The Top 100 Prospects

Well, not everyone agreed with my Top 50 AL prospects or my Top 50 NL prospects, but that’s to be expected. From a traffic perspective, they were hugely popular, so hopefully everyone will enjoy critiquing the Top 100. After all, that’s what they’re hear for: we love reader input at FanGraphs. (As long as it’s constructive, that is.) I don’t think you can really take just one list/point-of-view and consider it prospect gospel; you have to read a variety of opinions, as no one person is right on every prospect or with every ranking.

So, with no further ado…

1. Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta Braves
2. Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Washington Nationals
3. Desmond Jennings, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
4. Mike Stanton, OF, Florida Marlins
5. Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants
6. Neftali Feliz, RHP, Texas Rangers
7. Carlos Santana, C, Cleveland Indians
8. Jesus Montero, C/1B, New York Yankees
9. Domonic Brown, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
10. Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates

11. Christian Friedrich, LHP, Colorado Rockies
12. Dustin Ackley, 2B/OF, Seattle Mariners
13. Brian Matusz, LHP, Baltimore Orioles
14. Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
15. Alcides Escobar, SS, Milwaukee Brewers
16. Justin Smoak, 1B, Texas Rangers
17. Madison Bumgarner, LHP, San Francisco Giants
18. Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Cincinnati Reds
19. Chris Carter, 1B, Oakland Athletics
20. Martin Perez, LHP, Texas Rangers

21. Logan Morrison, 1B, Florida Marlins
22. Casey Kelly, RHP, Boston Red Sox
23. Aaron Hicks, OF, Minnesota Twins
24. Andrew Cashner, RHP, Chicago Cubs
25. Starlin Castro, SS, Chicago Cubs
26. Tyler Matzek, LHP, Colorado Rockies
27. Tim Beckham, SS, Tampa Bay Rays
28. Wade Davis, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
29. Michael Montgomery, LHP, Kansas City Royals
30. Devaris Gordon, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers

31. Derek Norris, C, Washington Nationals
32. Brett Wallace, 3B/1B, Toronto Blue Jays
33. Kyle Drabek, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
34. Jarrod Parker, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
35. Ryan Westmoreland, OF, Boston Red Sox
36. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves
37. Julio Teheran, RHP, Altanta Braves
38. Josh Bell, 3B, Baltimore Orioles
39. Tyler Flowers, C, Chicago White Sox
40. Hank Conger, C, Los Angeles Angels

41. Mike Moustakas, 3B, Kansas City Royals
42. Shelby Miller, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
43. Wilson Ramos, C, Minnesota Twins
44. Casey Crosby, LHP, Detroit Tigers
45. Eric Hosmer, 1B, Kansas City Royals
46. Fernando Martinez, OF, New York Mets
47. Yonder Alonso, 1B, Cincinnati Reds
48. Josh Vitters, 3B, Chicago Cubs
49. Austin Romine, C, New York Yankees
50. Michael Taylor, OF, Oakland Athletics

51. Austin Jackson, OF, Detroit Tigers
52. Matthew Moore, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays
53. Jason Castro, C, Houston Astros
54. Brad Lincoln, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
55. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Cleveland Indians
56. Zach Wheeler, RHP, San Francisco Giants
57. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Atlanta Braves
58. Jordan Lyles, RHP, Houston Astros
59. Brett Lawrie, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers
60. Tony Sanchez, C, Pittsburgh Pirates

61. Zach McAllister, RHP, New York Yankees
62. Zach Stewart, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
63. Ike Davis, 1B/OF, New York Mets
64. Jenrry Mejia, RHP, New York Mets
65. Daniel Hudson, RHP, Chicago White Sox
66. Tanner Scheppers, RHP, Texas Rangers
67. Jacob Turner, RHP, Detroit Tigers
68. Simon Castro, RHP, San Diego Padres
69. Jhoulys Chacin, RHP, Colorado Rockies
70. Brandon Erbe, RHP, Baltimore Orioles

71. Jordan Walden, RHP, Los Angeles Angels
72. Junichi Tazawa, RHP, Boston Red Sox
73. Jake Arrieta, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
74. Brandon Allen, 1B, Arizona Diamondbacks
75. Thomas Neal, OF, San Francisco Giants
76. Alex White, RHP, Cleveland Indians
77. Kyle Gibson, RHP, Minnesota Twins
78. Zach Britton, LHP, Baltimore Orioles
79. Jio Mier, SS, Houston Astros
80. Ethan Martin, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

81. Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels
82. Matt Dominguez, 3B, Florida Marlins
83. Ian Desmond, SS, Washington Nationals
84. Michael Saunders, OF, Seattle Mariners
85. Nick Hagadone, LHP, Cleveland Indians
86. J.P. Arencibia, C, Toronto Blue Jays
87. Logan Forsythe, 3B, San Diego Padres
88. Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Chicago Cubs
89. Trevor Reckling, LHP, Los Angeles Angels
90. Nick Barnese, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays

91. Hector Rondon, RHP, Cleveland Indians
92. Mike Leake, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
93. Jose Tabata, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
94. Danny Duffy, LHP, Kansas City Royals
95. Chris Heisey, OF, Cincinnati Reds
96. Andrew Lambo, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
97. Mat Gamel, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers
98. Jaff Decker, OF, San Diego Padres
99. Jay Jackson, RHP, Chicago Cubs
100. Trevor May, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies



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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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BD
Guest
BD
6 years 5 months ago

Has Jesus Montero even played a game at 1B? I understand people think he may n ot “stick” as a catcher, but isn’t he exclusively a catcher right now?

Kilometers Davis
Guest
Kilometers Davis
6 years 5 months ago

No, he’s never played a game at 1B. It’s a bit of a reach to pencil him in as a “slash” player.

Dwight Schrute
Guest
Dwight Schrute
6 years 5 months ago

If he’s not going to be a catcher wouldn’t you think his long term position would have to be an outfielder instead of 1st because of Tex?

B
Guest
B
6 years 5 months ago

Or DH?

Kilometers Davis
Guest
Kilometers Davis
6 years 5 months ago

Is that it? No explanation at all?

Wait, sorry. I meant WHY IS JESUS MONTERO NOT IN THE TOP FIVE GRRRR

snapper
Guest
snapper
6 years 5 months ago

This too.

How do you rate Stanton ahead of Montero?

Stanton is carrying around a career 30% K-rate in mLB. Those guys get chewed up in the bigs.

Not to mention the uninspiring 110 wRC+ in AA. Can’t see him as a top-5 talent.

tdp992
Member
tdp992
6 years 5 months ago

He’s barely 20 years old dude.. would your opinion be different if Florida was less aggressive and let him tear up advanced A ball for all of 2009?

If Montero was a safe bet to remain behind the plate in the long run like a Buster Posey kind of, it’d be different. But right now the fact is there’s a strong chance he’s gonna end up at DH, while Stanton is widely regarded as a plus defender in the outfield.

Zack
Guest
Zack
6 years 5 months ago

“He’s barely 20 years old dude.. would your opinion be different if Florida was less aggressive and let him tear up advanced A ball for all of 2009?”

What does age have to do with it? Montero was born 20 days AFTER Stanton. Yes there are question if Jesus can stay at C, Stanton also struggled at AA (yes low BABIP but 33% K rate), while Jesus did not struggle at AA.

Aaron/YYZ
Guest
Aaron/YYZ
6 years 5 months ago

Keep in mind that Stanton projects to have significantly higher defensive value than Montero (on the assumption that Montero moves off C)

snapper
Guest
snapper
6 years 5 months ago

Interesting. Tampa Bay has 4 of the top 30, 6 overall. The Yankees 3(would have had 5, but traded Jackson and Vizcaino to get Granderson and Vazquez)
Toronto has 4, Baltimore 5, and Boston 3. Tough division.

Every team represented. St. Louis is the only team with just 1.

Yeti
Guest
Yeti
6 years 5 months ago

St. Louis just having one is one of the best things about this.

Evan_S
Member
Evan_S
6 years 5 months ago

Just after a quick glance, and feel free to call me a Mets homer all you want, Mejia is way too low, behind McAllister makes no sense, he’s younger, at the same level, and has similar results with higher upside. The fact that Eric Hosmer is above Ike Davis (and Yonder Alonso) is a joke, I would really like to know the reasoning behind that. And I think Jon Niese gets looked over on almost every list when he should be in the 80s.

I know it’s hard to make a top 100, just saying what I think regarding the players I know the most about. Also, sorry of it came off a bit dickish, didn’t intend it to.

Oh, and this goes for almost every list, I do not get the Austin Jackson love at all. He looks like a fringe 100 prospect at best.

Twac00
Guest
Twac00
6 years 5 months ago

I believe Niese is past his prospect status.

Evan_S
Member
Evan_S
6 years 5 months ago

I don’t think so. He’s only been in 8 games and thrown 39.2 major league innings.

Joe D.
Guest
Joe D.
6 years 5 months ago

“Mejia is way too low, behind McAllister makes no sense, he’s younger, at the same level, and has similar results with higher upside.”

“Similar” results? Nah:

McAllister, career: 378 IP, 3.3 strikeouts per walk,
Mejia, career: 166IP, 2.4 strikeouts per walk.

McAllister (AA): 121 IP, 2.9 strikeouts per walk, 3.03 FIP.
Mejia (AA): 44 IP, 2.0 strikeouts per walk, 3.49 FIP.

