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Let’s make a couple things clear right up top:

1) There are no recent draftees or international prospect signings in this ranking. That means no Kevin Maitan or Corey Ray.

2) There are no prospect-eligible players who are currently in the majors in this ranking. This means no Lucas Giolito (pitching today for the Nationals) but yes Julio Urias (probably throwing one inning at a time for a while in Glendale to stay fresh/limit workload).

Another thing that has been made clear throughout this process is that the prospect landscape has flattened considerably. We might be exiting the long summer a golden age of prospects (going back to… let’s say Stephen Strasburg) but that doesn’t mean Winter is here, or even that it is coming. Talking to those who have been doing this long enough to know, the current landscape appears much as it did before the recent glut of immediate-superstar prospects graduated; meaning that the distribution of talent is either flatter, or there’s more of it located in the lower levels, making the risk associated with that premium talent that much higher. As it pertains to ordinal rankings this means that the gaps between the players might not be as big as they seem, even in the upper echelons.

This bore itself out as our team discussed and debated the prospects below, including those at the very top. Nothing was a given, and the discussion for the top spot spread to the top four players on the list; beyond that it got even messier. Ultimately, this list is my own, informed and influenced heavily by the in-person views that our team supplied, as well as those provided by industry contacts. Enough preface: Below you will find the Baseball Prospectus Midseason Top 50 Prospects, along with the most compelling reason they’ll succeed as well as what might cause them not to live up to expectations. —Craig Goldstein

1. J.P. Crawford, SS, Philadelphia Phillies
Why He’ll Succeed:
He has the broadest base of skills in the minors, and one of those skills is plus defense at shortstop. Couple that with a strong hit tool and approach, note the double-digit home run potential, and you may be looking at a perennial all-star at shortstop.

Why He Might Fail: Crawford hasn't hit as much against upper-minors competition as you'd like to see from your top prospect, the glove and approach give him a very high floor, but if he is more of a .260/.350/.350 hitter, he may just be a solid, everyday guy.

2. Yoan Moncada, 2B, Boston Red Sox
Why He'll Succeed: An explosive power/speed combination that propels him to stardom despite a non-premium defensive position.

Why He Might Fail: His shirts could become tighter and tighter until he earns Dan Uggla comparisons as a shirt-wearer and a baseball player.

3. Julio Urias, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Why He’ll Succeed: Urias’ potent three-pitch mix means he need only get stronger as he heads toward a legal drinking age (in the U.S.), allowing him to pitch deeper into games. If he does that, he’s a good number two.

Why He Might Fail: We don’t know what he looks like after 110 pitches in a game nor innings in a season. It’s not a given that the rate stats hold up to those thresholds (or beyond), and we have no real idea what the dropoff will look like. Also he’s a pitcher, so injury always looms.

4. Alex Bregman, SS/3B, Houston Astros
Why He'll Succeed: His plate discipline and knack for contact enable him to punish balls in the zone, making up for a lack of premium raw power and allowing the bat to function at third as well as short.

Why He Might Fail: The first-half power surge is more mirage than oasis, making the bat less palatable at the hot corner. He’s still pretty good.

5. Brendan Rodgers, SS, Colorado Rockies
Why He'll Succeed: Rodgers is one of the most talented offensive players in the class, and when you consider that there’s a chance for plus power and a plus hit tool while staying at a premium position, the sky’s the limit.

Why He Might Fail: It’s not a lock that he’ll stay at said premium position, and if he is forced to move to the hot corner, the value obviously drops substantially.

6. Austin Meadows, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
Why He'll Succeed: When you see Meadows on the right day—which has been pretty much every day in 2016—you’ll see an outfielder who flashes above-average tools everywhere but his arm, and the approach just keeps getting better.

Why He Might Fail: If he were to have to move from center field, he likely has to play left because of his arm, and continued health woes could sap some of his explosiveness.

7. Orlando Arcia, SS, Milwaukee Brewers
Why He'll Succeed: The high-contact approach translates to a top-of-the-order bat to pair with good speed and exceptional defense.

Why He Might Fail: If his aggressive approach is exploited by more advanced arms, it could culminate in a glove-dependent profile that doesn’t get on base enough to avoid the bottom third of an order.

