2017 Midseason Top 75 Prospects

I’m a little beyond the midpoint in preparing this, but…life. Find an updated list of my original 2017 prospect list below:

  1. Yoan Moncada, 2B/3B, Chicago White Sox

    One of several pieces from the Sale trade, Moncada is a freak
    Courtesy: Zimbio
  2. Gleyber Torres, SS, New York Yankees
  3. Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., 3B, Toronto Blue Jays
  4. Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago White Sox
  5. Amed Rosario, SS, New York Mets
  6. Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox
  7. Victor Robles, OF, Washington Nationals
  8. Brendan Rodgers, SS, Colorado Rockies
  9. Ronald Acuna, OF, Atlanta Braves
  10. Francisco Mejia, C, Cleveland Indians
  11. Nick Senzel, 3B, Cincinnati Reds
  12. Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros
  13. Brent Honeywell, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
  14. Lewis Brinson, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
  15. Alex Reyes, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
  16. Juan Soto, OF, Washington Nationals
  17. Willy Adames, SS, Tampa Bay Rays
  18. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
  19. Walker Buehler, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
  20. Michael Kopech, RHP, Chicago White Sox
  21. Austin Meadows, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
  22. A.J. Puk, LHP, Oakland Athletics
  23. Triston McKenzie, RHP, Cleveland Indians
  24. Nick Gordon, SS, Minnesota Twins
  25. Kolby Allard, LHP, Atlanta Braves
  26. Chance Sisco, C, Baltimore Orioles
  27. Ozzie Albies, 2B, Atlanta Braves
  28. Franklin Barreto, SS, Oakland Athletics
  29. Sixto Sanchez, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
  30. Fernando Tatis, Jr., SS, San Diego Padres
  31. Bo Bichette, SS, Toronto Blue Jays
  32. J.P. Crawford, SS, Philadelphia Phillies
  33. Alex Verdugo, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
  34. Cal Quantrill, RHP, San Diego Padres
  35. Mike Soroka, RHP, Atlanta Braves
  36. Hunter Greene, RHP, Cincinnati Reds

    The Reds got the best player in the draft at No.2 overall.
    Courtesy: MLB.com
  37. Leody Taveras, OF, Texas Rangers
  38. MacKenzie Gore, LHP, San Diego Padres
  39. Blake Rutherford, OF, New York Yankees
  40. Yadier Alvarez, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
  41. Franklin Perez, RHP, Houston Astros
  42. Carson Kelly, C, St. Louis Cardinals
  43. Chance Adams, RHP, New York Yankees
  44. Sandy Alcantara, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
  45. Royce Lewis, SS, Minnesota Twins
  46. Ryan Mountcastle, SS, Baltimore Orioles
  47. Sean Newcomb, LHP, Atlanta Braves
  48. Kyle Wright, RHP, Atlanta Braves
  49. Brendan McKay, LHP/1B, Tampa Bay Rays
  50. Isan Diaz, SS, Milwaukee Brewers
  51. Jorge Alfaro, C, Philadelphia Phillies
  52. Jason Groome, LHP, Boston Red Sox
  53. Luis Robert, OF, Chicago White Sox
  54. Riley Pint, RHP, Colorado Rockies
  55. Justus Sheffield, LHP, New York Yankees
  56. Dominic Smith, 1B, New York Mets
  57. Scott Kingery, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies
  58. Ian Anderson, RHP, Atlanta Braves
  59. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Chicago White Sox
  60. Derek Fisher, OF, Houston Astros
  61. Jack Flaherty, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
  62. Alex Faedo, RHP, Detroit Tigers
  63. Kyle Lewis, OF, Seattle Mariners
  64. Anthony Banda, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
  65. Estevan Florial, OF, New York Yankees
  66. Kevin Maitan, SS, Atlanta Braves
  67. Lucas Giolito, RHP, Chicago White Sox

    Giolito hasn’t lived up to the hype, but the stuff is still there – and unharnessed.
  68. Beau Burrows, RHP, Detroit Tigers
  69. Dylan Cease, RHP, Chicago White Sox
  70. Adrian Morejon, LHP, San Diego Padres
  71. Chris Shaw, 1B/OF, San Francisco Giants
  72. Michael Chavis, 3B, Boston Red Sox
  73. Lourdes Gurriel, SS, Toronto Blue Jays
  74. Jesus Sanchez, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
  75. Willie Calhoun, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers

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Why the Rays MUST Trade David Price

Price
David Price, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays had another excellent season in 2013, winning 90 games for the fifth time in six seasons, something that seemed nearly impossible during the club’s first ten years in existence, when the Rays lost 91 or more games each season, including more than 100 games three times. Obviously, winning is still somewhat new to the Rays organization, but it will continue to be something that they intend on doing, as the smart, creative thinkers in the front office manipulate their data and their finances to field a strong, perennial contender in the AL East.

