B/R's Updated Top 50 MLB Prospect Rankings

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2018

B/R's Updated Top 50 MLB Prospect Rankings

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    Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

    As the stretch run of the 2018 MLB season begins, the MiLB season is rapidly winding to a close, and with that, it's time for an updated look at the league's top prospects.

    The following factors helped determine where each player fell in our rankings:

    • Potential: Potential trumps production a lot of the time, especially in the lower levels of the minors and with recent draft picks. Skill set and overall tools are often a better indication of what kind of player a guy will be in the future.
    • Talent: For guys in the higher levels of the minors who are close to breaking through at the big league level, production and current talent level are the determining factors, as these players are viewed as more complete products.
    • Eligibility: A player must maintain rookie eligibility to be considered for inclusion. That means not exceeding 130 at-bats for position players, 50 innings pitched for pitchers or 45 days on the active roster prior to roster expansion in September.

    Let's get to it.

                     

    The following players have graduated since our post-draft rankings on June 20: 1. OF Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL); 3. OF Juan Soto (WAS); 21. SS Willy Adames (TB); 36. OF Austin Meadows (TB); Next 50: IF Franklin Barreto (OAK); 1B Jake Bauers (TB); RHP Shane Bieber (CLE).

Honorable Mentions (The Next 50)

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    Danny Jansen
    Danny JansenPatrick McDermott/Getty Images

    Pitchers

    • Albert Abreu (NYY)
    • Kolby Allard (ATL)
    • Logan Allen (SD)
    • Michel Baez (SD)
    • Corbin Burnes (MIL)
    • Griffin Canning (LAA)
    • Justin Dunn (NYM)
    • Alex Faedo (DET)
    • Luiz Gohara (ATL)
    • DL Hall (BAL)
    • Taylor Hearn (TEX)
    • Peter Lambert (COL)
    • Matthew Liberatore (TB)
    • Jonathan Loaisiga (NYY)
    • Dustin May (LAD)
    • Adonis Medina (PHI)
    • Franklin Perez (DET)
    • A.J. Puk (OAK)
    • Brady Singer (KC)
    • Touki Toussaint (ATL)
    • Taylor Widener (ARI)

                            

    Catchers

    • Miguel Amaya (CHC)
    • Ronaldo Hernandez (TB)
    • Danny Jansen (TOR)
    • MJ Melendez (KC)
    • Sean Murphy (OAK)
    • Will Smith (LAD)

                             

    Infielders

    • 1B Peter Alonso (NYM)
    • 3B Alec Bohm (PHI)
    • 3B Michael Chavis (BOS)
    • SS Oneil Cruz (PIT)
    • SS Wander Franco (TB)
    • SS Luis Garcia (WAS)
    • IF Nick Gordon (MIN)
    • 3B Nolan Gorman (STL)
    • 3B Ke'Bryan Hayes (PIT)
    • 3B Jonathan India (CIN)
    • 3B Nolan Jones (CLE)
    • SS Gavin Lux (LAD)
    • 2B Nick Madrigal (CWS)
    • 3B Ryan Mountcastle (BAL)
    • SS Kevin Smith (TOR)

                           

    Outfielders

    • Willie Calhoun (TEX)
    • Jarred Kelenic (NYM)
    • Kyle Lewis (SEA)
    • Julio Pablo Martinez (TEX)
    • Seuly Matias (KC)
    • Cristian Pache (ATL)
    • Julio Rodriguez (SEA)
    • Blake Rutherford (CWS)

Nos. 50-46

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    Adrian Morejon
    Adrian MorejonAndy Hayt/Getty Images

    50. LHP Adrian Morejon, San Diego Padres (Previous: HM)

    The Padres gave Morejon a franchise-record $11 million bonus as part of the 2016 international free-agent crop, and he's starting to show why he was such a highly regarded prospect. Still just 19, he's spent the bulk of the season at the High-A level, going 4-5 with a 3.44 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 74 strikeouts in 65.1 minor league innings. Advanced pitchability, a polished three-pitch mix and plus command give Morejon front-line upside if he can stay healthy.

