2021 Top 100 MLB Prospects Chat
Justin (Tucson, AZ):
- In a normal 162 game season and full player health, would you take the over/under for 150 games played by Randy Arozarena?
J.J. Cooper: Hey everyone, Thanks for coming out and we hope you enjoy chatting about prospects for a few hours like we like talking about prospects. I'd take the under simply because that's not how the Rays operate. In 2019, exactly one Rays player (Adames) played 150+ games. In 2018, they didn't have any players who played in 150 games. In 2017 they had 2 (Longoria and Dickerson). The Rays are going to mix and match and figure out favorable matchups every night. They have depth in their OF. Put that together and no one plays everyday for the Rays, including Arozarena.
- Noticed Bart still in the top 50 but took quite a tumble. Thought while he appeared to be over matched that is part of being a rookie. Why the drop?
J.J. Cooper: Bart did chase pretty much anything around the plate, especially when it was thrown down and away or down and in. That is a concern and he also seemed to struggle with velocity in on his hands. Those are things he hopefully will improve on, but he showed in 2020 he is not ready for an MLB job, and the Giants have made that clear with the addition of Curt Casali as Buster Posey's backup. Those are flaws that can be overcome, but they do slow down his ETA and they do add to concerns that he is not going to be the above-average offensive force/catcher that was projected when he was drafted second overall. The drafting of Patrick Bailey also adds to those questions at least a little.
Zach (Port Angeles, WA):
- Where would you have George Kirby and Taylor trammel if the rankings extended past 100?
J.J. Cooper: I have an answer for that here: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/10-prospects-who-just-missed-the-2021-top-100-prospects-list/ Both made the Just-Missed list.
Tyler Soderstrom (Future Top C Prospect?):
- There are currently 7 catchers in front of me in the top 100. However, at least 3 should graduate in 2021. Do you think it's possible that I'll be the #1 catching prospect in the minors come February 2022? I was lauded up and down the As organization for how advanced my offensive game looked at the alternate site and instructionals. Obviously my defense is lagging behind right now. is a .300/.375/.500 triple slash while hitting 25-30 HR a realistic ceiling to dream on offensively?
J.J. Cooper: Ranking as the top catcher will be hard because that's going to be asking a whole lot from his defensive development. Right now it's easier to be confident in Soderstrom's bat than it is in his defensive home. That doesn't mean he can't catch, but when a hitter is as advanced as he is and has plenty of work to do to catch, a lot of times those guys end up moving to another position eventually. If a guy is ready for Double-A as a hitter but only low Class A as a catcher, do you want to keep him in Class A for two extra years so he can get the needed reps to catch? It doesn't always work that way, but it did with Wil Myers. There were a lot of scouts and coaches who believed that Myers could catch in the majors, but it would have meant keeping him in the low minors for a couple of extra seasons. Joey Votto wasn't as polished as a catcher, but he's another example of this.
- Any Tigers in consideration besides (Torkelson, Skubal, Mize, Greene, Manning)?
J.J. Cooper: Isaac Paredes was on every BA staffer's personal Top 150s and cracked the Top 100 of a few voters. So he wasn't all that far off. No other Tigers received votes.
Justin (Tucson, AZ):
- Why didn't Michael Toglia receive a single vote? Is this because of a low ceiling? What is his future outlook?
J.J. Cooper: With no 2020 minor league season, it was hard for back-of-the-first round 2019 draftees to crack the Top 100. Of the 15 players drafted 20-34 in the 2019 first round, exactly one (Michael Busch) cracked the Top 100. Toglia could crack the Top 100 with a big 2021 season, but a solid but unspectacular season in the Northwest League in his only pro experience so far meant he wasn't all that close to the Top 100 going into the year. And he didn't get much of a chance to change that assessment in 2020.
- Hi, I see Larnach ranked 39 but Zach Veen is ranked 86 or so and he has same or better tool grades in every category. Why would Larnach be higher ranked? Same thing for Larnach vs Bleday, Casas, Kjerstad, Brennan Davis.
J.J. Cooper: We get this question a lot. Those are projected future tools grades, but that is only one factor in a variety of factors that weigh into prospect rankings. Let's say we have 2 prospects. Prospect A: Multiple years of solid production against upper level competition. Is close to the majors. Tools are good, but not great. Skills (plate discipline, selectivity, baserunner, etc) are pretty well developed. He's pretty close to MLB ready. Prospect B: Just drafted. Tools are excellent. Potential is outstanding. Skills (plate discipline, selectivity, etc.) are still developing. He's likely 3-5 years from the majors. Prospect B very well may have better tools grades than Prospect A. But he has less likelihood of ever reaching those tools grades, because there is much more uncertainty in the projection. So Prospect A has more likelihood of being a solid MLB player. Prospect B has less likelihood of being a solid MLB player, or even an MLB player at all, but he also has a higher likelihood of being an MLB star. So we will often rank the close-to-majors prospect higher than a toolsier younger prospect. You see this in action in MLB trades. When trading an MLB player for prospects, teams often are presented with a choice. Under the previous regime, the Pirates would take close-to-the-majors prospects with lower ceilings (see Colin Moran, Joe Musgrove, Michael Feliz and Jason Martin for Gerrit Cole). This current Pirates front office would rather take higher-ceiling but less-certain prospects in return (see Hudson Head as the headliner in the Joe Musgrove trade).
- Awesome work on the Top 100! Is there any way to break the list down into tiers? For example, is the gap in quality between 5 and 25 the same as the gap between 25 and 45, 45 and 65, etc.?
J.J. Cooper: We use BA Grades to demonstrate these tiers in the Prospect Handbook. Using BA Grades, there's as much difference between 11 to 21 as there is from roughly 21 to 60ish. From 60 to 125 there's not a massive amount of difference.
Gunnar Henderson (Top 100 soon in 2021?):
- Was I close to making the top 100? Do scouts and evaluators think that I have the ingredients to debut in the top 100 sometime in 2021?
J.J. Cooper: Henderson made multiple ballots and cracked one voter's Top 100. It's not hard to come up with a scenario where he could slide into the back of the 100 in 2021 if we can get back to playing minor league games.
- Is it fair to say that a small sample size in the big league is more valuable than a larger sample size in the minors? It appears that a guy like Adell, who showed some flaws in the big league, dropped on the list, while a guy like Arozarena, who showed flashes in the big league, went up the list.
J.J. Cooper: This is the tricky bit. It depends on your definitions of small and large. The fact that Adell remains one of the top prospects in the game shows that the large sample of the minors does really matter, as if we based it solely on how he looked in the majors, he wouldn't crack the top 50. We believe that Adell found he wasn't ready, but we remain pretty confident that he will figure it out and bounce back. On the other hand with Arozarena, the small sample of the majors is not as small as one might think. He added 91 PAs in the playoffs to his 91 regular season PAs. Those playoff plate appearances are high-pressure, incredibly well-analyzed/scouted games where any weakness you show is quickly exploited. The Blue Jays, Yankees, Astros and Dodgers all failed to expose any clear weakness with Arozarena's approach at the plate. They tried a variety of approaches and he handled everything they threw at him. Now, Arozarena was in a zone he may never visit again--if he keeps up what he did in the postseason he's Barry Bonds. But we also would be crazy to discount nearly 200 PAs like that (between the regular season and the postseason) where Arozarena showed real power and an ability to adjust to breaking balls and changeups as well as fastballs. That is to much data to simply call it a flukish hot streak. I hope that explains the tricky balance that we tried to pull off in doing our 2021 Top 100.
