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It has been, and continues to be, our goal to provide first-hand information from the field, with eyewitness reports and narrative from industry sources observing the talent from the shadows. Our team has spent the first half of this season delving into and dissecting the minors, laying eyes on big name prospects, and unearthing ones who will one day reach that notoriety.

During the construction of our list, we fiercely debated the merits of each position on the 50—and even the next 50—with each member of the team unleashing their artillery on the group discussion. The group shared their insight and arguments for each player, which helped paint the picture for each spot on the 50. As with all lists, it is important to remember that this is a snapshot in time, and development of prospects (and people) is rarely linear.

There are a few notes to discuss before diving into the top 50. First, we will not include recently promoted prospects (Carlos Correa) or players recently selected in the amateur draft. This list consists of the top talent in the minors from this season. I encourage everyone to read the secondary and tertiary pieces that will follow the top 50 list, as they will help to shed light and a different perspective on some of the trials and tribulations our team has tackled during the construction of this list. On that note, here are the top 50 prospects in the minors — Tucker Blair

1. SS Corey Seager (Dodgers)

Age: 21 (4/27/94)

Placement on pre-season 101: 7

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Triple-A Oklahoma City

Developmental Update: Seager has hit at every level, shown plus power potential, and is a strong enough athlete to remain in the middle of the field at least through the first half of his career. He’s been splitting time at third base in a move that’s as much out of organizational necessity as it is ability, but his bat is strong enough to play at either position, If it wasn’t for the presence of veterans blocking his path, he’d already be in the big leagues. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

2. RHP Lucas Giolito (Nationals)

Age: 20 (7/14/94)

Placement on pre-season 101: 6

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: High-A Potomac

Developmental Update: The Nationals' righty has the highest ceiling for a pitcher in the minors, displaying a fastball that sits mid-to-upper-90s and a curveball with extreme depth and tight spin. It's the best one-two punch below the big-league level, and could work in the majors right now. He’s still working on the changeup and fastball command, both which have improved and will further cement his status as the best pitching prospect in the minors. Giolito is inching closer towards the majors, and it's only a matter of time before he is set loose in Washington. –Tucker Blair

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

3. LHP Julio Urias (Dodgers)

Age: 18 (8/12/96)

Placement on pre-season 101: 10

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Tulsa

Developmental Update: It is hard not to get giddy about this 18-year-old. Besides an arsenal that is advanced beyond his years, there’s poise and an extremely high level of maturity, despite being so young for Double-A. The Dodgers are trying to take it slow, and rightly so, but at some point there will be no holding this talent back. Look for the developmental progress to continue, and Urias to maintain this lofty spot within the game until he inevitably graduates. – Chris Mellen

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

4. SS J.P. Crawford (Phillies)

Age: 20 (1/11/95)

Placement on pre-season 101: 36

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Reading

Developmental Update: The former first-rounder made short work of the Florida State League and now has his sights set on proving he can master Double-A. While high power totals are not likely to be a large part of Crawford's game, the combination of good contact ability and a glove that can mature to a plus level make him a very attractive up-the-middle player for many seasons to come. This is a core contributor if things continue to click. – Chris Mellen

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

5. 3B Joey Gallo (Rangers)

Age: 21 (11/19/93)

Placement on pre-season 101: 15

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Triple-A Round Rock

Developmental Update: Gallo’s brief stint in the majors gave us a glimpse of exactly what we expected out of the Rangers’ third baseman all along, both good and bad. He struck out at a rate that surpassed even Javier Baez’s legendary standard for well-documented debuts, but unlike Baez, Gallo was productive between all those whiffs. His strikeouts come, at least in part, from his ability to work deep counts, which will also help him get on base. He’s the epitome of the three-true-outcome player the game has come to accept, and he may turn out to be this generation’s most effective version. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

6. OF Nomar Mazara (Rangers)

Age: 20 (4/26/95)

Placement on pre-season 101: 40

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Frisco

Developmental Update: The big-framed Dominican is torching the Texas League as a 20-year-old, with double-digit doubles and home runs heading into July. It is not just the power that many within the industry are enamored of, as Mazara has displayed barrel control and a keen eye at the plate. Mazara has the potential to become one of the next forces in the corner outfield, and is beginning to shape into the player many dreamed on even as late as last season. –Tucker Blair

Scouting Report: LINK

7. RHP Aaron Nola (Phillies)

Age: 22 (6/4/93)

Placement on pre-season 101: 60

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Reading

Developmental Update: Nola has had no trouble breezing through the minor leagues since being taken seventh overall by the Phillies last year, and his recent promotion to Triple-A has not slowed him down at all. Nola’s game is more about the sum of several solid parts than any carrying tool, but his command does stand out as a plus attribute, allowing his three potential above-average pitches—fastball, curveball, changeup—to play up a tick. Nola is an intelligent pitcher who makes the most of his arsenal and command profile to project as a potential no. 3 starter. –Mark Anderson

Scouting Report: LINK

8. C/OF Kyle Schwarber (Cubs)

Age: 22 (3/5/93)

Placement on pre-season 101: 77

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Triple-A Iowa

Developmental Update: The Cubs' selection of the part-time catcher in the 2014 draft raised some eyebrows, but all Schwarber has done since then is hit. His plus power/hit tool combination shredded the minors, earning him a taste of major-league action in 2015. His work ethic and high baseball IQ give him a chance to become a catch-every-so-often guy, increasing his value substantially as he separates himself from the dreaded corner-only profile. –Mauricio Rubio

