KATOH’s 2017 Top-100 Prospects

It’s that time of the year again. Baseball America recently published their top-100-prospects list, as have Baseball Prospectus, Keith Law and MLB Pipeline. Eric Longenhagen will be putting out his top-100 this spring, too. Below, you’ll find my KATOH projection system’s take on baseball’s most promising rookie-eligible players.

As usual, hitters far outnumber pitchers on these lists, by about three to one. The reason for this, I think, is two-fold. Primarily, it’s just that even the best pitching prospects are risky. They get hurt; they lose velocity; they move to bullpen — all with little notice. Even the pitchers who do pan out are less likely to sustain their success over several years than their hitting counterparts. Secondly, KATOH does not directly account for pitchers’ velocity (or any other measure of “stuff”). If I were able to include a measure of fastball velocity, for example, I imagine most of the top pitching prospects would project more favorably. There isn’t an obvious scouting analogue for hitters that is glaringly omitted by the numbers.

The first top-100 list ranks prospects by KATOH+, which takes into account players’ performance, age, height and ranking on traditional prospect lists. This is the more “accurate” version of KATOH. As it did previously, this incorporates a player’s rank on Baseball America’s top-100 list. However, this version also folds in Eric Longenhagen’s FV ranking for the players who weren’t ranked by Baseball America, ensuring borderline top-100 guys aren’t dinged as hard as non-prospects.

The second list is the old, “stats only” version of KATOH, that doesn’t account for any sort of scouting. This is an obvious flaw, as there’s a reason people in the industry always say “don’t scout the stat line.” But by considering the stats exclusively, this version is 100% objective. And since it doesn’t downgrade prospects who lack scouting pedigree, it’s good for identifying statistical standouts who have gone unnoticed.

All players with at least 200 plate appearance or batters faced in the minors last year qualify. Enjoy!

(Note: Mark Karaviotis originally appeared due to a coding error. KATOH thinks he’s interesting — 2.2 WAR on both versions — but he’s not a top-100 guy.)

