Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

MLB News

Inbox: Midseason Top 100 Prospects re-rank

July 27, 2017

It all started innocently enough, with my usual call for Pipeline Inbox questions on Twitter:Now, in a typical good week, maybe there will be a dozen queries sent in response. I had a feeling there would be more this week, given that we just launched our new Top 100 Prospects

It all started innocently enough, with my usual call for Pipeline Inbox questions on Twitter:
Now, in a typical good week, maybe there will be a dozen queries sent in response. I had a feeling there would be more this week, given that we just launched our new Top 100 Prospects list and all of our re-ranked team Top 30 lists, not to mention the impending non-waiver Trade Deadline. When the questions came pouring in, it was just too much to try to figure out how to handle in one Inbox. So I tried to answer as many as I could on Twitter using #PipelineInbox. You can go back and read it all. I'll wait…
:: Submit a question to the Pipeline Inbox ::
OK, now that you're caught up, I'll dive a bit deeper into a few topics that came up, including taking one non-Twitter question that came my way.

I love the fill-in-the-blank/Mad Libs-esque question from Taylor and coupled it with the Wentz tweet (Twentz?) because that's how I'd fill in the first part. Braves fans, I've got to tell you, you love your farm system and are extremely protective of it. I mean, really, having eight on the Top 100 isn't enough?
I can see why Doc, and others, love Wentz. There's a lot to like, him being a 6-foot-5 lefty with the potential to have three above-average offerings. An argument could be made that he belongs now, and I'm pleased to see him commanding the ball better in his first full season. I could see him easily pitching his way onto the list in 2018 if he continues pitching like this as he moves up the ladder.

Hays is one of the players we've probably heard the most about not being in the Top 100, other than Wentz. And a good case can be made for Hays given the first full season he's having. He's No. 2 on the Orioles Top 30 Prospects list and is one of a handful of players not on the Top 100 who did get overall 55 grades, which means we think he has the chance to be an above-average big leaguer.
The 2016 third-round pick has moved quickly, getting a bump up to Double-A, where's he continued to hit for average and power. He's definitely exceeded expectations, which is why he's on the unofficial list of future replacements for the Top 100, in the 101-110 range. My usual caution on where a guy is ranked always has to do with present production vs. long-term projection. Yes, Hays' performance has vaulted him into Top 100 consideration, and he could join the Top 100 list before the season is over. But to bring Kyle Tucker into the conversation is missing the point a bit of what we try to do with our rankings. Tucker got to Double-A ahead of when Hays did and is a year-and-a-half younger. But more importantly, long term, reports on Tucker point to him being a better player than Hays when all is said and done.

Phillies fans love Sixto, and it's easy to see why. He's touching triple-digits, he has the chance to have a plus curve and he has a solid feel for a changeup. He walks very few (1.3 BB/9 in his full-season debut this year), misses a decent amount of bats and doesn't give up hits. What's not to like? There a reason we moved him up to No. 2 on the Phillies' Top 30 and up to No. 52 on the Top 100 (he wasn't in the Top 100 when we unveiled it before the season began).
Now all that said, there is reason to be cautious. He is just getting started. He doesn't turn 19 until this weekend (Happy Birthday, Sixto!) and he's tossed less than 150 total Minor League innings. Yes, I know we'll add some high school players from the Draft up pretty high on the list, but there's typically more track record as amateurs to work from (perhaps we over-value the Draft kids a bit from time to time; I'm willing to admit to that). Also, the scouting industry can be wary of six-foot right-handers. Maybe that's unfair, but it happens. If Sanchez continues to throw like this, he'll undoubtedly move up.
As for Moniak, I'll point to the above discussion (Hays vs. Tucker) about long-term projection and not current production. Moniak is holding his own at the same level Sanchez is at, but this isn't a "best South Atlantic League players" list. Moniak has tremendous upside and will play up the middle for a long, long time. We will always tend to give that kind of player the nod over a pitcher, knowing we can adjust if Moniak's production doesn't eventually catch up to that projection.
When Huascar Ynoa was traded from the Twins to the Braves he was No. 22 on the Twins Top 30, but did not make the Braves Top 30 and thus his scouting profile has "disappeared."Would you be able to provide a screenshot of it or give a verbal breakdown?
-- Joe M., Staten Island, NY

Joe emailed this question to us and it's something that happens from time to time. Ynoa actually would not have made the Twins' Top 30 in the re-rank, but he was indeed on the list preseason. As you'll see in his old entry, which I've pasted below, he's an interesting arm, but one who is quite far away. The one thing I'd add to this is that his performance in the Appy League has been a bit more uneven than his GCL stint was in 2016:
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 45 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45
The younger brother of one-time phenom Michael Ynoa, Huascar didn't quite get the $4.25 million payday his brother got from the A's in 2008, but the Twins did see enough in him to give him $800,000 to sign in 2014. A decent pro debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2015 turned into a fantastic United States debut in the Gulf Coast League the following season.
Ynoa offers an interesting three-pitch mix, with an advanced feel for how to use it for his age, coming from a strong and durable body. He touched 94-95 mph with his fastball at times and he could get there more consistently as he gets stronger. He throws a slurvy breaking ball around 80 mph, with some thinking it might eventually evolve into a solid slider. His changeup is ahead of his breaking ball and he has a pretty good feel for it. Considering his delivery is still raw and he's trying to get to a point where he repeats it consistently, Ynoa throws a lot of strikes.
With his pitchability, solid stuff and good pitcher's frame, Ynoa has all of the ingredients to be a starting pitcher. There are refinements to be made, in both command and breaking stuff, but if his progress from one summer to the next a year ago was any indication, there's more to come from this young right-hander.

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