Scouting Report: LINK

9. LHP Daniel Norris (Blue Jays)

Age: 22 (4/25/93)

Placement on pre-season 101: 34

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Triple-A Buffalo

Developmental Update: After starting the year in the major-league rotation, Norris returned to Triple-A for further seasoning. While there was something of a hangover effect after being optioned, the 22-year-old is back to flashing the stuff that makes him one of the top left-handed prospects in the game. It's only a matter of time before the next opportunity in The Show presents itself. Expect Norris to put a stake in a rotation spot the second time around. – Chris Mellen

Scouting Report: LINK

10. RHP Jose Berrios (Twins)

Age: 21 (5/27/94)

Placement on pre-season 101: 48

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Chattanooga

Developmental Update: The only knock on Berrios since being selected 32nd overall out of Puerto Rico in 2012 has been his size, or lack thereof. He’s not tall, and the only real flaw in his pitching arsenal is a tendency to struggle getting on top of his fastball, thus allowing it to flatten out. When he does get on top, however, he has the potential to dominate, thanks to a mid-90’s heater and a plus changeup. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

11. 2B Yoan Moncada (Red Sox)

Age: 20 (5/27/95)

Placement on pre-season 101: N/A

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Low-A Greenville

Developmental Update: With limited professional experience, at least in this country, we’re left to dream on Moncada's ability and raw skill set. Those skills project a refined player, well-built for his age and versatile to boot. He’s currently at second base, though his eventual position could still be determined. In the meantime, however, he should hit enough to justify playing time almost anywhere on the diamond. –Jeff Moore

Eyewitness Report

12. Raul Mondesi (Royals)

Age: 19 (7/27/95)

Placement on pre-season 101: 27

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Northwest Arkansas

Developmental Update: The Royals have pushed Mondesi up the system in an aggressive fashion, but the wiry shortstop has held his own at all stops. While the numbers are not flashy, peel back the curtain to see that Mondesi is playing a premium position with plus defense and has the makings of a hitter with an above-average hit tool and surprising pop. He’s an unfinished product at this stage of development, but Mondesi is one of the youngest players in Double-A and could see the majors in the next year. He is a strong example of numbers failing to tell the entire story, and his tools are too bright to overlook. –Tucker Blair

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

13. OF Aaron Judge (Yankees)

Age: 23 (4/26/92)

Placement on pre-season 101: 49

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

Developmental Update: Judge is massive—listed at 6-foot-7, 230 pounds—but despite that size he’s shown an advanced feel for hitting, and despite his long limbs he gets through the zone quickly, spraying line drives all over the field. As you can guess from his build he also possesses big-time power in his right-handed bat, and his ability to create backspin gives him a chance to hit 20 to 30 homers during his peek years, maybe even more with his ability to go the opposite way and the short porch in Yankee Stadium. He’s also a quality defender, holding his own in center field with more than enough arm strength and athleticism to be an asset when he makes the inevitable move to right. –Christopher Crawford

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

14. OF Manuel Margot (Red Sox)

Age: 20 (9/28/94)

Placement on pre-season 101: 61

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Portland

Developmental Update: A recent promotion to the Eastern League only further reinforced the notion that this outfielder is on the fast track, with Margot’s overall game showing strong signs of taking yet another step forward. The 20-year-old brings speed, defense, and contact ability to the table, and he is capable of adding some pop. There’s plenty to like with this potential top-of-the-order hitter, and the clues keep adding up that a taste of the bigs is not too far off. – Chris Mellen

Scouting Report: LINK

15. 3B Rafael Devers (Red Sox)

Age: 18 (10/24/96)

Placement on pre-season 101: 90

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Low-A Greenville

Developmental Update: From Low-A to the majors is a big jump, but no prospect at this level has shown a feel for hitting like Devers has this season. He has an innate ability for contact, and his swing is smooth and easy at all checkpoints. The double-plus raw power has yet to take its full effect, but Devers is consistently driving and producing hard backspin. This is one of the premier bats in the minors, even if scouts are split on his eventual defensive home. –Tucker Blair

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Reports

16. RHP Alex Reyes (Cardinals)

Age: 20 (8/29/94)

Placement on pre-season 101: 55

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: High-A Palm Beach

Developmental Update: There is work to be done for Reyes in terms of fastball command and the development of a third pitch, but his fastball-curveball combination is the best of any pitcher in all of minor league baseball not named Giolito. He struggles with his command at present because of his propensity to overthrow, not for lack of ability, as he has shown the capability to command it in short stints. He simply needs to stay within himself. When he does, he’s unhittable. His floor is high because his current arsenal would play in the middle of a big-league bullpen right now, but if he can continue along his impressive developmental trajectory, he could end up atop a rotation. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

17. RHP Tyler Glasnow (Pirates)

Age: 21 (8/23/93)

Placement on pre-season 101: 21

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Altoona

Developmental Update: Few can boast the type of raw stuff this right-hander possesses, with the package highlighted by a high-octane fastball and power breaking ball that typically give opposing batters fits. Glasnow’s first half in Double-A was marked by an ankle sprain, but that only proved to be a minor interruption. With further work polishing off the command of the overall arsenal in the upper minors, this righty can hit upper echelon heights. – Chris Mellen

Scouting Report: LINK

18. RHP Jeff Hoffman (Blue Jays)

Age: 22 (1/8/93)

