Prospect Lists

A couple of well-regarded prospect lists came out today: Keith Law's Top 100 for ESPN and Jonathan Mayo's Top 50 for MLB.com.  Atlanta's Jason Heyward and Washington's Stephen Strasburg rank #1-2 on both lists.  Full access to Law's list requires an ESPN Insider subscription, which is well worth the annual fee.


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  1. Ethanator99 5 years ago

    Aroldis Chapman isn’t in the top 50? Give me a break! Why not?

    • vtadave 5 years ago

      Chapman signed after the list was written.

    • Suzysman 5 years ago

      Here is Keith Law’s list for easier reference

      NO. PLAYER
      1 Jason Heyward, OF, ATL
      2 Stephen Strasburg, RHP, WAS
      3 Carlos Santana, C, CLE
      4 Buster Posey, C, SFO
      5 Mike Stanton, OF, FLA
      6 Desmond Jennings, OF, TAM
      7 Martin Perez, LHP, TEX
      8 Dustin Ackley, CF, SEA
      9 Justin Smoak, 1B, TEX
      10 Jesus Montero, C, NYY
      11 Brian Matusz, LHP, BAL
      12 Starlin Castro, SS, CHC
      13 Neftali Feliz, RHP, TEX
      14 Domonic Brown, RF, PHI
      15 Wade Davis, RHP, TAM
      16 Aroldis Chapman, LHP, CIN
      17 Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, TAM
      18 Casey Kelly, RHP, BOS
      19 Aaron Hicks, RHP, MIN
      20 Brett Wallace, 1B, TOR
      21 Logan Morrison, 1B, FLA
      22 Tyler Matzek, LHP, COL
      23 Jenrry Mejia, RHP, NYM
      24 Michael Taylor, OF, OAK
      25 Zach Britton, LHP, BAL
      26 Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, CLE
      27 Jaff Decker, OF, SDG
      28 Madison Bumgarner, LHP, SFO
      29 Tim Beckham, SS, TAM
      30 Josh Vitters, 3B, CHC
      31 Derek Norris, C, WAS
      32 Ryan Westmoreland, OF, BOS
      33 Chris Carter, 1B, OAK
      34 Eric Hosmer, 1B, KAN
      35 Pedro Alvarez, 3B, PIT
      36 Christian Friedrich, LHP, COL
      37 Jarrod Parker, RHP, ARI
      38 Shelby Miller, RHP, STL
      39 Dee Gordon, SS, LAD
      40 Kyle Drabek, RHP, TOR
      41 Wilmer Flores, 3B, NYM
      42 Wilson Ramos, C, MIN
      43 Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, ATL
      44 Carlos Triunfel, 2B, SEA
      45 Casey Crosby, LHP, DET
      46 Simon Castro, RHP, SDG
      47 Brett Lawrie, 2B, MIL
      48 Jhoulys Chacin, LHP, COL
      49 Mike Trout, OF, LAA
      50 Jay Jackson, RHP, CHC
      51 Hector Rondon, RHP, CLE
      52 Hank Conger, C, LAA
      53 Anthony Rizzo, 1B, BOS
      54 Alcides Escobar, SS, MIL
      55 Zach Stewart, RHP, TOR
      56 Lars Anderson, 1B, BOS
      57 Jose Tabata, OF, PIT
      58 Tyler Flowers, C, CHW
      59 Daryl Jones, OF, STL
      60 Jordan Lyles, RHP, HOU
      61 Josh Bell, 3B, BAL
      62 Matt Dominguez, 3B, FLA
      63 Julio Teheran, RHP, ATL
      64 Ike Davis, 1B, NYM
      65 Jason Castro, C, HOU
      66 Todd Frazier, 2B, CIN
      67 Freddie Freeman, 1B, ATL
      68 Matt Sweeney, 3B, TAM
      69 Mike Moustakas, 3B, KAN
      70 Austin Jackson, OF, DET
      71 Michael Brantley, OF, CLE
      72 Mike Leake, RHP, CIN
      73 Fernando Martinez, OF, NYM
      74 Michael Saunders, OF, SEA
      75 Mike Montgomery, LHP, KAN
      76 Yonder Alonso, 1B, CIN
      77 Trevor Reckling, LHP, LAA
      78 Tanner Scheppers, RHP, TEX
      79 Andrew Cashner, RHP, CHC
      80 Jacob Turner, RHP, DET
      81 Matt Moore, LHP, TAM
      82 Tony Sanchez, C, PIT
      83 Chris Withrow, RHP, LAD
      84 Zack Wheeler, RHP, SFO
      85 Randall Delgado, RHP, ATL
      86 Ryan Kalish, OF, BOS
      87 Aaron Crow, RHP, KAN
      88 Chris Heisey, OF, CIN
      89 Kyle Gibson, RHP, MIN
      90 Jake Arrieta, RHP, BAL
      91 Jose Iglesias, SS, BOS
      92 Drew Storen, RHP, WAS
      93 Grant Green, SS, OAK
      94 Jiovanni Mier, SS, HOU
      95 Jared Mitchell, OF, CHW
      96 Manny Banuelos, LHP, NYY
      97 Miguel Sano, SS, MIN
      98 Junichi Tazawa, RHP, BOS
      99 Travis d’Arnaud, C, TOR
      100 Nick Hagadone, LHP, CLE

