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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2014 Baseball America Top 100 Prospects

The definitive list of baseball’s up and coming talent celebrates its 25th edition this year.

1. Byron Buxton
2. Xander Bogaerts
3. Oscar Taveras
4. Masahiro Tanaka
5. Javier Baez

JJ1986 Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:09 PM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: byron buxton, cubs, minors, prospects, twins

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   1. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:34 PM (#4659440)
Every year this is published, and I look at the names. I try to think of them. I try to think, "Byron Buxton. Star. Byron Buxton and Jim Edmonds in the same breath." And every year I think, "Nah, none of these guys are going to be good. It's impossible for guys like these to be good like the guys were when I was young."

Oh yeah, and Joe DiMaggio is the greatest living ballplayer.
   2. Publius Publicola Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:45 PM (#4659443)
Red Sox have to be thrilled to have 8 of the top 100, including the #2 guy.

They're saying Betts might move over to SS as he has the arm and athleticism to play the position. That's a hell of a left side, but leaves no room for Cecchini.

If I were Middlebrooks, I wouldn't be buying a house in the Boston area.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:03 AM (#4659450)
Nice to see Marcus Semien on there. I like him a lot.

Michael Choice is a bit puzzling. I'd say the luster has worn off him quite a bit, he's 24, and he was just traded for a light-hitting defense-first outfielder.
   4. DKDC Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:16 AM (#4659454)
Has the Rays seemingly endless talent pipeline finally begun to dry up?
   5. bigglou115 Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:03 AM (#4659466)
If I were Middlebrooks, I wouldn't be buying a house in the Boston area.


There's still some time. X-Box doesn't look likely to fail, but Betts still has to make the conversion to short, and some corners of the prospect world are starting to temper their enthusiasm with Cecchini already. If Middlebrooks hits his ZiPS this year he's league average. Don't get me wrong, if everything breaks right for Boston Will's clearly the odd man out, and on his way out of Boston, but if I were him I wouldn't be picking up a change of address form either.

I like Middlebrooks, he seems like any other average player, but random variation seems to have given him a few more hero moments than most.
   6. JRVJ Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:10 AM (#4659467)
I'm not a fan of Houston, but they will be a VERY entertaining team to watch for the next 10 years (I have to believe that they will finish with one of the top 3 picks in the 2015 draft, so it will be a full 4 monster drafts working through their system after 2015).
   7. Walt Davis Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:01 AM (#4659475)
Cubs with 7, and 5 of the top 41.

Reminds me of the heady days when Castro's top 4 ZiPS comps were Yount, Brett and Jeter. Of course I should have known Dan meant Jeter's defense, Yount's BA and the late Brett's power in a package with Dunston's patience.

But I digress....
   8. Dan Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:24 AM (#4659486)
Has the Rays seemingly endless talent pipeline finally begun to dry up?

It's dried up quite a bit over the last 4 years or so. The Shields trade was a huge boost to their system but outside of that their system hasn't really produced many stars lately, since they haven't drafted any frontline talent since they drafted Moore in 2007.
   9. cardsfanboy Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:29 AM (#4659490)
I'm an Oscar Taveras fan of course...but nobody could really gain ground on him and he didn't really lose any? Sorry but he effectively lost a year, he's a great prospect of course, but he's officially a year older and did zero to help his case last year. I just think it's weird how often these elite prospects are able to hold their rankings even with years where they didn't help their cause. Again he effectively is now a year older and hasn't added anything to his resume. Aren't there some other 21 year olds who are producing like him now? I honestly would have expected for him to drop 15+ spots.

   10. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: February 20, 2014 at 08:16 AM (#4659497)
I'm an Oscar Taveras fan of course...but nobody could really gain ground on him and he didn't really lose any? Sorry but he effectively lost a year, he's a great prospect of course, but he's officially a year older and did zero to help his case last year. I just think it's weird how often these elite prospects are able to hold their rankings even with years where they didn't help their cause. Again he effectively is now a year older and hasn't added anything to his resume. Aren't there some other 21 year olds who are producing like him now? I honestly would have expected for him to drop 15+ spots.
You're saying you'd now trade him for Taijuan Walker or Dylan Bundy?
   11. bfan Posted: February 20, 2014 at 09:39 AM (#4659512)
Has the Rays seemingly endless talent pipeline finally begun to dry up?


