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Top 50 MLB Prospects - Midseason composite rankings

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A beta version of a project that I may try to improve in the offseason.

Andrew Benintendi, killing it
Andrew Benintendi, killing it
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
I wanted to create a midseason prospect list from a consensus, composite approach, and one that also doubled as a community resource.

This was the result: a spreadsheet that details a prospect's average ranking across several industry sources, as well as a second tab that serves as a mini-database of scouting reports.

The midseason source lists are as follows: mlb.comBaseball Prospectus' Top 50Baseball America's Top 100, and my very own three-parter from last month. It would have been *much* preferred to include Keith Law's and John Sickels' data instead of my own but neither was feasible; perhaps it will be in the offseason.



Note:


MLB dot com's list saw some manual adjustment on my part: I essentially removed guys like Mickey Moniak, Kyle Lewis, Corey Ray et al. because other sources did not rank recent draftees. Also, MLB's list is the only one that seems to undergo dynamic, in-season changes on account of graduations/rookie eligibility. So the way their rankings are represented here is actually a snapshot of what it looked like at the beginning of the month, a few days (at most) after when they first released it.

In addition, since I unconscionably ranked my initial Top 30 in haiku form, that frees me up to offer commentary on that group of players in this space.


1. Yoan Moncada, Red Sox


Moncada has a whole lotta skills - game-changing speed, defensive chops to profile at multiple positions, and the ability to draw his share of walks are reasons that no analyst slotted him lower than fifth on their midseason ranks.

He's actually gotten better at each of the three stops he's made, and the power explosion off right-handers from his dominant left side cements his premium-prospect status. Stock report: Mojo Risin'



2. J.P. Crawford, Phillies

Crawford's standing remains high across the board despite the lack of eye-popping offensive output in the upper minors. This is because JPC has loads of value already baked-in thanks to excellent defense and an advanced batting eye - his career K:BB hovers close to 1:1 (228 K, 226 BB). If Crawford can develop power in the future, he has the upside of a superstar. Stock report: Positive Vibration



3. Julio Urias, Dodgers

The birth records say that Urias is 19, but his refined arsenal and feel for pitching indicate mound poise that's off-the-charts for his age. The phenom has it all, including the confidence to throw any of his four potential-plus pitches in any situation. More than minor lapses in command, the only uncertainty I could possibly summon on Urias is durability. He's recently passed his career-high in innings (93.1), and that the team is likely to put him on ice in Triple-A means it'll be another year before his prized left arm is remotely tested. Stock report: Teenage Dream



4. Lucas Giolito, Nationals

Giolito's trial on the big stage has been a mixed bag, but it's way too soon to worry about a guy with two 80-grade pitches in his holster and imposing size to match. Having just turned 22, he'll be given time to adjust and fine-tune his command. Developing his secondary offerings and having confidence in them will be another key for Giolito - he went 75 percent fastball/25 percent offspeeds in his first three MLB turns. Stock report: Maxwell's Silver Hammer



5. Alex Bregman, Astros

Bregman doesn't have the chiseled physique of a Moncada but he has similarly - and unexpectedly - tapped into his game power this season, giving him the appearance of a five-tool contributor. That the power gains have manifested on his pull side make him a great match for Houston's Crawford Boxes out in left field.

Bregman has barely gotten off the schneid during his two weeks in the Show, starting his career 10-64 with 17 strikeouts. Still, we should expect a player of his pedigree to turn it around in short order.  Stock report: Don't Worry, Be Happy



6. Tyler Glasnow, Pirates

When it comes to the best pitching prospect in baseball, I was the Lone Ranger to rank Glasnow at the very summit. He features the same deadly fastball-curve combo as the other right-handers (Giolito, Reyes) and also the same inconsistencies finding the strike zone.

My theory is that Glasnow is the most raw of the prized young arms, while simultaneously showing the most dominant, hit-suppressing strikeout stuff in the minors. The notion he could add velocity by tacking some pounds on his 6-foot-8 frame is almost unfair. A current shoulder injury throws doubt into my every word, but I still feel if he can prove his health and curb the free passes, he has the highest ceiling of any pitcher in affiliated ball. Stock report: Wild Thing



7. Alex Reyes, Cardinals

Out of all the young arms the Cards have molded recently, Reyes might have the most arm talent of the lot. He might also take the most work in reaching his number one starter ceiling, but his wavering control might be understandable when considering he only became a full-time pitcher at 17.

