More than a month into the 2019 Minor League season, MLB Pipeline is giving its Top 100 Prospects list a shakeup. Nothing too crazy, of course, since we’re talking about a sample size of less than 40 games. However, enough has transpired this season that it’s an appropriate time to adjust some of the players in our rankings.
We will do another round of updates in June and then once again after the season. Our usual midseason re-rank of every team’s Top 30 list will occur in July.
• Top 100 Prospects list
After re-evaluating the top 15 prospects on the list, we left only the top three guys (Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez) in place.
Outside of the top 15, we moved 11 players up and six down by a significant amount, and added two new prospects at the bottom of the Top 100:
Shakeup at the top
Wander Franco, SS, Rays (No. 12 to No. 5)
With MLB Pipeline’s Nos. 1-4 prospects already in the big leagues and therefore poised to graduate from the Top 100 in the near future, Franco is poised to take over the top spot as baseball’s No. 1 prospect. At 18, the switch-hitting shortstop is the next teenage superstar.
Casey Mize, RHP, Tigers (No. 16 to No. 6)
The 2018 No. 1 overall Draft pick has established himself as baseball’s best pitching prospect a little more than a month into his first full season. With superb command of three plus-or-better pitches, Mize breezed through the Florida State League (0.35 ERA, 0.31 WHIP, 25/1 K/BB), fired a no-hitter in his Double-A Erie debut and owns a 0.60 ERA, 0.42 WHIP and 40/3 K/BB in 45 innings (seven starts) on the season.
MacKenzie Gore, LHP, Padres (No. 14 to No. 8)
After dealing with a recurring blister issue in his first full season, Gore, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 Draft, is pitching with improved velocity and better action on his secondary pitches this year in the California League. It’s enabled the 20-year-old southpaw to dominate in the hitter-friendly circuit, which he currently leads in ERA (1.22) and WHIP (0.70). His 52 strikeouts are second, and he’s issued just seven walks in 37 innings.
Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros (No. 7 to No. 13)
Tucker started slowly back in Triple-A but owns a .350/.435/.775 line with five home runs since the calendar flipped to May.
Keston Hiura, 2B, Brewers (No. 19 to No. 15)
He’s furthered his reputation as one of the best pure hitters in the Minors with a hot start in Triple-A, where he’s hitting for average (.333) and power (11 HR) while keeping his strikeouts in check.
Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics (No. 11 to No. 16)
After ascending three levels to finish 2018 as a 20-year-old in Triple-A, Luzardo was a candidate to crack the A’s Opening Day rotation up until he suffered a left shoulder strain during Spring Training.
Taylor Trammell, OF, Reds (No. 15 to No. 19)
Though he’s having a good season so far in Double-A at age 21, Trammell is dropping slightly in the rankings after several pitchers claimed spots in the Top 15 and other outfield prospects improved their stocks.
Cristian Pache, OF, Braves (No. 30 to No. 17)
As a 20-year-old in Double-A, Pache’s all-around game is coming together quickly, as he’s beginning to tap into some of his impressive raw power, making quality contact more consistently and playing his usual elite defense in center field.
Luis Robert, OF, White Sox (No. 34 to No. 18)
Few prospects have improved their stock this season as much as Robert, whose five-tool potential is translating to on-field production on a nearly nightly basis. The 21-year-old was bumped up to Double-A on April 30 after posting a .453/.512/.920 line with eight homers and eight steals over 19 games at Class A Advanced Winston-Salem.
Yordan Alvarez, OF, Astros (No. 38 to No. 26)
Alvarez’s ability to hit for average and power sets him apart from most prospects, though questions remain about his defensive profile. With a .402/.490/.869 slash line, 15 homers and 47 RBIs in 33 games, the 6-foot-5 left-handed hitter has nothing left to prove in the Minors.
Jarred Kelenic, OF, Mariners (No. 49 to No. 42)
The 2018 No. 6 overall Draft pick is excelling at the plate (.316/.405/.564, 6 HR, 13 2B) in his first full season after joining the Mariners’ system in the offseason trade that sent Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to the Mets.
