Here is a mid-season look at the Top 75 Prospects in baseball. The list does not include 2015 draftees or international signees. It also does not include players who have or shortly will exceed rookie eligibility.
All prospect lists are a moving target, of course, and can be nitpicked endlessly. This is especially true in the later part of the list and general tiers are more important than exact spot placement at this point.
The following players have graduated to the major leagues, or are reasonably expected to exceed rookie qualifications by the end of the season. There are some marginal cases here who may or may not finish ahead of qualifications. If they are still eligible rookies entering 2016, they will be restored to an appropriate place on the end-of-season list.
GRADUATED TO MAJORS OR EXPECTED TO DO SO: Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa, Addison Russell, Byron Buxton, Jorge Soler, Carlos Rodon, Francisco Lindor, Noah Syndergaard, Aaron Sanchez, Rusney Castillo, Joc Pederson, Blake Swihart, Miguel Sano, Andrew Heaney, Maikel Franco, Steven Matz, Archie Bradley, Dilson Herrera, Andrew Susac, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Eduardo Rodriguez, Matt Wisler, Yasmany Tomas, Rafael Montero, Mike Foltynewicz, Eddie Butler, Kevin Plawecki, Raisel Iglesias, Vincent Velasquez, Rymer Liriano, Lance McCullers, J.T. Realmuto, Devon Travis, Trevor May, Austin Hedges, Christian Bethancourt, Jake Lamb, Randal Grichuk, Kendall Graveman
The prospect list reflects my own opinion and judgment and is based on a blending of both short-term success and long-term potential. Feel free to ask where these or other rookies would have ranked if you like. Over 200 players were examined for this list and I'll be happy to give my take on anyone you ask about.
1) Corey Seager, 3B, Dodgers (Pre-season rank 8): The obvious choice.
2) Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nationals (Rre-season rank 3): His last two starts have been magnificent and he looks ready for Double-A.
3) Julio Urias, LHP, Dodgers (4): You can make a case to put him ahead of Giolito and Urias is two years younger.
4) Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers (23): Borderline for inclusion as the Rangers may try to preserve his rookie status.
5) J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies (24): Exceptionally good plate discipline with broad shortstop skills.
NOTE: If I included all the rookies and borderline cases, the Top Tier would be 1) Carlos Correa; 2) Kris Bryant, 3) Joc Pederson, 4) Addison Russell, 5) Corey Seager, 6) Byron Buxton then Giolito.
6) Kyle Schwarber, C, Cubs (19): I have no doubts at all about the bat. Glove will need more time.
7) Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates (10): Potential rotation anchor.
8) Aaron Nola, RHP, Phillies (45): I think you could stick him in the majors right now and he’d do well.
9) Trea Turner, SS, Nationals (91): Reports are glowing at this point and the numbers are there too, .318/.368/.472 this year with 17 steals.
10) Nomar Mazara, OF, Rangers (31): Strong performance in Double-A at age 20 sounds good to me.
11) Orlando Arcia, SS, Brewers (118): I’m a believer at this point, +defense, bat has blossomed.
12) Daniel Norris, LHP, Blue Jays (9): Borderline for inclusion as he may go past rookie limits.
13) Yoan Moncada, 2B, Red Sox (16): Scouting reports much better than the numbers, though he’s been heating up lately.
14) Bradley Zimmer, OF, Indians (59): Broader skills than Conforto but this is really close.
15) Michael Conforto, OF, Mets (78): Skills not as broad as Zimmer but has strong Double-A numbers on his resume and is actually a few months younger. You should look at this like 14-A and 14-B. Zimmer looks ready for Double-A so hopefully we can make a more direct comparison between the two in three months.
16) Luis Severino, RHP, Yankees (30): Looks good in Triple-A, should get a trial soon.
17) Jose Berrios, RHP, Twins (44): A favorite since he was in high school in Puerto Rico.
18) Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox (64): Glowing scouting reports from Low-A although has been in a slump recently.
