Last Saturday night, MLB Pipeline unveiled our list of the Top 100 Prospects for 2019 in conjunction with a special shown on MLB Network and MLB.com. The list's release capped a two-week stretch during which we analyzed the Top 10 prospects at each position.:: Complete 2019 Top 100 Prospects coverage
Last Saturday night, MLB Pipeline unveiled our list of the Top 100 Prospects for 2019 in conjunction with a special shown on MLB Network and MLB.com. The list's release capped a two-week stretch during which we analyzed the Top 10 prospects at each position.
:: Complete 2019 Top 100 Prospects coverage ::
Next up will be the rollout of our annual team Top 30 lists, beginning Monday, Feb. 18, with the American League East, and continuing with a different division each day before a more gradual reveal of our Top 10 farm systems.
To help hold fans over in the interim, we're bridging the gap between our Top 100 and organizational Top 30 lists this week with a look at each club's next best top prospect who didn't make the Top 100.
American League East
Orioles: Austin Hays, OF
Hays became the first player from the 2016 Draft to reach the Majors when the Orioles called him up straight from Double-A in late 2017, after he had produced a .329 average with 32 homers and 32 doubles across two levels. In 2018, Hays was limited by a sore shoulder early and then missed a chunk of the season with a stress fracture in his ankle that ultimately required offseason surgery. When healthy, the 23-year-old has shown a combination of hitting ability and power that could make him a regular in the O's outfield.
Red Sox: Triston Casas, 1B/3B
One of the best power hitters available in the 2018 Draft, Casas went 26th overall but played just two games in his pro debut before tearing a ligament in his right thumb. More than just a slugger, he possesses more feel for hitting and plate discipline than the typical teenager
Yankees: Albert Abreu, RHP
Part of the Brian McCann trade with the Astros in November 2016, Abreu missed time with an appendectomy and elbow inflammation last season. He's still figuring out his command, but when healthy he can overmatch hitters with a lively mid-90s fastball, a power breaking ball and a fading changeup.
Rays: Vidal Brujan, 2B
Brujan checks in at No. 4 on our list of the Top 10 second basemen after a superb full-season debut in which he led the Minors in runs scored (112) and finished second in steals (55) while hitting .320/.403/.459 with 41 extra-base hits in 122 games between the Midwest and Florida State Leagues. As a switch-hitter with a future plus bat and 70-grade wheels, he has all the ingredients needed to profile atop a big league lineup and could surpass projections with his power output and defense.
Blue Jays: Kevin Smith, SS/3B
The 2017 fourth-rounder tweaked his swing and approach after his pro debut and put up huge numbers in his first full season, hitting .302/.358/.528 with 25 home runs and 31 doubles in 129 games between two levels. He also swiped 29 bases, earning him distinction as one of six 20-20 players in the Minors, and impressed defensively on the left side of the infield. The Blue Jays love everything about Smith's game and rave about his capacity for making adjustments, viewing the 22-year-old as a future impact player for the organization.
White Sox: Luis Alexander Basabe, OF
The third-best prospect (behind Yoán Moncada and Michael Kopech) whom the Red Sox gave up to acquire Chris Sale in December 2016, Basabe introduced himself to a national-TV audience last July when he homered off a 102-mph Hunter Greene fastball in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. He offers a ton of upside as a switch-hitting center fielder with five-tool potential.
Indians: Tyler Freeman, SS/2B
The Indians made Freeman a supplemental second-round pick in 2017 on the basis of his bat, and he showed why last summer when he led the short-season New York-Penn League in hitting (.352), runs (49), hits (95), doubles (29), extra-base hits (35) and total bases (138). His instincts stand out more than his tools on defense, so he may wind up moving from shortstop to second base.
