below the belt and has nothing to do with this prospect list

Cindy
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Cindy
3 years 5 months ago

I agree it was a shot below the belt and contributed nothing to a very nice prospect list. Shame on you Marc.

Jonny's Bananas
Guest
Jonny's Bananas
3 years 5 months ago

Yes, shame on him for spending countless hours compiling 30 team specific prospect lists, then spending more hours whittling that down to a top 100, all provided to you at no cost. How dare he have the audacity to make a joke about a team that has made a joke of itself as a professional sports team. Truly ghastly.

Cindy
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Cindy
3 years 5 months ago

When I said shame on you Marc it was because I felt he did a disservice to Jose Fernandez not the Marlins.

Synovia
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Synovia
3 years 5 months ago

“Yes, shame on him for spending countless hours compiling 30 team specific prospect lists, then spending more hours whittling that down to a top 100, all provided to you at no cost.”

Thats his job, and it certainly isn’t free to us. See all those adds on the right? They get paid.

Jeff Long
Member
3 years 5 months ago

@Synovia

Just to be clear… “free to us” and “they get paid” are not the same thing.

The fact that Fangraphs has advertisements does not mean that the writer has some duty to please everyone who reads their article.

JDub
Guest
JDub
3 years 5 months ago

@ Cindy I’m sure Jose Fernandez is losing a lot of sleep over this

everydayj
Guest
everydayj
3 years 5 months ago

Relax. Attempt at humor, and for me, it worked. I mean, it’s funny because it’s true.

Matt Mosher
Member
Member
Matt Mosher
3 years 5 months ago

Yup…it was funny.

All Balls No Brains
Guest
All Balls No Brains
3 years 5 months ago

St. Louis’ six in the top 100 are all in the top 60. That is silly.

Matt
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Matt
3 years 5 months ago

Jenkins was probably real close to making list too.

Spit Ball
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Spit Ball
3 years 5 months ago

The pitching is great and Tavares can REALLY, REALLY, REALLY HIT. I think he might not be getting the respect he deserves after the way Trout and Harper burst on the scene. That’s not a shot at the list here as he is obviously ranked really high. I just think when looking at his minor league batting lines and his swing we hear more about the sophmores than about him everywhere in baseball circles. The dude rips the cover off the ball; not quite like Roy Hobbs but almost. For a free swinger he really does not strike out much. That would suggest room for growth seeing as he was 19 and 20 last year. They have Holliay, Beltran, Jay and Robinson so they won’t need him day one. He may even have to marinate the whole season in AAA. Yet Beltran has significant injury potential and Holliday moderate injury potential. Don’t be surprised to see him this year. I’m not a Cards fan but I am extremely impressed with the depth they have. Best organization in baseball. Not only 6 in the top 60 but cost controlled talent beyond that.

Antonio bananas
Guest
Antonio bananas
3 years 5 months ago

Buddy is once in a generation? After one year? Come on now. If he were a once in a generation he should be a unanimous number 1 and should be decidedly better than Strasburg, Prior, and King Felix were. How about this “as close to a sure this as you can get”?

Antonio bananas
Guest
Antonio bananas
3 years 5 months ago

I mean honestly, how much better is Bundy than even a guy like Chris Sale? Sale made it to the bigs incredibly early and has pitched well. Bundy could be a big leaguer this year (more likely next year IMO). First year at age 21 isn’t all that unheard of.

One Mans Opinion
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One Mans Opinion
3 years 5 months ago

Sale’s present ability has always been underrated due to the fact people just assume he’s going to breakdown.

Antonio bananas
Guest
Antonio bananas
3 years 5 months ago

Bundy is only 6’1″ and doesn’t look like he’ll fill out much more. Part of a guy being great at 19 is you assume they grow and fill out. Throw harder, throw nastier, throw more in innings, pitch smarter, etc. how many of those can Bundy realistically improve on? Not much in my opinion. I don’t disagree with Bundy’s placement or the assumption he has ace potential, but he’s no more of a generational talent than Julio Teheran was before he ran I to some trouble.

I feel like placing such high praise on a guy before he even has 100 upper level innings is premature. Sale was very good at a young age in the minors and was promoted to the majors at a you g age and has pitched well. Teheran pitched very well at 19 in more upper level innings than Bundy and even had a pretty good AAA year at 20. Bundy is not a generational talent, he’s a highly talented top pitching prospect like we see every year. He just had ridiculous FIP stats at a level he was too advanced for.

Paul S
Guest
Paul S
3 years 5 months ago

Bundy has a faster fastball that isn’t flat like Teheran. His curveball is much better. Bundy has a stronger frame and probably better mechanics. Bundy has better control/command. The only thing Teheran has better is a changeup, but they are not even close to comparable even at their respective bests.

