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Baseball America/Baseball Prospectus release their midseason prospect rankings

Ray offers his thoughts on the midseason rankings from Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

On Thursday, Baseball Prospectus released their midseason top 50 prospect rankings. On Friday, Baseball America followed them by releasing their midseason top 100 prospect rankings.

Each has their own criteria for who makes the list and who doesn’t, so here is the criteria from both BP and BA:

Baseball Prospectus

Let’s make a couple things clear right up top:

1) There are no recent draftees or international prospect signings in this ranking. That means no Kevin Maitan or Corey Ray.

2) There are no prospect-eligible players who are currently in the majors in this ranking. This means no Lucas Giolito (pitching today for the Nationals) but yes Julio Urias (probably throwing one inning at a time for a while in Glendale to stay fresh/limit workload).

Baseball America

To be eligible, players had to be in the minor leagues on June 21 (the midway point of the minor league season) and not exceed Major League Baseball rookie at-bat (130) or innings (50 innings) requirements. To be eligible, relievers cannot have more than 30 big league appearances. As this is aimed in part as a preview of the non-waiver trade deadline, 2016 draftees and July 2 international signees are not eligible for the Midseason Top 100.

Here is a look at the top 12 for each, with links to the free rankings articles:

Baseball Prospectus

Baseball Prospectus Midseason Top 50 Prospect Rankings

  1. J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies
  2. Yoan Moncada, 2B, Red Sox
  3. Julio Urias, SP, Dodgers
  4. Alex Bregman, SS, Astros
  5. Brendan Rodgers, SS, Rockies
  6. Austin Meadows, OF, Pirates
  7. Orlando Arcia, SS, Brewers
  8. Alex Reyes, SP, Cardinals
  9. Victor Robles, OF, Nationals
  10. Dansby Swanson, SS, Braves
  11. Andrew Benintendi, OF, Red Sox
  12. Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers

Baseball America

Baseball America Midseason Top 100 Prospect Rankings

  1. Yoan Moncada, 2B, Red Sox
  2. Alex Reyes, SP, Cardinals
  3. J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies
  4. Lucas Giolito, SP, Nationals
  5. Trea Turner, SS, Nationals
  6. Tyler Glasnow, SP, Pirates
  7. Dansby Swanson, SS, Braves
  8. Alex Bregman, SS, Astros
  9. Andrew Benintendi, OF, Red Sox
  10. Austin Meadows, OF, Pirates
  11. Joey Gallo, 3B, Rangers
  12. Brendan Rodgers, SS, Rockies

Some Thoughts

As you can see, the rankings are very similar at the top, with Baseball America thinking Alex Reyes is the top starting pitching prospect in the minors over Lucas Giolito, which is surprising to me.

It was surprising to see Crawford atop the Baseball Prospectus list, but in the comments section of their rankings piece Craig Goldstein explains that the feeling is that Crawford is a guarantee to stay at shortstop, while a few of the other shortstops in the top 12 aren’t guaranteed to stay at shortstop a few years from now.

I personally think Benintendi is too low in both lists. For fantasy purposes, he could be a fantasy stud, capable of hitting 20 home runs and stealing 20+ bases with high run totals and a solid batting average.

As an owner of him in one NL keeper league, I was happy to see Nationals outfielder in the top 10 in the Baseball Prospectus rankings, and Baseball America ranked him at #13 in their rankings. He has the potential to be a five category producer as he matures up the minor league ladder. He has hit 6 home runs and stolen 22 bases in 31 attempts, and was recently promoted to High A.

Astros SS/3B prospect Alex Bregman has thoroughly dominated Double A and Triple A pitching this season, hitting for more power than most expected from him. We should see him in the big leagues very soon, but with Luis Valbuena hitting of late, Bregman will have to wait a few more weeks for his call up.

Rankings that caught my attention

David Dahl, OF, Rockies

BP ranked Dahl at 14 and BA ranked him at 16 in their respective rankings. Dahl was just recently promoted to Triple A Albuquerque, and is enjoying a breakout season with 15 home runs and 16 steals in 80 games in Double A and Triple A. He could see a September call up, but the Rockies are apparently pondering trading one, or both, of Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon, so a July trade could open up a spot for Dahl this season.

Amed Rosario, SS, Mets

BP ranked him at 15 and BA ranked him at 17 in their respective rankings. Like Dahl, Rosario is enjoying a breakout season in the minors, and was recently promoted to Double A Binghamton. He isn’t hitting for much over the wall power at the moment, but he is showing an excellent eye at the plate, hitting for a high average and has stolen 14 bases in 22 attempts.

Cody Bellinger, 1B, Dodgers

BP did not rank him in their top 50, but BA ranked Bellinger as their #24 ranked prospect in the game, which, even to me, was eye-opening. I am high on Bellinger, and had a Twitter conversation with J.P. Breen from Baseball Prospectus yesterday about why Bellinger is deserving of the ranking. First base prospects are hard to rank, as the industry believes that a first base prospect must have a big bat to be ranked in the Top 100. Bollinger doesn’t have Joey Gallo-power, but he does hit for power, hits for average, has a good eye at the plate, and has gold glove potential at first base. He is athletic enough to play center field as well. How many first baseman can you say that about? Bollinger is producing at a high level in Double A while being one of the youngest hitters in the Texas League this season.

Below is a response from BA’s Vincent Lara-Cinisomo to a question about Bellinger;

Saul (Tampa): Slight dip in pop for Bellinger, with the early-season injury and departure from the Cal league. Is Brandon Belt a fair comp for him, and will he have to wait unitl Adrian's contract runs out after 2018?

Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: He’s a young guy against advanced competition. No, I dont think Belt is a fair comp. I think he’ll have for more power and yes, most likely he won’t be the regular guy until after the Gonzalez contract expires.

I am not sure how to read VLC’s response, as one could read it as "he’ll hit for more power (than Belt)" or "he’ll have far more power (than Belt)". Either way, some high praise for a guy that doesn’t get much national attention.

Our prospect team led by Jason Hunt will be publishing their Midseason Top 50 Fantasy Prospects in the coming days, so make sure you come back for that and let us know your thoughts.