2019 Top 100 MLB Prospect Rankings 2.0 (Mid-Season)

Shane Baz, SP (TB). Baz is new addition to the top 100

About two months removed from my Early Season Rankings, the second installment of my MLB Prospect Rankings is here. This list consists of any player who qualifies as a “rookie” according to MLB’s rules (under 130 ABs/50 IP in MLB games). My list will be updated throughout the season to keep the rankings accurate.

The Top 100:

  1. Wander Franco, SS, TB
  2. Luis Robert, OF, CHW
  3. Jo Adell, OF, LAA
  4. Yordan Alvarez, OF, HOU
  5. Keston Hiura, 2B, MIL
  6. Casey Mize, SP, DET
  7. MacKenzie Gore, SP, SD
  8. Royce Lewis, SS, MIN
  9. Bo Bichette, SS, TOR
  10. Brendan Rodgers, SS, COR
  11. Brendan McKay, DH/SP, TB
  12. Kyle Tucker, OF, HOU
  13. Cristian Pache, OF, ATL
  14. Alex Kirilloff, OF, MIN
  15. Joey Bart, C, SF
  16. Jarred Kelenic, OF, SEA
  17. Jesus Luzardo, SP, OAK
  18. Michael Kopech, SP, CHW
  19. Forrest Whitley, SP, HOU
  20. Carter Kieboom, SS, WAS
  21. Gavin Lux, SS/2B, LAD
  22. Luis Urias, SS/2B, SD
  23. Matt Manning, SP, DET
  24. Alec Bohm, 3B, PHI
  25. Matthew Liberatore, SP, TB
  26. Dylan Cease, SP, CHW
  27. Sixto Sanchez, SP, MIA
  28. Taylor Trammell, OF, CIN
  29. Nick Madrigal, 2B, CHW
  30. Ian Anderson, SP, ATL
  31. Luis Patino, SP, SD
  32. Nolan Gorman, 3B, STL
  33. Jesus Sanchez, OF, TB
  34. Julio Rodriguez, OF, SEA
  35. Nate Pearson, SP, TOR
  36. Drew Waters, OF, ATL
  37. Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, BAL
  38. Keibert Ruiz, C, LAD
  39. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, PIT
  40. Triston McKenzie, SP, CLE
  41. Shane Baz, SP, TB
  42. Hunter Greene, SP, CIN
  43. A.J. Puk, SP, OAK
  44. Hans Crouse, SP, TEX
  45. Nolan Jones, 3B, CLE
  46. Jonathan India, 3B, CIN
  47. Mitch Keller, SP, PIT
  48. Grayson Rodriguez, SP, BAL
  49. Sean Murphy, C, OAK
  50. Vidal Brujan, 2B, TB
  51. Jazz Chisholm, SS, ARI
  52. Marco Luciano, SS, SF
  53. Shane McClanahan, SP, TB
  54. Heliot Ramos, OF, SF
  55. Colton Welker, 3B, COL
  56. Corbin Martin, SP, HOU
  57. Estevan Florial, OF, NYY
  58. Brady Singer, SP, KC
  59. Jackson Kowar, SP, KC
  60. Logan Gilbert, SP, SEA
  61. Monte Harrison, OF, MIA
  62. Leody Taveras, OF, TEX
  63. Khalil Lee, OF, KC
  64. Calvin Mitchell, OF, PIT
  65. Jon Duplantier, SP, ARI
  66. Travis Swaggerty, OF, PIT
  67. Brusdar Graterol, SP, MIN
  68. Dustin May, SP, LAD
  69. Kyle Wright, SP, ATL
  70. Adrian Morejon, SP, SD
  71. Freudis Nova, SS, HOU
  72. Seth Beer, OF/1B, HOU
  73. Jeremiah Jackson, SS, LAA
  74. Victor Victor Mesa, OF, MIA
  75. Jeter Downs, SS/2B, LAD
  76. Bryce Turang, SS, MIL
  77. Jordyn Adams, OF, LAA
  78. Zac Gallen, SP, MIA
  79. Diego Cartaya, C, LAD
  80. Oneil Cruz, SS, PIT
  81. Brent Honeywell, SP, TB
  82. Jordan Yamamoto, SP, MIA
  83. DL Hall, SP, BAL
  84. Ronny Mauricio, SS, NYM
  85. Luis V. Garcia, SS, WAS
  86. Deivi Garcia, SP, NYY
  87. Edward Cabrera, SP, MIA
  88. Trevor Larnach, OF, MIN
  89. Evan White, 1B, SEA
  90. Ryan Weathers, SP, SD
  91. Mauricio Dubon, SS/2B, MIL
  92. Andres Gimenez, SS, NYM
  93. Adonis Medina, SP, PHI
  94. Ronaldo Hernandez, C, TB
  95. Xavier Edwards, SS, SD
  96. Nico Hoerner, SS, CHI
  97. Tyler Freeman, SS/2B, CLE
  98. Dane Dunning, SP, CHW
  99. Braxton Garrett, SP, MIA
  100. Anthony Seigler, C, NYY