Paul S
Guest
Paul S
3 years 5 months ago

Additionally, statistics can get overused while discussing prospects. While the numbers are important, it’s necessary to look at how they are producing their numbers and whether their means will work well in the majors and whether they can improve.

Preston
Guest
Preston
3 years 5 months ago

Bundy throws harder with more movement than Teheran ever did. He doesn’t need to fill out or throw harder. He already consistently touches 98.

Antonio bananas
Guest
Antonio bananas
3 years 5 months ago

Bundy might have better stuff at their bests, but he also doesn’t have a lot of projectibiliy. He might pitch smarter, but Teheran should fill out and throw harder and nastier. He should also gain better control with age. My points were that Bundy is going to (in my opinion) have a fairly flat aging curve and that he’s not head and shoulders above other talented young pitchers we see every year.

Clifford
Guest
Clifford
3 years 5 months ago

RE: Bananas–Where do you come up with all these massive generalizations and conclusions?…Really, Teheran’s velocity is going to go up? Cause Im pretty sure it went DOWN a good bit last year. Why would a guy that’s 22 have a better chance of filling out than a guy whose only 20? Just cause he weighs 25 pounds less?

So basically, you are making the conclusion that Bundy isnt that great, and that Teheran is going to have a better career because he weighs 25 pounds less at virtually the same height? Solid.

Antonio bananas
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Antonio bananas
3 years 5 months ago

Cliff, it is generalizations based on how people grow. Just like its a generalization that a hitter will be better at 27 than 17.

Antonio bananas
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Antonio bananas
3 years 5 months ago

Cliff, look at Bundy’s body on his frame. If he fills out anymore, he’ll look like Chad Billingsly (without the height). Teheran is thin, if he fills out, he’ll look like Felix. This are body comparisons, not stuff. A strong body often means you can put more stress on your body. Having more mature muscles, especially short twitch, means you throw harder. This is not a crazy concept. Bundy is probably a better prospect than Teheran, but it has only been one year at mostly lower levels. My point is tha Bundy isn’t that much different than other top pitching prospects. That he is far from once in a generation. He’d have to be better than Strasburg for that to happen and he’s not. He’s better than your typically top pitching prospect for a given year, but not THAT much better.

Antonio bananas
Guest
Antonio bananas
3 years 5 months ago

One last thing, I never said Tehern would have a better career. I was just using their similarities to show tht guys like Bundy are more common than you think. Bundy, as of now, is a better prospect. I used both Tehheran and Sale to point out other young pitchers within wha I’d considered Bundy’s class of potential. Bundy hasn’t had enough upper level experience to say he’s once in a generation. If he were, like I said, he’d be the number 1 prospect and head and shoulders above all other number ones. He’s not. I’m also not saying he isn’t really really really good. If I were to start a team, he’d be on my list. My only point is that he isn’t once in a generation and its that much more impressive than other former ones like Teheran and hasn’t accomplished as much as other young guys like Sale. Doesn’t mean he won’t, just that him being a generational talent based off what we know now is a little ridiculous bless I’m missing something.

Clifford
Guest
Clifford
3 years 5 months ago

How do you know for sure that Bundy wont be as good as Strasburg? Their respective numbers in their first seasons in the minors are not all that different…

Stras: 55.1 IP, 1.30 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 10.6 K/9

Bundy: 103.2 IP, 2.08 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 10.3 K/9

Granted, Bundy pitched a good number of innings in A-Ball, while Stras was at AA and AAA, but Bundy was also 19, while Stras was 22. I think thats a big thing you seem to want to ignore in all these discussions. You dont think that in 3 years, Bundy could dominate AA and AAA to the extent Stras did when he was 22? Im just trying to play devil’s advocate here because you seem to be making overly confident projections about players, when in all reality, we have absolutely no idea whats going to happen in their careers. Hence, why its called prospecting.

Antonio bananas
Guest
Antonio bananas
3 years 5 months ago

Cliff, I don’t know. I’m not saying “Bundy is definitively not the best pitcher of this generation” I’m saying its downright silly to say so when he hasn’t done anything to warrant that. My point is at you could argue that he’s simply in the same class as many other top pitching prospects. He hasn’t pitched many innings, he hasn’t pitched many at an upper level, he was rarely allowed to go through a lineup multiple times, his body type suggests he’s already peaked physically, there is no reason to say he’s a generational pitcher. That’s my only point. All these other examples are just me saying “see, he was pretty impressive too”

Antonio bananas
Guest
Antonio bananas
3 years 5 months ago

Cliff, I’m not overly confident. I know it’s prospecting. M main point with Bundy is that yea he’s just 19 and dominating low A in ridiculous fashion. I know a decent bit about the human body and physical development. I have a fitness background. In my opinion, and I’m not a scout, I don’t work with Bundy, he’s already about as physically mature as he’ll get. He’s not, in my opinion, going to get that much better. By that I mean, his production curve is going to be more flat than most insanely good 19 year olds. Profar is amazing because his frame still has some filling out to do. Bundy’s does not (again, in my opinion). Bundy is my number 1 pitching prospect this year. I’m not discounting his ability, I’m saying its crazy to call him a generational talent. Strasburg dominated a higher level at an older age, but in his brief first stint in the majors, he had Cy Young ability immediately. I don’t know if Bundy has that yet. Then again, I prefer prospects with more upper level time because so many flame out before they reach that level.

