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Explaining How MLB Teams Acquired 2021 Top 100 Prospects

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In his piece earlier this week, national writer Kyle Glaser broke down some numbers among this year’s Top 100 Prospects list. Now, we’ll take a look at the demographics surrounding the players on the list, including their draft position and origin and their current defensive home.

The first realization shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but the majority of Top 100 prospects acquired via draft are taken in the first two rounds. Fifty-nine of the 74 drafted players were taken in the first round, and 12 were taken in the second and second supplemental rounds.

That leaves just three players in the Top 100 who were drafted in the third round or later—Matt Allan (third round, 2019), Bobby Dalbec (fourth round, 2016) and Tarik Skubal (ninth round, 2018).

Allan was considered one of the top pitchers in his draft class but fell due to signability concerns, Dalbec missed part of his draft year with an injury and Skubal was coming off of Tommy John surgery in what would have been his junior year at Seattle.

Unsurprisingly, the last four No. 1 overall picks are on the Top 100—Royce Lewis (2017), Casey Mize (2018), Adley Rutschman (2019) and Spencer Torkelson (2020). Of that group, Rutschman ranks the highest, at No. 2, followed by Torkelson (5), Mize (28) and Lewis (29).

When broken down by amateur origin, tooled-up prep prospects lead the way. Forty-four members of the list were drafted out of high school, 26 were signed internationally and 30 came from the college ranks.

It should come as no surprise that the most prolific states when it comes to producing high school prospects who appear on this list are Florida (8), Texas (7) and California (6). Florida still leads when colleges are included, but California catches up to Texas with nine prospects apiece.

Overall, just three schools boast multiple prospects on the Top 100: Oregon State (Rutschman, Nick Madrigal, Trevor Larnach), Vanderbilt (Austin Martin, JJ Bleday) and Hagerty High of Oviedo, Fla. (Ryan Mountcastle, Riley Greene).

Outfield is the most plentiful position on the list, with 24 Top 100 Prospects. Its followed closely by righthanders (23), shortstops (19) and lefthanders (12). So, how do those groups break down in terms of amateur origin?

Ten of the righthanders come from high school, nine were drafted out of college and four were signed on the international market. Five of the lefthanders are high school products, five came from college and two were signed as international free agents.

As for a group absent from the list, there are no internationally signed corner infielders. The caveat there, of course, is that some of the projected shortstops will probably move to third base, but for now they will all stay up the middle.

This class is also unlikely to produce any shortstops who were drafted out of college. Austin Martin and Nick Gonzales were each drafted at the position, but neither is a slam dunk to stick there long term.

Thirty-six players on this year’s Top 100 have already made their big league debuts, including Twins outfielder/first baseman Alex Kirilloff, Padres lefthander Ryan Weathers and Rays lefthander Shane McClanahan, who each got into postseason games but have yet to make their regular-season debuts.

The youngest player on the list is Yankees outfielder Jasson Dominguez, who was signed in 2019 but because of the pandemic has yet to make his professional debut. He’ll play all of the 2021 season at 18 years old. The oldest on the list is Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena, who is one of three 25-year-olds on the list. Dalbec and new Padres infielder Ha-Seong Kim are the other two.

Lastly, Padres area scout Tyler Stubblefield takes the crown as the scout credited with signing the most players in the Top 100. Stubblefield, who covers the Georgia area, signed Luis Campusano, CJ Abrams, Robert Hassell III and Ryan Weathers.

The only other domestic area scout with more than one is Colorado’s John Cedarburg, who signed the Rockies’ top two prospects Brendan Rodgers and Zac Veen.

Multiple scouts are often credited with the signings of international players, but the Rays’ Danny Santana is listed as the sole signer for Wander Franco and Vidal Brujan, while the duo of Eddy Toledo and Tim Kissner is credited with the signings of Mariners prospects Julio Rodriguez and Noelvi Marte.

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