Graduates

  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr, 3B, TOR (1)
  • Fernando Tatis Jr., SS, SD (2)
  • Eloy Jimenez, OF, CHW (3)
  • Nick Senzel, 3B, CIN (8)
  • Chris Paddack, SP, SD (9)
  • Peter Alonso, 1B, NYM (14)
  • Mike Soroka, SP, ATL (26)
  • Austin Riley, 3B, ATL (35)
  • Francisco Mejia, C, SD (41)
  • Griffin Canning, SP, LAA (48)
  • Touki Toussaint, SP, ATL (52)
  • Michael Chavis, 3B, BOS (56)

Risers

Marco Luciano, SS (SF). Luciano is a top prospect in the makings
  • Luis Robert, OF, CHW (13 to 2) – It is hard to argue that Luis Robert is having one of the best seasons in all of MiLB. Batting over .350 with double-digit home runs and stolen bases, Robert has been nothing but excellent. Earning a promotion to Double-A in his age 21 season, the only thing holding Robert back in his past seasons were injuries. Now with full health, Robert has proven worthy of his 26 million dollar signing bonus and continues to push to be the #1 prospect.
  • Jo Adell, OF, LAA (18 to 3) – Similar to Robert, had Adell been fully healthy for the first round of rankings, he would have slotted a few slots higher. Now healthy, Adell is having another great season, showing off his true 5-tool potential. Adell should be joining Mike Trout in Anaheim by 2020, making for an exciting duo for the Angels.
  • Marco Luciano, SS, SF (Unranked to 52) – Although the 2018 international class was full of talent including Victor Victor Mesa, Diego Cartaya, and Noelvi Marte, Luciano appears to be the best of the group. Making his much anticipated pro-debut this year, Luciano has been dominant, and a promotion to a full-season team is not far away. Luciano could prove to be the best prospect in the Giants system before the end of this season.
  • Yordan Alvarez, OF, HOU (28 to 4) – Alvarez has been the breakout prospect this year. After leading all of Triple-A in home-runs, Alvarez earned a promotion to Houston and leapfrogged both Forrest Whitley and Kyle Tucker to become the Astros best prospect. Currently a key piece of the first-place Astros roster, Alvarez is already making the Dodgers regret trading him back in 2016.

Fallers

  • Justus Sheffield, SP, SEA (66 to Unranked) – Getting demoted from Triple-A is never a good sign. After posting an ERA near 7.00, Sheffield was sent to Double-A Arkansas. Needless to say, 2019 has not been a good season for Sheffield. The only bright side was that Sheffield made his MLB debut, but that did not go as planned (allowed 6 baserunners in 3 IP).
  • Brent Honeywell, SP, TB (27 to 81) – After missing all of 2018, Honeywell was on track to return mid-2019. Unfortunately, another injury forced him to be shut down for the entire 2019 season. When Honeywell returns in 2020 he will be in his age 25 season after missing two full seasons. Although these injuries likely won’t hurt his floor, Honeywell lost two very valuable years of development and will see his stock drop until he can prove he is the same as pre-injury Honeywell.
  • Julio Pablo Martinez, OF, TEX (61 to Unranked) – Although he is not having a terrible season, JPM is not hitting as well as many expected, largely the reason for his fall in the rankings. His power numbers have been somewhat impressive considering his smaller frame, but he will need to get on base much more often to return somewhere in the range of his previous ranking at 61.
  • Corey Ray, OF, MIL (81 to Unranked) – Ray’s 2019 season has to be a large disappointment to Brewers fans. Ray was just starting to turn things around in 2018, but major regression occurred in 2019 as he has struggled to bat over .200. Ray still has time to grow but is becoming less and less likely that Ray lives up to his original hype

