Now, Profar in my opinion is the best AL prospect in baseball...best SS, given. So taking him out of the equation...which of these 3 would you say is #2? Or would you say there's someone else that is #2?
Now, I actually have Grant Green as #2, but he's looking like he's moving to the outfield so I disqualified him.
Now here's where the comparison gets interesting. "Most" people...would immediately say Lindor. Most prospect "hounds" love young guys with high ceilings. Those guys also usually have the luxury of not having those "bad seasons" that tend to make prospect hounds dismiss more established prospects. However...evaluating prospects is only valuable if those prospects end up making an impact on an MLB roster...so the closer they are to that...the more value they should have. That being said, if they are AAAA players...being a utility player isn't really gonna make the grade versus a young kid with potential.
So as I looked at the numbers...here's where they stand:
Lee: 21 years old, AA...stole 37 bases and provides good defense. The downside is there is no power and his batting average was rather pedestrian at .259.
Franklin: Also 21 years old, AA/AAA split in 2012...K rates and walk rates almost identical to Lee but with double digit power potential while having much less base path speed. Batting average between both levels ends up at about .280 but defensively he's poorer than Lee. But he's at least a half level ahead of Lee at the same age.
Lindor: He's only 18 but also only at A-ball level. His walk rates and K rates are better than Lee or Franklin...a little more power potential than Lee with less base path speed. Less power potential than Franklin with far more base path speed. Defensively on par with Lee. But, his BA was lower than both Franklin and Lee at a pedestrian .257.
So Lee and Franklin appear very similar...but to compare them to Lindor, we have to look at what Lee and Franklin did at single A ball.
Lee was a year older (19), and hit roughly the same as Lindor with little power but high SB totals...similar K rates and walk rates...but with a higher overall batting average.
Franklin was a year older (19), but outperformed Lindor significantly hitting 25/25 with the only detraction being a higher K-rate.
So, while Lindor is a "sexier" pick than guys like Lee (who has fallen out of favor as his numbers dipped at AA) and Franklin (who ran into his own hiccups and has had trouble adjusting to AAA)...statistically speaking...Lindor is not as good (overall) of a prospect. If you choose Lindor over Lee or Franklin...you are seemingly doing so solely because he's younger and his AA/AAA future is unwritten. Thats a dangerous game to play...since usually these single A superstars hit a bit of a wall at AA.
My vote is for Lee....but it's close. I like the power potential and 10/10 potential of Franklin at the MLB level...but Lee is more likely to stick at SS due to defensive superiority and 20-40 steals is a rare ability. He just needs to get that BA up to above .285 and he's a prototypical leadoff hitter. But...if Lee struggles with AAA like Franklin has...I could easily change my mind.