At some point, not drafting in the top 5 has to catch up with you. There is not a perfect correlation between draft order and success, but there is a strong one, and having the top picks for several years in a row certainly increases your ability to pop stars into your line-ups at the MLB level.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:34 AM (#4659530)
At some point, not drafting in the top 5 has to catch up with you


The Red Sox and Rangers disagree!

By team:

Red Sox 8 (Bogarts, Owens, Bradley, Swihart, Cecchini, Betts, Webster, Ball)
Cubs 7 (Baez, Bryant, Edwards, Almora, Soler, Johnson, Alcantara)
Pirates 7 (Polanco, Taillon, Glasnow, Meadows, Kingham, Hanson, McGuire)
Astros 6 (Correa, Springer, Appel, Foltyniewicz, McCullers, Singleton)
Rangers 5 (Odor, Alfaro, Gallo, Williams, Choice)
Cardinals 4 (Taveras, Martinez, Wong, Piscotty)
Dodgers 4 (Pederson, Seager, Urias, Lee)
Mets 4 (Syndergaard, d'Arnaud, Montero, Smith)
Rockies 4 (Gray, Butler, Herrera, Dahl)
Royals 4 (Zimmer, Ventura, Mondesi, Bonifacio
Twins 4 (Buxton, Sano, Meyer, Stewart)
White Sox 4 (Abreu, Johnson, Davidson, Semien)
Indians 3 (Lindor, Frazier, Bauer)
Diamondbacks 3 (Bradley, Shipley, Owings)
Marlins 3 (Heaney, Moran, Marisnick)
Mariners 3 (Walker, Peterson, Paxton)
Orioles 3 (Bundy, Gausman, Rodriguez)
Padres 4 (Hedges, Wisler, Fried, Renfroe)
Phillies 3 (Franco, Biddle, Crawford)
Blue Jays 2 (Sanchez, Stroman)
Braves 2 (Sims, Bethancourt)
Giants 2 (Crick, Escobar)
Reds 2 (Stephenson, Hamilton)
Tigers 2 (Castellanos, Travis)
Yankees 2 (Tanaka, Sanchez)
A's 1 (Russell)
Angels 1 (Lindsey)
Brewers 1 (Nelson)
Nats 1 (Giolito)
Rays 1 (Odorizzi)
   13. puck Posted: February 20, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4659536)
These BA links should probably be in their own thread, but I am too lazy (and rushed) this morning.

BA's Top 100 lists from 1990-2013:
http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/top-100-prospects/all-time

Year-by-Year: How many made MLB, best ranking, worst ranking:
http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/top-100-prospects-year-by-year/

For example:

1990
Final Tally: 87 out of 100 reached major leagues

Most Regrettable Ranking: It’s tough for us to figure out how righthander Kiki Jones ranked No. 6 overall. He was just 5-foot-11, 175 pounds and was the 15th overall pick of the 1989 draft—eight spots behind Thomas, and about half Big Frank’s size. Jones went 8-0, 1.58 with 63 strikeouts in 63 innings in the Rookie-level Pioneer League, but we can’t figure that one out even in hindsight.


1992
Final Tally: 92 out of 100

Best Ranking: Chipper Jones at No. 4 looks good, but Pedro Martinez at No. 10—after an 18-8, 2.28 season between three levels—looks strong. Guess the Kiki Jones failure hadn’t stopped us from ranking 5-foot-11 righthanders.
   14. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4659555)
Russell's way too low at 14, I like him more than Lindor, Bryant, Walker, Bradley, maybe Baez and Correa. Interesting that Devon Travis, a 22 year old 2B at High-A, is 84 on BA's list. He's hit everywhere, but they have him much higher than the other prospect rankers.
   15. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 20, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4659559)
I can't wait for Buxton and Sano to impress in the show. Twins fans need something after the last few years of astonishballs crapitude.
   16. bookbook Posted: February 20, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4659560)
I remember the heady days (also known as 2012) when the Mariners had 5 of the top 40 prospects. Don't print those Cubs World Series tickets just yet...
   17. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 20, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4659570)
They're saying Betts might move over to SS as he has the arm and athleticism to play the position. That's a hell of a left side, but leaves no room for Cecchini.