I’m OK with the argument that Mejia’s youth makes him the better prospect, though I don’t necessarily agree.

But to say their results have been similar is laughable. McAllister has been better by quite a bit over a much larger sample size, whether one is looking at their careers or purely at their highest levels reached (AA).

Evan_S
Member
Evan_S
6 years 5 months ago

Apparently you and I have a different definition of similar. Those numbers are pretty close. Yes, you are correct in McAllister having a better K/BB rate. McAllister has better control, but isn’t as prolific a strikeout pitcher as Mejia. So yeah, in AA McAllister had a 2.91 K/BB to Mejia’s 2.04, but Mejia had a 9.54 K/9 to McAllister’s 7.14.

The other huge thing Mejia has over McAllister is his tendency for inducing the ground ball. In 2009, between A+ and AA, Mejia had a GB% of 59.3% (56.3% in AA, 61.7% in A+) while McAllister had one of 47.4%. A 19 year old pitcher in AA who throws in the mid 90s with a K/9 over 9 and gets as many ground balls as he does should be in the top 30. So maybe McAllister has slightly better numbers while being two years older, but he doesn’t have anywhere near the potential Mejia has.

Jon
Guest
Jon
6 years 5 months ago

I don’t want to argue with anything, just to thank you for all this hard work. It’s always nice to have more of these lists floating around out there. This is a nice addition. Good job!

John
Guest
John
6 years 5 months ago

I have a question regarding Moustakas and Vitters. They were drafted 2 and 3 in the 2007 Draft so there will always be comparisons. Neither has lived up to the hype yet and both need better plate discipline. I understand that Moustakas moved up the chain about a 1/2 year quicker than Vitters, but he’s also a full year older. Vitters hit for a better average, OBP, Slugging pct. and, of course, OBP in his full year at low A ball than Moustakas did. Vitters may have done it a year later than Moustakas, but both put up their respective numbers in the same league and in their age 19 season. What, in your opinion, put Moustakas over Vitters on your list?

John
Guest
John
6 years 5 months ago

Would also like to add that Vitters ISO was higher (.219 vs. 194) and he’s more likely to play 3b in the majors,.

Alex
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Alex
6 years 5 months ago

I can’t speak for Marc, but the fact that Moustakas walks 2.5 to 3 times more often than Vitters while striking out less the 1.5 times more probably has a lot to do with it. Guys with walk rates as low as Vitters very rarely make it at the ML level, especially when their strikeout rate isn’t all that great once their BB rate is considered.

John
Guest
John
6 years 5 months ago

Actually, in their most comparable seasonns — their age 19 seasons in the same A league, Vitters had a lower strikeout rate. I wouldn’t put a significant advantage to Moustakas walk rate when every other statistic falls short. It’s not like he’s a walk machine. Granted, Vitters walks at a Dunstonian rate but he also has better hitting tools. His hand-eye coordination and plate coverage are superior…he managed to strikeout less despite the incredibly low walk rate. I would say Vitters has a better chance of making it as a free-swinging slugger than Moustakas simply because he makes contact more easily. We’re talking about a guy who put up superior numbers across the board despite being more likely to swing at pitcher’s pitchers. If Vitters can get his walk rate up to Moustakas level (not an impossible feat since Moustakas isn’t that high), he’ll be that much better.

Alex
Guest
Alex
6 years 5 months ago

I said Moustakas struck out less than 1.5 times more than Vitters which is still more than Vitters did. Maybe I could have worded it better, but I know Vitters strikes out less. The point is that he walks far, far less than Moustakas does, so much so that his slight K rate advantage is essentially meaningless.

You also miss the point if you think striking out less with a lower walk rate is somehow impressive. If you don’t walk much it means you rarely take pitches, which means fewer called strikes, which means more swings. The less you walk, the less you should strikeout. The fact that Vitters still strikes out at a significant rate in spite of his low walk rate is a red flag. You think that Vitter’s could get his walk rate up to Moustakas level while maintaining a better strikeout rate. I’d argue that if Vitters were able to get his BB rate up to Moustakas level it would necessitate a big jump in his K rate, well beyond Moustakas current level.

Vitters is the sort of player that should get eaten up by higher level pitching. His numbers indicate terrible plate discipline and pitch recognition that he attempts to overshadow with his ability to make contact with lots of pitches. As he moves up the latter, better pitchers are just going to eat him up with better stuff outside the zone. Honestly Vitters strikes me as a poor man’s Jeff Francoeur currently. Frenchy posted a far better BB rate with a lower K rate at 19 in A ball

John
Guest
John
6 years 5 months ago

I would counter with the opposite. If you’re taking more swings, it stands to reason that you’re likely to miss more often than those who swing less. Moreover, if you’re swinging at pitches outside the strike zone, that only increases the chances the number of pitches you will miss. That Vitters doesn’t strikeout as much as Moustakas despite swinging at so many more pitches – especially those outside the strike zone – does mean he makes contact with more frequency. It reaffirms what scouts say about his superior hand-eye coordination and plate coverage.

