Our main current project is an updated Top 100 list for the end of the 2016 season.
The first step in the process is reviewing the pre-season Top 175 list.
Obviously we don't know how things will look three years from now, but we can at least come up with some preliminary assessments.
THIS IS THE 2016 PRE-SEASON LIST. It is the research starting point for the 2017 list
151) Hunter Harvey, RHP, Baltimore Orioles, Grade B-: Tommy John surgery in July, out for a year.
152) Willson Contreras, C, Chicago Cubs, Grade B-: Hit .263/.341/.457 after promotion to majors, 10 homers in 232 at-bats, playing catcher and outfield. Obviously a big success and I wish I had ranked him much higher; this was too conservative. Graduated.
153) Mark Appel, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies, Grade B-: Limited to 36 innings in Triple-A with 4.46 ERA by injuries; shoulder at first but then elbow surgery to remove bone spurs.
154) Jorge Polanco, INF, Minnesota Twins, Grade B-: Bright spot in a difficult season, hitting .289/.344/.423 in the majors; a bit over his head maybe but not by much, I like him quite a bit as a hitter, not sure about the glove.
155) Tim Cooney, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals, Grade B-: Missed season with shoulder injury.
156) Austin Barnes, C-2B, Los Angeles Dodgers, Grade B-: Hit .295/.380/.443 in Triple-A while playing solid defense at catcher and second base. Why doesn't this guy have a job? Someone needs to trade for him. Free Austin Barnes!
157) Rob Refsnyder, 2B, New York Yankees, Grade B-: Hitting .248/.324/.309 in the majors in 149 at-bats; graduated; I think he is capable of better and think there could be more power in this bat eventually.
158) Colin Rea, RHP, San Diego Padres, Grade B-: 4.82 ERA in 103 innings in the majors, 80/44 K/BB; traded to Marlins then sent back to Padres when elbow problem revealed; if he gets healthy I think he can be an average starter but that's an if. Graduated.
159) Nick Burdi, RHP, Minnesota Twins, Grade B-: Limited to three innings in Double-A by bone bruise on right humerus.
160) Harrison Bader, OF, St. Louis Cardinals, Grade B-: Hit .267/.335/.452 with 19 homers, 13 steals, 36 walks, 131 strikeouts between Double-A and Triple-A; had some contact issues and struggled at times for Memphis but he's just a year out of college. Into the B-range due to broad skill base.
161) Jomar Reyes, 3B, Baltimore Orioles, Grade B-: Hit just .228/.271/.336 in High-A but is just 19 years old; hit 10 homers, 25/102 BB/K; needs work in all aspects including defense but has one of the highest ceilings in the system. I may hold with the B-.
162) Oscar De La Cruz, RHP, Chicago Cubs, Grade B-: Pitched 39 innings after leaving extended spring training, posting 3.00 ERA with 51/11 K/BB between rookie ball, Northwest League, and Low-A; excellent strikeout rate and decent control; despite small sample he will likely rank highly for me entering 2017.
163) Brady Aiken, LHP, Cleveland Indians, Grade B-: Ugly numbers in the first look, 5.83 in 46 innings, 57/21 K/BB, 52 hits, but at this point the goal was just to get him on the mound. Needs better command but strikeout rate is promising.
164) Logan Allen, LHP, San Diego Padres, Grade B-: Lost time to injury but did decently when on the mound, 3.33 ERA in 54 innings in Low-A with 47/22 K/BB; still like his chances if he's OK physically. Only 19.
165) Jorge Alfaro, C, Philadelphia Phillies, Grade B-: Hit .285/.325/.458 in Double-A with massive improvement on defense; has always had the tools but has added polish to the glove; good power but contact issues still hold the hitting back sometimes. Stock up.
166) Aledmys Diaz, INF, St. Louis Cardinals, Grade B-: Excellent debut at .308/.365/.516 in the majors, 16 homers, 36 walks, 56 whiffs in 372 at-bats; lost a month to thumb injury. Graduated and verified.
167) Mikie Mahtook, OF, Tampa Bay Rays, Grade B-: Tore up Triple-A but strike zone got away from him in the majors and he missed six weeks with a broken hand; hitting .181/.227/.236 with 53 strikeouts in 144 at-bats; he's better than this although not as good as he looked last fall; I think he's a .250 hitter with sparks of power, viable role player.
168) Richie Shaffer, 3B-1B, Tampa Bay Rays, Grade B-: Hit .227/.329/.367 with 11 homers and 135 strikeouts in Triple-A; he hit 19 home runs in half a season at the same level in 2015 and might have been discouraged this year at being blocked; like Mahtook, he can fill a role in the right spot but that may not be in Tampa.
169) David Paulino, RHP, Houston Astros, Grade B-: Excellent season in Double-A, Triple-A, and rookie ball injury rehab, 2.00 ERA in 90 innings with ridiculous 106/19 K/BB; B+ at least entering 2017.
170) Jeimer Candelario, INF, Chicago Cubs, Grade B-: Another blocked player, hit .283/.376/.464 between Double-A and Triple-A with 13 homers, 70 walks; no place in Chicago barring a rash of injuries; has an advantage at age 22; he is still young enough to find his spot somewhere.
171) Yadier Alvarez, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers, Grade B-: Excellent once he came out of spring training, 2.12 ERA in 59 innings between rookie ball and Low-A, 81/21 K/BB with just 40 hits, glowing scouting reports. B+ at least and probably an A- depending on more detailed reports.
172) Drew Jackson, SS, Seattle Mariners, Grade B-: Hit .258/.332/.345 with six homers, 16 steals, 50 walks, 105 strikeouts in 524 at-bats in High-A: not a great year and he's already 23 however I think there is potential for large-scale improvement here. If I were running a real team, I'd try to trade for this guy and buy low.
173) Paul DeJong, 3B, St. Louis Cardinals, Grade B-: Hit .260/.324/.460 with 22 homers, 40 walks, 144 strikeouts in 496 at-bats in Double-A, good glove at third base and can play shortstop without hurting you, too; contact a concern but several things to like here.
174) Tyler White, 1B, Houston Astros, Grade B-: Hit just .217/.287/.376 in the majors giving lots of ammo to skeptics; would be a superstar in Japan or Mexico; could still be a fair role player if more chances come his way. Graduated, not verified, but let's check again in three years.
175) Willie Calhoun, 2B-OF, Los Angeles Dodgers, Grade B-: Hit .254/.318/.469 with 27 homers, 45 walks, 65 strikeouts in 503 at-bats in Double-A; love the combination of power and a low whiff rate; defense is terrible at second base but the bat is very real.