Placement on pre-season 101: 73

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: High-A Dunedin

Developmental Update: Heading into the 2014 college season, Hoffman was pegged as a potential 1:1 pick coming out of East Carolina, but Tommy John surgery derailed that plan and the Blue Jays picked up a potential premium talent much later than he should have been available. Finally back on the bump this summer, Hoffman has worked his fastball as high as 99 mph in the Florida State League, while both of his secondary pitches are flashing well. He still needs to display improved command and overall consistency if he is to reach his considerable potential, but Hoffman could quickly turn into one of the top pitching prospects in the game, if he’s not already. –Mark Anderson

Scouting Report: LINK

19. RHP Reynaldo Lopez (Nationals)

Age: 21 (1/4/94)

Placement on pre-season 101: 72

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: High-A Potomac

Developmental Update: Lopez was a pop-up prospect last season, but has now developed a track record to leap up in the rankings. Headlined by a heater that sits 95-98 mph, he has flashed the same stuff that earned him industry love in 2014. His curveball and changeup are both average to above-average offerings, but the feel for pitching and potential for above-average command provide optimism for Lopez moving forward as a starter. Even with the quirkiness of his mechanics, he has proven to repeat his delivery well and has displayed impressive outings this season in the Carolina League. –Tucker Blair

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

20. OF Bradley Zimmer (Indians)

Age: 22 (11/27/92)

Placement on pre-season 101: N/A

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: High-A Lynchburg

Developmental Update: The outfielder has excelled this season in Lynchburg, displaying five average or better tools. He has displayed improved actions in center field, which has boosted his value moving forward. Zimmer has a well-rounded skill set and will likely see time in Double-A at some point this season. When all is said and done, Zimmer has a high floor that will play in the majors in some capacity, while still retaining a moderately high ceiling. –Tucker Blair

Scouting Report: LINK

21. OF Nick Williams (Rangers)

Age: 21 (9/8/93)

Placement on pre-season 101: 71

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Frisco

Developmental Update: Few have questioned Williams’ talent, but it’s been his application of that talent that has led to reservation. The best sign for a prospect, however, is making significant improvements in his biggest area of weakness, and Williams has done just that this season, vastly improving his approach at the plate. He’s still aggressive and always will be, but by better defining the strike zone and giving himself a chance to hit more advantageous pitches, he’s given his talents a chance to blossom and they’ve taken off as expected. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

22. SS Tim Anderson (White Sox)

Age: 22 (6/23/93)

Placement on pre-season 101: 39

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Birmingham

Developmental Update: The physical tools remain loud in spite of an immature approach for Anderson. It's important to keep in mind how young Anderson is at this point in terms of baseball experience, as he is still accruing reps as he transitions from athlete into ballplayer. There's potential for a plus hit tool and some sneaky power. If he doesn't work out at shortstop the double-plus speed will be more than enough to cover ground in center. –Mauricio Rubio

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

23. RHP Robert Stephenson (Reds)

Age: 22 (2/24/93)

Placement on pre-season 101: 16

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Pensacola

Developmental Update: You can count the number of pitchers, both on this list and in all of minor league baseball, that can offer a pair of double-plus pitches, but Stephenson is one of them. He’s had some trouble of late figuring out how to use them effectively and command them, especially the fastball, in and around the strike zone. When it clicks, however, he’ll be as good as any prospect in the game. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

24. RHP Hunter Harvey (Orioles)

Age: 20 (12/9/94)

Placement on pre-season 101: 20

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Has not appeared in 2015

Developmental Update: It has been a lost season for the projectable righty, who has been sidelined twice this season with a fractured fibula and elbow tightness. From a development standpoint, it is difficult to shed a positive light on Harvey's situation. As a pitcher with a potential double-plus fastball, double-plus curveball, and an improving changeup, this season at High-A Frederick was an important one. Signs point towards a return to action soon, and Harvey is still young enough for there to be plenty of optimism left in the tank. –Tucker Blair

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

25. OF Dalton Pompey (Blue Jays)

Age: 22 (12/11/92)

Placement on pre-season 101: 42

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A New Hampshire

Developmental Update: Pompey’s developmental track has been unusual, starting out slow before kicking into high gear last season. The Blue Jays took advantage of the momentum and rushed him all the way to the majors, his fourth level of 2014. It proved to be too much, too soon, but his skill set never wavered, even after struggles back in Triple-A. Now back where he belongs for the time being, Pompey is back to his versatile up-the-middle ways that should land him atop the Blue Jays lineup once he’s finally ready. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

26. OF David Dahl (Rockies)

Age: 21 (4/1/94)

Placement on pre-season 101: 24

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A New Britain

Developmental Update: With another season marred by serious injury, Dahl’s stock may be taking an unfair hit among fans, but his potential as a middle-of-the-order hitter and middle-of-the-diamond defender has not changed. Dahl is a gifted natural hitter with an improving approach and projection for average to slightly above-average power. His glove will play in center field and when the entire package is put together, Dahl has a good chance at becoming an impact player. –Mark Anderson

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

27. OF Raimel Tapia (Rockies)

Age: 21 (2/4/94)

Placement on pre-season 101: 45

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: High-A Modesto

Developmental Update: Tapia’s pure hitting skills border on the elite among the prospect ranks, but his approach has the potential to limit its utility. The bat speed and feel for the barrel are as good as anyone on this list, and that combination should also lead to average power down the road. He’ll need to continue to take steps forward in order to reach that potential. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

28. RHP Luis Severino (Yankees)

Age: 21 (2/20/94)

Placement on pre-season 101: 51

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

Developmental Update: There is no denying that Severino has the stuff to pitch in a major-league rotation, so it comes down to whether you believe he has the frame and mechanics to stick long-term. At this stage in his development, Severino continues to work with success in the rotation, using his heavy, moving fastball to lead the way. He’s a big-league difference maker even if he’s not a starter, with stuff that will work in the back end of a bullpen. –Tucker Blair

