The Top 100 Prospects
- 1Last: 67Notes:
Hit: 60 | Power: 70 | Speed: 70 | Fielding: 70 | Arm: 60
Scouting Report: Acuna has a wide range of strengths and few glaring weaknesses. Multiple scouts predicted multiple all-star appearances in his future. He's the rare prospect who actually carries future 60 (or better) grades on the 20-80 scale for all five tools. Acuna is a 70 runner with 70 defense who has a 60 arm and 60 hit tool. Many scouts project him to future 70 power.
He already uses the whole field, and he went deep six times in 2017 to right or right-center field. Acuna used the opposite field more often as the season progressed. Not coincidentally he became tougher to strike out. Scouts looking for flaws noted that his strong arm is sometimes inaccurate and he could sometimes be stymied by quality fastballs up and in. But he already shows an ability to lay off breaking balls and velocity out of the zone. When he gets a pitch to hit, Acuna has extremely fast hands with strong wrists that whip the bat through the zone with excellent bat speed. He already generates exceptional exit velocities, which should pay off with 25-30 home runs once he matures.
Hit: 50 | Power: 60 | Speed: 60 | Fielding: 50 | Arm: 70
Fastball: 80 | Curveball: 45 | Slider: 60 | Chanegup: 45 | Splitter: 70
Scouting Report: Ohtani is a gifted athlete so prolific as a hitter and pitcher he has all-star potential at both. He can hold his fastball at 97-98 mph as a starter, and he dials it up and down from 93-100. His fastball is fairly straight, but when his command is on, his raw velocity is enough to draw swings and misses. Ohtani's best pitch is a split-fingered fastball that Ohtani calls a forkball. He throws it with the same arm speed and slot as his fastball, and the pitch dives two feet into the dirt after starting at the hitter's thigh. Ohtani's slider is a third plus pitch but lacks consistency, and he also has a curveball and changeup. He has a No. 1 starter's arsenal but pitches up in the zone too much at times and can fall in love with his breaking pitches, which leads to bouts of inconsistent command. As a hitter, Ohtani packs massive raw power, and he pulverizes anything over the plate to center field or the opposite way to left. He rarely faced inside fastballs in Japan and will have to show he can adjust to them in the majors.
- 3Last: 20Notes:
Hit: 80 | Power: 70 | Speed: 40 | Fielding: 40 | Arm: 55
Scouting Report: Guerrero is a prodigious offensive talent, with the combination of hitting ability, plate discipline and power in the mold of Manny Ramirez. Guerrero has high-end bat speed and outstanding bat control. With hitting mannerisms reminiscent of his father, Guerrero has a compact but aggressive swing. With his hand-eye coordination, he has excellent plate coverage, barreling premium velocity while also possessing the pitch recognition skills to square up all types offspeed pitches, too. He has plus raw power now, with 30-homer years likely in his future and a chance for 40. He drew more walks (76) than strikeouts (62) in 2017 and has the potential to contend for batting titles. A gifted offensive player, Guerrero did not inherit his father's speed or athleticism. He trained as an outfielder when he was an amateur and figured to be a left fielder at best, but after the Blue Jays signed him they put him at third base. He has surprised scouts with his play there, improving his arm strength to above-average and showing the hands to be a playable defender. However, Guerrero is already so big and stocky as a teenager that it's going to be a challenge for him to maintain his weight. Even if he moves to first base or possibly left field, his bat is good enough to be a premium player there too.
- 4Last: 14Notes:
Hit: 60 | Power: 70 | Speed: 40 | Fielding: 45 | Arm: 45
Scouting Report: Scouts who saw Jimenez last season used words like "man-child," "mutant" and "Superman." More specifically, Jimenez is an intimidating, strong-bodied prospect with a whip-quick bat capable of massive home runs. More than his raw power, which approaches the top of the scale, he is a diligent, dedicated worker. One manager recalled seeing Jimenez strike out multiple times during a game, then saw him on the field early the next day for tracking drills. Rival managers lamented not being able to find many holes in his swing, even when they pitched him backwards. And here's the scary part: Jimenez might not be done developing physically. He played all of 2017 at 20 years old and still has room to sculpt his body and add more strength, possibly becoming a perennial 40-home run threat. Jimenez has spent his career flipping back and forth between right and left field, with left his likely eventual home because of his below-average arm. He's also a tick below-average runner. Defense and speed were never expected to be selling points of his game, however. Jimenez is a hitter, period, with a mix of power and ability to get to it to change a game.
