January 2013

Beyond the Top 100

After any Top 100 prospects list comes out, there’s going to be outrage, disbelief, dismay (there’s also some triumph, jubilation, celebration, but that doesn’t fit into the subject of today’s post). The list gets pored over and complaints about snubs come pouring in. You thought people were upset that Ben Affleck didn’t get a Best Director nod for “Argo”? You should talk to Astros fans about Delino DeShields Jr. Sheesh.

So, I thought it a good idea to throw out a Nos. 101-110 list. Yes, this could open a pandora’s box if guys aren’t on that list who you think should’ve been on the Top 100 to begin with. But I can deal with that. I’m happy to keep the conversation going. And keep in mind, the team Top 20s start rolling out on Monday, so there’ll be more fuel for the fire soon enough. Keep in mind, this next 10 isn’t a guaranteed list of who’ll be the first to move in when guys graduate as 2013 gets started, but clearly some names will come from this list onto the top 100 during the season. No time for expanding on this list, so here it is:

101. Dan Straily, RHP, A’s

102. Delino DeShields Jr., 2B, Astros

103. Luis Heredia, RHP, Pirates

104. Daniel Corcino, RHP, Reds

105. Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs

106. Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins

107. Michael Choice, OF, A’s

108. Tyler Thornburg, RHP, Brewers

109. Corey Seager, 3B/SS, Dodgers

110. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Cubs

Team representation on the position lists

As we all gear up for the release of the Top 100 list and the big Top 50 show on MLB Network and MLB.com (9 p.m. ET), a little fodder for you.

We’ve now posted all of the Top 10 by position lists. That’s 80 total players. Obviously, many of them will be on the Top 100 and I can tell you now that all are on a team’s Top 20 (coming the week of Feb. 4). That shouldn’t come as a shock.

But which organizations had the best representation on these lists? Using a weighted “prospect points” system — 10 points for a No. 1 spot, 9 points for No. 2, etc. — here’s what the standings look like. What does it mean? I’m not exactly sure, but it’s interesting to see who has the most reps on these lists.

Team Pts. #
SEA 38 5
SD 32 4
STL 30 4
TEX 29 5
MIA 25 5
ARI 24 5
MIN 21 3
HOU 20 3
NYM 20 4
BAL 18 2
PIT 18 4
PHI 16 3
CIN 15 3
BOS 14 4
CLE 13 2
LAA 13 2
CHC 13 3
TB 11 2
MIL 9 2
OAK 9 2
WAS 9 2
NYY 9 2
CWS 8 2
COL 8 2
KC 5 2
DET 5 1
ATL 4 1
LAD 4 1
SF 0 0
TOR 0 0

Who’s next: The outfielders

The final positional list went up on Monday, and it was a doozy. The Top 10 outfielders is jam-packed with talent and the second 10 is probably better than the top 10 at some other positions. As always, you can read the story or go right to the list.

Nos. 11-15 in the outfield department is a very strong list, perhaps with only the RHP 11-15 list coming close to competing. Here it is:

Jorge Soler, Cubs
Brian Goodwin, Nationals
Rymer Liriano, Padres
George Springer, Astros
David Dahl, Rockies

I think the names speak for themselves. The next set of names shows you just how talent-laded the position is. Without giving it all away (you have to check out the Top 100 list tomorrow and all the team lists, after all!), names like Gregory Polanco, Courtney Hawkins and Jake Marisnick are not too far behind.

Looking forward to seeing/hearing/reading everyone’s reaction to the Top 100 tomorrow. Be sure to tune in to MLB Network or MLB.com at 9 p.m. ET. And we’ll be live tweeting during the show, using #mlbpipeline. We’ve got some great prospects lined up to participate: Taijuan Walker, Archie Bradley, Tyler Skaggs, Mike Zunino, Billy Hamilton, Mike Olt and Zack Wheeler (listed in no particular order). So be sure to join us there and interact with some of the game’s top prospects. And if you’re not doing so already, follow @MLBPipeline for all of your prospect info!

