2021 MLB Prospect Rankings 2.0 Update (Mid-Season)

With the 2021 MLB All-Star Break approaching and the 2nd half of the season coming soon, it is time for FTS’s Mid-Season Prospect Rankings update. With a huge number of names graduating in these past couple months, this list should look a bit weaker than the previous. Many players have shown great stuff the beginning of this year and those guys will see their ranking rise in this update. Others may have suffered injuries or put up bad numbers so far, many of these players will drop in the rankings or might not even make the top 100. These rankings will help determine FTS’s MLB Minor League Farm System Rankings, which should drop in July.

  1. Wander Franco, SS, TB
  2. Julio Rodriguez, OF, SEA
  3. Adley Rutschman, C, BAL
  4. Bobby Witt Jr., SS, KC
  5. Jared Kelenic, OF, SEA
  6. Marco Luciano, SS, SF
  7. CJ Abrams, SS, SD
  8. Jasson Dominguez, OF, NYY
  9. Joey Bart, C, SF
  10. Spencer Torkleson, 3B, DET
  11. Nate Pearson, P, TOR
  12. Royce Lewis, SS, MIN
  13. Riley Greene, OF, DET
  14. Sixto Sanchez, P, MIA
  15. Max Meyer, P, MIA
  16. MacKenzie Gore, P, SD
  17. Austin Martin, SS, TOR
  18. Greyson Rodriguez, P, BAL
  19. Jarren Duran, OF, BOS
  20. Kristian Robinson, OF, ARI
  21. Geraldo Perdomo, SS, ARI
  22. Jordan Groshans, SS, TOR
  23. JJ Bleday, OF, MIA
  24. Cristian Pache, OF, ATL
  25. Drew Waters, OF, ATL
  26. Sam Huff, C, TEX
  27. Nolan Gorman, 3B, STL
  28. Josh Jung, 3B, TEX
  29. Vidal Brujan, 2B, TB
  30. Jeter Downs, SS/2B, BOS
  31. Heliot Ramos, OF, SF
  32. Corbin Carroll, OF, ARI
  33. Alek Thomas, OF, ARI
  34. Alek Manoah, P, TOR
  35. Shane Baz, P, TB
  36. Josiah Gray, P, LAD
  37. Nick Lodolo, P, CIN
  38. Matthew Liberatore, P, STL
  39. Francisco Alvarez, C, NYM
  40. Triston Casas, 1B, BOS
  41. Clarke Schmidt, P, NYY
  42. Xavier Edwards, 2B, TB
  43. Hunter Bishop, OF, SF
  44. Brandon Marsh, OF, LAA
  45. Noelvi Marte, SS, SEA
  46. Jeremiah Jackson, SS, LAA
  47. Edward Cabrera, P, MIA
  48. Heston Kjerstad, OF, BAL
  49. Nolan Jones, 3B, CLE
  50. Hunter Greene, P, CIN
  51. Keibert Ruiz, C, LAD
  52. Orelvis Martinez, SS, TOR
  53. Jesus Sanchez, OF, MIA
  54. Zac Veen, OF, COL
  55. Tyler Freeman, SS, CLE
  56. Ronny Mauricio, SS, NYM
  57. Yoelqui Cespedes, OF, CHW
  58. Luis Campusano, C, SD
  59. Diego Cartaya, C, LAD
  60. Matthew Allen, P, NYM
  61. Emerson Hancock, P, SEA
  62. Asa Lacy, P, KC
  63. Matt Manning, P, DET
  64. Greg Jones, SS, TB
  65. Ethan Hankins, P, CLE
  66. Quinn Priester, P, PIT
  67. Brett Baty, 3B, NYM
  68. Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, NYM
  69. Robert Hassell, OF, SD
  70. Austin Hendrick, OF, CIN
  71. Ryan Vilade, OF, COL
  72. DL Hall, P, BAL
  73. Brendan McKay, P, TB
  74. Mick Abel, P, PHI
  75. Bryson Stott, SS, PHI
  76. Cole Wilcox, P, TB
  77. Nick Pratto, 1B, KC
  78. Garrett Mitchell, OF, MIL
  79. Alexander Canario, OF, SF
  80. Brent Honeywell, P, TB
  81. Daniel Lynch, P, KC
  82. Forrest Whitley, P, HOU
  83. Ryan Rolison, P, COL
  84. Braxton Garrett, P, MIA
  85. Gavin Sheets, 1B, CHW
  86. Gunnar Henderson, SS, BAL
  87. Oniel Cruz, SS, PIT
  88. Peyton Burdick, OF, MIA
  89. Pedro Leon, OF, HOU
  90. Nick Gonzales, 2B, PIT
  91. Korey Lee, C, HOU
  92. MJ Melendez, C, KC
  93. Cole Winn, P, TEX
  94. Ethan Small, P, MIL
  95. Jordyn Adams, OF, LAA
  96. Shea Langeliers, C, ATL
  97. Freudis Nova, SS, HOU
  98. Robert Puason, SS, OAK
  99. Yolbert Sanchez, SS, CHW
  100. Jordan Westburg, SS, BAL

Overview

There is a lot to like about the players on this list even though many of the best from the last rankings lost eligibility because so many young guys have been called up already. The White Sox for example had all 4 of their top 100 prospects graduate to the majors in between this list and the previous one. Some of the biggest names that graduated are Randy Arozarena, Ian Anderson, Alex Kirilloff, Casey Mize, and Trevor Rogers. Even with names like these gone, there is a definite addition of talent this update including many recent draftees and international signees (discussed below). With the top 10 of this update very similar to the first rankings, it appears that the top 5-6 players on this list are surefire stars. Wander Franco and Jared Kelenic both made their highly anticipated debuts, Julio Rodriguez shined on the international stage during the Olympic qualifiers, and both Bobby Witt Jr. and Marco Luciano have been red-hot this season.

