Loading scores...
Magazine Content

Top 100 Prospects

by Mike Rosenbaum
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Mike Rosenbaum is a prospect writer for MLBPipeline/MLB.com.


*Age reflects player’s age for 2016 season.

 

1.    Corey Seager, SS/3B, Los Angeles Dodgers

Age: 22 | ETA: Debuted in 2015

 

Seager checks in as this year’s No. 1 prospect after an extraordinary 2015 campaign. The 21-year-old hit up a storm at Double-A Tulsa during the first month of the season to force a promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City. While he didn’t fare as well in the Pacific Coast League, posting a .783 OPS with 13 home runs in 105 games, the Dodgers didn’t hesitate to call him up when rosters expanded in September. Seager made an immediate impact upon his arrival in the Major Leagues and went on to bat .337/.425/.561 with 13 extra-base hits and 17 RBI in 27 games. Meanwhile, manager Don Mattingly showed tremendous confidence in the youngster by slotting him right into the heart of the batting order and asking him to play shortstop and third base. That notion was amplified during the National League Division Series against the Mets when Seager started at shortstop over veteran Jimmy Rollins. Seager has the ceiling of a perennial All-Star middle-of-the-order hitter who offers value at either left-side-of-the-infield position, and he comes with minimal risk given his durability and strong track record in the minors (and majors). He’s set to open 2016 as the Dodgers’ everyday shortstop and undoubtedly will be the pre-season favorite to win Rookie of the Year in the National League.

 

2.    Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins

Age: 22 | ETA: Debuted in 2015

 

The Twins rushed Buxton to the Major Leagues in 2015, calling him up from Double-A Chattanooga in June after he had missed time with minor injuries early in the season. It showed, too, as the then-21-year-old hit .209/.250/.326 over 46 games while striking out 31.9 percent of the time. To suddenly question Buxton’s potential based on his 2015 performance makes little sense; he possesses the highest ceiling (not to mention an incredibly high floor) of any everyday player in the minors, while his elite speed and defense in center field alone could make him an All-Star. It might take some time for Buxton to figure things out at the plate in the big leagues, but Buxton has shown the ability to make swift adjustments at the plate throughout his minor league career, and it’s never been a question of whether he has the tools to be an impact hitter.

 

3.    Lucas Giolito, RHP, Washington Nationals

Age: 21 | ETA: 2016

 

Giolito opened the 2015 season at the Nats’ complex before heading out to High-A Potomac in early May, where, unsurprisingly, the 21-year-old right-hander made quick work of the Carolina League. He received a promotion in late July to Double-A Harrisburg where his performance was up and down over the final two months of the regular season. On the season, the 6-foot-6, 255-pounder posted a 3.15 ERA and struck out a career-high 131 batters, also eclipsing the 100-inning mark (117 IP) for the first time. Giolito has the highest ceiling for a pitcher in the minors, displaying ace potential with two potential double-plus pitches in a fastball that sits mid-to-upper-90s and a curveball with extreme depth and tight spin. It’s a safe bet that Giolito will return to Harrisburg next season to further refine his changeup and command, but it’s only a matter of time until the Nationals turn him loose against big league hitters.

 

4.    Julio Urias, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Age: 19 | ETA: 2016

 

Far and away the youngest pitcher in Double-A to start the 2015 season, Urias continued his ascent toward the Major Leagues with a strong showing at Tulsa but missed two months in the middle of the season after undergoing cosmetic surgery to remove a benign tumor from his left eye. The precocious southpaw wasn’t as sharp when he returned to the mound in July, but that didn’t deter the Dodgers from promoting him to Triple-A Oklahoma City for a pair of late-season starts. Urias’ stuff and feel for his craft are uniquely special (and not just in context of his age), highlighting his ceiling as a potential ace, and even though his 2015 campaign didn’t unfold as expected, the youngster did make strides with his command by walking only 2.0 batters per nine innings in Double-A. The Dodgers won’t rush Urias to the big leagues next season, but it would be a surprise if they didn’t call on him to contribute in some capacity in 2016.

 

5.    J.P. Crawford, SS, Philadelphia Phillies

Age: 21 | ETA: 2016

 

An oblique strain kept Crawford off the field until early May, but he made up for the late start by posting a robust .392/.489/.443 batting line in 21 games at High-A Clearwater, resulting in a quick promotion to Double-A Reading. The 20-year-old’s game continued to improve at the more advanced level, where he showed good pop (33 extra-base hits) and tallied more walks (49) than strikeouts (45). A left-handed hitter, Crawford has the potential for an above-average hit tool thanks to his advanced bat-to-ball skills and mature approach. And although he projects for fringe-average power, he should always be a consistent source of doubles and triples. On the other side of the ball, Crawford will be able to remain at shortstop for the duration of his career, making his top-of-the-order offensive profile even more valuable.

 

6.    Yoan Moncada, 2B, Boston Red Sox

Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

 

The Red Sox captured headlines last offseason with their signing of high-profile Cuban sensation Yoan Moncada. The club gave the then-19-year-old infielder a $31.5 million bonus, far and away a record for a July 2 prospect, and had to pay a steep penalty tax (also $31.5 million) for eclipsing their international spending limit, with the total cost coming in at $63 million. He struggled at the onset of his professional debut in the South Atlantic League but thrived after the All-Star break, hitting .310/.415/.500 with 25 extra-base hits and 45 steals over 56 games. Moncada is a dynamic offensive talent with elite bat speed from both sides of the plate as well as plus-plus speed, and that should help him compensate for his defensive shortcomings at second base. While he shows the makings of a future star, Moncada shouldn’t be expected to arrive in Boston before the 2017 season.

 

7.    Orlando Arcia, SS, Milwaukee Brewers

Age: 21 | ETA: 2016

 

Arcia is one of the premier defensive shortstops in the minor leagues, but it was his breakout campaign at the plate in 2015 that has everyone buzzing ahead of next season. In his first taste of Double-A as a 20-year-old, Arcia led the Southern League with 37 doubles and ranked fifth with a .307 average. He also finished among the leaders with 157 hits (second), 52 extra-base hits (third), 74 runs (fifth) and 68 RBI (fifth). Arcia is a well-rounded player who offers plus defense at a premium position, and when paired with his offensive upside, it could make him a perennial All-Star. Though he’s ticketed to begin 2016 in Triple-A, Arcia is going to be the starting shortstop in Milwaukee during the 2016 season; it is just a matter of how early in the season the Brewers make such a move.

 

8.    Dansby Swanson, SS, Atlanta Braves

Age: 22 | ETA: 2017

 

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft, Swanson signed with the Diamondbacks for $6.5 million shortly before the deadline. A few weeks later, Swanson was hit in the face with a pitch in a simulated game at the team’s training complex, leaving him with facial lacerations and a mild concussion. When he was finally cleared to return in mid-August, Swanson reported to the Short Season Northwest League and hit .289/.394/.482 over 22 games. His career with the D-backs was ultimately short lived, though, as he was shipped off to Atlanta during the offseason as part of the Shelby Miller trade. The 21-year-old is an advanced hitter with plus speed, and he’s begun to tap into his power during games more consistently in the last year. Meanwhile, there’s little doubt that he will be able to remain at shortstop long term. If all goes as planned with his development, Swanson should be the Braves’ starting shortstop by the end of the 2017 season, if not sooner.

 

9.    Joey Gallo, 3B/OF, Texas Rangers

Age: 22 | ETA: Debuted in 2015

 

Gallo has as much power as anyone in baseball, which has translated into 133 homers in 419 pro games to begin his career, but his penchant for whiffing continues to be a major concern, as he’s now stuck out in 34.7 percent of his plate appearances over four pro seasons. Both aspects of Gallo’s game were on display last season during his first taste of the big leagues, when he hit .204/.301/.417 with six home runs and 57 strikeouts in 123 plate appearances. Making matters worse was the young slugger’s inability to right the ship after a demotion to Triple-A Round Rock, as he hit just .195 with 90 strikeouts over 228 plate appearances in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Gallo is a better hitter than he showed last season, however, with some scouts projecting him to hit .240-.250 with a high on-base percentage once he finally settles in at the highest level. He also provides defensive versatility with his ability to play either third base or left field, and athleticism and average speed sets him apart from other guys his size with power. Gallo should receive another crack at the big leagues in 2016, but don’t expect the Rangers to thrust him into the spotlight as they did last year.

 

10.     Trea Turner, SS/2B, Washington Nationals

Age: 23 | ETA: Debuted in 2015

 

Selected by the Padres with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2014 draft, Turner hit .322/.370/.458 in 116 games for three minor league clubs last season to earn a big league callup to Washington on Aug. 21. He appeared in 27 games for the Nationals following the promotion but logged only 44 plate appearances, hitting .225 with one home run in that span. Turner has cleaned up his hitting mechanics since turning pro and now drives the ball with more consistency, but he’s still unlikely to ever offer much in terms of power. Defensively, the 22-year-old also is an excellent athlete with legitimate plus-plus speed and the defensive chops to handle either shortstop or second base. With Ian Desmond no longer in the picture after leaving via free agency, Turner appears poised to take over shortstop duties for the Nats in 2016.

 

11.     Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

Age: 22 | ETA: 2016

 

Glasnow dominated in his 2013 and 2014 campaigns in the South Atlantic and Florida State Leagues, combining for a stellar 1.96 ERA, .158 opponents’ batting average and 12.3 K/9 over 234 2/3 innings. But because he also posted a 4.5 BB/9 in that span, there were many within the baseball industry who expected the right-hander’s below-average command to be exposed in Double-A. But that simply wasn’t the case, as Glasnow’s tremendous progress as a strike-thrower, along with his development of a more consistent changeup, led to immediate success in the Eastern League. Though his command regressed following a late-season promotion to Triple-A Indianapolis, he still managed to post an impressive 2.20 ERA and notch 48 strikeouts in 41 innings. A 6-foot-8 right-hander, Glasnow boasts an explosive fastball in the mid- to upper-90s and couples it with a plus curveball, and he’s able to miss bats with relative ease with both offerings even when his command is off. Based on how Pittsburgh has handled other high-profile pitching prospects in previous years, Glasnow will likely spend most of 2016 at Triple-A Indianapolis but could be in the mix for a call-up during the final months of the regular season.