Overview: With 10 of the top 50 prospects graduating, it is evident that the list is not as strong as it was at the beginning of the year. Things could change when 2019 draftees make their debuts. There are six 2019 draftees on “The Next 20”, and are likely candidates to be on my Late-Season update. The amount of young international talent is extreme in this group, with guys as young as 17 making the Top 100. Tampa Bay leads all teams with 9 Top 100 prospects, but every team has at least one prospect in the Top 100.

The Next 20:

  • Noelvi Marte, SS, SEA
  • Luis Gil, SP, NYY
  • Blaze Alexander, SS, ARI
  • Kristian Robinson, OF, ARI
  • Alek Thomas, OF, ARI
  • Steele Walker, OF, CHW
  • Ethan Hankins, SP, CLE
  • Mike Siani, OF, CIN
  • Justin Dunn, SP, SEA
  • Daniel Lynch, SP, KC
  • Jhaiyln Ortiz, OF, PHI
  • Victor Mesa Jr, OF, MIA
  • Triston Casas, 1B, BOS
  • Bobby Dalbec, 3B, BOS
  • Adley Rutschman, C, BAL
  • Bobby Witt Jr., SS, KC
  • CJ Abrams, SS, SD
  • JJ Bleday, OF, MIA
  • Riley Greene, OF, DET
  • Andrew Vaughn, 1B, CHW

8 Creative Deals That Should Happen Before the 2019 MLB Trade Deadline

Almost halfway through the 2019 MLB season, most teams know at this point if they will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. Every year at the deadline there are multiple important deals made that affect both the current season and years to come. Here are some unique trade scenarios which are unlikely to happen, but are reasonable and would benefit both sides.

1.) Madison Bumgarner to the Yankees

The Deal:

NYY receives: Madison Bumgarner (SP)

SF receives: Chance Adams (SP), Frank German (SP) and Glenn Otto (SP)

Analysis: The odds of any team paying a large sum for an aging rental in Bumgarner is extremely unlikely, so a package of three middle-of-the-road starters would be adequate for the Giants. Chance Adams has shown flashes of greatness but has also struggled heavily at times. Both German and Otto are playing in A-Advanced, so they have time to develop into back-end starters.

The Yankees need for pitching has been brought around only due to injuries. A healthy Yankees rotation includes Luis Severino, Domingo German, Masahiro Tanaka, C.C. Sabathia, and James Paxton, with J.A. Happ, Jonathan Loaisiga, Jordan Montgomery, and Chance Adams as reserves. Currently, only four of these pitchers are fully healthy, so a trade may be necessary. With loads of depth on the major league roster, dealing a player such as Clint Frazier or Gio Urshella may not be out of the question.

2.) Trevor Bauer to the Rays

The Deal:

TB recieves: Trevor Bauer (SP)

CLE receives: Jesus Sanchez (OF), Nate Lowe (1B), Taylor Walls (SS), and Tommy Romero (SP)

Analysis: The Rays have been dominating using only three starters (two with Tyler Glasnow injured), so imagine what they could do with four lights-out pitchers. Landing Bauer and getting Glasnow back soon would vault the Rays into series competition with the Astros, Yankees and Dodgers as World Series favorites.

The package in this scenario leaves Tampa’s youthful MLB roster intact while giving the Indians much needed young talent. Jesus Sanchez fills a huge void in the Indians organization at outfield and should be ready to see MLB action as soon as 2020. With Brent Honeywell losing another season to injury, I can’t imagine he would be dealt anytime soon and as much as Cleveland would want pitchers in return, I’d expect Tampa to hold on to their young starters. Matthew Liberatore, Shane McClanahan, and Shane Baz have been outstanding at Class-A Bowling Green, and the Rays would be foolish to part with any of the trio. Brendan McKay is Tampa’s other elite arm, but his unique DH/SP combo is too valuable to give up.