Reyes brings two potential double-plus offerings to the party with triple digit heat that plays well off his knee-buckling, 12-6 bender. His fastball simply explodes through the zone and I also found it interesting that, in limited looks, BrooksBaseball's eye in the sky has Reyes' curve with more vertical movement than all of Glasnow, Giolito, and Kershaw.

The right-hander's recent call-up smacks of equal parts preservation and a legit audition for a role in 2017. Since St. Louis' rotation is slated to be full next year with the return of Lance Lynn, they can be patient with Reyes and give him another shot to enhance his command as a starter in the PCL. Then again, he may prove so dominant in the bullpen down the stretch that he cements himself as next year's closer in light of the team's need for one. Stock report: Walking in Memphis



8. Dansby Swanson, Braves

Dansby's a dandy, and though he's slightly behind Bregman in his development, it's obvious he has the tools to play an above-average shortstop for the next decade. Swanson's defense is mostly unquestioned, and the Braves think so highly of his leather larceny that Ozzie Albies shifts across the keystone when they play together.

I'm most impressed with Swanson's bat. We knew he was a certified all-fields sprayer coming out of Vanderbilt, but in AA-ball he's making use of a simple, direct load and plus bat speed to pepper his pull side with hard contact. The Kennesaw, Georgia native should be ready for primetime at some point early next season. Stock report: Midnight Train to Georgia



9. Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox

Benintendi passed the Eastern League in his second year in the system, so the Red Sox responded by transitioning him to left field in preparation for joining the big club.

With the former Golden Spikes winner now arriving, he has the tools to be a factor in every phase. His athleticism and arm make him an asset in front of the Monster and on the bases, while elite plate recognition allows him to make the most of a quick, leveraged swing. The power production will be the thing to watch with Benintendi, because the rest of his skill-set adds up to an everyday player. Stock report: This Is a Call



10. Brendan Rodgers, Rockies

Rodgers retains a spot among the cream of the shortstop crop, but he's also much further down the development ladder after being drafted out of Lake Mary HS (FL) in 2015.

Rodgers' power potential brings all the scouts to the yard, and plus bat speed and natural loft allow him to hit balls out of it. There is projectability and hence upside on his 6-foot, 180 pound frame, but too much growth might push him off shortstop in the future. Stock report: Appetite for Destruction



11. Trea Turner, Nationals

Between his college and pro career, Turner is an efficient 207-236 stealing bags - a sniper on the basepaths. Even without much power or even a proclivity for walks, he projects to be an elite, game-wrecking table-setter with an aggressive all-fields approach at the plate.

Turner has received the Bregman treatment in that he's been summoned to give the team a jolt and will do so while adding a number of positions to his portfolio. He's been solid in the leadoff spot since coming up for good, but may need to curb his strikeout rate to get the most out of his elite speed. Still, it very much appears Turner has the skills to hit .300, a proposition that would keep his value sky-high. Stock report: Born to Run



12. Austin Meadows, Pirates

Meadows' precocious hit tool should take him where he wants to go, whether that turns out to be patrolling left or center field in Pittsburgh. The improvements he's made with his stride and hand position seem to allow more loft and access to both gaps. The surge in power production is stunning, as he's nearly surpassed all of last years' extra-base hit totals in less than half the plate appearances. Stock report: Boombastic



13. Joey Gallo, Rangers

Gallo's window to contribute in Arlington down the stretch was slammed shut at the trade deadline, as the team not only kept Jurickson Profar but added OF/DH Carlos Beltran. The 22-year-old will head back down to Round Rock after an ugly 1-for-14 late July cameo that included nine strikeouts.

Texas resisted overtures to cash in on Gallo, who'd been showing both improved power production and plate discipline in the minors. There is still an appreciable amount of risk attached to him because of his contact rates, but there's also a bit of time to put the finishing touches on his revamped approach. If he really has developed a more discerning batting eye, his unrivaled power might allow him to make an impact in the big leagues even if he only hits .230. Stock report: Let's Stay Together



14. Orlando Arcia, Brewers

Arcia's production has ticked down across the board, with slight dips in OBP and Isolated Power informed by a career-high 17.4 percent strikeout rate. I see a punchless .231/.269/.330 line away from Colorado Springs as a sign his bat needs more seasoning in the upper minors.