8. Alex Reyes, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
Why He’ll Succeed: If the fastball and curveball mature into plus-plus offerings, with the cambio a playable option against opposite-handed hitters, he'll be a top-of-the-rotation arm who misses bats at an tremendous clip.

Why He Might Fail: If the changeup lags and makes him a two-pitch guy with effort in his delivery. That sounds a lot like a reliever, albeit a damned good one.

9. Victor Robles, OF, Washington Nationals
Why He’ll Succeed
: Owning a potential five-tool skill set with across-the-board projection gives him a variety of ways to impact a major-league roster down the line.

Why He Might Fail: There are still questions about how much power will ultimately manifest, and he has yet to be tested against advanced arms with an ability to locate and sequence.

10. Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta Braves
Why He'll Succeed: His above-average hit, power, glove, arm, hair and smile could power him to a marketability we haven’t seen since Jeter.

Why He Might Fail: All of that above-averageness might be somehow less than the sum of the parts, in which case he’s still above average.

11. Andrew Benintendi, OF, Boston Red Sox
Why He’ll Succeed: The roaring start to Benintendi’s pro career is indicative of a player who has rapidly—and in some cases unexpectedly—grown into a hitter capable of maintaining a high average, getting on base, and slugging the ball.

Why He Might Fail: Advanced arms figure out how to sequence against and manipulate an aggressive hitter who can’t counter with his own adjustment.

12. Joey Gallo, CI, Texas Rangers
Why He'll Succeed: 80 power, 80 power, 80 power. If he can keep his strikeout rate in the stratosphere, Gallo will hit 30-plus homers annually and become a regular contender for the home run crown. He’s sneakily playable on defense too.

Why He Might Fail: He just might not make enough contact. He’s struck out in nearly half of his big-league at-bats and is running a strikeout rate north of 30 percent in his second spin through Triple-A.

13. Trea Turner, SS, Washington Nationals
Why He’ll Succeed
: Turner is an exceptional runner with good feel to hit, backed by an ability to play solid defense up the middle, making him a valuable commodity across baseball.

Why He Might Fail: The lack of power results in major-league pitchers challenging him more and pressuring the hit tool, without a strong-enough glove to carry the profile.

14. David Dahl, OF, Colorado Rockies
Why He’ll Succeed
: Finally healthy, Dahl is now showing off the development of his game, including an ability to drive the ball over the fence more than previously thought, while also showing hints of an approach….

Why He Might Fail: …..The approach at the plate is still developing and could stagnate, leaving the hit tool and power a little short of the mark.

15. Amed Rosario, SS, New York Mets
Why He’ll Succeed: Rosario keeps getting better, every season. His ability to put on good weight without sacrificing athleticism enables him to stick at the six and rake at the plate, making him a threat on both sides of the ball.

Why He Might Fail: Still a work in progress, the approach and an unusual hand path could falter against better arms and better spin. If the bat doesn’t develop as anticipated, it is still a major-league package, but not an impact one.

16. Manuel Margot, CF, San Diego Padres
Why He'll Succeed: A well-rounded player, Margot will hit and play a plus center field at the highest level. Even if the power never shows up, he’s an easy regular, and he could hit .300 for years.

Why He Might Fail: Fail is a relative term here. Sure, anyone could pull a Brandon Wood and just not hit at all, but realistically, Margot’s floor is as a player who hits .250 with no power instead of .280. That’s still a big leaguer, if not an impact one.

17. Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins
Why He'll Succeed: Berrios sits in the low-to-mid-90s with an above-average curve and a dandy of a changeup that has already induced plenty of whiffs from big-league hitters.

Why He Might Fail: An ugly showing in his first few starts demonstrated how even “safe” pitching prospects can get hit around if they don’t command the ball well. Berrios probably will do better in that regard down the road but, well, we saw what happened when he isn’t on.

18. Jeff Hoffman, RHP, Colorado Rockies
Why He’ll Succeed: Hoffman is close to the ideal pitching prospect: A big frame, a big fastball, three secondaries that project as average or better, including a hard, bat-missing slider with plus-plus potential, and reasonably clean mechanics.

Why He Might Fail: Is it too glib to just write “Coors Field?”

19. Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox
Why He'll Succeed: He maintains his lower half and defensive range enough to stick at the hot corner, where his plus hit and power tools make for a special profile.

