Spring training just began, but we’ve already gotten all the reputable prospect sites and their Top 100 (or more) prospects for the 2019 season. There are a few eyebrow-raising rankings and a few that seem just right.
The sites used for this exercise are Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, ESPN (Keith Law), FanGraphs, MLB Pipeline and newly added John Sickels (formerly of SB Nation’s Minor League Ball) over at The Athletic. Here’s how Dodger prospects fared on those respective lists.
Note: The ESPN list is split into two parts, so the “ES” and “PN” are separate links.
Dodgers On Top 100* Lists
Editor’s Note: BA = Baseball America, BP = Baseball Prospectus, ESPN = Keith Law, FG = FanGraphs, MLB = MLB.com. Also, “101” and “102” rankings denote that a player did not make the list.
For the first time since 2014, the Dodgers had just five representatives on the notable Top 100 lists. That’ll happen when you have a nice pipeline that includes Cody Bellinger, Walker Buehler, Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Julio Urias, not to mention the prospects who were Top 100 guys when they were traded: Willie Calhoun, Yusniel Diaz, Grant Holmes, Frankie Montas — and a couple who have since turned into Top 100 prospects (Yordan Alvarez, Oneil Cruz).
To what should be little surprise, Keibert Ruiz is the Dodgers’ top prospect. FanGraphs was highest on him, but he had the most consistent rankings, as he didn’t drop below No. 36. He may not be on the same level as Bellinger, Buehler and Seager before him, but he’s a premium prospect.
Look, I realize Alex Verdugo isn’t the most exciting prospect, but I will not be convinced he’s the 117th-best prospect in baseball, especially when everyone else — even those that mention the “maturity issues” — don’t have him ranked anywhere near that low.
A strong 2018 showing is to thank for Gavin Lux checking in at No. 3. He was my MiLB Player of the Year and his 2019 will tell us if his 2018 was real or a fluke (I’m betting on the former). He’s just ahead of Mr. May.
Dustin May makes a big leap from last year (94.6 average ranking) and could very well top this list next season. He’s the best pitching prospect in the organization and will have another chance to take a step forward in 2019. Baseball Prospectus and FanGraphs are sold on him.
Will Smith didn’t place in MLB Pipeline or Sickels’ rankings, which hurts his overall ranking a bit. Still, he’s a better catching prospect than Ruiz, but his poor showing in Triple-A could account for him missing out on three lists.
The system is still pretty strong, but it’s lacking that upper-echelon talent that has graduated in years past. There are some guys in the system who could appear in these posts in the future (I’m looking at you, Diego Cartaya). For now, we’ll just have to be satisfied with this solid group of good prospects.