We put together our ‘Plum Prospect’ ranks by aggregating the rankings of the top prospects across several major, publicly available top-100 prospect lists. These are not our personal prospect picks. Rather, think of these rankings as measuring the ‘pulse’ of the current thinking among experts on prospect rankings. Use them as you would use ADP rankings in your fantasy league, to identify potential bargains on draft day or in trades. Additionally, you can use these rankings to double check your own rankings to figure out if you are too high or too low on a certain prospect.
Included for each prospect is a ‘player card’ summarizing his 2017 performance and some brief notes from the Baseball Farm Staff.
Check out the Plum Prospects: Volume 1 (#1-10) here.
#11 – Bo Bichette – SS/2B – Toronto Blue Jays
PG: Raked through the Midwest League and Florida State League as a 19-year old. Slashed a combined .362/.423/.565 with 14 HR, 41 2B, and 22 SB. Voted Midwest League MVP, Post-Season All-Star, and Prospect of the Year. Represented the Blue Jays at the MLB Futures Game in Miami. Son of former big-leaguer Dante Bichette. 1-time Prospect of the Week Winner.
#12 – Kyle Tucker – OF – Houston Astros
PG: 2015’s first-round pick just turned 21 and grabbed himself a non-roster invite to the Astro’s spring training. Tucker’s big and athletic (6’4″, 190) with 5-tool potential. In 2017 he pounded pitchers in the High-A Carolina league to the tune of a .410 wOBA and 159 wRC+. He regressed a bit when he hit AA (OPS went from .932 to .837), but that’s understandable from a 20 year-old. If his hit tool reaches its full potential, Tucker is a potential .300+, 30+ HR hitter in the future.
#13 – Brent Honeywell – RHP – Tampa Bay Rays
PG: 22 year-old righty with devastating stuff advanced quickly from AA to AAA last season, where he acclimated well to the International League. First pitcher to be named MVP of the All-Star Futures Game, striking out 4 batters over 2 scoreless innings. Finished the season 13-9 with a 3.49 ERA and 172 Ks in 136.2 innings.
Update: Honeywell will miss all of 2018 with a UCL tear requiring Tommy John surgery.
#14 – Alex Reyes – RHP – St. Louis Cardinals
PG: Was once considered the top pitching prospect in baseball, Reyes has suffered several setbacks (shoulder, marijuana, TJS) and did not pitch in 2017. That being said, his 2016 MLB debut was electric, posting a 1.57 ERA in 46 innings. Watch him closely this spring to see how he bounces back from surgery.
#15 – Brendan Rodgers – SS – Colorado Rockies
PG: 21-year old Shortstop moved from A-Advanced to AA last season, having success at both stops. Posted a 1.078 OPS in 222 California League at-bats. Finished with a .336/.373/.567 slash line with 18 HR and 26 2B across both levels. California League Mid-Season All-Star. Represented the Rockies at the MLB Futures Game. 2-time Prospect of the Week Winner.
#16 – Walker Buehler – RHP – Los Angeles Dodgers
PG: 2015’s first-round pick progressed nicely in 2017, rising 3 levels before experiencing some difficulty at AAA (4.63 ERA in 3 starts). He appears to be on the cusp of a call-up to the Dodgers. His K/9 rate at each level last year was shocking (14.88 at High-A, 11.76 at AA, 13.11 at AAA). He also generates a ton of groundballs (consistently over 50%). He combines a riding fastball with a fantastic curveball (top 10% in curve velocity in 2017), and a cutter/slider combo that drops like a slider. He could develop into the perfect SP2 to complement Kershaw in LA.
#17 – Willy Adames – SS – Tampa Bay Rays
PG: Consistently strong prospect who has played well at every level (wRC+ by minor league stop: 144, 122, 132, 121, 135, 119). Has no particuar stand-out tool, but there’s something said for a major leaguer who can play everyday, hit 10 HR, steal 10 bags, and post an OPS over .800.
#18 – Lewis Brinson – OF – Miami Marlins
PG: Moved to Miami in the Christian Yelich trade. Made a brief appearance in the Show with the Brewers last season. Has legitimate power (.236 ISO, .231 ISO in AAA the past 2 seasons) that should play at the next level. Will likely get an opportunity to win a starting OF job with the Marlins. I’m not convinced he will stick as a CF.
Update: Brinson is now the Marlins starting CF.
#19 – Francisco Mejia – C – Cleveland Indians
PG: Diminutive (5’10”, 180 lbs) Dominican backstop who blazed through AA last season before earning a cup of coffee with the Indians as a 21 year-old in September. Slashed .297/.346/.490 for the Eastern League’s Akron Rubber Ducks, with 14 HR and 7 SB. 2017 Eastern League All-Star. Played in the Arizona Fall League, where he also saw time at 3B. 1-time Prospect of the Week winner.
#20 – Royce Lewis – SS/2B – Minnesota Twins
PG: Still only 18 years old, Lewis moved from Rookie ball to the Midwest League last year and handled himself nicely (136 wRC+ at Rookie ball, 117 wRC+ at Low-A). He’s got all the tools, he’s a legitimate power/speed threat, and his hit tool is strong as well. It will be fun to watch him progress in 2018.