A few weeks back, John posed the interesting question on whether or not Lucas Giolito was over-rated. It wasn’t really meant as a slight against Giolito, John acknowledged that Giolito is elite, but questioning whether he was truly the best right handed prospect in the game.
It was a pretty fair question, but it opened another can of worms for me. I was trying to determine just who was the top pitching prospect in baseball that hasn’t made their debut to date. I was all in on Alex Reyes — who was seemingly a no-brainer — but before I could get a discussion article up, he had earned his first big league save.
I feel like the highest rated by prospect people is Anderson Espinoza, simply because he is so young at 18 years of age, has nasty stuff and a triple digit fastball. But he has been very hittable thus far and it is certainly worth noting, no matter how much younger than the competition he may be. That means there may be some discussion as to who the best actually is.
Jose De Leon seems like he could be the most major league ready, as is Josh Hader, but in what role? Reyes seemed to be like starter or bust material and he is pitching out of the pen, while Luke Weaver who many felt was heading to the bullpen has made two starts over the same time period Reyes was promoted. Does that boost their prospect status closer to the top based on the fact that we are more likely to see them in the upcoming weeks?
Basically, I chose six pitchers, three right handers and three left handers that I consider the cream of the crop of young pitching prospects who have yet to appear in a Major League game (if another Dodgers injury happens while you are reading this, De Leon may be off the list by the time you are done reading this sentence.)
Right-handers (in no order):
Jose De Leon
Southpaws (in no order):
I can see people chiming in for Francis Martes or one of the young Braves in Rome, but these were the three I chose as top the righties. I’m also aware that I am bigger on Honeywell than most, but that comes from an appreciation in Tampa Rays pitchers. I would understand being upset that Tyler Jay was omitted from the lefties list, as well as Josh Hader whom I am a huge fan of, but he simply seems destined for the bullpen. And I haven’t seen Jason Groome or Braxton Garrett throw a professional pitch yet, so until they do, they aren’t even part of consideration for me.
So what do you think? If you had to pick the top righty and top lefty who would it be?