I've seen a bit of Betts and I think there is no chance whatsoever that he is a regular MLB shortstop. I don't think the arm is there at all.
   18. dave h Posted: February 20, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4659578)
I'm an Oscar Taveras fan of course...but nobody could really gain ground on him and he didn't really lose any?


He did lose ground, but in the meantime, most of the people around him graduated. He was passed by two players, and he's only ahead of two other players who were in last year's top 10.
   19. zonk Posted: February 20, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4659624)
Cubs with 7, and 5 of the top 41.

Reminds me of the heady days when Castro's top 4 ZiPS comps were Yount, Brett and Jeter. Of course I should have known Dan meant Jeter's defense, Yount's BA and the late Brett's power in a package with Dunston's patience.

But I digress....


For a change, they've got some legitimate bats -- even during the early aughts, they were a bit slim on performers in the field. Baez seems like he ought to at least be able to be Tony Batista for a few years, maybe more. Bryant has upside and legit power. Soler and Almora are further off, but I like 'em both.

If there's a concern with the makeup of the Cubs entrants -- it's that the pitching side has too scary wispy guys in Johnson and Edwards... But hey, who knows... new regime so maybe this one will be better at keeping pitchers healthy than the last. Hard to argue with the results from either of them - both relatively young for their league. Both ought to spend most of 2014 in the AA rotation and you'd have to think barring hitting a wall or injury, they both ought to at least sniff contention for a 2015 rotation spot.

I like the Cubs IF depth an awful lot... In addition to Baez, Alcantara, and at least temporarily - Bryant -- you've still got Olt... plus Christian Villanueva, Jamier Candelairo, Gioskar Amaya, and Logan Watkins. Lake is technically an (error-prone) middle IF, too.

I'd feel a lot better if both Rizzo and Castro just take mulligans on 2013 and at least get back to where they were in 2012.... If that happens, I really do like the Cubs lineup going forward.
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4659649)
What's the cut off of prospect status? I was kinda surprised to see Carlos Martinez on the list because I kinda thought he spent most of the year with the Cards. He only made 21 appearances, but that seems like a decent amount of MLB experience. Jackie Bradley was the opening day LF for the Red Sox and had 107 PAs. Is he still a prospect?
   21. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4659662)
They're saying Betts might move over to SS as he has the arm and athleticism to play the position. That's a hell of a left side, but leaves no room for Cecchini.


I've seen a bit of Betts and I think there is no chance whatsoever that he is a regular MLB shortstop. I don't think the arm is there at all.


I've also read in various Sox-centric writings that Betts could theoretically be moved to the outfield at some point.

The Red Sox have a "good problem" at the moment, in that nobody had Betts making any prospects lists before the 2013 season, and they have excellent prospects at SS, 3B, and CF, and an established star locked up for a long time at reasonable money at 2B. They also have multiple attractive catching prospects. What the Sox lack, however, are power-hitting prospects (outside of Bogaerts), including a 1B and corner OF prospects. It's OK for 2014, because much of their free agent $$$ is covering those holes for now - but by 2015, wouldn't it make sense to swap some of their prospect depth at pitcher, catcher and IF for young talent in those lacking areas? Is this what happens to Betts?
   22. Rants Mulliniks Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4659668)
Nice to know that the Jays were so successful blowing their wad last year, it makes them having only two in the top 100 more bearable.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4659673)
re #21. If he continues to develop, I had the thought of using Betts like the Rays use Zobrist.
   24. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:48 PM (#4659678)
I can't wait for Buxton and Sano to impress in the show.

It's been a long, long winter. I read that as "impress in the snow." Minnesota and all that...
   25. Publius Publicola Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:49 PM (#4659679)
What the Sox lack, however, are power-hitting prospects (outside of Bogaerts), including a 1B and corner OF prospects.


Aren't those guys kind of easy to find? Both Nava and Carp sort of fit that description, and they both project to stick around a while. Lavarnway, if they don't trade him, could probably play a decent first.
   26. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: February 20, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4659686)
What the Sox lack, however, are power-hitting prospects (outside of Bogaerts), including a 1B and corner OF prospects.


Aren't those guys kind of easy to find? Both Nava and Carp sort of fit that description, and they both project to stick around a while. Lavarnway, if they don't trade him, could probably play a decent first.