Dwayne (Greensburg, PA):
- How close to the top 100 are newest Pirates, Hudson Head, Eddy Yean and Endy Rodriguez?
J.J. Cooper: Head received one vote (mine). I had him 144th on my personal 150. So he wasn't particularly close to cracking the top 100. Yean and Rodriguez were not really in top 100 consideration at all. If we had gone 350-400 deep, that's around where they would slot in.
- Which of the Mariners could make the biggest jump up the top 100? I am guessing Noelvi Marte once he makes his stateside debut for full season ball? Was there discussion about having him higher than 73rd?
J.J. Cooper: Marte is the answer. If he has a big 2021 season and continues to hit the ball as hard as he has, he could climb this list. That's a pretty aggressive rank for a player who has yet to play an official game above the Dominican Summer League.
Juan peguero (Santo Domingo):
- Ningún prospecto internacional considerado????
J.J. Cooper: Siento que mis habilidades para hablar en español sean tan pobres. Este año fue extremadamente difícil incluir a nuevos firmantes internacionales, ya que esos jugadores apenas han sido vistos por nadie fuera de su organización de firmas en muchos meses.
Dan (So Cal):
- Who ya got that just missed the top 100. Maybe Jarren Duran? Luis Gil?
J.J. Cooper: Full list of everyone else who just missed is here: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/10-prospects-who-just-missed-the-2021-top-100-prospects-list/
Travis (Omak, Wa):
- Outside of the top 7 from the Mariners were there any other Mariners considered for the top 100 or after the top 7 is there a decent drop off of talent?
J.J. Cooper: There's a drop off. Those 7 are a pretty clear top tier for the Mariners in my opinion. When we roll out our org talent rankings, weighing the top-heavy orgs (like the Mariners and Padres) versus a much deeper system like the Rays led to many healthy debates.
Bill (Palm Beach Gardens, FL):
- You have Andres Gimenez on the BA 109 but hasn’t he lost his rookie eligibility due to too many days on an active roster in 2020, (with September days counting for that purpose in 2020, only)?
J.J. Cooper: We do not use service time in our prospect rankings.
John Dark (Moline):
- Thanks for taking my question. Given the extreme talent that is Wander Franco, Adley Rutschman ranks second but might have topped the list in other years. The last catcher to rank so high on the Top 100 list was Joe Mauer. A comp to a HOFer is unfair, but can a major league Rutschman land somewhere between Mauer and Matt Wieters?
J.J. Cooper: If you told me that Rutschman has a Mauer type career that doesn't seem crazy. He's a very special prospect. Yes, that's an unfair comp, but I remember when Mauer was coming up through the minors, and Rutschman checks lot of the same boxes. I (and I am clearly not alone on this) really, really want to see him play a full season in the minors.
- Were their prospects that looked good at instructs but just couldn't break into the Top 100 because BA felt they needed to see initial or more real game play from them? If so, who are they?
J.J. Cooper: Yeah. If you knew nothing about anyone before instructs and based the rankings solely on instructional league, Rece Hinds (Reds 3B) would be a Top 50 prospect in the game. He has massive power, and he showed that power regularly while torching instructs pitching. Hinds was seen as having the best power potential among 2019 prep prospects, so that isn't something that came out of nowhere. That said, he also had contact issues on the summer showcase circuit in the leadup to his senior year of high school, so we want to see him do it in games that count before he will crack a Top 100.
- Do you think that the loss of the 2020 minor league season hurt your ability to assess some teams' systems more than others, or was it pretty similar across the board?
J.J. Cooper: Yes. The Cardinals and Yankees did not have instructional league, so we have less info on how their players performed against other teams than we do for the other 28 clubs. It's a minor factor in the big picture, but you feel better about the info/evaluations of players where they faced other teams (and we got to see more players play in those other systems because without instructs, fewer prospects got to play at all).
Navin (Pasadena, CA):
- With no season last year (alternate site notwithstanding), do you anticipate a much greater shift in prospects on this list from start to end than in an normal season?
J.J. Cooper: Absolutely. We talked about this on the BA Top 100 Podcast that you can find here: https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/podcast-2021-top-100-prospects/ Quite simply, there will be some prospects who because of the passage of time/physical development/hard work have transformed themselves into different and better players than they were when we (and everyone) last saw them. And there will be players who have either not developed or have seen others catch and pass them over the past 18 months. We have to make sure we do not over-react to snippets of information, but by the time we get 60 games into a minor league season this year, we will know things we cannot know yet.
- Early prediction for next year's top overall prospect? Also, who do you see with the potential for the biggest rise in the rankings at years' end?
Josh Norris: For next year's No. 1, it is going to—once again—depend on what the season looks like in terms of coronavirus and the minor leagues and all that stuff we saw in 2020. Assuming some semblance of normalcy, I'd guess either Adley Rutschman or Julio Rodriguez will take that title once Wander Franco graduates to the major leagues for good. For the purposes of biggest riser, I'll look outside the Top 50 and list Quinn Priester (Pirates), D.L. Hall (Orioles), Alek Thomas (D-backs) and Brennen Davis (Cubs) as my candiates.
Oneil Cruz (Playing stateside?):
- What happened with the Oneil Cruz accident in the fall was tragic. However, even with the ongoing pending legal issues he was able to play winter ball in the Dominican and the Pirates feel confident that he'll be playing in the minors once the season starts. Are there any updates on Cruz and if he'll be cleared of the charges against him? One the baseball side, are his tools still seen as some of the loudest in the minors and could be position himself to be a top 10 prospect overall if they all come together this year?
Josh Norris: I can't speak to his legal issues, so I won't, but his tools are absolutely some of the louder ones in the game. Gut reaction, he probably wouldn't be in the Top 10 overall without an absolutely absurd season, but he could get into the Top 25.
J.J. Cooper: Hey everyone. I am going to step aside as Josh Norris steps to the plate.
- Who are 5 of the top 100 you see making an MLB impact in '21 who do NOT have MLB time. Thanks for your time
Josh Norris: Jarred Kelenic, MacKenzie Gore, Alex Kirilloff (I'm not counting his playoff game), Logan Gilbert and ... let's go really nuts with the last one ... Max Meyer. I adore his arsenal and think he could move obscenely quickly through the minors with a chance to help the Marlins down the stretch if they're in the hunt.
Roger (Washington DC):
- Were other Giants' guys like Luis Matos, Kyle Harrison, Hunter Bishop in consideration for back end of list?