Why He Might Fail: He could gain weight in his lower half, forcing a shift to first base, where the power and hit tools aren’t quite as special.

20. Raul Mondesi, SS, Kansas City Royals
Why He’ll Succeed: He’ll eventually stop being young for his level, and by that time the performance will have caught up to the tools, which include plus-plus speed, a plus glove, and a potential plus hit.

Why He Might Fail: He’ll eventually stop being young for his level, making for fewer caveats or excuses for a lack of production. The hit tool gains don’t come to fruition, making for a glove-first profile that doesn’t support more than a second-division starting role.

21. Ozhaino Albies, 2B, Atlanta Braves
Why He’ll Succeed
: As a plus runner with instincts for the game and excellent contact ability, Albies is the quintessential table-setter that can play either middle infield position.

Why He Might Fail: Albies’ free-swinging approach at the plate could be exploited by advanced pitchers, preventing him from hitting for average and getting on base to utilize his game-changing speed.

22. Lewis Brinson, CF, Texas Rangers
Why He’ll Succeed: His top-shelf makeup continues to drive improvement in his selectivity, which pushes the hit tool into average range and unlocks his superstar potential as an impact defender in center with above-average offensive production and 25-plus stolen bases.

Why He Might Fail: The glove carries him to the majors, but the hit tool could still stall against premium pitching and he might not make enough consistent quality contact to ever justify a starting role.

23. Nick Williams, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
Why He’ll Succeed: Williams has become a more refined hitter in the upper minors, and while he will never be on the first page of the OBP leaderboard, his approach at the plate is better than you would expect if you just looked at his walk rate. He has prodigious plate coverage and a bit of pop, and if you squint you can convince yourself he's a center fielder.

Why He Might Fail: Well, he's probably not a center fielder. And he doesn't have that much power. The arm would limit him to left field, where tweener profiles go to die. It is also possible Dave Brundage will just decide to never play him again, too.

24. Anderson Espinoza, RHP, Boston Red Sox
Why He'll Succeed: Espinoza’s stuff is ridiculously advanced for his age/lack of experience, showing a plus-plus fastball and two plus secondary pitches while throwing strikes with all three.

Why He Might Fail: Calling him slight of build is an understatement, and as good as the stuff is, you have to wonder if he’s going to be able to handle the rigors of a 180-200 inning workload.

25. Aaron Judge, RF, New York Yankees
Why He’ll Succeed: If his surprisingly short stroke for his size doesn’t give major-league pitchers too many holes to exploit, he'll be able to access his prodigious raw power to the tune of 30-plus home runs annually.

Why He Might Fail: His size could create a strike zone that has too many soft spots for him to hit for average and his penchant for taking pitches only exacerbates the issue, limiting the functionality of his power.

26. Clint Frazier, OF, Cleveland
Why He'll Succeed:
If he continues to hone his approach at the plate and stay short to the ball, he'll make enough contact that his incredible bat speed and raw power compensate for the corner outfield profile.

Why He Might Fail: His aggressive approach to the game puts his body at risk, and could lead to a career peppered by injury. The swing remains lengthy to the ball, and he could have hot and cold streaks at the big-league level, struggling to find consistency.

27. Bradley Zimmer, OF, Cleveland
Why He'll Succeed: When you hear someone say a player can “do everything” they’re talking about Zimmer, a player who has three 60 tools in his speed, arm, and glove. He can make a difference with the bat, on the bases and in the field.

Why He Might Fail: His swing can get long, limiting the effectiveness of the hit tool; his troubles with lefties could limit him to a strong-side platoon role; and he might be best fit for a corner spot.

28. Eloy Jimenez, RF, Chicago Cubs
Why He'll Succeed: One of the two or three best young hitters in the minors, Jimenez has the size, bat speed, and hitting ability to develop into a middle-of-the-order hitter. If his approach matures, 30-homer seasons with a .300 average and a good OBP aren’t out of the question.

Why He Might Fail: His aggressive approach could get exploited as his moves up the organizational ladder and down the defensive spectrum, making the bat less palatable, though still playable.

29. Jorge Mateo, SS, New York Yankees
Why He'll Succeed: The speed is the impact tool and could carry the day no matter what, but progress with his bat could make his legs all the more dangerous.