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

29. Reese McGuire (Pirates)

Age: 20 (3/2/95)

Placement on pre-season 101: 59

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: High-A Bradenton

Developmental Update: The floor is as high for McGuire as any prospect on this list, given a defensive skill set that should ensure a decade-long big-league career regardless of whether he ever gets a hit. He should, however, vastly surpass his floor, as his hit tool projects to be above average and he controls the strike zone quite well. He doesn’t offer much power, but the catching position doesn’t require it, especially from it’s defensive zenith. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

30. RHP Jake Thompson (Rangers)

Age: 21 (1/31/94)

Placement on pre-season 101: 47

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Frisco

Developmental Update: Three above-average pitches, two of which flash plus potential, is a good start to building a mid-rotation starter, but when it comes out of a sturdy 6-foot-4 frame with plenty of strength, the odds of reaching that ceiling become even more likely. He’ll need to finish the development of his changeup in order to battle left-handed hitters, but his arsenal has allowed him to move quickly though the minors. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

31. SS Orlando Arcia (Brewers)

Age: 20 (8/4/94)

Placement on pre-season 101: 93

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Biloxi

Developmental Update: Getting out of the Florida State League helps any batter, though having to spend the first 55 games of the season in the visitors’ dugout would limit anyone’s production. Though it all, however, Arcia has shown an above-average hit tool to pair with his plus shortstop defense. That combination makes him one of the higher-floor shortstops in all of baseball, with the potential to turn into even more if the bat hits its ceiling. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

32. RHP Braden Shipley (Diamondbacks)

Age: 23 (2/22/92)

Placement on pre-season 101: 22

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Mobile

Developmental Update: With Archie Bradley graduated to the big leagues, Shipley is the highest-ceiling arm in the Diamondbacks’ organization, offering two potential plus-plus pitches in his fastball and changeup. The fastball works consistently in the 93-95 mph range and can reach higher when necessary, and the changeup frequently shows as a devastating off-speed pitch that misses bats with ease. Shipley’s curveball could end up an above-average pitch with additional consistency, but the biggest developmental need is routine mechanics that he can repeat in order to throw more strikes. With improved control and command, Shipley could become a no. 2 starter, and even without significant strike-throwing improvements he should still develop into a capable mid-rotation starter. –Mark Anderson

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

33. 1B/OF Josh Bell (Pirates)

Age: 22 (8/14/92)

Placement on pre-season 101: 58

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Altoona

Developmental Update: Long lauded for his power potential, it’s actually Bell’s hit tool that has helped separate him from the prospect pack. The raw power should still be there from both sides, but his ability to find the barrel has led him to success thus far on a journey that has brought him in from a corner outfield spot to first base out of organizational necessity. He’s capable of handling both spots, though he’s not a strong defender at either, leaving the pressure on his bat to carry his value. His ability to make contact and control the strike zone will serve him well, though he will need the power to kick in given his positional restrictions. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

34. C Jorge Alfaro (Rangers)

Age: 22 (6/11/93)

Placement on pre-season 101: 31

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Frisco

Developmental Update: With an aggressive approach in all phases of his game, Alfaro can be a maddening player to watch. The raw tools, however, shine: They are some of the best in the minors for his position. Opinions in the industry are very divided, with some seeing a stubborn student who has not improved behind the plate. Others see a player who is slowly improving and holding his own with the bat at each level. Unfortunately, the book won’t come close to written this year, as Alfaro is out for the season with an ankle injury. –Tucker Blair

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

35. RHP Mark Appel (Astros)

Age: 23 (7/15/91)

Placement on pre-season 101: 35

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Triple-A Fresno

Developmental Update: A season marked with uneven results further amplifies the questions surrounding this former no. 1 overall pick, while casting additional haze on what exactly he’s going to be. The stuff is there to be a front-line type, though some wonder if the intestinal fortitude and consistent execution will allow him to produce at that level. Now that he’s sitting in Triple-A, we’re likely to get a definitive picture soon. –Chris Mellen

Scouting Report: LINK

36. SS Willy Adames (Rays)

Age: 19 (9/2/95)

Placement on pre-season 101: 94

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: High-A Port Charlotte

Developmental Update: Chalked up by many as a secondary piece in last summer’s blockbuster David Price trade, Adames has continued the progress made during his 2014 breakout campaign. Blessed with good bat speed and raw power, a feel for contact, and the ability to defend at shortstop long term, Adames’ 2015 development has included a much-improved approach at the plate. That shift has allowed Adames to translate his offensive gifts to game situations more consistently, and as a result his stock is continuing to rise. –Mark Anderson

Scouting Report: LINK

37. RHP Grant Holmes (Dodgers)

Age: 19 (3/22/96)

Placement on pre-season 101: 79

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Low-A Great Lakes

Developmental Update: Holmes fell to the 23rd pick of the 2014 draft for reasons that seem silly now, and along with Bradley Zimmer he appears to be one of the steals of last year’s class. He can get his fastball up to 98 but sits more comfortably at 92-94 with late life, and he’ll flash a plus curveball with hard spin and depth as well. Assuming the command improves and the change shows more consistency, this is a potential no. 2 starter who can pile up the strikeouts. –Christopher Crawford

Scouting Report: LINK

38. SS Daniel Robertson (Rays)

Age: 21 (3/22/94)