Josh Norris: Luis Matos got some votes, as did Bishop, but Harrison did not. Having done the Giants system, I would think Matos would be the closest to consideration if they do what they're capable of this season.
Jeter Downs (In the Majors in May?):
- Is the expectation that Jeter Downs will start in AAA but will be up with the Redsox by late April or May entrenched as their future 2nd? If he a legitimate ROY candidate if he gets enough time in the majors this year?
Josh Norris: I do not expect he will move that quickly. It's very difficult to get a sense of where a guy will break camp in 2021 (or when, frankly), because each team is going to evaluate their alt-site experience differently. Also, given that MLB and MiLB STs are going be staggered this year, the way teams hand out non-roster invitations is going to be very interesting. If they don't believe a player can help them in the big leagues in the early season, there's not a whole lot of impetus to bring them in early and take a spot that could be used by someone who could provide 4A type of depth. That's especially true if there's going to be some type of cap on how many players can be in ST at one time. In that scenario, a club really has to think hard about which guys it wants to bring to camp and when. All this is to say, I'm really not sure. I expect Downs has a bright future, but I don't know if he'll begin to show it at Fenway this year.
- Favorite non top 100 prospects to keep an eye o?
Josh Norris: We're gonna have an article about this at BA at some point this week, but for a taste of my picks I'll go with Mariners RHP George Kirby. His stuff ticked up this year at the alternate site, and he has potentially double-plus control. I love his potential for a big-time breakout this year.
- I read that Brennen Davis is a lot stronger now and that his power grade is growing. What does his hit tool look like and does he have star upside?
Josh Norris: I am firmly aboard the Brennen Davis train. He's got plenty of tools and a high upside that he's starting to tap into now that he's focused solely on baseball. We project him as an average hitter with plus power to go with plus speed and arm. That sounds like star upside to me.
- How close was Ryan Pepiot to be included in the top 100? What is his ETA?
Josh Norris: Pepiot got some votes for the Top 100. He's probably a couple of years away, but with the way the Dodgers have seemingly mastered player development, anything is possible.
- Long term, who do you go with as the Jays catcher(s) of the future? Jansen, Kirk, Moreno, or Adams?
Josh Norris: I'm going to be bold here and go with Kirk. I can't shake the memory of him absolutely destroying some of the best pitching prospects the Appy League had to offer in 2018, and then watching him perform much better defensively than some more highly regarded (at the time) catchers in the FSL. We all know he's a big boy, but I choose to look at it the way one manager explained it: He's always been big, it's not like he was skinny and then ballooned up overnight. In other words, he's used to his bulky body and knows how to use it. Fat doesn't always mean unathletic, either. Just ask Bartolo Colon.
- Should we be concerned with Wander Franco’s poor launch angle last year? Is he going to be a very good hitter or is there superstar potential here?
Josh Norris: I wouldn't be concerned about much of anything with Wander Franco. As much as any player on this list, he has superstar potential.
- How close were Chris Rodriguez and Reid Detmers to making this list? If Rodriguez proves his health is he someone you expect to be in the top 100?
Josh Norris: Detmers and Rodriguez both got votes. Detmers got more than Rodriguez. I personally love Detmers (seeing him strike out 15 dudes in a freezing cold Wake Forest park obviously helps), but Rodriguez, if he stays healthy, has big-time upside. I could see them both being in the T100 depending on what happens with the MiLB season.
Brandon (San Diego):
- How much weight was put into performance at the alternate sites? What was the competition level like (AAA/AA)? Is Soderstrom’s performance more impressive than if he had torn it up in the Arizona league?
Josh Norris: While the alternate sites were not created equal, yes, I'd say that Soderstrom's performance was much more impressive than it would have been in the AZL simply because he'd be likely to catch and face a variety of more advanced arms. One caveat, though not necessarily with Soderstrom, is that pitchers at the ATS might not attack quite as aggressively as they would if they were facing opposing hitters. Reason being, if they pitch too far up and in or what have you on hitters who are key to the future of the franchise, it might be more detrimental than anything. In other words, pitchers might have been extremely wary of drilling one of the team's more highly regarded prospects and might have been more cautious as a result.
Cliff (Endwell, NY home of the LLWS champions):
- I stink at fantasy baseball, so I have the first pick in the mlb draft. Where would Kumar Rocker fit into this list if he were already signed with a club?
Josh Norris: I also stink at fantasy baseball, so I feel your pain. That said, Mr. Rocker should be fairly high. In the Top 50 at least, maybe the Top 25.
Kmc (Las Vegas):
- What's your personal team prospect rankings 1-5?
Josh Norris: I'll assume this means how I lined them up for my submission to the Top 100. My list went: Franco, Rodriguez, Rutschman, Abrams, Luciano
- Any thoughts on having another minor league chat? This isn't a top 100 question, but the idea of IL/PCL interleague play was floated around. Is that still a possibility?
Josh Norris: Gosh, it's so hard to even contemplate stuff like that at this point. JJ would be way better at this question (find him on Twitter at @jjcoop36), but I've got to imagine the whole focus of this MiLB season will be simply getting it off the ground rather than installing some of the bigger bells and whistles that may be in place going forward.
Mark (Boulder, CO):
- There has been some recent knocks on wander’s overall power output. Sounds like he’s struggling with launch angle and underwhelming with exit velos’. How concerned should we be that he may underwhelm in the power department, or is he just that good of a hitter that it might not matter?
Josh Norris: We have him projected as an 80-grade hitter with potentially 60-grade power. If he's anywhere near that ceiling, I wouldn't be concerned with him at all. Please also remember, he will play all of this season at 20 years old.
- Did the new minor league configuration lead to any differences in the rankings?
Josh Norris: No it did not. That said, I could see some guys having their numbers increased based on their new affiliates. For example, Diamondbacks prospects who go to Amarillo are going to feast in that offensive environment.
Greg (Allentown, PA):
- What was the logic behind Mountcastle dropping out of the top 100 and moving him back up to #63? Was it based on the strides he made defensively or just that you didn’t think his bat would translate?
Josh Norris: I think we thought he'd hit, but he started really well and was consistent all year long. Is he going to be a defensive wonder? Probably not, but he has a chance to be the consummate professional hitter.
- How close was Aaron Bracho from top 100 consideration?
Josh Norris: I (Josh) was the only one who gave him a vote in our personal Top 150s, so I he wasn't particularly close.
- If Luis Roberts had Wander Franco or even a Jarred Kelenic's Hit tool, what kind of player would we be talking about?
Josh Norris: A super-duper star
Roger (Washington DC):
- Hi Carlos, thanks for chatting! I noticed that in addition to moving back down the list, Joey Bart's hit tool grade was knocked down from 50 to 45. How much do you think his struggles this year were simply being thrown into majors before he was ready and how much do you think there's long-term issue with covering inner half of plate?