I personall think guys with less than a year at any upper level minor should be put on a separate list. To me, guys who dominate <AA are more of a risk. Bundy, even at the lower levels he saw went throug the lineup once, then was done. More mature hitters will walk more and will adjust to his stuff. He also didn't throw that many innings, so we don't know how he holds up over time. He also looks physically mature (so less project ability, which is the main reason an advanced prospect in their teens is so highly rated). These are all legitimate reasons why Bundy isn't once in a generation. Doesn't mean he's not the best prospect since Strasburg. Strasburg's main flag was his delivery causing injury, which was justified. Felix Hernandez and David Price basically panned out. Prior and Wood got hurt. These are the kinds of prospects I group him with, that's good company. He's not above them though, so he's not a generational talent. Can we agree on that?

Frank Campagnola
Guest
Frank Campagnola
3 years 5 months ago

The difference of 0.21 in WHIP is pretty significant (equals out to a difference of about 40 baserunners over 200 IP), as is 0.78 in ERA. It looks like those numbers clearly favor Strasburg especially when you point out he was pitching in higher minor league levels.

Clifford
Guest
Clifford
3 years 5 months ago

Yeah and Strasburg was also 22 while Bundy was only 19. Ill say it again, do you really think that Bundy couldnt produce eqaul or better numbers in 3 years at the same level?

Anon21
Guest
Anon21
3 years 5 months ago

I don’t know about “couldn’t.” Theoretically, any scrub prospect “could” do that if he all of a sudden got better. Bundy’s no scrub, but I’ll go ahead and say I don’t think he will produce numbers that good in the upper minors, against more advanced competition. And assuming he makes it the majors, which is never guaranteed, I think he won’t touch Strasburg. Thus, I agree with bananas that calling him a once-in-a-generation talent is off-base.

Clifford
Guest
Clifford
3 years 5 months ago

Re: Antonio Bananas….Bundy was already in the big leagues last year, pal. Dont know where you were. The fact that you compared him to Chris Sale kind of kills your credibility though. While they could both be considered potentially succesful young SP in the majors, they couldnt be more different.

Furthermore, you basically copy and pasted the comment about 3-4 spots above yours.

Antonio bananas
Guest
Antonio bananas
3 years 5 months ago

Did I? I didn’t realize other people compared Teheran to bundy or brought up the fact that Bundy is already filled out and probably won’t get a lot better than he already is.

Clifford
Guest
Clifford
3 years 5 months ago

Yes, you did….see below

Bundy is now a once-in-a-generation talent? In the last 15 years, we’re already had Mark Prior, David Price, and Felix Hernandez. That’s a lot of once-in-a-generation talents for half a generation.(10:39 AM)

Buddy is once in a generation? After one year? Come on now. If he were a once in a generation he should be a unanimous number 1 and should be decidedly better than Strasburg, Prior, and King Felix were. How about this “as close to a sure this as you can get”?(11:00 AM)

Antonio bananas
Guest
Antonio bananas
3 years 5 months ago

Cliff, so because I also disagreed with the “once in a generation talent” assertion and used 2 other guys commonly seen as once in a generation I’m just copying someone else? Ever think tha maybe Bundy as a once in a generation talent is something many disagree with and there are only a handful of these guys to compare him to? I added a lot more to my argument. Saying that Chris Sale has advanced very far and been very good. Saying that I don’t think Bundy will get a whole lot better because he’s already physically mature. Saying that there are guys who perform really well at a young age. Maybe Teheran was a bad example, although I don’t think they’re that far off. Bundy hasn’t had as many upper level innings as Teheran did before he hit a rough patch. Granted Bundy has better stuff and better lower level stats, that’s still a pretty small sample.

Antonio bananas
Guest
Antonio bananas
3 years 5 months ago

I know Bundy was in the Majors. He didn’t compete in a full year or have a meaningful number of innings. Cup of coffee late year call ups mean about as much to me as spring training games.

Marlins Loser
Guest
Marlins Loser
3 years 5 months ago

Congrats Clifford. You did something amazing. You made Antonio look like the reasonable one …

Clifford
Guest
Clifford
3 years 5 months ago

Thanks. Good thing very few people care what you think.