 

12.     Lewis Brinson, OF, Texas Rangers

Age: 22 | ETA: 2016

 

Brinson raced through the Minor leagues last season, beginning the year at High-A High Desert before moving up to Double-A Frisco and, ultimately, Triple-A Round Rock. Between the three levels, he batted a robust .332/.403/.601 and set career highs in home runs (20), doubles (31), RBI (69) and runs scored (74). He also swiped 18 bags, cut down on the whiffs and posted a career-best 9.7 percent walk rate. What makes Brinson so special is his ability to impact a game in so many different ways; he’s a gifted athlete and true five-tool talent who is just scraping the surface of his potential. And it’s for those reasons that he could reach the big leagues at some point next season, even with Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara seemingly ahead of him on the depth chart.

 

13.     Alex Reyes, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals

Age: 21 | ETA: 2016

 

Reyes carved up hitters in the Florida State League during the first half of the season, posting a 2.26 ERA and 96 strikeouts across 63 2/3 innings. He still walked 4.4 batters per nine innings in that span, but his overwhelming success inspired the Cardinals to promote him to Double-A Springfield in late July. Reyes’ dominance carried over to the Texas League as hoped, as he registered a 3.12 ERA and struck out 52 batters in 34 2/3 frames. Control and command has been an issue for Reyes early in his career, but his combination of pure stuff - highlighted by a fastball that hit 101 mph earlier in the season and a filthy, 12-to-6 curveball – and ability to miss bats (career 11.9 K/9) is among the best in the Minor leagues. The hard-throwing righty projects as a potential No. 2 starter at maturity given his combination of athleticism, size and power arsenal, and his second-half success in Double-A suggests he might be ready to debut as soon as mid-to-late 2016. However, he’ll begin the season on the restricted list after testing positive for marijuana while playing in the Arizona Fall League.

 

14.     Steven Matz, LHP, New York Mets

Age: 25| ETA: Debuted in 2015

 

The Mets selected Matz in the second round of the 2009 draft, but the left-hander underwent Tommy John surgery after signing and didn’t make his professional debut until 2012. He made up for the lost time with a quick ascent through the Mets system, culminating with an impressive showing in the major leagues in 2015. Matz breezed through is 14 starts at Triple-A Las Vegas to begin the season to earn a big league callup in late June. He missed most of July and August with a partial tear of the lat muscle in his left side, but he returned in September and made the Mets’ postseason rotation. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound southpaw misses bats and generates ground balls with his heavy, low- to mid-90s fastball, while his curveball and changeup each have the potential to be at least above-average with further refinement. He’ll begin the 2016 season in the Mets’ rotation, and it might not be long until he’s viewed in the same light as teammates Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom.

 

15.     Blake Snell, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays

Age: 23 | ETA: 2016

 

Arguably the top pitcher in the minors in 2015, Snell opened the season with 49 consecutive scoreless innings, a majority of which he recorded in the Southern League, and ultimately led all qualified starters in the minors in ERA (1.41) and was tied for fourth with 163 strikeouts. He also put a bow on things at the end of the year with a strong performance at Triple-A Durham, where he posted a 1.83 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 57/13 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 44 1/3 innings (nine starts). This, of course, came after dominant stops at High-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery. The 6-foot-4, 180-pound left-hander has all the makings of a frontline starter with a fastball that touches the mid-90s, an above-average breaking ball and a changeup that has double-plus potential, and he displayed better command last season in spite of all the challenging assignments.

 

16.     Sean Newcomb, LHP, Atlanta Braves

Age: 23 | ETA: 2017

 

Other than Blake Snell, no left-handed pitching prospect was more impressive in 2015 than Newcomb, whom the Braves acquired from the Angels this offseason in the Andrelton Simmons trade. The 22-year-old jumped on the fast track to the major leagues with his success across three full-season levels, making stops at Low-A Burlington and High-A Inland Empire before moving up to Double-A Arkansas, where he pitched to a 2.75 ERA and struck out 39 batters in 36 innings. Overall, Newcomb posted a 2.38 ERA with 168 strikeouts in 136 innings. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound southpaw has a nasty four-pitch mix that includes a mid-90s fastball and swing-and-miss curveball, but he currently relies on more stuff than command and therefore will need further refinement before he’s offered a crack at the Major Leagues.

 

17.     Nomar Mazara, OF, Texas Rangers

Age: 21 | ETA: 2016

 

Few prospects saw their stock improve as much in 2015 as Mazara. The 20-year-old outfielder made it look easy during his time in the Texas League despite being one of its younger everyday players, showing an advanced feel for hitting as well as huge power potential. The Rangers promoted him to Triple-A Round Rock for the final month of the regular season, and he responded to the challenge by hitting .358/.409/.444 in 20 games. But perhaps the most exciting part about Mazara is that he still has so much room to grow as a hitter, especially in terms of maximizing his plus-plus raw power, which could translate to 30 home runs annually at maturity. And considering the Rangers have continuously challenged Mazara with aggressive assignments early in his career, it would be almost surprising if he didn’t reach the major leagues in 2016.

 

18.     Austin Meadows, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

 

Meadows played in only 38 games in 2014 due to a hamstring injury, but a clean bill of health last season allowed the 2013 first-rounder to showcase his promising blend of hitting ability, on-base skills and gap power. Specifically, the 20-year-old paced the pitcher-friendly Florida State League in hits (156) and total bases (207) while ranking third with a .306 average. He finished the year with a six-game stint at Double-A Altoona, where he collected nine hits in 25 at-bats (.360). Meadows will never offer much over-the-fence power, with some scouts forecasting 12-15 home runs in his prime, but he’s going to hit for average and get on base consistently, all the while providing considerable value in center field.

 

19.     Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins

Age: 22 | ETA: 2016

 

Berrios hit the ground running in 2015 with a dominant first half at Double-A Chattanooga. His success continued following a promotion to the International League in early July, as the 21-year-old right-hander went 6-2 with a 2.62 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 83/14 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 75 2/3 innings across 12 starts for Triple-A Rochester. More specifically, Berrios improved the quality of his strikes with his fastball while also making developmental strides with his slider and changeup as he learned to throw both pitches for strikes with greater frequency. On the season, the Puerto Rico native led all minor league hurlers with 175 strikeouts. With little left to prove in the minor leagues, Berrios will audition next spring for a spot in the Twins’ Opening Day rotation.

 

20.     Ozhaino Albies, SS, Atlanta Braves

Age: 19 | ETA: 2018

 

Albies opened eyes with his hitting ability in 2014, as the switch-hitter (in his age-17 season) batted .364 in 239 plate appearances between the Gulf Coast and Appalachian Leagues. He continued to impress in 2015 during his full-season debut at Low-A Rome by posting the fourth-highest average (.310) in the South Atlantic League. Albies has a loose, fluid swing from both sides of the plate to go along with good bat speed and preternatural bat-to-ball skills. His plus speed and strong ground-ball tendencies suggest that his batting averages might depend heavily on his batting average on balls in play, although his strong on-base skills should help offset some of those concerns. Defensively, Albies is a rangy shortstop who can stick at the position, but he might have to shift to second base in the coming years in deference to Dansby Swanson.

 

21.     Brendan Rodgers, SS, Colorado Rockies

Age: 19 | ETA: 2018

 

Billed as the highest-ceiling talent in the 2015 draft, Rodgers was the first high school player to come off the board, going to the Rockies with the No. 3 overall pick and signing for a franchise-record $5.5 million. He had an inconsistent pro debut in the Rookie-level Pioneer League as he dealt with hip, foot and hamstring injuries, but he still posted respectable numbers, hitting .273/.340/.420 in 37 games. At 6-feet, 180 pounds, Rodgers is an aggressive hitter with plus bat speed and good raw power, projecting for above-average in-game power at maturity. And while he may not be an electric defender at shortstop, Rodgers is an impressive athlete with excellent footwork, smooth actions and a great feel for the position. He’ll need considerable time in the minors in order to develop on both sides of the ball, but the final product could be an All-Star-caliber, offensive-minded shortstop.

 

22.     Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox

Age: 19 | ETA: 2018

 

Devers tore up the Dominican Summer League in 2014 and earned a quick promotion to the Rookie Gulf Coast League, where, as the league’s third-youngest hitter in the league, he batted .312/.374/.484 with 17 extra-base hits in 42 games. He continued to make developmental strides last season in his full-season debut at Low-A Greenville, as the then-18-year-old hit .288 with 11 home runs and 38 doubles. The left-handed hitting Devers has innate ability to barrel the ball to all fields with backspin, and he generates plus-plus raw power with his explosive bat speed and huge extension through contact. While he currently hits more doubles than home runs, all signs point to the Dominican Republic native developing into a 25-plus home run guy.

 

23.     Andrew Benintendi, OF, Boston Red Sox

Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

 

Benintendi rocketed up draft boards last spring as a draft-eligible sophomore as he hit .376/.488/.717 with an NCAA Division I-leading 20 home runs to win the prestigious Golden Spikes Award. The Red Sox were thrilled to add him to their already impressive system with the No. 7 overall pick, and the Arkansas product rewarded the organization with an impressive professional debut, hitting .313/.416/.556 with 11 home runs and 10 steals in 54 games between the New York-Penn and South Atlantic Leagues. A left-handed hitter, Benintendi has the potential for an above-average hit tool at maturity, while his terrific approach and plate discipline should translate to high on-base percentages as a top-of-the-order hitter. At 5’10", 180 pounds, he has big-time upper-body strength and quick-twitch muscles that produce booming contact to all fields and make him a threat for 20 homers annually. Benintendi should have no problems sticking in center field with his speed, instincts and athleticism, and his offensive profile gives the Red Sox even more incentive to keep him at the position.

 

24.     Jose De Leon, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Age: 23 | ETA: 2016

 

A 24th-round draft pick in 2013, De Leon put himself on the map last season with an outstanding full-season debut and then took an even bigger step forward in 2015 at High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa. He was one of the top performers in the minor leagues by all standards, as he finished the season with the second-best strikeout percentage (35.1%) and strikeout rate (12.8 K/9) among all qualified pitchers, while also ranking fifth in strikeouts with 163. The 23-year-old righty sits in the mid-90s with his fastball, occasionally touching the upper 90s, and he pairs it with a plus slider that has excellent tilt and hard biting action. He also shows feel for a changeup that has solid-average potential, and he continues to make strides repeating his delivery and throwing strikes. Meanwhile, the fact that the Dodgers deemed De Leon untouchable at last year’s trade deadline – and once again this offseason during the Winter Meetings – is a strong indicator that the organization expects him to make an impact in the Majors in 2016. 