Tigers: Isaac Paredes, SS/3B
Acquired from the Cubs in the July 2017 Justin Wilson trade, Paredes showcased his advanced hitting ability last season while reaching Double-A at age 19. He finished with a .278/.359/.456 line, 45 extra-base hits (including a career-high 15 HR) and 70 RBIs between two levels. There are questions about his future defensive home, but Paredes' plus hit tool and potential for at least average power could make him an above-average regular at the highest level.
Royals: Khalil Lee, OF
The Royals' third-round pick in 2016 has tools aplenty and is still learning how to use them consistently on the field. He cut down his K rate in 2018, but sacrificed some power. If he puts it all together, he has 20-20 potential.
Twins: Wander Javier, SS
This is a little leap of faith based on Javier's strong U.S. debut in the Rookie-level Appalachian League in 2017, before he missed the 2018 season with a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. If he can stay healthy, his innate ability to barrel the baseball should allow him to stand out.
Astros: Freudis Nova, SS
Signed for $1.2 million out of the Dominican Republic in 2016, Nova has a higher offensive ceiling than most shortstops and has drawn comparisons to Hanley Ramirez and Edgar Renteria. He has the quickness to become a 20-20 player and remain at shortstop.
Angels: Brandon Marsh, OF
The Angels have been filling their system with premium athletes, starting with top prospect Jo Adell. It took Marsh two summers to reach full-season ball, but the patience has paid off as the toolsy outfielder earned a promotion from the Midwest to the California League and finished with double digits in homers and steals.
Athletics: Kyler Murray, OF
We'll have to put an asterisk by this one. Murray's tools are undisputable and he has the chance to be an impact-type center fielder. Whether he ever tries to do it remains in question as the A's, and all of baseball, have to wait to see what happens with the NFL Draft to see if the Heisman Trophy winner heads to the gridiron.
Mariners: Evan White, 1B
The first baseman on our All-Defense Prospect team, White's such a gifted defender some scouts thought he might be the best defender in the Minors at any position. He can also swing the bat. With a .300/.371/.453 slash line in his first full season, success in Double-A should move him onto the list quickly.
Rangers: Leody Taveras, OF
A mainstay on our Top 100 Prospects list in 2017-18, Taveras dropped off after batting .246/.312/.332 as the second-youngest regular (age 19) in the high Class A Carolina League. The contact hitting ability, speed and defense that earned him a $2.1 million bonus out of the Dominican Republic in 2015 are still evident, but he must prove he can make more impact at the plate.
National League East
Braves: William Contreras, C
The brother of Cubs backstop Willson Contreras, William just missed out on making our Top 10 catchers list after a full-season debut in 2018 that saw him make the South Atlantic League All-Star Team. He finished with double-digit home runs and has the kind of arm that can help control a running game.
Marlins: Monte Harrison, OF
A three-sport star in high school who turned down the opportunity to play wide receiver at Nebraska when the Brewers gave him $1.8 million as a second-rounder in 2014, Harrison joined the Marlins as part of the Christian Yelich trade last January. He has some of the best all-around tools in the Minors, including well above-average raw power and arm strength to go with plus speed.
Mets: Ronny Mauricio, SS
Ranked as MLB Pipeline's No. 11 international prospect before he signed for $2.1 million in July 2017, Mauricio flashed his immense offensive potential last year during his pro debut, which he finished as a 17-year-old in the Rookie-level Appalachian League. As an athletic shortstop who could develop both a plus hit tool and plus power, Mauricio has one of the highest ceilings in the Minors among players yet to reach full-season ball.
Phillies: Adam Haseley, OF
The Phillies' first-round pick in 2017 had an underappreciated first full season, perhaps because he doesn't have that "wow" factor that makes him jump off the page. But he did reach Double-A in his first year and finished with a nifty .305/.361/.433 line to go along with 11 homers.
Nationals: Mason Denaburg, RHP
The Nationals had long been tied to Denaburg before they finally selected him with the No. 27 overall pick and signed him with an above-slot bonus of $3 million. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound righty has the physical building blocks of a big league starter, with a strong, athletic frame, good delivery and quick arm. It helps Denaburg run his plus fastball up into the mid-90s, and he's demonstrated feel for a curveball and changeup, both of which project to be average or better once fully developed.