      • crunchy1 5 years ago

        Thanks….there’s Vitters at #30! There’s reason to question that…but for obvious reasons, I’m hoping that Law is right on this one. His plate discipline is a huge problem, but you can’t discount his tremendous hand-eye coordination and his fluid swing. The comparison I most often see with Vitters is a bigger, stronger Howie Kendrick…who has many of the same traits, both positive and negative. If Vitters can be a healthier Kendrick with more power, it won’t be the worst thing in the world…but if he could develop some plate discipline, he has a chance to be a lot more.

        • Suzysman 5 years ago

          Yeah, actually found and posted that before you replied even :)So looks like we had Castro (#12), Vitters (#30), J.Jackson (#50) and Cashner (#79). That also makes me feel I was probably correct in my estimation that our system was ranked #7 solely because of 1) Castro 2) Vitters 3) tons of middle infielders producing 4) friendship with Wilkens. Without those things, we might have been last, lol.In response to your later reply: Law did have Vitters at #14 last season after #17 in 2008. Guess he is still holding out hope in him. He did say “If his patience doesn’t improve and he doesn’t continue to hit .320-plus, his ceiling will start to drop.” last season though, so really kind of blown away that he didnt drop more then about 15 spots after hitting only 284 overall with the Walk rate cut in half (from 4.7 to 2.5)As for his tendencies (again from your post below), correct. He doesnt strike out a lot, but he seems to refuse to allow pitchers to walk him and seems to have no problem making horrifically weak contact a high percentage of the time when he should be walking. That isnt going to fly in the majors, at all. He has power, but that is basically it at this point.

          I mentioned Francoeur because that really does seem to be a sadly perfect comparison. Jeff at similar ages at similar levels was producing 5.0-6.0 BB rates with .200-.215 ISO marks. Vitters so far is providing 2.5-5.0 BB marks with .175-.215 ISO marks. Kendrick does work as well, as he was at about 3.5-4.5 BB% marks with .200-.250 ISO marks at about the same ages/levels. But then that makes me depressed again, lol. So we have Replacement level or below Francoeur to a part-time middle infielder who produces lines in the average range when platooned. If he turns into either of those hitters with his average at best fielding at the hot corner and near complete lack of speed, well, complete bust. :(

          • BDLugz 5 years ago

            Obviously quite happy to have 4 in the top 100 with 3 in the top 50, however, were you as surprised as I was that Brett Jackson was left out of the top 100 entirely?? I actually place him ahead of Cashner and Jackson from the reports that I’ve read. Obviously Law doesnt see him anywhere near where I do (70-80), but curious on your and Crunchy’s thoughts.