 

25.     Alex Bregman, SS, Houston Astros

Age: 22 | ETA: 2017

 

The Astros landed the best pure hitter in the 2015 draft when they selected Bregman with the No. 2 overall pick. The 21-year-old lived up to the reputation in his professional debut, hitting .294/.366/.415 with 21 extra-base hits and 13 steals in 66 games between Low-A Quad Cities and High-A Lancaster. Bregman is a safe bet to hit for average thanks to his outstanding hand-eye coordination and bat-to-ball skills, and his advanced strike-zone awareness and selective approach should allow him to reach base at a high clip. Some scouts question whether he’ll be able to remain at shortstop, pointing to his size and only slightly above-average speed as being better suited for second base. However, all of Bregman’s tools play up defensively because his instincts and baseball IQ are off the charts.

 

26.     Bradley Zimmer, OF, Cleveland Indians

Age: 23 | ETA: 2017

 

Zimmer, whom the Indians selected with the No. 21 overall pick in the 2014 draft, saw his prospect stock explode in 2015 with an outstanding first half at High-A Lynchburg. When he was finally promoted to Double-A Akron at the mid-season mark, the 23-year-old outfielder paced the Carolina League in runs scored, stolen bases and OPS, ranked second in batting average and on-base percentage and was tied for third in home runs. Zimmer has the makings of an impact player in the major leagues, with the potential for 20 home runs and 20 steals in his prime. If Zimmer reaches his ceiling, he’ll become a top-of-the-order center fielder with speed, on-base skills and some power.

 

27.     David Dahl, OF, Colorado Rockies

Age: 22 | ETA: 2017

 

Dahl suffered a lacerated spleen during an ugly outfield collision in late May and was expected to miss the remainder of the 2015 season after undergoing emergency surgery. However, the 21-year-old center fielder opted to undergo a splenectomy a few days later, and, amazingly, returned to action in mid-July and finished the season on a positive note, hitting .292/.318/.481 over his final 29 contests. After missing most of 2013 with a torn right hamstring, Dahl has now suffered two significant injuries in in the last four years. When healthy, Dahl has one of the best all-around profiles in the minor leagues, showing innate hitting ability, plus speed, strong defense in center field and untapped raw power.

 

28.     Gleyber Torres, SS, Chicago Cubs

Age: 19 | ETA: 2018

 

Torres emerged as the Cubs’ top prospect in 2015 with his remarkable full-season debut as an 18-year-old. As one of the youngest everyday players in the Midwest League, the Venezuelan shortstop showed an advanced hit tool and approach, hitting .293/.353/.386 in 119 games at Low-A South Bend. He finished the season in the High-A Carolina League where he helped Myrtle Beach win the Mills Cup championship. Torres projects for a plus hit tool and already shows good on-base skills, but he’s unlikely to develop much over-the-fence pop as he matures. He shouldn’t have any problems sticking at shortstop, where he displays excellent instincts and plus arm strength, though a move to second base down the road is a distinct possibility with Addison Russell locked in at short for many years to come.

 

29.     Robert Stephenson, RHP, Cincinnati Reds

Age: 23 | ETA: 2016

 

After struggling at Double-A Pensacola in 2014, Stephenson made strides last season in his return to the Southern League before moving up to Triple-A Louisville for the second half. Though his success carried over to the International League, the Reds opted not to call up the right-hander in September, instead turning to a host of other young arms. On the season, Stephenson registered a 3.83 ERA with 140 strikeouts in 134 innings between the two stops. Stephenson has one of the highest ceilings among pitching prospects, with the potential for a pair of plus-plus pitches in his fastball and curveball as well as a changeup that flashes plus. While he dialed back some of his velocity in favor of more control and command, it didn’t impact his ability to miss bats – a testament to his outstanding stuff. He still has a ways to go with his command, especially his fastball command, but even a slight improvement on that front could make him a frontline starter.

 

30.     Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees

Age: 24 | ETA: 2016

 

Judge made a smooth transition to Double-A in 2015 as he hit for both average and power in the Eastern League to earn a mid-season promotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. But the 6-foot-8 outfielder scuffled for the first time as a professional upon reaching the minors’ highest level as pitchers used advanced sequencing to expose some of the holes in his swing and approach. Judge still managed to reach the 20-homer mark for the first time in his career, and that should become the norm for him moving forward provided he stays healthy. Judge has shown the capacity to make swift adjustments in the past and therefore should fare better next season back in the International League. If he can get off to a strong start, Judge could be driving in runs at the heart of the Bronx Bombers’ lineup by midseason.   

 

31.     Jorge Mateo, SS, New York Yankees

Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

 

Mateo’s elite speed was on full display last season (his full-season debut) as he swiped a minor league-leading 82 bases in 117 games between the South Atlantic and Florida State Leagues. The 20-year-old shortstop also proved that there is more to his game than simply speed, as he hit for average and accrued a healthy number of extra-base hits and walks. But as with most prospects who pile up steals in the minors, whether or not Mateo runs wild at the highest level will be determined by his hit tool and on-base skills.

 

32.     Clint Frazier, OF, Cleveland Indians

Age: 21| ETA: 2017

 

As it was during his 2014 full-season debut, Frazier bounced back from a sluggish start to enjoy a huge second half, hitting .325/.422/.539 with nine home runs over his final 66 contests. And after striking out 72 times against 27 walks during the first half, Frazier coaxed 41 walks and fanned just 53 times following the All-Star break. Frazier’s bat speed and raw power are among the best in the minor leagues and suggest the ceiling of an All-Star. However, his aggressive approach and below-average recognition of breaking balls – even in advantageous counts – are problematic, as pitchers with quality secondary pitches have learned how to disrupt his timing. The sky is still the limit for the 21-year-old outfielder, but it’s clear he has more holes in his game than his stats indicate. 

 

33.     Brett Phillips, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

Age: 22 | ETA: 2017

 

Fresh off of a breakout campaign in 2014, Phillips began the season back in the California League, where he hit .320 with 15 home runs in 66 games for High-A Lancaster. His power fell off quickly at the Double-A level, though, as he hit only one homer over his final 54 regular-season games. The 21-year-old outfielder had to adjust to a new team and league after the Astros sent him to Milwaukee at the Trade Deadline as part of the Carlos Gomez/Mike Fiers deal, and he also spent two weeks on the disabled list in late August with an irritated nerve in his thumb. Phillips has a short, compact swing from the left side that produces hard contact across the whole field, though most of his power is to his pull side. He also has above-average speed that translates well on the base paths, making him a threat to steal 15 to 20 bases annually. Defensively, Phillips’ profile is a clean fit both in center and right field, and he split time between both positions in 2015.

 

34.     Franklin Barreto, SS, Oakland Athletics

Age: 20 | ETA: 2017

 

The key return from Toronto last offseason in the Josh Donaldson, Barreto, 19, bypassed the Low-A level entirely upon joining the A’s system, making the jump from the Short Season Northwest League directly to the High-A California League. The right-handed-hitting shortstop had a strong campaign as the league’s second-youngest regular, hitting .302/.333/.500 with 13 home runs and 22 doubles in 90 games, but his season ended prematurely in late July when he landed on the disabled list with a wrist contusion. At 5-foot-9, 175 pounds, Barreto projects for at least average power thanks to his outstanding bat speed and explosive swing, and his use of the whole field indicates he’ll hit for some average, too. Unfortunately, his defense at shortstop isn’t as advanced as his bat, evidenced by his career-high 34 errors in 84 games last season, although it’s worth keeping in mind that high error totals for young shortstops at advanced levels is a fairly common occurrence. Meanwhile, Barreto could always shift across the infield to second base if he’s unable to stick at shortstop.

 

35.     Raul Mondesi, SS, Kansas City Royals

Age: 20 | ETA: Debuted in 2015

 

Mondesi made history last November when he became the first player to make his big league debut during the World Series. While his numbers last season in the Texas League don’t jump off the page, there’s something to be said for the 20-year-old switch-hitter’s respectable .651 OPS over 81 games in his first taste of Double-A. Mondesi’s best tool is his plus-plus speed, but he also projects for at least an average hit tool and solid power thanks to his plus bat speed, barrel awareness and clean stroke from both sides of the plate. The shortstop is already a top-flight defensive player and features plus range and arm strength that are ideal for the position. Mondesi is still raw in several facets of the game, but he’s also the rare breed of prospect who can close the gap between his present ability and overall potential in a hurry.

 

36.     A.J. Reed, 1B, Houston Astros

Age: 23 | ETA: 2016

 

Reed has done nothing but mash since the Astros made him the No. 42 overall pick in the 2014 Draft. In his first full professional season, the University of Kentucky product led the minor leagues in home runs (34) and RBI (127), and he did so while hitting .340/.432/.612 in 135 games between High-A Lancaster and Double-A Corpus Christi. Reed’s enormous power to all fields will make any park look small, but, amazingly, he’s much more than a one-dimensional slugger. The left-handed hitter’s swing has very little wasted motion, and he’s consistently short to the ball, while his feel for the zone and advanced pitch recognition enables him to see a lot of pitches and work deep at-bats. He expects to do damage with each trip to the plate, but, at the same time, will gladly take a walk rather than give in to a pitcher and deviate from his approach. Reed enters 2016 on the cusp on the major leagues, and it seems like a foregone conclusion he’ll once again put up monstrous numbers whether he begins the year at Double- or Triple-A. With Chris Carter now out of the picture and Jon Singleton becoming more and more of an afterthought, the Astros could work Reed’s bat into the lineup at both first base and designated hitter next season.

 

37.     Anthony Alford, OF, Toronto Blue Jays

Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

 

Alford was considered a tough sign heading into the 2012 draft due to his commitment to play football at Southern Mississippi. The Blue Jays waited until the third round to select Alford, ultimately signing him for $750,000. He spent much of the next three years focused on his football career, playing one season as Southern Miss’ quarterback before transferring to Mississippi and playing defensive back and then finally giving up the sport last offseason. Alford’s transition to the diamond couldn’t have been smoother; he went from raw athlete to well-rounded, polished ballplayer in his first full professional season, even earning a promotion from Low-A Lansing to High-A Dunedin along the way. Given his overall lack of experience, Alford’s advanced bat-to-ball skills and approach were pleasant surprises, as he hit an eye-opening .298/.398/.421 with a 13.8 percent walk rate in 107 games across the two A-ball levels. Overall, Alford has the upside of a high average, high OBP, top-of-the-order hitter who can stick in center field for the duration of his career. But considering what he accomplished in 2015, such a projection might be selling him short.

 

38.     Max Kepler, OF/1B, Minnesota Twins

Age: 23 | ETA: Debuted in 2015

 

It can be argued that no hitter improved his stock as much as Kepler did in 2015. Viewed as more of a fourth or fifth outfielder than everyday player heading into the season, the German-born outfielder was named Southern League MVP after pacing the circuit in on-base percentage (.416) and slugging (.531) and finishing second in the batting race (.322). His season concluded with a brief taste of the majors, during which he went 1-for-7 while appearing in three games. Kepler has a quiet swing and plus bat speed from the left side, and he’s comfortable letting the ball travel deep so as to utilize the entire field. He shows more gap power than over-the-fence pop in games at the present, but he’s still growing into his frame and adding strength, meaning he could very well surpass his projection for average power. He also showed tremendous strike-zone awareness and pitch recognition, compiling more walks (67) than strikeouts (63) for the first time in his career. Kepler has the speed, athleticism and instincts to play all three outfield positions, and he’ll enter spring training with a legitimate chance to crack the Twins’ Opening Day roster.

 

39.     Tim Anderson, SS, Chicago White Sox

Age: 23 | ETA: 2017

 

Anderson took another step forward last season at Double-A Birmingham, as the 2013 first-rounder paced the Southern League with 160 hits, 79 runs and 49 stolen bases, while also ranking third with a .312 average and 12 triples. Anderson’s best tool is plus speed, and he uses it to impact the game on both sides of the ball. At the plate, the right-handed hitter has excellent bat speed and barrel awareness, but the approach is still dangerously aggressive and has the potential to be exploited by upper-level arms. Although it’s worked for him so far, it’s unrealistic to believe Anderson will hit for a high average in the major leagues given his unsustainably high batting average on balls in play and the disparity in his strikeout (22.6 percent) and walk (4.6 percent) rates to begin his career. His reads off the bat and how he uses his hands at shortstop still leaves something to be desired, but he deserves credit for cleaning up his defense some in 2015 and committing fewer careless errors. Anderson will move up to Triple-A Charlotte next season and stands to benefit from another full year in the minors refining his game. At the same time, there are myriad scenarios that could have him suiting up for the White Sox earlier than expected.

 

40.     Anderson Espinoza, RHP, Boston Red Sox

Age: 18 | ETA: 2018

 

The Red Sox knew they were getting something special in Espinoza when they signed him for $1.8 million during the 2014 international signing period. However, what he did during his 2015 professional debut surpassed all reasonable expectations. Espinoza made only four starts in the Dominican Summer League before the Red Sox decided he was ready for a greater challenge. They sent Espinoza stateside to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League where he was nothing short of dominant, posting a 0.68 ERA and 0.825 WHIP with 40 strikeouts in 40 innings spanning 10 starts. He then capped his season with one start at Low-A Greenville, which is almost unheard of for a 17-year-old pitcher. Though he’s somewhat undersized at 6-feet, 160 pounds, Espinoza showcases elite arm strength with an effortless, mid- to upper-90s fastball that reportedly crept into the triple digits as the season progressed. The right-hander has good feel for his curveball, a future above-average offering thrown with tight spin, and he’s already adept at mixing in his changeup. And as if that weren’t enough, he also demonstrates advanced control and command of his three-pitch mix.

 

41.     Jesse Winker, OF, Cincinnati Reds

Age: 22 | ETA: 2016

 

Winker is one of the more polished young hitters in the minor leagues, standing out for his plus hit tool, outstanding approach and average power. However, he hit for neither average nor power during the first two months of the season at Double-A Pensacola in 2015, and it wasn’t until June that he finally settled in at the plate. Once that happened, though, there was no stopping the 22-year-old left-handed hitter. Winker turned in a monster second half in the Southern League, hitting .316/.426/.516 in 63 games, and he also tallied 10 of his 13 home runs in that span. His power profile might not be a clean fit at either corner outfield spot, but he has enough pop – as well as the hit tool and on-base skills – to hold his own as an everyday regular at the highest level. Winker is tabbed to begin 2016 in Triple-A, and there’s a strong chance he’s manning left field for the Reds by the end of the season. 

 

42.     Michael Fulmer, RHP, Detroit Tigers

Age: 23 | ETA: 2016

 

Fulmer immediately became the Tigers’ new top prospect last summer when they acquired him from the Mets in the Yoenis Cespedes deal. The right-hander was in the midst of a breakout season in Double-A at the time of trade, and he went on to win Pitcher of the Year in the Eastern League after pacing the circuit in both ERA (2.14) and strikeouts per nine innings (8.9). Fulmer works in the low- to mid-90s with his fastball and can reach back for a few extra ticks when needed. His plane toward the plate makes the pitch heavy and difficult to lift, and he showed improved feel for pitching to both sides of the plate in 2015. In terms of secondaries, he gets whiffs on both sides of the plate with his plus slider and also displays an average changeup. Fulmer is likely headed to Triple-A Toledo next season to work on his changeup and command, though progress on either front could have him in the major leagues ahead of schedule.

 

43.     Carson Fulmer, RHP, Chicago White Sox

Age: 22 | ETA: 2016

 

Selected by the White Sox with the No. 8 overall pick last June, Fulmer was named 2015 SEC Pitcher of the Year after winning the conference’s pitching crown title with 13 wins, a 1.82 ERA and 152 strikeouts. The 22-year-old right-hander has an electric arm that produces a mid-90s heater that reaches 98 mph, and he’s shown time after time that he can hold his velocity deep into games. Fulmer’s plus slider is a legitimate out-pitch at any level, and his changeup could develop into another above-average pitch for him in the coming years. Meanwhile, enough great things can’t be said about Fulmer’s makeup and competitiveness on the mound. As was the case with former first-round picks Chris Sale and Carlos Rodon, Fulmer shouldn't need much time in the minor leagues.

 

44.     Brent Honeywell, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays

Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

 

A little known prospect before the Rays selected him in the second round of the 2014 draft, Honeywell blossomed this year in his first full season as a professional, posting a 3.18 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 8.9 K/9 over 24 starts between Low-A Bowling Green and High-A Charlotte. The right-hander’s screwball is anything but a novelty, and he knows how to use his arsenal of average-or-better offerings to set up the pitch. He already attacks the zone better than most pitchers his age, while his athleticism and smooth mechanics suggest his command will continue to improve in the coming years. Tampa Bay rarely rushes their top young arms to the major leagues, but that doesn’t preclude Honeywell from jumping on the fast track in 2016 with some upper-level experience. 

 

45.     Jeff Hoffman, RHP, Colorado Rockies

Age: 23 | ETA: 2017

 

Toronto grabbed Hoffman with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2014 draft, investing in the right-hander’s upside even though he had Tommy John surgery just months before the draft. He made his long awaited pro debut in late May at High-A Dunedin and was promoted to Double-A New Hampshire after only seven starts. In July, Hoffman was dealt to the Rockies in the trade that sent All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays. The right-hander’s fastball was routinely clocked in the high 90s (and as high as 99 mph) during the summer and features late sinking action. Hoffman’s curveball is a hammer in the high 80s with tight spin that gives it downer action, and his changeup, though currently on the firm side, projects as at least average. He doesn’t generate as many whiffs as he should given his high-octane stuff, but the strikeouts could come in a hurry for Hoffman as he learns to attack hitters on the inner half and open up the plate.

 

46.     Dillon Tate, RHP, Texas Rangers

Age: 22 | ETA: 2017

 

Tate shot up the draft boards last spring and was widely considered the top pitching prospect in the 2015 class. The Rangers confirmed that notion in June, selecting him with the No. 4 overall pick. An athletic right-hander, Tate displays a mid-90s fastball that reached 97-98 in his starts last spring, and his slider was regarded as one of the premier breaking balls in last year’s class. That Tate lacks experience as a starter makes his changeup all the more impressive, as he exhibits an advanced feel for the pitch with the confidence to throw it in a variety of counts. Though he excelled this spring at UC Santa Barbara in his first year as a full-time starter, some scouts still question whether he has the durability to hold down the role long term.

 

47.     Jorge Lopez, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers

Age: 23 | ETA: Debuted in 2015

 

Lopez broke out in a big way at Double-A Biloxi in 2015, taking home Pitcher of the Year honors in the Southern League after he led the circuit in both wins (12) and opponent batting average (.205) while finishing second in ERA (2.26) and third in strikeouts (137). The right-hander was rewarded with a call-up in September, and he made two starts for the Brewers down the stretch. Lopez features an explosive fastball at 92-95 mph that he threw for a strike more consistently in 2015, and his curveball is an easy plus pitch thrown in the high 70s with excellent shape and downer action. His changeup lags behind his two main offerings but plays up because he repeats the same arm slot across his entire arsenal. Lopez presumably will get the chance to crack Milwaukee’s Opening Day rotation, but an assignment to Triple-A to begin the season is probably more realistic.

 

48.     Ryan McMahon, 3B, Colorado Rockies

Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

 

McMahon has done nothing but hit since the Rockies popped him in the second round of the 2012 draft. He hit exactly 18 home runs for the second straight year in 2015, giving him double-digit home runs in each of his three pro seasons. He spent his age-20 campaign at High-A Modesto, where he paced the California League with 43 doubles and ranked fourth with an .892 OPS. At 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, McMahon is already loaded with strength and should continue to add more in the coming years. His raw power already shows up in games, although it will be interesting to see how it translates next season at Double-A. He also has the potential for an average hit tool, with plus bat speed, good barrel control and a swing that produces hard contact effortlessly. McMahon is a good athlete for his size and profiles well at the hot corner, but after committing 39 errors in 129 games in 2015, it’s clear that he’ll need to make strides defensively in the coming years in order to remain at the position.