E-Dub
Guest
E-Dub
3 years 5 months ago

“Bundy is already filled out and probably won’t get a lot better than he already is.”

Which might be an issue if he needed to. It doesn’t sound like you actually know anything about Bundy. Instead, we’re supposed to indulge bloviating about lack of projectability regarding a guy who already sits mid-90s and throws a plus cutter, plus curve and average or better change. Who devised fitness and nutritional regimens for himself that were so sensible that the Orioles didn’t change a thing. Who features some of the most effortless mechanics you’ll see from any professional pitcher, much less a teenager. Yes, it’s very worrisome that there’s not more in the tank.

Joe
Guest
Joe
3 years 5 months ago

Which duo would you rather have moving forward: Wheeler/Harvey, or Cole/Taillon? It’s probably Wheeler/Harvey for me, but I’m interested in hearing what others think.

Preston
Guest
Preston
3 years 5 months ago

I know the other three are more highly regarded as prospects than Harvey was. But I’ll take the pair that includes a guy who’s been lights out at the big league level.

Jaker
Guest
Jaker
3 years 5 months ago

I like to rate my duos on which combination provides the best film noir detective name.

Detective Harvey Wheeler vs.
Detective Cole Taillon

I’ll go with Harvey Wheeler though it’s closer than I like to admit.

Brian
Guest
Brian
3 years 5 months ago

Well, Detective Goose Bundy is pretty good as well!

Brian
Guest
Brian
3 years 5 months ago

Oooh… Detective Bradley Skaggs!

Philip Dick
Guest
Philip Dick
3 years 5 months ago

I prefer Detective Wacha Matias Martinez, myself. Nicely alliterative, ethnically ambiguous, makes me want to know more about who this person is.

commenter #1
Guest
commenter #1
3 years 5 months ago

harvey already made it, that’s huge in his favor

Forrest Gumption
Member
Forrest Gumption
3 years 5 months ago

Being conservative on Addison Russell and no other A’s in the top 100? Why the hating on the A’s farm?

Preston
Guest
Preston
3 years 5 months ago

They graduated a lot of pitchers last season and just traded some of their better prospects for Jaso, who else did you expect to be on this list?

wobatus
Guest
wobatus
3 years 5 months ago

Marc actually had Sonny Gray as number 2 on the A’s farm despite a somewhat disappointing year. Straily and Choice were his 3-4, and although I think they were on some lists it isn’t that controversial for them to not make top 100.

BA had Russell at 49, and didn’t rank Straily or Choice in the top 100. BP had Rusell at 22, Choice at 82 and Straily at 85.

I know Law had Ruseell 10-11 or so.

A guy on minorleagueball did a fanpost with a link to his composite top 100 from 13 different lists. He didn’t have Law’s list, and John Sickel’s isn’t out yet.

The composite had Russell at 38 (he ranked anywhere from 22 to 65 on the 13 lists), Straily was 82 (54 was his top rank, unranked on 5 lists) and Choice was 90 (53 to unranked on 6 lists). Sonny Gray was 129 on the composite, Miles Head 147. On the minorleagueball community poll, Russell was 42, Straily 64, and Choice an honorable mention.

Not sure if you are being tongue-in-cheek, but Russel at 43 and no other Athletic on the list isn’t all that unique a view.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
3 years 5 months ago

it’s astounding to me that you equate “being conservative” on a prospect and recognizing that an organization graduated several players to the majors to “hating” on an entire organization.

smocon
Member
smocon
3 years 5 months ago

Nice list. You were doing great work unitl #94. I was a bit surprised to not see Wily Peralta on the list anywhere but then the only Brewer included was Thornburg. I’m just not convinced of that lolly pop curve ball and the fastball that gets left up in the zone quite often. Reliever written all over him. You would have been doing the right thing by not including any Brewers at all on the list.

Paul S
Guest
Paul S
3 years 5 months ago

I think Wily might have deserved a 90-100 spot. He wasn’t great in AAA and has maintained a mediocre walk rate but he has missed plenty of bats. Additionally, in the majors he was excellent showing much better command and plus fastball/slider albeit in only 4 starts.

dp
Guest
dp
3 years 5 months ago

Matt Barnes at 41 is the biggest joke on this list. You should be ashamed of this!

Caveman Jones
Guest
Caveman Jones
3 years 5 months ago

Care to expand on this statement?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
3 years 5 months ago

Okay, well…

Baseball Prospectus – 38
Baseball America – 40
Keith Law – 79
Sickels mid-season 2012 (Can’t find a 2013 for him yet, I think it’s running late) – 41

Soooo…what’s the issue? That’s the range where everyone but Keith Law has him and Law is notorious for putting significant emphasis on ceiling over floor.

cody k
Guest
cody k
3 years 5 months ago

is KLaw really that notorious?