Why He Might Fail: We’ve seen speed-first prospects struggle, in the form of Billy Hamilton, and a flip from shortstop to second could impact his defensive value as well. Alternatively, he could keep yelling at executives.

30. Willy Adames, SS, Tampa Bay Rays
Why He’ll Succeed
: His power to all fields pairs with an above-average hit tool to form a potent combination for a glove that rates as “good enough” to stick at short.

Why He Might Fail: The glove might still demand a shift down the defensive spectrum, making the bat more common than special.

31. Josh Bell, 1B, Pittsburgh Pirates
Why He'll Succeed: Bell is a “true” switch-hitter, meaning he’s equally adept at hitting from both sides of the plate. His excellent hand-eye coordination helps him get ahead in counts while also avoiding strikeouts, putting the ball in play exceptionally well for a hitter of his ilk.

Why He Might Fail: Because Bell is going to play first base—at least as long as he’s a member of the Pirates organization—he has a ton of pressure on his bat, and if you’re looking for your prototypical 30-homer first baseman, you should probably look elsewhere.

32. Raimel Tapia, OF, Colorado Rockies
Why He’ll Succeed: He. Barrels. Everything. That and an improving approach give rise to the hope that he can do exactly what he does now at the highest level despite the unorthodox swing.

Why He Might Fail: His best defensive spot is left field, and the tepid power projection means there’s a ton riding on that unorthodox swing, which might not work further up the chain despite present success.

33. Francis Martes, RHP, Houston Astros
Why He’ll Succeed: His primetime fastball-curve combination overwhelms right-handed hitters and his hard change keeps lefty barrels off the ball enough that he could fulfill his destiny as one of the great complex ball scouting heists in league history.

Why He Might Fail: If his swagger on the bump too routinely blurs the line of stubbornness, he might never develop enough trust in his change and nibbles too frequently, forcing a move to the bullpen (where he can still be really, really good).

34. Gleyber Torres, MI, Chicago Cubs
Why He'll Succeed: There’s no real weakness to Torres’ game. Everything but the power flashes above-average to plus, and his instincts both at the plate and in the field are impressive for any age, much less a 19-year-old.

Why He Might Fail: If he doesn’t stick at shortstop, he doesn’t have the offensive skill set to be a first-division regular. That’s all I got.

35. Franklin Barreto, 2B/SS, Oakland Athletics
Why He’ll Succeed: If his approach catches up with his bat-to-ball acumen, as tends to happen with gifted young hitters, and he grows enough defensively to stay in the middle of the infield dirt, he could blossom into a first-division regular.

Why He Might Fail: If the aggressive promotion schedule reinforces failure in the box, the hit tool never quite actualizes, and his inconsistent fundamentals push him to the grass his bat doesn’t profile nearly as well.

36. Jake Thompson, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
Why He’ll Succeed: A plus slider leads a solid four-pitch mix with the two-seamer generating plenty of groundballs. He’ll flash days when the fastball command, slider, and curveball work in concert and appear to be something more than the mid-rotation arm he really is.

Why He Might Fail: He's a four-pitch guy who could lack a consistent swing-and-miss offering, making him more of a back-end starter than something more.

37. Amir Garrett, LHP, Cincinnati Reds
Why He'll Succeed: If the big fastball, plus slider, and in-progress change combine with Garrett’s athleticism, the mix of skills could push him toward the top of the rotation.

Why He Might Fail: The change might never get to “useful," in which case he becomes a two-pitch lefty with a nasty slider, which sounds a lot like a reliever.

38. Jose De Leon, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Why He’ll Succeed: If his above-average three-pitch mix continues to play up with deception and extension, and his extreme bat-missing tendencies pair with decent command to offset his vulnerabilities to the long ball, it would fuel actualization of his strong no. 3 ceiling.

Why He Might Fail: The delivery continues to cause issues for his lower-half health, which could lead to either a domino effect of structural injuries, compromised command, or both.

39. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Washington Nationals
Why He’ll Succeed: If improvements to his control over the last month are for real, Lopez is able to bring a dynamic mix of plus pitches to a starter's role every fifth day. Despite a higher-effort delivery and a short frame for a righty, his good physical strength and athleticism allow Lopez the durability to be a middle-rotation piece with swing-and-miss stuff.

Why He Might Fail: The frame and effort in his delivery could preclude reliable control, making him a middle reliever with good stuff but limited long-term utility at the big-league level.

40. Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros
Why He'll Succeed:
If he continues to spray line drives to all fields and grows into the current projectable frame, he'll provide the power that many are anticipating, culminating in a player who can impact the game at the plate and on the bases.

Why He Might Fail: It’s pretty much all projection for his power, and that power is going to be a prerequisite rather than a luxury if he ends up in a corner.

41. Sean Newcomb, LHP, Atlanta Braves
Why He’ll Succeed:
He has a big fastball, a potential plus curveball, and has struck out a batter per or better at every minor-league level. Did we mention he's left-handed?

Why He Might Fail: Well, we definitely haven't mentioned yet that he walks a lot of dudes. Despite fairly simple mechanics, Newcomb struggles to repeat his delivery, and still lacks a clear third pitch. He may end up better-suited to a late-inning role.

42. Kevin Newman, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates
Why He'll Succeed: If his hit tool proves the doubters wrong, emerging as a plus or better bat despite the near-complete lack of power, and he’s able to stick at short, the entire package equates to an above-average player.

Why He Might Fail: A move down the defensive spectrum would put more pressure on a bat that is already without hope for pop, and could push the entire profile into utility territory.

43. Hunter Renfroe, RF, San Diego Padres
Why He'll Succeed: Big-league teams are always fixing for right-handed power, and Renfroe has the goods. He won’t be a high-OBP guy but he could combine plus pop with a .275 batting average at full maturity.

Why He Might Fail: His free-swinging ways hinder his hunt for power and push potential OBP problems to the surface. Right-handed power is the tool du jour, but it might show itself in a platoon role for Renfroe.

44. Brent Honeywell, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
Why He’ll Succeed: The screwball gets the headlines—and it makes for good headlines—but Honeywell is more than a one-trick pony, and the depth of his arsenal allows him to churn through lineups as a mid-rotation starter.

Why He Might Fail: He’s referred to as “Brett” so often that he loses his vaunted confidence, doesn’t go after hitters, becomes a nibbler, and eventually an erratic bullpen arm.

45. Josh Hader, LHP, Milwaukee Brewers
Why He'll Succeed: Hader has two pitches that can give big-league hitters fits: A mid-90s fastball that has plenty of life, and a slider that is a true swing-and-miss pitch with its tilt and depth.

Why He Might Fail: The change is still in the developmental stages, the command and control both leave a lot to be desired, and his mechanics scare the heck out of many.

46. Jorge Alfaro, C, Philadelphia Phillies
Why He'll Succeed:
If he refines his approach to the point that it allows both the hit and (big raw) power to fully blossom, his high-end athleticism allows him to stick behind the plate where his arm is a true weapon. He could the rare middle-of-the-order catcher.

Why He Might Fail: The glove might not work behind the plate, which would put too much pressure on a profile that’s dependent on a merely solid hit tool, even if the expected power does arrive.

47. Yohander Mendez, LHP, Texas Rangers
Why He’ll Succeed: Deception and a three-pitch mix has propelled Mendez to a mid-rotation profile, highlighted by a potent changeup and a solid fastball from the left side.

Why He Might Fail: He’s just now tasting Double-A, and many a plus changeup has carved up the lower minors only to stall at the upper levels. If he does stall, he can be a relief option who is effective against both sides thanks to the cambio.

48. Luis Ortiz, RHP, Texas Rangers
Why He'll Succeed: Ortiz works into the mid-90s with his fastball, and between that and a bat-missing slider, he has the one-two punch to thrive as a second or third starter. He throws strikes too.

Why He Might Fail: If he fails to develop a competent weapon to combat left-handed batters, it'll push him toward the back of the rotation or the back of the bullpen.

49. Brett Phillips, CF, Milwaukee Brewers
Why He’ll Succeed: If gains in power and approach that he made at Double-A stick around, it turns him into an above-average offensive weapon with an impact arm in center.

Why He Might Fail: If his laugh cascades around the rafters of Miller Park, it could touch off a seismic event that dislodges the beer slide and initiates a Rube Goldbergian series of events that drowns Bernie Brewer, knocks the sausage-race Brat unconscious, and leads to a pitchfork-wielding mob chasing him to Sheboygan, where he’s last seen jet skiing off across the dark waters of Lake Michigan.