3.) Bauer to the Padres

The Deal:

SD recieves: Trevor Bauer (SP)

CLE receives: Adrian Morejon (SP), Ryan Weathers (SP), Michel Baez (SP) and Cal Quantrill (SP)

Analysis: Trevor Bauer is likely the best available pitcher available at the deadline, and the Padres have what it takes to pry him away from Cleveland. In this scenario, the Indians would have to choose between the Rays package featuring three potential plus bats, and the Padres’ which offers four mid-rotation starters. Out of the four Padres prospects in the package, Weathers has the highest ceiling, and he is the only one I would project as a #2/#3 starter. Morejon, Baez and Quantrill I view as #3/#4 starters in an ideal situation. While this package may not blow Cleveland away, the Padres are in no rush to make a deal as the majority of their core is controlled for many years to come.

4.) Marcus Stroman to the Padres/Rays

The Deal:

SD/TB receive: Marcus Stroman (SP)

TOR receives: Ryan Weathers (SP), Logan Allen (SP), and Manuel Margot (OF) (from SD) or Jesus Sanchez (OF) and Nick Solak (2B) (from TB)

Analysis: If Trevor Bauer is dealt, it would likely be to either of these two teams, which would eliminate them as options for Stroman. Assuming one lands Bauer, the other should look at Stroman as a cheaper alternative who could wind up being acquired at a much better value.

Taking a look at the potential packages, the Rays would be keen to keep their young pitchers, so Sanchez is the top prospect on the move. Nick Solak has been a nice surprise as well, so Toronto would be getting two quality hitters in exchange for Stroman. The Padres offer is based around pitcher Ryan Weathers. He’s the name most teams would be after assuming Fernando Tatis Jr, Luis Urias, and MacKenzie Gore aren’t available. Luis Patino could be swapped out with Weathers, although San Diego may be more hesitant to let Patino go.

5.) Max Scherzer on the Move

The Deal:

WSH receives: Kyle Tucker (OF), Freudis Nova (SS), Abraham Toro (3B) and J.B Bukauskas (SP)

HOU receives: Max Scherzer (SP)

Analysis: With Houston’s lineup completely stacked, their pitching is the only part of their team that could use improvement. There is no better pitcher to acquire than Max Scherzer. With three years left on his contract, Scherzer would cost a boatload but would be worth it when he leads them to the World Series. They’d be adding Scherzer to a rotation that already features two stars in Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, so the addition of Scherzer would likely give the Astros the best rotation in all of MLB.

After losing Bryce Harper to free agency in the offseason, the Nats have not been able to keep up there winning ways and are currently well under .500. Dealing Scherzer might be a big blow to Nationals fans, but it would signify a rebuild, that if done correctly, could have the Nats back in contention before 2022. Dealing Scherzer, as well as Anthony Rendon, would bring back five or six top of the line prospects who would replenish a weak farm system. In this deal, Washington gets four very talented players led by outfielder Kyle Tucker. Though Tucker struggled in his MLB debut, he has been excellent in Triple-A and would help as soon as this year. Nova, Toro and Buskauskas are at least two years away, but that’s not a problem if Washington does decide to rebuild.

6.) Phillies Land an Outfielder

The Deal:

PHI receives: Adam Jones (OF) and Greg Holland (CP)

ARI receives: Enyel de los Santos (SP), Simon Muzziotti (OF), Nick Maton (SS) and Edgar Garcia (SP)

Analysis: Having a 2nd baseman play center field is not ideal for a contending team, and that is what the Phillies are stuck with, as Scott Kingery has been forced into action in the outfield. With Andrew McCutchen lost for the season and Odubel Herrera in legal trouble, the Phillies would benefit from adding a 3rd outfielder. The Diamondbacks are a likely candidate to rebuild this offseason, and there’s no better time to start than at the trade deadline. Dealing rental veterans Jones and Holland will land lower-tier prospects than guys such as Zack Greinke or Ketel Marte, but it’s a start for a team in desperate need of talented prospects. The return for the Diamondbacks isn’t great, but it does offer a solid group of prospects who could become more relevant as their careers progress.

