The 2016 Minor League regular season has come to a close. For the vast majority of prospects, that means competitive play has ended for the year.
Some have instructs or perhaps the Arizona Fall League to look forward to. A select number have been rewarded with September callups to the big league club.
For a small number, the season isn't quite over just yet. The postseason in the Minors is just getting into high gear, and there are a number of outstanding prospects who are vying for championships across nearly every level. Ask any player, even those who have been in the big leagues for years, and they'll be quick to tell you, "A ring is a ring," and playing for one is exciting. Ask any player development executive and they'll be just as quick to add that seeing how a prospect performs under playoff pressure is invaluable.
With that in mind, here are the top 10 prospects hoping to win a Minor League ring this month. There are a total of 37 players on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list on playoff rosters, including No. 26 Mickey Moniak of the GCL Phillies (the Gulf Coast League playoffs concluded Wednesday).
1. J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies' No. 1/MLB No. 2
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA)
After a strong July (.300/.364/.430), the 21-year-old Crawford scuffled in August (.189/.315/.203). Both he and Nick Williams (No. 52 overall, No. 3 on the Phillies' Top 30) struggled in the second half, but they now have the chance to redeem themselves by finding a second wind in the International League playoffs.
2. Victor Robles, OF, Nationals' No. 2/MLB No. 12
Potomac Nationals (A Adv)
As if it wasn't enough for the teenager to earn a promotion from Class A Hagerstown up to Potomac, now he gets to put his tools on display in the Carolina League playoffs. Robles has been swinging a hot bat of late, going 9-for-22 (.409) and perfect 4-for-4 on stolen-base attempts in five September games.
3. Ozzie Albies, 2B, Braves' No. 2/MLB No. 14
Mississippi Braves (Double-A)
People clamoring to see the teenaged middle infielder in Atlanta alongside Dansby Swanson will have to wait a little bit. First, Albies will try to help the M-Braves win a Southern League title, and while he slowed a bit late in the year, he still hit .305/.373/.451 in the second half.
4. Clint Frazier, OF, Yankees' No. 1/MLB No. 17
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (Triple-A)
Frazier struggled to get his bat going after joining the Yankees in the Andrew Miller deal, hitting just .228/.278/.396 in 25 games. The swing-and-miss was a problem, with 30 strikeouts in 101 at-bats. He does have extra-base abilities and can get hot at any time.
Video: Top Prospects: Clint Frazier, OF, Yankees
5. Rafael Devers, 3B, Red Sox's No. 3/MLB No. 18
Salem Red Sox (A Adv)
Playing in the Carolina League all year at age 19, Devers made some tremendous adjustments after hitting just .233/.300/.335 in the first half. After his All-Star break, the third baseman dominated the league with a .326/.367/.539 line. Devers is joined by No. 73 prospect Michael Kopech on the mound.
6. Gleyber Torres, SS, Yankees' No. 2/MLB No. 19
Tampa Yankees (A Adv)
Torres has held his own all year at a Class A Advanced level, especially considering he's just 19. Since the trade that sent him to the Yankees for Aroldis Chapman, the shortstop has hit .254/.341/.385. But Torres did swing the bat better overall in August (.281/.366/.438).
7. Jorge Mateo, 2B, Yankees' No. 3/MLB No. 20
Tampa Yankees (A Adv)
Mateo moved from short over to second to make room for Torres, and he handled the switch seamlessly, at least defensively, committing just one error in 40 games (175 total chances). He hit just .228/.269/.322 in the second half, though his August (.269/.315/.394) was better than his July (.206/.235/.302).
8. Willy Adames, SS, Rays' No. 1/MLB No. 21
Montgomery Biscuits (Double-A)
Adames is one of three Rays in the Top 100 on the Biscuits' roster, along with right-hander Brent Honeywell (No. 42 overall) and first baseman Jake Bauers (No. 80). Adames, who just turned 21, has been solid most of the year, showing an advanced approach (74 walks for a .372 OBP), albeit with 121 strikeouts in 486 at-bats.
Video: Top Prospects: Willy Adames, SS, Rays
9. Eloy Jimenez, OF, Cubs' No. 2/MLB No. 25
South Bend Cubs (A)
Perhaps the breakout prospect of the year, Jimenez finished all over the Midwest League leaderboard, topping the circuit in OPS and slugging percentage while finishing tied for second in RBIs and third in batting average. Not getting promoted allows Jimenez to show his stuff on a postseason stage.
10. Bradley Zimmer, OF, Indians' No. 1/MLB No. 27
Columbus Clippers (Triple-A)
Since getting promoted to Triple-A in late July, Zimmer has had some trouble getting his bat going, posting just a .242/.349/.305 line. The biggest culprit, aside from a finger injury in August, was a 37.3-percent strikeout rate. He did finish the year with 15 homers and 38 steals, still with the potential for his power-speed combination to impact the IL playoffs.
Best of the rest
28. Manuel Margot, OF, Padres, El Paso Chihuahuas (AAA)
29. Corey Ray, OF, Brewers, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (A)
32. Francis Martes, RHP, Astros, Corpus Christi (AA)
33. Jason Groome, LHP, Red Sox, Lowell (Class A SS)
34. Cody Bellinger, 1B/OF, Dodgers, Oklahoma City (AAA)
42. Brent Honeywell, LHP, Rays, Montgomery (AA)
43. Hunter Renfroe, OF, Padres, El Paso Chihuahuas (AAA)
44. Kevin Newman, SS, Pirates, Altoona Curve (AA)
46. Franklin Barreto, SS/2B, A's, Nashville Sounds (AAA)
50. Sean Newcomb, LHP, Braves, Mississippi Braves (AA)
52. Nick Williams, OF, Phillies, Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA)
53. Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros, Lancaster JetHawks (A Adv)
62. Jorge Alfaro, C, Phillies, Reading Fightin Phils (AA)
64. Tyler O'Neill, OF, Mariners, Jackson Generals (AA)
65. Kolby Allard, LHP, Braves, Rome Braves (A)
66. Trent Clark, OF, Brewers, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (A)
72. Bobby Bradley, 1B, Indians, Lynchburg Hillcats (A Adv)
73. Michael Kopech, RHP, Red Sox, Salem Red Sox (A Adv)
79. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates, Bradenton Marauders (A Adv)
80. Jake Bauers, 1B/OF, Rays, Montgomery Biscuits (AA)
85. Justus Sheffield, LHP, Yankees, Trenton Thunder (AA)
89. Harrison Bader, OF, Cardinals, Springfield Cardinals (AA)
91. Francisco Mejia, C, Indians, Lynchburg Hillcats (A Adv)
94. Anthony Alford, OF, Blue Jays, Dunedin Blue Jays (A Adv)
98. Mike Soroka, RHP, Braves, Rome Braves (A)
99. Yadier Alvarez, RHP, Dodgers, Great Lakes Loons (A)
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.