Brewers brass does not necessarily agree, and has tabbed him as major league-ready following an August 1st call-up. It will be interesting to see if his free-swinging routine plays at the highest level, because his baseline defensive skills could keep him at shortstop for the next decade. Stock report: Tha Crossroads



15. Victor Robles, Nationals

Robles is a scout's dream, a projectable center-field specimen with an advanced approach that should allow him to fully develop his five-tool potential.

It's telling that when the Nationals made their Godfather offer to bolster the playoff push, Giolito's name made the rounds but Robles was nowhere to be found amongst trade gossip. The 19-year-old is uncontainable, impregnable, and apparently untouchable. Stock report: Champagne Supernova



16. Amed Rosario, Mets

Rosario is in the midst of a breakout season; he had been highly regarded in the past but never translated his potential into production like he's done across two levels this year.

Rosario has positive indicators popping up left and right. Walks are up, strikeouts are down, and a reported 20 extra pounds of muscle have accentuated his line-drive, gap approach. The early returns on his jump to AA are quite staggering, and if he can continue to make hard contact at this level, he's going to be a rock-solid everyday shortstop. Stock report: Things Done Changed


I'll have what David Dahl's having - Rich Schultz/Getty Images


17. David Dahl, Rockies

Dahl's collection of tools should flourish in Colorado, a locale where Neifi Perez strummed a robust .321/.346/.481 in over 1500 career at-bats. His arm and range should be an asset in the cavernous alleys of Coors, while the impact bat is what has him in the upper echelon of outfield prospects.

Considering how busted up he's been by freak injuries in the past, maybe the performance this year is an indication of what we'll see from Dahl. He's doubled his career walk rate while showing over-the-fence oppo-power that he hadn't previously. At the crux of his production is elite bat speed, allowing him to wait back and attack the whole field. If he stays healthy, there are 20-20 seasons in his future a la Andy Van Slyke, just without the world-renowned right arm.

It's hard to beat this as a first impression: Dahl has tied the major league rookie record (Cincy's Chuck Aleno, 1941) by notching a hit in his first 17 games. Stock report: Up Where We Belong



18. Jose Berrios, Twins

While he won't win the AL Rookie of the Year that many pegged him for, Berrios is just hoping to reverse his so-far underwhelming debut campaign with the Twins. After knifing through International League hitters for the second straight season, he's again been summoned to the Show and followed up his best MLB outing in Cleveland with two clunkers.

On that note, wavering control and command seems about the only thing that can stop Berrios and his three plus pitches. Despite his lack of size he sits 93-94 with his four-seamer, generating ample power with a high leg kick and an uber-athletic delivery. His mid-80's changeup and 10-5 curve are battle-tested and should shine at the highest level, but Berrios will need to avoid falling behind in counts to be able to fully unleash them as bat-missers. Stock report: Take the Power Back



19. Ozzie Albies, Braves

Albies has the quicks and arm to be a force at either MI spot down the line, but for now he'll relinquish shortstop to Dansby Swanson when they play together.

Whether Ozzie develops into a dynamo at the top of the order will depend on the progression of the hit tool. The one change to his batted ball profile this year is a rise in flyballs. This may signify an effort to rely less on infield hits and more on tapping his sneaky extra-base-hit power from both sides. Stock report: The Ozzman Cometh



20. Anderson Espinoza, Padres

The newest Padres' farmhand is the same age as a high school senior, but held his own in the South Atlantic League thanks to a precocious package of athleticism, elite velocity, and tantalizing secondaries that consistently flash plus.

Espinoza's slight stature should never be an issue, because he already brings easy heat anywhere from 91-96 mph and touches the upper-90's on occasion. His listed 6-foot-160 is believed to be antiquated already but there is even more positive projection on his frame for the future - part of what makes him so exciting.

The other part is a pair of offspeeds that flash bat-missing potential at the highest level. Espinoza's low-80's changeup is noted for its separation, arm speed, and fade while he varies the shape of his tight-breaking mid-70's curve. The 18-year-old shows an advanced feel for pitching that should allow him to command and develop those offerings with more reps. If he can make those strides while proving he can shoulder a starter's workload, Espinoza has the potential to be an ace. Stock report: Slow Ride


21. Lewis Brinson, Brewers

Brinson had himself quite the debut week for the Brewers' Colorado Springs affiliate, going .455 with a homer and four steals in his first taste of the PCL. If he keeps it up there's a chance he'll be added to the 40-man for a September call-up, and the existence of Milwaukee outfielders Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Keon Broxton might give Brinson the priority.