Josh Norris: First of all, I am not Carlos. Frankly, Carlos should be insulted by being confused with me. Second, there's a big concern with that area of the plate and Joey Bart. I've been hearing about that particular hole for two seasons, and he's still trying to close it. As someone pointed out to me, there's a reason he keeps getting hit in the hands—pitchers are trying to bust him inside as often as possible. They're working with him on it, but it was certainly a hindrance this year.
Gunnar Henderson (Just missed?):
- The top 5 prospects in the Orioles revamped system all comfortably made the top 100 with Ryan Mountcastle slotting in at #63. How close was the Orioles' #6 prospect Gunnar Henderson to making the top 100? He seems to have all the tools to be a top 100 prospect. Does he just have to go out and show it in 2021? Other than being a left-handed hitter, how does he compare to a similar sized and age SS in Jordan Groshans? Does he have Groshans' offensive upside?
Josh Norris: Henderson made two of the six Top 150s used for consideration in this list. I was one of them. And yes, he has the tools to be considered as a Top 100 prospect. As far as comparing Henderson and Groshans, both have exactly the same grades for speed, defense and arm, but Groshans projects as a 60 hitter with 60 power, whereas Henderson is 55 hit and 55 power.
- How good of a hitter can Andrew Vaughn be? And do you think he’s good enough to be a 1B while Abreu is still there? Or will he become their DH?
Josh Norris: If he reaches his ceiling, Vaughn could be a classic middle-lineup masher who profiles at first base. That said, I have found it somewhat concerning that scouts who have viewed him at different times since he's become a pro have noticed difficulties with changeups and sliders, though not necessarily at the same time. Not a huge red flag, but something to watch as he develops.
Alex Kirilloff (ROY?):
- Alex Kirilloff over took Royce Lewis as the #1 prospect in the Twins system even without actual games being played in 2020. There seems to be growing conviction that his hit/power combination is truly elite. Is there a chance that Kirilloff breaks spring training with the big league club or is that somewhat dependent on what the Twins do the rest of the free agency? Even if he starts in AAA, will he be the first to get the call if a need arises in LF, RF, or 1B?
Josh Norris: Yes, I expect Kirilloff to have a borderline elite combo of hit and power. In the year when Vladdy Jr. won our MiLB POY award, Kirilloff probably would have been the next closest. Dude was OUTSTANDING in the FSL. I think he starts at AAA St. Paul and could be the first callup if a need arises on a corner or at first.
Bill B (Glen Allen, VA):
- Thanks for taking our questions. Any specific reason that BA thinks is the driver of so few pitching prospects this year in the Top 100? Know Lodolo was the top P in the draft recently and that was considered a "pitching poor" draft... but not sure if injuries or other factors are more major contributors.
Josh Norris: I think, as a group, we've started to realize that hitting prospects are just less risky than pitching prospects. As for Lodolo, the reviews on him from the alternate site were less than glowing.
Kevin C (Foster City, CA):
- Would Joey Bart still be on the Top 100 if he were moved to first base, to make room for Patrick Bailey?
Josh Norris: Hard to deal in hypotheticals, but I do think Bailey is the team's catcher of the future because of his defense and the way he works with pitchers. That said, I think Bart has the higher offensive upside of the two. Would Bart's value be dinged by playing first base? Yes. Would it knock him out of the 100? I can't really say for certain.
Andy (New york):
- If you were a betting man what are the chances we see wander Franco called up this year before September. Thank you.
Josh Norris: I am not a betting man, but (barring injury and COVID madness) I would be stunned not to see him in the big leagues before September. Just let us have a little time with him at Durham, please.
- Give us a JJ Cooper cheeseball outside the Top 100!
Josh Norris: I am not JJ Cooper, but I will give you a Josh Norris cheeseball outside of the Top 100: Yankees RHP Luis Medina. I tend to bet big on tools and upside, and Medina has the highest upside of any of the pitchers in the Yankees' system. His command and control need to continue to show the progress they made at the end of 2019 and in the PRWL, but he could be a monster.
- Could you guess youngest prospect in Top 100 at each level this year? Assuming Wander Franco at AAA. Any 19 year olds at AA? 17 in Low A?
Josh Norris: Hmmmm. Yes, Wander probably at Triple-A. Double-A: Simeon Woods Richardson might be the youngest at Double-A (he'll be 20 all year) High-A: Ronny Mauricio could be the youngest at High-A (born April 4, 2001) and Low-A: Francisco Alvarez (born Nov. 19, 2001)
Jimmy (Kansas City, MO):
- Who’s the high man at BA on Erick Pena. I know it’s a unique swing, but everyone seems to rave about his power and work ethic. How close was he to the list and what are your thoughts on Pena?
Josh Norris: I voted him highest in my personal Top 100, so I guess that would be me. As for my thoughts? We have him with 50-55 tools across the board, which could be make for a very intriguing, well-rounded player.
- The Orioles have really improved their farm over the last few years, and have done so with a lot of high upside prospects. Besides the 5 in the BA top 100 and Gunnar Henderson who received a top 100 vote, is there a particular prospect that you could see make a big jump in 2021? Or any that you are excited about?
Josh Norris: Kevin Smith was a sneaky good performer with the Mets based on a lot of TrackMan data and analytics and such, so I'm interested in seeing how he performs. Also, I am a huge Ofelky Peralta stan, so I'd love to see him put it all together.
Josh Norris: That's my time, folks. I'm handing off to Matt Eddy. Have a good week.
- Given that there wasn't a minor league season last year, will some of these top prospects be delayed in their arrival to the bigs so they can get more in-game seasoning or do you think the alternate sites provided enough opportunity for development that guys like Rutschman, J-Rod, Wander, Kellenic, etc can still be knocking at the door this season?
Matt Eddy: I would bet the elite players won't be as affected as some of the players in the lower prospect value tiers. The reason is that the major league game in 2021 tends to favor youth and raw skill over nuance and extensive MLB experience.
Travis (Omak, Wa):
- How many systems would you take over the Mariners? I get it that others have more prospects in the top 100 but with two in the top 5 that has to factor in. Plus they have two that basically land between 100-110.
Matt Eddy: When the BA editorial staff talked about farm system rankings in December, I recall really liking the depth and variety the Rays and Padres had built. San Diego has cut into that depth with trades but still holds premium prospects at premium positions, including MacKenzie Gore, CJ Abrams, Luis Campusano, Ryan Weathers and Robert Hassell. The Mariners' upper tier is also elite but they lack the overall depth of Tampa Bay and San Diego. Also: Seattle is thin up the middle and in terms of lefthanded starter depth.
- How close was Gunnar Henderson to making this list? Assuming the info out of the alternate site stays true, could you see him high up on this list next year?
Matt Eddy: Yes! Henderson is one of my personal favorites. He made my personal top 100 ranking after hearing that he flashed five-tool ability at instructional league. I think the Orioles are expecting him to develop quickly. Baltimore believes it got first-round talent outside the first round when it drafted Henderson in 2019 and Jordan Westburg in the supp first round in 2020. If they're right, they are taking advantage of their high draft position, which is vital to a rebuild.
Wendy (New Mexico):
- As a BA subscriber I was wondering how you put your lists together. Who do u run them by?
Matt Eddy: The Top 100 Prospects process begins the previous fall, when -- in a typical season -- we gather scouting reports and information for our various minor league and organizational prospect rankings. Supplemental info is gathered in the Arizona Fall League and instructional league. That information is applied, integrated and synthesized into our Prospect Handbook, which goes to press right before Christmas. The BA editorial team then reconvenes in January to hash out a Top 100 Prospects ranking. We begin by building an overall 100 based on the individual lists from editors -- this year there were six. Then we meet over a period of days to fine-tune the Top 100 ranking. Then we solicit feedback from the industry to layer in our final tweaks.
- What’s the Orioles infield of the future? Does Gunnar or Westburg move off SS
Matt Eddy: Educated guess: Henderson at SS, Westburg at 3B.
- In terms of pure upside, which 2020 drafted pitchers outside of the top half of the first round have the highest upside? Anyone with ace upside?
Matt Eddy: I have a piece running at BA later this week geared toward fantasy players in dynasty leagues that addresses this very question. Finding value outside of the slam-dunk talents is going to be a challenge this year, so I curated a group of 2020 draft picks who impressed scouts at instructional league. I don't wan to spoil the forthcoming story, but I will reveal that Nationals righthander Cade Cavalli, drafted 22nd overall out of Oklahoma, has incredible arm strength and rare power on his curveball. I would not be surprised to see him surpass his draft position.
- Which players not in the top 100 do you see having the most potential to rise drastically and get into the top 50 next year?
Matt Eddy: I mentioned his name on the Top 100 Prospects podcast, but for me the answer is Cubs outfielder Brennan Davis. He's a physical monster who has tools and showed virtually all the performance markers I would want to see in his half-season at Low-A South Bend in 2019. The one missing piece is simply health, because he has played just 50 games above the Rookie level.
- The former July 2 signing date meant all the top intl prospects would be folded into team lists in plenty of time for the BA Handbook. That can't happen with the Jan 15 signing date. In the past BA has had a few unsigned intl players in the back of the book, did you expand that section this year? If not and the Jan date sticks, I hope you will in the future. Having those early BA Grades on these very young players is a big part of the books value imo.
Matt Eddy: You're right that the delayed start to international signing period hurt the Prospect Handbook's value. The period typically opens on July 2 but was pushed to Jan. 15 for 2020-21. How we compensated was to include a ranking of the top 30 international prospects (with projected signing teams) in the PHB index. Then in the spring we will include IFAs who have signed in our Top 30 Prospects rankings when we push them to the web.
- Love the chats guys, thanks for taking the time to do this! Tyler Stephenson is a personal "cheeseball" of mine - he makes good contact, has pop, and plays a valuable position (catcher), so I was surprised to not see him ranked in the top 100. Do you think that he moves off catcher (to, say, 1B?) or is there some other reason he didn't crack the list?
Matt Eddy: You summed it up well. Stephenson's bat stands out at the catcher position, but his future there is not assured. Improving his pitch-framing was a step in the right direction.
- How close was KBO's Ha-Seong Kim to making the Top 100? Given his Padre signing and #5 ranking in their system, isn't he eligible for the list? MLB expectations?
Matt Eddy: Korean shortstop Ha-Seong Kim ranks No. 78.
- Is there optimism that there will be a minor league season this year? I read that they were pushing start dates back, to avoid too many players gathering at spring training sites - are they hopeful that the season will still happen? Sure missed minor league baseball last year.
Matt Eddy: You can guarantee that there will be player development this spring and summer. MLB organizations are not going to let their prospects sit dormant for two straight seasons. The question is whether that development takes place in Arizona/Florida complexes or whether it transpires in minor league ballparks across the country. Most farm directors and evaluators bemoaned the lack of competitive games, so every effort will be exhausted to make it happen.
Leody Taveras (Just Missed Top 100?):
- Since being signed, I have been extremely young at every level I've played at, including surprisingly being called up to the big leagues as a 21 year with only a half season in AA. I showed that I belong and looked like the best player on the team the last 3 weeks of the season. Was I close re-entering the top 100 where I once a fixture? I heard the Rangers think that I might end up turning into the 5 tool player they had previously thought I could be. I will be only 22 for the entire 2021 season.
Matt Eddy: I too was impressed with Taveras' MLB debut and how quickly he adapted to the speed of the big league game. I had him ranked just outside my personal top 100. I love what he can do on the bases and in center field but want to see more offensive growth to assure he is more than a bottom-of-the-order hitter. But in terms of dramatic "stock up" players based on 2020 performance, Taveras and Andres Gimenez, now of the Indians, were two of my biggest risers.
- What are the reports and ceiling of Ryan Pepiot? Could he be a top 100 guy by mid season?
Matt Eddy: The image of Pepiot striking out Bellinger in summer camp is seared in my brain. I love his north-south attack with riding mid-90s fastball and excellent changeup. He is a for-sure big league arm. I think it just comes down to a matter of role. If he proves that his breaking stuff plays over 18+ batters, then I could see him as a future Top 100 candidate.
Will (San Diego):
- Who's a good comp for CJ Abrams? Seems blazing fast but unsure of his power potential. A Carl Crawford esque presence in the Padres lineup before Tatis sounds so, so good.
Matt Eddy: The two players' ages don't quite match up, nor do their plate discipline profiles, but there are similarities between Abrams and Tim Anderson. Incredible speed, strong baserunning decisions, great feel to hit, good but not great glove at shortstop.
- Whitley dropped like a rock in this year's rankings - if you had to put odds on him becoming an impact big leaguer what would they be?
Matt Eddy: The unresolved elbow injury was a major factor in Whitley's fall down the Top 100 this year for me. But we see this circuitous route to relevancy enough among touted high school pitchers -- think Homer Bailey or Zack Wheeler or Lucas Giolito -- that I would give Whitley at least 50/50 odds of delivering big leauge value.
Kyle Glaser: Hey everyone, I'm jumping in to finish off the Top 100 prospects chat today. Look forward to answering your questions.
- Surprised Tyler Stephenson missed the cut and also didnt make the just missed list. What are your thoughts on him moving forward? Thank you.
Kyle Glaser: I really liked what I saw from Stephenson in the Arizona Fall League in 2019 and he had some really nice moments at the plate in his big league debut. To be honest, I personally think he's better than a few of the guys who ranked ahead of him on the Reds Top 10. He still has things to work on defensively, but it would not surprise me at all if he ends up having a better, more substantial major league career than a lot of guys who are on the Top 100 ahead of him. He's a good player.
- As always, thanks for taking questions today. Compared to past years, it appears that more newly drafted players made the top 100 this year. Do you think this is due to 2020 being a strong class or did the lack of a minor league season help these players make the top 100?