50. Ian Happ, 2B, Chicago Cubs
Why He’ll Succeed: When he finds a long-term defensive home he'll be a solid, well-rounded regular with quality makeup and clubhouse contributions. Does a little bit of everything offensively, hitting for average, some power, and putting up double-digit stolen base totals.

Why He Might Fail: His longer swing and high strikeout totals could get exposed against big-league competition, and the unusual tool set might never quite fit an everyday profile, in which case Happ would ultimately have more of a utility future.

Special thanks to Brendan Gawlowski, Wilson Karaman, Christopher Crawford, Jeffrey Paternostro, Adam McInturff, Mark Anderson, and Bret Sayre for their assistance on this article.

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heterodude
7/07
I know this was probably written in advance by a bit, but Yohander Mendez is in AAA now.
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
As far as I know Mendez's start in Triple-A was a one-off, and not a scheduled promotion. That can change, of course.
lewist
7/07
Between command, frame or delivery, all 4 of Reynaldo Lopez, Luis Ortiz, Sean Newcomb and Yohander Mendez seem destined for bullpen roles. For fantasy/dynasty players, are you investing in any of these 4?
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
Depends on the depth of the league of course, but I will also caution that I'll hold most fantasy comments until the Fantasy Top 50 comes out, which will be tomorrow or early next week.
nkunke1
7/07
nkunke1
7/07
Whoops. Read too fast.
aso5018
7/07
Where would Tyler Glasnow have ranked?
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
He would have slotted in right behind Alex Reyes.
jonmischa
7/07
Curious if AJ Reed would have made the list and where he'd be if he wasn't in the majors.
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
Reed was in the mid-20s in the initial draft and likely would have slotted in somewhere ahead of Bell, as the top 1B prospect (if you don't count Gallo). Still, it's hard to put a firm number on it since including him would also include Taillon, Glasnow, Contreras, Tim Anderson and other guys who are up but yet to exceed their prospect eligibility
Featherstone
7/07
Where would have Willson Contreras and Jeimer Candelario ranked?
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
Candelario was not discussed as a candidate for the list and Contreras was up prior to our initial rankings discussion, so we never slotted him in. I'm a big fan of Willson's though and without getting feedback from the rest of the team, I'd say he'd be ahead of Eloy, in terms of Cubs prospects.
Featherstone
7/07
Fantastic. Thanks!
proteinwisdom
7/07
Hunter Lazarus Dozier is not pleased with your list.
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
I'm a fan of Dozier - having written a glowing comment about him for the 101 a couple annuals ago. That said his tearing up of Double-A, and he's kept it going in Triple-A, but that strikeout rate is creeping back up towards a troublesome spot, and he's got a BABIP over .400. I'm just trying to give it more time - still love the tools.
flashtheleather
7/07
How much consideration did Isan Diaz get for the list?
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
Mau? Is that you? His name didn't get bandied about in discussions a ton, but I personally am quite high on him and don't think he's out of place in terms of the honorable mentions or the very back end of the list. The hit tool is luscious, and there's enough pop to matter. If I knew for sure he was a shortstop, I would be smitten rather than intrigued.
jmbarr728
7/07
How far is Jorge Lopez's stock dropping?
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
I think it's fair to say there's been a significant amount of luster lost there. He was getting a ton of love in Spring Training, showcasing some of his best stuff. Unfortunately Colorado Springs has messed with his feel for the curve, and while that doesn't explain everything that's gone wrong, getting him in a different environment might help other things click into place. That said, a guy who was being talked up as a mid-rotation arm with the stuff for more a few months ago, has been mentioned as more of a reliever (down the line) these days, and that's not a great thing.
tcfatone
7/07
Assume Giolito would have been #1 if he hadn't been promoted?
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
He vacillated 1-3 throughout our discussion, prior to promotion.
lvhawk
7/07
I was mildly surprised to not see Alex Verdugo's name in the top 50, or at least in the honorable mentions. What kept him off the list? Thanks for the great piece as well.
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
Verdugo is a good name, and a tricky guy to figure a bit. He's probably not a center fielder and if that's the case, it's a bit of a different profile in right (which he certainly has the arm for). His success at his age in Double-A is a great sign, and if you wanted to plant him in the discussion with the guys on the HM list, I wouldn't fight you. It's just a potential tweener profile where he's going to be extremely reliant on the hit tool. If that takes a hit at any point, it could drop the entire profile somewhat dramatically in terms of value. If he continues to hit like this though, the conservative ranking (or non-ranking) could look foolish.
