In today’s Pipeline Perspective, I tabbed the Rockies’ Jon Gray and Eddie Butler as the top pair of pitching prospects in the same system. They’re far from the only talented duo on our MLBPipeline.com Top 100 Prospects list, however.
I’ve ranked the 15 best pitching tandems below, with their Top 100 rankings in parentheses:
1. Jon Gray (14) & Eddie Butler (41), Rockies. The two best fastball/slider combinations in the Minors.
2. Dylan Bundy (20) & Kevin Gausman (31), Orioles. If Bundy didn’t have Tommy John surgery, this duo would rank No. 1 — or Bundy might already have lost his rookie/prospect eligibility.
3. Jameson Taillon (16) & Tyler Glasnow (27), Pirates. Jonathan Mayo’s choice for the top tandem.
4. Kyle Zimmer (25) & Yordano Ventura (35), Royals. Their development is crucial for an organization that has struggled to grow its own starters.
5. Archie Bradley (5) & Braden Shipley (79), Diamondbacks. Bradley went seventh overall in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft and Shipley was the No. 15 overall choice in 2013 — and both could be steals.
6. Alex Meyer (28) & Kohl Stewart (40), Twins. Another organization waylaid by its inability to find frontline starters, Minnesota addressed that shortcoming by trading for Meyer and drafting Stewart seven months apart.
7. Mark Appel (17) & Lance McCullers Jr. (52), Astros. Along with Carlos Correa, Appel is part of baseball’s best hitter/pitcher prospect combination.
8. Aaron Sanchez (23) & Marcus Stroman (55), Blue Jays. We graded 14 pitchers on the Top 100 as having a 65 or better (on the 20-80 scouting scale) fastball and breaking ball; the Rockies, Twins, Astros and Blue Jays were the only teams with two of them.
9. Noah Syndergaard (11) & Rafael Montero (85), Mets. No duo on this list has better control and command (at least not until Bundy makes a full recovery).
10. Henry Owens (30) & Allen Webster (46), Red Sox. If these two can learn to harness their swing-and-miss stuff, the defending World Series champs are going to be even more formidable.
11. Kyle Crick (32) & Edwin Escobar (95), Giants. A contrast in styles, with a raw but overpowering righty (Crick) and a polished lefty (Escobar).
12. Lucas Giolito (44) & A.J. Cole (69), Nationals. Giolito has rebounded from Tommy John surgery out of high school and his ceiling rivals that of any of these prospects.
13. Max Fried (43) & Matt Wisler (78), Padres. Giolito and Fried formed a pretty nifty 1-2 punch at the Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles.
14. C.J. Edwards (42) & Pierce Johnson (100), Cubs. Though they’re overshadowed by a deep crop of hitting prospects in Chicago’s system, these guys could rank a lot higher on the Top 100 a year from now.
15. Zach Lee (63) & Julio Urias (64), Dodgers. Lee may have signed for $5 million, but it’s the precocious Urias who has the higher ceiling.