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Monday, January 22, 2018

Top 100 MLB Prospects 2018 | BaseballAmerica.com

1. Ronald Acuna | OF | Braves
2. Shohei Ohtani | RHP | Angels
3. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. | 3B | Blue Jays
4. Eloy Jimenez | OF | White Sox
5. Victor Robles | OF | Nationals
6. Gleyber Torres | SS | Yankees
7. Nick Senzel | 3B | Reds
8. Bo Bichette | SS | Blue Jays
9. Fernando Tatis Jr | SS | Padres
10. Forrest Whitley | RHP | Astros

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2018 at 09:08 AM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: prospects, prospects rankings, top 100

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   1. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 22, 2018 at 09:59 AM (#5610801)
Only two Cubs... but they're both in the top 10.... but they're both playing for other teams.
   2. Greg K Posted: January 22, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5610811)
#3 for Vlad!

It feels like it's been a while since a Blue Jay prospect was that high.

Travis Snider was #6 before the 2009 season. We can only hope Vlad Jr. will be as successful!
   3. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 22, 2018 at 10:27 AM (#5610814)
And Bo Bichette at #8.

I think the Jays system might be baseball's most underrated. The pitching has kind of scuffled and stagnated - Reid-Foley and Jonathon Harris were legit prospects at one time, but both are still young enough to get over the double A hump.
   4. LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: January 22, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5610820)
The Angels have three in the top 100, most they've had since 2012 when Trout, Segura, and Richards were on the list. Ohtani being on the list is kind of cheating, but it's great to see the farm system start to turn around after five years of basically nothing.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 22, 2018 at 10:41 AM (#5610822)
Six Yankees: Torres (6), Florial (38), Sheffield (41), Andujar (59), Abreu (77) and Adams (81). Clint Frazier nolonger eligible.

I wish they would keep ranking the guys until they had significant MLB PT. To me 150 PAs is still a prospect.
   6. Spahn Insane, stool of Tarantino Posted: January 22, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5610830)
No Cubs in the top 100 for the first time in what must be quite a while.

Given that, seeing the 4 and 6 prospects on the list I can only keep telling myself "Jose Quintana is good, cheap, and signed longterm" and "flags fly forever," respectively.
   7. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 22, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5610831)
I wish they would keep ranking the guys until they had significant MLB PT. To me 150 PAs is still a prospect.


Meh, gotta put the line somewhere.... though - I would not oppose ranksters doing something different, like perhaps breaking down lists into something like 'teenagers', 'early 20s', and late early 20s.

Something like three lists covering players 1) 19 and under, 2)20-23, and 3)24 to 26.

I know some publications have done things like this on a one-off lark, but to me - that's always been a big problem putting together a cohesive prospect list. It's so hard to balance ceilings and floors, put the guys with minimal pro experience together with guys knocking on the door.

Even better would be coming up with three lists using a combination of age AND pro experience/competition level. Thinking back to the OTHER thread Jim quasi-resurrected (BA's retrospective on its 2015 25th anniversary of producing such lists), if you're going to do a unified top 100... I kind of think that's how I'd start -- multiple lists of age/experience levels, then boil them together not necessarily so each sublist has equal representation, but the idea a true top 100 would tend to strike a balance between the truly raw/unproven, young/proving it, and ready to graduate.
   8. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 22, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5610855)
Only two Cubs... but they're both in the top 10.... but they're both playing for other teams.