KATOH+ Top-100 Prospects
Rank Name Team Pos WAR thru First 6 Seasons
1 Andrew Benintendi Red Sox OF 19.2
2 Vladimir Guerrero Blue Jays 3B 18.9
3 Dansby Swanson Braves SS 16.3
4 Austin Meadows Pirates CF 15.4
5 J.P. Crawford Phillies SS 14.6
6 Manuel Margot Padres CF 14.6
7 Yoan Moncada White Sox 2B/3B 13.8
8 Ozzie Albies Braves 2B 13.4
9 Cody Bellinger Dodgers 1B/OF 12.7
10 Kyle Tucker Astros OF 11.6
11 Nick Senzel Reds 3B 11.0
12 Victor Robles Nationals CF 10.7
13 Gleyber Torres Yankees SS 10.5
14 Willy Adames Rays SS 10.4
15 Amed Rosario Mets SS 10.2
16 Jake Bauers Rays 1B/OF 9.9
17 Alex Reyes Cardinals RHP 9.9
18 Eloy Jimenez Cubs LF 9.4
19 Rafael Devers Red Sox 3B 9.3
20 Franklin Barreto Athletics SS 9.3
21 Thomas Szapucki Mets LHP 9.0
22 Mickey Moniak Phillies CF 8.9
23 Tyler O’Neill Mariners OF 8.8
24 Bradley Zimmer Indians CF 8.6
25 Josh Bell Pirates 1B 8.4
26 Dylan Cozens Phillies RF 8.2
27 Alex Verdugo Dodgers CF 8.1
28 Jose De Leon Rays RHP 8.0
29 Triston Mckenzie Indians RHP 8.0
30 Tyler Glasnow Pirates RHP 7.9
31 Lewis Brinson Brewers CF 7.9
32 Michael Kopech White Sox RHP 7.9
33 Raimel Tapia Rockies OF 7.5
34 Josh Hader Brewers LHP 7.4
35 Garrett Stubbs Astros C 7.3
36 Jesse Winker Reds RF 7.2
37 Francis Martes Astros RHP 7.2
38 Lucas Giolito White Sox RHP 7.0
39 Matt Chapman Athletics 3B 6.7
40 A.J. Reed Astros 1B 6.7
41 Franklin Perez Astros RHP 6.6
42 Luke Weaver Cardinals RHP 6.5
43 Kevin Newman Pirates SS 6.5
44 Brandon Nimmo Mets CF 6.5
45 Clint Frazier Yankees RF 6.5
46 Dan Vogelbach Mariners 1B 6.2
47 German Marquez Rockies RHP 6.2
48 Ramon Laureano Astros CF 6.2
49 Tyler Beede Giants RHP 6.0
50 Isaac Paredes Cubs SS 5.8
51 Casey Gillaspie Rays 1B 5.8
52 Aaron Judge Yankees RF 5.8
53 Brent Honeywell Rays RHP 5.7
54 Mike Soroka Braves RHP 5.6
55 Zack Granite Twins CF 5.6
56 David Paulino Astros RHP 5.6
57 Willie Calhoun Dodgers 2B 5.5
58 Luis Arraez Twins 2B 5.5
59 Reynaldo Lopez White Sox RHP 5.5
60 Kolby Allard Braves LHP 5.4
61 Francisco Mejia Indians C 5.4
62 Luis Urias Padres 2B 5.4
63 Derek Fisher Astros CF 5.3
64 Chance Sisco Orioles C 5.3
65 Andrew Toles Dodgers OF 5.2
66 Gavin Cecchini Mets SS 5.2
67 Mitch Keller Pirates RHP 5.2
68 John Schuknecht Angels OF 5.1
69 Dustin Fowler Yankees CF 5.1
70 Alec Hansen White Sox RHP 5.0
71 Albert Almora Cubs CF 5.0
72 Jonathan Holder Yankees RHP 4.9
73 Jack Flaherty Cardinals RHP 4.8
74 Jeff Hoffman Rockies RHP 4.8
75 Keibert Ruiz Dodgers C 4.7
76 Jeimer Candelario Cubs 3B 4.7
77 Anderson Espinoza Padres RHP 4.6
78 Dominic Smith Mets 1B 4.6
79 Rowdy Tellez Blue Jays 1B 4.6
80 Ben Gamel Mariners OF 4.4
81 Ian Happ Cubs 2B 4.4
82 Mark Zagunis Cubs LF 4.4
83 Mitch Haniger Mariners OF 4.3
84 Max Moroff Pirates IF 4.3
85 Teoscar Hernandez Astros RF 4.2
86 Bruce Maxwell Athletics C 4.2
87 Leody Taveras Rangers OF 4.2
88 Charlie Tilson White Sox OF 4.2
89 Hunter Dozier Royals 3B 4.2
90 Daniel Robertson Rays SS 4.2
91 Stephen Gonsalves Twins LHP 4.2
92 Yadier Alvarez Dodgers RHP 4.2
93 Jose Antequera Phillies 2B 4.1
94 Austin Barnes Dodgers C 4.1
95 Boog Powell Mariners OF 4.1
96 Yohander Mendez Rangers LHP 4.0
97 Adalberto Mejia Twins LHP 4.0
98 Reese Mcguire Blue Jays C 4.0
99 Brock Stewart Dodgers RHP 4.0
100 Edwin Rios Dodgers 1B/3B 3.9

And here’s the “stats only” version.