At some point tomorrow, I’ll be back with a scorecard of sorts of how all 30 teams fared in regards to placement on the Top 10 by position lists. Does it lead to any conlcusions? Not necessarily, but I always like to add more fodder for debate.

Who’s Next: The first basemen

Hey all –

Have to be quick today as we’ve got the big Top 100 reveal tomorrow (MLB Network and MLB.com at 9 p.m. ET!!). Besides, coming up with 5 more first basemen isn’t exactly. But here’s a list of names. I’ll be back later today with the much easier to come up with outfielders.

Nate Freiman, Astros

Ricky Oropesa, Giants

Christian Walker, Orioles

Neftali Soto, Reds

Jesus Aguilar, Indians

 

If you have suggstions for other first basemen to consider, by all means, let me know.

 

Who’s Next: The second basemen

The list of top 10 guys at second hasn’t been too deep in the past, but I have to say, this year’s version isn’t too bad. Read the story or just check out the list.

There are even some worthwhile prospects to put on the 11-15 list. Check it out.

Stefen Romero, Mariners — He’s hit .318/.368/.534 in his Minor League career so far. An argument can be made that he belonged in the top 10.

Grant Green, A’s — He started as a shortstop, then moved to the outfield and now is back in the infield at second, which is a good home for him. The bat has always had a chance to contribute.

Rougned Odor, Rangers — The Rangers are good at developing shortstop prospects, why not on the right side of second base? Odor can hit, with a little pop, and can run a little, too.

Ronny Rodriguez, Indians — Yes, he’s nore of a shortstop now and has the skills to stay there. But if he’s going to play in Cleveland with Francisco Lindor someday, he’ll have to move and he did play 45 games at second in 2012.

Angelo Gumbs, Yankees — He has plus speed and is a basestealing threat. He only knows one speed and continues to improve defensively.

Who’s Next: The third basemen

Much like I said when I discussed the Nos. 11-15 catching prospects the other day, coming up with the next set of prospects at the hot corner isn’t the easiest exercise in the world.

You can read the story about the Top 10 third basemen or go straight to the list itself.

Here are some thoughts on who could be 11-15, wiht the admission that it’s very difficult to come up with a set ranking with this group:

Miles Head, A’s — He hit for average and power while reaching Double-A in his first full season with the organization, coming from the Red Sox in the Andrew Bailey deal. Whether he stays at third remains to be seen.

Garin Cecchini, Red Sox — He stayed healthy in 2012 and showed he can really hit and play third. He even stole 51 bases. And I thought his younger brother Gavin was the one with the wheels!

Richie Shaffer, Rays — The first-rounder out of Clemson is an advanced bat with power. He’s playing third right now, but obviously with Evan Longoria entrenched, he’ll have to move to first or the outfield to get his bat into the lineup.

Rio Ruiz, Astros — Houston’s creativity in the Draft allowed them to aggressively pursue Ruiz and his outstanding left-handed bat. He gets comps to Eric Chavez.

Patrick Leonard, Rays — Sure, Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi get all the attention, but Leonard could end up being a very good part of that package for James Shields and Wade Davis the Rays got from the Royals (This my wild card pick).

Who’s Next: The Shortstops

You know the drill by now. The Top 10 shortstops story is up and you can look at the list directly as well.

There’s some depth at the position, and not just in Arizona (they now have Didi Gregorius, Chris Owings AND Nick Ahmed!). Here’s who would make the 11-15 list:

Adeiny Hechavarria, Marlins — He came over in the huge deal with the Blue Jays. The glove has never been a question. Now he’ll get to show if he can hit big league pitching.

Luis Sardinas, Rangers — Yup, that’s right, another shortstop prospect in the Rangers system. He’s taken a bit longer to develop, but has the chance to be a good one, too.

Jose Iglesias, Red Sox — He needs to stay on the field and he needs an opportunity to show he can hit big league pitching, especially with Xander Bogaerts charging up from behind him.

Trevor Story, Rockies — Very intriguing all-around skills. Even if he outgrows the position, should be enough bat for third.

