Putting together MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list is a team effort. Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and Mike Rosenbaum join forces to put the ranking together. Needless to say, there isn't 100 percent agreement right out of the gate and, as a result, some favorites who might be on an
Putting together MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list is a team effort. Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and Mike Rosenbaum join forces to put the ranking together. Needless to say, there isn't 100 percent agreement right out of the gate and, as a result, some favorites who might be on an individual list don't make the final 100.
Given that, and the fact the Pipeline crew is often asked who is next up on the list, each of the list's architects were asked to put together four favorites, guys who just missed the Top 100 but could work their way onto the list at some point in 2018.
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Jim's four picks
Nate Pearson, RHP, Blue Jays
Clocked as high as 102 mph, Pearson had the hardest fastball among college pitchers in last year's Draft. He has a power slider and the makings of a changeup as well, and while he still needs some polish, his pro debut (26 strikeouts vs. 12 baserunners in 20 innings) provided a tantalizing if brief glimpse of his upside.
Mitchell White, RHP, Dodgers
White had Tommy John surgery after graduating from high school and didn't start to take off until late in his redshirt sophomore season at Santa Clara in 2016, which is why he lasted 65 picks in the Draft that June. He can be unhittable at times with his combination of a heavy 92-97 mph fastball, an even nastier cutter/slider and a curveball that shows flashes of becoming a true hammer.
Dustin Fowler, OF, Athletics
Part of the Sonny Gray trade with the Yankees last July, Fowler likely would have made the Top 100 had he not ruptured the patellar tendon in his right knee during his first big league game a month earlier. Reports are that he should make a full recovery, which means he'll be back on track to becoming a center fielder with 20-20 potential.
Jake Rogers, C, Tigers
The catcher on MLB Pipeline's All-Defense Team, Rogers might be the most valuable defender in the Minors, which is why the Tigers grabbed him in the Justin Verlander deal with the Astros last August. He's hard to run on because his throws are so quick and accurate, and he's also an outstanding receiver and framers. Rogers is also easing concerns about his bat after slamming 18 homers in Class A last year.
Jonathan's four picks
Wander Javier, SS, Twins
The Twins signed Javier for $4 million in 2015, but he was slowed by injury right out of the gate. He erased that with a strong U.S. debut in the Appalachian League in 2017, leaving everyone excited to see what he does in his first taste of full-season ball. Javier could shoot up the top shortstops list in a hurry.
Cristian Pache, OF, Braves
It's understandable that Ronald Acuna gets most of the outfield attention in the Braves' system, but don't sleep on this guy. Pache can flat-out run and he can really, really play center field. He'll need to keep refining his approach, but Pache's full-season debut in 2017 was extremely promising.
Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates
Hayes showed an advanced approach at the plate at age 20 in the Florida State League, and most scouts think the power is going to start coming as he moves up and continues to mature. He's a terrific defender at the hot corner and even swiped 27 bags in 2017.
Sandy Alcantara, RHP, Marlins
Alcantara can be enigmatic as a pitching prospect, one who throws triple-digit fastballs but doesn't miss as many bats as one might expect him to. But he has two solid secondary pitches to go along with that heater, and there's still time for it all to click.
Mike's four picks
T.J. Zeuch, RHP, Blue Jays
A first-round selection in 2016, Zeuch's first full pro season was truncated by a back injury that limited him to just 58 2/3 innings in the Class A Advanced Florida State League. He made up for lost time in the Arizona Fall League, where he showed an outstanding two-seam fastball with late run and sinking action that produced a plethora of weak ground balls.
Jorge Guzman, RHP, Marlins
There are few, if any, Minor League starters who can match Guzman's 80-grade velocity -- a major reason the Marlins targeted him as the key return in the December blockbuster for Giancarlo Stanton. The 22-year-old righty's fastball has reached 103 mph and sits consistently in the upper 90s, while the significant strides he made with his strike-throwing ability last season has his stock way up going into 2018.
Chance Sisco, C, Orioles
Though he finished last season as MLB Pipeline's No. 45 prospect, Sisco actually took a step backwards with his production, hitting .267 in Triple-A after raking at better than a .300 clip in three of his first four seasons. The 22-year-old backstop ultimately showed well as a September callup, so much so that he's expected to compete for a spot on Baltimore's Opening Day roster in 2018 and ranks seventh on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 catchers list.
Isan Diaz, 2B/SS, Marlins
No. 4 on MLB Pipeline's list of the Top 10 second basemen for 2018, Diaz was acquired Thursday as part of Miami's massive return for Christian Yelich. The 21-year-old scuffled some last year with the move up to the Class A Advanced Carolina League, though it did little to detract from his projection as a power-hitting second baseman at the highest level.