On a related note, I have an observation with walk rates. I think it’s an advantage to have a lower contact rate if you want to walk more. To illustrate what I mean, I’ve been following Starlin Castro closely, another Cub prospect with a low walk rate. What I’ve noticed is that he does work the count, he’s not flailing away up there…but when he swings he actually hits the darn thing with startling regularity. Contrast that with someone like Adam Dunn or Jack Cust. They can take two hacks on a 3-0 count, miss them both (and they often do) and still have one more chance to get a walk. It is, in an odd sort of way, an advantage that they lack the ability to make contact when it comes to piling up walks. They don’t just get a piece of it, they don’t hit it right at someone, they don’t get a lot of hits, they miss completely and it puts the pressure on the pitcher to throw yet another strike…it’s just an observation like I said, and I don’t have the numbers to back it up, but it seems to me that an inability to make contact, combined with some patience is a pretty damn good formula to draw a walk.

Alex
Guest
Alex
6 years 5 months ago

You have a 0% chance of making contact with a ball you don’t swing at, so people who swing less are more likely to see their ABs end in either a strikeout or walk. There’s a reason there is a relatively strong positive correlation between BB rate and K rate. A guy like Vitters that swings a lot and walks very little shouldn’t be striking out nearly as much as he does. It points to a huge flaw in his game. The sort of flaw that I see keeping him from ever being more than a 2nd division regular or backup corner IF in the majors without a huge adjustment in his approach. Vitters likely needs to change everything about his offensive approach (while also learning better pitch recognition which I consider the toughest skill to add) if he even wants to be an above average starter someday.

John
Guest
John
6 years 5 months ago

I understand what you say is true in a vacuum, all things being equal. If a batter doesn’t swing at all, there is a 100% he’ll either walk or strikeout (or HBP). If he swings once, it’s slightly less likely. If he swings twice, it’s slightly less…and so on. But someone’s ability to make contact factors into that equation. It depends on who’s taking the swing(s). If you’ve got Jack Cust swinging at one pitch, you’re more likely to see the AB result in a strikeout or walk than say if Vlad Guerrero (in his prime) were swinging because Vlad has a far better chance of actually hitting that one pitch.

I’m all for walks but I think they’re a bit overrated. I think it’s more important to work counts and swing at good pitches even if it doesnt always result in a walk. If Vitters can at least do that, he’ll be a very good player, and the walks will come later if he becomes a threat at the plate. Moreover, I haven’t read anything from scouts with concerns about Vitters pitch recognition. That’s an assumption you make because of his low walk rate. Rather the consensus is that he knows he can make contact with pitches outside the strike zone, even if he shouldn’t because it affects the quality of contact he makes.

I think when it comes to stats, they should consider a “missed opportunity” factor when it comes to walks. To walk more you have to take more strikes (lest you make contact and put the ball in play). There must be a way to measure how many of those swings would have resulted in singles, or more importantly for run scoring purposes– doubles, triples and home runs…even singles, sacrifice flies or ground ball RBIs can be more important than walks depending on the situation. I am certain “out avoidance” will still outweigh this factor, and walks should remain valuable, but I really do think their value is overstated. I’d be curious to see how much that value would be impacted. It’s the behavior, the discipline at the plate, that is more important to me than the walk itself…if this discipline results in a walk, so be it…but if it results in a batter swinging at – and hitting — good strikes, then that’s good too.

rotofan
Guest
rotofan
6 years 5 months ago

I can’t believe you ranked Alex White over Kyle Gibson! I’m shocked! Stunned! Don’t you know three leading prospect experts picked Gibson over White?

Confession: I don’t know jack about White or Gibson (though I have had my eye for over a year on another Indian pitching prospect, Hector Rondon). I just left the reply because it still surprises me how upset some get with prospect rankings, especially the ranking of pitchers, whose correlation between ranking and major league success isn’t all that high.

Steve Balboni
Guest
Steve Balboni
6 years 5 months ago

You beat me to it. Except I was going to rip them and demand my money back because Fangraphs flipped Logan Forsythe and Hak-Ju Lee.

joser
Guest
joser
6 years 5 months ago

Or Jay Jackson over Trevor May. What were they thinking!? I can’t believe the obvious bias, hate, and stupidity embodied by this list!

Edwincnelson
Member
Edwincnelson
6 years 5 months ago

Great work!

