It's a great time to be a baseball fan, isn't it? Pitchers and catchers are reporting, Grapefruit and Cactus League Games are on the horizon and a fresh season just about ready to get underway. Hope really does spring eternal.The beginning of big league camp is always exciting for prospect
It's a great time to be a baseball fan, isn't it? Pitchers and catchers are reporting, Grapefruit and Cactus League Games are on the horizon and a fresh season just about ready to get underway. Hope really does spring eternal.
The beginning of big league camp is always exciting for prospect fans because it's a time to get a glimpse at the future. Camps are full of prospects getting the opportunity to play alongside big leaguers and make an impression on the Major League staff. Some are competing for jobs, others know they'll head to Minor League camp soon enough. Either way, it's fun to watch them mix it up.
But not as much fun as it is to answer your questions this week. Enjoy!
As we all know, the Draft can be such a crapshoot, even for teams picking in the top 10. There have been countless top picks who haven't panned out over the years. Yes, the Braves didn't sign Carter Stewart and all signs are pointing to the A's losing Kyler Murray. For his part, A's general manager David Forst said he doesn't regret the decision to pick him. Perhaps that's the public stance, but kudos to them for rolling the dice.
Quick refresher, here's last year's top 10:
1. Casey Mize, RHP, Tigers
- Joey Bart, C, Giants
- Alec Bohm, 3B, Phillies
- Nick Madrigal, 2B, White Sox
- Jonathan India, 3B, Reds
- Jarred Kelenic, OF, Mets
- Ryan Weathers, LHP, Padres
- Carter Stewart, RHP, Braves
- Kyler Murray, OF, A's
- Travis Swaggerty, OF, Pirates
In general, it's way too early to call any of the other eight selections regrettable picks. The Mets traded Kelenic away, but it got them two big leaguers they coveted. The Reds were willing to part ways with India to get J.T. Realmuto, but they're not upset about keeping him at all. A team isn't going to regret a pick based on a rough summer debut, just like it wouldn't celebrate after a strong one.
Could you look at last summer's debuts and think perhaps Nolan Gorman, who went No. 19 to the Cardinals and made it to full-season ball as a high school draftee, should have gone in the top 10? Nico Hoerner, who went at the end of the first round to the Cubs, got hurt during a strong debut and then had a really good Arizona Fall League, joins Gorman as later first round picks in our Top 100. Should he be considered a top 10 miss? You could go there, but it isn't time yet to know definitively if a top 10 team should rue not picking one of them above its selection. Time will tell on this one, but one of my favorite things about the start of a new season is seeing all of these draftees show what they can do over the course of a full season.
We all knew it was a matter of time before the Marlins finally pulled the trigger on a Realmuto trade; we just didn't know which team would offer up the prospects Miami wanted the most. It was clear a Top 100 prospect would head to Florida, and for the longest time, it looked like it would be India. But the Phillies came in offering up one of the most electric arms in the Minor Leagues in Sanchez, albeit one who has to prove he can stay healthy all year. Luckily, I can answer this question without giving anything away about the Phillies' new Top 30, which will be unveiled over the next couple of weeks. That's because the Phillies have other players on the Top 100. The new No. 1 prospect in the system is Bohm. The third baseman is No. 59 overall and has serious offensive potential, even though his pro debut was somewhat pedestrian and interrupted by a shin contusion. After Bohm, in case you're curious, is right-hander Adonis Medina, who checks in at No. 77 on the Top 100.
I have the pleasure of doing the Royals Top 30 list this year, so I was excited to answer this one. And the Royals list is getting better and better, thanks largely to a strong 2018 Draft class. Right now, Brady Singer, their first pick (No. 18 overall), is the lone Top 100 rep, at No. 54. But I could see several others climbing onto the list over the next year or two. In a recent story about prospects who just missed the Top 100, I listed Khalil Lee and his 20-20 potential as the next up for the Royals.
I could also see young catcher MJ Melendez, with the potential to be an elite-level all-around backstop, making a step forward in that direction. If Daniel Lynch, one of the college arms from last year's Draft, throws the way he did during his summer debut, he'd be a candidate. I'm a big Nick Pratto fan as well and I think his approach will continue to improve. I'm not sure Seuly Matias will reign in the strikeouts enough to be a Top 100 guy, but he has enough power to get there for sure. The arrow is definitely pointing up for this system.
I'd hold onto him if it's possible, without knowing how many spots you have or how long you can keep a guy. Marsh's tools are really impressive and being patient with him could be very beneficial for your squad. He was my Angels pick for that story about prospects who'd be next up for the Top 100 because of his upside. His plus athleticism is impressive and his raw tools are going to become sharper as he gets more time focusing just on baseball (He played football in high school). As it is, he managed to earn a promotion in 2018 and finished with double digits in home runs and stolen bases. I think he has 20-20 potential, and who doesn't want that on a dynasty team?
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.