MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2017 Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday with a one-hour show on MLB Network at 8 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.He might have changed teams, but there isn't any doubt about who owns the
MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2017 Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday with a one-hour show on MLB Network at 8 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.
He might have changed teams, but there isn't any doubt about who owns the top of this Top 10 second base prospects list.
Top 10 Prospects by Position
For the second year in a row, Yoan Moncada is in that No. 1 slot. And why not? His impressive tools haven't changed just because he was sent from the Red Sox to the White Sox in the blockbuster Chris Sale deal. Beyond the stability at the top, however, is a lot of change. Only two second basemen -- Ian Happ of the Cubs and the Phllies' Scott Kingery -- are holdovers from a year ago. There were three graduations to the big leagues and four dropped off because of performance and/or others passing them on this hypothetical depth chart.
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1. Yoan Moncada, White Sox
After the Red Sox broke the bank to sign Moncada -- a total of $63 million -- he made it to the big leagues in just two years, where he struggled, albeit in just 19 at-bats. He was at the top of the four prospects the White Sox got in that Sale deal and he should see time at second in Chicago at some point in 2017.
2. Ozzie Albies, Braves
Albies could very easily sit near the top of a shortstop list, but he moved over to second so he could play alongside Dansby Swanson. Braves fans should get used to that dynamic duo as Albies should arrive in Atlanta in the very near future, at age 20.
3. Ian Happ, Cubs
Happ hasn't moved quite as quickly as Kristopher Bryant (Triple-A his first full year) or Kyle Schwarber (Chicago in his), but he did make it to Double-A as yet another Cubs college position player who can flat-out hit. He has 20-20 potential if it all clicks.
4. Willie Calhoun, Dodgers
In a word, Calhoun can hit. He hit 31 homers in junior college his Draft year in 2015, then showed that was no fluke by going straight to Double-A for his first full season and hitting 27 more long balls, all while not swinging and missing all that much. Calhoun's defensive home might be in question, but that bat is going to play.
5. Travis Demeritte, Braves
Demeritte hit 25 homers in High Desert, an extreme hitter's park, before getting dealt from the Rangers to the Braves. He needs to cut down his strikeouts some -- though he does draw walks -- something he improved in the Arizona Fall League. Demeritte looked strong at second in the AFL as well, but with Albies there, he might be looking at a move to third.
6. Andy Ibanez, Rangers
The Cuban defector had a long layoff, yet managed to play his way from the Class A South Atlantic League up to Double-A, jumping over the California League. Ibanez makes hard, consistent contact with extra-base ability, doesn't strike out a ton and draws some walks. There's a lot of talent ahead of him, but he should hit his way to Texas.
7. Scott Kingery, Phillies
The 2015 second-rounder made it to Double-A in his first full season, though he struggled some once he got there. The main culprit for Kingery was getting away from his typically advanced approach at the plate. He'll get back to making hard contact, drawing walks and using his speed to be a threat on the bases.
8. Luis Urias, Padres
All Urias has done since signing with the Padres is hit to the tune of a .317 career batting average. He's also got on-base skills, to the tune of a .395 on-base percentage, having drawn more walks in his career than strikeouts. Urias won't turn 20 until June and he's ready to bring his strong offensive skill set to the upper levels of the system.
9. Carlos Asuaje, Padres
Speaking of Padres second basemen who can hit, Asauje brushed aside a disappointing 2015 to have a strong first year in his new organization after coming over in the Craig Kimbrel trade. He hit .321 in his first taste of Triple-A with solid extra-base pop. Asauje could be an everyday second baseman or a very valuable offensive-minded utility man starting in 2017.
10. Eliezer Alvarez, Cardinals
Of all the players on this list, Alvarez has jumped on prospect radars the most. In his full-season debut, he hit .323 to lead the organization and also topped all Cardinals farmhands with 36 stolen bases. The Cards often skip talented offensive players over Palm Beach and up to Double-A, which could put Alvarez on a faster track to St. Louis.
Max Schrock experienced many things in his first full season of pro ball. He got promoted after 67 games in the South Atlantic League up to the Carolina League, then he got traded and ended up getting time in Double-A after joining the A's from the Nationals. Schrock hit a combined .341 along the way with 22 steals, then showed well in the Arizona Fall League.
With one of the best bat and speed combinations in the 2014 Draft, Forrest Wall has held his own, but hasn't taken off, in his two-plus years as a pro. He'll be just 21 for all of 2017 and should be in Double-A. Wall still has every chance to be a left-handed hitter who hits for average with a bit of pop and steals bases at, or near, the top of a big league lineup.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.