Matt
Guest
Matt
6 years 5 months ago

Just finally saw Heyward in a spring training game. Wow. Kid is no joke. The only real question is why the Braves made it a point to get an outfielder like Melky Cabrera in the Vazquez trade when they have such a stud waiting in the wings. I’m not complaining, I’m a Yankee fan, but Melky won’t see a lot of field this year.

Alex
Guest
Alex
6 years 5 months ago

The Braves needed a guy that can platoon in corners and log some time in CF if need be. Melky fit the bill for that opening. Still, I doubt he was truly a sticking point in negotiations. More than anything he was a piece that could help in the short term while the prize of the trade, #57 overall prospect Arodys Vizcaino, hopefully continues to develop into a potential TOR starter in the minors.

Matt
Guest
Matt
6 years 5 months ago

I guess you’re right, plus the salary that the yanks ate for them. I can’t wait to see heyward banging walls this year, should be sweet.

Alex
Guest
Alex
6 years 5 months ago

No kidding. As the trade goes I think it was truly a good trade for both teams. The Yanks get better this year, the Braves get some financial flexibility, feel a hole on the ML roster, and add a huge upside young arm. Works for both sides.

SchmidtXC
Guest
SchmidtXC
6 years 5 months ago

I still don’t like the deal for the Braves. They had a guy just like Melky that they DFA’d in Church, and Vazquez was an easy type A guy that would definitely get a good enough offer on the market to turn down arb. I really think that two first round picks could have produced more value than Dunn and Viscaino (or at least similar value), and may very well have produced guys that get to the majors just as fast. If they needed money that badly, just keep your #20 pick and pass on Billy Wagner, as he’ll not be anywhere close to the value of Vazquez.

mike
Guest
mike
6 years 5 months ago

What is the point of another list? Seriously, enough already.

neuter_your_dogma
Guest
neuter_your_dogma
6 years 5 months ago

I was wondering what you relied on to create this list. First hand observations? MLB projections using minor league stats? Ancedotal evidence, and if so, what kind? Combinations?

Thanks!

Seels
Guest
Seels
6 years 5 months ago

I asked it in the other thread, so I’ll ask it again: Why the love for Tim Beckham? At 27, that is easily the highest I’ve seen him ranked in anything. Why? What has he done since being drafted to justify that?

JayCee
Guest
JayCee
6 years 5 months ago

Beckham over Wade Davis? Just wow. I’m sure Andy Friedman has a tough call on which of those 2 to keep on the big club this year.

Or next year.

Or the year after.

Or the year after that.

R U For real
Guest
6 years 5 months ago

List seems to be fair and accurate unlike Gammons wannabee Keith Law who had 7 Boston prospects in his top 100.

B
Guest
B
6 years 5 months ago

Ha, it’s not like the Red Sox have a good track record in developing quality players through their farm or anything. Trust me, I dislike the overexposure of the Red Sox, too, but they really might legitimately have that much talent in their farm system. Can’t knock Law for ranking them like that until there’s actual proof they were ranked too high….

AndrewYF
Guest
AndrewYF
6 years 5 months ago

The Yankees had a good track record of developing prospects in the mid-90s. That’s why their farm system was consistently ranked in the top 10 in the early part of the decade – when the reality was that they weren’t really all that stocked with minor league talent.

Similarly, the Red Sox were pretty bad at producing minor league talent late in the 90s, so that’s why their system was ranked near the bottom of the league early in the decade – even when they had Lester, Hanley and Youkilis all in their system.

It’s a sad fact that prospecting is very much based on prior results. It’s why no one should take farm system rankings all that seriously.

Zack
Guest
Zack
6 years 5 months ago

“it’s not like the Red Sox have a good track record in developing quality players through their farm or anything”

That should have 0 to do with the list. Being on the Red Sox doesnt mean they are a lock for anything; the list should be based on the prospect and his projections.

B
Guest
B
6 years 5 months ago

Oh, I agree with both your points, I just don’t necessarily see it as a problem or a Red Sox bias to have them ranked highly. I was just pointing out there track record to show that in the past they’ve been deserving of those kinds of prospect rankings, so it just might be that they’re deserving of it now, too.

RodeoJones
Guest
RodeoJones
6 years 5 months ago

I love that conviction with which some argue over these rankings. If anyone knew exactly which prospects were the best they’d be working for a big league club and not posting on fangraphs.

joser
Guest
joser
6 years 5 months ago

Even the folks working for the big league clubs don’t know. Plenty of “can’t miss” prospects have done exactly that; some stars come out of nowhere. Predictions are subject to error, especially when they’re about the future.

Doesn’t stop pretensions of certainty when pontificating on the internet, however.

Condor
Guest
Condor
6 years 5 months ago

Yes, because it’s easy to get a job with major league baseball team. Just ask the writers here at FanGraphs.

