MLB Pipeline released its overhauled Top 100 Prospects list yesterday, so it's a fitting time to compare those rankings to our Fantasy Top 10 Prospects below.The lists have some overlap but reflect different perspectives. We base the Top 100 on long-term value in all phases of the game, while fantasy
MLB Pipeline released its overhauled Top 100 Prospects list yesterday, so it's a fitting time to compare those rankings to our Fantasy Top 10 Prospects below.
The lists have some overlap but reflect different perspectives. We base the Top 100 on long-term value in all phases of the game, while fantasy production for 2018 is all that matters for the Fantasy Top 10. Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez and Nationals outfielders Victor Robles are the only prospects in the top 10 on both lists.
Which players from the top of the Top 100 couldn't crack the Fantasy Top 10? Outfielder Kyle Tucker was our No. 1 fantasy prospect right up until the Astros called him up. Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and Reds third baseman Nick Senzel were regulars on the fantasy list until they had season-ending surgeries, while Astros right-hander Forrest Whitley has made it before and missed this week because of lack of opportunity.
That leaves three shortstops: Brendan Rodgers (Rockies), Bo Bichette (Blue Jays) and Royce Lewis (Twins). Rodgers and Bichette aren't too far away from the big leagues in Double-A, but Colorado doesn't have any infield openings right now and Toronto likely will wait until 2019 to take a look at Bichette. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 Draft, Lewis has 20-20 potential but is a couple of years away as a 19-year-old in high Class A.
1. Francisco Mejia, C/OF, Padres (Previous rank: 1)
It's unclear how he'll fit into San Diego's lineup given Austin Hedges' superior defensive skills behind the plate, but Mejia's bat is ready and the Padres just gave up Adam Cimber and Brad Hand to get him from the Indians.
2. Eloy Jimenez, OF, White Sox (Previous rank: 2)
Jimenez is batting .400/.440./825 in 10 games since returning from a left adductor strain and .328/.377/.582 overall this season. The only reason not to promote him is to keep him from accruing service time.
3. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B, Blue Jays (Previous rank: 3)
He's in the same situation as Jimenez. The next Jose Cabrera has been on fire since coming back from injury (strained patellar tendon in his left knee), batting .368/.400/.632 in 10 games, though represents a mild slump in a season in which he's hitting .403/.451/.663.
4. Keston Hiura, 2B, Brewers (Previous rank: 4)
The Brewers' playoff hopes are taking a hit as they have lost nine of their last 13 games, and they've gotten the sixth-worst second-base production (.646 OPS) in MLB. Why not promote the best pure hitter in the 2017 Draft?
5. Tyler O'Neill, OF, Cardinals (Previous rank: unranked)
The Cardinals aren't going to make the playoffs, so it behooves them to find out if a guy with 56 homers in 189 Triple-A games the last two years can translate that power to the big leagues. In the brief opportunities they've given O'Neill, he has. Video: KC@STL: O'Neill bounces throw home to nab Goins
6. Michael Kopech, RHP, White Sox (Previous rank: 6)
As with Jimenez, the White Sox can make an argument for not giving Kopech service time while they're hopelessly out of contention. But his control has been much better in his last three starts (24/2 K/BB ratio in 17 innings) and he needs a new challenge.
7. Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, Orioles (Previous rank: 9)
The Manny Machado and Zack Britton trades signal that the Orioles are looking to the future. Mountcastle is their best prospect and he's batting .315/.366/.521 in Double-A.
8. Mitch Keller, RHP, Pirates (Previous rank: 5)
Keller may need another start or two in Triple-A, but he's clearly more talented than any pitcher in Pittsburgh's rotation with the exception of Jameson Taillon. Video: Dodgers send five prospects to Orioles for Machado
9. Victor Robles, OF, Nationals (Previous rank: unranked)
If Robles hadn't hyperextended his left elbow in the fourth game of the Triple-A season, maybe he gets the call over Juan Soto in May. Almost finished with a rehab assignment, he can provide more offense than the scuffling Michael Taylor.
10. Luis Urias, 2B, Padres (Previous rank: unranked)
The Padres could get a sneak preview of their 2019 lineup by promoting Mejia and Urias, two of the best hitters anywhere in the Minor Leagues.
Dropped out:Willie Calhoun, OF, Rangers (Previous rank: 7); Alex Verdugo, OF, Dodgers (Previous rank: 8); Forrest Whitley, RHP, Astros (Previous rank: 10).
Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.