New Additions

  • #19 Jarren Duran, OF, BOS
  • #34 Alek Manoah, P, TOR
  • #57 Yoelqui Cespedes, OF, CHW
  • #67 Brett Baty, 3B, NYM
  • #68 Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, NYM
  • #69 Robert Hassell, OF, SD
  • #75 Bryson Stott, SS, PHI
  • #76 Cole Wilcox, P, TB
  • #77 Nick Pratto, 1B, KC
  • #78 Garret Mitchell, OF, MIL
  • #83 Ryan Rolison, P, COL
  • #85 Gavin Sheets, 1B, CHW
  • #86 Gunnar Henderson, SS, BAL
  • #87 Oniel Cruz, SS, PIT
  • #88 Peyton Burdick, OF, MIA
  • #89 Pedro Leon, OF, HOU
  • #91 Corey Lee, C, HOU
  • #92 MJ Melendez, C, KC
  • #93 Cole Winn, P, TEX
  • #94 Ethan Small, P, MIL
  • #96 Shane Langeliers, C, ATL
  • #98 Robert Puason, SS, OAK
  • #99 Yolbert Sanchez, SS, CHW
  • #100 Jordan Westburg, SS, BAL

With a whopping 24 additions to the 2.0 Updated Rankings, this list looks a lot different than before. Many new additions were guys who made impressive professional debuts such as Pete Crow-Armstrong and Garret Mitchell. Others are players with more pro experience, like Cole Winn and MJ Melendez, whose great starts made them candidates to join this elite group. Robert Puason and Yoelqui Cesepedes are a couple additions who were signed internationally and made their pro debuts in 2021 as well. The two highest additions, Jaren Duran and Alek Manoah are guys who probably should have made it last time but are now represented as they should be. Manoah has been great in his first MLB starts and Duran should be joining him in the Show sometime soon.

The Next 20

  • Blaze Jordan, 3B, BOS
  • Jake Burger, 3B, CHW
  • Jose Rodriguez, SS, CHW
  • Jeremy Pena, SS/2B, HOU
  • Mark Vientos, 3B, NYM
  • Oswald Peraza, SS, NYY
  • Tyler Soderstrom, C, OAK
  • Cal Mitchell, OF, PIT
  • Travis Swaggerty, OF, PIT
  • George Kirby, P, SEA
  • Cal Raleigh, C, SEA
  • Luis Matos, OF, SF
  • Masyn Winn, SS, STL
  • Jordan Walker, 3B, STL
  • Osleivis Basabe, SS, TB
  • Luisangel Acuna, SS, TEX
  • Simeon Woods-Richardson, P, TOR
  • Gabriel Moreno, C, TOR
  • Cade Cavalli, P, WSH
  • Jackson Rutledge, P, WSH

2021 Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings 1.0 (Pre-Season)

The 2021 MLB season is right around the corner, which means it is time to release my top 100 MLB prospects list. During a crazy year thrown off the rails due to COVID-19 in which the entire MiLB season was cancelled, it has been hard for young players to show off their talents. Combine that with the changes MLB has made to the structure of Minor League Baseball, it has been a rough ride for many hopeful Big Leaguers. That being said, it has been about a year and a half since FTS has released a prospect rankings, so expect to see some big changes.

The Top 100:

  1. Wander Franco, SS, TB
  2. Julio Rodriguez, OF, SEA
  3. MacKenzie Gore, P, SD
  4. Jarred Kelenic, OF, SEA
  5. Adley Rutschman, C, BAL
  6. Bobby Witt Jr., SS, KC
  7. Marco Luciano, SS, SF
  8. Randy Arozarena, OF, TB
  9. CJ Abrams, SS, SD
  10. Jasson Dominguez, OF, NYY
  11. Andrew Vaughn, 1B, CHW
  12. Alex Kirilloff, OF, MIN
  13. Ian Anderson, P, ATL
  14. Michael Kopech, P, CHW
  15. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, PIT
  16. Kristian Robinson, OF, ARI
  17. Spencer Torkleson, 3B, DET
  18. Nate Pearson, P, TOR
  19. Dylan Carlson, OF, STL
  20. Sixto Sanchez, P, MIA
  21. Luis Patiño, P, TB
  22. Casey Mize, P, DET
  23. Royce Lewis, SS, MIN
  24. Cristian Pache, OF, ATL
  25. Riley Greene, OF, DET
  26. JJ Bleday, OF, MIA
  27. Bobby Dalbec, 3B, BOS
  28. Austin Martin, SS, TOR
  29. Joey Bart, C, SF
  30. Luis Campusano, C, SD
  31. Nick Madrigal, 2B, CHW
  32. Jordan Groshans, SS, TOR
  33. Jeter Downs, SS, BOS
  34. Drew Waters, OF, ATL
  35. Heliot Ramos, OF, SF
  36. Grayson Rodriguez, P, BAL
  37. Dane Dunning, P, TEX
  38. Matthew Liberatore, P, STL
  39. Spencer Howard, P, PHI
  40. Geraldo Perdomo, SS, ARI
  41. Brendan McKay, P, TB
  42. Sam Huff, C, TEX
  43. Nolan Gorman, 3B, STL
  44. Josh Jung, 3B, TEX
  45. Vidal Brujan, 2B, TB
  46. Corbin Carroll, OF, ARI
  47. Hunter Bishop, OF, SF
  48. Alek Thomas, OF, ARI
  49. Ronny Mauricio, SS, NYM
  50. Josiah Gray, P, LAD
  51. Max Meyer, P, MIA
  52. Nolan Jones, 3B, CLE
  53. Triston Casas, 1B, BOS
  54. Nick Lodolo, P, CIN
  55. Matt Manning, P, DET
  56. Triston McKenzie, P, CLE
  57. Jazz Chisholm, SS, MIA
  58. Clarke Schmidt, P, NYY
  59. Deivi Garcia, P, NYY
  60. Ryan Mountcastle, OF, BAL
  61. Trevor Larnach, OF, MIN
  62. Xavier Edwards, 2B, TB
  63. Brandon Marsh, OF, LAA
  64. Noelvi Marte, SS, SEA
  65. Jeremiah Jackson, SS, LAA
  66. Heston Kjerstad, OF, BAL
  67. Daniel Lynch, P, KC
  68. Forrest Whitley, P, HOU
  69. Asa Lacy, P, KC
  70. Hunter Greene, P, CIN
  71. Keibert Ruiz, C, LAD
  72. Franciso Alvarez, C, NYM
  73. Jordyn Adams, OF, LAA
  74. Orelvis Martinez, SS, TOR
  75. Freudis Nova, SS, HOU
  76. Logan Gilbert, P, SEA
  77. Shane Baz, P, TB
  78. Brent Honeywell, P, TB
  79. Jesus Sanchez, OF, MIA
  80. Zac Veen, OF, COL
  81. Diego Cartaya, C, LAD
  82. Matthew Allen, P, NYM
  83. Emerson Hancock, P, SEA
  84. Nick Gonzales, 2B, PIT
  85. Edward Cabrera, MIA
  86. Alexander Canario, OF, SF
  87. Tyler Freeman, SS, CLE
  88. Greg Jones, SS, TB
  89. Ethan Hankins, P, CLE
  90. Taylor Trammell, OF, SEA
  91. Austin Hendrick, OF, CIN
  92. Ryan Vilade, OF, COL
  93. Garrett Crochet, P, CHW
  94. Quinn Priester, P, PIT
  95. Tarik Skubal, P, DET
  96. Braxton Garrett, P, MIA
  97. DL Hall, P, BAL
  98. Trevor Rogers, P, MIA
  99. Mick Abel, P, PHI
  100. Travis Swaggerty, OF, PIT

Overview:

After a crazy year without Minor League Baseball, this year’s rankings are much more based on potential as opposed to recent performance (most players on this list have not played in over a year). Guys who were lucky enough to see big league playing time had an advantage, given they were the only ones who could show off their potential this year. Again, the two teams from Florida dominate this list, with the Marlins (8) and Rays (9) making up nearly 1/5th of the list. Also, there is a very good chance we might get to see all of the top 5 at some point this season, so keep on the lookout for some high-profile call-ups. *Be on the lookout for the 2021 MLB Farm System Rankings soon*

The Next 20:

Shane McClanahan (TB), Left-Handed Pitching Prospect
  • Brailyn Marquez, P, CHI
  • Yoelqui Cespedes, OF, CHW
  • Brayan Rocchio, SS, CLE
  • Bo Naylor, C, CLE
  • Ryan Rolison, P, COL
  • Jackson Kowar, P, KC
  • Bryce Turang, SS, MIL
  • Hedbert Perez, OF, MIL
  • Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, NYM
  • Brett Baty, 3B, NYM
  • J.T. Ginn, P, NYM
  • Austin Wells, C, NYY
  • Robert Puason, SS, OAK
  • Bryson Stott, SS, PHI
  • Oniel Cruz, SS, PIT
  • Robert Hassell, OF, SD
  • Shane McClanahan, P, TB
  • Cole Wilcox, P, TB
  • Maximo Acosta, SS, TEX
  • Simeon Woods-Richardson, P, TOR

Trade Review: Chris Sale, CHW & BOS

Yoan Moncada, the key piece of the Chris Sale trade

At the 2016 Winter Meetings, the topic of a potential Chris Sale trade was prominent throughout the week. Eventually the Red Sox pounced, prying super star pitcher, Chris Sale, from the rebuilding White Sox. This was the first domino to fall in Chicago’s rebuild which included the White Sox dealing Adam Eaton, Jose Quintana, Todd Frazier, and David Robertson. The Sale trade got the White Sox the biggest return, landing them four pieces in total.