I found a couple of the people he was lower on than others this year had more to do with floor

Mariners2001
Member
Mariners2001
3 years 5 months ago

Very interesting list. I still fail to see why Martin Perez gets any recognition as a prospect. Maybe three years ago, but now? I mean, his K rate keeps falling (below 5 k/9 last year?) and his walk rate isn’t improving at all. Right now, he looks like a back-end starter at best.

I might be biased as an M’s fan, but James Paxton seems much more deserving in the back-end of the top 100. At least he continues to miss bats.

commenter #1
Guest
commenter #1
3 years 5 months ago

Birthdate: 4/4/1991 Throws: L

bookbook
Guest
bookbook
3 years 5 months ago

Quibbles seem silly with a very fine list such as this. So, I’ll ask meta-questions. To wit:

How many top 100 prospects actually make it to regular MLB player status? 50%? 30%? Less? (Yeah, if we knew which ones it would be, we could formulate our lists very differently, but life ain’t like that.)

How many non top 100 prospects make it? Of course, many non top 100 prospects probably become top 100 guys in future years, so I’ll ask how many non top 100 prospects slated to start 2013 at AA or above are destined to become (above replacement level) major league regulars?

For me, this is about (my own rooting interest, of course, and…) putting into context a player like a Brad Miller or, say, an Alex Fernandez, AA starting pitcher for the M’s. Does the descent from “may really help” to “total crapshoot longshot” come somewhere between those two, or actually above the level of a Miller?

Buck Buchanan
Guest
Buck Buchanan
3 years 5 months ago

Here’s a good analysis of prospect failure rates – the news isn’t good.

http://www.royalsreview.com/2011/2/14/1992424/success-and-failure-rates-of-top-mlb-prospects

Dominic Snyder
Member
Dominic Snyder
3 years 5 months ago

Awww, poor James Paxton.

E-Dub
Guest
E-Dub
3 years 5 months ago

Good point. A defensible, but noteworthy, omission.

Izzy Hechkoff
Guest
Izzy Hechkoff
3 years 5 months ago

Where would you rank Machado and Harvey if they were eligible?

Dan
Guest
Dan
3 years 5 months ago

Well, I still have a quibble or two, some pet peeves. I don’t understand why prospect analysts try to tell us, with such specificity, what a guy’s ceiling is. What’s worse, they use the old psychic trick of broadening the prediction within an illusion of precision. Example: Zack Wheeler “…has the ceiling of a No. 1 or 2 starter.” If he’s a mid or back-of-the-rotation guy, he didn’t reach his “ceiling”. He pitches behind an ace and voila, you nailed it, not quite a No. 1, just as you suspected. If he develops into an ace, you nailed it. You said he had #1 potential.

Of course he has #1 potential. I would argue that most of these guys’ ceilings are higher than the ceiling with which they’re being anointed. I guess you could say probable ceiling, but that would suggest that you sometimes don’t know what you’re talking about, and most of the job is picking your moments to sound more certain than any person possibly could be.

Zack Wheeler has a ceiling of a #1 or 2 starter. Doesn’t this mean that he has a ceiling of a #1 starter?

I am not a prospect expert and I have never seen Zack Wheeler pitch, but I can tell you right now that Zack Wheeler has the potential to be a #1 starter. A lot of prospects do, but pitching at the highest level is really difficult to do, and it’s complicated, and pretending to know that a guy’s absolute best will put him in that tiny sliver between really good #2 starter and ace just seems like silliness dressed up in faux expertise.

Clifford
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Clifford
3 years 5 months ago

You 100% had to have used the Thesarus to write this comment. Try a little bit harder to sound smart next time.

Synovia
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Synovia
3 years 5 months ago

You 100% should have used a Dictionary for your post. Try a little bit harder to sound dumb next time.

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 5 months ago

You see, if he had actually misused any words in his post, you would look clever for pointing out a hypocrite.

As it is, you come off as not only a prick, but a foolish one.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
3 years 5 months ago

@YanksFan

He did misspell “thesaurus,” which to me is close enough. I think you are right though that there was potential for a good zinger and Synovia falls a bit short.

Clifford
Guest
Clifford
3 years 5 months ago

haha what an idiot. i mispelled it on purpose genius. there are more cliches and overly-ambiguous statements in here than a Mitch Albom article.

by the way, this is the best line in the whole post….

“and pretending to know that a guy’s absolute best will put him in that tiny sliver between really good #2 starter and ace just seems like silliness dressed up in faux expertise”…in other words, no one should try and predict how prospects will turn out

-Johns Hopkins Graduate.

wobatus
Guest
wobatus
3 years 5 months ago

What word did he use that would require a thesaurus?

