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Inbox: The top 10 position-prospect duos are ...

January 15, 2020

Back in November, Jonathan Mayo fielded an MLB Pipeline Inbox question about which organizations have the best duos of pitching prospects. So it's only natural that someone would wonder about position-prospect combos. ...

Back in November, Jonathan Mayo fielded an MLB Pipeline Inbox question about which organizations have the best duos of pitching prospects. So it's only natural that someone would wonder about position-prospect combos. ...

Mariners outfielders Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez rank right near the top of the best position-prospect duos, but I have White Sox outfielder Luis Robert and Andrew Vaughn at No. 1. Robert may have the most electric package of tools in the Minor Leagues, while Vaughn is one of the best all-around hitters anywhere.

Here are my top 10 duos:
White Sox: OF Luis Robert & 1B Andrew Vaughn
Mariners: OF Jarred Kelenic & OF Julio Rodriguez
Braves: OF Cristian Pache & OF Drew Waters
Dodgers: SS/2B Gavin Lux & SS/2B Jeter Downs
Giants: C Joey Bart & SS Marco Luciano
Twins: SS Royce Lewis & OF/1B Alex Kirilloff
Rays: SS Wander Franco & 2B/SS Vidal Brujan
Cardinals: OF Dylan Carlson & 3B Nolan Gorman
Padres: SS CJ Abrams & C Luis Campusano
Marlins: OF JJ Bleday & SS Jazz Chisholm

Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, Seattle and Tampa Bay also ranked among Mayo's top 10 pitching combos. For more on this topic, check out the video at the top of this Inbox.

Which hitter and pitcher do you see making the biggest jump to the top 10 of the Top 100 Prospects list over the next calendar year?
-- Michael J., Greencastle, Ind.

Two hitters immediately jump to mind: Giants shortstop Marco Luciano and Yankees outfielder Jasson Dominguez. Luciano, who began his 2019 pro debut by posting a 1.055 OPS in the Rookie-level Arizona League and ended it as the youngest regular (age 17) in the short-season Northwest League, has a ton of raw power and promising hitting ability as well. Dominguez won't play in his first pro game until this summer, but has the potential for at least plus tools across the board and has drawn comparisons to Bo Jackson, Mickey Mantle and Mike Trout for his athleticism.

Pitcher is a tougher call, in part because there are only three in our current top 10 from the end of the 2019 season and there will be just three in our new top 10 (which will be unveiled with the rest of our Top 100 in a broadcast on MLB Network and at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 25). My top choice is the Cubs' Brailyn Marquez, who's the hardest-throwing left-handed starter in the Minors and was untouchable in his final seven starts last year. Also keep an eye on Rays righty Shane Baz, who had some of the best stuff in the Arizona Fall League and is on the verge of breaking out.

Vidal Brujan and Xavier Edwards are extremely similar players and two of baseball's best second-base prospects. They're both gifted hitters with modest power and plus-plus speed who play solid defense at second and are capable at shortstop. Brujan has a stronger arm and a little more pop, while Edwards controls the strike zone better.

Tampa Bay is loaded with middle infielders, including Willy Adames and Brandon Lowe in the Majors and baseball's top prospect in Wander Franco. But you can never have too much talent and you can never know for sure how positional battles will shake out, and the Rays must have felt like they were selling high on Tommy Pham when they made the deal that included Edwards in December. I already liked their return on that trade, and they'll also get a player to be named later from the Padres' deep farm system.

Gorman had as much raw power as any high schooler in the 2018 Draft, where he went 19th overall to the Cardinals, and Jordan has as much as any prepster in the 2020 crop, which he joined after reclassifying from the 2021 group last summer. At the same stage of their careers, Jordan might have a little more pop, though he's more famous than he is beloved by the scouting community.

Both came with swing-and-miss concerns, though scouts had more faith that Gorman would hit and he has the added bonus of batting left-handed versus Jordan being a righty. While there were some worries that Gorman might not be able to stay at third base, most evaluators give Jordan almost no chance of sticking at the hot corner. Gorman had a bit more arm strength and both graded as below-average runners.

Gorman was the better prospect and went in the middle of the first round despite a slightly disappointing spring. There's not much consensus on Jordan's Draft stock right now -- some teams think his power will land him about where Gorman went, while others believes he fits more in the second round.

Jim Callis is a reporter for Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.