ESPN's Keith Law published his Midseason Top 50 Prospect Rankings on Thursday morning, and here is a look at his top 10 prospects, along with some thoughts on a few others.
Keith Law's Midseason Top 10 Prospects
1. Byron Buxton, MIN
2. Oscar Taveras, STL
3. Xander Bogaerts, BOS
4. Miguel Sano, MIN
5. Francisco Lindor, CLE
6. Addison Russell, OAK
7. Carlos Correa, HOU
8. Archie Bradley, ARI
9. Mark Appel, HOU
10. Taijuan Walker, SEA
Others of note: Kris Bryant, CHC (15), Corey Seager, LAD (16), Jonathan Gray, COL (23), George Springer, HOU (29)
Some initial thoughts:
I was surprised with the high ranking of Astros draft pick Mark Appel in his top 10 here, but here is what he wrote about him:
This year's top draft prospect is now in Class A, still sitting in the mid-90s with above-average command, although I expect Houston will keep his outings short this year to try to build him up slowly for next year. He has ace potential, with three above-average to plus pitches and an easy delivery he can repeat all day.
Where do Fake Teams readers rank Appel among all pitching prospects in the game?
As a Dodgers fan, I am excited about the success of shortstop prospect Corey Seager, and Law had some nice things to say about him:
Although he's still most likely a third baseman in the end, Seager has been the best hitter in the Midwest League since his return from a DL stint in early June, hitting .342/.439/.586 in that span. He's going to be big -- at 6-4, 215 pounds, he's already bigger than every full-time shortstop in MLB history -- but that's going to produce plus power that makes him a potential All-Star.
I am bailing in both of my NL only keeper leagues and recently traded for Seager in one of them. I think he could see time in LA in late 2015 or early 2016.
I think it is interesting that Law ranked recent draft pick Kris Bryant ahead of Albert Amora, Javier Baez and Jorge Soler among all of the Cubs prospects. The Cubs have four prospects in his Top 50, actually in his top 27, and Law ranked them Bryant>Soler>Almora>Baez, and Law notes that both Baez and Almora rarely walk and is starting to wonder if the Cubs preach swinging the bat more than taking the free pass.
After not ranking him in his preseason Top 100, Law ranked Royals shortstop prospect Raul Mondesi Jr. at #40 in his overall rankings. Law states "at worst, he might turn into Elvis Andrus" for his glove, but opines that he has more pop and could be something more.
Law spoke highly of Astros outfield prospect George Springer, stating that if he had a two strike approach, he would be in his Top 10. With that said, he went on to say that if he does improve his two strike approach "he's a potential monster, a 30-30 candidate who gets on base". Springer has reduced his strikeout rate in AAA since his promotion there, but it is still hovering around 27%.
Law also held a chat on Thursday, and here are a few interesting Q & A from the chat:
I understand Billy Hamilton not making the top 50, but how do you feel about his current MLB projection?
Klaw (1:04 PM)
There's too high of a chance of him not hitting enough for the speed to play up - so much of his value will come from his legs, and if he's not strong enough to post an OBP much above .310-320, he's just a bit player.
Sounds very similar to Dee Gordon, eh?
What's your opinion on Maikel Franco?
Klaw (1:12 PM)
Wrote about him after seeing him in Trenton a week and a half ago - has power, raw hit tool is good, but recognition of offspeed is atrocious and he's rough at third. I like him, but no way is he top 50.
Phillies third base prospect Maikel Franco has created some hype for himself with his performance at the plate this season, but Law recommends some caution here.
Bogaerts or Machado long term? Is it even close?
Klaw (1:16 PM)
Machado. Love Bogaerts, but Machado's a better defender.
This is probably deserving of a separate post, but I think Bogaerts could have the better bat of the two in the long run, and that is what fantasy owners care about more. What do Fake Teams readers think?
is joc Pederson more billy Ashley or raul mondesi?
Klaw (2:07 PM)
There's a little range in between there ... but more Mondesi if I have to choose.
Lofty praise for a guy who wasn't included in Law's Top 50, and something fantasy owners should consider if he isn't already owners in keeper/dynasty leagues.