 

49.     Javier Guerra, SS, San Diego Padres

Age: 20 | ETA: 2017

 

Guerra didn’t appear on any prospects lists heading into the 2015 season after his mediocre stateside debut in the Gulf Coast League the previous year. Jump forward one year, and he now ranks among the top shortstop prospects in the game, which was precisely why the Padres targeted him as a key return for Craig Kimbrel. Guerra received glowing reviews last season at Low-A Greenville for his defense, and there’s a large contingent of scouts who view him as a future Gold Glove-caliber shortstop. His hitting mechanics can be inconsistent, and his aggressive approach creates some exploitable holes, but there’s something to be said for the left-handed hitter’s ability to barrel the ball. But perhaps the most surprising part about Guerra’s full-season debut was his power, as finished seventh in the South Atlantic League with 15 home runs.

 

50.     Manuel Margot, OF, San Diego Padres

Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

 

Margot got off to a hot start in 2015 back at High-A Salem but saw his production taper off during the second half as result of a shoulder injury in mid-June and a promotion to Double-A Portland later in the month. Though he was one of the youngest everyday players in the Eastern League, Margot was anything but overmatched against the advanced competition, hitting .271 with a .745 OPS, 28 extra-base hits and 21 steals in 64 games. Following the season, he was one of four prospects traded to the Padres for Craig Kimbrel. The 21-year-old outfielder is viewed as one of the game’s more intriguing up-the-middle prospects thanks to his contact skills, raw power and speed, while his quick ascent through the minors could have him on the big-league radar in late 2016.

 

51.     Victor Robles, OF, Washington Nationals

Age: 19 | ETA: 2018

 

Robles has done nothing but impress since signing with the Nationals for $225,000 back in 2013. In his stateside debut this past season, the 18-year-old tore up the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League to force a promotion to Short Season Auburn, where he was the youngest everyday player in the New York-Penn League. In 61 games between both stops, he batted a robust .352/.445/.507 with 20 extra-base hits and 24 stolen bases. Robles has the makings of a special talent, as he’ll showcase all five skills – with his hit talent, speed and defense already grading out as plus or better – on a daily basis on top of his elite athleticism. In general, the Nationals love the young outfielder’s makeup and overall baseball aptitude, and it only makes sense for the organization to challenge him again in 2016. 

 

52.     Willy Adames, SS, Tampa Bay Rays

Age: 20 | ETA: 2018

 

Adames opened the season – his first full season in the Rays’ system after coming over from Detroit in the David Price trade the previous year – in the High-A Florida State League, where he put up impressive numbers in April and May before suffering a bone bruise in his elbow that limited him the rest of the way. Adames has plus bat speed and a natural feel for hitting, and scouts envision him developing at least average power as he tightens his approach and becomes more selective. The 20-year-old should be able to stick at shortstop thanks to his excellent instincts and first step, slick glove and plus arm, although his defensive profile would also work at either second or third base.

 

53.     Gary Sanchez, C, New York Yankees

Age: 23 | ETA: Debuted in 2015

 

Sanchez finally made it out of the Eastern League in 2015, receiving a promotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in mid-July after posting a .795 OPS with 12 home runs at Double-A Trenton. He continued to swing a hot bat in the International League, hitting another six home runs in 35 games for the RailRiders, but was forced to the disabled list in late August with a hamstring injury. The Yankees rewarded him with a promotion to the Major Leagues in mid-September upon his activation, and the 23-year-old went on to log a pair of at-bats for the Bronx Bombers over the final days of the regular season.
At the plate, Sanchez’s contact and walk rates highlight the holes in his approach as well as his overall inconsistency, although it was encouraging to see him match his career-high home run total (18) despite playing in only 93 games. The jury is still out on whether he can handle everyday catching duties at the highest level, but he did make some improvements last season in the high minors, committing fewer errors and passed balls than previous years, and his plus-plus arm strength is still his greatest weapon. After the offseason trade of John Ryan Murphy, Sanchez will have an opportunity to crack the Yankees’ Opening Day lineup as a backup to Brian McCann.

 

54.     Francis Martes, RHP, Houston Astros

Age: 20 | ETA: 2017

 

Acquired from the Marlins at the 2014 Trade Deadline, Martes burst onto the scene in 2015 with a remarkable full-season debut during which he went 8-3 with a 2.04 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 101 2/3 innings between Low-A Quad Cities, High-A Lancaster and Double-A Corpus Christi. A 6-foot-1, 225-pound right-hander, Martes already generates excellent velocity, operating at 93-95 mph with his fastball, and it’s conceivable that he could sit in the mid- to high-90s once fully developed. The 20-year-old’s curveball is revered as one of the better breaking balls in the Minors, thrown with power at 83-85 mph and tilt that gives the pitch sharp, downer action. In addition to the stuff, Martes’ control and command are both advanced for his age and one of the many reasons scouts view him as a future front-of-the-rotation starter, although the Astros could also utilize him out of the bullpen as they did with Vincent Velasquez and Michael Feliz last season.

 

55.     Dominic Smith, 1B, New York Mets

Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

 

The No. 11 overall pick in the 2013 draft, Smith led the Florida State League last season with 33 doubles and 79 RBI at High-A St. Lucie to win the circuit’s MVP award. On top of that, he ranked fourth in the league in batting average (.305) and slugging (.417) and third in OPS (.771). The 20-year-old's approach supports his impressive numbers, as he's extremely patient and willing to take a walk but can also hit in any count and seldom expands his zone. But what really stands out is Smith’s ability to consistently barrel the ball and generate loud contact to all fields. He showed more power in 2015 by hitting a career-high six home runs in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, and his 59 doubles since the start of 2014 suggest that the left-handed hitter will develop more over-the-fence pop.  On the other side of the ball, Smith has the makings of an elite defender at first base, with some scouts pegging him as a future Gold Glover.  

 

56.     Kyle Zimmer, RHP, Kansas City Royals

Age: 24 | ETA: 2016

 

Zimmer barely pitched in 2014 and eventually required a small debridement of his rotator cuff and labrum, but he bounced back this past season with a 2.39 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 64 innings between Low-A Lexington and Double-A Arkansas. The Royals protected Zimmer this season, placing him in the bullpen to begin the season and limiting his pitch count before transitioning him into the rotation in August. When healthy, the 24-year-old righty displays a plus fastball at 93-95 mph along with a plus curveball and a changeup that has at least average potential. The Royals believe Zimmer will join their rotation at some point in 2016, possibly even early in the season. But considering he’s never logged more than 108 1/3 innings in a season as a pro, expect Zimmer’s performance to be secondary to his health and workload.

 

57.     Josh Bell, OF/1B, Pittsburgh Pirates

Age: 23 | ETA: 2016

 

Bell continued to rake his way up the ladder in 2015; hitting .307 at Double-A Altoona and then posting a .347 clip over 35 games at Triple-A Indianapolis to finish the season. However, the switch-hitter was unable to tap into his plus raw power as hoped and tallied just seven long balls in 131 games, giving him 30 career home runs in 373 games across four seasons. Bell’s inside-out stroke from both sides of the plate allows him to pound the gaps with ease – evidenced by his 24 doubles and career-high nine triples – while his combination of bat-to-ball skills and plate discipline is among the best in the Minors. Developed as an outfielder during his first three pro seasons, Bell was moved to first base during the 2014 Arizona Fall League and then played there full-time in 2015, committing 16 errors in 116 games. While Bell’s upside at first base will now be tied to his power output for the duration of his career, he still stands to be productive relative to the position given his plus hit talent and strong on-base skills.

 

58.     Jon Gray, RHP, Colorado Rockies

Age: 24 | ETA: Debuted in 2015

 

Gray got off to an inauspicious start in 2015 at Triple-A Albuquerque, going 0-3 with 10.70 ERA and .400 opponent’s batting average during the first month of the season. The 2013 No. 3 overall draft pick bounced back in the subsequent months and received a promotion to the Major Leagues in early August, where the Rockies limited both his innings and pitch totals in each of his nine starts. Though he struggled overall during his time in The Show, Gray did finish the year on a positive note by striking out 19 batters over his final 14 1/3 innings (three starts). The uptick in whiffs was an encouraging sign for the right-hander, whose strikeout numbers have declined as he’s climbed the ladder, and he’ll need to continue missing bats at a favorable rate to be successful at Coors Field. Gray’s stuff isn’t as dynamic as it was in college, when he was hitting triple-digits with his fastball every time out and snapping off a filthy, plus-plus slider, but he still has the arsenal – as well as the physical durability – to be a very effective number 3 or 4 starter.

 

59.    Nick Williams, OF, Philadelphia Phillies

Age: 22 | ETA: 2017

 

Thanks to a high-end combination of strength, bat speed and barrel control that is almost unrivaled among his peers, Williams’ pure hitting ability is among the best in the Minors. His approach and plate discipline were both utter messes during his first three pro seasons, but, amazingly, something clicked for the left-handed hitter at Double-A in 2015; his 7.0 percent walk rate and 18.8 percent strikeout rate were vast improvements over his career averages of 5.5% and 24.7%, respectively. Most importantly, Williams’ selectivity didn’t detract from his production, as he matched his career-high with 17 home runs and recorded his highest average (.303) and on-base percentage (.354) at a full-season level. After coming over from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels deal, Williams could be ready for his first taste of the Major Leagues late in the 2016 season. 

 

60.     Willson Contreras, C/3B, Chicago Cubs

Age: 24 | ETA: 2017

 

Contreras came out of nowhere in 2015 to claim the Southern League batting title with a .333 average for Double-A Tennessee, and he was named Cubs’ Minor league Player of the Year after the season. He also established new career highs in on-base percentage (.413), slugging (.478), hits (151), doubles (34) and RBI (75) while playing more than 100 games (126) for the first time as a professional. Signed by the Cubs as a third baseman in 2009, Contreras made the transition to catcher in 2012 and has made developmental strides at the position in each subsequent year. The 23-year-old has average catch-and-throw skills that play up thanks to his cannon arm – a 65 or 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale – and he’s continually received rave reviews from the Cubs for his steady improvements as a blocker and receiver. While Contreras may never be more than a fringe-average defender and is not a lock to remain behind the plate, his bat should help offset some of those shortcomings.