Placement on pre-season 101: 66

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Montgomery

Developmental Update: Smart players can find ways to work around physical limitations; Robertson is a smart player. His ability to stick at shortstop for the time being is thanks in large part to his ability to read the ball very well off the bat and smart pre-pitch positioning. Robertson also displays feel for the strike zone and some intriguing power, which give him a chance to be a solid-average contributor at the highest level. –Mauricio Rubio

Scouting Report: LINK

39. SS Ozhaino Albies (Braves)

Age: 18 (1/7/97)

Placement on pre-season 101: N/A

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Low-A Rome

Developmental Update: Albies has well-below-average raw power, and it's likely not a part of his game in the long run. However, the rest of his tool set has the potential to shine bright. Albies has the potential to be above average or better with his hit tool, speed, arm, and defensive tools, all at a premium defensive position. Four tools at shortstop are tough to find, and Albies has hit for his entire professional career at this early stage of development. While the power may ultimately hinder just how valuable his bat is, Albies has a high floor and will certainly provide value up the middle. –Tucker Blair

Scouting Report: LINK

40. OF Stephen Piscotty (Cardinals)

Age: 24 (1/14/91)

Placement on pre-season 101: 32

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Triple-A Memphis

Developmental Update: In any other organization, Piscotty would already be in the big leagues and thus ineligible for this list. The depth of the Cardinals’ organization, however, has prevented that. Luckily for us, however, that has given us more time to discuss Piscotty, and for the player, it’s given more time for his power to kick in. He’ll need that power to reach its average potential given his corner outfield profile, though his pure hitting skills help make up the balance of the offensive production and he’s no slouch with the glove either. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

41. OF Jesse Winker (Reds)

Age: 21 (8/17/93)

Placement on pre-season 101: 44

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Pensacola

Developmental Update: Winker has average power, but he’s more good hitter with power than pure power hitter. That doesn’t always profile well in the corner outfield, but with plus contact skills, it will play just fine. Winker is a plus hitter, and while his transition to Double-A took some time, he’s rounding into shape in much the way that has been expected of him for some time. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

42. RHP Jose De Leon (Dodgers)

Age: 22 (8/7/92)

Placement on pre-season 101: N/A

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Tulsa

Developmental Update: After taking a major step forward in 2014, De Leon has taken an even bigger step forward in 2015, both with his stuff and his command. He always had plus arm strength, but he now consistently sits in the mid-90s with his fastball, occasionally touching 98. The slider is a plus pitch with hard, downward tilt, and the change shows the makings of being a solid-average offering. Add in his ability to throw strikes with all three pitches and improving feel for repeating his delivery, and you have the makings of one of the more underrated pitching prospects in baseball. –Christopher Crawford

Scouting Report: LINK

43. SS Trea Turner (Nationals)

Age: 22 (6/30/93)

Placement on pre-season 101: N/A

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Triple-A Syracuse

Developmental Update: Camps have been split on Turner, with some loving his elite speed and seeing a top-of-the-order bat, while others, especially those who saw him as an amateur, question how his swing will play at higher levels. He’s answered the latter questions by revamping his swing, and the transition has been notable. Even if he can’t stay at shortstop, his overall game would profile well as an offense-minded second baseman. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

44. LHP Blake Snell (Rays)

Age: 22 (12/4/92)

Placement on pre-season 101: N/A

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Montgomery

Developmental Update: The former supplemental first-rounder (2011) continues to miss bats at elite levels thanks to an array of potential plus pitches coming at hitters from well atop his tall, left-handed frame. His control is still lacking, and will need to be improved upon at some point soon, but the stuff continues to dominate hitters despite his movement through the Rays system. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

45. 2B Jose Peraza (Braves)

Age: 21 (4/30/94)

Placement on pre-season 101: 92

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Triple-A Gwinnett

Developmental Update: If Peraza were playing in essentially any other organization he’d likely still be playing shortstop. He’s a plus-plus runner with excellent instincts so he should pile up the steals. The swing is very much geared for contact but his quick wrists allow him to shoot line drives to right field, even if the build and path give him very little chance for power. He’s a heady defender who uses his speed to make plays to his left and right, with just enough arm strength to handle short, and more than enough to be a potential plus defender on the other side of the bag. – Christopher Crawford

Scouting Report: LINK

46. OF Austin Meadows (Pirates)

Age: 20 (5/3/95)

Placement on pre-season 101: N/A

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: High-A Bradenton

Developmental Update: At first glance, Meadows looks like the kind of player who should hit for more power, but it’s not his game despite his 6-foot-3 frame. His swing is short and quick, more oriented toward contact, which limits his power but allows his strong barrel skills to play into a plus hit tool. He’s a strong center fielder and has enough straight-line speed to get the job done throughout his twenties. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

47. 3B Ryan McMahon (Rockies)

Age: 20 (12/14/94)

Placement on pre-season 101: 100

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: High-A Modesto

Developmental Update: McMahon has certainly been impressive in 2015, but it’s even more impressive when you consider that the third baseman is still new to full-time baseball. The former two-sport Mater Dei High School star is an impressive athlete, one who might have enough athleticism to play shortstop in the short term, but profiles as a plus defender at the hot corner. The swing stays in the hitting zone with natural loft, and while neither tool projects as plus we could be looking at a 55 hit, 55 power, 60 defender when all is said and done, and that certainly would make him a quality player in the friendly confines of Coors Field. –Christopher Crawford

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

48. SS Franklin Barreto (Athletics)

Age: 19 (2/27/96)