                  

    49. OF Leody Taveras, Texas Rangers (Previous: 42)

    Taveras continues to be more projection than production, but he's held his own against older competition at High-A Down East. The 19-year-old has five-tool potential with the hit tool and speed to be a table-setter down the line. His .238/.303/.317 line this season speaks to the work he still needs to do. That said, he has the ceiling of an everyday center fielder and a potential All-Star.

                                               

    48. OF Tyler O'Neill, St. Louis Cardinals (Previous: HM)

    The St. Louis Cardinals' decision to trade Tommy Pham at the July 31 non-waiver deadline should give O'Neill his first extended action at the MLB level, provided he can move past a hamstring strain. There will always be a lot of swing-and-miss to his game. But his power is for real, and he's a good enough athlete to play anywhere in the outfield. His .311/.385/.693 line and 26 home runs in 64 games at Triple-A show he has nothing left to prove in the minors.

                            

    47. RHP Brusdar Graterol, Minnesota Twins (Previous: 47)

    Graterol has overtaken Stephen Gonsalves as the top pitching prospect in the Minnesota system, and he should continue to climb leaguewide prospect lists as he makes his way closer to the majors. The 19-year-old can touch triple digits with his fastball and has a chance for three playable off-speed pitches. With the continued development of his secondary stuff and improved overall command, he has a chance to develop into an ace.

              

    46. OF Yusniel Diaz, Baltimore Orioles (Previous: HM)

    The prize of the Manny Machado trade and the new No. 1 prospect in the Baltimore system, Diaz has the advanced approach to contribute sooner rather than later for a team just starting to rebuild. The 21-year-old is hitting .291/.404/.443 with a 15.1 percent walk rate at Double-A, and he's just beginning to tap into his power potential. Don't be surprised if he's patrolling a spot in the Baltimore outfield by next season.

Nos. 45-41

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    Luis Robert
    Luis RobertRon Vesely/Getty Images

    45. RHP Ian Anderson, Atlanta Braves (Previous: HM)

    Anderson held his own in his full-season debut last year, and he's continued to impress as the Atlanta organization has let the leash out a bit further at High-A Florida. The 20-year-old sports a 2.51 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with 120 strikeouts in 104 innings this year. There's plenty of projection remaining in his 6'3", 170-pound frame, and he could ultimately settle in as a solid No. 2 starter type at the MLB level.

                         

    44. 3B Colton Welker, Colorado Rockies (Previous: 45)

    Welker signed an above-slot deal as a fourth-round pick in 2016, and he's since emerged as the best position-player prospect in the Colorado system not named Brendan Rodgers. The 20-year-old is hitting .330/.386/.485 with 29 doubles, 11 home runs and 73 RBI at High-A Lancaster while showing the defensive chops to be a standout third baseman. It's unclear where he fits into the long-term plans with Nolan Arenado blocking his path, but he's quickly established himself as a top-tier prospect.

                                   

    43. RHP Chris Paddack, San Diego Padres (Previous: NR)

    The Padres acquired Paddack from the Miami Marlins at the 2016 deadline in exchange for reliever Fernando Rodney. A forearm strain shortly after the trade wound up leading to Tommy John surgery, and he missed the entire 2017 season recovering. But his return to the mound has been worth the wait. The 22-year-old has been dominant splitting the season between High-A and Double-A, going 7-2 with a 1.91 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and 114 strikeouts in 85 innings. His stock has risen as much as any prospect in 2018.

                               

    42. OF Estevan Florial, New York Yankees (Previous: 29)

    After a breakout 2017 season, Florial has crashed back to earth with a punchless .235/.340/.323 line at High-A Tampa. The five-tool potential remains, and his 13.1 percent walk rate is a good indication he has a plan at the plate. But he needs to find a way to make more consistent, hard contact to deliver on his substantial upside. For now, his stock has begun to slip.

