I’m sure you’re aware that our top 101 prospects list dropped last Friday, bookended by a Dodgers shortstop who hit .337/.425/.561 after a September call-up and a Rockies second sacker with a sweet swing but a long way to go. As always, the list provides plenty of fodder for conversation, and the supplementary coverage this week will give us all some more talking points as we continue the slog until catchers and pitchers to report.
There are links to proper scouting reports in the top 101 list, and I encourage you to make your way through the organizational top ten lists, if you haven’t already. As much as I love reading the technical expertise and scout speak that our prospect team brings to the table, there’s a time and a place for pretty pictures too. My design ability is a poor analog for the first-rate evaluators writing our scouting reports, but I hope you’ll enjoy these representations of 2016’s top prospects as a different way to visualize and interact with the list.
Due mostly to their control of the early portion of the 2015 draft, Houston placed four domestic players inside the top 101. In Brett Phillips, Mark Appel, and Jacob Nottingham, the Astros also traded three top 101 assets in 2015. Together, those seven represent a tenth of the US-born players in our top 101. In addition to the ability to toggle between current and former organizations, this graphic also gives you the ability to switch between a player’s hometown and the location of his school. You’ll see some migration to the South among the players who played college ball.
With apologies to Max Kepler, I divided the players in to Latin American and US-born segments to make the maps more viewer-friendly. The Latin American section is dominated by international free agents, with a couple draft-eligible Puerto Ricans (Jose Berrios and Jorge Lopez) thrown in. Note that you can toggle between a player’s original organization and his current one. A sample of 31 players is far too small to draw conclusions about the relative success about an organization’s ability to scout a region, but the high placement of five former and current Red Sox (Moncada, Devers, Margot, Guerra, Espinoza) stands out among the top 101 prospects. Sure, Devers and Espinoza were high profile signings in their respective classes, but they have both advanced more quickly than their same-year peers, likely a testament to both the Sox scouting and its player development.
Data Quirk: Ozzie Albies is nearly too small to be seen. If your cursor can intentionally find the pixel or two that represent Curacao, your Central American geography is better than mine.
Position and Amateur Level
As you would expect, right-handed pitchers and position players at the top of the defensive spectrum account for the vast majority of the list. Over half of the right-handed pitchers and center fielders are former prep draftees, while shortstop is dominated by international free agents.
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