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 5 months ago

“Anointed” was definitely using a $5 word when a $1 word would do, and “broadening the prediction within an illusion of precision” was also little florid, but the diction was not so overwrought as to be really worth calling the dude out on it.

Especially when there was so much to call out in the comment’s content.

wobatus
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wobatus
3 years 5 months ago

Agreed on the content, and yes, a simpler word is preferred, but nothing was all that uncommon.

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 5 months ago

Yeah, I agree.

jim
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jim
3 years 5 months ago

might want to broaden your horizons from… whatever narrow view they encompass.

Paul S
Guest
Paul S
3 years 5 months ago

This has been addressed by a few prospect writers that I have seen. It does refer to a probable ceiling. There really aren’t any exact numbers as to the 90th percentile of his talent or anything.

Nobody pretends to be perfect in projecting prospects. If you think it should be, go ahead and make your own list. It’s a crapshoot, but being right 10% of the time instead of 5% of the time is still a substantial difference even though neither is very accurate.

Sean
Guest
Sean
3 years 5 months ago

Just a quibble of my own, but in scouting parlance, “#2 starter” does not mean “pitching behind an ace”. There are usually 15-20 guys in baseball considered #1 starters (e.g. not one per team necessarily, and sometimes more than one on a team in exceptional circumstances), and #2 starter is usually considered pretty high praise.

indyralph
Member
Member
indyralph
3 years 5 months ago

I guess I get the quibble if a description or reasoning is internally inconsistent. But if you are asking people who’s job it is to forecast talent to not be so specific, you are going to end up with 100 capsules saying “He might be pretty good”. That’s neither helpful nor interesting.

MustBunique
Member
Member
3 years 5 months ago

A band of possible outcomes is a reflection of uncertainty which should be accounted for whenever running a probability related analysis. Wider range is more uncertainty, which should be tied to some concern the author had. That could be lack of large stat sample, a weak skill that may or may not develop, or anything else that would make a person unsure when evaluating chances of a player reaching a certain level of play in the future.

The Foils
Member
The Foils
3 years 5 months ago

“I am not a prospect expert”

You should be more careful posting diatribes, then, because this one had some misconceptions.

Eminor3rd
Member
Eminor3rd
3 years 5 months ago

This is my favorite line:

“I am not a prospect expert and I have never seen Zack Wheeler pitch, but I can tell you right now that Zack Wheeler has the potential to be a #1 starter.”

MSom13
Guest
MSom13
3 years 5 months ago

Thanks for the list Marc – the time and effort you put into these is definitely appreciated.

Question for you – how close are Matt Adams and Tyrell Jenkins to the top 100? I believe it was BA that had Adams at 101, do you see similar potential?

Marc Hulet
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Marc Hulet
3 years 5 months ago

Neither were overly close to the Top 100… but I like both a fair bit.

Dirck
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Dirck
3 years 5 months ago

Where would Rubby De La Rosa and Mark Appel rank ? Both are minor leaguers in my leagues though I understand that they don’t qualify here for various reasons ? Thanks .

Paul S
Guest
Paul S
3 years 5 months ago

IMO, de la Rosa would rank in the top 25 thanks to his excellent stuff and big league success despite his TJ surgery and smaller frame. If Appel keeps up what he is currently doing, he could rank in the top 15 or 20 by the time he is drafted.

melotticus
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melotticus
3 years 5 months ago

I would personally add in Carlos Rodon from North Carolina if we’re bringing college pitchers into the equation.

Sean
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Sean
3 years 5 months ago

Players typically aren’t eligible for these lists until drafted and signed, which is why the college guys aren’t here.

Marc Hulet
Guest
Marc Hulet
3 years 5 months ago

Appel would probably end up in a similar area as some of the top 2012 picks.

De la Rosa… he’d probably be in the 20 range.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
3 years 5 months ago

Excited about all these Cardinals prospects.

Hoping Tavares looks over at Beltran and has a “Looper” (movie) moment, where he thinks he’s seeing the older version of himself … or he could just be the Latin Matt Holliday. Either one is fine by me. *grin*

For an organization that was reputed to have “nothing” in the farm system, they sure come up with some quality of Jay, Freese, Craig, Lynn, Garcia … and now a batch of widely heralded prospects.

Chris Carpenter’s absence, while sad for fans, does create a potential opening for a fierce battle of the prospects for IP.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan
3 years 5 months ago

I’m not sure if you’ve seen Looper, but I’d say that having a “Looper moment” would be the absolute last thing you should want from your top prospect when he sees his older self.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11
3 years 5 months ago

Heh Heh. Point taken.

MakeitRayn
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MakeitRayn
3 years 5 months ago

Looper had a lot of plot holes–like Tavares’s swing? Gotcha.