 

61.     Cody Reed, LHP, Cincinnati Reds

Age: | ETA: 2016

 

A second-round selection by the Royals in 2013, Reed struggled for two seasons in the low minors before turning the corner in 2015. The left-hander had always showcased a power arm and projectable talent, but it took an improvement to his control for things to finally click. Reed’s development caught the attention of the rebuilding Reds, and they went on to acquire him along with lefties Brandon Finnegan and John Lamb in the Johnny Cueto deadline trade. At 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, Reed boasts two potential plus pitches in a mid-90s fastball and a mid-80s slider that has excellent, sharp tilt and late break. He also features a changeup that projects as above-average at maturity, and his entire arsenal plays up thanks to his deceptive arm slot and overall mound presence. Command will determine Reed’s ceiling, but there’s enough there presently to project him as at least a No. 3 starter.

 

62.     Aaron Blair, RHP, Atlanta Braves

Age: 24 | ETA: 2016

 

Blair has risen quickly through the Minor leagues since the Diamondbacks took him with the No. 36 overall pick in 2013. The Marshall product enjoyed his best professional campaign in 2015 between the Double-A Southern League and Triple-A Pacific Coast League, although that didn’t stop Arizona from trading him to the Braves in the Shelby Miller deal during the offseason. A physically strong and durable right-hander, Blair creates an excellent plane toward the plate and consistently pounds the bottom of the zone with fastball, which registers in the low-90s and features good sinking action. His changeup is a plus offering, one which he’s comfortable throwing to right- and left-handed hitters alike, and he’s adept at mixing in his average curveball to keep guys off balance. Now part of Atlanta’s wave of the future, Blair could be one of the first pitching prospects promoted to the Majors in 2016.

 

63.     Sean Manaea, LHP, Oakland Athletics

Age: 24 | ETA: 2016

 

Manaea was a candidate to go No. 1 overall in the 2013 draft before a hip injury derailed his junior season at Indiana State. He ultimately fell down the board to No. 34, where he was selected by the Royals and subsequently signed for a supplemental first-round record $3.55 million. In July, he was shipped to the A's in the Ben Zobrist deal. The left-hander was nothing short of dominant after the trade, going 6-0 with a 1.90 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 42 2/3 innings across seven starts for Double-A Midland. Manaea features a lively fastball at 90-96 mph that is difficult to pick up out of his hand due to his natural deception, and he pairs it with a slider that will flash plus but usually plays as average. Despite his continued success, scouts still aren't convinced that Manaea can remain a starter because he has trouble holding velocity deep into starts and his secondary pitches are inconsistent.

 

64.     Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

Age: 24 | ETA: 2016

 

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 draft, Taillon finally got back on the mound in the fall during instructs after missing the past two seasons because of injuries. The right-hander was on the verge of reaching the Major Leagues in 2014 before he had Tommy John surgery during the first month of the season. In 2015, Taillon was nearing a return to Triple-A Indianapolis when he suffered a season-ending sports hernia. When healthy, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Texas misses bats with a potential plus-plus heater and a devastating curveball, and both offerings should continue to serve as weapons throughout his career. Taillon will need time to develop his changeup and command after the two-year absence, but there is no reason to suddenly question his longtime projection as a number 2 or 3 starter.

 

65.     Josh Hader, LHP, Milwaukee Brewers

Age: 22 | ETA: 2016

 

Hader was dealt to the Brewers at the Trade Deadline in the Carlos Gomez deal, marking the second time since 2013 that the left-hander was traded mid-season. It didn’t impact his performance on the mound, though, as Hader posted a 3.03 ERA and 10.3 K/9 in his first full season in Double-A. However, the reason he ranks as high as he does on this list is a product of his incredible showing in the Arizona Fall League, where he showcased an electric 95-98 mph heater and a filthy, swing-and-miss slider en route to earning Pitcher of the Year honors. Hader’s wiry frame, inconsistent changeup and varying command raise questions about his ceiling as a starter, but his talent is so good that he’s going to make an impact in the big leagues in some capacity in the coming year.

 

66.     Braden Shipley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Age: 24 | ETA: 2017

 

A former college shortstop at Reno-Nevada, Shipley was inconsistent on all fronts during the first half at Double-A Mobile, as mechanical issues kept him from pounding the zone and detracted from the quality of his stuff. The 2013 first-rounder eventually righted the ship and salvaged his season with a strong second half, posting a 2.66 ERA over his final 85 innings. Shipley continues to own the highest ceiling among pitchers in Arizona’s system, with a pair of potential plus pitches in his fastball and changeup, and it’s hard to believe his command won’t improve given his athleticism and easy arm action. Shipley’s ceiling is that of a No. 2 starter, provided he can make the necessary adjustments, although he could still serve as a mid-rotation stalwart even if the control and command don’t improve.

 

67.     Jake Thompson, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies

Age: 22 | ETA: 2016

 

A second-round pick of the Tigers in 2012, Thompson was dealt to Texas for Joakim Soria at the 2014 Trade Deadline. He was traded once more the following year, this time to the Phillies as part of the six-player package the Rangers used to land Cole Hamels. The right-hander offered the Phillies a glimpse of his potential following the trade, going 5-1 with a 1.80 ERA in seven starts at Double-A Reading. Thompson has legitimate swing-and-miss stuff, armed with a fastball in the low- to mid-90s as well as slider that has long been considered a plus pitch, but his command has suffered since he first reached Double-A in 2014, and he’ll need to thoroughly develop his changeup to receive consideration as a starter in the Major Leagues. Even if he fails to pan out as a starter, the Phillies should still get good use of his power stuff in a late-inning role.

 

68.     Erick Fedde, RHP, Washington Nationals

Age: 23 | ETA: 2017

 

Fedde spent most of the 2015 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, which he underwent in the spring of 2014 before the Nationals selected him with the No. 18 overall pick in the draft. He returned to the mound ahead of schedule in mid-June and ultimately made 14 starts between Short Season Auburn and Low-A Hagerstown, during which he showed the same dynamic fastball/slider pairing that made him a first-rounder out of UNLV the previous year. Even more impressive was his strike-throwing ability and overall command, as pitchers who have TJ surgery don’t typically regain those traits until they’re nearly fully recovered. Fedde’s stuff and command will once again take a back seat to his health in 2016, but it shouldn’t prevent the right-hander from making key developmental strides.

 

69.     Tyler Jay, LHP, Minnesota Twins

Age: 22 | ETA: 2017

 

Selected by the Twins with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2015 draft, Jay had an absolutely dominant junior campaign closing games for the Illini. The left-hander took home Big 10 Pitcher of the Year honors after saving 14 games and posting a stellar 1.08 ERA, 0.94 BB/9 and 10.26 K/9 in 66 2/3 innings. After deploying him as a reliever during his pro debut at High-A Fort Myers, the Twins will move Jay into the rotation for 2016, where he’ll a chance to move quickly thanks to his advanced command of a mid-90s fastball, plus breaking ball and changeup that also flashes plus.

 

70.     Hunter Harvey, RHP, Baltimore Orioles

Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

 

Few pitchers in the low minors were as impressive as Harvey during his 2014 full-season debut at Low-A Delmarva, as the then-teenager carved up hitters in the South Atlantic League using basically his fastball-curveball combination. Unfortunately, Harvey was shut down in late July with a right elbow strain and has yet to appear in a game since. Though he looked good during Spring Training, the 21-year-old right-hander continued to experience elbow tightness in early May and received a PRP injection from Dr. James Andrews. Harvey was working his way back to form during instructs in October when his elbow flared up once again, but he was able to avoid surgery after his MRI came back clean. The Orioles are optimistic that Harvey will be healthy for Spring Training, but they’ll undoubtedly err on the side of caution by limiting his workload and instructing him to throw mostly his fastball and changeup.

 

71.     Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Age: 23 | ETA: Debuted in 2015

 

After making Arizona’s Opening Day rotation, Bradley won his highly anticipated Major League debut, firing six scoreless innings to best Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers. Unfortunately, the right-hander was struck in the face by a line drive off the bat of Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez in his fourth start, resulting in a sinus fracture and subsequent stint on the disabled list. Bradley developed shoulder tendinitis while working his way back and was shut down in early June, effectively ending his first season in the big leagues. Proceeding cautiously, the Diamondbacks gave the 23-year-old six minor league starts down the stretch and then assigned him to instructs to work on several things. Bradley’s below-average command and overreliance on his fastball/curveball combo limits his upside as a starter but serve him well in a relief role – an increasingly plausible scenario given the state of Arizona’s rotation heading into 2016.

 

72.     Mark Appel, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies

Age: 24 | ETA: 2016

 

Appel had a hugely disappointing first full season in 2014 after the Astros selected him No. 1 overall in the 2013 draft, bouncing across multiple lower levels and even taking time off as he attempted to figure things out. He rebounded somewhat in 2015, reaching Triple-A for the first time in June and then making an appearance in the annual Futures Game, but his ongoing inconsistency from start-to-start prevented him from reaching the Major Leagues. The Astros finally cut ties with Appel in December when they sent him and three other players to the Phillies for closer Ken Giles. The book on Appel is more or less the same as previous years: when he’s right, the 24-year-old flashes No. 2 or 3 starter upside with three potentially plus offerings and an accompanying feel for attacking hitters. Most of the time, however, the right-hander is very hittable as he struggles keep the ball down in the zone and gets too predictable. On top of that, scouts continue to raise concern over the lack of deception in his delivery. Appel may be a far cry from the prospect he was two years ago out of Stanford, but he still has a solid floor as a back-end starter.

 

73.     Ian Happ, OF/2B, Chicago Cubs

Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

 

After opening eyes in the Cape Cod League in back-to-back years (2013-14), Happ continued to boost his draft stock last spring with a remarkable junior season for the University of Cincinnati, hitting .369 with 14 home runs and ranking among the NCAA Division I leaders in both on-base (.492) and slugging percentage (.672). The Cubs ultimately landed the 21-year-old with the No. 9 overall pick, and he went on to reach Low-A South Bend in his professional debut. An advanced switch-hitter with a mature approach and plus bat speed from both sides of the plate, Happ projects for plus hitting talent and average power, and he’s fast enough to post double-digit stolen bases in a given season. He played mostly right field for the Bearcats and saw time at all three outfield spots during his pro debut, but the Cubs moved him back to second base (his primary position in college) in the fall during instructs. Much like Kyle Schwarber, another bat-first player, Happ’s future role will be determined by his bat as well as his capacity to make adjustments. However, his defensive versatility offers considerably more leeway for the organization compared to its 2014 first-rounder.