Omar
Guest
Omar
6 years 5 months ago

How is that Domonic Brown gets ranked that high and Fernando Martinez gets ranked that low when you take into consideration that.

1. Martinez at age 20 posted an OPS of .877 showing tremendous power at AAA and Brown posted and OPS of .802 at AA while being a year older at age 21?

I know the hate on Martinez for his injured checkered history is a reason why people like to knock him, but production on the field should not be overlooked and while Brown is a bit more gifted or polished, their difference in rankings should not be 37 spots apart. Martinez should be a top 20 guy period.

Evan_S
Member
Evan_S
6 years 5 months ago

I think on talent, yes but his injury history, in my opinion makes him somewhere between 20 and 30. Still damned good.

Omar
Guest
Omar
6 years 5 months ago

…and as for Mejia how is a guy like Cashner ahead of him, let alone ranked 40 spots in front of him?

Cashner who was 2 years older posted similar numbers to Mejia at High A and while Cashner had a better ERA than Mejia at AA, Mejia posted a much better k rate of 9.5/9 while Casner posted a lackluster 6.3/9 k-rate.

Mejia also had an insane 2.95 go-ao ratio at AA while Cashner had an average go-ao ratio of 1.25. Is this ranking just being based on the fact that Cashner is 6’6” and Mejia 6’0”?

Seriously some of the disrespect the Mets kids get is borderline ridiculous.

H.W. Plainview
Guest
H.W. Plainview
6 years 5 months ago

No reason to make a huge fuss over these lists.

Delmon Young, Brandon Wood, Stephen Drew, Lastings Milledge, Andy Marte, Humberto Sanchez, Brad Lincoln, etc. were all on these lists at some point, some higher than others.

JayCee
Guest
JayCee
6 years 5 months ago

The first 5 on your list were each top-10 prospects at one point in time, let alone top-100. Well played!

Ivdown
Guest
Ivdown
6 years 5 months ago

Brandon Wood is pretty studly. I saw him in batting practice on Sunday, and the dude was mashing them out of the park a good 420-440 feet for each shot, while only Juan Rivera could hit anything close. I would LOVE to have BW on the Dodgers to take over at 3B, SS, or 2B (Don’t think he plays 2B, but he could learn I’m sure).

matt w
Guest
matt w
6 years 5 months ago

Brad Lincoln’s actually still on this list. Seems pretty aggressive to me, but I hope it turns out to be right.

longgandhi
Member
longgandhi
6 years 5 months ago

Ruben Rivera, Todd Van Poppel, Roger Salkeld, Jefferey Hammonds, Brian Hunter, Allen Watson, Ben Davis, Matt White, Sean Burroughs, Drew Henson, Wilson Betimit, Jesse Foppert, Greg Miller… all at one time or another regarded as top 10 overall prospects. It’s still a long way from a list to playing regularly in the bigs. There’s no reason to make a fuss over the rankings.

Tigs
Guest
Tigs
6 years 5 months ago

No Al Avila? Seems like a pretty decent hitter for a catcher with average defensive skills, plus a left handed bat.

Boom Boom
Guest
Boom Boom
6 years 5 months ago

Everyone bitching: make a list of the top 50 MLB players for the next 5 years.
Compare.

If you can’t even agree on the top 50 MLB players, which you won’t, how do you expect prospect lists to be exactly the way you want them to be?

Chill the F out.

Fangraphs, maybe do things differently and rank them in tiers so we don’t have to listen to the bitching and moaning about why Jesus Montero is ONLY the 8th best prospect in the game.

Tier 1: Strasburg, Heyward
Tier 2: #3-8
etc

Eric M. Van
Guest
Eric M. Van
6 years 5 months ago

OK, there’s only one incontrovertible blunder on this list, and that’s doing separate top 50 lists for each league and then combining them to get a Top 100.

Not only are you entitled to your opinion that Danny Duffy is the #94 prospect in MLB, that opinion is to be valued. But there’s no law that dictates that each league be as strong as the other and no way that the next 6 best prospects in MLB are all from the NL (well, the odds against it are 1 in 95). So we are left wondering which of Aaron Crow, Grant Green, Jared Mitchell, Jason Knapp, Alex Colome, Josh Reddick, Travis D’Arnaud, Adam Moore, Lars Anderson, Miguel Sano, Peter Bourjois, Noel Arguelles, Ben Revere, Michael Ynoa, Carlos Triunfel, Michael Brantley, Ryan Kalish, Jose Iglesias, etc., actually belong in your top 100 instead of Decker, Jay Jackson, and May.

John
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John
6 years 5 months ago

What makes you so sure the AL has better prospects? The BA list had it pretty even 51-49. They also had Jay Jackson and Jaff Decker in their top 100. In fact, both have been in several top 100s that I’ve seen.