Every once in a while, soomeone writes an article about what teams would look like if there were no trades or FA. Everyone had toplay their entire career with the team that first signed them. Usually the Cubs come out looking pretty pathetic, but now:

C - Willson Contreras
1B - Kris Bryant
2B - D J LeMahieu
SS - Javier Baez
3B - Josh Donaldson
LF - Kyle Schwarber
CF - Albert Almora
RF - Ian Happ

SP - Zack Godley
SP - Andrew Cashner
SP - Jeff Samardzija
SP - Rich Hill
SP - Rickey Nolasco

Pen:
Tony Zych
Rob Z
Dillon Maples
Chris Rusin
Jerry Blevins

Bench:
Welington Castillo
Justin Bour
Josh Harrison
Bradley Zimmer
Brandon Guyer
Jeimer Candelario

Prospects:

Gleyber Torres
Eloy Jimenez
Jen-Ho-Tseng

AAAA Fodder:

Dan Voglebach
Jorge Soler
Geovany Soto
Darwin Barney


Pitching is a little scary, and I might have overlooked an international player or 2. But that is a championship quality lineup with tons of depth.
   9. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 22, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5610860)
Pitching is a little scary,


a "little" scary? You're a brave, brave man!
   10. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 22, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5610865)
a "little" scary? You're a brave, brave man!


Just have to score 6 runs a game.
   11. wjones Posted: January 22, 2018 at 11:46 AM (#5610868)
8 Braves, and that doesn't include Albies, Swanson, Newcombe. So despite the Great Purge of the 2018 Offseason, some reason for optimism.
   12. JRVJ Posted: January 22, 2018 at 12:35 PM (#5610910)
Nick Senzel at 7 and no Mickey Moniak. Damn, that's harsh on the Phils..... (it does seem to me that Moniak, 2016's 1.1 pick has been discounted WAY too quick).
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 22, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5610912)
8 Braves, and that doesn't include Albies, Swanson, Newcombe. So despite the Great Purge of the 2018 Offseason, some reason for optimism.

Broadly correct, but I'm not sure I'd put Swanson in the reasons for optimism column.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 22, 2018 at 12:40 PM (#5610915)
Nick Senzel at 7 and no Mickey Moniak. Damn, that's harsh on the Phils..... (it does seem to me that Moniak, 2016's 1.1 pick has been discounted WAY too quick).

To be fair, Moniak was absolutely putrid last year. 236/284/341 80 wRC+ in A-ball. Not even high-A. 5.5% BB-rate, 21.4% K-rate. Tons of ground balls and IF. No power.

There's not much to like.
   15. Mike Webber Posted: January 22, 2018 at 12:44 PM (#5610919)
Team Number
Braves 8
Brewers 6
Padres 6
Rays 6
Yankees 6
Phillies 5
Reds 5
Twins 5
WhiteSox 5
Astros 4
Athletics 4
BlueJays 4
Cardinals 4
Dodgers 4
Angels 3
Orioles 3
Rockies 3
Tigers 3
Indians 2
Marlins 2
Nationals 2
Pirates 2
Rangers 2
RedSox 2
D’backs 1
Giants 1
Mariners 1
Mets 1
Cubs 0
Royals 0 
   16. JRVJ Posted: January 22, 2018 at 12:54 PM (#5610929)
To be fair, Moniak was absolutely putrid last year. 236/284/341 80 wRC+ in A-ball. Not even high-A. 5.5% BB-rate, 21.4% K-rate. Tons of ground balls and IF. No power.

There's not much to like.


Oh, I know (IIRC, though, he had better numbers earlier in the season, and then started a slow but very deep collapse).

But he was a 1.1 very recently (even those who didn't seem him as 1.1. saw him as being part of the top-5 cohort in that year's draft). So you'd think he'd get a LITTLE wiggle room.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 22, 2018 at 01:01 PM (#5610942)
But he was a 1.1 very recently (even those who didn't seem him as 1.1. saw him as being part of the top-5 cohort in that year's draft). So you'd think he'd get a LITTLE wiggle room.

That's why I prefer the letter grade approach Sickels uses. There are probably another 50 guys indistinguisable from #90-100.
   18. Jesse Barfield's Right Arm Posted: January 22, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5610975)
Agree that Moniak's plunge from #17 to out of the list was tough, but maybe they learned to not give wiggle room after Appel's hilarious endurance. Putting Haseley at #100 seems to be an extra slight to Moniak...

