MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects list changes greatly from the start of the season to it's conclusion. There are graduations, additions and subtractions during our full re-rank over the summer, and this year, for the first time, we introduced Market Corrections to reflect changing thoughts on the top prospects in
MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects list changes greatly from the start of the season to it's conclusion. There are graduations, additions and subtractions during our full re-rank over the summer, and this year, for the first time, we introduced Market Corrections to reflect changing thoughts on the top prospects in the game.
The 20 hitters listed below made the biggest leap in 2018, either from off the list entirely, or lower down, to much higher on the Top 100. We'll take a look at pitchers next week.
:: Complete prospect coverage ::
Alex Kirilloff, OF, Twins' No. 2/MLB No. 30
The Twins' 2016 first-round pick wasn't ranked to start the year following a lost season due to Tommy John surgery, but he skyrocketed all the way to No. 30 and finished the season leading all Minor Leaguers in total bases while hitting .348/.392/.578 with 20 homers and 101 RBIs across two levels of Class A ball.
Wander Franco, SS, Rays' No. 4/MLB No. 40
Franco showed why he fetched a $3.825 million bonus in the 2017 international signing period by hitting .351/.418/.587 during his pro debut in the Appalachian League, finishing in the top four in average, slugging, OPS and RBIs, and earning league Player of the Year honors while vaulting from unranked prospect all the way to No. 40.
Yordan Alvarez, OF, Astros' No. 3/MLB No. 41
A Cuban defector the Dodgers signed for $2 million then traded to the Astros in 2016, Alvarez took a step forward in terms of in-game power (20 homers, .534 SLG) in 2018 and allowed him to go from among the unranked to No. 41.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Alvarez goes yard - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2478619983
Carter Kieboom, SS, Nationals' No. 2/MLB No. 34
Kieboom made the biggest leap of any player on the preseason list, going from 90 to 34 in a year that saw him go to the Futures Game and reach Double-A at age 20, all while setting career highs in home runs, RBIs and total bases.
Austin Riley, 3B, Braves' No. 4/MLB No. 43
Riley began the year at No. 97, with some wanting to see him replicate his success at higher levels. He did just that, despite missing time with injury, slugging his way (19 homers, .522 SLG) to Triple-A at age 21 and catapulting up 54 spots.
Sean Murphy, C, A's No. 3/MLB No. 51
Not only did Murphy hit his way to Triple-A in his second full season, the Futures Gamer also threw out better than 34 percent of would-be basestealers as he cemented himself as one of the better all-around backstops in the Minors, allowing him to move onto the Top 100 in May and keep moving up.
Ke'Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates' No. 2/MLB No. 52
Always well-regarded as a third-base prospect, particularly defensively, Hayes took a nice step forward with the bat, setting career highs in a host of offensive categories while jumping to Double-A at age 21, allowing him to go from off the list up to No. 52.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Hayes doubles in 2 runs - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2461553483
Yusniel Diaz, OF, Orioles' No. 2/MLB No. 30
Not only did Diaz hit two homers in the Futures Game, but the top prospect sent to Baltimore in the Manny Machado trade set career best marks in OBP, SLG and OPS and finished with double digits in homers and steals, riding that improvement from unranked to No. 54 overall.
Cristian Pache, OF, Braves' No. 5/MLB No. 55
Braves fans were clamoring for him to get added to the Top 100, and now he's all the way up at No. 55 after playing his way up to Double-A as a teenager and starting to show more offensive ability while continuing to play plus defense in center field.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Pache rips solo shot - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2412421783
Jo Adell, OF, Angels' No. 2/MLB No. 16
The super-toolsy outfielder started the year at No. 62 after a tremendous summer debut in 2017, then kept on going, playing across three levels and reaching Double-A as a 19-year-old, finishing with a combined 20 homers, 15 steals and an .897 OPS.
Andres Gimenez, SS, Mets' No. 1/MLB No. 57
The Mets jumped Gimenez onto the fast track by sending him to full-season ball for his U.S. debut in 2017, and he rose to the challenge even more in '18, reaching Double-A before he turned 20, showing a solid approach at the plate and swiping 38 bags in the process.
Peter Alonso, 1B, Mets' No. 2/MLB No. 61
All Alonso did to follow up a solid, albeit injury-shortened first full season in 2017 was lead the Minors in RBIs (119) and finishing in a tie for the home run crown (36) while reaching Triple-A, leaving Mets fans shouting for his promotion and reaching No. 61 after not being ranked preseason.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Alonso blasts walk-off homer - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2466164183
Will Smith, C/3B, Dodgers' No. 3/MLB No. 70
While he did scuffle after earning a promotion to Triple-A in just his second full season of pro ball, Smith did jump from off the list up to No. 70 largely because of his 19 homers and .890 OPS in Double-A while also throwing out 36.3 percent of potential basestealers for the year.
Danny Jansen, C, Blue Jays' No. 3/MLB No. 71
Jansen wasn't ranked in the preseason, but he jumped to No. 71 thanks to a very solid (.863 OPS) Triple-A campaign and he's more than held his own during his first big league callup, all at 23 years of age.
Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, O's No. 1/MLB No. 68
Despite the start of his season being delayed by a broken right hand, Mountcastle still managed to set career highs in average, OBP and SLG and went to the Futures Game all while playing at age 21 in Double-A and moving up 30 spots from his No. 98 preseason spot.
Keston Hiura, 2B,Brewers' No. 1/MLB No. 26
Billed as one of the most advanced hitters in the 2017 Draft, Hiura proved it by raking in the Carolina League to earn a promotion up to Double-A, finishing with a combined .293/.357/.464 line to go along with double digits in homers and steals, prompting a 30 spot lift in the Top 100.
MILB Video - Title: Watch: Hiura goes yard - Url: http://www.milb.com/r/video?content_id=2477977883
Jesus Sanchez, OF, Rays' No. 2/MLB No. 31>
Sanchez continued to show that he's not just upside potential and put his tools to good use in 2018, hitting his way from the Florida State League to the Double-A Southern League as a 20-year-old, jumping from No. 57 to 31 in the process.
Taylor Trammell, OF, Reds' No. 3/MLB No. 19
Trammell began the year at No. 43, then earned Futures Game MVP honors and continued to get on base (his .375 OBP was fourth best) and hit for average as a 20-year-old in the FSL while also swiping 25 bases, good for fifth in the league.
Brandon Marsh, OF, Angels' No. 1/MLB No. 79
Supposedly raw and toolsy, Marsh didn't play the summer after he was drafted in 2016 and didn't reach full-season ball until this year, during which he hit his way up a level to the California League, finished with double digits in homers and steals, resulting in a jump onto the Top 100.
Keibert Ruiz, C, Dodgers, Dodgers' No. 2/MLB No. 37
Ruiz cemented himself as one of the top young catchers in the Minors, jumping from No. 52 to 37, by hitting a dozen homers and not turning 20 until late July in the Double-A Texas League, earning a Futures Game nod in the process.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.