Plum Prospects: Volume 1

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.

#1 – Ronald Acuna – OF – Atlanta Braves

PG: Venezuelan prospect who rocketed up 3 levels to AAA in 2017 as a 19 year-old. His OPS improved at every stop. Combined line of .325/.374/.522 with 21 HR, 31 2B, 8 3B, and 44 SBs in 139 games. Represented the Braves at the MLB Futures Game. Southern League Mid-Season All-Star. 3-time Prospect of the Week Winner. Racked up Prospect of the Year hardware from every major outlet.

CW: Ever since I saw video of Ron swatting bombs in the Australian Winter League prior to the 2017 season I’ve been all in on this 5 tools future star. Will he break camp with the Braves this spring?

#2 – Shohei Ohtani – RHP/DH – Los Angeles Angels

PG: The baseball world has gone mad for this 23-year old dual-threat prospect known as the Japanese Babe Ruth. His pitching seems to be further developed than his hitting at this point (he struck out at a 27% clip last season), but don’t be fooled, Ohtani can hit too. He flashed his power when he hit the ball through the roof of the Tokyo Dome in 2016. The Angels have him pegged as a DH during his non-pitching appearances, which seems wise.

IJR: Dude is 1.1. Two tiers above everyone else in the 2017 class. Likely a strong SP2 at minimum.

Update: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Ohtani is currently thriving in the MLB as a two-way player.

#3 – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – 3B – Toronto Blue Jays

PG: Ripped through A-Full to A-Advanced last summer as an 18-year old. Sweet swing led to a .323/.426/.486 slash line across both levels. Had a 26-game on-base streak this season for the Lansing Lugnuts. Represented the Blue Jays at the All-Star Futures game in Miami. Voted Midwest League Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star. 1-time Prospect of the Week winner. Son of newly minted Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero.

#4 – Victor Robles – OF – Washington Nationals

PG: Robles is a true 5-tool prospect. Surprised in 2017 by jumping from High-A to AA to a 13-game stint in the majors with the Nats. Was voted MVP of the Arizona Fall League all-star game, High-A Carolina League All-Star, and was a Futures Game selection. He’s knocking on the door of the Nationals outfield this offseason, and he’s still only 20 years old.

#5 – Eloy Jimenez – OF – Chicago White Sox

PG: 20-year old Dominican might be one of the most polished hitters in the minors. Moved from A-Advanced to AA last season, posting a 1.092 OPS in his time with the Winston-Salem Dash. Slashed .312/.379/.568 across all levels. Voted Carolina League Post-Season All-Star. MLB Futures Game Selection. Came over to the White Sox in the Jose Quintana trade. 2-time Prospect of the Week Winner.

#6 – Gleyber Torres – INF – New York Yankees

PG: A versatile infielder who has steadily climbed through the Yankees system since his first appearance in 2014. Torres climbed from AA to AAA last season, posting excellent numbers (.388 wOBA, 145 wRC+) before injuring himself in a head-first slide in June. His injury required Tommy John surgery last summer, but Torres is on track for 2018. He has an excellent glove to go along with his bat, so don’t be surprised if the Yankees have him in the Bronx relatively early this season.

#7 – Nick Senzel – 3B – Cincinnati Reds

PG: #2 overall pick in the 2016 draft split time between A-Advanced and AA last season as a 22-year old. Posted an impressive .321/.391/.514 slash line across both levels, with 14 HR and 40 2B. Selected to represent the Reds at the All-Star Futures game in Miami. Florida State League Mid-Season All-Star. 1-time Prospect of the Week Winner.

#8 – Fernando Tatis, Jr. – SS – San Diego Padres

PG: 18-year old Shortstop who advanced to AA Texas League last season. Hit .278/.379/.498 across all levels, with 22 HR, 27 2B, 7 3B, and 32 SBs. Midwest League Mid-Season All-Star. Traded from the White Sox to the Padres organization in the James Shields deal. Son of former big-leaguer Fernando Tatis. 1-time Prospect of the Week Winner.

CW: The theme in the top-10 is 25/25 potential. With steals becoming so rare in today’s game, swipes have are in demand but you don’t want to have to make the sacrifices in all other categories that come with Billy Hamilton or Dee Gordon.

#9 – Forrest Whitley – RHP – Houston Astros

PG: Towering (6’7″) right-hander was Houston’s 1st-round pick in 2016. Moved through A-Full Season, A-Advanced, and AA as a 19 year-old last season. Finished with a 5-4 record, 2.83 ERA, 1.21 WHIP. Also punched out an outstanding 143 batters in 92.1 innings of work.

Update: Whitley is currently serving an 50-game ban for a positive test for a controlled stimulant.

#10 – Michael Kopech – RHP – Chicago White Sox

PG: Flame-throwing righty who came over to the White Sox in the Chris Sale trade. Advanced from AA to AAA last season and didn’t miss a beat. Finished with a 9-8 record, 2.88 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 172 Ks in 134.1 innings. Voted Southern League’s Most Outstanding Pitcher. Represented the White Sox at the Futures Game in Miami. 6-time Prospect of the Week Winner.

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