And really…who cares? It’s just one person’s list. It’s not like Moses came down with 20 stone tablets. The main point is that it generates discussion. You could definitely make an argument for other players both AL and NL…but really, when and if anyone looks back 5 years from now, every list is going to have it’s share of shoulda’s and should notta’s, no matter how it’s comprised.

Jim
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Jim
6 years 5 months ago

Ha! I can see it now:

{Moses walks down from Mount Sinai carrying two tablets, 1 with MLB’s #1-50 prospects and the other with #51-100 prospects for the upcoming season}

Moses: Behold, thus speaketh our Lord, and here are his Top 100 prospects for the upcoming season
Onlooker #1: What! Jaff Dacker at #98?
Onlooker #2: Hey, what about Miguel Sano?
Onlooker #3: No way is Montero sticking at catcher! These tablets are bogus, Moses!
Moses sits downs and sighs, looking up at the clouds
Moses: You should just given us something like rules to live by…like commandments or something. These lists are too subjective.

Eric M. Van
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Eric M. Van
6 years 5 months ago

You’re missing the point. MARC, not me, and not BA, thinks that the AL has 50 of the top 94 prospects. Given that, we can be almost 99% certain that the NL does not have the NEXT 6 prospects even though Marc says they do. It’s quite demonstrable that his prospects 95-100 are limited to the NL because he arbitrarily said each league should have 50, and that if he hadn’t, at least 1 (and probably 3) more AL prospects would have made the list.

And I care because I value his opinion, which we’re not actually getting here. I’d like to know who those 3 guys are, that’s all.

matt w
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matt w
6 years 5 months ago

Well, supposing that which league the nth best prospect is from is independent from which league the n – 1 previous prospects are from,* we’re looking at 100 straight coin flips. If you flip a coin 100 times, I believe you’d expect at least one streak of six (the odds of a streak of exactly six starting with a given flip are 1/64) and at least one streak of five (the odds of a streak of exactly five starting with a given flip are 1/32). The longest streak before 94-100 is five, 56-60 all from the NL. So it’s not so ridiculous to think that there’d be another streak of six.

Though honestly, I think it’s more likely that Marc had a little bit of bias in favor of alternating leagues at the beginning and then filled out the list with the remaining NL prospects. But this kind of list is so imprecise, there really isn’t much percentage in thinking about whether someone got jobbed out of spot #99 (or whether Wilson Ramos would’ve been at #42 instead of #43 if Marc hadn’t felt a subconscious urge to go back to the NL after four straight AL picks).

*Which is not perfectly true — but I’m honestly not sure about which way the correlation should go. On the one hand, if a good prospect is more likely to be a #1 draft pick, when you put someone’s #1 pick on the list, that leaves fewer #1s from that league to fill out the rest of the list. On the other hand, if a team’s scouting is good enough to find one top prospect, it’s good enough to find another. I bet the odds are near enough to make no difference.

rickieweeks
Member
rickieweeks
6 years 5 months ago

Agree. Great list and work, but it would be improved by not restricting yourself to 50 from each league on the overall top-100. I’m a Brewers fan, and I don’t understand how Gamel made the list.

B
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B
6 years 5 months ago

I get what you’re saying, and while you do have a point, you could also think of it another way – we probably don’t know which league actually has the better prospects, and trying to figure out the difference between 94-100 and 101-106 is…..well, it’s just a wild guess basically, so just deciding to go with 50 from each league might seem arbitrary but probably isn’t any more inaccurate than any other method.

The Generic Commenter
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The Generic Commenter
6 years 5 months ago

What the HELL?!

Why is Player X ranked ahead of Player Y? Player Y is obviously at least the equal of Player X. I’m assuming you even didn’t consider that Player Y matched Player X in Rate Stat Z while playing at a more pitcher/hitter friendly environment?
And further had Small Number more Counting Stat Q in nearly as many ABs/IPs?

This is just further evidence that Author has an extreme West Coast / East Coast bias and this whole list is therefore crap.

Matt
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Matt
6 years 5 months ago

This list is a complete epic fail. Cashner who’s potential is to be a serviceable SP is a joke in itself but top 25? And no Donovan Tate who has about the same potential of Jason Heyward? The writer clearly doesn’t know prospects but doesn’t want it to look like he ripped off other sources so he added average players to make it appear different.

I love when people put guys who’s potential is no better than an average player on these lists because they are either a “favorite” of the guy who made the list or to try and make it look “different” than the rest.

These lists are supposed to be a combination of potential and chance of reaching that potential. Not to be based on favorites, and not to be full of average players nor go by what the majority of sites use. If your good at grading prospects your list will be full of proven future studs and potential future studs others don’t know about yet. Not a combo of future studs and average prospects no one would list because they don’t belong.