          • Suzysman 5 years ago

            I can understand him missing the list because of the bigtime contact issues, problems hitting breaking stuff and the possibility he still has to eventually move to Left. His power outage at Boise last season was beyond alarming, and although the Peoria line looks impressive, it leaves some questions as well. 2010 will need to determine what we should expect going forward. I too like him more then Cashner though, and am kind of surprised Andrew kept a top-100 ranking with Law. Andrew needed a productive showing of some of his tools and instead provided ugly BB and K rates between A+ and AA as if he wasnt fooling anyone really. He held a big Ground Ball percentage which doesnt really jive with the average-against staying down – he got some pretty unrealistic BAbip marks. The two HR allowed is also a fluke no one expects to see duplicated. He too will need some major adjustments in the upcoming season.Honestly, other then our middle infield corps, I am not a gigantic fan of our system. It’s a healthy heaping of toosly guys with very little, questionable, or only partial showings so far. I am kind of in favor of trading a couple of them off while their hype is up for some young controllable talent and wish we would have pushed harder for Granderson with some of them.

          • crunchy1 5 years ago

            Law says that if Jackson repeats his performance from Peoria he’ll make the list next year. Considering he had the contact issues in college, he’s not ready to write them off until he sees Jackson continue the progress he made last year in A ball.

            Best case scenario is that Jackson is a five tool centerfielder. He’s said to have outstanding range in CF with a good arm, power and speed. It’s also possible he doesn’t completely overcome his contact issues and becomes a low average guy with 4 solid tools. But a lot of guys have made a good career that way (Mike Cameron and Curtis Granderson come to mind as guys with that skillset).

            Suzysman mentioned the possibility of him moving to left. That could lower his value as well. Personally, I think that scenario would only likely come if Jackson fills out a bit and loses a bit of foot speed — hopefully in exchange for some power if he does have to move to left.

            Overall, if he’s able to stay in CF and continue to overcome his contact issues, we’re looking at a potential star. If he doesn’t, he could still be a solid regular as either a power hitting LF’er or a toolsy CF’er who may have to hit 6th or 7th in the lineup. He’s one of the guys I’m most excited about watching this year.

      • ivdown 5 years ago

        I’m glad to see Withrow on there, though I think he could be a bit higher. I wish I knew what it was like to have Strasburg in my minors, but not so much that I would have had to watch the Dodgers lose 105 games to do it.

    • lefty58 5 years ago

      on top of the fact that he wasn’t signed, no one has seen him pitch in a game situation yet. He doesn’t belong on the list based on reputation only.

  2. outskiing1 5 years ago

    Not when they dis our favorite teams. There is one thing about unbiased. There is another to continously pick on teams that are not on the East Coast or simply teams to do not like.

  3. riverahammerofgod 5 years ago

    don’t you have to buy theespn magzine for insider, not worth it

  4. not_brooks 5 years ago

    Saw Brian Matusz on Mayo’s list, but I refuse to pay to read about baseball online.

    Any “Insiders” around that can tell me where Matusz was on Law’s list and if he listed any other O’s farmhands?

    • Sure, Matusz is 11, Britton is 25, Bell 61, and Arrieta 90.I like Keith Law’s list a lot better personally, although him putting matusz at 11 was a little disconcerting. That said, he had Tim Beckham awfully low which is about right seeing how he will have to move from SS.

      • ugen64 5 years ago

        he’s the 3rd best pitching prospect on the list, which is fine with me. a “very good” starting pitcher is still significantly less valuable than an excellent position player (compare, I dunno, Matt Cain’s 3.6 WAR to Chase Utley’s 7.6 WAR), which is I think the main reason your favorite pitcher might be seemingly ranked quite low.

        the O’s expect Matusz to be a solid #2 starter, if not more – around 4 WAR? Desmond Jennings, on the other hand, projects similarly to Carl Crawford, who has posted more than 4 WAR in 4 of his past 5 healthy seasons (i.e. ignoring 2008).

        • basemonkey 5 years ago

          I think the Os see a lot of Mike Mussina-like qualities in him. He doesn’t have a single mind-boggling pitch that makes people jump out of their seats, but he has makeup, pitchability, durable frame, command, and 4 plus pitches. What would you rather see in an Ace? A single ridiculously sick pitch complimented by good offerings? Or, 4-5 very good offerings with excellent control? It depends on your definition of Ace, I guess.

          • ugen64 5 years ago

            no man I think you misunderstood my point. I am an Orioles fan. I was just saying that Matusz’s ranking maybe doesn’t reflect his ability, but rather his value compared to other players (namely, position players who are inherently more valuable)

            also I realize that Matusz has ace potential, but you can never be sure. I think the safe projection for him is a solid #2.