Kyle Glaser: Generally speaking, about 10-12 players from a draft class make the Top 100 each year. This year, the number is 14. Some of that is a product of loud performances at the ATS and instructional league from players drafted lower (i.e. Tyler Soderstrom). Some of it is a product of the promise these guys have, but also because of the nature of the season, their warts weren't exposed. For example, if concerns about Garrett Mitchell's hitting ability showed up in the AZL or Pioneer League in his debut, he wouldn't have ranked in the Top 100. But because he didn't get that chance, some of our staff is still taking the over on him and his tools eventually translating. Weighing draft picks with zero professional track record against prospects who have actually seen upper-level competition is always a difficult exercise. That was true even more so this year.
- I am stoked to see Tyler Soderstrom included in the top 100. Is he considered a potential big riser once we see him in action at full season ball in 2021? Based on what the As organization and players thought of him during both the alternate site and instructionals, it feels like evaluators outside of the org just need to see him in live minor league action before his stock really explodes.
Kyle Glaser: The evaluators outside the organization who saw Soderstrom at instructional league were a big reason why he's on the Top 100. They're already in on him. His stock is already pretty high and there's no question it could rise higher. He's a very, very impressive young hitter.
Matt (The Bay):
- Tyler Soderstrom's write-up in the As top 10 was extremely impressive. There were notes of the As thinking he has the potential to be better than both Eric Chavez and Ben Grieve (both top 5 prospects in baseball when they were prospects). If he's already seen as a plus hitter with plus power AND physical projection left, what is his ceiling? Is his offensive going to be good to wait on the defense at catcher?
Kyle Glaser: I think he has a chance to be an offensive force to the point it's not going to matter if he sticks behind the plate. He has game-changing potential offensively that will play at any position.
Corbin Carroll (Top 20 in 2022?):
- Thanks for chatting with us today! I was one of the biggest risers in the top 100 jumping from the 90s into #42. Is there a belief that I'll continue to rise as I show off my advanced approach at LoA/HiA in 2021? With further strength gains, does a profile of what Andrew Benintendi looked like in the Redsox system seem somewhat realistic now?
Kyle Glaser: A big part of Carroll's rise was how much he shined at the alternate site. The D-backs had a very, very talented group of players both young and old there, and he was the best player of all of them. Better than Perdomo, better than Robinson, better than Thomas, better than everyone. There's a lot to be said for being the best player on the field. Benintendi has not hit like expected, but .273/.353/.435 through age 25 isn't bad. There is a sense that Carroll could exceed that average and on-base percentage. He doesn't project for more than 10-15 home runs at this point, but anytime a hitter is this good this young, there's always a strong chance more power shows up over time.
- Great work! What are you thoughts on the tigers top 5? Pretty rare having 5 top 31 prospects? No? Does Riley Greene have all star potential? Tork prime? What does that look like. Thanks!
Kyle Glaser: It's the strongest top five of any team in baseball. Riley Greene absolutely has All-Star potential. The high-end comp on Spencer Torkelson is Paul Goldschmidt. Both have a chance to be franchise cornerstones in the Tigers lineup. Now, Greene has barely played above the Rookie levels and Torkelson has yet to make his pro debut, so some caution is warranted. Warts get exposed the higher you climb. But from a pure potential perspective, both have shown you everything you want to see so far.
Just missed? (top 100):
- What were some of the names that just missed the top 100? Are any of George Valera, Brayan Rocchio, Gunnar Henderson, Taylor Trammell, and Jesus Sanchez close?
Kyle Glaser: The next 10 who just missed can be found here. https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/10-prospects-who-just-missed-the-2021-top-100-prospects-list/
- any tigers in consideration for the top 100 besides Torkelson, Skubal, Mize, Greene and Manning? Dingler?
Kyle Glaser: Not really. Paredes and Dingler are on the outside looking in by a fair margin. The Tigers have a really good top five prospects, but there is a large gap between them and the rest.
- Jasson Dominguez at #33 seems like a real high praise for a 17 year old who hasn't taken an official minor league AB. Is it fair to say that he has the highest ceiling in all of baseball right now?
Kyle Glaser: Dominguez is the toughest player to rank. It's all potential, but barely anyone has seen him play recently. I have a hard time suggesting he has a higher ceiling than Wander Franco or Adley Rutschmann, just to name two of many. Those guys have exceptional talent and have shown they can handle high-quality pitching. Dominguez is more "wait-and-see" before we can make any declarative statements.
Seth (New York):
- Could you give me 10 or so names of prospects not on the top 100 that you think could become absolutely studs or all stars? Any Tigers not on top 100 you think could become an all star?
Kyle Glaser: I'm going to actually use this question as a pivot point to a study I did a few years ago and we had a big spread on in the magazine. Between 2004-11, an average of 114 prospect-eligible players in the minors each season went on to make an All-Star Game at some point in their careers. (I was stunned the number was that high, but that's what the findings showed). With that, knowing there are absolutely future All-Stars beyond the Top 100 even if every player on the Top 100 went on to also become an All-Star, I'm very intrigued by a few pitchers who could click in a big way: Cade Cavalli, George Kirby, Bobby Miller, Chris Rodriguez and Jared Kelley come to mind. I think Shane Baz has a chance to become an elite closer and make an All-Star Game in that role. I do not think any of the other Tigers prospects fit in this group, but we'll see. There's always a few surprises. Here is the full study if you want to take a look. https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/how-many-minor-league-prospects-are-future-mlb-all-stars/
- Love the list as always! As a BA subscriber I was wondering how you construct your lists. Who do u run them by? Front office scouts/ executive/ GMs? Love to hear how u put them together! Thanks as always.
Kyle Glaser: The first step is the staffers who take the primary roles in BA's prospect coverage (currently JJ Cooper, Matt Eddy, Ben Badler, Josh Norris and myself) put together a personal ranking of who were each feel are the Top 150 prospects in baseball. (Carlos Collazo joined this year to provide additional insight on the draft guys in light of there being no minor league season). Those Top 150s are combined into a composite ranking. From there, many hours of meetings take place hashing out differences of opinion, sorting out things that don't quite line up and making tough calls on players who are on the cusp to put together a Top 100. Once that Top 100 is set, we send the list out to high-level front office officials around the game (GMs, assistant GMs, pro scouting directors, pro scouting coordinators, etc.) and solicit their feedback on who is too high, who is too low, who should be on but isn't, who should drop off, etc. Once that feedback is received, we make the final adjustments so the list best reflects industry consensus. The Top 100 you see on the website is the final product of that process.
Geraldo Perdomo (Power Potential?):
- I seem to have all the tools to become a truly elite top 25 prospect except my current power. With a 6'3" now 200+ lb frame, is there confidence that I'll eventually tap into more power? With such an advanced approach evidenced by my history of more BBs than Ks at every level I've played, it feels like I will eventually outperform whatever my raw power grade.
