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July 7, 2014

The BP Top 50

The Best Midseason Prospects

by Jason Parks and BP Prospect Staff


With as many eyes as we can possibly put on the prize, we seek to provide the prospect temperature of the given moment, as we take to the fields night after night armed with our stopwatches, radar guns, and in my case, thermometers. As in previous top 50 updates, we will not be including prospects recently promoted to the majors, nor will we be including prospects recently selected in the amateur draft (further explanation provided below the Top 50 courtesy of Nick Faleris). This is a list of the top prospects currently in the minors, and we use a scouting-heavy approach to support the work, either in the form of our own eyewitness accounts or via our industry sources, although in most cases the rankings are indicative of the blissful marriage between the two.

When putting together this list, I wasn’t interested in where players had been ranked before—although we will document this for the sake of interest—or where they are ranked elsewhere in the prospect world, or how a dramatic rise or fall would be viewed in the name of consistency. As is often the case, we were either too high or too low on a player coming into the season, and I have no fear of adjusting our work to reflect such discrepancies based on developmental progress or regression. As the developmental plan is not always linear, we need to adapt to this and remain fluid in our evaluations in order to stay in rhythm with the shifting climate of the minors.

This is a subjective exercise that saw countless waves of change on the list, particularly in the 35-50 range, where we had about 40 qualified candidates in the mix, each with a strong case for inclusion based on the merits of the profile. But you eventually have to pour the concrete and walk away, leaving the doubts hanging in the air above the work as if moving prospect number #44 to #43 or #52 to #50 really offers anything of significance and will help me sleep better at night. I wanted to change parts of the list yesterday, just as I would likely want to change parts of it tomorrow, but for today, these are the top 50 prospects based on the parameters we set. I hope you enjoy. —Jason Parks

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Related Content:  Prospects,  Minor Leagues,  Prospect Rankings

83 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

amac2326

No Kyle Zimmer? I know he's been injured but that ceiling is lofty

Jul 07, 2014 03:23 AM
rating: 2
 
scifi451

I am also curious on Zimmer, if him being left on the list was purely because of his injury if it is something more.

Jul 07, 2014 14:14 PM
rating: 1
 
sreczek

My favorite team didn't get enough prospects in the top 50. What gives?

Jul 07, 2014 03:38 AM
rating: 5
 
Nojsztat

It's a clear case of bias against [insert favorite team here]!

Jul 07, 2014 09:14 AM
rating: 1
 
BStephen
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

No Alex Guerrero?
Kinda makes the list questionable?

Jul 07, 2014 04:10 AM
rating: -20
 
mattseward

Really, Alex Guerrero makes this list questionable, you obviously haven't read much about him, particularly the questions on defence

Jul 07, 2014 04:36 AM
rating: 1
 
Dave Pomerantz

And you obviously haven't read much about his bat. I know it's Albuquerque, but before Olivo bit his ear off, Guerrero was absolutely destroying AAA pitching, and probably would've been called up that day, when Uribe was disabled. He's never going to be a Gold Glover, but the Dodgers will definitely find a place for him to play - with Dee Gordon's success at 2B, they'd started playing him at 3B and SS just before the biting.

Jul 07, 2014 08:41 AM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

I'm Ron Burgandy??

Jul 07, 2014 05:18 AM
 
Nojsztat

I love lamp. Why didn't lamp make the list?

Jul 07, 2014 09:15 AM
rating: 9
 
beichenbaum

Where did you have Austin Meadows? Was he close?

Jul 07, 2014 04:16 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

He was not in consideration for the list at this point, so far as I recall. Don't remember him being included in any of our serious discussions.

Jul 07, 2014 04:44 AM
 
mattseward

Surprised not to see Hoffman in the mix for consideration in the 101 next season. If Hoffman were to return to his best next season (not a given I appreciate) where would he rank?

Jul 07, 2014 04:35 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

We won't have an idea as to how Hoffman takes to his TJ surgery until after the Top 101 publishes next winter. Accordingly, he's not really a name that will impact the list, though assuming he comes back strong he should certainly figure into the following year's Top 101.

A healthy Hoffman would have been at the top of the 2014 draft class -- he would have been included with the Aiken/Rodon/Jackson/Schwarber discussion above.

