Former Baseball America, and current MLB.com, prospect expert Jim Callis answered some prospect questions in a recent Inbox feature, and one of the questions he responded to was the following about his early take on his top 10 prospects for 2016:
What's your early guess for the top 10 overall prospects when MLBPipeline.com revamps its list in January?
-- Alexander M., Concord, Calif.
I'm just one cog in the MLBPipeline machine, but here's my personal top 10 as of the moment. This assumes that Twins outfielder Byron Buxton will collect six more big league at-bats and exceed 130 total, rendering him ineligible. If he doesn't, I still love his five-tool ability enough to rank him No. 1.
1. Corey Seager, SS/3B, Dodgers
2. Lucas Giolito, RHP, Nationals
3. Julio Urias, LHP, Dodgers
4. J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies
5. Yoan Moncada, 2B, Red Sox
6. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates
7. Dansby Swanson, SS, Diamondbacks
8. Orlando Arcia, SS, Brewers
9. Joey Gallo, 3B/OF, Rangers
10. Brendan Rodgers, SS, Rockies
I am pretty sure Seager will be the consensus #1 prospect going into the 2016 season. That shouldn't be a question. Seager was called up in early September when Jimmy Rollins went down with an injury and went on to hit .337-.425-.561 with 4 home runs, 17 runs scored, 17 RBI and 2 stolen bases in just 113 plate appearances. Yeah, he's gonna be good.
We should see Phillies shortstop prospect J.P Crawford in the big leagues at some point next season, sometime in June is my guess. Keith Law has written about him several times stating that he makes the game look so easy and that he hasn't really been challenged in the minors to this point. Crawford hit .392-.489-.443 in 21 games in High A before a promotion to AA Reading. There he hit .265-.354-.407 with 5 home runs, 53 runs scored, 34 RBI and 7 stolen bases in 405 plate appearances.
If you didn't know already, Law no longer host prospect chats over at ESPN, as ESPN is no longer providing that kind of content to their readers. Yet, KLaw is still hosting weekly chats at his own site, www.meadowparty.com. Here is a question he received on Crawford in last week's chat:
David Saba: In 2016, can JP Crawford make an impact the way Lindor has this year? Or will the Phillies hold him back no matter what?
Klaw: I think he can and probably will, because he’s going to be ready to do so by midyear.
Keep that in mind on draft day, folks.
Red Sox second base prospect Yoan Moncada struggled to start the 2015 season, his first in professional ball, but it didn't take him long to make the necessary adjustments. Jason Hunt and out prospect team recently ranked their Red Sox Top 10 fantasy prospects for 2016, and here is what they wrote about Moncada:
The Red Sox spent big money ($31.5M) to sign Cuban teenager Yoan Moncada at the start of spring training. Moncada came with some major hype but didn't start playing games in the minors until mid-May due to his late signing. He started off so slowly, hitting .229 heading into July, that some were thinking he was over-hyped. However, he just needed some time to shake off the rust after sitting out last year, and became one of the hottest players in all of the minors in the second half. His overall numbers are very solid at .278/.380/.438 with 8 homers and 49 for 52 in steals, but you have to wonder what he might have been able to do over the course of a full year instead of just 81 games. Moncada is going to be a true five category player with the ceiling of being among the top players in all of fantasy baseball. Moncada should be owned in every league that has minor leaguers and even in some deep keeper leagues.
Moncada's wRC+ of 135 indicates he was 35% better than league average in his first season in pro ball. He stole 40 bases in 81 games, so we know he has the speed skills. We should see the power come in 2016, and I hope to get the opportunity to see him play at AA Trenton at some point next season.