Placement on pre-season 101: 74

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: High-A Stockton

Developmental Update: Barreto has had his ups and downs in his first full professional season, which is understandable when you consider that he’s still only 19 and skipped an entire level. The right-handed shortstop has solid feel for hitting with advanced bat-to-barrel skills, but he also shows sneaky power thanks to his strong upper frame and quick wrists. He’s a heady defender with average speed, and his arm strength gives him a chance to be a competent starting shortstop when he’s ready in the next two years. –Christopher Crawford

Scouting Report: LINK

49. SS Nick Gordon (Twins)

Age: 19 (10/24/95)

Placement on pre-season 101: 70

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Low-A Cedar Rapids

Developmental Update: Neither Flash nor Dee, this Gordon brings a broad and balanced set of skills and a shortstop defensive profile to the table. The range of outcomes is still pretty wide for Gordon, as he's only 19 and currently toiling in the pitchers’ haven known as the Midwest League. There's plus potential in the hit tool, sneaky and potentially fringy power, and the potential to grow into a plus defender at short thanks to actions that flash and more than enough arm for the position. –Mauricio Rubio

Scouting Report: LINK

Eyewitness Report

50. SS Gleyber Torres (Cubs)

Age: 18 (12/13/96)

Placement on pre-season 101: N/A

Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Low-A South Bend

Developmental Update: It’s important to keep things in perspective with young players. Torres’ success in the Midwest League as an 18-year-old is remarkable, but it does not raise his ceiling. It does, however, place him much closer to reaching it than most of his adolescent counterparts. There are questions about his ability to stay at shortstop thanks to his subpar speed, but his actions in the infield should allow him to stay there for the time being. He doesn’t feature enough power to be an impact bat, but there is no questioning his hit tool, which will no doubt carry him to a big league career; we can’t say that about most teenagers. –Jeff Moore

Scouting Report: LINK

***

Notable Omissions Due to Injury

The two players below, Dylan Bundy and Jameson Taillon, were both firmly entrenched in our list before very recent news that could (and likely will) cost both of them the remainder of their respective 2015 seasons. In both cases, the injury news was extremely recent and left their futures cloudy. Despite their previous health issues, but without their most recent updates, Bundy would have landed within the top five places on our list while Taillon would have been somewhere in the teens. With their new injury news being so fresh, it became impossible to accurately gauge the impact. Below are the write-ups as they would have appeared within the list. –Jeff Moore

RHP Dylan Bundy (Orioles)
Age: 22 (11/15/92)
Placement on pre-season 101: 8
Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Double-A Bowie

Developmental Update: If healthy, Bundy would have been near the top of this list based on pure stuff. In fact, even as early as this season he was showing the arsenal that had him so highly touted in previous years. Yet another injury setback, however, this time a severe calcium buildup in his throwing shoulder, has once again landed him on the shelf, this time without a timetable for his return. There’s no denying the talent, but Bundy simply hasn’t been on the mound enough in recent years for us to properly gauge where it stands right now. –Jeff Moore

Eyewitness Report

RHP Jameson Taillon (Pirates)
Age: 23 (11/18/91)
Placement on pre-season 101: 26
Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Has not appeared in 2015

Developmental Update: Still working his way back from 2014 Tommy John surgery, Taillon’s journey wad detoured by a sports hernia injury. He is still expected to fit behind ace Gerrit Cole in the Pittsburgh rotation, hopefully joining Tyler Glasnow and Nick Kingham in the long term. Taillon’s size stands out the second he steps on the field, and at his best the big Texan displays a potential plus-plus fastball and hammer curveball that can both miss bats. Taillon’s changeup and command will need to develop once he’s back to full strength, and if they do, he could still be a no. 2 or 3 starter. –Mark Anderson