          • basemonkey 5 years ago

            No, I understood your point. I just wasn’t very clear, and in context, it sounded like I was arguing your point. But I think we’re both basically agreeing. I thought of my response as extending your argument more than disagreeing with it. 😉

            It’s all good.

    • Piccamo 5 years ago

      The full list of names is on the right side of the page without needing insider access. The individual scouting reports require Insider though.

  5. 55saveslives 5 years ago

    Madison Bumgarner 10th on Mayo’s and 28th on Law’s?

    • There was a lot of concern about Bumgarner’s decreasing velocity over the past year (few years really). I believe Buster Olney did some analysis on it, but I could be wrong about the writer. I think Law’s list is much more comprehensive and accurate (removing MOST biases)

      • 55saveslives 5 years ago

        I think Bumgarner’s velocity was due to his first long season and moving from San Jose to Connecticut to Fresno to San Francisco.

        He is just 20 so hopefully this season his endurance will be higher.

        • That is certainly one argument. There is just concern that A. there is some sort of arm trouble there or B. this new lower velocity is what he’ll sit at for the rest of his career. I think he’ll do just fine, especially if he never has to be the Ace behind some guy named Tim.

          • 55saveslives 5 years ago

            Agreed. If his velocity is around 92, he can still be affective because his delivery is very deceptive.

        • ivdown 5 years ago

          Why is it that I keep reading that Bumgarner will be the 5th starter for the Giants in 2010? I think it would be a mistake not to leave him in the minors for at least the first 2 and a half months of the season.

      • basemonkey 5 years ago

        Yeah, Bumgartner’s value has tumbled a bit since this time last year. At that time he was perhaps arguably the best pitching prospect in the minors if you took Kershaw off the list of eligibles.

        With prospects, velocity loss is mysterious and could be a red flag. Wishful thinkers prefer to find benign explanations for it; naysayers see something more ominous. The bottomline is that no one really knows for sure right now. His upcoming season will be very important to follow. All you can hope for is that the club keeps a very close eye on it, and makes sure that it isn’t health related. That’s the one thing you really want to rule out completely. I’m pulling for him. What he has going for him is that he has plenty of time.

    • ivdown 5 years ago

      Apparently Law is worried about Bumgarner’s late season fatigue and loss of velocity. I wouldn’t be so much because of the sick numbers he put up.

    • HummBaby 5 years ago

      I find it funny myself that Alderson is nowhere to be seen on the list. It wasn’t that long ago that Pirates fans were lighting up the comments section about how they stole Alderson from us for Sanchez, that Alderson was so great etc etc etc.

  6. BravesRed 5 years ago

    I will get ESPN Insider, if someone will pay for it for me.

  7. lefty58 5 years ago

    Tyler Flowers at 58 is a joke. Have you ever seen him attempt to catch a ball? He’s flat out brutal.

  8. bbxxj 5 years ago

    If you can pick any one of those prospects on either list to have for the next ten years, who do you choose?

    I’d pick Heyward, obviously.

    • crunchy1 5 years ago

      I’ll take Heyward, please. Hopefully he can stay healthy. I can’t wait to see what he can do in the bigs…as long as it’s not against the Cubs.

      • I’d take Heyward. He’s a beast of a human. Also, all the coaches say he is extremely well grounded, very Joe Mauer like.

        • crunchy1 5 years ago

          I never knew that about Heyward’s personality, but I’m not surprised.

          I have this theory that the willingness to take walks and plate discipline in general says a lot about a person. It speaks of a willingess to delay gratification; to delegate responsibility if the situation isn’t right. It’s a character trait of a lot of successful people in all walks of life. I have little to no doubt that Heyward will be a successful major leaguer.

      • Bravesfan4L 5 years ago

        its kinda funny how his first chance to prove himself is gonna come against the Cubbies.. haha
        I can hardly wait either..

  9. Montero at 10 on Law, 19 on Mayo.*shakes head*

  10. crunchy1 5 years ago

    From the photograph, Heyward still looks like he has a lot of room to fill out and get even stronger. That’s pretty scary.

    • lefty58 5 years ago

      A friend of mine coaches with the Giants and told me “it’s disturbing how good he is”.

      And he’s about as cynical as they get.

