Beyond the Top 10 by position lists
The Top 100 is coming out Friday night (In case you haven’t seen all the plugs, here’s one more — 9 p.m. ET, MLB.com and MLB Network). For the past week and change we’ve been building the excitement by revealing our Top 10 by Position lists.
With all of those lists, there are, of course, more than 10 guys who interest us or who have bright futures. Some lists are deeper than others, but even on the weakest (1b?), there are guys worth talking about who will undoubtedly be on our organizational Top 30 lists (That’s right, we’re expanding those from 20 to 30). So I thought it’d be fun to add on a few extra names to consider for each of our positional lists.
This isn’t necessarily the prospect who is No. 11, so don’t draw any conclusions like that. This is more like a look at a guy at each position that I like and want to keep a close eye on in 2015.
RHP: The deepest list, by far. I really can’t go wrong. I’m going to go with Aaron Blair of the D-backs. The guy finished tied for second in the Minors in strikeouts in 2014. How many of you knew that? He doesn’t have the tremendous ceiling some electric arms have, but his stuff is plenty good enough and he’s a VERY good bet to be a durable starter in the near future.
LHP: Not as deep as RHP, but a lot of good names. Many of you saw Marco Gonzales pitch out of the pen for the Cardinals in the postseason. Not bad for a 2013 draftee, right? But he’s even better as a starter, and you should see him back in that role full-time from now on.
C: A lot of people like Andrew Susac of the Giants, and for good reason. His power at the plate and power arm behind it are attractive tools for a backstop, and he’s gotten better as an all-around receiver. The only small thing in his way is that Buster Posey fellow.
1B: Gotta dig a little deeper for this one. I’ll stick with the guy I wrote about in the “Next Up” section of the Top 10 first basemen story. That’s Rangel Ravelo, now of the A’s, who came to Oakland in the Jeff Samardzija trade. The guy has always hit — a .301 average speaks to that — and the power is starting to come.
2B: Another not as deep position, but I’ve always liked Cory Spangenberg of the Padres. He’s handled some adversity well in terms of kind of stalling briefly in the Minors, dealing with some injuries, and not producing as some had expected, especially after a huge summer debut after going No. 10 overall in the 2011 Draft. Yet he had a strong 2014 in Double-A and made his big league debut. Could be a super-utility type.
SS: So many good ones, but I’m going to give my hometown a shout out. Maybe Alen Hanson isn’t a shortstop for much longer (he started playing some second base late last year). But the guy can hit, with some extra-base pop. And he can run. And he’ll be just 22 for all of the 2015 season, while ready for Triple-A.
3B: In his story about the Top 10 3B, Jim Callis put the Rockies’ Ryan McMahon in the “Next Up” section. I’ve liked that guy since I saw him in the National High School Invitational at the USA Baseball complex back in 2012. He can hit, has run-producing ability, and is a slick fielder at third.
OF: Another very deep list. I kind of want to see what the Yankees’ Aaron Judge does in 2015. After injuries kept him from making his pro debut in the summer of 2013, he played at both levels of A ball in 2014 and hit over .300 with some pop. There’s a lot more power in his 6-7 frame, too, though I like how he focused on just hitting. The power’s going to come and he fits the RF profile perfectly.