Kyle Glaser: I don't think power is ever going to be a significant part of Perdomo's game, although some of that could depend on his home park and what balls are being used. (i.e. Freddy Galvis got to 20 HRs playing in Citizen's Bank Park and 23 HR in the 2019 craziness, Didi Gregorius put together three straight 20+ home run seasons playing in the bandbox that is Yankee Stadium, etc). But honestly, he's going to be a good player even if power isn't a huge part of his game. A graceful defender with an advanced approach and a knack for contact is a heck of a shortstop most teams would love to have. If power comes, great, but honestly him starting to try and chase power at the expense of his contact ability and approach would probably be the worst thing he could do right now. Just let him be him and see if the power manifests as he matures. If it does, awesome. If not, he's still a potentially really good player.
Brandon Marsh (Angels OF in 2021?):
- Changes to Brandon Marsh's stance at the plate and pre-swing set up really seemed to allow him to tap into his considerable raw power late in the 2019 season into his breakout AFL performance. How did he look in 2020 at the alternate site and instructionals? Does Jo Adell and he both join Mike Trout in the Angels OF by midseason?
Kyle Glaser: Reports from the alternate site were more rooted in Marsh's understanding of how pitchers will attack him and general game-planning continues to grow. In general, all positives from the ATS. He did not participate in instructional league. As for his timeline to the majors, a full or majority season in Triple-A for both him and Adell is probably what's best for them long-term, although with Taylor Ward currently slated to be the team's everyday right fielder, it certainly would be better for everyone if he or Adell shows they're ready as soon as possible. Injuries, of course, will play a part too.
Drew Waters (Improved Approach?):
- Drew Waters seems to have one of the most exciting collection of tools in the minors. The one glaring hole in his game has been his bad approach at the plate. He's been able to mostly overcome that in the minors before reaching AAA based on physical talent and athleticism. He was exposed more once he moved to AAA to end the 2019 season. How did he look at the alternate site and instructional league in 2020? Did the Braves see a noticeable improvement in his approach at the plate? Do you think the Braves OF will consist of Acuna, Pache, and Waters come June?
Kyle Glaser: The Braves were pleased with how Waters improved his plate discipline and managed his at-bats at the alternate site. He was not part of their instructional league camp. Seeing if those improvements hold up in real game settings will be key. If they do at Triple-A to start the season, it's certainly possible he'll be up by June, especially if the Braves don't make any additions and their outfield on Opening Day is as shallow as it is right now.
- I noticed that none of the international signings even received consideration for the top 100--is that a reflection of this year's class or just the timing of the 1/15 signing period? Had they been in consideration, are there any names that stand out as borderline top 100 names?
Kyle Glaser: The timing of the Jan. 15 signing period. In order to to get the Top 100 release ready, everything had to be locked in by Jan. 14. We'll update with the international guys at some point, but I don't have an exact date for you on when that will be.
- Are there any prospects on either the back half of this list or off this list altogether that you seeing being a huge riser over the course of 2021?
Kyle Glaser: Quinn Priester, Michael Busch and Robert Hassell are three on the back of the list I can see jumping in a big way over the course of 2021. If Jordyn Adams can carry some of the offensive strides he made over the last half of 2019 and reportedly made at the ATS into the 2021 season, he's someone currently off the list I can see rising big time.
Casey J (Foster City, CA):
- What was the reason behind Heliot Ramos’ drop from last year? Was it that many new players that just seemed better?
Kyle Glaser: Based on Josh Norris' reporting, yes. The addition of draft picks, plus the jumps some other guys made, put them in front. I thought it was notable that of the dozens of players who front office officials suggested should move higher as part of their feedback, Ramos' name did not come up once. The consensus seems to be he's in the right place right now relative to his prospect peers. Keep in mind, just being on the Top 100 indicates you're seen as a potential impact, standout player. Just because he's lower doesn't mean he isn't highly-regarded. It just means the other players, at this point, are seen as being a bit better. He's a good player Giants fans should be excited about.
Daniel (Barranquilla, Colombia):
- Ed. Cabrera, he lost a lot of ground compared to last year's list. Is it simply because we didn't see him last year or have you heard anything else?
Kyle Glaser: Cabrera ranked No. 68 on last year's list. He ranks No. 81 on this year's list. That's actually not a huge drop when you take into account the draft picks being added and so few players graduating from prospect eligibility due to the shortened season. There were a couple of front office officials who felt we should move him down from where we initially had him - mainly concerns about health/durability and reliever risk - but 68 to 81 isn't really a big drop when you place it in context of the season.
Alex (Washington, DC):
- What's the reasoning for Grayson Rodriguez moving up so much in the top 100? And what have you heard about him and his progress during the 2020 season?
Kyle Glaser: Grayson Rodriguez is one of the few pitching prospects in baseball who has legitimate No. 1 starter potential. He looked fantastic in 2019 and everything reportedly ticked up this year. Fastball sitting 95-96, touching 98 with plus command. Slider and changeup both getting plus grades to give him three plus pitches. He's separating himself with his size, stuff and command, and his rise is reflective of that. It would not surprise me if he goes out in 2021 and, with some graduations in front of him, asserts himself as the best pitching prospect in baseball. He has a chance to be really, really special.
- Surprised to see Brailyn Marquez outside of the top 50 given his upside and late season improvement prior to the shut down. Was this based on lack of upper level performance record, reports from work outs, or simply quality of talent above him?
Kyle Glaser: Mostly quality of talent above him. If Marquez carries over his improvements he made at the end of 2019 and reportedly made at the alternate site in 2020 into 2021, he's another pitcher who could rise quickly.
Scott (Orlando, FL):
- Lewis, J-Rod, Kelenic, Trammell. Who DH’s?
Kyle Glaser: Ty France. The outfield is going to be Lewis in CF, Kelenic in LF and J-Rod in RF. Trammell is the odd man out unless the Mariners want to make France their everyday 2B and have the outfield group rotate between the three OF spots and DH just to give guys a day off their feet and keep everyone fresh. Trammell is fourth in the pecking order right now.
- Sixto elevated above Gore, for obvious reasons. But what have you heard about Gore, is there an issue with his delivery?
Kyle Glaser: I answered this question in the Padres chat a few days ago. You can check it out here. https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/san-diego-padres-2021-top-mlb-prospects-chat/
Bill Fuller (Deering High School):
- Brennen Davis doesn't crack the top 75... but reports from the alternate site were glowing and in limited chances he seemed to show that he's got 5 tool upside. Eye test against a guy like Marsh or Drew Waters seem to be more where I would expect him (or higher). Im not biased, of course. What does a kid have to do?
Kyle Glaser: Davis is in the top 75. He's No. 72. He's a really good player, but he's also yet to play above low Class A and it's only been 50 games at that level. Marsh and Waters have shown they can translate their tools and athleticism into success against upper level pitching. Once Davis does that, it would not be a shock to see him climb into that 30-40 range where they currently reside.
- Looking at young CLE middles infielders, which of Aaron Bracho or Braya Rocchio has a higher ceiling?
