Here’s how the Top 10s broke down:
MLB PIPELINE / BASEBALL AMERICA
- Shohei Ohtani / 1. Ronald Acuna
- Ronald Acuna / 2. Ohtani
- Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. / 3. Guerrero, Jr.
- Eloy Jimenez / 4. Jimenez
- Gleyber Torres / 5. Victor Robles
- Robles / 6. Torres
- Nick Senzel / 7. Senzel
- Fernando Tatis, Jr. / 8. Bo Bichette
- Forrest Whitley / 9. Tatis, Jr.
- Michael Kopech / 10. Whitley
There’s a lot of baseball’s bloodlines populating the elite prospects, which will make it fun to watch. So here’s some questions.
- Thoughts on Ohtani as No. 1? From Hideo Nomo to Dice K, we’ve heard high praise (and higher ceilings) about Japanese pitchers, but few have quite reached that elite level for a sustained period of time. What makes Ohtani so special? Is it his age in comparison to some of the others? Is it his two-way stardom? Are you ok with him No. 1 over guys like Acuña, Vladdy, Jr., and Eloy Jimenez who have shown constant improvement? I personally have Ohtani at No. 3 or 4 (spring training may change that), so it may be nitpicking, but worthy of debate.
- The Atlanta Braves remain kings with eight prospects in the Top 100, with the San Diego Padres and Chicago White Sox right behind with seven. Who are the early frontrunners for best farm system this preseason? Coming from a guy who writes a lot about both the Rome Braves and the Gwinnett... gulp... Stripers, I’m very intrigued by the Padres lot.
- A couple of big differences lay in two Braves prospects I’ve seen (and written about) quite a few times. Luiz Gohara is No. 23 on BA’s list and No. 49 on MLB Pipeline. Austin Riley is No. 54 on BA and No. 97 on MLB Pipeline. Do you feel one of the sites is way off, or do you think they fall somewhere in the middle? I have been high on Riley since the first time I watched him in Rome, so I lean closer to BAs ranking for what it’s worth.
- No Mets, Royals or Cubs on MLB Pipeline (the Mets Andres Gimenez checks in at No. 94 on BA). Let’s think about that. Those are three teams that populated the recent World Series runs built primarily on their farm systems. Now they are rebuilding in a sense. Do you see anyone on any of these teams possibly breaking through into the Top 100 by midseason?
- Jay Groome’s (No. 85) and Mickey Moniak’s (No. 88) falls are certainly noteworthy. John Sickels even felt BA was high on Groome at 83. I’ve seen Groome, his stuff is nasty when he’s on, but injuries have certainly hindered his start and in return, the development of his command (5.10 walks-per-nine this past season). Moniak is still 19 years old, and may have suffered from the newly expected instant gratification of prospects. I did not get to see him live this season. Does he deserve the fall or was it merely a teenager figuring things out?
- Thoughts on some of the “old school” elite prospects: Austin Meadows, Nick Gordon, J.P. Crawford, and Willie Calhoun in particular. I’m still big fans of all, especially Crawford and Calhoun. I know I’m in the minority, but I still see an All Star player in Crawford.
- Francisco Mejia. No. 11 on MLB Pipeline, No. 20 on BA. My question. We know he can hit. How is a guy that has so much uncertainty about his position a Top 20 prospect? Does that just speak volumes of his hit tool?
- I personally have to see more of Whitley. His rise and time at Double-A was outstanding, and he proved to be a solid Tweeter during the live feed of the prospect release.
- Anyone too high? Anyone too low? Any big time snubs?
- Who’s ready for John Sickel’s preseason list?!?!
As always, I think they did a fine job and put together a very solid list. What do you think?