The Deal: December 6th, 2016

Red Sox Receive: Chris Sale (SP)

White Sox Receive: Yoan Moncada (2B/3B), Michael Kopech (SP), Luis Alexander Basabe (OF), and Victor Diaz (SP)

General Overview: After multiple unpleasant incidents between Chris Sale and the White Sox organization, many expected Sale to be dealt over the offseason. On his way to the Red Sox, Sale joined a rotation already featuring the likes of David Price, Rick Porcello, and Drew Pomeranz. Joining a winning organization was something Sale greatly desired, so all three parties were happy with the deal. The Red Sox got the ace they desperatly needed, while the White Sox got two top tier prospects and two lower end guys who they felt could step up as well.

Red Sox Overview: No matter how well any of the players the Red Sox gave up do, it is hard to argue that they will be more valuable than Chris Sale was for them. Sale was not the only star player on the team in 2018, but he was one of the main reasons they made it to the World Series. Though doing poorly in his World Series start, without Sale, it is unlikely that the Red Sox would have even made it as far. Giving up two top tier prospects is tough, but it is hard to compare that to a World Series victory. Unfortunately for Boston, Sale’s 2019 season has been about as disastrous as possible, starting the season with an ERA over 6.00.

White Sox Overview: In the return for Sale, the White Sox got a massive haul of young talent. Just after reaching the majors, Yoan Moncada was MLB Pipeline’s #1 overall prospect in all of baseball. After his arrival, Moncada starred in Triple-A Charlotte for the first half of 2017 until his promotion to Chicago. Things did not go great for Moncada as his batting average and strikeout rate both worsened after the jump to the majors. In 2018, Moncada played the entire season at the MLB level, showing his 5-tool abilities, but again struggled with his contact. So far in 2019, Moncada has been excellent, looking like a true #1 overall prospect. His strikeouts have fallen drastically, while his HRs and AVG are both well above his previous season’s. It is a bit to early to tell for sure, but it appears as if Moncada was well worth being the centerpiece for Chris Sale. If he keeps performing at this rate, the Red Sox will soon (if not already) regret parting with him

Michael Kopech, another top prospect at the time, was dealt as a 2nd headliner to pair with Moncada. His combination of a high 90s (up to 100mph) fastball and a devastating slider really caught the eye of White Sox scouts. After doing well in Double-A (2017) and Triple-A (2017/2018), Kopech finally got a taste of the majors at the back end of the 2018 season. After a dominating first three starts, Kopech got absolutely shelled in his 4th. A day later, it was discovered Kopech needed Tommy John surgery, sidelining him for 2018 as well as 2019. He is expected to be fully healthy by 2020, and will be a crucial part of Chicago’s rotation then.

Though not as highly rated at the time, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe, may turn out to be the 3rd very good player the White Sox got. A switch hitting outfielder, Basabe was traded away from his twin brother, Luis Alejando Basabe, who also played in the Red Sox organization. Though both were viewed as similar level players, Luis Alexander took off upon his arrival in the White Sox organization, and has proved himself to be an important member of their rebuild.

Victor Diaz, the 4th and final piece of the deal has not been much of a factor at all. After the trade, Diaz pitched 12 inning of relief between Class-A and Class A-Advanced, combining for a disgustingly bad 12 walks, and a 14.25 ERA. Diaz has been sidelined since 2017 due to injuries, so he is hoping to bounce back later this year. It’s always hard to tell for sure, but it appears that Diaz will be a pretty irrelevant part of this deal, essentially making it a 3:1 deal.

Chris Sale pitching vs Orioles (9/20/17)

Player Grades:

Chris Sale: A

Yoan Moncada: A-

Michael Kopech: A-

Luis Alexander Basabe: B-

Victor Diaz: D

Winner: Chicago White Sox

Prospect Profile: Wander Samuel Franco, TB

Wander Franco, TB

Wander Franco, the Tampa Bay Rays top prospect, is the next player in the Prospect Profile spotlight. Franco came in at #5 overall in my Early Season Prospect Rankings, and he is only getting better. Coming into the 2019 season at 18, Franco is one of the youngest players in all of Minor League Baseball.

Height:5’10″ Weight: 190 lbs. Age: 18

Position: SS Bats/Throws: S/R ETA: Early 2021

Overview: The future is looking very bright for the Tampa Bay Rays. With one of the best records in the MLB so far, and one of the best farm systems, they should also be expecting young pitchers Brent Honeywell, Anthony Banda and Jose De Leon to all return from Tommy John surgery this season. Wander Samuel Franco is at the top of Tampa’s prospect rankings, yet he is only 18 years old. Franco is at the top of a stacked system that contains players like Honeywell, Brendan McKay, Matthew Liberatore, Jesus Sanchez, and Shane McClanahan. Factor in current major league Rays like Austin Meadows, Willy Adames, Blake Snell and Tyler Glasnow, the Rays have the best organizational depth in young, high-potential talent. I would expect the Rays to be in contention for the next 6-7 years at least, as they have the makings of a dynasty.