- 5Last: 13Notes:
Hit: 60 | Power: 50 | Speed: 70 | Fielding: 60 | Arm: 60
Scouting Report: Robles' advanced understanding of the strike zone and ability to recognize pitches have helped his quick hands play in the batter's box. He is currently an average power hitter but with the strength and bat speed to project more power as he continues to develop physically. He was pitched backwards frequently in the Carolina League, which he countered by regularly using the entire field and showing the ability to drive the ball to the right-center field gap. Robles is fearless in the box and sets up very close to the plate. He led the Carolina league with 17 hit by pitches despite having just 338 plate appearances. He plays with great energy and aggression, which can hurt him at times, particularly on the bases where he needs to improve his decision-making and basestealing ability, though that might be the only part of his game to nitpick. Robles improved the most in 2017 in the outfield, where he has improved his jumps and routes. He also made strides with his throwing accuracy. He's always had the tools to develop into a premier defensive center fielder, with well above-average speed and a plus arm, and he's now taking the steps to become more efficient.
- 6Last: 5Notes:
Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Speed: 40 | Fielding: 60 | Arm: 60
Scouting Report: When he was on the field, Torres was every bit of the player the Yankees expected when they acquired him. At the plate, he showed the ability to hit for a high average and power, as well a discerning knowledge of the strike zone. In particular, Torres' ability to make quick adjustments set him apart from other high-pedigree prospects. Coaches noted how quickly he would identify the way pitchers were working to get him out, then adjust and close those holes. That showed up both over the course of a season and during individual games. Defensively, there's no reason Torres can't stick at shortstop, but the emergence of Didi Gregorius in New York necessitated that Torres learn other positions quickly. He shuffled around during his brief season, playing 15 games at third base and 10 more at second base before the injury. He has the above-average range and arm to play those positions or shortstop. If he were to land at third base, he would hit for enough power to profile there. The Yankees were working with Torres on the small things throughout the year. In particular, they were helping him find a consistent pre-set position in the field and getting him to chase fewer pitches out of the zone. He's an average runner, but needs to refine his basestealing technique.
- 7Last: 9Notes:
Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Speed: 55 | Fielding: 60 | Arm: 60
Scouting Report: Scouts see plenty to like about Senzel from a tools standpoint, but those who have seen him time and again like the intangibles just as much. He runs hard, grinds out at-bats, takes extra bases, plays smart in the field and leads his team. He's not only the best player on the field but plays the hardest. That mentality is coupled with a good approach at the plate and a short, compact swing with good balance and bat speed, leading to high exit velocity off the bat. Opponents say they rarely see him get fooled, and he constantly barrels balls. While many questioned his power coming out of college, he has shown the ability to drive the ball to all fields. Among his 10 Double-A homers were multiple shots to center field and the opposite field. Though not a prototypical burner, he still shows above-average speed to go with good instincts on the bases. Defensively, Senzel has shown the potential to be a plus defender at third with a strong, accurate arm that he has shown he can use on the run. He played shortstop and second base in addition to third base in college, but he has proven to be a quick study at third, working on his footwork with Pensacola bench coach Dick Schofield.
Hit: 70 | Power: 60 | Speed: 50 | Fielding: 45 | Arm: 60
Scouting Report: Bichette loads his swing with an aggressive leg kick and unleashes a powerful swing with fierce bat speed. He's consistently on time and on plane through the hitting zone for a long time, which allows him to barrel balls at a high rate. Bichette has a good sense for the strike zone and uses the whole field, with above-average power and loft to go deep to all fields. He has a strong, compact frame and while some scouts think he's a future second or third baseman, he looked better than expected at shortstop in 2017. An average runner, Bichette doesn't have the range or footwork many teams want at the position, but he's a fundamentally sound defender with an above-average arm.
Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Speed: 50 | Fielding: 55 | Arm: 60
Scouting Report: Early in 2017, Tatis would come to the plate without a plan and get caught swinging over breaking balls on the outer half, but he quickly adjusted and became a precocious mix of power and patience. He tracks pitches well and consistently drives hittable offerings with excellent extension and leverage through his swing. Balls jump off his bat from gap to gap, and he shows plus power with towering pull-side home runs. Tatis cut his strikeout rate each successive month at Fort Wayne, and at the time he was promoted, he led the Midwest League in walks. He enhances his offensive game with his basestealing ability. He is an average runner whose speed plays up on the bases with his instincts, reads and jumps. At shortstop, Tatis frequently makes highlight-reel plays and shows off a plus, accurate arm, but on a play-to-play basis, evaluators see fringy range and many project a move to third base if he grows bigger. Tatis will stay at shortstop for now and has the actions to stick there if he maintains his body. In addition to his physical talents, Tatis is a natural leader. He is nearly bilingual and an effective communicator with impressive self-awareness for his age.
Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 60 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 55 | Cutter: 50 | Control: 55
Scouting Report: Few young pitchers are as advanced as Whitley, and few can match the quality of his stuff. He entered 2017 with four quality pitches and left it with five. All his pitches are at least average and a trio are already plus. Pitching with an over-the-top arm slot emphasizes the downhill plane on his fastball, and Whitley can blow hitters away at 92-97 mph. He actually is even more comfortable toying with batters with his varied assortment of offspeed pitches, and he commands his breaking balls better than his fastball at this point in his career. His plus 84-87 mph slider has modest depth but strong tilt as it dances away from his opponent's bat head as it nears the plate. His 78-82 mph curveball is also plus with a big 12-to-6 break. At times his changeup will also show otherworldly movement, when it dives down and away from the barrel of lefthanded batters. And in 2017 he refined a 90-92 mph cutter that some scouts throw a plus grade on. With so many pitches, Whitley can stick one or two in his back pocket early in the game, then break them out the second time through the order. One of the few criticisms raised is that he's a slow worker.
- 11Last: 32Notes:
Fastball: 80 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 45
Scouting Report: Kopech's calling card is his top-of-the-scale fastball, which sits in the upper 90s and regularly touches 100 mph with armside run and downhill plane. It's an elite pitch, but he overthrows it at times. The White Sox asked Kopech to add a two-seam fastball to induce more grounders and help teach him not to overthrow. He boasts a slider that projects as a future plus pitch, as well as an average low-90s changeup the White Sox encouraged him to throw more. Kopech still needs to iron out his delivery in order to improve his below-average command and control.
- 12Last: 22Notes:
Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 60
Scouting Report: Keller has put on muscle to a rangy frame, which allows him to produce easy velocity without overly stressing his arm. His fastball sits 94-96 mph with late life, tilt and armside run. He can hit 99 when he rears back. His fastball command is improving, and he can throw it to all four quadrants against batters on either side of the plate. His heater sets up a big looping curveball with an 11-5 shape with hard downward bite. He still considers his fastball his best pitch, but the Pirates are trying to convince him to trust his curveball. Their next goal is to help him with a developing changeup, which is still an average pitch for him. It has armside run and sink, but he probably needs to take something off because it comes in too close to 90 mph.
Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 60 | Slider: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 60
Scouting Report: Buehler is thin-framed, but that doesn't affect his stuff or the ability to hold it. His newly-enhanced fastball sits 97-98 mph deep into outings, reaching 100 and rarely dipping below 95. It jumps on hitters quickly out of his loose, athletic, elastic delivery, and he pounds the strike zone. The one shortcoming of his fastball is it doesn't have a ton of life, making it easier for hitters to square up when he misses his spot, a problem that was exposed during his September callup in the Dodgers bullpen. Buehler's slider and curveball are both plus pitches he locates well. His slider is a wipeout offering at 91-93 mph with tight spin and late tilt, and his north-to-south power curveball is equally dangerous at 81-84 mph. Buehler is still working on his changeup, with only about one in five he throws flashing average. He shows average to above command and control on all of his offerings. To top it off, he has a fearless mentality, exceptional makeup and a solid understanding of how to set hitters up.
- 14Last: 30Notes:
Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 60 | Screwball: 70
Scouting Report: Honeywell mixes five pitches-count 'em, five!-with precision to keep hitters off balance. He works off his plus fastball that sits 92-93 mph and touches 96, and he features solid movement and above-average command. His best secondary pitch is a plus changeup, which coaxes hitters to chase outside the strike zone on occasion. He throws his above-average curveball primarily early in counts to set hitters up while altering their eye level. His above-average slider resides in the mid-80s and is developing into a plus pitch with its improving sharp break. Honeywell also throws a screwball, which earned him some recognition early in his career. He pulls the plus offering out of his bag a few times a game, and more often than not, the results are devastating. Honeywell is a cerebral pitcher who knows how to get opponents out, and he's never afraid to challenge batters. A driven and determined young man, Honeywell understands the need to make adjustments. He did just that over the course of 2017, improving the consistency of his release point and getting better extension on his fastball.
- 15Last: 19Notes:
Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Speed: 50 | Fielding: 55 | Arm: 50
Scouting Report: Tucker's swing has never been picture perfect. He begins his swing with the bat laid back over his shoulder, leading to a little bit of a sweepy beginning. But it's hard to argue with the results. His excellent hand-eye coordination leads to ton of contact, and as he has gotten stronger he's turned doubles into home runs. Tucker isn't a true center fielder, but he has a chance to be fringe-average there while being above-average in the corners with an average arm that works in either spot. He's an average runner who has shown a knack for stealing bases.