                                          

    41. OF Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox (Previous: 33)

    A left thumb injury cost Robert a good chunk of the season, but he's finally back in action and hitting .304/.368/.411 with nine extra-base hits and 11 stolen bases in 31 games. The 21-year-old already flashes all five tools, and he still has a lot of raw power to tap into. It cost the White Sox a whopping $26 million with a matching tax penalty to sign him, and while he has yet to reach Double-A, a 2019 debut is not out of the question if he can stay healthy.

Nos. 40-36

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    Kyle Wright
    Kyle WrightRob Carr/Getty Images

    40. C Keibert Ruiz, Los Angeles Dodgers (Previous: 39)

    Ruiz has spent the entire season at Double-A, despite the fact that he just turned 20 in July. Fellow catching prospect Will Smith is further along in his development and might get the first crack at replacing free-agent-to-be Yasmani Grandal. It's Ruiz who profiles as the long-term answer at the position, though. He has the highest ceiling of any catching prospect, aside from the recently drafted Joey Bart. 

                      

    39. RHP Jon Duplantier, Arizona Diamondbacks (Previous: 44)

    It looks like the Diamondbacks struck gold when they selected Duplantier in the third round of the 2016 draft. The Rice University product went 12-3 with a 1.39 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 165 strikeouts in 136 innings last season, and he's continued to dominate at the Double-A level. The 24-year-old is close to MLB-ready, and as long as he can avoid the injury issues that plagued him in college, he could be the next ace of the D-backs staff.

                                       

    38. 1B/OF Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros (Previous: HM)

    The Dodgers gave Alvarez a $2 million bonus and then traded him to the Astros for reliever Josh Fields before he ever suited up for the organization. He hit .304/.379/.481 and played in the Futures Game in his full-season debut, and he's been even better this year in the upper levels of the minors. The 21-year-old sports a .289/.368/.550 line with 19 home runs and 64 RBI, and he's just starting to tap into the vast power potential packed into his 6'5", 225-pound frame.

                        

    37. SS Andres Gimenez, New York Mets (Previous: NR)

    Gimenez, 19, is hitting .287/.355/.428 on the year with 37 extra-base hits and 32 stolen bases, and he hasn't slowed down since a midseason promotion to Double-A. He has the glove to be a standout defender on either side of second base, and while he may never hit for much power, his 60-grade hit tool and plus speed make him a potential top-of-the-order catalyst.

                                          

    36. RHP Kyle Wright, Atlanta Braves (Previous: HM)

    A candidate to go No. 1 overall in the 2017 draft, Wright instead slipped to the Braves at No. 5, and he joined the already pitching-rich system with an above-slot $7 million bonus. While many of the top arms in the Braves system are more floor than ceiling, Wright has front-line potential. He's already reached Triple-A, going a combined 8-9 with a 3.59 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 124 strikeouts in 128 innings. He should be in Atlanta by the first half of next season.   

Nos. 35-31

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    Luis Urias
    Luis UriasJennifer Stewart/Getty Images

    35. SS Carter Kieboom, Washington Nationals (Previous: 24)

    Kieboom has seen his production dip since a midseason promotion to Double-A. The 20-year-old is hitting .269/.327/.425 with five home runs in 46 games since his torrid start at the High-A level, but he's still well ahead of the developmental curve, and his offensive upside is obvious. With Trea Turner entrenched at shortstop in the majors, Kieboom could eventually shift to third base, especially if Anthony Rendon walks in free agency following the 2019 season.

           

    34. RHP Mike Soroka, Atlanta Braves (Previous: 37)

    Soroka made his MLB debut on May 1 and posted a 3.51 ERA over five starts before landing on the disabled list with inflammation in his throwing shoulder. The 21-year-old could miss the remainder of the regular season, but he'll be given every chance to win a rotation spot next spring. With a strong 6'5", 225-pound frame and polished repertoire, Soroka could be a middle-of-the-rotation starter for the next decade.

        

    33. 2B/SS Luis Urias, San Diego Padres (Previous: 38)

    Urias is knocking on the door for an MLB promotion thanks to his 70-grade hit tool and solid glovework at both second base and shortstop. His big league future figures to be at the keystone with Fernando Tatis Jr. destined for the everyday shortstop gig. The 21-year-old has a chance to be a perennial .300 hitter at the MLB level, and his strong on-base skills should make him an impact table-setter.

          

    32. RHP Sixto Sanchez, Philadelphia Phillies (Previous: 26)

    Elbow inflammation has limited Sanchez to just eight starts this season, the last of which came all the way back on June 3. While 2018 is shaping up to be something of a lost season, the future still looks incredibly bright for the 20-year-old right-hander. A triple-digits fastball, two plus off-speed pitches and command that belies his age and power stuff give him the upside to one day join Aaron Nola atop the Philadelphia rotation.

         

    31. LHP/1B Brendan McKay, Tampa Bay Rays (Previous: 30)

    McKay is one of the most compelling prospects in baseball, as the Rays are giving him a chance to play both ways after he won the Golden Spikes Award at Louisville and went No. 4 overall in the 2017 draft.

    So far, he's looked better on the mound than at the plate, despite his elite plate discipline:

    • Hitter: 221 PA, .229/.380/.383, 14 XBH (6 HR), 39 RBI, 40/44 BB/K
    • Pitcher: 17 G, 15 GS, 5-2, 2.28 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 11 BB, 96 K, 71.0 IP

    For now, he continues to play first base and DH between starts, but a full-time move to the mound could be in his future.

Nos. 30-26

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    Casey Mize
    Casey MizeCarlos Osorio/Associated Press

    30. C Joey Bart, San Francisco Giants (Previous: 46)

    Not since Buster Posey went No. 5 overall in the 2008 draft following a standout career at Florida State has a collegiate catching prospect entered the league with so much hype. Bart hit .359/.471/.632 with 16 home runs this spring at Georgia Tech, and it's been more of the same since he started his pro career, as he's batting .309/.362/.617 with 13 doubles, nine home runs and 29 RBI in 36 games between rookie ball and Low-A.

         

    29. 3B Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves (Previous: 28)

    Johan Camargo is quietly having an excellent season for the Braves, and that's been enough for him to keep the everyday third base job to this point. But he's not going to hold Riley off forever. The 21-year-old is hitting .295/.366/.500 with 26 doubles and 12 home runs in the upper levels of the minors, and the everyday job could be his on Opening Day next year.

         

    28. RHP Casey Mize, Detroit Tigers (Previous: 34)

    It speaks to his level of polish that Mize is already pitching at the High-A level after going No. 1 overall in June. The 21-year-old has three plus pitches, including a lethal 70-grade splitter, and excellent command, which helped him post a 156-to-16 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 114.2 innings this spring at Auburn. He was the consensus top talent in this year's draft for a reason and could wind up being the best of the bunch in a Tigers system loaded with high-ceiling arms.

        

    27. OF Jesus Sanchez, Tampa Bay Rays (Previous: 13)

    The move up the organizational ladder has resulted in less power production by the lanky 6'3", 210-pound Sanchez, as his slugging percentage (.478 to .448) and OPS (.826 to .777) have both dipped. The good news is, he's still just 20 years old, and the fact that he's already playing at Double-A speaks to his polished approach. The sky is the limit as he continues to fill out physically, but his arrival might take a bit longer than his current fast track implies.

          

    26. RHP Matt Manning, Detroit Tigers (Previous: 49)

    The athletic 6'6" Manning offered more projection than any pitcher in the 2016 draft, and the Tigers signed him away from a commitment to play both baseball and basketball at Loyola Marymount. His fastball/curveball pairing is already plus, and his changeup has a chance to be a third quality outing. The 20-year-old is still a little rough around the edges, but that hasn't stopped him from going 6-6 with a 3.19 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 123 strikeouts in 96 innings between Single-A and High-A.

Nos. 25-21

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    Alex Kirilloff
    Alex KirilloffBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    25. RHP Brent Honeywell, Tampa Bay Rays (Previous: 25)

    Honeywell suffered a right elbow injury in February that wound up requiring Tommy John surgery, so this has been a lost season. That said, he remains one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, assuming he can get back to his pre-injury form. The 23-year-old keeps hitters off balance with a five-pitch repertoire that includes a mid-90s fastball, plus changeup and his signature screwball. 