7.) Ketel Marte Blockbuster

The Deal:

LAA receives: Ketel Marte (OF)

ARI receives: Brandon Marsh (OF), Jordyn Adams (OF), Jeremiah Jackson (SS) and Kevin Maitan (3B)

Analysis: The Angels have a window of time to win, and that coincides with Mike Trout of course. Trout signed a massive contract last year and will be getting paid over 35 million dollars a year up until his age 38 season. As good as he is, it is improbable that Trout can perform at his usual standards into his late 30s. That gives the Angels 5-6 years to build a dynasty and contend for the World Series. Instead of waiting for their prospects to develop and wasting valuable time, the Angels could go for it all in 2019 and beyond.

Landing Marte would be huge for the Angels, adding a 3rd scary power bat (4th if you could Pujols) to their lineup. Add the surprise emergence of Tommy la Stella and you have 5 quality hitters at the top of the lineup. If they manage to hold on to Jo Adell, he could become another weapon in the outfield. With Trout and Marte both locked up 5+ years and Jo Adell, a young outfielder on the rise, the Angels should feel comfortable parting with both Jordyn Adams and Brandon Marsh.

From the Diamondbacks point of view, they are dealing their only “star” remaining, and although he is under contract through 2024, without dealing him Arizona would be lucky to field a solid team before 2022. Marsh is the only incoming player above Single-A, so the return package fits with the Diamondbacks’ timeline perfectly. Although this is the least likely deal to happen, it could benefit both teams in unforeseen ways.

8.) Angels go all In

The Deal:

LAA receives: Didi Gregorius (SS), Starling Marte (OF)

NYY receives: Chris Archer (SP), Jo Adell (OF)

PIT receives: Clint Frazier (OF), Estevan Florial (OF), Jamhai Jones (2B)

Analysis: The first thing to mention is that this whole trade is in a scenario in which the Angels acquire Ketel Marte (trade #7) and that the Yankees don’t add another pitcher (trade #1). This is the most complex of the 10 proposals, this deal has lots of moving parts, but it would benefit all the teams involved. In this rare three-team trade, the combination of prospects and MLB-caliber players would present a unique, one-of-a-kind deal.

For the Angels, acquiring Ketel Marte would be a great start to building a championship team, but they’d still be a couple of pieces away. Didi Gregorius is set to become a free agent after the 2019 season, but he could be a candidate for an extension with Los Angeles. Starling Marte has three years left on his contract, so he would be the Angels third outfielder with Mike Trout and Ketel Marte. Both Starling Marte and Ketel Marte are long term solutions with very reasonable salaries. The only real downside for the Angels is that their farm system would be completely depleted. If their organization is willing to pair these three All-Stars with Trout and Ohtani, that could put the Angels in the running for the top Wild Card this season, and potentially the division in 2020.

Clint Frazier has not worked out for the Yankees and it is becoming increasingly apparent that he will not be in New York much longer. Although Chris Archer has not been very good with the Pirates, he has proved to be excellent in the AL East in the past, so the Yankees could take a chance on him. Gregorius is a great ballplayer but could see limited playing-time with Giovani Urshella, Gleyber Torres, and DJ LeMahieu taking up three infield spots. An extension for Gregorius is even less likely as Miguel Andujar will be returning in 2020, making the Yankees infield extremely crowded. Jo Adell has shown much more potential than Estevan Florial, so the Yankees improve their farm system in this trade too. Adell could eventually make an impact in 2020 when Giancarlo Stanton replaces Edwin Encarnacion as the primary DH.

Acquiring Archer for the package of Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, and Shane Baz might have seemed bad for Pittsburgh at the time, but now looks like an absolute catastrophe for the entire franchise. Archer has been extremely inefficient for the Pirates, posting an ERA well over 5.00 since being acquired. Meanwhile, Meadows and Glasnow have taken off for the Rays, both performing like All-Stars, helping the Rays be near the top of the stacked AL East. Shane Baz was a surprise addition to the trade as a PTBNL (player to be named later), and has been nothing but lights out in Single-A this year. Cutting ties with Archer might be tough given how much they gave up to land him, but sometimes it’s best to know when you messed up. Frazier, Florial, and Jones are three young players who could be the core of a Pirates rebuild.