How Are Recent Top 100 Prospects Doing In 2019?
We've seen quite a bit of turnover in the Top 100 so far this season, especially at the top, where Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr. and Eloy Jimenez all graduated, paving the way for a new No. 1 prospect in baseball.
While no longer prospects, we examine how 2019 is going for those who began the year on the list.
All stats are prior to the start of games on June 19th.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr, 3B, Blue Jays
Preseason Rank: 1
Stats: .253/.315/.432 7 HR, 99 wRC+
One of the most hyped prospects ever, Vlad Jr. struggled out of the gate. He was batting under the Mendoza line until he hit his first two major league home runs on May 14. Since then, he’s batting .278/.328/.513 for a 121 wRC+. Let us not forget: he is 20 years old.
Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, Padres
Preseason Rank: 2
Stats: .329/.385/.603 8 HR, 157 wRC+
Tatis has already accrued 1.9 fWAR in just 39 games. Although helped by his .426 BABIP, Tatis is raking since coming off the IL. A four-game series in Coors Field helped, too (3 HR. 10 hits). He’s playing like the best player on a Padres roster that includes Manny Machado.
Eloy Jimenez, LF, White Sox
Preseason Rank: 3
Stats: .254/.310/.497 12 HR, 114 wRC+
Despite one of the largest strikeout rates in baseball—28.9 percent, which is the 29th-worst among players with at least 150 plate appearances this season—Jimenez has been an above-average hitter, thanks to his big time power (70 power grade). Jimenez could become a full-time DH in the future, but his bat will keep his value high.
Nick Senzel, CF, Reds
Preseason Rank: 10
Stats: .261/.318/.466 6 HR, 101 wRC+
Senzel has transitioned to the outfield thanks to Eugenio Suarez manning the hot corner in Cincinnati. His arm has had no problem moving to center field. He has plenty of speed (29 feet/second) to play there full-time, and he’s been a league-average hitter as well.
Victor Robles, RF, Nationals
Preseason Rank: 11
Stats: .234/.303/.402 9 HR, 82 wRC+
Robles has struggled so far this year, mainly due to his inability to hit the ball hard. His hard hit rate (24.6 percent, 338th) and average exit velocity (80.9 mph, 359th) rank near the bottom of the league. Robles may not be the Bryce Harper replacement they were anticipating, but rather a Billy Hamilton-type player with impact speed and impressive defense—he currently ranks eighth among outfielders in Outs Above Average.
Alex Reyes, RHP, Cardinals
Preseason Rank: 19
Stats (AAA): 27 IP, 36 K, 23 BB, 7.67 ERA, 6.10 FIP
With his 3 IP for the Cardinals this year, Reyes has graduated from the top 100. He hasn’t been pitching well in Triple-A, but the Cardinals want to give him time to develop after two years lost to Tommy John and shoulder surgery. His 22 four-seam fastballs for the Cards this year have averaged 97 MPH, so the top-notch stuff is still there.
Mike Soroka, RHP, Braves
Preseason Rank: 25
Stats: 76.1 IP, 62 K, 19 BB, 2.12 ERA, 3.08 FIP
Even though he’s not a big strikeout pitcher, Soroka is a wizard at limiting hard contact. His changeup has 45 percent more horizontal movement than similar MLB changeups at his velocity. Soroka has the second-best ERA in baseball at 2.12, which ranks behind only the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Alex Verdugo, OF, Dodgers
Preseason Rank: 35
Stats: .296/.352/.458 5 HR 114 wRC+
Verdugo is antithetical to a 2019 hitter in a few ways. He rarely strikes out (11 percent) or walks (7.9 percent), but has enough power to be a very good hitter. He has slowed down a bit in June, but he should be a regular in the outfield for the Dodgers.
Tyler O’Neill, OF, Cardinals
Preseason Rank: 36
Stats: .263/.282/.395 1 HR, 77 wRC+
Acquired from the Mariners in 2017, O’Neill has struggled to make contact in the majors. His 40-plus percent strikeout rate the last two years has limited his impact, and he’s currently in Triple-A. The outfield is crowded in St. Louis, so O’Neill will need to improve his contact ability before coming up.
Danny Jansen, C, Blue Jays
Preseason Rank: 42
Stats: .172/.253/.245 2 HR, 37 wRC+
Jansen is not among the bevy of young Blue Jays who have made a big impact, but there are signs of better days ahead. He has a strong hard-hit rate (43 percent) and should be due for some progression in the second half. His expected wOBA (.296) is much higher than his actual wOBA (.229).
Yusei Kikuchi, LHP, Mariners
Preseason Rank: 45
Stats: 80 IP, 60 K, 24 BB, 5.15 ERA, 5.43 FIP
In his last seven starts, Kikuchi has a 7.59 ERA with 12 home runs allowed. He has shown flashes of dominance—specifically a 10-strikeout game against the Indians—but the adjustment to the majors has been difficult.
Corbin Burnes, RHP, Brewers
Preseason Rank: 46
Stats: 39.1 IP, 57 K, 18 BB, 8.69 ERA, 6.27 FIP
With a high-spin fastball that sits around 94 MPH, Burnes has the stuff to get it done in Milwaukee. He has strong secondary pitches, too. He has run into some home run trouble, though, allowing 14 in 22 games. His 37.8 HR/FB rate is the highest in baseball among pitchers who have thrown at least 30 innings, and while that is an unsustainable rate, he’ll need to keep the ball in the yard to find success.
Tampa Bay Rays Stars—Yes, Stars—Help Even World Series
To describe the Rays solely as scrappy underdogs is to shortchange their talent.
Pete Alonso, 1B, Mets
Preseason Rank: 48
Stats: .274/.359/.624 24 HR, 155 wRC+
Alonso has been a sensation in Queens. He makes extremely hard contact and is already up there with some of the best sluggers in baseball. He is the favorite for NL Rookie of the Year.
Touki Toussiant, RHP, Braves
Preseason Rank: 53
Stats: 31.2 IP, 34 K, 15 BB, 4.83 ERA, 4.24 FIP
Toussaint was awarded the best changeup in the Braves’ system. His best pitch, the split-change has a 59.1 percent K rate this year. He joins a deep group of young pitchers in Atlanta, and while he’s mostly been used in the bullpen this spring he still has plenty of starting potential.
Griffin Canning, RHP, Angels
Preseason Rank: 63
Stats: 50.1 IP, 54 K, 10 BB, 3.93 ERA, 4.24 FIP
Along with Tyler Skaggs, Canning has led the Angels’ rotation with the second-most innings (50.1). He has the best strikeout-to-walk rate (5.40) in the rotation and his preseason 60-grade fastball is playing up in LA.
Chris Paddack, RHP, Padres
Preseason Rank: 66
Stats: 65.2 IP, 72 K, 13 BB, 3.15 ERA, 3.74 FIP
After starting off extremely hot, Paddack gave up eight home runs in his last five starts. Still, he has proven he can be a mainstay in the San Diego rotation for years to come with one of the best changeups in the game.
Dakota Hudson, RHP, Cardinals
Preseason Rank: 74
Stats: 78.2 IP, 54 K, 36 BB, 3.55 ERA, 4.73 FIP
Rated as having the best slider in the system after 2018, it’s no surprise he can make MVP’s look silly. He has been one of the most reliable starters for St. Louis this season, though his peripherals could indicate some regression moving forward.
Josh James, RHP, Astros
Preseason Rank: 77
Stats: 37.1 IP, 58 K, 24 BB, 4.58 ERA, 4.59 FIP
Josh James is fun to watch, huh? This is no surprise to anyone this year, thanks to his flashes of dominance at the end of the 2018 season. He has struggled with control (5.79 BB/9), but when you strike out almost 14 batters per nine innings with elite secondary pitches, scattered command is a bit easier to swallow.
Garrett Hampson, 2B, Rockies
Preseason Rank: 87
Stats: .186/.231/.258 1 HR, 10 wRC+
Hampson had a rough go at it this year before being sent down to Triple-A. He looked overmatched by big league pitching, striking out more than he did in the minors (25.7 percent) while walking less (5.7 percent).
Michael Chavis, 1B/2B, Red Sox
Rank before graduation (Mid-May): 88
Stats: .257/.338/.461 12 HR, 109 wRC+
Chavis started out hot in Boston, hitting 10 home runs in his first 120 PA (152 wRC+). Since then, he has hit .229/.289/.352 with 2 home runs with almost a 40 percent strikeout rate. He’s shown some impressive power for a guy his size and has given the Red Sox another bat to work with.
Brandon Lowe, 2B/OF, Rays
Preseason Rank: 93
Stats: .285/.341/.544 15 HR, 136 wRC+
Lowe may be the AL Rookie of the Year so far. Despite a shorter frame, Lowe has made consistently strong contact with an average exit velocity (90.9 mph) and hard-hit rate (43.7 percent) in the 78th and 75th percentiles, respectively. His plate discipline (34.1 K%, 6.5 BB%) needs to improve, but he has shown he can mash.