Jul 07, 2014 04:43 AM
 
niffoc44

That seems pretty extreme when Jameson Taillon is listed at 26. He would have ranked in the low teens otherwise?

Jul 07, 2014 07:22 AM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

Taillon has 380+ minor league innings and several fall instructs and spring trainings to help anchor his profile. Not only do we not know what Hoffman will look like when he comes back, but we don't even have a good idea as to what he will look like throwing every fifth day.

I'd argue aggressively ranking Hoffman with so many variables at play would be borderline irresponsible.

Taillon would have ranked higher if healthy, sure. Just like Bundy/Giolito have seen their respective stock vacillate in connection with their injuries.

Jul 07, 2014 07:31 AM
 
niffoc44

I think that's fair. IMO, those other variables that you speak of are probably a good reason for leaving off the high school and college players until they play in the minors in general.

Jul 07, 2014 08:27 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

Agreed; that was our thinking.

Jul 07, 2014 08:37 AM
 
kohlmss07

Very strong list, well done. In trying to predict your list, there was one surprising omission in Dalton Pompey from my guesses to your list. He has receives glowing reports throughout the first half and had the tools all along. Was he just beyond those considers or has his AA initial struggles cooled the jets on him?

Jul 07, 2014 04:47 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Chris Mellen
BP staff

I caught Pompey right when he was called up. He handled himself well in terms of working the count and seeing the ball. There's batspeed and life in his hands as well. From what I saw in my initial look, I think he needs work with fine tuning his selection, and learning what his ultimate strike zone is going to be to allow him to drive the ball on a line more consistently. My early feel, and I'll get more looks, is that there's a good enough gap to close right now in regards to the bat being too light for a long-term regular.

Jul 07, 2014 17:13 PM
 
domdidominic

Why do you hate my team , insert my team {here}, Jason.

Excellent job JP.

Jul 07, 2014 04:50 AM
rating: 0
 
Guancous

The Baez scouting link takes you to an Apple 5C ad to watch Parenthood on your phone.

Baez is your daddy?

Jul 07, 2014 04:53 AM
rating: 3
 
chidavidi

As does the syndegaard link

Jul 07, 2014 06:14 AM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

Wow....anyone else feel old looking at these pictures?!

Jul 07, 2014 05:02 AM
rating: 0
 
Probably Handsome

Is Tapia over Dahl a things that was/is talked about?

Also, what is the deal with Gary Sanchez. I get that he wasn't a top guy, but is it his defense, makeup, or something else.

Jul 07, 2014 05:11 AM
rating: 0
 
Probably Handsome

I should use question marks. Next time...

Jul 07, 2014 05:12 AM
rating: 0
 
Andrew Mearns

I can't speak for Jason and the staff obviously, but tracking his progress personally, I can understand the hesitance to include him. Although the bat's obviously interesting, particularly for a catcher younger than most players in AA while also playing in a big pitcher's park, the questions about his defense persist, and his manager even benched him for 5 games "for disciplinary reasons."

That's a serious red flag to me, especially since the same manager (Tony Franklin) only benched Jose Tabata for 3 games in 2008 for leaving the ballpark in the middle of a game. (And defended Tabata more.) Makeup's a legitimate concern with Sanchez right now, and if the only plus for him right now is the bat, then I'm sure it would be a discussion for Jason and his staff to even put Sanchez in a Top 100, let alone a Top 50.

Jul 07, 2014 07:17 AM
rating: 0
 
Dave from Pittsburgh

I can't remember the last time I saw a team with 4 prospects in the top 20 ( 3 top 10) like the Cubs. If the Cubs had any pitching or a half decent major league team, I'd be more concerned, but the Cubs are still gonna be a force in the next 10 years.

Jul 07, 2014 05:26 AM
rating: 0
 
Meepits

They have more money than your team, mine (Cincy), and StL combined. Like they've said, the plan is to raise up these minor leaguers, see how they fit, then use payroll to step on our throats. We should all be concerned for 2016.

Jul 07, 2014 07:22 AM
rating: 4
 
batts40

To whom do I need to speak about getting someone from BP to cover my medical bills after injuring myself fainting?

Signed- A Cubs Fan

Jul 07, 2014 05:28 AM
rating: 4
 
BSakowski

Yeah okay but where's Devon Travis?

Jul 07, 2014 05:50 AM
rating: -3
 
djones85

why didnt Parks take credit for Baez getting night vision cornea's implanted?

Jul 07, 2014 05:58 AM
rating: 0
 
Shauncore

No Bubba Starling?

Jul 07, 2014 06:04 AM
rating: 0
 
Dave from Pittsburgh

Is Bubba Starling even a prospect anymore?

Jul 07, 2014 06:09 AM
rating: 0
 
Shauncore

He's not old and he's still in the minors. That's a thing right? Either way I was just kidding.

Jul 07, 2014 06:48 AM
rating: 0
 
timber
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

And your point was?

Jul 07, 2014 09:38 AM
rating: -6
 
Shauncore

Most jokes are either trying to be sarcastic or funny. I chose sarcasm with a side of snark. I think I hit my point (hopefully).

Jul 07, 2014 13:43 PM
rating: 0
 
wade1018

I was pleasantly surprised to see Piscotty ranked so high...it's too bad he's a Cardinal -- on many, if not most, teams he'd already be in the majors

Jul 07, 2014 06:25 AM
rating: 0
 
gavo1794

Does Julio Urias have a shiner? Or is he just winking?

Jul 07, 2014 06:27 AM
rating: -1
 
wade1018

he has a drooping eyelid, or something like that

Jul 07, 2014 06:31 AM
rating: 0
 
Andrew Mearns

I think he was born with a tumor under his left eye (yikes), so the droopy eyelid is a side effect from its removal.

Jul 07, 2014 07:20 AM
rating: 0
 
TulaneCubs

Any way you can give us the 5 or so that just missed the list?

Jul 07, 2014 06:51 AM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

There's a list of names above, right after Almonte at #50:

(In the Top 50 mix: Max Fried, Reese McGuire, Michael Foltynewicz, Clint Frazier, Ryan McMahon, Matt Wisler, Lewis Brinson, Alexander Reyes, Rob Kaminsky, Sean Manaea, insert your favorite prospect [here])

Jul 07, 2014 06:56 AM
 
TulaneCubs

Reading the entire article would have helped then? Weird.

Sorry about that.

Jul 07, 2014 07:04 AM
rating: 11
 
jmeisp

Where would Mookie have ranked, if eligible?

Jul 07, 2014 07:25 AM
rating: 4
 
bzalaski

Where would Marco Gonzales have placed had he been in MiLB?

Jul 07, 2014 07:33 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Russell A. Carleton
BP staff

Why do you hate all 30 teams?

Jul 07, 2014 07:36 AM
 
Shankweather

I know as a Cubs fan I should just count my blessings, but I'm a little surprised Soler didn't even make the honorable mentions. He was #45 preseason and has hit well in the limited at-bats he's had so far. Have the durability questions finally knocked him down?

Jul 07, 2014 07:40 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

I imagine he will be back in the Top 50 with a strong summer/fall and some improved reports on makeup.

Jul 07, 2014 07:48 AM
 
John Carter

Was Eugenio Suarez considered a prospect? About where would he rank?

How close were Domingo Santana and Gabriel Guerrero to making this list?

Pertinent thoughts about those players?

If I am allowed to ask about more specific prospects, they would be: Sean Newcomb, Casey Gillespie, Bradley Zimmer, Jake Thompson, Tyler Geoddel, and Luis Sardinas.

Jul 07, 2014 07:54 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

Sean Newcomb -- Could find a spot on the Top 101 with good showing this spring/fall. Unrefined showings this spring, so could be candidate for big jump in value with incremental improvement or could struggle to establish foothold on rankings if pro transition takes some time.

Bradley Zimmer -- Ranking will likely hinge on how he looks in center field in second half and during instructs. Value takes hit in right field and swing isn't unlocking over-the-fence pop at present. Cleveland likely won't tinker until the fall, so my guess is he doesn't crack Top 101 until he puts together a track record at pro ranks.

Casey Gillespie -- Should hit very well in low-minors; needs to show ability to find pitches, square velocity, and adequately cover plate at upper-levels to establish prospect value. Good raw power, but serious questions as to how it will play. Need some pro looks/data here.

Jul 07, 2014 08:06 AM
 
BP staff member Tucker Blair
BP staff

Saurez was a prospect definitely before his promotion.

