One of the best things about the release of MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list is to see how many players from your favorite organization landed on it.:: Complete 2017 Top Prospects coverage ::There are 27 teams with at least one prospect among the top 100, with the Angels, Royals and
One of the best things about the release of MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list is to see how many players from your favorite organization landed on it.
:: Complete 2017 Top Prospects coverage ::
There are 27 teams with at least one prospect among the top 100, with the Angels, Royals and D-backs not having a representative. There are two teams, the Marlins and the Tigers, with one player each on the list.
Which organizations are at the top in terms of representation on the Top 100? There's more than one way to examine that question.
If all of them reach their ceilings, then seven will indeed be a lucky number for the Yankees and Braves, whose seven representatives mark the most of any teams.
Both organizations have worked to restock systems of late with strong success, and trades have certainly helped. Two of Atlanta's seven Top 100 prospects have come via trade, with Dansby Swanson leading the way at No. 4 and Sean Newcomb at No. 80. Renewed efforts to aggressively go after high-ceiling talent (especially pitching) in the Draft have netted Kolby Allard, Mike Soroka and Ian Anderson. Kevin Maitan was a huge get in the international market last summer, netting a $4.25 million bonus, while Ozzie Albies was signed out of Curacao back in 2013.
The top of the Yankees' prospect crop -- No. 3 overall Gleyber Torres and No. 24 Clint Frazier -- both came in Deadline deals last summer (Albertin Chapman and Andrew Miller). No. 79 Justus Sheffield came with Frazier from the Indians in the Miller trade. Blake Rutherford (No. 37), Aaron Judge (No. 45) and James Kaprielian (No. 48) are the Yankees' last three first-round picks, in 2016, '13 and '15, respectively. (They didn't pick until the second round in '14.) Jorge Mateo (No. 47) signed for $225,000 in 2012 and is the lone product of international market efforts on the Top 100.
The White Sox, courtesy of the Chris Sale and Adam Eaton trades this winter, are next with six Top 100 prospects, four coming from those two deals. The Pirates, Brewers, Rockies, Astros, Cubs and Dodgers all have five Top 100 prospects apiece.
Having a large number of players on the list doesn't ensure that the team will land on the top 10 farm systems list (coming in early March). Obviously it doesn't hurt, with a large number of impact talents -- what the Top 100 measures, after all -- clearly being a good thing. But that falls short of examining an entire organization, leaving out depth as an important measuring stick.
Still, it's an interesting exercise to see how the teams measure up. We've used a weighted scoring system, "Prospect Points," for a while now, awarding 100 points to the team with the No. 1 prospect, 99 to No. 2, and so on. It turns out that one of the teams with the most prospects sits atop those standings, but one does not.
Yankees take "Prospect Points" title
New York's seven prospects added up to a leading total of 414 points. That's largely because five of the seven land in the Top 50. The Braves come in third with 363 points, thanks to three players in the Top 50. The White Sox have one less player on the Top 100, but finished a touch higher than Atlanta with 379 points, courtesy of three players in the Top 20 alone in Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech, all acquired in those trades. (Reynaldo Lopez, also a trade acquisition, gives them a fourth Top 50 guy.) The Pirates are fourth (352), while the Brewers round out the top five with 292 points.
Recent history has shown that prospect points do tell us something about future success. While four of last year's 10 playoff teams were in the top 10 in prospect points entering the season, seven playoff teams were in the top nine in 2015 and six of the top eight prospect point teams entering the 2014 landed in the postseason. Good prospects turn into good players, or at least good trade bait, and good players create good teams.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.