         

    24. RHP Dylan Cease, Chicago White Sox (Previous: 41)

    The Cubs gave Cease $1.5 million as a sixth-round pick in 2014 after an elbow injury dropped him out of the first-round conversation. The White Sox acquired him in the Jose Quintana deal last summer, and the training wheels are finally off this season. The 22-year-old is 12-2 with a 2.52 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 146 strikeouts in 118 innings between High-A and Double-A. He's also improved his walk rate to a palatable 3.5 BB/9. Cease just needs to refine his command and clean up his mechanics to reach his frontline potential.

         

    23. OF Alex Verdugo, Los Angeles Dodgers (Previous: 31)

    There's not a more polished hitter in the minor leagues right now than Verdugo. The 22-year-old is hitting .346/.396/.497 with 19 doubles and nine home runs at Triple-A, and he's held his own in his first taste of MLB action with a .280/.345/.440 line over 56 plate appearances. His hit tool and strong throwing arm give him Nick Markakis-type profile, and with Matt Kemp slumping badly, he could step into a key role for the Dodgers down the stretch.

          

    22. LHP Justus Sheffield, New York Yankees (Previous: 27)

    Yankees fans have been clamoring for Sheffield to get a look at the MLB level amid inconsistency from the starting rotation. The 22-year-old has been dominant in the upper levels this season, posting a 2.19 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 114 strikeouts in 107 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .190 average. It's more likely he'll make an impact out of the bullpen down the stretch, but his excellent three-pitch mix gives him a future at or near the top of the rotation.

         

    21. OF Alex Kirilloff, Minnesota Twins (Previous: 40)

    Kirilloff was something of a forgotten man on leaguewide top prospects lists heading into the year after Tommy John surgery cost him the entire 2017 season. Back healthy this season, he's quickly shown why he went No. 15 overall in the 2016 draft. The 20-year-old is hitting .347/.389/.581 with 39 doubles, 17 home runs and 93 RBI in 112 games between Single-A and High-A.

    As MLB.com wrote: "The bat has the chance to be special."

Nos. 20-16

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    Hunter Greene
    Hunter GreenePatrick McDermott/Getty Images

    20. OF Taylor Trammell, Cincinnati Reds (Previous: 23)

    Trammell may wind up as the steal of the 2016 draft after going No. 35 overall. The 20-year-old has shown far more polish than expected after splitting his time as a two-sport standout in high school, displaying five-tool upside in the process. He's hitting .276/.371/.406 with 27 extra-base hits and 19 stolen bases at High-A and could arrive in Cincinnati much sooner than originally expected.

         

    19. C/OF Francisco Mejia, San Diego Padres (Previous: 18)

    The Padres acquired Mejia at the deadline in the deal that sent Brad Hand and Adam Cimber to Cleveland. While he was seeing increased action in the outfield for the Indians, the Padres are committed to developing him as a catcher. The 22-year-old has one of the best hit tools among prospects and a rocket for an arm, but his receiving skills will determine if he can stick behind the plate. His bat would obviously carry more value at the catcher position.

         

    18. 2B Keston Hiura, Milwaukee Brewers (Previous: 35)

    Hiura was hyped as the best pure hitter in the 2017 draft, and he's backed that up since beginning his pro career. The 22-year-old is hitting .303/.366/.477 with 47 extra-base hits between High-A and Double-A this season, and he could be in Milwaukee by next year. Defensively, he'll be limited to second base or left field, but it's his 70-grade hit tool that earns him such high marks.

         

    17. RHP Hunter Greene, Cincinnati Reds (Previous: 20)

    Greene was shut down for the season in early August with a sprained UCL, though it's not expected to need surgery at this point, with Reds general manager Nick Krall telling reporters: "Right now, it's rehab. It's not surgical at this point. We're going to evaluate it as we move through the offseason and go from there."

    After stumbling to a 10.06 ERA over his first seven starts, Greene was rolling pre-injury. The 19-year-old posted a 2.63 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 11.0 K/9 over his next 11 appearances before he was shelved. Despite the injury questions, he still has the upside to be a generational talent.

         

    16. RHP Triston McKenzie, Cleveland Indians (Previous: 15)

    No pitching prospect has quite the combination of present pitchability and future physical projection than McKenzie. The 21-year-old is already pitching at the Double-A level and more than holding his own with a 3.00 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 68 strikeouts in 72 innings. Meanwhile, there's a ton of room to add strength to his 6'5", 165-pound frame, which could take his already plus stuff to another level. The Indians will be patient, but he could force their hand in the not-too-distant future.

Nos. 15-11

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    Kyle Tucker
    Kyle TuckerRob Leiter/Getty Images

    15. LHP MacKenzie Gore, San Diego Padres (Previous: 19)

    Gore was the complete package coming out of Whiteville High School where he won Gatorade National Player of the Year and then went No. 3 overall in the 2017 draft. With a strong 6'3", 191-pound frame, a four-pitch mix that grades out above-average across the board, smooth and deceptive mechanics and a bulldog mentality, he has all the makings of a rotation headliner for the rebuilding Padres.

         

    14. RHP Michael Kopech, Chicago White Sox (Previous: 9)

    In terms of pure stuff, no pitching prospect stacks up to Kopech. The 22-year-old regularly works in triple digits with his fastball, and the pitch's late run makes it even harder to hit. He backs that with a wipeout slider and a changeup that has developed into a third reliable offering. The only thing holding him back is his command. While he's struck out an impressive 161 batters in 120.1 innings, he's also issued 60 free passes, and that will need to improve for him to get the big league call.

         

    13. OF Kyle Tucker, Houston Astros (Previous: 14)

    Tucker hit just .140/.246/.200 with two extra-base hits over 57 plate appearances in his first MLB action last month. It was an inauspicious debut for one of the game's top prospects, but the future is still bright for the No. 5 overall pick in the 2015 draft. The 21-year-old is hitting .311/.373/.532 at Triple-A and starting to turn the raw power packed into his 6'4" frame into over-the-fence production.

          

    12. IF Brendan Rodgers, Colorado Rockies (Previous: 11)

    Rodgers has produced at every level since going No. 3 overall in the 2015 draft, including a .271/.333/.477 line with 25 doubles, 17 home runs and 64 RBI between Double-A and Triple-A this season. It's still unclear where the 22-year-old will land defensively. He has the instincts to make up for his lack of quick-twitch athleticism at shortstop, but he could also fit at second or third base. Regardless, his bat will play anywhere. If DJ LeMahieu walks in free agency, he could seize the everyday second base job next season.

         

    11. LHP Jesus Luzardo, Oakland Athletics (Previous: 22)

    Luzardo has been the fastest-rising pitching prospect in baseball this season, reaching the Triple-A level in his age-20 season. A first-round talent in 2016 who slipped to the third round following Tommy John surgery, Luzardo went to Oakland last summer in the deal that sent Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle to the Nationals. The 6'1" lefty is 10-4 with a 2.30 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 122 strikeouts in 101.2 innings over three minor league levels and could be ready to step into a rotation spot next season.

Nos. 10-6

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    Mitch Keller
    Mitch KellerRob Carr/Getty Images

    10. RHP Mitch Keller, Pittsburgh Pirates (Previous: 10)

    Keller might have the highest floor of any pitching prospect, but make no mistake, he also has legitimate ace upside. The 6'3", 195-pound right-hander commands his excellent three pitches extremely well, and he's seemingly put his early-career injury issues in the rearview. Already pitching in Triple-A at the age of 22, he's gone 10-4 with a 3.69 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 114 strikeouts in 119.2 innings over three levels this year.

          

    9. RHP Forrest Whitley, Houston Astros (Previous: 12)

    Whitley has picked up right where he left off last season since returning from a 50-game suspension for violating the MiLB drug policy. The towering 6'7" right-hander has two potential plus-plus pitchesa live upper-90s fastball and biting slider—among his electric four-pitch repertoire, and his command belies his age. Still just 20, Whitley sports a 3.91 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 32 strikeouts in 23 innings at Double-A, and he is once again the top pitching prospect in baseball.

         

    8. SS Bo Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays (Previous: 8)

    Bichette soared up prospect lists last season while posting a .362/.423/.565 line with 59 extra-base hits in 499 plate appearances between Single-A and High-A. While the 20-year-old has not enjoyed the same level of success at Double-A, he still has a .278/.334/.447 line that includes 35 doubles, 10 home runs and 29 stolen bases. With a 70-grade hit tool and emerging power, he doesn't need to stick at shortstop to be a franchise cornerstone.

       

    7. 2B Nick Senzel, Cincinnati Reds (Previous: 7)

    Issues with vertigo limited Senzel early in the season, and a torn tendon in his right index finger effectively ended his season on June 22. In between, he continued to rake, hitting .310/.378/.509 with 20 extra-base hits in 193 plate appearances. The 23-year-old has a chance to be a perennial .300 hitter, and there's 20-plus home run potential in his bat as well. It's still unclear how he fits into an infield that features Scooter Gennett at second base and Eugenio Suarez at third base, but his bat is ready once he's healthy.

         

    6. CF Victor Robles, Washington Nationals (Previous: 5)

    A gruesome elbow injury cost Robles nearly three months at the start of the season, and he's still shaking off the rust at Triple-A Syracuse. The impact potential remains, and his development will be key in helping potentially replace Bryce Harper.

    MLB.com wrote: "Robles has the makings of becoming a true franchise player for the Nationals, one who has the upside of a perennial All-Star and possibly an MVP candidate."

Nos. 5-1

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    Royce Lewis
    Royce LewisBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    5. SS Royce Lewis, Minnesota Twins (Previous: 17)

    Lewis was the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draftahead of the more hyped Hunter Greenebut he's already showing why he deserved that top spot. The 19-year-old is hitting .316/.379/.495 with 29 doubles, 13 home runs, 73 RBI and 28 stolen bases between Single-A and High-A. Whether he sticks at shortstop or shifts to center field, he has all the makings of a future superstar.

         

    4. OF Jo Adell, Los Angeles Angels (Previous: 16)

    Adell went No. 10 overall in the 2017 draft on the strength of his elite athleticism, though he was expected to be something of a project as he turned his raw tools into on-field production. Instead, he's exploded onto the scene as one of the most dynamic prospects in baseball, hitting .294/.357/.551 with 28 doubles, 19 home runs, 75 RBI and 14 stolen bases over three levels to reach Double-A at the age of 19. The sky is the limit.

         

    3. SS Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres (Previous: 6)

    Unfortunately, Padres fans will need to wait another year to see Tatis Jr. in the majors, as the 19-year-old underwent season-ending surgery on a fractured thumb in July. He was raking at the Double-A level at the time of the injury, hitting .286/.355/.507 with 22 doubles, 16 home runs and 16 stolen bases in 88 games. In a San Diego system loaded with pitching talent, he's the key to the franchise's rebuild.

          

    2. OF Eloy Jimenez, Chicago White Sox (Previous: 4)

    Jimenez has the best raw power of any prospect, and he's more than just an all-or-nothing slugger, with a 60-grade hit tool. Simply put, he has a chance to be an offensive juggernaut once he reaches the big leagues, and that might be soon. The 21-year-old is hitting .329/.377/.598 with 25 doubles, 21 home runs and 68 RBI between Double-A and Triple-A this season, and a September call-up could be upcoming.

         

    1. 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays (Previous: 2)

    With Ronald Acuna Jr. graduated to the majors, the title of top prospect in baseball now belongs to Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

    The 19-year-old missed some time this season with a strained patellar tendon, but in between, he's hit a staggering .397/.452/.672 with 24 doubles, 18 home runs and 69 RBI in 78 games in the upper levels of the minors. He has a true 80-grade hit tool and the power to be a 30-homer slugger in his prime, and a move off the hot corner to first base or left field will do nothing to diminish his superstar profile.

          

    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted, and accurate through August 14.