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Inbox: Which team fared best in midseason Top 100 Prospects?

Jonathan Mayo answers fans' questions about the updated prospect rankings
July 29, 2016

As you might imagine, it has been a busy time in MLB Pipeline land of late, as we were all scurrying to get the Top 100, all 30 teams' Top 30 and the Top 10 by position lists re-ranked.By now, most of you have digested the lists. If you haven't,

As you might imagine, it has been a busy time in MLB Pipeline land of late, as we were all scurrying to get the Top 100, all 30 teams' Top 30 and the Top 10 by position lists re-ranked.
By now, most of you have digested the lists. If you haven't, go have a looksee. Not surprisingly, the new lists generated a ton of questions. Jim Callis, Mike Rosenbaum and I answered as many as we could on Twitter on Thursday, but we barely scratched the surface. So I'm dedicating this week's Pipeline Inbox to Top 100/Top 30 questions.
Except for one subject: In the midst of all of this, news came out of a very unusual post-Draft signing in the works. A lot of fans had questions about that one, so I tacked that onto the end.

You can find all of that info on Callis' thorough breakdown piece. The Astros led the way with seven players, while the Pirates were second with six. Nine teams had five representatives. For years now, we have used an unscientific way of rating organizations based on how many prospects they have in the Top 100 and how high they are placed. We call it Prospect Points (100 points to the team with the No. 1 prospect, 99 to No. 2, etc.), and here's the top five:
1. Pirates, 383

  1. Red Sox, 346
  2. Nationals, 332
  3. Yankees, 317
  4. Astros, 306

Whenever we put out lists, questions about best farm systems always come. The Prospect Points is one way to look at it. The Braves have five players listed in the Top 100, and they are 10th on the PP list, with 252 points. But as the question above mentions, there is some depth, and there is more to grading out a farm system than just counting up Top 100 talent.
Callis will be taking a much closer look at the top farm systems in a piece next week, so I will defer a bit. However, I will say that the Braves have done a ton to rebuild that system. One thing I look at in terms of depth is how many 50 overall grades there are in the top 30. The Braves have 13 -- that's a pretty good number. I don't think they're quite the top farm system in the game, but they have definitely moved into the conversation.

I wasn't going to answer any questions about a specific player, but I decided to take this one. Of all the players who were on the Top 100 preseason list, no one made a larger leap than Rosario, going from No. 79 up to No. 18. He is also now the No. 1 prospect in the Mets' Top 30. During the Twitter session, someone had asked whether I was surprised, and I answered with a resounding no.
Rosario has always been talented and young for his level, as the Mets have challenged him each year. He has always held his own, and it was only a matter of time before his performance/results caught up to his talent. Even now in Double-A, he's 4.4 years younger than the league average, according to Baseball-Reference. But Rosario is putting it all together, and he's doing it at a premium position. I think the Mets would love not to rush him, so he could even start the year in Binghamton in 2017. Or they could push Rosario to Las Vegas, where he will most certainly force their hands. I think it's safe to see him in New York at some point next season.

These three tweets kind of sum up the questions about soon-to-be-Reds outfielder TJ Friedl. First, the "how does this work?" question. It's not often that all 30 teams (and the player himself) don't realize a player is Draft-eligible. But such was the case with Friedl, a redshirt sophomore from Nevada. However, because he is eligible but wasn't drafted, he officially fits into the "passed over" category. That means any team can sign him, but whatever bonus he gets will count against that team's bonus pool. The Reds are likely willing to go up to five percent over their pool. That will incur a financial penalty, but not the forfeiture of a Draft pick.
Now, where would Friedl fit into the 2017 Draft? An interesting question, one that couldn't really be answered until scouts saw how he played this spring. That said, most see Friedl as a top-two rounds kind of player. If he followed up his strong showing for USA Baseball with another good spring, he could have ended up in the first round, especially given the annual dearth of good college bats.
Finally, where does Friedl belong in the new Reds' Top 30? I'll have to figure that out for certain once the signing becomes official, but he would probably go in the No. 6-10 range, maybe right after Alfredo Rodriguez.

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