Perhaps they are easier to find in the upper minors and major leagues than up-the-middle positions, but if you look at the Red Sox salary commitments, a lot of it is being used to cover the corner OF slots and 1B: Napoli, Gomes, Victorino, Ortiz (again, $15m for a power bat). The trick with Fenway is that you really want a CF-quality glove in RF, if possible, given the amount of space being covered. Between Bradley in CF, and Victorino in RF, it is going to be very tough to drop a ball into that area.
   27. Publius Publicola Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4659709)
Bradley Jr projects to hit with decent power for a centerfielder. He'll hit around 30 doubles and be somewhere in the teens in HRs. Victorino has pretty good pop too. I don't that that's much of a worry.
   28. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4659728)
I read that as "impress in the snow."


Buxton and Sano as Snow Angels!
   29. madvillain Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4659745)
When was the last time the White Sox had 4 guys on this list? Granted, Abreu isn't really a prospect imo, so give them 3, but damn, good job Hahn. Keep an eye on Erik Johnson: good build, good stuff, held his own in his cup of coffee last year, might not start the year in Chicago but will probably be up sooner rather than later if he continues to impress. He pitched at 3 levels last year (AA, AAA, MLB) and in the minors posted a 4/1 k/bb ratio with batters hitting only .197 against him.
   30. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4659751)
When was the last time the White Sox had 4 guys on this list?


2009. How quickly we forget studs like Gordon Beckham (20), Dayan Viciedo (61), Aaron Poreda (63) and Tyler Flowers (99).
   31. madvillain Posted: February 20, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4659761)
2009. How quickly we forget studs like Gordon Beckham (20), Dayan Viciedo (61), Aaron Poreda (63) and Tyler Flowers (99).


Tragi-comically, 3 of those 4 will be full time regulars this year. Difference this time around though is the floors for Abrue, Semian, Johnson and Davidson seem quite a bit higher than that group, which other than Beckham, consisted mostly of toolsy guys with obvious holes in their game. Beckham has struggled to stay above replacement since his sparkling rookie year, inexplicably.
   32. alilisd Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4659838)
Indians 3 (Lindor, Frazier, Bauer)
Diamondbacks 3 (Bradley, Shipley, Owings)
Marlins 3 (Heaney, Moran, Marisnick)
Mariners 3 (Walker, Peterson, Paxton)
Orioles 3 (Bundy, Gausman, Rodriguez)
Padres 4 (Hedges, Wisler, Fried, Renfroe)


No respect, I tell ya', no respect! (fiddles with necktie)
   33. zonk Posted: February 20, 2014 at 04:50 PM (#4659882)
I like the Padres system... I think they have a lot of guys that are in the 100-200 range - and let's face it, after the top 50 or so, you can play a lot with the rankings of the next couple hundred depending on your please (tools, performance, ceiling, etc). I think they've got some sleepers...
   34. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:02 PM (#4659949)
What's the cut off of prospect status?


I wonder about this also? Is it so many games/ab's at the major level? days spent on the roster. We all know Bogaerts was behind Drew and Iglesias at the beginning of last season, but dude started every game of the world series for chrissakes, that hardly screams the term "prospect".
   35. God Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4659952)
I'm an Oscar Taveras fan of course...but nobody could really gain ground on him and he didn't really lose any? Sorry but he effectively lost a year, he's a great prospect of course, but he's officially a year older and did zero to help his case last year. I just think it's weird how often these elite prospects are able to hold their rankings even with years where they didn't help their cause. Again he effectively is now a year older and hasn't added anything to his resume. Aren't there some other 21 year olds who are producing like him now? I honestly would have expected for him to drop 15+ spots.


The same scenario happened to the #1 prospect in 1994; he only dropped to #2 after losing an entire season to injury. But Chipper Jones seemed to turn out OK in the end.
   36. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4659957)
What's the cut off of prospect status?


I'm pretty sure for most (including BA) simply say "rookie=prospect." In other words if you are eligible for Rookie of the Year Award you are eligible for these lists. From MLB.com;

A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or seasons, he has (a) exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues; or (b) accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the period of 25-player limit (excluding time in the military service and time on the disabled list).
   37. Publius Publicola Posted: February 20, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4659973)
Capuano signs w/Red Sox for 2.25M.
   38. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 21, 2014 at 12:40 AM (#4660077)
Capuano definitely seems old for a prospect.
   39. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: February 21, 2014 at 01:15 AM (#4660087)
A prospect for AARP?

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