Cream Of The Not-Quite-Top-100 Crop
We released MLBPipeline’s 2014 Top 100 Prospects list last Thursday night, and questions have been pouring in ever since. The most common one: How close did Player X come to making the Top 100?
With that in mind, here are 15 players I like who couldn’t crack our Top 100. Some of them made my personal Top 100, but fell by the wayside when Jonathan Mayo & I combined our two lists and started arm wrestling and soliciting scouting feedback. I’ve listed them in alphabetical order:
Miguel Almonte, RHP, Royals. Has advanced feel for pitching to go with plus fastball and changeup, would have made the Top 100 if he owned a better breaking ball.
J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies. Clearly the top shortstop prospect in the 2013 Draft, he should have no problem sticking at the position and could develop into a top-of-the-order hitter.
Phillip Ervin, OF, Reds. A steal with the 27th overall pick in the 2013 Draft, he should hit for average and power and his above-average speed could keep him in center field.
Wilmer Flores, INF, Mets. Yes, he can hit, but he lacks a defensive home and still has to prove he has the pop to be a regular at first base or left field, his most likely destinations.
Luke Jackson, RHP, Rangers. Still must continue to refine his command, but he gets nice life on a fastball that reaches 96 mph and flashes good secondary stuff.
Nick Kingham, RHP, Pirates. As if the Pirates needed another talented young starter; this guy throws strikes with a plus fastball, promising changeup and a solid three-quarters breaking ball.
Sean Manaea, LHP, Royals. The last time he was fully healthy for an extended period, he showed a nearly-unhittable mid-90s fastball and flashes of an above-average slider in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2012.
Reese McGuire, C, Pirates. The best catcher available in the 2013 Draft, he’s athletic, receives and throws well, and should hit for average and some power.
Kyle Parker, 1B/OF, Rockies. Colorado could replace Todd Helton with another former college quarterback; this one has topped 20 homers in each of his three pro seasons.
Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, Red Sox. Got back on track in 2013 while displaying a well above-average fastball and a plus curveball at times, though must prove he can stay healthy for consecutive seasons.
Enny Romero, LHP, Rays. Good build, easy arm action, lively fastball into the mid-90s, power slider . . . but he doesn’t miss as many bats as he should and might wind up a reliever.
Domingo Santana, OF, Astros. Hit 25 homers last year as a 20-year-old in Double-A, profiles well in right field with his strong arm, needs to get more consistent at the plate.
Marcus Semien, INF, White Sox. His tools aren’t as gaudy as his stats, but his 21 homers and .401 OBP last season look pretty good for a guy capable of playing second base, shortstop or third base.
Dominic Smith, 1B, Mets. My gut keeps telling me that he, and not the Astros’ Jonathan Singleton, is the game’s best first-base prospect (though Singleton obviously has a much longer track record of success).
Jesse Winker, OF, Reds. Posted an .842 OPS and controlled the strike zone well in the pitcher-friendly low Class A Midwest League at age 19, which bodes very well for his chance of hitting enough to make a difference as a left fielder.