As always, there is a lot of great right-handed pitching in the minor leagues. Forrest Whitely sits at the top with size and at last count, five quality pitches. The control still is not consistent, but he has all the makings of an Ace. Casey Mize was the number one overall player taken last June and should make quick work of the minor leagues. He’s good, just short of an ace potential.
Alex Reyes in my opinion is still the best pitching prospect in the minor leagues. He is only knocked down because of continued health concerns. If he can stay on the mound next season, there’s a good chance he is your National League Rookie of the Year.
Dustin May is my breakout pitcher and I have noted that in my rankings. He made significant progress last year and his combination of stuff, size, and ability to throw strikes makes him an elite prospect.
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1. Forrest Whitley (Hou)
Forrest Whitley’s innings will be a problem in 2019 as he’s only pitched 137.1 innings in three years in the minor leagues. But his size and stuff give him a ceiling of a #1.
2. Casey Mize (Det)
Casey Mize was the easy number one overall pick in last year’s MLB Draft and for good reason. He has command of a three-pitch arsenal and should move very quickly through the system.
3. Alex Reyes (Stl)
Alex Reyes had ace potential before Tommy John Surgery and arguably looked better after returning. There is still number one upside, but he needs to stay healthy. If he does, he could develop into one of the best pitchers in the league.
4. Mitch Keller (Pit)
Mitch Keller struggled in his first few games at Triple-A but ended strong. The Pirates will take that opportunity to start him back in Triple-A and hold his service time down. He should be up on June 20th…give or take a few days.
5. Mike Soroka (Atl)
Mike Soroka started off strong last season and then got hurt. However, all reports point to him being healthy. If so, he has strong number 3/2 starter upside.
6. Touki Toussaint (Atl)
Touki Toussaint might seem like a reach this high on the list, but the stuff and athleticism say otherwise. I think Braves fans and fantasy owners will start to see that in 2019.
7. Dustin May (LAD)
Who is Dustin May and what is he doing in the Top 50? He got stronger last season and his stuff improved from a fastball that sat in the low-90s to touching the upper 90s. At 6-foot-6 with a heavy fastball and curve, he’s going to be nasty.
8. Michael Kopech (CHW)
TJS. Man, how I hate those three letters. We all saw it before he got hurt. He’s got #1 potential if he can come back healthy. Stay patient and DON’T sell low.
9. Ian Anderson (Atl)
Ian Anderson is yet another high-end pitcher in the Braves system. While he’s down on their list, he could easily be the Top pitcher in many other organizations.
10. Sixto Sanchez (Phi)
Arm trouble dropped Sixto Sanchez on our list. The stuff is premium with an 80-grade fastball. The size though does bother me, and I would not be surprised if he eventually moves to the pen. Then again, I said that about Luis Severino and have been dead wrong about that.
11. Brent Honeywell (TB)
Assuming he’s healthy after having Tommy John Surgery, Brent Honeywell should see plenty of time in Tampa Bay in 2019.
12. Dylan Cease (CHW)
While there is reliever risk with Dylan Cease, the arsenal is premium and for now, the White Sox want to continue to develop him as a starter. I’m good with that as the backup plan because the ceiling is a potential elite closer.
13. Triston McKenzie (CLE)
Triston Mckenzie is still listed at 6-foot-5 and 165 pounds. To say he’s tall and lanky is an understatement. But if he can put on weight, and add some physical projection, his ceiling is that of a number two starter.
14. Justin Dunn (Sea)
Justin Dunn has athleticism and a big arm that gives him a mid-rotation projection.
15. Chris Paddack (SD)
Last season, Chris Paddack looked as good as he did before he was diagnosed with a torn UCL in 2016. He only has 37.2 innings above High-A, but I think we see him in San Diego next season.
16. Hunter Greene (Cin)
We all saw Hunter Greene hit 101 at last year’s Futures Game. Sure, it was a little straight, but he’s got a golden arm and tremendous makeup. However, he also might be hurt. He’s still got a long way to go, but the upside remains a #1, but with significant risk.
17. Kyle Wright (Atl)
Kyle Wright seems to be forgotten in the stacked pitching depth of the Braves. While he doesn’t have the upside of Toussant, he’s more polished with a quality arsenal. I’m buying.
18. Brusdar Graterol (Min)
I saw Brusdar Graterol this year and fell in love. He hit 100 a couple of times on my gun with impressive secondary pitches. There is some reliever risk, but the arm is real.
19. Bryse Wilson (Atl)
I bet in five years when we review this list, Bryse Wilson will have out-earned his ranking.
20. Matt Manning (Det)
I continue to be very bullish on Matt Manning despite some struggles. Repeat after me, “Do Not give up on athletic pitchers who throw hard”.
21. Hans Crouse (Tex)
While there is some reliever risk with Hans Crouse, the arm could be special with a chance to be a number three pitcher.
22. Michel Baez (SD)
At 6-foot-8, Michel Baez is still growing into his body with many believing he could be bullpen bound. Regardless, if it all comes together, the upside is very high.
23. Corbin Martin (Hou)
Corbin Martin continues to fly under the radar, but after a standout season that saw his fastball tick up a grade, that’s changing. He’s rising in the rankings, and fast.
24. Jonathan Loaisiga (NYY)
I like Jonathan Loaisiga, but he should not be the top prospect for a team. While he has a starter arsenal, on the Yankees, he’ll likely be in the bullpen. That is, of course, if he can stay healthy.
25. Jon Duplantier (Ari)
Health has been a problem for Jon Duplantier to-date. Is it related to his long arm swing? When he’s on the mound, the stuff plays with a chance to be a mid-rotation starter.
26. Griffin Canning (LAA)
Drafted in the second round in 2017, Griffin Canning has already made it to Triple-A and looks ready to contribute in the Major Leagues. He has a plus fastball but struggles to find the plate consistently.
27. Luis Patino (SD)
Despite being 6-feet tall, Luis Patino has a big-league arm and is one of the more exciting your arms in the minor leagues. He just turned 19 but is already slated to begin 2019 in High-A.
28. Shane Baz (TB)
While the stat line for Shane Baz was not stellar last season, the kid can really pitch. Stick with the scouting report on this one as the results will eventually be there.
29. Josh James (Hou)
Yes, I’m aware of the sleep apna correction that Josh James had and that apparently has gone a long way to his current success. I’m truly happy for him. But, the delivery still points to a reliever and not a starter for me; partiularly in Houston.
30. Cole Winn (Tex)
While Hans Crouse is getting all the helium in Texas, don’t be surprised if Cole Winn surpasses him next year and makes our Top 100 prospect list.
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