OTOH, J.P. Crawford seems to be rewarding the long leash BA gave him.
   19. Colin Posted: January 22, 2018 at 01:27 PM (#5610999)
Interesting that Kevin Maitan is not on there, after his unimpressive MiLB debut last year. I can't decide what would make me feel worse - losing Maitan and seeing him star elsewhere, or having the team suffer harsh penalties because the Braves broke the rules to get a guy who ended up flaming out anyway.
   20. McCoy Posted: January 22, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5611012)
So have we reached the tail end of Theo's talent arc? Pipeline dried up and filling in the holes with expensive FA talent that doesn't live up to expectations.
   21. Boxkutter Posted: January 22, 2018 at 01:42 PM (#5611030)
Bench:
Welington Castillo
Justin Bour
Josh Harrison
Bradley Zimmer
Brandon Guyer
Jeimer Candelario

You can't put Zimmer on their bench. He never signed with them. He was drafted out of high school by the Cubs, but he went to college instead before being drafted and signing with the Indians. If we were to play that way, then you'd have to remove Kris Bryant from the Cubs and give him to the Blue Jays.
   22. jmurph Posted: January 22, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5611032)
So have we reached the tail end of Theo's talent arc? Pipeline dried up and filling in the holes with expensive FA talent that doesn't live up to expectations.

My god, how does this happen. Something like 25 other teams would gladly swap places.
   23. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: January 22, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5611039)
So have we reached the tail end of Theo's talent arc? Pipeline dried up and filling in the holes with expensive FA talent that doesn't live up to expectations.


Dave Dombrowski 2.0. Seriously though, DD never flew a flag, if the Cubs "only" get one WS win out the Theo era somehow I think he'll do OK in any historical evaluation. The Quintana trade might have been a bridge too far but there's still a lot of baseball to play out on that one. We'll see how Q looks and how Eloy progresses this year.
   24. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 22, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5611040)
So have we reached the tail end of Theo's talent arc? Pipeline dried up and filling in the holes with expensive FA talent that doesn't live up to expectations.


Not at all -- it was inevitable that graduations and trades were going to put the Cubs in a trough, top-shelf wise... but there's some teen talent already making strides - Aramis Ademan in particular is on the Gleyber track... jumped to full-season A ball as an 18 yo and had a nice year, especially for his age. Jose Albertos has always had a live arm and finally got the innings in.

It would be very helpful if some of the older pitchers broke out - Alzolay, Lange, Little, Clifton, Steele, De la Cruz - but it's not a barren system by any stretch.
   25. wjones Posted: January 22, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5611042)
8 Braves, and that doesn't include Albies, Swanson, Newcombe. So despite the Great Purge of the 2018 Offseason, some reason for optimism.

Broadly correct, but I'm not sure I'd put Swanson in the reasons for optimism column.



Well, I'm not ready to give up on the guy after one bad year.
   26. Zonk, Genius of the Stables Posted: January 22, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5611043)
Dave Dombrowski 2.0. Seriously though, DD never flew a flag, if the Cubs "only" get one WS win out the Theo era somehow I think he'll do OK in any historical evaluation. The Quintana trade might have been a bridge too far but there's still a lot of baseball to play out on that one. We'll see how Q looks and how Eloy progresses this year.


No, I still do the Quintana trade... it's the Chapman trade I've always wanted back.
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 22, 2018 at 02:30 PM (#5611071)
Well, I'm not ready to give up on the guy after one bad year.

Certainly not. But last year was a pretty awful outcome for an A prospect. He's not super young either.
   28. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 22, 2018 at 02:37 PM (#5611077)
You can't put Zimmer on their bench. He never signed with them. He was drafted out of high school by the Cubs, but he went to college instead before being drafted and signing with the Indians.