Cashner might end up reaching his potential but that doesn’t say much because there isn’t much potential to be reached.

Donovan Tate has the potential of Heyward except he needs to increase his OPS potential and his polish. He’s got the exact same power potential but also has better speed potential and fielding potential.

And I hate grammar geeks who make everything grammatically correct. No one calls Gordon his full first name. He goes by Dee Gordon. Try and use the name people recognize him by over the name a select few know him by. It took me a second glance to catch on to the fact that it was Dee Gordon you were mentioning.

R y a n
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R y a n
6 years 5 months ago

Tate with the same potential as Heyward? What we are seeing with Heyward could be a once a decade talent. A lot of these lists is opinion – everyone has their different thoughts on prospects because everyone looks at them differently. There are a few exceptions however (ex. Heyward, where everyone seems to agree he’ll be a stud).

You calling this list an “epic fail” is just being a jack***. Go ahead and put out a Top 100 list yourself, and I bet a boatload of people disagree with yours as well.

And I love your last tantrum that he called Dee Gordon by Devaris instead. At least we can chalk up your post to your day just being really bad, and you taking it out on somebody else.

Joe D.
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Joe D.
6 years 5 months ago

“And no Donovan Tate who has about the same potential of Jason Heyward?”

In the sense that my 5-year-old brother has about the same “potential” as Jason Heyward, perhaps.

“I love when people put guys who’s potential is no better than an average player on these lists because they are either a “favorite” of the guy who made the list or to try and make it look “different” than the rest.”

No, they do that because pure “potential” is not the only thing we should be looking at. Floor, and likelihood of reaching that potential should be important considerations as well. Then again, maybe you’re one of the guys think it’s really nifty that Baseball America whiffed horribly on guys like Ian Kinsler & Dustin Pedroia.

“Cashner might end up reaching his potential but that doesn’t say much because there isn’t much potential to be reached.”

Got it. You have no interest in guys who might make solid #2 or good #3 starters. You want the entire list to be all-time great or bust guys. I have much interest in seeing your top 100 prospects list. Is Andrew Brackman going to take up 70 or 80 slots by himself?

“It took me a second glance to catch on to the fact that it was Dee Gordon you were mentioning.”

Wow. For a guy who shoots his mouth off like he knows everything there is to know about prospects…You had that much trouble figuring out which Dodger shortstop prospect D. Gordon he was talking about?

Jason F
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Jason F
6 years 5 months ago

For a site with as many well-informed commenters as fangraphs, this one really threw me for a loop.

My favorite tidbits:

“Donovan Tate has the potential of Heyward except he needs to increase his OPS potential”

“If your good at grading prospects your list will be full of proven future studs and potential future studs others don’t know about yet.”

Do you think these future studs are hiding out in secret leagues that no one knows about?

“And I hate grammar geeks who make everything grammatically correct.”

I’ve heard of people being vehemently opposed to bad grammar, but never having hatred for those with good grammar.

Nelbowski
Member
Nelbowski
6 years 5 months ago

I can’t wait to pull this post out in 10 years and show Marc his rankings were not entirely accurate! He’s going to be so embarrassed!

Trev
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Trev
6 years 5 months ago

If I might be super-critical, I’m not sure what the point of having a Top 50 NL, Top 50 AL, AND Top 100 overall list is. The only thing a Top 100 can tell you that Top 50s cannot is something like “the AL has more top shelf talent than the NL because all 50 of the Top 50 AL prospects made the list (plus Nos. 51-53) while only the top 47 NL prospects made the list.” (This might not even be true, perhaps your Top 100 overall is restricted only to ranking the 100 players on both AL & NL lists).

Of course a cynic might say that prospect lists get tons of page views (and comments) so that just might pay for themselves…

OK, I don’t mean to be so snarky, but all having three Top whatever prospect lists did was have three comment threads instead of one.

Ed Lyle
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Ed Lyle
6 years 5 months ago

Overlooked from this top-100 list: Drew Storen, the Nationals’ young closer. He went up three levels in his first year in the minors last year, winding up at AA.

Brett
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Brett
6 years 5 months ago

Only a Yankees fan would complain about Jesus Montero being #8. A fan of any other team would be thrilled with that ranking, but you guys think the “Yankee” aura is supposed to somehow boost him ahead of Mike Stanton. Montero projects as a DH, why would he be higher? Also, I don’t understand why people gotta trash every list, at least he made a list?

Zack
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Zack
6 years 5 months ago

““Yankee” aura is supposed to somehow boost him ahead of Mike Stanton”

No, Yankee fans think Mike Stanton’s 30% K rate should drop him lower. There might be concerns if Jesus can be a C, or 1B or DH; but striking out 30% of the time is a bigger concern in some people’s opinion.

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