YanksFanInBeantown
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YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 5 months ago

Huh?

Sean
Guest
Sean
3 years 5 months ago

I’m glad you clarified you weren’t comping him to Braden Looper.

John
Guest
John
3 years 5 months ago

Curious about Puig. Different lists are all over the place. Is this simply because he hasn’t played in the minors yet? He got big time money and has big time potential. I’ve seen him as high as 47 and here it seems he barely made the list. Any thoughts?

jpg
Guest
jpg
3 years 5 months ago

As a Mets fan, when I think of “Looper moments”…I’m already sick…

Marc Hulet
Guest
Marc Hulet
3 years 5 months ago

Yeah, with just 25 games of minor league experience, he was a hard guy to rank. I didn’t get a chance to see him play (I have now) but I spoke to contacts about him. I am taking a wait-and-see approach with his ranking. He could be a big mover in 2013, but I’m not 100% sold on his age being accurate.

Sarge
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Sarge
3 years 5 months ago

Do you have any reason why you feel this way about his age? Or is it simply because he’s a Latin player you’d never heard of until the Dodgers paid a gazillion dollars for him?

Muggi
Guest
Muggi
3 years 5 months ago

Really hoping Roman Quinn and Mitch Walding make the leap some are expecting from them this year, as a Phillies’ fan it’s depressing seeing how far the farm has fallen…

Marcus Andrews
Guest
Marcus Andrews
3 years 5 months ago

Marc,

Obviously you spend a lot of time on these lists and try to be as thorough and unbiased as possible. I’m just wondering who is one prospect you haven’t ranked here that you like more than industry consensus and think could be a successful big leaguer next year or in the top 50 of your list next year?

Marc Rubio
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Marc Rubio
3 years 5 months ago

Personally, I like Dan Vogelbach, Chad Bettis, Lance McCullers Jr, Adalberto Mondesi, Joc Pederson, Matt Wisler, and DJ Davis.

Marc Hulet
Guest
Marc Hulet
3 years 5 months ago

D.J. Davis, David Holmberg, Taylor Jungmann, Dan Vogelbach, Adalberto Mondesi, Lewis Brinson, Max Kepler… Deep sleeper: Dillon Maples

David
Guest
David
3 years 5 months ago

#52 Delino DeShields Jr??? Tommy Lasorda would like to know if the Astros would like Clayton Kershaw for him.

Paul S
Guest
Paul S
3 years 5 months ago

Thanks for the effort of making the composite list Marc. The difference between prospects tends to be smaller than people realize and since the only concrete evaluators (statistics) don’t matter as much as in the majors, rating prospects is a tough business. Great list and I always like the evaluators who are willing to go against the general opinion.

Josh
Guest
Josh
3 years 5 months ago

Marc, not unsurprising, you have Delino Deshields hyperlinked to his daddy’s page. Lol.

Derek
Guest
Derek
3 years 5 months ago

Not complaining about it, but you had Kyle Zimmer quite high. I’m just a little curious about your justifications seeing as you only had his ceiling at a #2 starter. Thanks

YanksFanInBeantown
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YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 5 months ago

A #2 starter is Andy Pettitte in his prime. That’s an awesome, awesome ceiling.

Jason Simontacchi
Guest
Jason Simontacchi
3 years 5 months ago

Why isn’t Anibal Sanchez a #1? He has a fastball that can reach the mid 90’s, great control, a very good slider, an effective changeup, and an effective curveball. Being a #1 is very, very hard to be. Zimmer might throw a tick harder than Sanchez, but his curveball is equivalent to Sanchez’s slider. Additionally, he doesn’t have the depth of pitches Sanchez has, although he hasn’t needed much of a changeup in college. Also, he may throw a lot of strikes but let’s see if his walk rate rises a bit as he has to start showing true command of his pitches.

YanksFanInBeantown
Guest
YanksFanInBeantown
3 years 5 months ago

Is the first question rhetorical? Because I’d say that Anibal Sanchez is another prototypical #2.

Sean
Guest
Sean
3 years 5 months ago

Again, #2 starter in scouting terms is HIGH PRAISE.

The Foils
Member
The Foils
3 years 5 months ago
James
Guest
James
3 years 5 months ago

I agree with people sleeping on Taillon a bit this year. He was working on a lot of different things with his pitches and was very limited with the amount of breaking stuff he was allowed to throw. When they took the training wheels off at the end of the year, get dominated AA. The way he handled the USA lineup with some bad D behind him, and getting out of a couple jams. He got a few Ks including Braun looking. Looks like a horse out there and I really believe he becomes a true ace one day.

jon f
Guest
jon f
3 years 5 months ago

What do you think of Stryker Trahan? Looks like he has the make up of a big time prospect… Walks as much as he strikes out, has pop and a little speed, plays catcher for now. Did great in the AZ fall league.