      • crunchy1 5 years ago

        To think my Cubs had a chance to draft him and took Vitters instead…not that Vitters is a slouch, but Heyward is a beast.

        • bbxxj 5 years ago

          He was passed up alot because noone knew how good he was because he walked so much in high school. His batting eye is that good.

          • crunchy1 5 years ago

            Yeah, there’s a lot of teams wishing they could have that pick over again! Of the 13 players picked ahead of him, Wieters is the only one I might take over Heyward right now…

        • lefty58 5 years ago

          The Cubs could use him, but who couldn’t?

          It’s wait and see with Vitters, I saw him play twice, but couldn’t realy tell anything from it. Usually when you see young guys play, what stands out is what they do poorly and nothing stood out with Vitters, so that’s kind of good I guess.
          GL

          • crunchy1 5 years ago

            I’d like to see a little more plate discipline with Vitters. I understand he’s not going to walk like Heyward does, but he has to at least wait for pitches he can drive better. If he does, he’ll be an impact player too.

          • Suzysman 5 years ago

            Where did Vitters end up ranking? Law backing off the obsession a little bit finally?As I mentioned to you in the other thread, Vitters still isnt looking good at all for the future yet, and its getting past time he shows something! If he continues on this path, we are looking at Francoeur 2.0 – a replacement level or below player.

            Edit – never mind, found it. #30, which is making less sense to me at this point. Sure hope he ends up correct on Vitters.

          • crunchy1 5 years ago

            He didn’t rank on Mayo’s list but I’m going to have to find out about Law’s…I don’t have a subscription to ESPN either. Law is an advanced stat guy so you’d think he’d be more concerned about Vitters plate discipline but I’d be willing to bet he’s still on the list. He ranked last year pretty highly last year, if I remember correctly. And he had the same issues then.

            I understand the dig on Vitters. He’s too agressive, doesn’t walk, and maybe more importantly, swings at pitcher’s pitches. There’s a lot of potential to exploit him starting at AA where pitchers are much more advanced. This year will tell a lot about Vitters. I know the Cubs have addressed it and Vitters is supposedly coachable and a hard worker — but we’re going to need to see improvement in that area this year or he’s going to start losing supporters — including Law.

    • bbxxj 5 years ago

      That’s one of the reasons scouts love him so much. He makes consistant solid contact with an elite batting eye but his already solid power could turn into tons of homers as he fills out.

  11. eacree 5 years ago

    tim beckham has gotta move from SS? why?

    • 29 – Tim Beckham

      “but his body got away from him a little in 2009, especially in his lower half, which started to get thicker and slower, reducing his chances to stay at shortstop.”

      “At this point, it’s more likely that he’ll have to move off the position — he has the hands and arms, but if you’re outgrowing the position at 19, you’re probably going to outgrow it no matter what you do — but his bat still has the promise to play at other positions on the field.” – Keith Law

  12. CitizenSnips 5 years ago

    Good to see at least some Mets on there. We’ve got barely a few unpolished diamonds amidst a lower tier farm system. I’m pumped to see what Davis can do in AAA and if Mejia can actually get his control together.

  13. I think the biggest darkhorse on the lists is Drew Storen. He could be an absolutely dominant closer for the Nats in a few years. He is 92 on Law’s list which is probably because he is a closer and the impact is obviously lower than an impact starter/field player.

    • ugen64 5 years ago

      I don’t think he’s a dark horse – I think it’s more what you said about his future impact being lower. Most people who follow prospects know that Storen is one of the best relief prospects in the game, but that’s just it – he’s a relief pitcher. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were the only relief pitcher on that list (especially with Ryan Perry having graduated so quickly this past season).

  14. nicks720 5 years ago

    I’m curious who is on Law’s list from each team. People with insider should post the number and name of the minor leaugers from their favorite team, and we can start little threads on each team. Kind of like the Orioles post above.

    • Suzysman 5 years ago

      I posted the full list above. Its listed on the ESPN site for free, its just the notes you have to pay to read

  15. tompetty67 5 years ago

    Dee Gordon on Laws list?

    • ugen64 5 years ago

      #39, the 3rd best SS behind Starlin Castro and Tim Beckham

  16. Guest 5 years ago

    Weird.. Ethan Martin cracks Mayo’s top 50(most likely because of the HS Player of Year) and doesn’t even crack Law’s top 100.

