Ask BA

I missed the unveiling of Baseball America’s annual Top 100 Prospects list last week because I had jury duty. So I’ll try to make up for that by tackling some Top 100-related questions here.

During the Top 100 chat, J.J. Cooper mentioned that you could provide a list of all the players who received votes but didn’t make the list. Can you please do that?

Tracy Keinast
Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The first step in our annual Top 100 process is for BA editors to submit personal Top 150 lists, which we crunch together in a spreadsheet and then let the arguments begin. This year, seven editors provided Top 150s, and 195 different players appeared on at least one list.

Eight players made all seven Top 150s but fell short of the overall Top 100: Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams, Pirates outfielder Josh Bell, Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt, Mets shortstop Gavin Cecchini, Rays righthander Alex Colome, Cubs outfielder Brett Jackson, Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart and Brewers righty Tyler Thornburg. Just to clarify, I listed those eight alphabetically and they are not the eight prospects who came closest to making the list. The highest ranking on any individual list went to Giants righthander Chris Stratton, who was No. 50 in the eyes of one editor.

Tracy was the first of 16 people to ask for the also-receiving-votes list, which is below, along with each prospect’s highest ranking:

Player, Pos, Team Top 150s Peak
Matt Adams, 1b, Cardinals 7 88
Jorge Alfaro, c/1b, Rangers 3 111
Cody Allen, rhp, Indians 4 123
Josh Bell, of, Pirates 7 80
J.O. Berrios, rhp, Twins 5 99
Christian Bethancourt, c, Braves 7 100
Chad Bettis, rhp, Rockies 1 136
Jorge Bonifacio, of, Royals 5 101
Bryce Brentz, of, Red Sox 4 125
Lewis Brinson, of, Rangers 1 142
Gary Brown, of, Giants 6 103
Cody Buckel, rhp, Rangers 2 99
Jose Campos, rhp, Yankees 3 126
Carter Capps, rhp, Mariners 6 102
Garin Cecchini, 3b, Red Sox 6 92
Gavin Cecchini, ss, Mets 7 105
Michael Choice, of, Athletics 6 107
A.J. Cole, rhp, Nationals 5 94
Alex Colome, rhp, Rays 7 88
Jared Cosart, rhp, Astros 5 97
D.J. Davis, of, Blue Jays 4 93
Mike Foltynewicz, rhp, Astros 6 88
Kyuji Fujikawa, rhp, Cubs 1 121
Michael Fulmer, rhp, Mets 1 146
Joey Gallo, 3b, Rangers 5 78
Onelki Garcia, lhp, Dodgers 1 147
Sean Gilmartin, lhp, Braves 4 122
Luiz Gohara, lhp, Mariners 1 150
Sonny Gray, rhp, Athletics 4 106
Justin Grimm, rhp, Rangers 4 93
Angelo Gumbs, 2b, Yankees 1 149
Adeiny Hechavarria, inf, Marlins 5 96
Johnny Hellweg, rhp, Brewers 3 108
David Holmberg, lhp, Diamondbacks 2 121
J.J. Hoover, rhp, Reds 3 109
Jose Iglesias, ss, Red Sox 1 142
Brett Jackson, of, Cubs 7 89
Luke Jackson, rhp, Rangers 3 103
Pierce Johnson, rhp, Cubs 1 130
Tommy Joseph, c/1b, Phillies 6 90
Taylor Jungmann, rhp, Brewers 4 120
Nate Karns, rhp, Nationals 1 137
Carson Kelly, 3b, Cardinals 1 144
Zach Lee, rhp, Dodgers 5 104
Rymer Liriano, of, Padres 6 77
Nick Maronde, lhp, Angels 3 118
Deven Marrero, ss, Red Sox 2 98
Ethan Martin, rhp, Phillies 1 123
Brandon Maurer, rhp, Mariners 6 90
Brad Miller, ss, Mariners 3 107
Adalberto Mondesi, ss, Royals 6 102
Adam Morgan, lhp, Phillies 3 102
Hunter Morris, 1b, Brewers 2 135
Tyler Naquin, of, Indians 4 130
Jimmy Nelson, rhp, Brewers 2 114
Brandon Nimmo, of, Mets 3 121
Daniel Norris, lhp, Blue Jays 1 136
Roberto Osuna, rhp, Blue Jays 6 79
Chris Owings, ss, Diamondbacks 1 128
Joe Panik, ss, Giants 4 115
Kyle Parker, of, Rockies 1 135
Dorssys Paulino, ss, Indians 6 79
Brad Peacock, rhp, Astros 5 105
Joc Pederson, of, Dodgers 6 106
Eury Perez, of, Nationals 1 133
Jonathan Pettibone, rhp, Phillies 4 105
J.T. Realmuto, c, Marlins 1 148
Chris Reed, lhp, Dodgers 2 134
Victor Roache, of, Brewers 1 150
Paco Rodriguez, lhp, Dodgers 2 112
Enny Romero, lhp, Rays 1 122
Stefen Romero, 2b, Mariners 1 129
Eddie Rosario, 2b/of, Twins 4 106
Darin Ruf, 1b/of, Phillies 2 118
Rio Ruiz, 3b, Astros 1 145
Carlos Sanchez, ss/2b, White Sox 5 80
Victor Sanchez, rhp, Mariners 1 134
Domingo Santana, Astros 1 133
Luis Sardinas, ss/2b, Rangers 6 106
Jonathan Schoop, 2b/ss, Orioles 6 101
Corey Seager, ss, Dodgers 6 97
Richie Shaffer, 3b, Rays 5 114
Lucas Sims, rhp, Braves 3 101
Matt Skole, 3b, Nationals 2 133
Dan Straily, rhp, Athletics 3 88
Chris Stratton, rhp, Giants 6 50
Blake Swihart, c, Red Sox 7 82
Trayce Thompson, of, White Sox 3 111
Tyler Thornburg, rhp, Brewers 7 86
Nick Tropeano, rhp, Astros 2 130
Drew Vettleson, of, Rays 2 121
Dan Vogelbach, 1b, Cubs 1 131
Ryan Wheeler, 3b/1b/of, Rockies 1 131
Matt Wisler, rhp, Padres 1 128
Brandon Workman, rhp, Red Sox 1 139