Signed in 2017 for just about four million dollars, Franco has not disappointed in his first profesional seasons, proving worthy of the large signing bonus. The switch hitting shortstop is one of the highest rated prospects by both MLB Pipeline and Baseball America. Coming in at such a young age (18) and already at Class A, Franco has the potential to be a complete superstar for the Rays. One of his most impressive stats is his strikeout rate, striking out only 9% of the time. Hitting well over .300 in both Rookie League (2018) and Class-A (2019), expect Franco to fly through Tampa’s system. Barring injuries, Franco will surely reach A-Advanced, and I don’t find it hard to believe that he’ll finish 2019 in Double-A Montgomery.

Ceiling: Troy Tulowitski – Currently, Tulowitski isn’t the star he used to be, so many people may have forgotten how dominant he used to be. He had a great bat, as well as a very good glove as well. During his career, Tulowitski had eight All-Star worthy seasons, and I could see Franco producing similarly to him. Franco has the tools to hit close to 30 HRs a season, while hovering around a .300 BA.

Projection: Gleyber Torres – One of the rising stars, Torres could be a very accurate comparison for Wander Franco. While its too early to tell for sure, Franco appears to be a pretty solid defender, who is an elite hitter both in terms of power and contact. Being a switch hitter is a plus as well, and he can produce from both sides of the plate, although he has more power from the left.

Floor: Willy Adames – One of the Rays former top prospects, shortstop Willy Adames was expected to be the Rays future shortstop as well as a franchise player. Adames has done pretty solid, but I’m sure they would have hoped for more. Francos expectations will be higher, so I view Adames as a worst case for Franco. If Adames is good enough to stay long term, he may have to relocate positions to make room for Franco.

Player Grades: Contact: A Power: B+ Speed: A- Fielding: B Arm: B- Potential: A+ Overall: A

Prospect Profile: Ke’Bryan Hayes, PIT

Ke’Bryan Hayes fielding ground balls at third base.

Pirates third baseman, Ke’Bryan Hayes, is the focus in the third article of the “Prospect Profile” series

Height:6’1″ Weight: 210 lbs. Age: 22

Position: 3B Bats/Throws: R/R ETA: Mid 2019

Overview: The best tool of Ke’Bryan Hayes is no doubt his glove. While his hit tool is very developed as well, the fielding abilities could easily win him a Gold Glove within his first few season in the MLB. Already participating in many “big stage” events such as the Futures Game and the Double-A All Star Game, Hayes has proven he is ready for the majors. After finishing 2018 at Double-A Altoona, Hayes has little left to prove at Triple-A, and should be up in Pittsburgh within a few months.

Part of a pretty depleted Pittsburgh farm system, Hayes is one of the few bright spots for Pirates fans. After seeing fellow top prospects Cole Tucker and Bryan Reynolds called up to Pittsburgh this past week, Hayes is not far behind. In what will be a rejuvenating boost for a lacking Pirates roster, Hayes will likely be better than both Reynolds and Tucker. Pirates top pitching prospect, Mitch Keller, should be up around the same time as Hayes, as bother are currently in Triple-A.

Ceiling: Miguel Andujar – Another young 3rd basemen, Andujar’s minor league numbers are not too far off Hayes’. Not showing too much power his first few seasons, Andujar really picked it up by year four. I think it is very realistic to see Hayes doing the same, as both have almost identical height/weight and similar body types. Comparable to Andujar, Hayes could hit around .280 while staying in the low 20s/high teens in terms of HRs. An advantage of Hayes is that he is much more fluid at 3rd base, a position which requires advanced defensive skills.

Projection: Martin Prado – One of the most underrated contact hitters, Prado is a guy who doesn’t have too much power, but contributes in many other ways. I see him as a very similar player, not only on the field, but in the clubhouse as well. Both Prado and Hayes have a reputation to be very great in the locker room, a plus to any athlete. Although Prado is in his mid 30s now, Hayes could very well be like Prado in his prime, with a high AVG, 10-15 HRs, 10 SBs, all while being an elite defender as well.

Floor: Yangervis Solarte – A decent ballplayer, Solarte has been around for a while putting up solid (not great) numbers. I’d say this would be Hayes at his worst, just because I’d would find it hard to believe that someone with his vision at the plate would be a below average hitter. No matter his struggles at the plate, Hayes will always be a great defender at any level.

Player Grades: Contact: A Power: B- Speed: B Fielding: A Arm: A Potential: B+ Overall: B

2019 Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings 1.0 (Early Season)

#5 overall prospect, Wander Franco, SS (TB)

With both the MLB and MiLB seasons well underway, my first MLB Prospect Rankings is here. This list consists of any player who qualifies as a “rookie” according to MLB’s rules (under 130 ABs/50 IP in MLB games). My list will be updated throughout the season to keep the rankings accurate.