With that being said, now is the time for the team to trade their best starting pitcher, David Price.

It isn’t a money thing. It isn’t something that improves the current roster. It has everything to do with the future of the franchise and the Rays’ success.

Prior to the 2013 season, the Rays traded James Shields, Wade Davis, and Elliot Johnson to the Kansas City Royals for Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery, and Patrick Leonard. While Davis had an affordable contract and showed some signs of potential in 2012 out of the bullpen, the two years remaining on Shields’ contract was the primary focus of the deal for the Royals. The Rays were seeking major league ready talent and received Myers as the centerpiece of their return, a right-handed hitting slugger who compiled a whopping 37 home runs between Double-A and Triple-A in 2012, leaving him as the No.4 ranked prospect in baseball entering the 2013 season. Odorizzi has always had solid stuff and was likely to become a mid-rotation starter, while Montgomery, who was the 19th best prospect in baseball prior to the 2011 season (according to Baseball America), before injuries and control issues halted his progression. Myers was obviously the major part of the deal, and while they lost Shields, the team was in need of offensive help, which Myers bat certainly provided. The deal will make the Rays competitive for several seasons, but they need more help than just Myers and Odorizzi, and that is why Price must go.

In 2013, Chris Archer made 23 starts for the Rays, while Odorizzi made seven appearances (four starts), Alex Colome made three appearances (all starts). and Enny Romero made one appearance (a start), and all three of these starting pitching prospects will play a major role with the club going forward; however, the club’s number one prospect, Taylor Guerrieri, had Tommy John surgery and will likely miss all of 2014, on top of a second positive test for a drug of abuse, which leads to some character questions considering his already checkered past. Beyond Odorizzi, Colome, and Romero likely contributing in 2014 in some way, the rest of the Tampa Bay system is not where it has been in years past. Their top position prospect is shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, who missed nearly all of 2013 due to an injury to his left knee, a tremendous defensive shortstop with excellent speed who may not have a strong enough hit tool to be any more than a No.8 or No.9 hitter in the majors. The rest of the system doesn’t appear anywhere near ready to help the club, which could be a huge issue within the next couple of seasons when you consider that the Rays ranked in the bottom half of the AL in runs scored (9th).

The Rays need bats, not necessarily major league ready bats but bats that will be ready to help the club within the next two to three years. However, landing position players with team-control is also a sufficient alternative. Within the top 20 players in the system (according to MLB.com), the Rays have 10 starting pitching prospects, all of whom have posted solid minor league numbers and have very good stuff, including: Blake Snell, Ryne Stanek, Jeff Ames, Jesse Hahn, Felipe Rivero, and the previously mentioned Guerrieri, Odorizzi, Colome, Montgomery, and Romero. Only Lee, Mikie Mahtook, and Tim Beckham, the failed No.1 overall pick from the 2008 MLB Draft, have sniffed competition above Double-A among the 10 position prospects on the list. To maintain strong pitching and enough offense to win games in the AL East, the Rays must deal from their strength, and that is David Price.

While creating potential trade scenarios is always fun, it is also very unpredictable, as you never know what teams are actually thinking when it comes to their long-term outlook on a given player. With that being said, here are a few deals that would make sense for the Rays:

Courtesy: ESPN.com
Courtesy: ESPN.com

Price to the Texas Rangers for Jurickson Profar, Rougned Odor, and Lewis Brinson. Profar could take over second base in 2014, pushing Ben Zobrist to left field, keeping Myers in right and Desmond Jennings in center. Yunel Escobar is under contract for the 2014 season at $5 million and Profar can move to short in 2015, giving Odor another season to fine tune his skills at second. Brinson is an absolute wild card. He has tremendous tools but no true bat to ball skills at this point, which led to his 191 strikeouts in 447 at-bats in 2013 for Hickory.

Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, and Scott Schebler. Pederson is near ready to step in and play left, with Jennings manning center field, and has the ability to drive the ball and utilize his speed to the tune of several 20 HR/20 SB seasons. Seager could be a future star on the left side of the infield, but he may not be able to handle short long-term and Evan Longoria is at third, so…first base or an outfield corner could still allow Seager to be useful – he will be capable of those types of numbers. Schebler had 69 extra-base hits in the California League in 2013 at the age of 22, while striking out 140 times. He could be useful since he hit .301 against left-handers and .294 against right-handers, but after a pretty sad season in 2012, he is a gamble as a prospect when you consider that his lone productive season was in a hitter’s paradise.

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Price to the Cleveland Indians for Francisco Lindor, Danny Salazar, Tyler Naquin, and C.C. Lee. Lindor, like Profar, would be a tremendous addition at shortstop for the long haul. He may not hit 15-20 home runs, but he has great on-base skills and contact ability as a hitter, setting the table for the middle of the order from the top of the lineup. Salazar is a beast and while the Rays may not have a need for another arm, Salazar could be a solid No.2 starter for years to come (and the Indians don’t really have a better prospect to team with Lindor to make this a good deal). Naquin is an above-average defender with a strong arm who may never hit enough to be more than a No.4 outfielder. He does have solid on-base skills but if he turns into a Sam Fuld type of player, the Rays should be thrilled – and the Rays manage to get a lot out of players like Fuld. Lee had Tommy John surgery in 2012 and is a very good relief prospect as the final piece.

While none of these trades will net the Rays 15-20 wins like David Price could in 2014, the club has to look beyond 2014, as they did in 2013 when they traded another top of the rotation starter in James Shields for several solid pieces and spare parts. The baseball operations and player development staff of the Rays is very intelligent and they likely have several ideas laid out involving a potential deal for David Price this winter. As rumors fly in the coming weeks of the hot stove season, Rays fans can only hope that the haul that the club could net is as strong as some of these mentioned above.

With a system that isn’t as strong as it once was, now is the time for the Tampa Bay Rays to make this move.

Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects

Courtesy: stlouiscardinalsbaseball.com
Courtesy: stlouiscardinalsbaseball.com

Below you will find the Mid-Season Top 50 prospects in baseball (as of 6/26/2013). This list is an update to my offseason Top 100 list and excludes players that will, likely, earn enough service time to not qualify as a prospect after the 2013 season (Jurickson Profar, Wil Myers, Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer, and others from the original list have been excluded. Feel free to compare.).

1) Oscar Taveras, STL, OF

2) Byron Buxton, MIN, OF

3) Miguel Sano, MIN, 3B

4) Xander Bogaerts, BOS, SS

5) Archie Bradley, ARZ, RHP

6) Taijuan Walker, SEA, RHP

7) Jonathan Singleton, HOU, 1B

8) Jameson Taillon, PIT, RHP

9) Carlos Correa, HOU, SS

10) Addison Russell, OAK, SS

11) Francisco Lindor, CLE, SS

12) Gregory Polanco, PIT, OF

13) Javier Baez, CHI-C, SS

14) Noah Syndergaard, NYM, RHP

CIN RHP Robert Stephenson
CIN RHP Robert Stephenson

15) Robert Stephenson, CIN, RHP

16) Jorge Soler, CHI-C, OF

17) Christian Yelich, MIA, OF

18) Mark Appel, HOU, RHP

19) Aaron Sanchez, TOR, RHP

20) Jonathan Gray, COL, RHP

21) Albert Almora, CHI-C, OF

22) Nick Castellanos, DET, OF

23) Dylan Bundy, BAL, RHP

24) Gary Sanchez, NYY, C

25) George Springer, HOU, OF

26) Alen Hanson, PIT, SS

27) Travis d’Arnaud, NYM, C

28) Clint Frazier, CLE, OF

29) Kris Bryant, CHI-C, 3B

30) Taylor Guerrieri, TB, RHP

31) Max Fried, SD, LHP

32) Garin Cecchini, BOS, 3B

33) Billy Hamilton, CIN, SS

34) Austin Hedges, SD, C

NYY RHP Rafael De Paula
NYY RHP Rafael De Paula

35) Yordano Ventura, KC, RHP

36) Kolten Wong, STL, 2B

37) Carlos Martinez, STL, RHP

38) Danny Hultzen, SEA, LHP

39) Rafael Montero, NYM, RHP

40) Rafael De Paula, NYY, RHP

41) Eddie Rosario, MIN, 2B

42) Anthony Ranaudo, BOS, RHP

43) Kyle Zimmer, KC, RHP

44) Maikel Franco, PHI, 3B

45) Adalberto Mondesi, KC, SS

46) Jonathan Schoop, BAL, INF

47) Kyle Crick, SF, RHP

48) Michael Choice, OAK, OF

49) Brad Miller, SEA, SS

50) Roberto Osuna, TOR, RHP

Honorable Mention: Tyler Austin (NYY, OF); Mason Williams (NYY, OF); Henry Owens (BOS, LHP); Alex Meyer (MIN, RHP); Stryker Trahan (ARZ, C); Jesse Biddle (PHI, LHP); David Dahl (COL, OF); Josh Bell (PIT, OF); Rougned Odor (TEX, 2B); Jorge Alfaro (TEX, C); Joey Gallo (TEX, 1B/3B); Lewis Brinson (TEX, OF); Jake Marisnick (MIA, OF); Chris Stratton (SF, RHP); Delino DeShields, Jr. (HOU, 2B); Max Muncy (OAK, 1B); Tyler Glasnow (PIT, RHP); Henry Urrutia (BAL, OF); Tyrell Jenkins (STL, RHP); Jesse Winker (CIN, OF); Matt Davidson (ARZ, 3B);


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