Nolan Gorman, 3B, Cardinals (No. 54 to No. 35)
After leading all 2018 draftees in home runs (17) and reaching Class A Peoria last summer, Gorman has only added to his reputation as a future slugger by going deep eight times in 31 games -- while hitting for average and demonstrating on-base skills -- in his return to the Midwest League.
Gavin Lux, SS/2B, Dodgers (No. 61 to No. 43)
He’s hitting for more power as a 21-year-old in Double-A after a breakout 2018 campaign in which he led all Minor League shortstops in all three triple-slash categories (.324/.399/.514).
Nate Pearson, RHP, Blue Jays (No. 67 to No. 57)
Fully healthy after a lost 2018 campaign due to injury, Pearson is confirming this season that he has one of the highest ceilings among pitching prospects -- something he offered a taste of in last year’s Arizona Fall League. The 22-year-old owns a 0.69 ERA and 43/3 K/BB in 26 innings this season and has already been promoted to Double-A.
Michael Chavis, 2B, Red Sox (No. 70 to No. 63)
Since making his big league debut on April 20, Chavis has teed off on six home runs -- including the four longest homers hit by the Red Sox this season -- in 20 games and gives Boston a veritable slugger at second base.
Corbin Martin, RHP, Astros (No. 71 to No. 58)
The 2017 second-rounder from Texas A&M won his big league debut against the Rangers on Sunday, striking out nine over 5 1/3 innings of three-hit, two-run ball while averaging 95.7 mph with a fastball that topped out at 97.7.
Drew Waters, OF, Braves (No. 76 to No. 66)
Waters has handled the jump to Double-A at age 20 with aplomb, as he’s thrived as the M-Braves’ leadoff man while lining up alongside Pache in the outfield. The 6-foot-2, 183-pound switch-hitter enters week as the Southern League’s leader in average (.336), hits (48), extra-base hits (19) and total bases (75).
Nico Hoerner, SS, Cubs (No. 90 to No. 64)
The Cubs’ 2018 first-rounder has been sidelined since April 27 with a bruised wrist, but already had made a smooth transition to the Double-A level following an impressive spring in big league camp and a standout turn in last year’s Arizona Fall League.
Yusniel Diaz, OF, Orioles (No. 56 to No. 83)
Sidelined since late April with an undisclosed injury, Diaz had gotten off to a slow start in Double-A after an encouraging performance in Spring Training.
Michel Baez, RHP, Padres (No. 63 to No. 78)
The 6-foot-8 Baez was held back to begin the season with right shoulder inflammation and is yet to pitch in a game.
Bryse Wilson, RHP, Braves (No. 72 to No. 80)
Wilson has lost a bit of the helium he created last season, when he reached the Majors at age 21, and there’s some concern about the consistency and effectiveness of his secondary pitches in a starting role.
Taylor Widener, RHP, D-backs (No. 73 to unranked)
That Widener relies on deception and pitches with modest velocity highlights his small margin for error as a starter, and he’s struggled mightily in the role so far in his first Triple-A exposure.
Ronaldo Hernandez, C, Rays (No. 74 to No. 89)
Hernandez hit .284 with 21 homers in his first full season, but his approach and defensive both need work.
Julio Pablo Martinez, OF, Rangers (No. 78 to unranked)
We were cautiously optimistic about the 23-year-old’s tools finally beginning to translate this season, but that hasn’t been the case so far, especially since his promotion to the Carolina League.
Cole Tucker, SS, Pirates (unranked to No. 99)
After nearly cracking the preseason Top 100, Tucker proceeded to tear up Triple-A en route to the Major Leagues as the Pirates’ everyday shortstop.
Ryan Rolison, LHP, Rockies (unranked to No. 100)
The No. 22 pick in the 2018 Draft out of Mississippi, Rolison’s combination of pitchability and polish has already netted him a promotion from Class A Asheville to Class A Advanced Lancaster.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.