Top Prospects, Part 1

March 20, 2013


This is the time of year when most of the major baseball sites come out with their top prospect lists.  As with any attempt to rank people, there’s quite a bit of subjectivity and conjecture involved.  With this endeavor in particular there is a considerable amount of cross-purposes at work.  For example, some lists rank players according to their perceived immediate value to their parent club while others grade how much of an impact they’ll have during the peak years of their career.  Within those circles in the Venn diagram there is additional grading as to the likelihood that each player will reach that projection.  Some lists heavily consider a player’s ability with the glove while others pay only a passing mention of it.  So comparing these lists can create quite a bit of confusion, especially when the purpose of doing so might be something entirely different, like drafting for a fantasy team. 


What I am going to do is make an aggregate list of all the major prospect lists, weighting their selections based on the track record and reputation of the lists (for example, Baseball America’s list will carry more weight than Prospect 361’s list) and then follow it up sometime next week with my own list of the top prospects.  This list is drawn by combining the rankings from Baseball America, Keith Law, John Sickels,, Baseball Prospectus, Top Prospect Alert, Bullpen Banter,, Fangraphs, Scouting book, CBS Sports and Prospect 361.


I’ll go into the methodology of my list more when I post it.  So without further adieu, here are the top 100 prospects in baseball according to the top prospect evaluators in the media:


1)  Jurickson Profar

2)  Dylan Bundy

3)  Oscar Taveras

4)  Wil Myers

5)  Gerrit Cole

6)  Zack Wheeler

7)  Jose Fernandez

8)  Taijuan Walker

9)  Shelby Miller

10) Xander Bogaerts

11) Miguel Sano

12) Tyler Skaggs

13) Christian Yelich

14) Travis D'Arnaud

15) Jameson Taillon

16) Trevor Bauer

17) Francisco Lindor

18) Javier Baez

19) Mike Zunino

20) Billy Hamilton

21) Archie Bradley

22) Carlos Correa

23) Byron Buxton

24) Nick Castellanos

25) Anthony Rendon

26) Kevin Gausman

27) Mike Olt

28) Danny Hultzen

29) Jonathan Singleton

30) Carlos Martinez

31) Julio Teheran

32) Jackie Bradley

33) Kyle Zimmer

34) Addison Russell

35) Jorge Soler

36) Albert Almora

37) Gary Sanchez

38) Mason Williams

39) Matt Barnes

40) Aaron Sanchez

41) George Springer

42) Alen Hanson

43) Bubba Starling

44) Trevor Rosenthal

45) Chris Archer

46) Max Fried

47) Noah Syndergaard

48) Robert Stephenson

49) Kaleb Cowart

50) Jedd Gyorko

51) Aaron Hicks

52) David Dahl

53) Taylor Guerrieri

54) Casey Kelly

55) Nick Franklin

56) Gregory Polanco

57) Nolan Arenado

58) Austin Hedges

59) Tony Cingrani

60) Brian Goodwin

61) Alex Meyer

62) Hak-Ju Lee

63) Kyle Crick

64) Matt Davidson

65) Jake Odorizzi

66) Oswaldo Arcia

67) Martin Perez

68) Jake Marisnick

69) Rymer Liriano

70) Kolten Wong

71) Justin Nicolino

72) Trevor Story

73) Yasiel Puig

74) Luis Heredia

75) Jesse Biddle

76) Allen Webster

77) Tyler Austin

78) Wily Peralta

79) Delino DeShields Jr

80) Daniel Corcino

81) Zach Lee

82) Arodys Vizcaino

83) Kyle Gibson

84) Courtney Hawkins

85) J.R. Graham

86) James Paxton

87) Lucas Giolito

88) Adam Eaton

89) Slade Heathcott

90) Dorsyys Paulino

91) Yordano Ventura

92) Michael Wacha

93) A.J. Cole

94) Michael Choice

95) Tyler Thornburg

96) Jon Schoop

97) Dan Straily

98) Christian Betancourt

99) Jarred Cosart

100)Roberto Osuna



A couple of notes: the top three prospects (Profar, Taveras and Bundy) were pretty much unanimous.  It was only the order that varied.


One of the more peculiar discoveries in this exercise was that Tyler Skaggs was clearly the #12 ranked prospect.  Other prospect rankings varied wildly.  Xander Bogaerts, for example, was ranked as high as #4 and as low as #31.  That’s a huge swing for a player so highly valued but those kinds of swings in opinion were quite common further down the rankings.  Some were even more dramatic: Francisco Lindor ranked as high as #7 one on list and as low as #59 on another.  With Skaggs, however, there was very little variance in opinion.  He was ranked exactly #12 on two lists, #13 on another and #11 on yet another.  He was ranked as high as #7, as low as #17 (for an average of 12); on one list #9 and another at #16 (average of 12.5).  So go ahead and argue about how good any other prospect is, but Tyler Skaggs is the #12 prospect in all of baseball.