Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Inbox: Breaking down the Top 10 position lists

MLB.com @JonathanMayo

The time for the Top 100 Prospects list is almost here. Be sure to tune into the MLB Network special on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, or watch it here on MLB.com. As usual, we led up to the big reveal with all of our Top 10 Position lists, which you can still peruse as you wait excitedly for Saturday night.

This week's Inbox deals with looking at those Top 10 lists in different ways.

The time for the Top 100 Prospects list is almost here. Be sure to tune into the MLB Network special on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, or watch it here on MLB.com. As usual, we led up to the big reveal with all of our Top 10 Position lists, which you can still peruse as you wait excitedly for Saturday night.

This week's Inbox deals with looking at those Top 10 lists in different ways.

Tweet from @rodmcclure22: @JonathanMayo @jimcallisMLB @MLBPipeline If you had to put together a team from the top ten list how would your team look? pic.twitter.com/0P54Xp5QIa

Tweet from @jaymarkle_byb: pic.twitter.com/ae9BCNvbvI

We did something like this for the Pipeline Podcast this week, when Jim Callis and I did a little mini-draft, putting together a fantasy team, if you will, of guys only on the Top 10 by position lists. And I like the higher stakes of being able to use just one player from each slot. Here's what I came up with:

C: Keibert Ruiz, Dodgers (3)
1B: Ryan McMahon, Rockies (2)
2B: Scott Kingery, Phillies (1)
3B: Austin Riley, Braves (6)
SS: Royce Lewis, Twins (5)
OF: Shohei Ohtani, Angels (4); Lewis Brinson, Marlins (7); Juan Soto, Nationals (9)
RHP: Sixto Sanchez, Phillies (10)
LHP: Jesus Luzardo, A's (8)

You can slice this up a ton of different ways. As a general rule, I tried to use the positions with the greatest depth wisely. Even though the Top 100 isn't out quite yet, it's pretty clear that the RHP and OF lists are the deepest ones, right? I feel fantastic about having an arm like Sanchez in there, even though he's No. 10. I could see him making a huge leap by next year. I think the same could be said with Soto and taking two outfielders closer to the bottom of that list made sense. Shortstop is another deep one and I like the upside of Luzardo at No. 8 for my lefty.

Conversely, for the relatively weaker positions, I decided to pick from the top of those lists. It helped that Ruiz has the chance to be the best all-around catching prospect in due time at No. 3 and I don't see that much separating McMahon from Brendan McKay, who is No. 1 on the first baseman list. I would have been happy with any of the top three second basemen and while the third-base crop isn't super-deep, it's better than it has been and Riley has as much power potential as almost any prospect here.

Tweet from @MlicariEsq: Is the 2017 draft class more represented so early throughout as past class? Seems like the 2017 class has great potential.

There are 78 players on the different top 10 by position lists. Normally, of course, it would be 80, but we have Ohtani and McKay on two different lists each. Of the 78, 10 hail from the 2017 Draft class. That's about 12.8 percent. Last year, there were nine draftees from the previous year's Draft (2016) among the 80 on the positions lists. So it seems to be about right in terms of ratio.

I do agree that the 2017 class has potential. Of course, that's easy to say before anyone has played a full year of pro ball, but there are some exciting players with high ceilings, with the top two picks, the Twins' Royce Lewis and the Reds' Hunter Greene, having enormous potential. I think where the 2017 Draft representation stands out the most is on that Top 10 first basemen list, with four of the top five coming from the first round last June.

Tweet from @BrennenRichard2: How far off were Wright and Soroka on you rhp list?

I have to say this (and have on many occasions): Braves fans love them some prospects.

And who can blame them, given how strong their farm system is right now? But maybe it's time to be more of a "glass half full" fan base rather than the take more pessimistic view. Even after the controversy that cost them several very good prospects, there are still a ton of tremendous high-end players in this system.

On the top 10 lists alone, there were a total of five Braves prospects, tied for the most with the White Sox and A's. Yet, here we are, answering a question about guys not on a list.

I kid, because I love. I probably got more questions/comments/complaints about Mike Soroka than anyone else when our Top 10 RHP list came out, with Kyle Wright not far behind. (We did have Soroka on this week's podcast as well, another reason to check it out. In fact, based on his interview skills alone, maybe we should move him up).

Truth be told, Soroka, a 2015 first-rounder, and Wright, the Braves' top pick in 2017, are not far off the top 10 at all. We haven't made it a secret that they are literally the next in line, at No. 11 and 12. They'll move onto this list at some point soon, I'm sure.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.