KATOH Top-100 Prospects
Rank Name Team Pos WAR thru First 6 Seasons
1 Dylan Cozens Phillies RF 13.8
2 Manuel Margot Padres CF 13.5
3 Vladimir Guerrero Blue Jays 3B 12.5
4 Austin Meadows Pirates CF 12.4
5 Jake Bauers Rays 1B/OF 11.5
6 J.P. Crawford Phillies SS 11.4
7 Andrew Benintendi Red Sox OF 11.4
8 Ozzie Albies Braves 2B 11.1
9 Cody Bellinger Dodgers 1B/OF 10.5
10 Garrett Stubbs Astros C 10.0
11 Kyle Tucker Astros OF 9.6
12 Luis Arraez Twins 2B 9.4
13 Tyler O’Neill Mariners OF 9.4
14 Thomas Szapucki Mets LHP 9.4
15 Matt Chapman Athletics 3B 8.6
16 Alex Verdugo Dodgers CF 8.5
17 Dansby Swanson Braves SS 8.3
18 Franklin Barreto Athletics SS 8.1
19 Bradley Zimmer Indians CF 8.0
20 Victor Robles Nationals CF 7.4
21 Brandon Nimmo Mets CF 7.4
22 Derek Fisher Astros CF 7.3
23 Zack Granite Twins CF 7.2
24 Jesse Winker Reds RF 7.2
25 Dan Vogelbach Mariners 1B 7.0
26 Edwin Rios Dodgers 1B/3B 7.0
27 Raimel Tapia Rockies OF 7.0
28 Michael Kopech White Sox RHP 6.8
29 Gavin Cecchini Mets SS 6.7
30 Ramon Laureano Astros CF 6.7
31 Willy Adames Rays SS 6.7
32 Josh Bell Pirates 1B 6.6
33 Triston Mckenzie Indians RHP 6.6
34 Josh Hader Brewers LHP 6.5
35 Gleyber Torres Yankees SS 6.5
36 Yoan Moncada White Sox 2B/3B 6.5
37 Jose De Leon Rays RHP 6.5
38 Max Moroff Pirates IF 6.4
39 Amed Rosario Mets SS 6.3
40 Tyler Glasnow Pirates RHP 6.3
41 Ben Gamel Mariners OF 6.3
42 Andrew Toles Dodgers OF 6.2
43 Isaac Paredes Cubs SS 6.2
44 Alex Reyes Cardinals RHP 6.2
45 Dustin Fowler Yankees CF 6.0
46 Rafael Devers Red Sox 3B 6.0
47 Rowdy Tellez Blue Jays 1B 5.9
48 Luis Urias Padres 2B 5.9
49 Lewis Brinson Brewers CF 5.8
50 Willie Calhoun Dodgers 2B 5.8
51 Casey Gillaspie Rays 1B 5.7
52 Austin Slater Giants OF 5.7
53 Aaron Judge Yankees RF 5.7
54 Rhys Hoskins Phillies 1B 5.7
55 Charlie Tilson White Sox OF 5.7
56 Jonathan Holder Yankees RHP 5.7
57 Luke Weaver Cardinals RHP 5.7
58 Eloy Jimenez Cubs LF 5.6
59 Tyler Beede Giants RHP 5.6
60 Boog Powell Mariners OF 5.6
61 Clint Frazier Yankees RF 5.5
62 A.J. Reed Astros 1B 5.5
63 Alec Hansen White Sox RHP 5.4
64 Harrison Bader Cardinals OF 5.4
65 Reese Mcguire Blue Jays C 5.4
66 Samir Duenez Royals 1B 5.3
67 David Paulino Astros RHP 5.3
68 Rio Ruiz Braves 3B 5.3
69 Albert Almora Cubs CF 5.3
70 German Marquez Rockies RHP 5.3
71 Jack Flaherty Cardinals RHP 5.2
72 Kevin Newman Pirates SS 5.1
73 Matt Olson Athletics 1B 5.1
74 Mark Zagunis Cubs LF 5.0
75 Teoscar Hernandez Astros RF 5.0
76 Stephen Gonsalves Twins LHP 5.0
77 Jeimer Candelario Cubs 3B 5.0
78 Mauricio Dubon Brewers SS 5.0
79 Chance Sisco Orioles C 4.9
80 Alen Hanson Pirates 2B 4.9
81 Mitch Haniger Mariners OF 4.9
82 Lucas Giolito White Sox RHP 4.8
83 Nick Senzel Reds 3B 4.8
84 Daniel Robertson Rays SS 4.7
85 Yohander Mendez Rangers LHP 4.7
86 John Schuknecht Angels OF 4.7
87 Hunter Dozier Royals 3B 4.6
88 Michael De Leon Rangers SS 4.5
89 Francis Martes Astros RHP 4.5
90 Dominic Smith Mets 1B 4.5
91 Yusniel Diaz Dodgers OF 4.5
92 Nick Delmonico White Sox 1B/3B 4.4
93 Adalberto Mejia Twins LHP 4.4
94 Bruce Maxwell Athletics C 4.4
95 Matthew Gage Giants LHP 4.4
96 Austin Barnes Dodgers C 4.4
97 Andrew Stevenson Nationals OF 4.4
98 Keibert Ruiz Dodgers C 4.4
99 Brock Stewart Dodgers RHP 4.3
100 Andrew Aplin Astros OF 4.3

We hoped you liked reading KATOH’s 2017 Top-100 Prospects by Chris Mitchell!

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Chris works in economic development by day, but spends most of his nights thinking about baseball. He writes for Pinstripe Pundits, FanGraphs and The Hardball Times. He's also on the twitter machine: @_chris_mitchell None of the views expressed in his articles reflect those of his daytime employer.

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Jimbo
Member
Jimbo

Wow that’s a hell of a projection for the 17 year old Vlad Jr (btw, the name currently links to his dad).

Damaso
Member
Damaso

fyi last time a super young jay popped up at the top of this list was Osuna, though in a much tinier sample. katoh still saw him coming.