cjbrassa
7/07
Where would Tim Anderson have slotted in?
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
Likely pretty high, since it's clear that we love shortstops. That said, he was up before even the initial draft list came together, and as said above, including him means including the Taillons, Giolitos, Glasnows, Contreras', etc., so the list becomes significantly different.
Anthonyb
7/07
Would Max Kepler have made the list if eligible?
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
Good chance he would have.
Imperialism32
7/07
Does this list strike you as stronger, weaker, or close to the typical year's list? For me, it seems a little weak.
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
Touched on this in the intro, but it's a bit different. I think there's a lot of lower minors depth, but that depth carries with it perceived risk. But sure, last year's version had Corey Seager on it, which helps. Of course the comments of last year's piece also had us saying it felt a bit weaker. There might just be a new normal.
jonraypyle
7/07
Is it too early to dream on Andy Ibanez as a top 100 guy in the coming years?
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
Who am I to tell you not to dream? I think in the coming years is open-ended enough to say you can dream on it, but I wouldn't put him in that discussion at present.
matt07
7/07
I've seen some other Mid-season Prospect Rankings lists on other sites. All of them seem to have Willie Calhoun, Tyler O'Neil, Harrison Bader, & Derek Fisher ranked in their Top 25. What does BP think of these guys?
jmbarr728
7/07
Where are you seeing these lists? I'd be shocked to find any of those guys in a Top 25 list...
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
I can't speak to other sites or their methodologies, unfortunately. Tyler O'Neill is mentioned in our supplemental article, so I do cover him there. Calhoun doesn't have a defensive position right now but can really hit. Unfortunately defense matters. That applies to Fisher too. Exciting power/speed guy, but is gonna have to hit all the way up because it is a left-field profile. Bader is a fun pop-up guy, but I'm interested in seeing him play more at the upper levels. He had an insane first couple months, but a bad June and thus far a worse July. He's not a center fielder in my book, which (again) puts pressure on the profile to hit for power in a corner and I'm not sure he does that. Let's see if pitchers have adjusted and he's being exposed, or if he's just having a rough go of it.
proteinwisdom
7/09
In re: Fisher, reports are he's improving defensively and has spent most of his time in CF for Corpus Christi. His arm will always be what it is (below avg), but his speed -- coupled with better routes to the ball -- mean he could stay in center, or at least play it in a pinch. The power is legit (the grand slam he hit July 8 was a serious bomb); that he's been able to tap into it at AA in-game is reassuring. He takes a ton of walks and goes deep into counts, so strikeouts are likely always going to be part of his game. But the potential is there for a better hit tool given his swing, which on some occasions looks beautiful while on other occasions seems almost mechanical. He has to iron out some of those hiccups. He's an interesting player and I was glad to see him get recognized by Baseball America in both their midseason top 100 and their power/speed combo list. He's also one of the top WRC+ and wOBA guys in the Texas League this season, and in many categories was second only to Bregman.
lyricalkiller
7/07
Where would Adrian Beltre have ranked if eligible?
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
It's tough. I'm really high on him, as you might expect but I can't give you a solid answer because if we're considering him, we'd also have to slot in Antonio Alfonseca, Aaron Boone, Miguel Cairo, David Ortiz, etc.
davinhbrown
7/07
Craig, Thanks for the mid-year updates, and your responses in comments, twitter, podcasts, etc. Has BP considered doing rankings like some fantasy football sites? Where they have the team rank guys and simply come up with an avg overall while still showing what all the site team ranked players. For football positions [WR, OL, RB, LB, etc] and not having different levels of minor legues - it makes it much simpler compared to baseball. I do enjoy the overall effort and collaboration. I'm sure extra consideration is given to those in the field who see/scout these guys directly.
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
We have not considered doing our prospect rankings like that. Our fantasy rankings are broken out by position, however.
jarrettseidler
7/07