 

74.     Albert Almora, OF, Chicago Cubs

Age: 22 | ETA: 2017

 

Almora struggled upon reaching the Double-A Southern League late in the 2014 season, and things didn’t improve for the young outfielder during the first half in 2015. But something clicked for the former No. 6 overall pick from the 2012 draft around midseason, as he erupted to hit .301/.370/.464 with 23 extra-base hits and 19 walks over Tennessee’s final 51 games. Almora’s aggressive approach and innate ability to get the barrel on the ball continues to work against him, causing him to unnecessarily expand his zone and force contact, although it is worth noting that he posted a career-best walk rate (7.1 percent) and reduced his strikeout rate in 2015. He’s also a plus defender in center field who stands out for his great jumps, routes and overall instincts, and he exhibits top-of-the-line closing speed despite possessing only slightly above-average speed. While time will tell whether Almora can make the necessary adjustments at the plate to reach his potential, he’s a safe bet to become a big leaguer in some capacity given his contact skills and ability to remain at a premium position.

 

75.     Amir Garrett, LHP, Cincinnati Reds

Age: 24 | ETA: 2017

 

The Reds selected Garrett in the 22nd round of the 2011 draft out of high school and offered him $1 million to continue developing on the mound while he pursued a college basketball career. The left-hander had always shown tremendous upside, but it wasn’t until he gave up basketball that his baseball career truly exploded. Specifically, Garrett put himself on the map in 2015 as Co-Pitcher of the Year in the High-A Florida State League, where he paced all starting pitchers with 8.5 strikeouts per nine innings, finished second in ERA (2.44) and strikeouts (133) and ranked third in opponent batting average (.230).  At 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, Garrett is an impressive athlete and it shows through his clean and effortless arm action. He boasts a pair of plus offerings in a mid-90s fastball and a sharp breaking ball, and he showed he could miss bats with each last season in the FSL. He still has a ways to go in terms of refining his command and changeup, but the progress he’s made in the last two years is remarkable and speaks to his high ceiling.

 

76.     Jose Peraza, 2B/OF, Cincinnati Reds

Age: 22 | ETA: Debuted in 2015

 

It goes without saying that the 2015 season was a busy one for Peraza. The Braves dealt him to the Dodgers at the Trade Deadline as part of a massive, three-team deal built around Hector Olivera, and nearly two weeks later the Venezuela native made his Major League debut. But the offseason saw Peraza traded once again as the Dodgers shipped him to the Reds in another three-team blockbuster, this time involving Todd Frazier. Peraza’s outstanding bat-to-ball skills allow him to put the ball in play consistently – he’s also an excellent bunter – and he utilizes his plus speed to pile up infield hits. He notched at least 60 steals in each of his two previous campaigns but swiped only 33 in 2015 as he bounced between organizations and battled a hamstring injury late in the season. Peraza saw some time in center field with the Dodgers but has a clearer path at second base with the Reds, who have actively shopped veteran Brandon Phillips this offseason.

 

77.     Christian Arroyo, SS, San Francisco Giants

Age: 21 | ETA: 2018

 

Arroyo excelled at High-A San Jose last season even though he was essentially making the jump directly from Short Season Salem-Keizer. The 2013 first-rounder showcased his natural hitting ability (.304 average) and (unsurprisingly) experienced an uptick in power in the hitter-friendly California League. The 20-year-old’s power then carried over into the Arizona Fall League, where he was widely recognized as one of the circuit’s standout hitters. Arroyo employs an aggressive approach and has some swing-and-miss to his game, but he finds the barrel consistently thanks to excellent hand-eye coordination and a deep contact point. He also has good strength for his size, with the potential for 12-15 home runs at maturity. Defensively, Arroyo has good actions and hands at shortstop but range that's a cleaner fit at second base. However, it’s his bat that makes him attractive at either middle-infield spot.

 

78.     Grant Holmes, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Age: 20 | ETA: 2017

 

The Dodgers made Holmes the highest drafted South Carolina prep right-hander ever when they took him with the No. 18 overall pick in 2014. After a promising pro debut, he spent the 2015 season at Low-A Great Lakes, where he made 24 starts and struck out 10.2 batters per nine innings. Holmes’ power arm generates a fastball that’s consistently 92-95 mph but touches as high as 98; however like so many hard-throwing youngsters, he has trouble pounding the zone consistently and needs to improve the quality of his pitches within the zone. It hasn’t detracted from his ability to induce whiffs early in his career, but that could change as he begins to face older and more advanced hitters. At the worst, Holmes has the making of a potentially dominant late-inning arm.

 

79.     Kyle Tucker, OF, Houston Astros

Age: 19 | ETA: 2018

 

The Astros landed two of the top bats in the 2015 draft in Alex Bregman (No. 2 overall) and Tucker (No. 5), the younger brother of current Astros outfielder Preston Tucker. Though he had a modest pro debut overall, the young outfielder flashed his potential following a promotion to the Rookie-level Appalachian League, hitting .286 with 14 steals in 30 games and guiding Greeneville to a league title. At 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, Tucker has a gorgeous left-handed swing that drives his projection for plus hitting talent, and his projectable frame makes it easy to dream on his power ceiling. His graceful athleticism and above-average speed show up on both sides of the ball, as he’s an excellent baserunner and basestealer who could conceivably handle all three outfield positions.

 

80.     Hunter Renfroe, OF, San Diego Padres

Age: 24 | ETA: 2016

 

Renfroe had a slow start at Double-A San Antonio but made the necessary adjustments and found his power stroke in time to hit 20 home runs for the second straight season. It certainly helped that he went on a tear for the final month of the regular season after moving up to the Pacific Coast League, hitting .333 with six home runs over 21 games at Triple-A El Paso. Renfroe has plus-plus raw power and annihilates fastballs as well as anyone in the Minor leagues, but the combination of an aggressive approach and the natural length to his swing leaves him vulnerable to quality secondary pitches as well as sequencing. Defensively, his arm serves as a weapon in right field, evidenced by his 32 total assists since the start of the 2014 season, though he does accrue his share of throwing errors for that same reason. Renfroe is not the type of offensive prospect to suddenly hit for average upon reaching the Major Leagues, but there’s little doubt whether his power will translate when he finally arrives, likely during the second half of the 2016 season.

 

81.     Luis Ortiz, RHP, Texas Rangers

Age: 20 | ETA: 2018

 

Ortiz dominated in the South Atlantic League during the first half before missing July and August with a strained flexor muscle. When healthy, the right-hander was as high as 95-97 mph with his fastball and backed it up with an above-average slider, and he made noticeable strides with his changeup over the course of the season. A California native, Ortiz is already maxed out physically and will require some maintenance to stay in shape, but he’s never had any issues with repeating his delivery or throwing strikes. Ortiz has the upside of a No. 3 starter or a late-inning force out of the bullpen, with his ultimate role centering on whether he can stay healthy long enough to make the necessary developmental strides.

 

82.     Bobby Bradley, 1B, Cleveland Indians

Age: 20 | ETA: 2018

 

A third-round draft pick in 2014, Bradley made a strong impression in his professional debut by capturing the Rookie Arizona League’s triple crown. His follow-up performance last season at Low-A Lake County was even more impressive, as he paced the Midwest League with 27 home runs (11 home runs more than any other hitter in the league) and 92 RBI despite missing 20 games with an oblique injury early in the season. Bradley’s league-leading 148 strikeouts (and 32 percent strikeout rate) highlight his current shortcomings as a hitter, however, and there are some scouts who already worry about his capacity to make consistent contact at higher levels. Bradley is several years away from the Major Leagues and faces an uphill battle as a first-base-only prospect, but the left-handed hitter’s bat could be special if he can maintain balance between his slugging and hitting ability.

 

83.     Matt Olson, 1B/OF, Oakland Athletics

Age: 22 | ETA: 2016

 

After ranking third in the Minor leagues in 2014 with 37 home runs, Olson hit just 17 last season in the Texas League, though the total carried extra significance considering Double-A Midland’s pitcher-friendly home park. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound left-handed hitter’s patient approach resulted in 105 walks, the second-highest total in the Texas League, and marked his second straight season with at least 100 free passes. Though Olson will strike out his fair share like any young slugger who sees a lot of pitches, his strikeout rate has remained consistent as he’s moved up the ladder, and he’s shown the ability to handle same-side pitching. The A’s gave Olson a look in right field at the end of the season, and his prospect stock stands to improve if he demonstrates capability at either corner outfield spot. Regardless of his future defensive home, Olson has the potential for 30 home runs in a season, though it may come with a low batting average.

 

84.     Amed Rosario, SS, New York Mets

Age: 20 | ETA: 2018

 

Rosario struggled offensively in 2015 as he made the jump directly to High-A St. Lucie from Short Season Brooklyn the previous year. Sure, he held his own in the Florida State League with a .257 average in 103 games, but the overall consistency wasn’t there for the then-teenager and caused his production to fluctuate from month to month. However, Rosario’s plus defense at shortstop was unaffected by his offensive woes, and the Mets confirmed their confidence in him with a promotion to Double-A Binghamton at the end of the regular season. 

 

85.     Brandon Drury, 3B/2B, Arizona Diamondbacks

Age: 23 | ETA: Debuted in 2015

 

Acquired in the January 2013 blockbuster trade that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta, Drury got off to a slow start back at Double-A Mobile but found his groove following a promotion to Triple-A Reno, hitting .331 during his time in the Pacific Coast League. The Diamondbacks rewarded Drury with a call-up in September, and he announced his presence when he connected for his first big league home run off Clayton Kershaw. Drury has a compact, line-drive swing that generates a lot of hard contact and allows him to pound the gaps, but questions about his over-the-fence power remain. His offensive profile is a cleaner fit at second base than third, and the fact that he started more games at the former last season speaks to his hard work and obvious improvement at the position

 

86.     Billy McKinney, OF, Chicago Cubs

Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

 

McKinney’s first season in the Cubs’ system was a resounding success as he hit up a storm at High-A Myrtle Beach to earn a quick promotion to Double-A Tennessee, where he sustained his impressive production until suffering a broken right knee cap in August on a foul ball. He has the makings of a plus hitting talent, with excellent bat-to-ball skills as well as an advanced feel for the strike zone, and the fact that his power has yet to show isn’t shocking considering he’s been considerably young for his levels in each of his first two full seasons. Look for McKinney to develop more over-the-fence pop as he continues to gain experience.