The Top 100:

  1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. , 3B, TOR
  2. Fernando Tatis Jr. SS, SD
  3. Eloy Jimenez, OF, CHW
  4. Royce Lewis, SS, MIN
  5. Wander Franco, SS, TB
  6. Bo Bichette, SS, TOR
  7. Brendan Rodgers, SS, COL
  8. Nick Senzel, 3B, CIN
  9. Chris Paddack, SP, SD
  10. Forrest Whitley, SP, HOU
  11. Alex Kirilloff, OF, MIN
  12. Joey Bart, C, SF
  13. Luis Robert, OF, CHW
  14. Peter Alonso, 1B, NYM
  15. Michael Kopech, SP, CHW
  16. Jesus Luzardo, SP, OAK
  17. Taylor Trammell, OF, CIN
  18. Jo Adell, OF, LAA
  19. Casey Mize, SP, DET
  20. Brendan McKay, SP/DH, TB
  21. Cristian Pache, OF, ATL
  22. Keston Hiura, 2B, MIL
  23. MacKenzie Gore, SP, SD
  24. Dylan Cease, SP, CHW
  25. Carter Kieboom, SS, WSH
  26. Mike Soroka, SP, ATL
  27. Brent Honeywell, SP, TB
  28. Yordan Alvarez, OF, HOU
  29. Sixto Sanchez, SP, MIA
  30. Jesus Sanchez, OF, TB
  31. Nick Madrigal, 2B, CHW
  32. Matthew Liberatore, SP, TB
  33. Brady Singer, SP, KC
  34. Matt Manning, SP, DET
  35. Austin Riley, 3B, ATL
  36. Mitch Keller, SP, PIT
  37. Kyle Tucker, OF, HOU
  38. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, PIT
  39. Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, BAL
  40. Ian Anderson, SP, ATL
  41. Francisco Mejia, C, SD
  42. Luis Urias, SS/2B, SD
  43. Hunter Greene, SP, CIN
  44. Jarred Kelenic, OF, SEA
  45. Jazz Chisholm, SS, ARI
  46. Nolan Gorman, 3B, STL
  47. Gavin Lux, SS/2B, LAD
  48. Griffin Canning, SP, LAA
  49. Keibert Ruiz, C, LAD
  50. Kyle Wright, SP, ATL
  51. Triston McKenzie, SP, CLE
  52. Touki Toussaint, SP, ATL
  53. Andres Gimenez, SS, NYM
  54. Dustin May, SP, LAD
  55. Jon Duplantier, SP/RP, ARI
  56. Michael Chavis, 3B, BOS
  57. Corbin Martin, SP, HOU
  58. Adonis Medina, SP, PHI
  59. Grayson Rodriguez, SP, BAL
  60. Hans Crouse, SP, TEX
  61. Julio Pablo Martinez, OF, TEX
  62. Drew Waters, OF, ATL
  63. Ryan Weathers, SP, SD
  64. Colton Welker, 3B, COL
  65. AJ Puk, SP, OAK
  66. Justus Sheffield, SP, SEA
  67. Sean Murphy, C, OAK
  68. Jonathan India, 3B, CIN
  69. Estevan Florial, OF, NYY
  70. Alec Bohm, 3B, PHI
  71. Nate Pearson, SP, TOR
  72. Luis V. Garcia, INF, WSH
  73. Oneil Cruz, SS, PIT
  74. Victor Victor Mesa, OF, MIA
  75. Ronny Mauricio, SS, NYM
  76. Luis Patino, SP, SD
  77. Brusdar Graterol, SP, MIN
  78. Vidal Brujan, 2B, TB
  79. Nico Hoerner, SS, CHI
  80. Heliot Ramos, OF, SF
  81. Corey Ray, OF, MIL
  82. DL Hall, SP, BAL
  83. Julio Rodriguez, OF, SEA
  84. Dane Dunning, SP, CHW
  85. Monte Harrison, OF, MIA
  86. Darwinzon Hernandez, SP/RP, BOS
  87. Ronaldo Hernandez, C, TB
  88. Nolan Jones, 3B, CLE
  89. Cavan Biggio, 2B, TOR
  90. Jordan Groshans, SS/3B, TOR
  91. Travis Swaggerty, OF, PIT
  92. Justin Dunn, SP, SEA
  93. Leody Taveras, OF, TEX
  94. Anderson Tejeda, 2B, TEX
  95. Luis Garcia, SS, PHI
  96. Wander Javier, SS, MIN
  97. Adrian Morejon, SP, SD
  98. Jeremiah Jackson, SS, LAA
  99. Khalil Lee, OF, KC
  100. Jordyn Adams, OF, LAA
#75 overall, Ronny Mauricio (NYM), at bat in an exhibition game.

Overview: Overall, the top 100 prospects are as strong as any other class from the past few years. With extreme depth, almost any of the 100 have the potential to be perenial All-Stars. Currently, shortstop is extremely deep, with 5 of the top 7 prospects playing SS and 17 in total at the position. First base is very weak with only Pete Alonso (soon to graduate) representing the position. While every team has at least 1 on the list, The San Diego Padres have the most prospects on the list (8) and they one of the best systems overall.

The Next 20:

Shane McClanahan, TB pitching for USF
  • Dalton Varsho, C, ARI
  • Austin Hays, OF, BAL
  • Bobby Dalbec, 3B, BOS
  • Micker Adolfo, OF, CHW
  • Luis Alexander Basabe, OF, CHW
  • Ryan Rolison, SP, COL
  • Freudis Nova, SS, HOU
  • Seth Beer, OF, HOU
  • Jackson Kowar, SP, KC
  • Seuly Matias, OF, KC
  • Jeter Downs, SS, LAD
  • Diego Cartaya, C, LAD
  • Zac Gallen, SP, MIA
  • Jorge Mateo, SS, OAK
  • Calvin Mitchell, OF, PIT
  • Michel Baez, SP, SD
  • Luis Campusano, C, SD
  • Marco Luciano, SS, SF
  • Shane McClanahan, SP, TB
  • Bubba Thompson, OF, TEX

Trade Review – Christian Yelich, MIA & MIL

Christian Yelich with the Milwaukee Brewers

Having been over a year removed from the Christian Yelich blockbuster trade, now is as good a time as any to look back upon the deal and see how things have been working out for both sides.

The Deal: January 25th, 2018

Brewers Receive: Christian Yelich

Marlins Receive: Lewis Brinson (OF), Isan Diaz (2B), Monte Harrison (OF), and Jordan Yamamoto (SP)

General Overview: At the time of the deal, Miami was in the middle of one of the biggest, most impactful rebuilds of the decade. Moving Yelich was more of a “when” as opposed to an “if”. Every talented player wanted out of the crumbling franchise. Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Dee Gordon, AJ Ramos, and David Phelps are a few names dealt around the same time. The main focus of the organization was to bring in as many top prospects as possible to reboot their farm system with young talent. On the Brewers’ end of things, the playoffs were well within reach. The acquisitions of both Yelich and Lorenzo Cain greatly improved Milwaukee’s roster. Though Brinson, Diaz, and Harrison were ranked among the top 100 prospects by many experts, gaining Yelich seemed to be worth it for Milwaukee.

Brewers Overview: So far is seems as if the clear winner of the deal is Milwaukee. Yelich has performed at a legitimate MVP level since being dealt to the Brewers, while the prospects sent to Miami have not done anything that would make the Brewers regret the deal. Being on such a team friendly contract doesn’t hurt Yelich’s value either, making it seem like an even bigger steal for the Brewers. Hitting .326 with 36 HRs in his first season with the Brew Crew, Yelich is on his way to an even better season in 2019. While giving up 4 prospects has depleted their system of top tier talent, Milwaukee could not be happier with the way Yelich has performed.

Marlins Overview: The Marlins return in the Christian Yelich trade was extremely deep, and included 4 highly rated prospects. Outfield Lewis Brinson was the headliner of the deal, being ranked in the top 20 of almost all prospect rankings. Unfortunately for Miami, Brinson also appears to be the biggest bust of the deal. After a short time with Marlins minor league affiliates, Brinson made his Marlins debut in 2018 . Unable to even reach a .200 AVG within his first two seasons in Miami, he has struggled mightily at the plate, with an OBP of an alarming .241. While it is too early to declare the 24 year old a true bust, his performance can not be viewed as encouraging to Marlins fans.

Monte Harrison with Marlins Double-A affiliate, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in 2018

The second piece to the deal was Monte Harrison. Another speedy Brewers outfielder coming to the Marlins, Harrison had a superb 20+/20+ season before being dealt. In his first season in the Marlins organization, Harrison showed off his 5-tool abilities in Double-A Jacksonville, but had issues with a very high strikeout rate. Currently in Triple-A, the hope is that he can reduce his strikeouts while retaining his speed/power combination versus tougher competition. Harrison is currently the highest ceiling player acquired by the Marlins from their rebuild, so everyone in the organization will be sure to give him the assistance and coaching he needs to be as successful as possible.

Second baseman Isan Diaz was the third position player to be dealt during this trade. So far Diaz has not performed well for Miami, but he has also showed some signs that he may become another 5-tool guy for the Marlins. the real trend with these three position players was their 5-tool potential, with low floors and high ceilings. The expectation was that at least one of the three could become an elite “face of the franchise” to replace all the departed veterans, but so far that has not happened.

Jordan Yamamoto, RHP

Lastly, the only pitcher the Marlins acquired in this trade was Jordan Yamamoto. So far the Hawaiian native, Yamamoto, has pitched like an ace for the Marlins Class A-Advanced and Double-A teams. Posting a 1.82 ERA since the trade, he appears to have been the best part of the package. With a great WHIP and respectable strikeout numbers, the Marlins are hoping Yamamoto can surpass his lower expectations and become the best part of the deal.

Player Grades:

Christian Yelich: A+

Lewis Brinson: C-

Monte Harrison: B

Isan Dian: C+

Jordan Yamamoto: A

Winner: Milwaukee Brewers

Prospect Profile: Seuly Matias, KC

In the second installment of the “Prospect Profile” series, we will be taking a look at Royals slugger, Seuly Matias

Height:6’3″ Weight: 198 lbs. Age: 20

Position: OF (RF) Bats/Throws: R/R ETA: Early 2021

Overview: Matias’s best tool is his cannon for an arm. After making the transition to right field, he really stood out for both his arm strength, and throw accuracy. After struggling at the plate his first two season (2016-2017), Matias really impressed during his 2018 season in A-Class Lexington. Even though his season was cut short due to a thumb injury, Matias hit 31 HRs in just 338 at-bats. Well on pace for over 50 HRs in 2018, Matias should be able to manage around 35-40 HRs in the more pitcher-friendly parks of the Carolina League. If his recent seasons are any indicator, Matias is going to produce at an elite level throughout his career.

Currently on a stacked Wilmington Blue Rocks team, Matias has outperformed fellow Royals prospects Nick Pratto and MJ Melendez, but at the same age as them, I would expect all three to follow similar timelines on their journey to Kansas City. Probably reaching Double-A in late 2019, and Triple-A late 2020, all three should be in Kansas City in the early stages of 2021. With a lack of any real talent on Kansas City’s roster and in the early stages of a major rebuild, getting these talented players along with other prospects like Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar and Khalil Lee, KC might be able to contend as early as 2021.

Ceiling: Giancarlo Stanton – If Matias can manage to put in a lot of work at the plate, a Stanton-like ceiling is not out of the picture. While I doubt that Matias will ever have a below-average strikeout rate, if he can continue to drive the ball with immense power that should not be an issue. With his good defensive skills and great arm, Matias should stick at right field for the majority of his career. A slash line of .265/.340/.500 with 40+ HRs is not out of the question.

Projection: Eloy Jimenez – Jimenez just made his MLB debute in 2019, but I really think that Matias will follow a similar path to Jimenez. Both had a rough fist few pro seasons, but then by their third season, both showed elite power abilities. While it is unlikely he hits for as high an average as Jimenez, Matias could easily hit as many home runs while being a superior defender. Matias should be able to hit around .250 while being in the upper tier of home run hitters.

Floor: Ian Happ – If his plate approach does not translate well to the MLB, Matias should still retain his plus power tool at the highest level. While Happ as the floor for Matias might seem really high, I really do believe Matias has all the necessary tools to become a perenial All-Star. Worst case I see Matias as a .235 hitter with 25 HRs, similar to Happ’s first 2 MLB seasons.

Player Grades: Contact: C+ Power: A Speed: C+ Fielding: B+ Arm: A+ Potential: A Overall: B+

Prospect Profile: Luis Robert, CHW

To start of the “Prospect Profile” series, we will be taking a look at White Sox superstar outfielder, Luis Robert.

Height:6’3″ Weight: 185 lbs. Age: 21

Position: OF (CF) Bats/Throws: R/R ETA: Early-mid 2020

Overview Luis Robert is an excellent athlete, and among the most promising talents in the White Sox organization. Having been signed in 2017, Robert’s first two pro seasons were very respectable, although both were shortened due to injury trouble. So far in 2019, Robert has been fully healthy, and his stats could not be any better. Through his first 12 games he is hitting .471, with an OBP of a whopping .518. Not only having an excellent stint at the plate, Robert has flashed his 5 tool talent with 5 HRs and 6 SBs during the same timespan. On pace for well over a 20/20 season, Robert is a guy who could hit 30 HRs or record 30 SBs in any given season. For the first time, fully healthy, it appears as if Robert has exceeded expectations and will make his massive 26 million dollar contract well worth it.

The hope in Chicago is that Robert will pair up with Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jiminez to bring a championship to the city. All three are very young international players under contract for at least 5 years. While Jimenez and Moncada were both ranked among the top 3 prospects in all of baseball while Robert is ranked in the mid 20’s, I could easily see Robert outperforming both. With 3 positions in the lineup locked for years to come, the White Sox are building a dynasty which Robert will play a huge role in.

Ceiling: Mike Trout – Mike Trout is the ultimate 5-tool player, and it is unlikely that Robert will ever reach Trout’s level, but if Robert reaches his true potential, he has as good a chance as any prospect to reach the same status. The start to his 2019 season as a prime example, Robert has the ability to absolutely dominate competition with his superior athleticism and combination of raw power and speed. At his prime Robert could hit around .300 with 25+ HRs and 30 SBs. If he can work on his approach at the plate and cut down on his strikeouts (something he has done early 2019), Robert could be a top 5 outfielder in all of baseball.

Projection: Yoan Moncada – There are some very obvious differences here. Moncada is an infielder while Robert is in the outfield. Moncada is a switch hitter whereas Robert is right handed. These differences aside, if looking upon the two purely based on projected stats, I can’t think of a better comparison. Both players are young, international players from Cuba. Both were highly rated prospects in the same organization. Both are high ceiling guys with strikeout concerns. Both will likely be at least 20/20 guys, although both may struggle to make contact consistently. A fair projection for Robert is a .270 AVG with 18 HRs and 25 SBs.

Floor: Billy Hamilton – If Robert’s hit tool and plate discipline don’t translate to the MLB level, his speed and defensive skills certainly will. Even if he turns out to be a below average hitter, he would still make a big impact with his other tools. At his worst I could see Robert slashing .240/.300/.410 with an elite 2.5 dWAR (defensive wins above replacement), and at least 15 SBs.

Player Grades: Contact: B Power: B- Speed: A+ Fielding: B+ Arm: A Potential: A+ Overall: A-