19) Alex Reyes, RHP, Cardinals: (69): Pitching brilliantly in High-A until a sore shoulder cropped up in June. Status unclear.
20) Jose De Leon, RHP, Dodgers (In the Picture): Huge boost in stock from in the picture/honorable mention into the top 20. Aggressive move but all sources seem to love him.
21) Robert Stephenson, RHP, Reds (21): Command still wobbles at times but has been quite effective lately, stuff excellent.
22) Hector Olivera, 2B, Dodgers (not ranked): I don’t know where to properly slot a 30-year-old Cuban defector mashing Triple-A pitching so we’ll stick him here and move on.
23) Franklin Barreto, SS, Athletics (38): Thriving despite jump from short-season to High-A.
24) Raul Mondesi, SS, Royals: (106): Hard to judge given how rapidly he’s been pushed. Strike zone judgment remains poor but power is starting to develop and glove has looked sharper. Personification of high-risk, high-reward.
25) Gleyber Torres, SS, Cubs (ITP): Love this guy. If end-of-season reports are as strong as I expect, he’ll break the Top 20.
26) Nick Williams, OF, Rangers (ITP): Huge reduction in strikeout rate with no loss of power.
27) Joe Ross, RHP, Nationals (143): Borderline for inclusion as may exceed rookie limit, stock up with high minors and majors success and was ranked too low anyway.
28) Billy McKinney, OF, Cubs (135): Even this spot may prove too low.
29) Brett Phillips, OF, Astros (141): Always had tools, skills have blossomed. Could get into Top 20 by end of year.
30) Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees (50): Double-A reports were excellent but his power has evaporated in Triple-A though zone judgment has remained solid. Want to see more.
31) Jose Peraza, 2B-OF, Braves (43): Continues to stand out for speed, defense,
32) Sean Newcomb, LHP, Angels (97): The Brad Zimmer of pitchers, lots of talent and doing well in A-ball but needs to be promoted.
33) Ozhaino Albies, SS, Braves (155): Speed, glove, high averages, youth but will have to see if size/power become issues.
34) Grant Holmes, RHP, Dodgers (86): Midwest League reports very positive, looks like workhorse, command still needs some polish.
35) Josh Bell, 1B, Pirates (53): Home run power hasn’t fully blossomed as hoped, but overall hitting skills remain sound and transitioned well to Double-A.
36) Jon Gray, RHP, Rockies (27): Not an outstanding season but has looked better lately.
37) Raimel Tapia, OF, Rockies (101): Have to be careful with Cal League players and it would be nice if he drew more walks, but the reports remain strong and he’s been hot enough lately to move up to Double-A soon.
38) Jeff Hoffman, RHP, Blue Jays (103): Best news is good health, reports look good despite relatively low strikeout rate.
39) Austin Meadows, OF, Pirates (40): Not much home run power yet, but everything else looks good.
40) Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox (115): Exceptional tools, stock rising but I wish he was a little more patient. Strong second half will get him into the 20s.
41) Manuel Margot, OF, Red Sox (102): Some sources have him much higher than this but I wonder if there’s some Bosox hype there. In any event he has across-the-board tools and could be a fine leadoff man.
42) Willy Adames, SS, Rays (57): Performing very well in the difficult Florida State League at age 19. Might be too low here.
43) Blake Snell, LHP, Rays (ITP): 1.28 ERA and solid stuff from the left side, leaping from intriguing sleeper prospect to one of the best southpaws in the minors.
44) David Dahl, OF, Rockies (56): Scouting reports were very strong despite so-so Double-A numbers before he got hurt. Back on the field in short-season ball.
45) Dalton Pompey, OF, Blue Jays (76): Rushed to the majors and it showed, has recovered momentum, after going down to Double-A. Across-the-board tools/skills remain promising.
46) Jesse Winker, OF, Reds (25): Stock was down after a slow start but has been hot lately.
47) Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Nationals (150): I had him rated too low pre-season. Some outlets love him enough to keep him in the top 20, others have him somewhere in this territory. He’s got a great arm but remains erratic enough for me to be somewhat cautious.
48) Aaron Blair, RHP, Diamondbacks (48): Holding steady.
49) Alex Jackson, OF, Mariners (39): 2014 first-round pick overmatched in Low-A, now back in short-season ball. Huge offensive potential but not as polished as expected.
50) Stephen Piscotty, OF, Cardinals (157): I go up and down on him but it does look like he’s tapping the power more often.
51) Ketel Marte, SS, Mariners (170): For a guy hitting .351, reports are oddly mixed. Some love him and see a regular, others worry about lack of distance power.
52) Brandon Nimmo, OF, Mets (83): Will need to show more pop in the second half.
53) Jake Thompson, RHP, Rangers (81): Near-future workhorse.
54) Brian Johnson, LHP, Red Sox (ITP): Red Sox prospects are often overhyped. This one may be underhyped. Excellent pitchability and little left to prove in the minors.
55) Mark Appel, RHP, Astros (33): Still flashes brilliance, still erratic.
56) A.J. Reed, 1B, Astros (160): Destroyed the Cal League. But it was the Cal League. Just promoted to Double-A, if he hits there placement will continue to rise. My guess is that he keeps hitting and pushes into the 20s by the end of the year.
57) Ryan McMahon, 3B, Rockies (75): Solid enough in the Cal League but whiff rate is high and the Ghost of Ian Stewart still haunts.
58) Alen Hanson, INF, Pirates (84): Playing well to little fanfare in Triple-A at age 22. Still think he is better than some players with more hype.
59) Michael Feliz, RHP, Astros (70): Great stuff, pitching well in Double-A, deserves more notice.
60) Henry Owens, LHP, Red Sox (28): I still like him but I think the pre-season 28 was too high. Needs to lower walks but still love his mid-rotation potential.
61) Francellis Montas, RHP, White Sox (163): Throws hard, pitching well in Double-A, seems overlooked but shouldn’t be. Stock trending upward but a 100-spot jump is OK for now.
62) Brent Honeywell, RHP, Rays (100): Outstanding in Low-A, just promoted to High-A and a bit rough so far.
63) Rob Kaminsky, LHP, Cardinals (73): Ground ball expert performing well in High-A.
64) Tyler Kolek, RHP, Marlins (46): Blah results are one thing, but reports of velocity declines and lack of secondary pitch progress lowers his stock independently of the stats. Watchful waiting right now.
65) Amed Rosario, SS, Mets (ITP): Bat nothing special yet but not terrible for a 19-year-old in Florida State League, defense has taken a big step forward.
66) Tyler Beede, RHP, Giants (96): Still has command/consistency issues but still looks like a prototype big league starter when he’s right.
67) Josh Hader, LHP, Astros (85): Just gets people out.
68) Sean Manaea, LHP, Royals (34): Has been hurt so tough to rank, just getting into action now. Strong second half could restore stock into the 30s.
69) Gavin Cecchini, SS, Mets (NR): Looks like bat is breaking out in Double-A.
70) Clint Frazier, OF, Indians (74): 2015 is virtually identical to 2014 so can’t really ding him, can’t promote him too much either. Making incremental but measurable improvements with contact, defense.
71) Jacob Nottingham, C, Astros (NR): Crushing A-ball pitching at age 20, stock moving up but I want more information before going higher than this. If final reports back up the numbers, will rank much higher in three months.
72) Amir Garrett, LHP, Reds (ITP): Big athletic lefty continues to blossom after giving up basketball.
73) Clint Coulter, OF, Brewers (144): Hasn’t lost his power stroke in the Florida State League.
74) Derek Fisher, OF, Astros (129): Power, speed, across-the-board tools, would like to see him outside A-ball given college background.
75) Alex Meyer, RHP, Twins (47): Less exciting as a relief prospect.