Kyle Glaser: The answer to who projects to be the better big leaguer is in the Indians Top 10. The higher-ranked guy is who projects to be the better major leaguer. It's pretty straightforward. https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/2021-cleveland-indians-top-mlb-prospects/
Won (South Korea):
- 1. What do you think about Gabriel Moreno(TOR)? Personally, I think he is the best player in the Blue Jays system in 2020 when the minor league was not played. Of course, I didn't see him play in Alternate Site, Instructional league, and it was my conclusion based on the evaluation and reporting of various institutions, including BA. Especially, his performance in Venezuela Winter League was amazing. 2. Based on last summer Top30 list, Padres have sent out almost all the players outside the top10. How does this affect Farm rankings? Are you sure their rankings won't be hit hard because top prospects are the most important?
Kyle Glaser: Moreno is certainly a very promising young catcher, but to say he's the best player in a loaded Blue Jays farm system is a bit of a stretch. Neither Blue Jays officials nor opposing evaluators share that opinion. The Padres organizational talent ranking will absolutely drop. They were slated to be No. 3 before the Snell and Darvish trades were made and will absolutely be lower. Stay tuned for our organizational talent rankings in a few weeks to see exactly where they land.
- Some players made big jumps in the top 100 despite not playing i.e. Corbin Carroll. Was it simply scouting reports from camps that pushed them up or down?
Kyle Glaser: Speaking generally, for guys who didn't play in the majors this year, it's a combination of scouting reports from alternate site camps (for players who participated) and instructional league (for players who participated). We tried to be conservative/judicious in how many guys moved significantly based solely on that because it's easy to overreact, and it's not real game situations in many cases, but there were a few players the drumbeat was so loud for, and so universal amongst evaluators, that you couldn't ignore it. There were some front office officials who felt Carroll should rank even higher than he does now.
- Is ir fair to say that Luis Campusano has improved his defense enough so that he is likely to stay behind the plate? And is it also fair to say that if he couldn’t stick as a catcher his bat is good enough that the Padres would find regular at bats for him somewhere else in the lineup?
Kyle Glaser: Campusano has improved his receiving and game-calling/preparation enough to remain a catcher. There is no concern about him moving off the position from a skills perspective. The only concern would be he's already had two concussions so if another one hits, then remaining behind the plate becomes a health/safety issue. If he has to move, his mix of plate discipline and power would work at other spots, yes.
Burt (Atlanta, GA):
- Do the braves have any dynamic young prospects left in their system after pache graduates? Are there a couple names to watch of 5 tool types that could shoot up this list by next year?
Kyle Glaser: Drew Waters is still a pretty dynamic prospect with his speed, defense and growing power in addition to his track record of hitting. In regards to your second question, the phrase "five-tool player" is probably the most overused in baseball, especially in the prospect world. There are maybe a handful of five-tool players in the major leagues. If your system even has one, you're in a great place. There aren't many five-tool prospects down a list, for any team.
- Great work with all of the content. Wondering about Pete Crow-Armstrong? Was any consdiration given to him? To me, he and Veen aren't too separated. Veen with more pop, PCA with more defense.
Kyle Glaser: Not yet. Crow-Armstrong has some questions to answer about his bat for him to reach Top 100 consideration. He's a good player who could certainly make the jump on at some point. Right now, there are just other players who project better based on the their hitting ability, upper-level experience or some combination of those factors and others. He's good though and certainly someone who could rise onto a Top 100 in the not-too-distant future.
- Any votes for Herbert Perez? And what do you see as his ETA?
Kyle Glaser: Perez did receive a vote during the process. I personally am more skeptical. If he gets there, we're looking at a 3-4 year time window. He's still a teenager yet to play a professional game. https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/10-prospects-who-just-missed-the-2021-top-100-prospects-list/
- Of the Top 100, who has the LONGEST lead time to a MLB debut? In what year would you project that to occur?
Kyle Glaser: Probably Jasson Dominguez. It's probably a 3-4 year development time frame at the earliest. Still 17 and hasn't played a professional game.
- How badly did the injury histories of A's prospects A.J. Puk and Daulton Jefferies hurt their rankings? Puk obviously fell out of the Top 100 from #21 last year, so it is all injury related? How close was Jefferies to cracking the Top 100?
Kyle Glaser: Puk's drop was all injury related. The Top 100 is "who are the 100 current prospects who project to have the best major league careers". Having another major surgery dampens the likelihood Puk will be one of those 100 at the present time, although personally I believe in him and think he has the talent to be an impact major leaguer. Just has to stay on the mound. Jefferies was not particularly close. He's a good pitcher, but there are a lot of other pitchers ahead of him.
- A number of the top Blue Jays prospects dropped around seven to nine spots since the September 2020 update. For example Pearson, Martin, and Groshans. Is that unusual given the short amount of time between the publication of the two lists?
Kyle Glaser: No. A lot of the information comes pouring in following the conclusion of the season in September, plus (in a typical year) the Arizona Fall League, instructional league, etc. Players moving up or down a few spots from the Sept. 1 ranking is pretty common.
- Does Colin Barber have top 100 ranking upside?
Kyle Glaser: I think that's a stretch at this point. We'll see.
- Which players moved up notably once feedback from the industry got incorporated, especially given no 2020 MiLB? For those players, what types of feedback was it?
Kyle Glaser: Kristian Robinson, Josh Jung, Brandon Marsh, Michael Busch, Alejandro Kirk and Robert Hassell were the most common "move up" players from industry sources. All were already on the list and moved up a few spots after the feedback. No one jumped 10-20 spots or anything, but all moved up a couple.
- Hi - Will the Top 10 lists be updated to account for trades? (for example, Dunning was on the ChiSox Top 10 list and then was traded to Texas) Thanks - Sam
Kyle Glaser: Yes. We typically update in February, so stay tuned.
- Were there any players that moved up or down fairly significantly after you received feedback from the various front-office officials you consulted? And any insight you could provide on why they moved and your thoughts going forward would be great. Thanks!
Kyle Glaser: I mentioned the players front office officials were bullish on and most commonly suggested moving up in an earlier question. The ones who most consistently got "move down" comments were Drew Waters (plate coverage and approach concerns), Garrett Mitchell (lack of belief in the bat), Austin Hendrick (swing-and-miss concerns), Tyler Freeman (some see him as a utility player and not an everyday starter) and, interestingly, Noelvi Marte (concerns about sticking at SS and lack of quickness as he's gotten bigger). Each were bumped down a bit from their original placement, but all remained on the Top 100.
- Hello. Thank you for your question. Kyle already mentioned Padres No.4 to No.7 prospects distance is very close. However, Mackenzie Gore and CJ Abrams distance is very close also. Do some BA staff ranked Abrams as Padres No.1 prospects? If yes, what is making put up to Abrams ranking as higher.
Kyle Glaser: You can find front office officials who believe Gore and Abrams are 1A and 1B in the Padres system. You can also find the occasional scout who thinks Abrams is No. 1 ahead of Gore. That's not a majority opinion (it's about 85-15 Gore), but it exists. There was one staffer at BA who preferred Abrams, but for now Gore gets the nod. They are both extremely talented and have very bright futures.
Kyle Glaser: All right everyone, I think that will do it for today's chat. Thanks for coming out. Have a great rest of your week and stay safe.