That one got by me. Put Matt Szczur on the bench as 5th OF.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: January 22, 2018 at 03:12 PM (#5611118)
In response to McCoy and to point out the fairly amazing feat (not for the first time), the Cubs have an entire position player lineup plus Happ under control for at least the next 4 years. At the end of the 4 years, the oldest players will be Rizzo and Heyward at 32 so that's an entire lineup under control for their primes:

Contreras, Rizzo, Baez, Russell, Bryant, Schwarber, Almora, Heyward, Happ ... add two years of Zobrist (might be good, might be bad), 3 years of Lester, 3 of Hendricks, 3 of Quintana, 3 of Chatwood ... possibly 3+ of another FA starter.

That is the sort of thing we dreamed about 6 years ago. The problem we speculated about that nobody in their right mind would think could possibly come to pass has come to pass -- what do the Cubs do if all of their prospects hit? (OK, Soler missed) Imagine the "problem" if we had kept Jimenez and Torres. Why, we might have to trade Heyward!

Rizzo, Russell and Heyward came from outside the organization but that just means it could have been this 8-man lineup for the next 4+ years ...

Contreras, Schwarber, Torres, Baez, Bryant, Happ, Almora, Jimenez

The cupboard is bare now so the Cubs will mostly live or die based on that lineup. For the 2nd half 2015, all of 2016 and 2nd half of 2017, that was the best offense in the NL so there's hope.

One thing Theo did in Boston that he hasn't done yet for the Cubs is get a lot out of later-round draft picks. I don't know to what extent he may have been taking advantage of draft maneuvers that aren't possible in the current system but, since we would like to be in the playoffs every year, we are going to have to get used to late 1st round picks that will not make our hearts flutter on draft day.

I still don't really understand how the international stuff works these days but obviously it would be highly beneficial to the Cubs to turn up an Acuna, Vlad Jr, another Torres, another Jimenez. And I assume we will always be in the mix for the next Ohtani, big Korean kid or anybody left in Cuba.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: January 22, 2018 at 07:33 PM (#5611347)
On the desire to incorporate age ... this also offers the way to stop worrying about where to draw the line on "prospect." What matters is not so much how much ML PT a player has but how good they are for their age and/or the closely related "what can we expect going forward." So I agree, a list of, say, 20 and under; another of 21-23; another of 24-25 ... but amount of ML time plays no role. If Mike Trout is 20 and tearing up the majors then no reason to name some other 20-year-old (much less 23-year-old) the "top prospect." Really, that's just about creating more lists to draw more eyeballs.

I can see an argument for a list based on service time -- here are the best players with no service time; here are the best with less than one year (6 years left); here are the best with 5 years left.

If you want to then combine those lists into an overall ranking, that's fine but "prospect" still doesn't need to play a part in that. Really the only reason we care about "prospect" is that it's tied to RoY eligibility which isn't much of a reason to pay attention to it outside of RoY voting.

Basically "who are the best players who are relatively young but not yet deemed good enough for the majors?" (with an arbitrary threshold on ML PT) is a rather odd question to focus on when it would be slightly simpler to answer "who are the best players who are relatively young?" Or "who are the players we expect to deliver the most value (or WAR/$) over the next X years?" is the service time equivalent. It also avoids those odd scenarios where Kris Bryant was a #1 prospect while being nearly a full year older than Harper who already had 10 WAR under his belt and was about to have a 10 WAR season and less than half-a-year younger than Trout who already had two 10-WAR seasons.
   31. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: January 22, 2018 at 08:22 PM (#5611373)
The Angels have three in the top 100, most they've had since 2012 when Trout, Segura, and Richards were on the list. Ohtani being on the list is kind of cheating, but it's great to see the farm system start to turn around after five years of basically nothing.


Yeah, it's crazy. If you think about the SS from the Braves - that's really 4 guys who were in the top 100 over the last 2 years...

   32. John DiFool2 Posted: January 22, 2018 at 08:36 PM (#5611376)
#3 for Vlad!


I wonder what his HoF chances are (given that his daddy is a lock now).

