Plum Prospects: Volume 3 (21-30)

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 Plum Prospects: Volume 1 (#1-10) here.

Check out Plum Prospects: Volume 2 (#11-20) here.

#21 – Mitch Keller – RHP – Pittsburgh Pirates

PG: Right-hander cruised through 3 levels last season, showing improvement between High-A (3.35 xFIP) and AA (2.65 xFIP). Struck out 116 hitters in 116 innings. Flashes 60-grade fastball which he mixes with excellent control (2.48 BB/9) and a miniscule home run rate (13 home runs in 317 career innings).

#22 – MacKenzie Gore – LHP – San Diego Padres

PG: Had a steller pro debut in 2017, posting a 14.34 K/9 and 2.95 BB/9 in 8 starts. Lanky lefty from Whiteville, North Carolina who continues to add velocity to his fastball to go with an above-average curve, slider, and changeup. Could move levels quickly in 2018.

IJR: My favorite SP in the draft. Big leg kick and hard not to see a Kershaw comp.

#23 – A.J. Puk – LHP – Oakland Athletics

PG: Lefty split time between High-A and AA last summer, and performed well at each stop (2.24 and 2.35 FIP, respectively). Was once projected as the #1 overall pick. Features a fastball which rises to 97, a hard breaking slider, a changeup, and a big slow curve. 224 Ks in 157.2 career innings.

Update: Puk will miss all of 2018 after undergoing Tommy John surgery this spring.

#24 – Scott Kingery – 2B – Philadelphia Phillies

PG: 23 year-old sweet swinging prospect who advanced from AA to AAA last season. Slashed .304/.357/.537 across both levels last summer. Poured in 26 HR, 29 2B, 8 3B, and 28 SB in 128 games. Set a record for the Lehigh IronPigs with a 22-game hitting streak. Selected to represent the Phillies at the MiLB Futures Game in Miami.

Update: Kingery is now seeing regular at bats as a utility-man for the Phillies

#25 – Sixto Sanchez – RHP – Philadelphia Phillies

PG: One of baseball’s fastest-rising pitching prospects, Sixto has flashed double-plus control at lower levels (1.20 BB/9 at Low-A last season). Plus fastball reaches 102 mph with an easy delivery, and he also features a hammer-curve. Phillies will take their time stretching him out, as he’s still only 19.

#26 – Hunter Greene – RHP – Cincinnati Reds

PG: Dual-threat prospect, but he looks like a pitcher moving forward. Will rely on his 70-grade fastball, which hits 102 mph. Will be fun to see how the Reds handle him moving forward.

IJR: Clearly an athletic arm; stuff-wise maybe on par with Alex Reyes with better control. Starts from the stretch. It’s hard to ignore how many of these 100 mph arms seem destined for TJ. Sometimes relies on his athleticism instead of mechanics – arm seems to occasionally play catchup w/ the body.

#27 – Triston McKenzie – RHP – Cleveland Indians

PG: ‘String-bean’ righty (6’5″ 165) who dominated everyone he faced in the Carolina League last summer. Punched out an amazing 186 batters in 143 innings of work, just barely trailing Alec Hansen (191) for the Minor League lead. Finished with a 12-5 record with a 3.46 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Voted Carolina League Pitcher of the Year. Represented the Indians at the MLB Futures Game in Miami. 4-time Prospect of the Week Winner.

#28 – Alex Verdugo – OF – Los Angeles Dodgers

PG: One of my favorite real-life prospects, Verdugo looked ready for the Show to me during spring training last year. Managed 15 games with the Dodgers last summer. Walked more than he struck out in AAA last season. Probably lacks a calling-card tool to make himself a top fantasy performer.

#29 – J.P. Crawford – SS – Philadelphia Phillies

PG: Crawford is a polished SS-prospect who has finished with a double-digit BB-rate at every minor league stop he has made. Made a 23-game debut with Philly last season, where he stuck out at a higher rate than normal (25.3%). Lacks a stand-out tool.

Update: Crawford is seeing regular playing time with the Phillies.

#30 – Juan Soto – OF – Washington Nationals

PG: Left-handed bat was a 2015 J2 signing from the Dominican. Soto shows tons of raw power in his bat, making loud contact and driving the ball with authority. He also flashes a potential plus hit-tool. Defensively he’s not great, and probably destined to wind up as a LF. But his minor league numbers thus far (wRC+ of 184 – 221 – 132 – 172 at each stop) point to a hitter with tremendous offensive upside.

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