Comparing the industry's Top 100 Prospects lists

March 26th, 2020

Anyone who puts out a Top 100 Prospects list knows it doesn’t get released in a vacuum. When we put out our Top 100 in January, we knew that people would compare and contrast our rankings to those put out by our colleagues at different publications and websites.

We’ll let you in on a little secret: We do that, too.

We’ve dumped our list into a spreadsheet and added the Top 100s from The Athletic, Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, ESPN and FanGraphs. There were a lot of similarities and, as people love to tell all of us, quite a few differences. Let’s take a closer look.

General consensus
There are 65 players who were on all six Top 100 lists. There are 14 additional prospects who made five of the six rankings and still a dozen more who are on four of the six.

Six players finished in the top 10 on all six lists, led, of course, by Rays phenom Wander Franco, who was No. 1 across the board. The half dozen, with average rank in parentheses (in this article, players not ranked on any individual list were assigned a rank of 125 for the purposes of averaging):

Wander Franco, SS, Rays (1.0)
Gavin Lux, SS/2B, Dodgers (2.8)
Jo Adell, OF, Angels (4.5)
Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (4.8)
MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Padres (5.0)
Adley Rutschman, C, Orioles (5.2)

From there, it’s easy to compile a composite top 10 (with average rank and rank in parentheses):

  1. Wander Franco, SS, Rays (1.0/1)
  2. Gavin Lux, SS/2B, Dodgers (2.8/2)
  3. Jo Adell, OF, Angels (4.5/6)
  4. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (4.8/3)
  5. MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Padres (5.0/5)
  6. Adley Rutschman, C, Orioles (5.2/4)
  7. Nate Pearson, RHP, Blue Jays (9.8/8)
  8. Jarred Kelenic, OF, Mariners (10.0/11)
  9. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, A’s (11.0/12)
  10. Julio Rodriguez, OF, Mariners (12.2/18)

The lowest that any of these players is ranked on a given list is Luzardo, who came in at No. 26 on The Athletic’s Top 100, followed by Pearson, who was ranked No. 19 by BP. Rodriguez was ranked 18th on our Top 100.

Guys we're high on
Every list has its “favorites,” guys who rank higher on one list than the others. Here are 10 players that we’re high on, comparing our rank to the average rank across all six lists, with our rank and the average rank in parentheses:

  1. Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Royals (10/29.4)
  2. Royce Lewis, SS, Twins (9/21.2)
  3. Casey Mize, RHP, Tigers (7/15)
  4. Andrew Vaughn, 1B, White Sox (16/31.6)
  5. Drew Waters, OF, Braves (26/56.8)
  6. Brady Singer, RHP, Royals (59/112.8)
  7. JJ Bleday, OF, Marlins (28/51.2)
  8. Josh Jung, 3B, Rangers (55/99.6)
  9. Nick Lodolo, LHP, Reds (48/79.2)
  10. Sam Huff, C/1B, Rangers (74/119.8)

Perhaps we at are a little Draft-happy. Five of these 10 come from the 2019 Draft and two more hail from the class of 2018. Seven of the 10 were taken within the first eight overall picks.

We also ranked three players who didn’t appear within the Top 100 on any other list: Phillies shortstop Bryson Stott (87), Giants RHP Seth Corry (99) and Mariners right-hander George Kirby (100), two of whom were drafted last June.

Guys we're low on
The other side of that coin, of course, is guys we ranked low compared to the other lists. That “bottom 5,” as it were, looks like this:

  1. A.J. Puk, LHP, A’s (60/20.8)
  2. Brandon Marsh, OF, Angels (79/39.2)
  3. Deivi Garcia, RHP, Yankees (92/48.6)
  4. Luis Patino, RHP, Padres (27/14.8)
  5. Dustin May, RHP, Dodgers (23/13.6)

Puk was in the top 25 on the other five lists, and Patino was in the top 20 on the other five rankings. Garcia was as high as No. 24 (BP), Marsh peaked at No. 27 (ESPN). May was a top 10 prospect on both the BP and Athletic Top 100s.

Polarizing players
Every year, there are players whose rankings vary widely from list to list, and those rankings tend to stir conversation and debate. Sometimes the player is on all the Top 100s, sometimes he’s only on some lists. Here are five of the more polarizing players, with their rankings in parentheses, listed from highest to lowest.

Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B, Twins (9, 31, 32, 58, 63, 86)
Nick Madrigal, 2B, White Sox (13, 40, 41, 47, 48, NR)
Joey Bart, C, Giants (7, 10, 14, 25, 32, 44)
Daniel Lynch, LHP, Royals (13, 39, 59, 61, 72, 93)
Carter Kieboom, SS/2B, Nationals (11, 15, 21, 21, 35, 74)

Least polarizing players
This isn’t just about players who are all ranked highly, like Wander Franco. This is taking a look at all six lists and finding the players where there’s the least deviation. Of players who appear on all the Top 100 lists, these five are among the least polarizing:

Wander Franco, SS, Rays (1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1)
Xavier Edwards, SS/2B, Rays (64, 71, 72, 75, 85, 95)
CJ Abrams, SS, Padres (22, 22, 23, 25, 25, 33)
Evan White, 1B, Mariners (54, 56, 62, 64, 64, 86)
Geraldo Perdomo, SS, D-backs (62, 72, 82, 91, 91, 98)