Are the Waner brothers the only primary relations to have gone into any Hall? Seems like there was another pair from another sport (and yes I am aware of the golfing Tom Morrises). I wonder if that is a fluke (you've arguably got the genes, and presumably the environment too), if we should have more related HoFers than we do.
   33. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 22, 2018 at 08:40 PM (#5611379)
Phil and Tony Esposito. Also the Dionne brothers I think. Bobby and Brett Hull.

edit: Richard brothers, not Dionne.
   34. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: January 22, 2018 at 08:54 PM (#5611388)
And yes, Lloyd Waner is in the HOF and Ken Griffey Sr, Wes Ferrell, Bobby Bonds (yes, I know Barry is not in) just to name 3 are not, but the latter 3 were all far better players than Little Poison.
   35. Ziggy: The Platonic Form of Russell Branyan Posted: January 22, 2018 at 08:57 PM (#5611390)
Don't forget Duane and Gregg.
   36. Cooper Nielson Posted: January 22, 2018 at 09:51 PM (#5611431)
Every once in a while, soomeone writes an article about what teams would look like if there were no trades or FA. Everyone had toplay their entire career with the team that first signed them. Usually the Cubs come out looking pretty pathetic, but now:

I always enjoy these lists. Does anyone know an easy way to assemble them, without paging through page after page of drafts/seasons on baseball-reference? Specifically, I'd like to see the Tigers.

Based on a few minutes of research, they've got a decent (but top-heavy) rotation and a surprisingly good bullpen, but not much of a lineup.

C - James McCann
1B - Alex Avila (putting him here instead of C because I can't find another 1B)
2B - Devon Travis
3B - Eugenio Suarez
SS - Hernan Perez
LF - Matt Joyce
CF - Cameron Maybin
RF - Avisail Garcia
DH - Nicholas Castellanos

Bench: Curtis Granderson, Dixon Machado, Tyler Collins, Bryan Holaday

SP - Justin Verlander
SP - Rick Porcello
SP - Drew Smyly
SP - Buck Farmer
SP - Kyle Ryan/Drew VerHagen

RP - Andrew Miller
RP - Corey Knebel
RP - Chad Green
RP - Warwick Saupold
RP - Bruce Rondon
RP - Ryan/VerHagen
RP - Joe Jimenez
   37. formerly dp Posted: January 22, 2018 at 09:57 PM (#5611436)
Urg. The Mets have one in the top 100, down at 94. Part of that is Rosario, Nimmo, and Smith graduating, but still...they should have talent coming up behind them. Last year's deadline deals didn't net them anything worthwhile.
   38. Justin Turner Overdrive Posted: January 23, 2018 at 09:20 AM (#5611563)
Interesting that Kevin Maitan is not on there, after his unimpressive MiLB debut last year. I can't decide what would make me feel worse - losing Maitan and seeing him star elsewhere, or having the team suffer harsh penalties because the Braves broke the rules to get a guy who ended up flaming out anyway.


Kevin Maitan has a good chance to be the next Wilson Betemit.
   39. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 23, 2018 at 09:09 PM (#5612177)
I feel like I see a lot of hand-wringing from Cubs fans, given that the Cubs have made the playoffs -- is it four years in a row now? And are 15 months off a WS victory? And have two star hitters locked down for several more years, and a young, spicy-fielding SS? I guess it's just the cognitive experience of following a team that draws a full house one year and then a pair of aces the next. But man. The Mariners have zero players as good as either Rizzo or Bryant, depending on what you believe about Cano's aging curve. They're a rich team with a young, good lineup. I would #### myself with joy for half of what they have.

As for Swanson . . . wasn't a large part of his ceiling always built around the idea that he'd be an excellent fielder and an okay hitter? I agree it's premature to give up on him, but man, that was a <i>real<i> bad year.
   40. Colin Posted: January 23, 2018 at 09:32 PM (#5612182)
Kevin Maitan has a good chance to be the next Wilson Betemit.


That's a pretty good comparison (or maybe even optimistic).

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