It's that time of the year again, where prospect experts publish their updated prospect rankings, and Tuesday brought us another rankings list from Jason Parks from Baseball Prospectus. Parks published his Midseason Top 50 Prospects (behind the BP pay wall) on Tuesday morning, and I will take a look at some of them here.
His number one prospect may, or may not, surprise you, as there were plenty of questions about him coming into the season. Twins outfield prospect Byron Buxton tops Parks list after tearing up Low A to the tune of .341-.431-.559 with 8 HRs, 68 runs, 55 RBI and 32 stolen bases with excelltn plate discipline (14% walk rate and 17% strikeout rate) in 68 games.
Here is the rest of Park's Top 10 prospects, along with a few other rankings that could surprise you:
1. Byron Buxton, MIN
Jason Hunt profiled Buxton back in mid-May here. Since then, actually last night Buxton was promoted to High A for his next challenge on his way to big league stardom.
2. Oscar Taveras, STL
3. Xander Bogaerts, BOS
4. Francisco Lindor, CLE
5. Archie Bradley, ARI
6. Miguel Sano, MIN
7. Christian Yelich, MIA
Kevin Nielsen profiled Yelich back on May 20th here, and there is a prevailing thought that Yelich could see time in the big leagues this season. Heck, if the Marlins can promote a Low A pitcher to open the season, we shouldn't be surprised to see Yelich up this season.
8. Kevin Gausman, BAL
9. Taijuan Walker, SEA
10. Jameson Taillon, PIT
I don't think one can be surprised with any of the names in his Top 10, and I think Buxton deserves the top spot right now. With that said, most of us can predict the names included in some Top 10 prospect rankings from year to year, but the make up of the rest of the Top 50 rankings is where the fun begins. Here are a few other prospects from Parks' rankings worthy of mention:
Mark Appel at #18
George Springer at #30
Craig Goldstein profiled Springer back in mid-May here. Since then, he has been promoted to AAA, where he quieted his critics, hitting .297-.399-.579 with 19 HRs, 56 runs, 55 RBI and 23 stolen bases in 73 games, with a 13% walk rate and a 30% strikeout rate.
Jonathan Gray at #33
Corey Seager at #35
CraIg Goldstein profiled Seager earlier today here. I traded for a $5 Seager in one of my NL only keeper leagues earlier today as well, giving up $10 D.J. Lemehieu and an out of time Gerardo Parra. With the Dodgers sticking with Hanley Ramirez at shortstop, defense does not appear to be a priority, so if that line of thinking continues, I could see Seager sticking at shortstop in the big leagues, at least for a few seasons.
Julio Urias at #41
Craig Goldstein profiled Urias back on May 28th here, fresh with GIFs of Urias on the mound. In case you didn't know this already, Urias is all of 16 years old, and he is striking out more than a hitter per inning in Low A where most of the hitters he faces are 5-6 years older than he is. Impressive.
Maikel Franco at #42
Andrew Ball profiled Franco last week and you can read his piece here. Franco was recently promoted to AA Reading after laying waste to High A pitching to the tune of a .299-.347-.576 slash line with 16 HRs, 42 runs and 52 RBI in 65 games.
Parks also held a Top 50 Prospects chat this afternoon, and here are a few Q & A from said chat:
Steve (Bayshore): Hi Jason, Thank you for the chat. Where would Kris Bryant have slotted were he signed by the Cubs. I assume he'd be in the top 50 (giving the Cubs 4 players in the 50), which sounds pretty good. Too bad they don't have any pitchers on the list, but I can't complain because they appear to have a good crop of positional prospects in the wings.
Jason Parks on the Midseason Top 50 Prospects: Bryant would be in the ~25 range
Parks' response is of interest to me since Bryant could go high in my NL only MiLB draft next season.
ttt (Manhattan): I can't believe you didn't rank my team's prospect higher! Come on! I think it's because you hate my team!
Jason Parks on the Midseason Top 50 Prospects: I've been getting this all day, and not from fans....from teams.
Teams? That response surprised me a bit. I know teams like to see their prospect recognized in all of the prospect rankings around the net, but I imagine they know the prospect more than anyone, so why does it matter, really?