Scouting Report: LINK

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cageman
7/06
Nice list...how close was Conforto?
Ryan13636
7/06
Wow, Jon Gray's stock has really gone into the toilet.
lewist
7/06
Nice work guys. With all of the prospect graduations this year, it has to be a challenge to generate a consensus top 50. Lots of A-ball players on this list!
uncasf1
7/06
Brett Phillips? Thought he might make the list.
mhmosher
7/06
How does Michael Conforto not make this list? Seems like ceiling trumped floor for the most part here with the abundance of younger prospects. Still, hard to see a case for an 18-year old in Low A over a kid doing very well in Double A.
moore315512
7/06
His potential ceiling would have been below most on this list, especially compared to the other corner outfielders. We leaned more towards up-the-middle positional players with more defensive potential. As a team we just weren't as sold on the bat as we needed to be for a player who won't bring a ton of defensive value.
mhmosher
7/06
OK....fair enough. Ignore my snippy comment on the other thread. :-) Considering the criteria, it does make sense.
carlbrownson
7/06
Babe Ruth was a terrible shortstop.
heterodude
7/06
First time I've ever seen Conforto compared to Babe Ruth. Most likely the last time, too.
carlbrownson
7/06
The point: a position player's hit tool matters far, far more than, say, a right fielder's arm or a catcher's pop time ever could. Scout's can get caught up on the beauty of things that in WAR terms simply don't matter that much. The one thing that matters most, Conforto is very good at. Counting tools is a terrible way to analyze prospects. You'll end up with a lot of Tim Andersons and Alfaros with sub-300 OBP's who will hurt their major league teams.
carlbrownson
7/06
Think about these criteria, and then think about the fact that most of the very best players of all time were not up-the-middle players: Ruth, Williams, Bonds, etc. The criteria are flawed.
ndparks
7/06
Were 2015 draftees ineligible for the list, or not good enough? Can you tell us which might have ranked where if the former was true? Thanks for a great feature.
moore315512
7/06
They were not eligible due to their limited professional track record. They will be eligible for the off-season 101.
heterodude
7/06
Check the first sentence of the third paragraph.
heterodude
7/06
Second, I mean.
dukefan4141
7/06
Thank you for all the hard work. I'm curious to hear why Raul Mondesi is nearly 20 spots higher than Orlando Arcia when both are projected for plus defense, and Arcia seems more likely to reach his above-average hit tool projection than Mondesi (not to mention a better eye at the plate, and more in-game power).
TuckerBlair
7/06
Mondesi has a higher ceiling, and I would argue that his future power tool is definitely more than Arcia's. Arcia is a polished player with a high floor, and we received strong feedback on him. However, Mondesi is at the same level, younger, and has a more projectable bat. That won over in the end, and our team is collectively higher on him by a significant amount. Remember, we take a tools/scouting based approach on these, and the overall ceiling for Mondesi just wins out in the end.
markpadden
7/07
"Remember, we take a tools/scouting based approach on these" Since when? Did someone mandate that you ignore statistics in your analysis? Do you at least appreciate the irony that someone has to ask this question on this site? The whole point of BP's prospect rankings 10-15 years ago was to apply a performance-oriented lens to the prospect evaluation process. I.e., a nice complement to BA's scout-driven lists. Now, apparently, it's just a group of 25-year-old bloggers who like to hear themselves talk in scout-speak. If that's all you are -- and I've seen no evidence to the contrary -- you're not adding value. You've just become "BA Lite."
TuckerBlair
7/07
Considering the Prospect Staff has seen Cole, Parks, Mort, Purser, Crod, Herz hired by teams in the past two years...I think some would disagree with that statement.
Behemoth
7/07
I'd much prefer competent lists to ideologically driven lists that choose to focus on performance even though we know that itsn't likely to be the best approach.
RacinCD
7/10
So you're on this page because why?
RacinCD
7/10
Oops misquote u transposing the concepts . On this page because it's awesome and accurate lol
moore315512
7/07
I'm 31.
cmellen
7/08
I'm taking the "25-year-old blogger" comment as a compliment as it is flattering to have someone point out there is still youthfulness in my game 5 years into the wrong side of 30.
nils707
7/06
Was Max Kepler close?
proteinwisdom
7/06
I expected to see Kepler, Bauers, and Renfroe. I realize Kepler doesn't hit homers (yet), but he's been impressive in the gaps. Bauers is a 19-year-old in AA w power, and Renfroe looks to be turning the corner, with his power numbers no doubt hurt by the park and his early struggles. Still, he's got speed and a very strong throwing arm to go along with impressive power, and if he can maintain his baseball smarts and continue to make adjustments I certainly see him in the top 50. But then, I'm not one of the evaluators! All in all I think those who are did a nice job here. Especially happy to hear about Shipley, who has had command issues this year: the stuff is still there evidently, which is heartening for those of us who had him pegged as a potential #2. And I think I'd probably have Schwarber higher on this list, but I'm guessing the only part-time catcher projection is what kept him out of the top 5.
moore315512
7/06
I'm a big fan of Bauers and he's going to make some lists in the future. He's just not quite there yet. Good name to know though.
rookie319s
7/06
Cosidering ceiling, how close was Lewis Brinson?
nickgieschen
7/06
My overall impression is that this is a fairly weak top-50 compared to previous years. Is this accurate?
moore315512
7/06
In general, yes, because of the attrition at the top of the list thanks to all of the mid-season promotions that took place. Even from our initial lists a few weeks ago, we lost some of the top talent. That said, however, the middle part still feels about as thick as usual and we still had another 20-30 names we would like to have mentioned.
bigchiefbc
7/06
Was Joe Ross ineligible even though he's back in the minors, or was he not top 50 material?
moore315512
7/06
That was more of an eligibility oversight on our part with him being demoted back to the minors late in our ranking process. We had a few of those guys who we had to make a decision on whether or not to include them. In his case, we probably should have. We didn't discuss him but I imagine, especially given what he did in his short stay in the majors, that he would have made the cut.
smitty99
7/06
The Phillies' Crawford has 39 BBs and only 25 Ks. Pretty kewl for a young man.
Scott44
7/06
Devers may be a special case. Relative to some other high profile bats that you've seen over the years, who would you liken him to at this same stage in his development? While the sky may be the limit, where does he grade out for you on power/hit tool if it goes right? Great work guys.
Shauncore
7/06