Adalberto Mondesi, Royals — Raul’s kid is exceptionally young and exceptionally talented. Don’t be surprised to see him higher on this list in years to come.

Who’s Next: The Catchers

Be sure to check out the story on the Top 10 catching prospects or you can just go right to the list on Prospect Watch.

Coming up with an 11-15 is easier for some position lists than others. Right-handed pitchers? A piece of cake. When the outfielders run the beginning of next week, that’ll be an easy assignment. But not all positions are as deep and there’s a drop-off the further you go down. There’s a reason why good catching is always in high demand — there isn’t enough supply to go around. So keep that in mind when looking at the 11-15 catchers.

Sebastian Valle, Phillies – He can really defend and has some pop, but plate discipline is holding him back.

Rob Brantly, Marlins – Quietly has made his way to the big leagues, chance to play every day for Marlins after Anibal Sanchez trade

Michael Perez, Diamondbacks — A 2011 draftee from Puerto Rico, Perez had a very solid Pioneer League season and is a solid defender.

Wyatt Mathieson, Pirates — A solid debut for the 2012 draftee, making the GCL All-Star team. Whether he catches long-term remains to be seen.

Tim Federowicz, Dodgers — The former UNC standout doesn’t have a huge ceiling, but he can defend and can hit a bit.

Who’s Next: The LHP list

Tuesday, it was time to launch our rankings of the Top 10 left-handed pitching prospects in the game. And, as promised, I wanted to post the next group of lefties to keep an eye on, as we continue to move toward the “big reveal” of the Top 100 list on Jan. 29.

So, without further ado, here are lefties No. 11-15:

Sean Gilmartin, Braves — Advanced college lefty made it to Triple-A in his first full season of pro ball.

Casey Crosby, Tigers — He’s had two healthy seasons in a row. Now it’s time for him to produce. Could have future as a reliever.

John Lamb, Royals — Before Tommy John surgery, he was one of the better southpaws in the Minors. All signs point to him reclaiming that status in 2013.

Robbie Erlin, Padres — The undersized lefty the Padres got in the Mike Adams trade missed time with elbow tendinitis, but continues to get people out with command and competitiveness.

Daniel Norris, Blue Jays — He had a rough pro debut, but the 2011 second-rounder has plenty of time to fulfill his enormous potential.

Who’s Next: The RHP list

Prospect ranking season is upon us. It started on Monday with our 2013 Top 10 right-handed pitching prospects list. Each day, we’ll be revealing another Top 10 by position list, until we’re ready to unveil this year’s Top 100 on Jan. 29 (Top 50 show on MLB Network and streamed on MLB.com at 9 p.m. ET). Here’s the schedule:

Tuesday: Left-handed pitchers
Wednesday: Catchers
Thursday: Third basemen
Friday: Shortstops
Saturday: Second basemen
Sunday: First basemen
Monday: Outfielders

You may have noticed a new twitter handle introduced – @mlbpipeline — that we’re using to announce these lists. You may also have noticed that there have been some technical difficulties with it. We’re hoping those will be resolved soon and that can be THE place to find out about prospect info from us on Twitter. So keep trying if you were trying to follow and couldn’t.

In the past, when the Team Top 20 lists have launched (Week of Feb. 4, for those curious), I’ve posted something I called OMG — One More Guy. That, basically, is who would potentially be No. 21 on the list. I thought I should do something similar for the position lists, especially when seeing reaction from some about who is/isn’t on the list.

With that in mind, here are the RHP who would be 11-15, if we were to go that deep:

Julio Teheran, Braves — Star has faded a bit, but still very young and ready for another shot.

Carlos Martinez, Cardinals — Sometimes known as “Little Pedro,” he has electric stuff in smaller pitching frame

Kyle Zimmer, Royals — 2012 first-rounder could move very quickly through the KC system

Aaron Sanchez, Blue Jays — There are those who think he has the most upside among all those young Jays pitchers (current and former)

Kevin Gausman, Orioles — LSU star who went No. 4 overall in last June’s Draft, should join Dylan Bundy in Baltimore in the near future

I’ll be back soon with Who’s Next for the lefties….

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