After breaking down the Top 10 prospects at each position over the past two weeks, MLB Pipeline is set to unveil its Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday during a special that can be seen at 8 p.m. ET on MLB Network and MLB.com.Shohei Ohtani (No. 1) and Ronald Acuna
After breaking down the Top 10 prospects at each position over the past two weeks, MLB Pipeline is set to unveil its Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday during a special that can be seen at 8 p.m. ET on MLB Network and MLB.com.
Shohei Ohtani (No. 1) and Ronald Acuna Jr. (No. 2) occupied the top spots on last year's preseason Top 100, and both players lived up to the massive hype by earning Rookie of the Year honors in their respective leagues.
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In fact, the top three finishers in each league's ROY race began the season on the Top 100.
Yankees teammates Miguel Andujar (No. 65) and Gleyber Torres (No. 5) finished second and third, respectively, behind Ohtani in the American League, while the Nationals' Juan Soto (No. 29) and the Dodgers' Walker Buehler (No. 13) held those same spots in the National League.
Overall, the list had 40 players who made it to the Major Leagues in 2018 -- a drop-off from 51 in '17, and 48 in '16 -- including 25 who ranked inside the Top 50, and half of the Top 10. A quarter of the Top 100 list exhausted their rookie status, marking a slight dip from the previous year's total (29).
The annual preseason ranking of the Top 100 Prospects will be revealed Saturday night, with the Top 50 being unveiled during a one-hour special on MLB Network and MLB.com beginning at 8 p.m. ET, and the entire list on MLB.com. The show, hosted by Greg Amsinger, will feature analysis from MLB Pipeline Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis, and from Harold Reynolds of MLB Network.
Which team will have the most prospects in the Top 100? And after so many players from last year's list graduated to the Major Leagues, who will join the rankings?
Those are just a few of the questions that will be answered. Fans can follow along on Twitter, as several top prospects, including Astros right-hander Forrest Whitley and Pirates third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes, will join @MLBPipeline in live tweeting the show using the hashtag #MLBPipeline.
Prospects tweeting during the broadcast
Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros: @ForrestWhitley
Ian Anderson, RHP, Braves: @ian_anderson15
Cristian Pache, OF, Braves: @cristianpache25
Austin Riley, 3B, Braves: @austinriley1308
Chris Paddack, RHP, Padres: @PaddackChris
Luis Patino, RHP, Padres: @luispatinoa_
Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates: @KeBryanHayes
How the Top 100 is determined
The MLB Pipeline team compiled the rankings with input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. They are based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. The list, which is one of several prospect rankings on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Watch, only includes players with rookie status in 2019. Prospect Watch also follows the guidelines laid out by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, in terms of who falls under the international pool money rules. Players who are at least 23 years old and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.
Former No. 1 prospects
Being ranked as baseball's top prospect comes with very high expectations, naturally. Yet, more than a few former No. 1-ranked prospects have made good on the hype and have enjoyed successful careers at the highest level.
In the past 15 years, Joe Mauer (No. 1 in 2004) and Michael Trout ('11) have gone on to win Most Valuable Player Awards, with Trout winning it twice to go along with four second-place finishes. David Price ('09) was named the AL Cy Young Award winner in 2012.
Top Prospects lists - year-by-year
And while it's still yet to be seen what types of careers prospects who have claimed the No. 1 spot in recent years will have, the early returns for some of them have been very, very good.
Corey Seager ('16) took home the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2016 and helped the Dodgers reach the postseason in each of his first three seasons -- although he only played 26 games in '18 due to undergoing Tommy John surgery. Andrew Benintendi ('17) reached the playoffs in his first full season, when he finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting behind the Yankees' Aaron Judge, then followed it by leading the Red Sox to a World Series title in 2018. Ohtani ('18), meanwhile, took baseball by storm as a two-way sensation en route to AL ROY honors.
MLB.com's Preseason No. 1 Prospect Rankings by Year
2018: Shohei Ohtani
2017: Andrew Benintendi
2016: Corey Seager
2015: Byron Buxton
2014: Byron Buxton
2013: Jurickson Profar
2012: Matt Moore
2011: Mike Trout
2010: Jason Heyward
2009: David Price
2008: Jay Bruce
2007: Delmon Young
2006: Delmon Young
2005: Delmon Young
2004: Joe Mauer
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.