- 16Last: 12Notes:
Hit: 60 | Power: 45 | Speed: 50 | Fielding: 55 | Arm: 60
Scouting Report: Even when he struggles, Crawford stands out for his plate discipline. He's a patient, selective hitter who recognizes offspeed pitches, piles up walks and is a an on-base threat. At times, his strike-zone judgment was the only offensive attribute working for him. He got into a bad habit of pulling off the ball, causing his hips to fly open. That created a longer swing path, left him vulnerable to pitches on the outer third and cut into his ability to drive the ball. Crawford adjusted in the second half by setting up his hands closer to his body and keeping his lower half into his swing better. The changes improved his swing efficiency and helped him stay through the ball better. Crawford's offensive game is still centered around hitting line drives, but he showed the potential for 15-plus home runs. Crawford struggled on defense early in the season, but by the end of the year he again looked like a true shortstop with good athleticism and range, quick hands, a smooth transfer and an accurate, above-average arm. He shifted to third base in August to get accustomed to the position with Freddy Galvis at shortstop in Philadelphia.
- 17Last: 4Notes:
Fastball: 80 | Curveball: 70 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 50
Scouting Report: When Reyes is healthy, few pitchers can match his pure stuff. Strongly built with wide shoulders and thick, sturdy legs, he averages 97 mph with his fastball and touches triple digits with ease. He holds his velocity deep into his starts, blowing hitters away even when they know his fastball is coming. Reyes' command is imperfect, but he excels at elevating his fastball to get swings and misses. He backs up his top-of-the-scale fastball with knee-buckling hammer curveball at 78-81 mph, and his previously raw 88-91 mph changeup began increasingly playing as plus. He also began experimenting with an 83-86 mph short slider. Reyes struggles at times finding a rhythm for his delivery and the result has been below-average control his entire career, the one issue that prevents him from profiling as a No. 1 starter. Reyes' track record of staying on the mound is also becoming increasingly spotty. He missed a month in 2015 with a sore shoulder, was suspended 50 games in 2016 after testing positive for marijuana in the Arizona Fall League and now has Tommy John surgery on his ledger. In response, he got noticeably stronger during his rehab, replacing fat with muscle and improving his eating habits to enhance his general fitness.
- 18Last: 27Notes:
Hit: 55 | Power: 60 | Speed: 60 | Fielding: 55 | Arm: 60
Scouting Report: Brinson provides the rare combination of power and speed that every team seeks. He showed maturation as a hitter in 2017 by improving his plate discipline (.400 on-base percentage), with a better walk rate than the previous season and a lower strikeout rate. Part of that maturation was learning to lay off breaking balls off the plate and continuing to use the entire field, an improvement that began the previous year. While playing mostly in center field at Colorado Springs but also seeing some action in the corners, he worked on getting better jumps on the ball and taking better routes. Brinson has enough speed to play center in the majors but also has the arm and power to be a right fielder. Brinson hit barely .100 during his two stints with Milwaukee but didn't see regular action and pressed when he got a chance to play. He showed some pop with a couple of home runs, and his skill set bodes well once he gets a chance to be a regular at the top level. He has an even-keeled personality and a confident but not cocky approach to the game.
- 19Last: 10Notes:
Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Speed: 50 | Fielding: 60 | Arm: 60
Scouting Report: Adames has been considered a premier defensive shortstop since the Rays acquired him for his projectable body and mature approach in the David Price trade with the Tigers in 2014. His arm strength has increased over the past two seasons, and he displays excellent first-step quickness, plus range and soft hands. He's an ideal No. 2 hitter, and his bat has developed with his loose and easy swing. He narrowed his stance in 2017 to stay short to the ball and prevent over-striding. He has a solid feel for the strike zone, sees the ball early, and drives pitches consistently with some pop at the plate. Very coachable with a great work ethic, he is an average runner with good instincts.
- 20Last: 28Notes:
Hit: 60 | Power: 45 | Speed: 40 | Fielding: 50 | Arm: 80
Scouting Report: Mejia has long been known for his hitting ability, and the switch-hitter consistently makes hard contact from both sides of the plate. He has matured as a hitter to use the whole field to hit, instead of relying on the pull-oriented approach he had when he was younger. His bat speed gives him more raw power than his lean 5-foot-10 frame would suggest, but he more typically drives balls into the gaps than over the fence. He has an aggressive approach and doesn't walk much, but his excellent feel for the barrel means he also doesn't strike out much and is comfortable working behind in the count. Mejia has made strides defensively, has elite arm strength and has become a good receiver. He has gotten comfortable speaking English, a key skill for him to work with his pitchers, and has developed more consistency behind the plate. For all his progress defensively, however, Mejia's bat remains ahead of his glove. Because his bat isn't far off from being ready for the big leagues, and because the Indians have Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez, a pair of excellent defensive catchers, in Cleveland, Mejia went to the AFL to get experience at third base. He is naturally still learning the position but he will continue to see action at the hot corner in 2018.