Position, or at the least projected pro position, is pretty static for top NFL prospects outside of your occasional edge cases like Devin Hester or Matt Jones. On the contrary, there's a lot of fluidity in baseball positions and profiles — many of these dudes just won't end up at the position we expect them to, nor with the same shape of offensive productions, even some of the relatively "safe bets." In a nutshell, that's one of the main reasons you've got Crawford at 1, because he is the absolute surest positional/role bet on the list. In terms of creating tiered rankings instead of doing ordinal rankings, well, y'all seem to want number rankings. Putting numbers on it does create a little bit of false certainty where there's really some fuzziness. For me personally, the entire top 13 on this list constitutes a top tier and I wouldn't worry too much about where my favorite dude ranked within there. Benintendi, Gallo, and Turner — numbers 11 through 13 — are all guys with real arguments to be in the top five, and all could've been under only slightly different iterations. If we're just looking at creating an "average" list, well, we have a lot of prospect team members, some of whom are more senior than others and most or all of whom don't see most of the prospects in question and thus have pretty significant blind spots. Just as a personal example, I have no real basis to form an opinion worth your money about, say, Eloy Jimenez vs. Gleyber Torres, because I don't see those guys and don't follow the Cubs system especially closely. I could probably get enough info to wing it by reaching out to contacts and looking at industry consensus, but instead we have Craij to deal with those sorts of things. :) Hope that answered some of that!
davinhbrown
7/08
It did, thank you for the response. Absolutely football, where college and pro games are readily available to armchair scouts, is likely much easier than baseball with the variables you mentioned. Again, love the site, lists, and all that you guys do. Was just looking at some football sites same times as reading BP yesterday.
notfromtx
7/07
Whose stock has fallen the most since the pre-season rankings? Anyone jump out?
carlbrownson
7/07
I would take 20-1 odds that Alex Bregman has a better career than JP Crawford. Like, I get paid $10 if I'm right, and I pay BP $200 if I'm wrong. I'd happily take that bet. "Don't scout the box score; trust my eyes!" There's some wisdom in that. But you should also scout the box score. The guy's having trouble with AAA pitchers, and has never really been a great hitter at the lower levels. Trust your eyes, AND scout the box score, or you'll end up paying too much for Byron Buxton. Just mho.
TheArtfulDodger
7/07
I'm not sure where it says that we don't consider production at all. It's certainly a part of a discussion and factors into how I make my decision. As I stated in the intro: "This bore itself out as our team discussed and debated the prospects below, including those at the very top. Nothing was a given, and the discussion for the top spot spread to the top four players on the list." I don't personally see a significant gap between the top four spots. I am amenable to an argument for Bregman at the top, however I do value Crawford's glove at short (while recognizing that Bregman can also probably stick there), and do believe there is improvement to come with the bat.
LeafontheWind
7/07
Which of these prospects is most likely to be a sandwich?
LeafontheWind
7/07
Josh MortaBella
LeafontheWind
7/07
Brent Honeywheat...nailed it. Later.
GaryJohnson
7/07
Will these rankings be updated into the Scoresheet draft aid?
MattCash
7/07
Was Michael Conforto considered for this list?
TheArtfulDodger
7/08
Michael Conforto has surpassed his rookie eligibility, with 390 MLB at-bats. Rookie eligibility expires at 130 at-bats.
MattCash
7/08
Craig - Sorry, forgot he already accumulated that many at bats. Distracted by the fact he got sent down. Has your long term outlook on him changed any with this recent demotion?
TheArtfulDodger
7/08
No apologies necessary! My long-term outlook on Conforto was not initially very high, as I thought he topped out as more of an average starter and had a realistic probability of a second-division starter type. Whoops! He was of course phenomenal but I think some of those underlying concerns came to the fore this year - though mostly I think he needs the at-bats to address them, and he won't see the same quality stuff from lefties in Triple-A that he would in the majors. So I'm probably a little lower than most are on Conforto, but I was the whole time and I was wrong about it for most of that time. I'm intrigued to see how it plays out and I'm hoping he can get back on track because he was fun as hell to watch when he was right.
kylejsm
7/08
Surprised not to see Gary Sanchez in the bottom half of the list, or in the HMs. Was he given consideration?
waynegriswold
7/09
Where would you have put Kevin Maitan had he been eligible? With 7 shortstops ranked in the top 15 overall, would he have cracked the upper half? And being just 16 years old, might we see him in the bigs as a teenager, needing only 2-3 years in the minors?

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