Not sure if they are at the same level of development, but Devers kinda seems like Bogaerts offensively (of course different positions). Possible above average hit with plus raw power with fringey or worse speed. Them both being Red Sox makes it a little too close, but Devers is a nice prospect like Xander was, but without the advantage of maybe playing SS like Bogaerts was.
brandonwarne52
7/06
How did Buxton and Sano graduate from the list but not Gallo?
heterodude
7/06
Gallo is in the minors at the moment while Sano and Buxton are not. (Buxton is on Major Leage DL)
Muboshgu
7/06
FYI, Stephenson made his AAA debut with Louisville the other day
dougkm
7/06
Appel can thank his 1/1 status for still being on this list. Everyone talk about his makeup issues, but I worry more about his inability to miss bats. He has just not excelled a minor league pitcher.
JPinPhilly
7/07
I don't understand how he keeps making these lists. His numbers don't back it up at all. I'm sure there's a pitch or two (or three) that scouts see and they like it but where are the results?
davinhbrown
7/06
Any chance we'll see individual top50 lists from all those who contributed? So we could compare and contrast.
morro089
7/06
Or just a snippet listing where they are one everyone's lists (if those lists exist)? It would paint a better picture of the player's potential boom/bust or if some players at the top clearly stand out from the players below them. It would also include different contributors preferences on high ceiling vs high floor (that would not be able to be shown in this small snippet). 45. 2B Jose Peraza (Braves) Age: 21 (4/30/94) All Rankings: 57, 35, 44, 41, 42 Placement on pre-season 101: 92 Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Triple-A Gwinnett
LDBLDB
7/06
How do Sean Manaea, Greg Bird, and Lucas Sims stack amongst this group?
TuckerBlair
7/06
Manaea would have been a serious name in the discussion, but we left him off primarily because he hasn't pitched much this season and there were just too many questions still left unanswered. I just saw him recently and here is my report: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_pit.php?reportid=299 Bird is a solid player, but not a top 50 for me. His limited defensive profile and a lack of supreme offensive talent keep him off the top 50 for me. He's a guy I like, but don't love. Sims has a solid arsenal, but we've been waiting for things to click for a while now. I am not writing him off, but there has been a lack of progression in 2 years.
LDBLDB
8/05
thanks for answering!
TuckerBlair
7/06
Story has been impressive this season, but there are still concerns with the defense at SS and not all scouts/industry sources are quite sold on him altogether. He's definitely a 101 discussion guy, but he was not close to making the Top 50. Al Skorupa recently wrote a report on him: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospects/eyewitness_bat.php?reportid=256
bigdaddyleroy
7/06
Good stuff. Will there also be a top 50 midseason dynasty update?
bigdaddyleroy
7/06
Oops. Never mind. Should have scrolled down the home page.
benjh5
7/06
Chris, you're write up of Judge says, "He’s also a quality defender, holding his own in center field with more than enough arm strength and athleticism to be an asset when he makes the inevitable move to right." I'm 100% sure that's incorrect. He doesn't play center field, he's a right fielder. Nice analysis.
Anchovies
7/06
Learn the difference between "your" and "you're".
benjh5
7/06
That's TOTALLY the issue here. If the report had had an incorrect apostrophe I would not have said anything. But thank you for YOUR astute observation. This was a truly educational moment for me.
jonmischa
7/06
benjh5, Judge has been playing center field lately in AAA. So you're 100% incorrect.
Theman3983
7/06
Hi, Benji. I appreciate your critique. The day I did that write up, Judge played CF for Scranton. He also was a centerfielder at Fresno State. I should have probably done a better job of explaining that he plays right field almost exclusively right now. I'll own up to it. Thanks. I hope you had a wonderful holiday.
morro089
7/06
http://cdn.someecards.com/someecards/usercards/how-to-be-an-adult-at-work-replace-fuck-you-with-sounds-great-2fe26.png Warning: a swear word is used, 17+ only
morro089
7/06
Dang it, it's in the link. Well, I tried. Sort of.
delatopia
7/06
So Jose De Leon and Blake Snell were separated at birth? That's the only way I can explain their uncanny likenesses and similar talents.
delatopia
7/06
Never mind, the story totally renders differently on my phone than my laptop, and several headshots are duplicated. Plus, Ryan McMahon's headshot appears next to the Comments link.
Cykid10
7/06
If anyone gets a chance to watch Seager this year, please do. It's as if he makes the pitcher come to him. Selective and quick to the ball with a phenomenal understanding of what his capabilities are. His bat will play a long time at the big league level. As mentioned in write up, he'd be up now with most clubs if it weren't for the Dodgers' log jammin.
rrvwmr
7/06
Was old guy Olivera considered?
tshurtz
7/06
Were Sean Newcomb or Andrew Heaney in consideration?
TuckerBlair
7/06
Newcomb was in consideration and definitely is in the next 20 names. He is a name to keep an eye on, and the reports keep getting better and better. Heaney is in the majors, so he was not considered.
andymcg
7/06
Chris, great response.
Kaluk8
7/07
I think Holmes and Sean Reid-Foley are joined at the hip. Both power arms with good make up. Both have a good off speed pitch already. Both are trying to tame some wildness. Reid-Foley has already been promoted to High A and is the youngest pitcher in the FSL. Any love in the discussion for him?
nzach54
7/07
Which player's improvement and/or performance over just these first few months has surprised you guys the most?
lipsgardner
7/08
Was Braden Shipley's consistent sucking taking into consideration when adding him to the list?
proteinwisdom
8/25
Guy's got a 3.4 ERA in AA and has only been pitching full time for a couple of years. Not sure I'd call his alleged "sucking" "consistent". More like "clumped together." BTW, here are his totals for his last 10 starts for Mobile: 4-3, 2.03 ERA, 62IP, 53H, 14BB, 43K. I'd like to see him miss bats more, but when I've watched him this season my sense was his command inside the strike zone is what needed work -- as well as finding a consistent delivery. He hits the bottom of the zone (many of his earlier season walks came from missing low), but he gets hurt with center-cut fastballs. Curve flashed potential plus to me, which is a big step up. Change is excellent and gets a lot of double play grounders. If and when he takes the next step with command and shores up the delivery -- and, I'd add, decides to hide the ball better -- he's an elite enough athlete and competitor to be a really good Major League pitcher. Which I guess is why some people are still very high on him, despite his month-long struggle, which he seems to have put behind him over the course of the last dozen or so starts.
johnd311
7/05
When is the 2016 version coming out?! Cant wait
TheArtfulDodger
7/06
It will be out this week.