Cubs: Brailyn Marquez, LHP
The Cubs haven't had much success developing pitchers, though they do have high hopes for Marquez, whose $600,000 bonus was the highest given to a left-hander during the 2015-16 international amateur signing period. He can run his fastball into the upper 90s, flashes a plus curveball with power and does a good job of throwing strikes.
Reds: Tony Santillan, RHP
Twitter wanted the right-hander on the Top 100, and he didn't miss by much. The 2015 second-round pick took a big step forward with his overall pitchability in 2018, reaching Double-A after an All-Star turn in the Florida State League. He earned a non-roster invitation to big league camp this spring.
Brewers: Corey Ray, OF
After a disappointing start to his career, the 2016 first-rounder righted the ship last season as the Double-A Southern League's Most Outstanding Player, leading the circuit in home runs (27) and stolen bases (37). He fanned more than 29 percent of the time last year and will always have swing-and-miss tendencies, but it's a fair tradeoff for a player capable of 20-20 campaigns as a big league center fielder.
Pirates: Cole Tucker, SS
After a rough first half in the Double-A Eastern League, things started to click for Tucker (.281/.370/.407 in the second half), who finished with 35 steals for the year. He then was one of the better prospects in the Arizona Fall League, putting him more firmly in the Top 100 conversation.
Cardinals: Andrew Knizner, C
No. 10 on MLB Pipeline's list of the Top 10 catchers for 2019, Knizner reached Double-A in his first full season and finished 2018 in Triple-A, hitting .315 over 17 games at the level. A career .310/.373/.460 hitter in 242 Minor League games, Knizner knows how to consistently barrel the baseball, and the hope is that this will translate to more over-the-fence power as he gains experience. He still has gains to make behind the plate, especially with his receiving skills, but there's little doubt about Knizner's capacity to stick as a catcher.
D-backs: Daulton Varsho, C
A broken hamate sidelined Varsho for a portion of his first full season, but he still hit .286/.363/.451, with 11 homers and 19 steals, over 80 games in the California League, where he also threw out 40.3 percent of attempted basestealers. The numbers reflect Varsho's unique athleticism and well-rounded set of tools, the combination of which could make him the rare dual-threat backstop at the highest level. He's No. 8 on MLB Pipeline's list of the Top 10 catchers for 2019.
Rockies: Garrett Hampson, 2B/SS
Hampson may not be a prospect long enough to land on the Top 100 after a big 2018 that saw him go from Double-A to the big leagues and land on the Rockies' postseason roster. He can play both middle infield positions and started getting work in the outfield, increasing his value via versatility.
Dodgers: Tony Gonsolin, RHP
Gonsolin parlayed success as a two-way player at St. Mary's into an opportunity as a ninth-round senior signed in 2016 and continues to get better as a full-time pitcher. He has gone from a reliever throwing 88-92 mph at the start of 2017 to touching 100 by the end of that season, then transitioned to the rotation last season and sat in the mid-90s with an often-unhittable curveball and changeup.
Padres: Josh Naylor, OF/1B
The 2015 first-rounder turned in his best offensive season to date in '18, slashing .297/.383/.447 with a career-high 17 homers as a 21-year-old in Double-A. Those numbers were somewhat padded by a torrid April (.379/.450/.674, 7 HR), and he cooled off during the second half, but, overall, it was a very encouraging performance by a player who will need to hit for both average and power to hold down a corner spot in the Majors.
Giants: Marco Luciano, SS
MLB Pipeline's No. 3-ranked international amateur last year, Luciano signed for $2.6 million out of the Dominican Republic. The best all-around hitter in his 2018 class, he has lightning bat speed, projectable strength and a plus arm that will play well at shortstop, third base or right field.
Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.