Jimbo
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Jimbo
3 years 5 months ago

Good work! My only question concerns Addison Russell. I don’t understand why you penalize him for not having played in “full season ball”, and yet with Buxton and Correa that seems to be no problem. Especially since Russell reached a higher level than either one of them (Midwest League), and hit everywhere he played.

Marc Hulet
Guest
Marc Hulet
3 years 5 months ago

I’m going to jump over to Keith Law’s and Baseball America’s 2012 draft coverages to give you an example on Russell… Buxton was ranked by both of them as the top talent available in the draft. Russell, who went 11th overall, was considered by Law to be the 19th best prospect, and BA to be the 28th best prospect. As a result, Russell’s early success is a little more of a surprise, hence the more cautious approach.

Anon
Guest
Anon
3 years 5 months ago

So the lack of full season experience and surprising early success results in a cautious approach? What would Wacha be without that caution? Top 10? Top 5?

oldseacaptain
Member
3 years 5 months ago

“He should bring back a lot of value when the Marlins trade him in five to seven years.”

I believe a “ZING!” is in order.

Boston Homer
Guest
Boston Homer
3 years 5 months ago

Hulet bias strikes again

Spit Ball
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Spit Ball
3 years 5 months ago

Hey let’s not complain as Sox Fan’s. We got Boegarts in the top five on a list finally.

photosaverocketmail
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photosaverocketmail
3 years 5 months ago

“Show your team spirit”- Send a picture in your favorite “baseball shirt” or “team clothing”
E mail the photo to photosave@rocketmail.com The picture will be printed and mailed to you and posted on Facebook. The winner gets a 20 gift card to Modell’s and bragging rights. Try it……………

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ProspectGaze
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ProspectGaze
3 years 5 months ago

Marc, I commented above but I’d really like to hear from you about your Trevor Bauer ranking; or more specifically I’d like you to defend it. You have 7 pitchers ahead of him who in my opinion don’t even belong in the same discussion. Let’s start with the two pitchers in his organization last season– Bradley and Skaggs. Bradley really wasn’t all that impressive in his season and had much more trouble commanding his fastball than Bauer. Skaggs pitch makeup is no where near the level Bauer’s was. When they pitched on the same team, it was evident that Bauer was the much more dominant pitcher. Bauer got into walk trouble but he certainly got himself out posting over a strikeout an inning and registering a sub 2.5 ERA in double A. He won the organization’s pitcher of the year and posses a higher ceiling than both. The ranking makes no sense to me.

Next are the two draftees, Gausman and Zimmer. Both are very good pitchers, however not at the level of Trevor Bauer. Both are college pitchers–like Bauer was. Bauer was a much better prospect than either of the two aforementioned players. He also has a full season of experience under his belt in which he dominated. He was spectacular, looking like the best pitcher in the minor leagues, at one point competing with Dylan Bundy. Your logic is flawed because I’ve seen you comment about uncertainty with prospects (Addison Russell). How are these two any different, let alone better than a player who was lights out last year in the minors. Neither posses the ceiling Bauer does either.

Now as for Sanchez, Wacha, and Archer. I truly thought putting Archer in front of him was an insult to your own intelligence. Archer isn’t even a surefire starter in the majors. His numbers are pedistrian, he certainly has more command issues than Bauer and his stuff is no where near that of Trevor Bauer. Sanchez was two full levels lower and his numbers weren’t even has good as Bauer’s. Wacha is the only one you can make a case for, but by your own logic it’s the lack of a full-season that should hurt him! You can’t apply a double standard when conducting your rankings, you have to be consistent. You can’t downgrade one prospect for cautionary reasons not to downgrade another prospect for the exact same reason.

I think you have him ranked that low because a broad generalization about his make-up issue. How can you objectively value a player’s make-up and downgrade them for it. On the same note how can you be certain that the make-up issue is really that; an issue. I’d love to hear back from you because I think to have him that low is audacious and completely unjustified. A player was was ranked top 10 in most prospect lists did nothing but prove himself last year. He had 3 bad starts in the Majors. You forget he was the first pitcher up from the 2011 draft class! How can you downgrade him for that?

You don’t have to reply but I would appreciate it if you could defend your rankings. As a prospect enthusiast I can’t imagine how people are this low on him. He should be a top 15 lock.

jon f
Guest
jon f
3 years 4 months ago

Trahan anywhere close here?

Big Toucan
Member
Big Toucan
3 years 4 months ago

d’Arnaud’s link goes to Zunino, by the way.

WAR and FIP
Guest
WAR and FIP
2 years 7 months ago

You did well ranking

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