- 21BAL OFNotes:
Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Speed: 50 | Fielding: 55 | Arm: 60
Scouting Report: A baseball rat who has endeared himself to Orioles brass for his lack of batting gloves and a playing style that's energetic-bordering-on-reckless, Hays' compact swing and above-average bat speed help him attack the ball and drive it to all fields, and he has proved to be particularly adept at hitting fastballs in any count. While he controls the barrel and can be a plus hitter with plus power, his aggression in attacking fastballs made him susceptible to major league secondary pitches, an issue that Hays and the Orioles knew of before his stint in the big leagues and believe can be improved with more experience. Hays can be an above-average right fielder thanks to a plus arm and good instincts in the field, and he has played some center field. Though he hasn't stolen many bases as a professional, he runs a tick above average and always hustles out of the box.
- 22Last: 16Notes:
Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Speed: 50 | Fielding: 55 | Arm: 60
Scouting Report: Rodgers' calling card is his smooth, controlled swing that bodes well for him to hit for average and power. He possesses the bat speed to handle any velocity and the balance and pitch recognition to barrel breaking balls. At times Rodgers becomes too pull-happy, but he has shown he has the strength to drive the ball the other way. Rodgers rarely walks, but knows how to work a count and doesn't miss the pitch he wants. Evaluators nearly universally regard him as a future plus hitter with enough power to impact a game. A natural shortstop, Rodgers has also seen time at second and third base with the Rockies' approach of having players work at multiple positions in the minors. Rodgers has the reliable hands, quick release and plus arm strength to play shortstop, but his fringy footspeed could be a deciding factor in an eventual move to second base. Rodgers makes up for his lack of natural range by positioning himself well and showing advanced instincts, enough that some evaluators give him a chance to stay at shortstop and be a possibly average defender there, although not all are convinced.
Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Speed: 50 | Fielding: 55 | Arm: 60
Scouting Report: Gohara's pure stuff compares favorably with anyone. In just 29 big league innings, he threw more 98-plus mph fastballs than any other lefty starter. His 95-99 mph fastball generates top-of-the- scale grades and his 82-85 mph slider is equally impressive because it looks like his fastball coming out of his hand before diving with late tilt. He shows some feel for a changeup, but it lacks late fade and he struggles to keep it on the edges of the plate. Gohara's control is fringe-average at best, but he has made significant strides and should develop average control.
Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Speed: 60 | Fielding: 60 | Arm: 55
Scouting Report: Pre-draft concerns about Lewis' hit tool proved unwarranted, and he had no problem making the necessary adjustments for a smooth transition to pro ball in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Hitting coordinator Rick Eckstein got him to use his hips and legs better, and that opened up the pull side for Lewis, who homered on a full count in his first pro plate appearance. With a high waist and wide shoulders, he showed excellent plate discipline and an all-fields approach that drew comps to Ian Desmond. Lewis has plus speed and advanced instincts on the bases, where he was caught stealing just three times in 21 attempts. Lewis saw time at shortstop, third base and center field in high school, and he worked hard with the Twins to improve his range at shortstop with better positioning and pre-pitch anticipation. He flashed plus arm strength before the draft but saw that wane under the Florida heat and an increased workload. A separated left shoulder suffered in high school hasn't been an issue so far. Lewis' makeup and work ethic are off the charts, and his demeanor and ability to connect with teammates, fans and media are reminiscent of Carlos Correa or a young Derek Jeter. After a week or so, Ramon Borrego, his GCL manager, was calling for Lewis to skip the Rookie-level Appalachian League and be promoted all the way to low Class A Cedar Rapids. That eventually came in early August.
- 25Last: 80Notes:
Fastball: 70 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: | Changeup: 60 | Control: 60
Scouting Report: Sanchez is one of the hardest-throwing starting pitchers in the minors, but you wouldn't know it from his delivery. He has easy, fluid mechanics that he repeats consistently, helping him command a lively fastball that sits in the mid-90s and touches 100 mph. Sanchez can overpower hitters with his fastball, though he's working to polish his secondary pitches to miss more bats. His changeup flashes plus with good sink and run, and it helps him thwart lefties, though he needs to do a better job of repeating the same arm slot as his fastball. His slider is average now but could be above-average if he can add more power.