Earlier this morning, ESPN's Keith Law published his Top 100 prospect rankings for 2015, with Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant leading the way in the #1 spot in his rankings. Bryant is considered by many to be the next big power hitter in major league baseball. Here is a look at his top 10 prospects in the game.
Keith Law's Top 10 prospects for 2015
1. Kris Bryant, Cubs
2. Byron Buxton, Twins
3. Carlos Correa, Astros
4. Addison Russell, Cubs
5. Corey Seager, Dodgers
6. Francisco Lindor, Indians
7. J.P Crawford, Phillies
8. Lucas Giolito, Nationals
9. Julio Urias, Dodgers
10. Blake Swihart, Red Sox
Law ranked five shortstops from #3 -7 in his rankings, with Correa, Russell and Seager leading the pack, as they all have the better all around game than the two shortstops ranked behind them, Lindor and Crawford.
It is amazing that an 18 year old pitching prospect is ranked 9th in his Top 100, but Julio Urias is anything but ordinary. Here is what Klaw wrote about him:
No pitcher in recent minor league history has done what Julio Urias just did in an abbreviated season in the high-A California League. In 1983, an 18-year-old right-hander dominated the high-A Carolina League, racking up an unthinkable 300 strikeouts (and 112 walks) in 191 innings for Lynchburg, a campaign that launched him to the big leagues the following year, where that right-hander, Dwight Gooden, won the Rookie of the Year award and became an instant celebrity. Urias didn't pitch as much, but pitched at least as well, and did it despite being nine months younger than Gooden was when pitching at the same level of organized baseball.
Pretty impressive for the young lefty, I don't see him in the big leagues this season, but when 2/5ths of the Dodgers rotation includes injury-prone pitchers like Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson, you really never know. I am sure the Dodgers want to extend him a little more in terms of innings before bringing him up to the big league team, but he is very close to being ready.
Speaking of pitchers, Law ranked a total of 43 pitchers in his Top 100 prospect rankings this season. I can't say I recall that many pitchers in his top 100 rankings ever.
I recently participated in the Baseball Prospectus Experts Mock Draft and drafted Pirates outfielder Austin Meadows with the first pick in the second round. Some BP readers questioned my selection of Meadows so early, but I was confident that Meadows star would still be shining after his injury-filled 2015 season. Law ranked him as his #32 prospect and #17 among all hitting prospects.