    Glad to see the Dodgers have 4 top 100 prospects. WHOOPS.

    • ivdown 5 years ago

      I still think it’s ridiculous that Elbert isn’t on any list, and he’s still got eligibility. People seem to think he’s just a reliever, because he’s only done that in the very short time in the majors, and that he is injury prone, when he’s been completely healthy since the start of the 2008 season. No respect I tell ya!

      • Guest 5 years ago

        Really? I had no idea hes still a rookie. Yeah based on stuff and stats he should be on these lists.

        I really hope he gets the 5 spot in the rotation.

  17. Brad426 5 years ago

    Carlos Santana at #3 I agree with, but Eddie Van Halen didn’t even crack the top 100? Come on!

    • ivdown 5 years ago

      Carlos Santana at 3 makes me want to break out the razors and go to town on my wrists….freaking McCourt.

      Hilarious, btw.

  18. jstiles23 5 years ago

    Law has 12 pitchers ranked ahead of Madison Bumgarner, that is laughable. He is barely 20 years old and in 2 years he has moved up every rank of the minor system and into the majors while posting a combined 1.65 ERA, give me a break if you think there are 12 pitchers better than that.

  19. Seansy 5 years ago

    It always amazes me how overhyped all Yankees prospects are. Austin Jackson isn’t as good as people make him out to be and the same is true of Jesus Montero. Montero has a great bat, but he won’t stay behind the plate, making him much less valuable than a Top 10 prospect in all of baseball. I’m surprised Ben Revere isn’t on this list. He was considered the 1b to Aaron Hicks 1a a year ago and he moved up to High A ball this year and did alright. Still lacks power in his stats but I always here how he crushes balls in BP. It’s not that he can’t do it, he just prefers not to.

  20. I figure everyone might want this link as well, it is the top 10 prospects for each team. Unfortunately it is insider but if you wanna see a specific team ill copy & paste…

    link to insider.espn.go.com

  21. Top 10 by team for the AL East…
    Baltimore:
    1. Brian Matusz, LHP
    2. Zack Britton, LHP
    3. Josh Bell, 3B
    4. Jake Arrieta, RHP
    5. Brandon Snyder, 1B
    6. Brandon Erbe, RHP
    7. Caleb Joseph, C
    8. Brandon Waring, 3B/1B
    9. Matt Hobgood, RHP
    10. Xavier Avery, OF

    Boston:
    1. Casey Kelly, RHP
    2. Ryan Westmoreland, CF/LF
    3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
    4. Lars Anderson, 1B
    5. Ryan Kalish, OF
    6. Jose Iglesias, SS
    7. Junichi Tazawa, RHP
    8. Derrik Gibson, SS/2B
    9. Stolmy Pimentel, RHP
    10. Reymond Fuentes, OF

    New York:
    1. Jesus Montero, C
    2. Manny Banuelos, LHP
    3. Zach McAllister, RHP
    4. Austin Romine, C
    5. Slade Heathcott, CF
    6. Jose Ramirez, RHP
    7. Gary Sanchez, C
    8. Andrew Brackman, RHP
    9. David Adams, 2B
    10. JR Murphy, C

    Tampa:
    1. Desmond Jennings, CF
    2. Wade Davis, RHP
    3. Jeremy Hellickson, RHP
    4. Tim Beckham, SS
    5. Matt Sweeney, 3B
    6. Matt Moore, LHP
    7. Nick Barnese, RHP
    8. Alex Torres, LHP
    9. Alexander Colome, RHP
    10. Reid Brignac, SS

    Toronto:
    1. Brett Wallace, 3B/1B
    2. Kyle Drabek, RHP
    3. Zach Stewart, RHP
    4. Travis d’Arnaud, C
    5. Henderson Alvarez, RHP
    6. J.P. Arencibia, C
    7. Chad Jenkins, RHP
    8. Jake Marisnick, OF
    9. Moises Sierra, RF
    10. Gustavo Pierre, SS

    I’ll do other divisions / teams if y’all ask. This is all according to Keith Law btw.

  22. Cuddy Fox 5 years ago

    John Jay and Allen Craig must be on the 2nd 100 list, because both are prospects.

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