The 22-year-old missed a month due to a bum shoulder but came back strong in July and found himself as the headliner in the Jonathan Lucroy deal. In a Brewers farm system that is heavy on tools that need development, Brinson becomes somewhat of the poster-boy because his ceiling is so high. His speed, glove, and raw power are mostly unquestioned, while improvements in plate discipline and contact ability could allow the package to sing to the tune of an All-Star. Stock report: Rocky Mountain High


22. Clint Frazier, Yankees

The newest Baby Bomber is generating plenty of excitement in his new digs and with good reason. Frazier's power potential is the main attraction here, as he combines elite bat speed with an aggressive yet compact stroke to spray hard contact from line-to-line. A high strikeout rate figures to always be part of his game, but the contact he does make is so loud that he's been productive in spite of it. Still, he'd do well to refine his hit tool and overall approach in what should be his last minor league stop.

Frazier's a solid enough athlete with an average arm that would profile in either corner spot, but he'll likely concede right field to Aaron Judge as long as they're in the same lineup. Stock report: Empire State of Mind



23. Rafael Devers, Red Sox

There's still a lot of projection left in Devers' thunderous bat as well as his body, attaching a healthy level of risk to a player that doesn't turn 20 until this fall. But the pieces are here for Devers to mold himself into an impact hitter, as he generates double-plus raw power with a coiled swing a la Javy Baez and uses his natural strength and bat speed to wait back and drive the ball to left field when necessary. The teenager's defense at the hot corner is not as highly-regarded, but he has time to polish up his footwork before a move across the diamond comes into play.

Previously I've posited that Devers' relatively long swing will be put to the ultimate test by the breaking stuff he'll see in the AA Eastern League, his next minor league stop. His call to Portland should come soon in light of a piping-hot second half: Devers has socked 18 doubles in 43 games since the break while sporting a shiny .335/.383/.609 line that's the antithesis of his sluggish start to the campaign. Stock report: Devil In a New Dress


24. Willy Adames, Rays

Adames doesn't seem to get the same level of pub as other shortstop starlets, but across-the-board improvement will ensure his standing remains sky-high. Strikeouts are down, walks and power are inching up, and he's mining the opposite field to a greater degree than ever before.

These are the improvements we needed to see from Willy, and that he's been three-plus years younger than the competition at every stop hints there could be plenty of ceiling to still grow into. If I had one mulligan on my midseason ranks, I'd rank Adames higher and possibly nestled next to Ozzie Albies. Stock report: Will He Be Waiting



25. Jorge Mateo, Yankees

Mateo hasn't been a game-wrecker on the bases to the extent that he was last year, when he swiped an obscene 82 bags across two levels. Common thought is he'll need to put in more work on the technical side of basestealing to be impactful in the upper minors and into the big leagues - a current 67 percent success rate (29-for-43) leaves a lot to be desired for a guy with 80-grade wheels.

The catch is that even if Mateo loses a step over time and/or continues to cede shortstop to Gleyber Torres in the long haul, there's still plenty of intrigue with the bat where he could put it together and become an All-Star at the keystone. A rise in flyballs this year is not helping his batting average, but a career-high eight long-balls hints that his plus bat speed and ability to lift the ball could add double-digit homers to his dossier.

A more disciplined approach will be paramount as Mateo advances. Whether it's taking free passes or putting the ball in play more, he'll be expected to adjust to advanced pitching on both fronts and ensure he's on base enough to create havoc with his legs. Stock report: Bat Out Of Hell


26. Gleyber Torres, Yankees

27. Bradley Zimmer, Indians

28. Manuel Margot, Padres

29. Francis Martes, Astros

30. Eloy Jimenez, Cubs

31. Jose De Leon, Dodgers

32. Josh Bell, Pirates

33. Aaron Judge, Yankees

34. Josh Hader, Brewers

35. Amir Garrett, Reds

36. Cody Bellinger, Dodgers

37. Gary Sanchez, Yankees

38. Jeff Hoffman, Rockies

39. Ian Happ, Chicago (NL)

40. Brent Honeywell, Rays

41. Nick Williams, Phillies

42. Nick Gordon, Twins

43. Raul Mondesi, Royals

44. Kyle Tucker, Astros

45. Franklin Barreto, A's

46. Sean Newcomb, Braves

47. Reynaldo Lopez, Nationals

48. Joe Musgrove, Astros

49. Tyler Jay, Twins

50. Alex Verdugo, Dodgers