 

87.     Kolby Allard, LHP, Atlanta Braves

Age: 18 | ETA: 2018

 

Selected by the Braves with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2015 draft, Allard had arguably the highest ceiling among prep pitchers in his class despite missing most of his senior season with a back injury. The young left-hander features high-end stuff, headlined by a mid-90s fastball, plus curveball and a relatively advanced changeup. Moreover, the 18-year-old has an effortless delivery and already commands his stuff well. The Braves will be understandably cautious with Allard’s development given his medical history and the fact he logged a combined 13 innings last year between high school and pro ball. However, the southpaw’s ceiling is undeniably exceptional, and he could very well rank among the game’s top pitching prospects within a few years.

 

88.     Luke Weaver, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals

Age: 22 | ETA: 2017

 

Weaver opened the season in extended spring training to build up stamina before departing for High-A Palm Beach of the Florida State League, where he had struggled at the conclusion of the previous year. The right-hander dominated FSL hitters once he got going, posting a stellar 1.62 ERA across 19 starts, and then capped his season with an impressive performance in the Arizona Fall League. Weaver operates at 92-95 mph with his heater and will occasionally top out at 96-97, while his smooth arm action and extension toward the plate gives the pitch natural sinking action. The slider is raw – he only picked it up during the regular season – but projects as average, and he continues to demonstrate excellent feel for his plus changeup, throwing it convincingly to right- and left-handed hitters alike. With a three-pitch mix and above-average command profile, Weaver has the makings of a No. 3 starter at maturity.

 

89.    Daz Cameron, OF, Houston Astros

Age: 19 | ETA: 2019

 

The son of former MLB All-Star center fielder Mike Cameron, Daz’s high price tag caused him to fall to the 37th overall pick in the 2015 draft, where the Astros, who had saved money with their previous selections, were happy to get him. Cameron has very good bat speed from the right side of the plate, with a short, line-drive stroke that gives him a chance to hit for average as a professional. There’s obvious raw power in his bat, but his swing mechanics aren’t necessarily structured toward producing power at moment. The youngster’s plus speed is arguably his loudest tool, and, when combined with his athleticism, gives him a chance to stick in center field as a professional. Cameron comes with considerable risk and therefore may need additional time in the Minor leagues to develop, but the final product should be well worth the wait.

 

90.     Trent Clark, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

Age: 19 | ETA: 2018

 

Scouts viewed Clark as one of the top outfielders in the 2015 draft, lauding his compact left-handed swing, patient approach and overall feel for hitting. He showcased all of those in the Rookie-level Arizona League after signing with the Brewers, posting an impressive .309/.422/.442 batting line across 43 games. While Clark’s ceiling at the plate is amplified by his potential to remain in center field, where he spent his entire professional debut, there’s little doubt whether he would hit enough to hold down an outfield corner. After tearing up the Rookie leagues, Clark seems poised to make a seamless jump to full-season ball in 2016.

 

91.     Gavin Cecchini, SS, New York Mets

Age: 22 | ETA: 2016

 

Things clicked for Cecchini last season at Double-A Binghamton as finished among the Eastern League leaders in average (.317), on-base percentage (.377) and slugging (.442), each of which represented a new career high for the 22-year-old shortstop. With a 14.6 percent strikeout rate over four seasons to begin his career, the 2012 first-rounder has proven to be a tough out thanks to his mature approach and excellent hand-eye coordination. He will never offer much in terms of power or speed, but his bat profiles nicely at either middle-infield spot.

 

92.     Duane Underwood, RHP, Chicago Cubs

Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

 

A second-round draft pick in 2012, Underwood was having a strong campaign at High-A Myrtle Beach before right elbow soreness cost him the final two months of the regular season. The right-hander features an explosive fastball in the mid-90s, and he’s become increasingly adept at cutting and running the pitch so as to remain effective against hitters on both sides of the plate. His breaking ball is thrown with power in the high 80s and has hard, downer bite, and his changeup projects as at least a third average pitch at maturity. The biggest knocks on Underwood at this stage in his career are his durability and struggles to miss bats (5.9 K/9 in 2015 and 6.7 for his career), though neither should preclude him from developing into a mid-rotation starter or power reliever.

 

93.     Phil Bickford, RHP, San Francisco Giants

Age: 20 | ETA: 2017

 

The Blue Jays failed to sign Bickford after selecting him with the No. 10 pick in the 2013 draft. After one season at Cal State Fullerton, he transferred to the College of Southern Nevada (Bryce Harper’s alma mater) and emerged as one of the top pitchers in the country (1.45 ERA, 17.3 K/9 in 86 2/3 innings), prompting the Giants to take him with the 18th-overall pick in last year’s draft. A 6-foot-5 right-hander, Bickford misses bats both with his fastball, which can touch the high 90s, and his plus slider, making it easy to envision him as a potential late-inning force out of the bullpen. To remain a starter, however, he’ll need to improve his changeup, which currently lags well behind his other two offerings, as well as his command, though he did make strides with the latter in 2015.

 

94.     Forrest Wall, 2B, Colorado Rockies

Age: 20 | ETA: 2018

 

After an eye-opening professional debut in 2014, Wall’s combination of power and speed translated as expected in the South Atlantic League, where he tallied seven home runs, 10 triples, 16 doubles and swiped 23 bags for Low-A Asheville. He also had balanced home and road splits despite playing in a home park that heavily favors left-handed hitters. Wall suffered a knee injury in late June and as a result spent more than a month on the disabled list, but he returned to finish the season on a positive note, hitting .338 with 15 extra-base hits over his final 34 games. If he can stay healthy, the left-handed hitting second baseman could be in store for a big offensive campaign next season in the California League.

 

95.     Cornelius Randolph, OF, Philadelphia Phillies

Age: 19 | ETA: 2018

 

The Phillies landed one of the best bats in the 2015 draft class when they selected Randolph with the No. 10 overall pick. The Georgia native made an immediate impact in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, ranking second in doubles (15), on-base percentage (.425) and walks (32) and third in slugging percentage (.442). Randolph is pure hitter with a clean and consistent stroke from the left side, and he’s already comfortable using the whole field. Meanwhile, the Phillies’ decision to move him from shortstop to left field upon turning pro paid immediate dividends, as he committed zero errors in 41 games at the position.

 

96.     Alex Jackson, OF, Seattle Mariners

Age: 20 | ETA: 2018

 

There were high expectations for Jackson’s full-season debut after Seattle popped him with the No. 6 overall pick in the draft the previous year. But the catcher-turned-right fielder failed to get going in the Midwest League and was demoted to Short Season Everett after hitting just .157 in 28 games. Jackson also dealt with injuries to his left shoulder and left hand, with the combination limiting him to 76 games on the season. While there’s obviously a lot to like with his plus bat speed and power potential, Jackson’s aggressive approach and lack of selectiveness has produced a disconcerting strikeout rate of 29 percent through the first 100 games of his career. Jackson’s ceiling remains sky-high, but his first full pro campaign made it clear the gap between present ability and overall potential is greater than initially expected.

 

97.     Jorge Alfaro, C, Philadelphia Phillies

Age: 23 | ETA: 2017

 

Alfaro was plagued by injuries once again in 2015 as he missed most of the second half after breaking his left ankle in June and subsequently undergoing surgery. In July, he was part of the six-player package the Rangers sent to the Phillies for ace Cole Hamels. Reports on Alfaro are the same as previous years; he’s an all-or-nothing hitter with plus raw power and a cannon for an arm from behind the plate, but his actions, footwork and receiving/blocking skills are so rough that it’s difficult to see him remaining at the position. His bat carries considerable value, however, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he started to see more time next season at both third base and right field. 

 

98.     Reese McGuire, C, Pittsburgh Pirates

Age: 21 | ETA: 2017

 

McGuire’s offensive development continues to lag behind his excellent defense, but he’s showed enough aptitude at the plate to continue moving at a level-per-year pace through the Minor leagues. He’s a patient hitter who sees a lot of pitches and works deep counts and also has a knack for putting the ball in play, with a career contact rate of 89.4 percent across three seasons. At the same time, however, the left-handed hitting backstop’s power is limited by the inconsistent quality of said contact. McGuire is a safe bet to reach the Major Leagues based on the merits of his defense alone, but his approach and bat-to-ball skills suggest a breakout offensive performance could be on the horizon. 

 

99.     Cody Bellinger, 1B/OF, Los Angeles Dodgers

Age: 20 | ETA: 2017

 

The Dodgers showed faith in Bellinger by assigning him directly to Class A Rancho Cucamonga to begin the 2015 season after he had finished the previous year in Rookie ball. The 2013 fourth-rounder responded to the challenge by clubbing 30 home runs in 128 games and leading the California League with 103 RBI and 97 runs scored. Bellinger’s power is for real and should continue to translate as he moves up the ladder, though his 28 percent strikeout rate last season highlights the holes in both his approach and swing. Primarily a first baseman at the moment, Bellinger’s underrated athleticism and above-average arm strength earned him 21 starts in center field last year, and he could move to outfield on a more regular basis in 2016. The Dodgers always have had a good feel for when to be aggressive with young hitters, and Bellinger has the makings of the organization’s next success story.  

 

100.    Jake Bauers, OF/1B, Tampa Bay Rays

Age: 20 | ETA: 2017

 

Acquired from the Padres last offseason in the Wil Myers trade, Bauers blossomed in his first season in the Rays’ system as he hit for average and showed power potential against older and more advanced arms in the High-A Florida State and Double-A Southern Leagues. He boosted his stock even more as the youngest player in the Arizona Fall League, where he overcame a slow start at the plate and showed the ability to comfortably play both corner outfield positions in addition to his usual duties at first base. Bauer’s ceiling is tied to his power bat as a no-doubt corner guy, but he made strides in that department in 2015 with his career-best 11 home runs and 32 doubles. Regardless, Bauers’ plate discipline and improved defensive versatility could help him reach the Major Leagues at a young age.

 

Other candidates:

 

Nick Gordon, SS, Minnesota Twins

Lucius Fox, SS, San Francisco Giants

Trevor Story, SS, Colorado Rockies

Austin Riley, 3B, Atlanta Braves

Harold Ramirez, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

Keury Mella, RHP, Cincinnati Reds

Luke Weaver, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals

Michael Kopech, RHP, Boston Red Sox

Reynaldo Lopez, RHP, Washington Nationals

Brady Aiken, LHP, Cleveland Indians

Jacob Nottingham, C, Oakland Athletics

Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays