Beyond the Top 100

As most of you hopefully know, we released the Top 100 Prospects list on Thursday night. Check it out, peruse it, pick it apart, if you haven’t already done so.

As is always the case, a number of players don’t make it that you could make a case for inclusion. And then there are some you may feel you like, or want to see what they do this year (having the potential to jump onto the list). Jim Callis has created his own list over at Callis’ Corner. I’m going to do the same (without looking at his first).

Keep in mind, this should not be regarded as a ranking for 101-115. It’s really more of a “guys I like” list (lots o’ 2013 draftees) — many of them could end up in the Top 100 as others graduate out, but this certainly isn’t a guarantee of who’s next.

J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies: The Phillies’ top pick at No. 16 overall, if Crawford goes out this year and shows he can hit like he did in his pro debut, he’ll make believers out of all who weren’t 100 percent sure about the bat.

Rafael De Paula, RHP, Yankees: Just missed the cut of this year’s Top 100, has gotten past all the identity nonsense, missed a ton of bats in 2013. He has the chance to have three average or better pitches and could start moving fast.

Hunter Dozier, 3B, Royals: I know what you’re thinking: I’m doing this just to get back in the good graces of the Royals after many felt I buried this pick at the Draft. Not so (well, not entirely). He had a terrific debut with the bat and should hit for average and power while playing a solid third base.

Marco Gonzales, LHP, Cardinals: The No. 19 pick in last year’s Draft, not only is the Gonzaga product as media savvy as they come, he has the kind of feel for pitching (especially since he’s not hitting anymore) that could allow him to move quickly to St. Louis.

Brian Goodwin, OF, Nationals: I’m a sucker for toolsy outfielders (as you’ll see). I will say this, though: It’s time for him to start matching performance with his raw tools. The clock is ticking.

Courtney Hawkins, OF, White Sox: Toolsy, outfielder, see? After a tremendous summer debut post Draft backflip, a lot went wrong for Hawkins in 2013, though Chicago aggressively pushed him to the Carolina League. I think he bounces back in 2014 and shows why he was worthy of going No. 13 overall in 2012.

Nick Kingham, RHP, Pirates: More good news for the Pirates. He’s a big, strong right-hander who reached Double-A in 2013 (meaning he could be ready to contribute this season)  while finishing second in the system in strikeouts, fourth in ERA, third in WHIP and second in batting average against.

Reese McGuire, C, Pirates: Fellow high school first-round pick by the Pirates Austin Meadows made the Top 100, but McGuire isn’t far behind. Good chance to be an excellent all-around receiver; can’t wait to see how he follows up on his stirring pro debut.

Dorssys Paulino, SS, Indians: Paulino cracked the Top 100 late last year, just missed (in my opinion) this time around. He’ll play all of 2014 at age 19. He might end up at 2B, but he could be a good one there.

Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Red Sox: Just what we need, another Red Sox prospect, right? Ranaudo had a terrific 2013 and should be ready to contribute in the big leagues this year. He might be one of those guys who never is valued that highly on lists, but who goes on to be very productive as a Major Leaguer.

Hunter Renfroe, OF, Padres: I liked him as a rare toolsy college guy in the 2013 Draft. I’m very curious to see how he adjusts to more advanced pitching over the course of his first full season. But the tools are all there for him to be an exciting player to watch.

Marcus Semien, INF, White Sox: This isn’t a result of this tweet, which led to a longer back-and-forth:

While I still like Wong more, I do like Semien. Some power, some speed, has shown an ability to play three infield positions. And he’s going to help in Chicago this year.

Dom Smith, 1B, Mets: I think we got more questions about his proximity to the Top 100 than anyone else. The No. 11 pick in last year’s Draft had a solid pro debut and most feel the first baseman is going to hit. If he does as expected, look for him to be the next 1B to hit the Top 100.

Bubba Starling, OF, Royals: Even though he fell off the Top 100, I’m not ready to give up on him yet. He’s still only 21 and he has a ton of raw tools. He’s going to have to show he can hit advanced pitching, but I’m not going to throw in the towel just yet.

Jesse Winker, OF, Reds: This guy just hits. Period. He has the chance to be a batting leaders type of hitter with some pop and run-producing ability. His bat + the California League could equal big numbers, and I could see him finishing the year in Double-A.


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