Which Top 100 Prospects have the greatest potential to move up the rankings when the 2014 list comes out?  Which five players who missed the 2013 list could make big upward moves on the 2014 list?

John Finley
Chagrin Falls, Ohio

This question has become an Ask BA tradition, and I believe John has been the one to post it in three of the last four years. Last year, I batted .400. I named 10 players and nailed Cubs shortstop Javier Baez and Yankees outfielder Mason Williams as Top 100 Prospects poised to move well up the next list, as well as Padres catcher Austin Hedges and Twins righthander Alex Meyer as guys who missed out in 2012 and could appear fairly high on the 2013 rankings.

From the top half of this year’s list, the player who jumps out the most as having the best chance to become an elite prospect in 2013 is Padres lefthander Max Fried (No. 46). Fried was overshadowed somewhat by Lucas Giolito at the Harvard-Westlake School (Studio City, Calif.), but he was also the best prep southpaw since Clayton Kershaw. I expect Fried to dominate at low Class A Fort Wayne this season and rank as the top lefty prospect in the game heading into 2014. Athletics shortstop Addison Russell (No. 48) is a close second to Fried in terms of upward mobility among Top 50 Prospects.

Seven players who made the back half of our Top 100 caught my eye as having the potential to fly up next year’s list: Blue Jays righthander Aaron Sanchez (No. 65), Giants righty Kyle Crick (No. 66), Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks (No. 72), Cardinals righty Michael Wacha (No. 76), Yankees outfielder Tyler Austin (No. 77), Red Sox lefty Henry Owens (No. 91) and Blue Jays righty Marcus Stroman (No. 98). I’d include Twins righty Kyle Gibson (No. 68) with this group, but I think he’ll graduate to the majors in 2013.

Among players who didn’t make our Top 100 but could figure prominently on the 2014 edition, these are my favorites: Pirates outfielder Josh Bell, Nationals righthander A.J. Cole, Red Sox third baseman Garin Cecchini, Blue Jays righty Roberto Osuna and Rays third baseman Richie Shaffer.

I see in the new Top 100 Prospects list that BA ranks Tigers third baseman/outfielder Nick Castellanos at No. 21 while Orioles second baseman/shortstop Jonathan Schoop is unranked. Both were 20 years old last season, with Schoop being five months older. Schoop put up better numbers in Double-A and in the Arizona Fall League, and he may also be able to play the middle infield in the majors. Can you please comment on why BA ranked the lesser performer so much higher?

Adam Forster
Millburn, N.J.

While Schoop did put up better numbers in Double-A and the AFL, I wouldn’t call Castellanos a lesser performer. Castellanos has hit .316/.367/.443 as a pro, compared to .266/.336/.396 for Schoop. Though Schoop has a better K-BB ratio (243-136 vs. 253-85), Castellanos still has posted a significantly higher batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Castellanos is one of the best pure hitters in the minors, and his pitch-recognition skills and ability to handle premium fastballs are significantly better than Schoop’s. There’s no doubt that Castellanos could use more patience and that Schoop has promise—their raw power is comparable—but I don’t think they’re in the same class offensively.

The gap in their defensive value may not be as great as it may seem, either. While Schoop is currently a middle infielder, his below-average speed could eventually move him to third base or an outfield corner. He has soft hands and a strong arm, but he’s not a big league shortstop and his range and quickness may not be enough for second base in the long run.

" Feb. 18 Ask BA