Here is my report on him while at AA Erie (He's exceeded my expectations so far):
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_bat.php?reportid=81

I've seen Casey Gillaspie. Haven't been terrible impressed. Wrote about him in this ten pack:

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=24028

Jul 07, 2014 08:14 AM
 
JohnnyFive

There goes my work day. Loving the list!

Jul 07, 2014 07:54 AM
rating: 0
 
CRP13

Fun list, but a lot of this doesn't jive with your scouting reports. Take Appel, for example. His "latest report" lists two separate max fastball velocities (94 and 97) and lists him as a probable 4th-starter. A ranking of 34 seems VERY high to me, if you truly consider him to be a back-end starter at best.

Jul 07, 2014 08:07 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

In-person reports are a single data point and the evaluative opinion of one person. Rankings take multiple data points and viewpoints into account.

Jul 07, 2014 08:11 AM
 
Behemoth

Wondered if any of Eddie Rosario, Alen Hansen or Teoscar Hernandez got any consideration. Also, how many people got any real consideration?

Jul 07, 2014 08:12 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Chris Mellen
BP staff

I wasn't big on Eddie Rosario after my latest look at him. The fluidity of the swing and batspeed are there, but I didn't like the approach or overall level of engagement. Mixed on whether the hit tool is going to come together against quality arms.

Jul 07, 2014 16:52 PM
 
CJNC1963

How close was Jose Peraza to making the list? He has made a ton of progress in the last calendar year and is one of the youngest players in AA right now.

Jul 07, 2014 08:20 AM
rating: 0
 
Jivas
(649)

Has your projection of Kris Bryant's defense changed from the preseason? I'm starting to hear some interesting reports on that end.

And of course: this is an excellent product - big thanks to the prospect team for their efforts.

Jul 07, 2014 08:52 AM
rating: 0
 
Gumby

Makeup issues with Clint Frazier were mentioned in Jason's chat. Any details?

Jul 07, 2014 09:15 AM
rating: 0
 
hyprvypr

I think I'm not alone in wondering where a few recently graduated players would have fit, were they eligible:

Marcus Stroman - Guessing about 20?
Mookie Betts - Guessing about 30th?
Andrew Heaney - 10th?

Thanks fellas, this stuff is like a triple-stuffed orea without the outer crap.

Jul 07, 2014 09:29 AM
rating: 3
 
Soggy Burrito

From Jason's chat:
Betts - "10-15 range"
Heaney - "He was originally in the #17 range"

Jul 07, 2014 10:51 AM
rating: 1
 
grandslam28

I have to say you guys did great in your preseason fantasy prospects giving Raimel Tapia one of the largest upsides while not including him in the top 100 list. Drafted him with the last pick in the minor league draft.

Jul 07, 2014 09:54 AM
rating: -2
 
asstarr1

From the highest highs of my first Skyline chili over the weekend, to the lowest, but not entirely unexpected, lows of not seeing any Brewers on this list. JP, are there any Brewers that could make the top 101 next year?

Jul 07, 2014 11:31 AM
rating: -2
 
SlackerGeorge

Starting off a question mooning about skyline chili is no way to get into Jason's good graces.

Jul 08, 2014 15:36 PM
rating: 0
 
NoahMets

Interested to know where Kevin Plawecki and Dilson Herrera would fall on this list. Dilson Herrera seems to be perennially underrated; he is tearing up AA as the youngest player in the league while playing a premium, up-the-middle position. Plawecki is similar to Nimmo, and also plays a premium position. He was #40 on Baseball America's list.

Great list by the way. I'm glad BP didn't lazily move Syndergaard down the list despite excellent peripherals in AAA.

Jul 07, 2014 11:47 AM
rating: 1
 
Infrancoeurgible

I do enjoy these lists because they are snapshots of development. So on July 7, 2014 this is where they stand with a few new names.

Thank you bunches for all of the material, I know you guys do yeoman's work and don't take these rankings lightly.

Jul 07, 2014 11:50 AM
rating: 0
 
KCSG

"When putting together this list, I wasn’t interested in where players had been ranked before...or where they are ranked elsewhere in the prospect world, or how a dramatic rise or fall would be viewed in the name of consistency."
This is, in a nutshell, a really big part of why I like the BP prospect staff's work. I thoroughly enjoyed this; keep up the good work and I look forward to reading more from you all.

Jul 07, 2014 13:19 PM
rating: 2
 
mattofaction

Be honest, guys, how much has Kyle Crick's star dimmed because of his inconsistency so far this season?

Jul 07, 2014 14:18 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Ron Shah
BP staff

This season? He's always been inconsistent.

Jul 07, 2014 15:09 PM
 
Justinpain

Wake up Parks ... DJ Peterson

Jul 07, 2014 16:23 PM
rating: 0
 
hyprvypr

I think I can suggest why he's absent. Fringy plus hit tool, ceiling is probably plus power, very little chance to stick at 3B, tough profile at 1B, a .270 hitter with 20 homers... Not a top prospect...

Jul 07, 2014 19:39 PM
rating: 0
 
Matt Cunningham

Peterson is a no brainer top 50 prospect. His ceiling may not super high but his floor is higher than most of the hitters on this list. Also, his position is not much of a concern for an AL team (Seattle). Also, I think 20 home runs is a conservative estimate. He's only 22 and has 34 home runs in 534 AB's.

Jul 10, 2014 07:56 AM
rating: -1
 
organizedfamine

Thanks for the list guys. Any thoughts on how all the Cubs pieces will fit together on the field defensively?

Jul 07, 2014 16:35 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Ron Shah
BP staff

Russell at shortstop. Figure out the rest.

Jul 08, 2014 00:30 AM
 
BP staff member CJ Wittmann
BP staff

Personally, I think it ends of Baez 3B, Russell SS, Alcantara 2B, Rizzo 1B, Bryant RF, Almora CF, Schwarber LF in 3 years. Really, really good hitting lineup if everything comes together.

Jul 08, 2014 19:48 PM
 
Kris Ericson

Because everybody likes summaries with their lists...

5 (CHC, MIN)
4 (PIT, TEX)
3 (CIN, COL, LAD)
2 (ARZ, BAL, BOS, HOU, KC, NYM, SD, TOR, WAS)
1 (CHW, CLE, NYY, PHI, STL)
0 (ATL, DET, LAA, MIA, MIL, OAK, SEA, SF, TB)

P-24
C-3
1B-0
2B-1
3B-3
SS-8
OF-11

Jul 07, 2014 17:25 PM
rating: 14
 
ofMontreal

Yeah I'm a bit surprised at the absence of DJ Peterson as well. I was under the assumption he'd be in the 30s. But, otherwise, fantastic read ;-)

Jul 07, 2014 17:25 PM
rating: 0
 
neph27

RAIMEL TAPIA IS MY GOD

Jul 08, 2014 05:52 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

I just want to say thanks for all the great questions and comments. Obviously couldn't get to all of them, but I tried to address as many as possible in yesterday's chat. The prospect team appreciates the enthusiasm you guys show, and it pushes us to produce better content.

Jul 08, 2014 08:00 AM
 
oldbopper

I keep struggling with the facts whenever I see Aaron Sanchez being rated above Henry Owens. Owens has outperformed Sanchez in the Eastern League by a huge margin in every facet of pitching. Owens is improving with every start while Sanchez continues to struggle with control, forget command.

Jul 08, 2014 20:21 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Sanchez has superior stuff and a higher ceiling. It comes down to that, not minor league results. Sanchez's raw stuff is really, really good.

Jul 09, 2014 05:34 AM
 
MaineSkin

In the NFL, RBs are free-falling in the draft due to injury concerns (yes, style of game attributes). In MLB, Ps continue to rise while having an insane injury and failure rate.
Why do you guys think there's such a drastic difference in philosophy? Knowing this community, I'll probably sound dumb, but it's interesting.
Look at the Cubs. They drafted the best position player available and same with intl signings and now have the most potent projected lineup in the MLs. The Astros have a 1.01 failing and another unsigned due to elbow injuries. They could of had Buxton, Bryant and Nick Gordon. Just sayin.

Jul 09, 2014 11:29 AM
rating: 0
 
bozarowski

Was Rob Refsnyder's big 2014 given any consideration for the Top 50? Would he chart as a Top 100 guy?

Thanks!

Jul 11, 2014 08:33 AM
rating: 0
 
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