When it comes to prospects, minor league statistics tend to be misleading. That’s not to say they hold no value, but eye-popping numbers alone, especially against inferior competition, are anything but a guarantee that a prospect will succeed in the major leagues. More importantly, they offer minimal insight about a player’s long-term projection.
Rather, prospect evaluation is rooted in the intense scrutiny of a player’s development and progress, whether it be a hitter or pitcher, in all facets of the game. In terms of projection, it all comes down to a player’s perceived ceiling or upside, which represents the best and most optimistic outcome. With almost every prospect, there’s a big gap between his present ability and future potential in the major leagues.
To ensure that the focus of this article is on prospects with the highest ceilings, I decided to include players that are yet to reach the major leagues, so please don’t freak out when you don’t see Taijuan Walker or Xander Bogaerts.
Similarly, I avoided highly ranked prospects that comparatively carry less risk, such as Albert Almora, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Oscar Taveras.