PECOTA helps pick the best player in baseball for every age, from Julio Urias to Bartolo Colon and all the superstars in between.
I have a vivid memory from my little league days of sitting in the dugout after practice and listening intently as a teammate read Baseball America’s rankings of the best players in the country by age. The best player on our team, who later went on to play Division I ball, was annoyed by the notion of a 13-year-old somewhere else getting so much attention for what couldn’t possibly be (he figured) superior talent. The sixth-best player on our team, who later went on to write this article, found it fascinating that there was a 13-year-old so good at baseball that they were being written about in magazines.
Just short of 20 shortstops landed on the BP Top 101. Did we put them in the right order?
There are 19 shortstops in this year’s BP 101. I know that not just because I contributed to the making of said list, but because I hit CTRL+F and searched for “, SS” and it came up 19 times. Obviously the position is a premium one, but nearly 20 percent of the list coming from one position seemed a notable number.
And so, this got me to thinking. With so much of the list coming from one place, how does the industry view the position? A few months ago we ran our “Ask The Industry" series, but this is a much larger spectrum to work with, and I was curious to see whether the industry agreed or disagreed on how we viewed the shortstop prospects of today.
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We haven't seen a younger sibling steal his big brother's thunder like this since Renly Baratheon.
The situation: The Dodgers scuffled slightly in mid-August, but after sweeping the Giants this week Los Angeles has settled into a comfortable lead in the NL West. To help stabilize their third-base situation (Justin Turner got hit in the hand on Wednesday night), the Dodgers will call up the top prospect in baseball for the final month in Corey Seager.
Background: The younger brother of Mariners All-Star third baseman Kyle Seager; Corey was a prep standout out of Northwest Carbarrus High School in South Carolina; and it was no surprise when the Dodger selected him with the 18th-overall pick of the 2012 draft. After two solid seasons at the lower levels, Seager’s stock really took off following his sensational 2014 campaign, where he posted a 1.004 OPS at High-A Rancho Cucamonga and continued to rake in Double-A Chattanooga. He’s continued to put up impressive numbers this year, and after hitting .375/.407/.675 at Double-A Tulsa, he earned a call to Triple-A Oklahoma City, and was ranked No. 1 in the Baseball Prospectus mid-season top 50 this July.
View from the turtle during batting practice at this year's MLB Futures Game during All Star Weekend.
The Baseball Prospectus prospect team is constantly on the road, getting eyes on the top talent throughout baseball -- from the amateur ranks up through the majors. Moving forward I'll be working to bring you inside my travels (hopefully with contributions from others on the prospect team), including pictures and video. There will be a lot of baseball and some broader travel stuff if I think you might find it interesting.
Notes on prospects who stood out this weekend, plus an obligatory Gregory Polanco update.
Friday, May 16
Miles Head, 1B, A’s (Midland, AA): 3-4, R, HR. Head is struggling once again, now in his third go-round in Double-A. It was already a tough profile as a right-handed-hitting first baseman, but Head’s power outage is enough to diminish his status as a prospect. For what it’s worth, Head also homered again on Sunday.
Mookie Betts, Travis d'Arnaud, and Jorge Soler are among those who came off the board between picks 29 and 56.
In the first episode of the BP Mock Expert Draft, we went over the backstory and parameters of this draft, so there’s no need to rehash that here. Plus I know you’re all just going to skip past the intro anyway to see who else got picked and when. Sometimes you just have to give the people what they want.
So, without any further ado, here are the next two rounds (three and four) of the Baseball Prospectus Expert Mock Prospect Draft with analysis from the participants themselves:
Notes on 12 prospects, including Reds lefty Ismael Guillon and Dodgers infielder Corey Seager, who slugged two home runs.
Pitching Prospect of the Day: Ismael Guillon, LHP, Reds (Low-A Dayton): 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K. Guillon had been scuffling in 2013, but he turned it around last night. He features a plus fastball and changeup. Guillon’s command this season has been poor, to put it bluntly, and he looks destined for the bullpen.
Position Prospect of the Day: Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers (Low-A Great Lakes): 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 5 RBI. I recently spoke with a scout who feels that Seager has a chance to hit and hit for power, but thinks that he is a third baseman all the way. If Seager is forced to slide to third, that would put more pressure on the bat, but he should hit enough to make that irrelevant.
Dodgers Low-A shortstop Corey Seager slugged two homers on Friday, kicking off a weekend with tons of exciting prospect action.
Games of Friday, June 21
Pitching Prospect of the Day: Kyle Crick, RHP, Giants (High-A San Jose): 4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 K. Crick entered the year as the Giants’ top prospect. He excelled in his return from the disabled list. Crick uses a potentially plus-plus fastball, an easy plus curveball, and a solid-average cutter. He has an athletic delivery and a front-of-the-rotation ceiling.