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Pipeline Inbox: How do Moncada, Tomas rank?

MLB.com's Jim Callis answers questions about the game's top prospects
MLB.com @JimCallisMLB

The Arizona Fall League season draws to a close with the championship game between the Peoria Javelinas and Salt River Rafters on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on MLB Network and MLB.com. Spencer Fordin, Bernie Pleskoff and I will be on hand to provide online coverage at MLBPipeline.com and the AFL website.

With that in mind, I was going to aim for an all-AFL edition of the Pipeline Inbox. But I also had several questions about Cuban prospects, so we'll start with one of those before getting to the Fall League queries.

The Arizona Fall League season draws to a close with the championship game between the Peoria Javelinas and Salt River Rafters on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on MLB Network and MLB.com. Spencer Fordin, Bernie Pleskoff and I will be on hand to provide online coverage at MLBPipeline.com and the AFL website.

With that in mind, I was going to aim for an all-AFL edition of the Pipeline Inbox. But I also had several questions about Cuban prospects, so we'll start with one of those before getting to the Fall League queries.

With all the hype surrounding Cuban amateurs Yoan Moncada and Yasmany Tomas, where would they rank among the best prospects drafted in 2014?
-- Zach M., San Diego

Moncada and Tomas figure to command record deals when they sign with Major League teams. Because he's subject to the international bonus pools and thus not eligible for a big league contract, Moncada likely will get the largest straight bonus ever given to an amateur, somewhere in the $30 million to $40 million range (and the team will be penalized an equal amount for exceeding its bonus allotment). He has yet to be cleared by the U.S. Department of the Treasury or declared a free agent by MLB, so there's no timetable for his signing.

By contrast, Tomas is expected to choose a team in the next week or so. When he does, he'll likely set a new mark for the largest guaranteed deal given to a Cuban amateur, surpassing the $72.5 million the Red Sox paid Rusney Castillo in August. Tomas may get a nine-figure contract.

Moncada, a 19-year-old infielder, is the better prospect of the two. He's a switch-hitter with above-average hitting ability, power, speed and arm strength. Moncada took grounders at three infield positions during a Wednesday workout in Guatemala, looking better at second and third base than shortstop.

Tomas' ticket is the well-above-average raw power that he generates from the right side of the plate. The 24-year-old also has a strong arm and profiles as an average hitter with below-average speed and decent defense on an outfield corner.

Video: Cuban prospect Tomas takes batting practice in the DR

Because he's an up-the-middle player with a huge offensive ceiling, I'd rate Moncada ahead of the pitchers who rated as the top prospects in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft (Brady Aiken, Carlos Rodon and Tyler Kolek). There's more risk with Tomas, who has some questions about his hitting ability and offers less defensive value. Among the position players in the 2014 Draft, I'd put Tomas behind Alex Jackson, Nick Gordon and Kyle Schwarber and on par with Michael Conforto.

Yankees prospects Greg Bird and Aaron Judge have performed well in the Arizona Fall League. How much stock do you put in AFL stats?
-- Ben E., Conway, Ark.

Bird and Judge were two of the most impressive hitters in the AFL this season. A leading AFL MVP Award candidate, Bird batted .313/.391/.556 and topped the league with six homers and 21 runs while ranking second with 31 hits, 55 total bases and 21 RBIs. Judge hit .278/.377/.467 and recorded an AFL-high four outfield assists.

Video: WEST@EAST: Greg Bird's solo homer gives East 1-0 lead

I put very little stock in Fall League stats, because the 32-game season is a relatively small sample size and the quality of the hitters is usually quite better than the quality of the pitchers. But I have spent two weeks watching AFL games, and Bird and Judge were two of the best position players I have seen. I really like the way they manage their at-bats, working counts and letting their considerable power come naturally rather than swinging for the fences.

How do Roman Quinn's tools stack up against those of Ben Revere, whom he'll try to supplant as the Phillies' center fielder in the near future?
-- Mike H., Riverside, N.J.

A teammate of Bird and Judge on the Scottsdale Scorpions, Quinn was the fastest player in the AFL. He hit .250/.361/.359 and showed off his speed by leading the league with 14 steals (in 16 attempts) and ranking second with 19 runs.

Video: WEST@EAST: Quinn steals a pair of bases in the 8th

Quinn and Revere are similarly built, with Quinn an inch taller and five pounds heavier at 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds. They both have blazing speed that earns an 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale, but Quinn otherwise should be the superior player in the long run.

Revere is a better pure hitter (60 vs. 50), but he walks so infrequently that Quinn likely will post higher on-base percentages in the Majors. Quinn has more power (30 vs. 20), though it's not a big part of either player's game, and a much stronger arm (60 vs. 30). One season after converting from shortstop, Quinn already projects as a better center-field defender (55-60 vs. 40-45) because Revere is inefficient with his jumps and routes.

What's corner infielder D.J. Peterson's ETA in Seattle? Has it changed due to his AFL performance?
-- Eddy W., Seattle

The 12th overall pick in the 2013 Draft, Peterson hit .297/.360/.552 with 31 homers and 111 RBIs in his first full pro season. His OPS declined from .997 in Class A Advanced to .808 in Double-A, indicating that he has work to do against more advance pitching, and then he batted .169/.288/.290 with the Surprise Saguaros.

As I mentioned earlier, I don't read too much into AFL performance. Though Peterson didn't hit well, he did show better plate discipline than he demonstrated in Double-A. I still think he has a chance to reach Safeco Field toward the end of the 2015 season, though '16 is a more realistic expectation.

Peterson has played mostly third base as a pro, though he's a below-average defender there and the Mariners have an All-Star at the hot corner in Kyle Seager. Peterson will fit into Seattle's lineup at either first base, where Logan Morrison has never had a fully healthy and consistent season, or designated hitter, where the club lacks an established performer.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter.