The list is out and the feedback is in. Some of you liked it and some of you didn’t. That’s what makes this fun.
My list is obviously deeper than 50 and I wanted to include more, but decided that 50 was a nice round number. While the following list of players is in NO order, these are guys I really liked and considered for my list. Do not consider them 51 through 58. They are just guys I really like.
Eloy Jimenez (CHC, OF)
The Futures game belonged to Yoan Moncada and Alex Bregman, but honorable mention has to go to Eloy Jimenez. Not only did he smack a long two run home run in the ninth inning, but he also made a circus catch, nearly falling into the exit ramp in the process. Only 19 years-old, he’s posting an .899 OPS in Low-A with 10 home runs. At 6-foot-4, he’ll likely always have some swing and miss in his game, but the power could be impressive.
Jorge Alfaro (Phi, C)
Jorge Alfaro is having another solid year, this time in the Eastern League and should be just about ready to bring his game to Philadelphia. He needs to improve in his ability to control the strike zone, but the bat speed and athleticism are special and if it comes together, he could be an impact bat, hitting in the middle of the Phillies lineup.
Trent Clark (Mil, OF)
The Brewers elected to hold Trent Clark, their 2015 first round draft pick in extended spring training to start the year. That, coupled with a trip to the disabled list has slowed his progression slightly this year. The hit tool looks solid and with the ability to control the strike zone, he should be able to make up time quickly. His double-plus speed should make him an ideal leadoff hitter in the big leagues in two to three years.
Alex Verdugo (LAD, OF)
The Dodgers keep challenging Alex Verdugo and he keeps responding. Already in Double-A at the ripe age of 20, he’s making 85% contact while walking 8% of the time. That’s a recipe for a high OBP and a place at the top of the Dodgers lineup, perhaps as early as next year. Also, don’t sleep on the power. While his high watermark is this year, at nine, I think he profiles as a 20 home run threat. Add it up, and it’s an All-star ceiling.
Gary Sanchez (NYY, C)
I like Gary Sanchez a lot. In fact, I have him on two Dynasty Leagues. But enough already; get to the big leagues so I can stop writing about you. Once again, he can hit, should have 20 home run power but is only an adequate defender behind the plate. I still maintain he could be a Kyle Schwarber/Willson Contreras type of guy – part-time catcher, part-time first baseman, and part-time outfielder.
Braden Shipley (Ari, RHP)
Over the past two years, the Diamondbacks have traded away several of their top pitching prospects and are left with one…Braden Shipley. He’s a nice pitcher with three solid pitches but none of them grade out as a true plus pitch. He’s throwing strikes but isn’t striking out as many batters this year as he’s done in the past. He does have a 1.81 ground-ball-to-fly-ball ratio, so perhaps he’s decided to pitch more to contact. Regardless, he should see Arizona later this year.
Raimel Tapia (Col, OF)
The Hartford Yard Goats (80-plus name by the way) visit the Trenton Thunder in early August and I will be in attendance. It’s a team stacked with prospects including Raimel Tapia. Tapia continues to do what he’s always done – make contact. In 364 plate appearances, he’s struck out 40 times. The power is down slightly but based on the bat speed I’ve seen in the past, I’m not worried. What could be a problem are his 14 stolen bases in 27 attempts.
Joey Gallo (Tex, OF/1B/3B)
As always, each of my lists needs to have a Joey Gallo mention. He’s going to hit a lot of home runs and strike out a ton. In a points league, he’s a top 50 prospect for sure. In a roto and H2H league, you should sell high on him. I believe the batting average will be a problem and his greatest value is now. In fact, it was probably last year, before he had his first big league at-bat.