At the end of a heavy week of prospect rankings updates (Keith Law busted out all of his rankings info Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and MLB Pipeline has been doing various positional rankings), the MLB Pipeline crew put on a show last night to reveal their top 100 overall prospects for 2015.
2. Kris Bryant
5. Addison Russell
22. Jorge Soler
47. C.J. Edwards
49. Kyle Schwarber
57. Albert Almora
It’s interesting to see how much higher the MLB.com staff is on Edwards, Schwarber, and Almora than Keith Law, who didn’t rank Edwards or Almora, and had Schwarber down at 90. It’s also interesting to see Almora so high, given his adjustment-filled 2014 season, and to not see fellow outfielder Billy McKinney on the list at all. The two run kind of neck-and-neck in some folks’ minds, so that’s quite a spread for MLB Pipeline. I really can’t wait to see those guys playing together at AA to start this season (and not to mention Bijan Rademacher there in the outfield with them).
Soler finally gets the big bump from MLB.com, after being regrettably low on the mid-season update in 2014. It still feels like Soler is a touch low, but when I look at the guys ahead of him, I don’t really see a lot of offensive decisions. Lots of good pitching prospects ahead of him in the 10 to 21 range, which makes it tough to argue.
When it was revealed that Kris Bryant was the number two prospect, behind Twins outfield Byron Buxton, there was a fair bit of hostility among Cubs fans:
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) January 31, 2015
I, and they, joke. At least I think. While I think Bryant probably merits the top overall spot, I really can’t knock any service that places Buxton up there given his incredible upside. Huge impact potential at the plate. Huge impact potential on the bases. Huge impact potential in center field. He’s just special, special, special. It’s OK for Bryant to be number two to that guy.
If he actually is number two. We’ll see where BP and BA place Bryant. It doesn’t really matter, because everyone knows he’s a stud. It’s just kind of a fun thing.
As for the rest of the list, how about Russell up there at five? Some folks had a beef with him as the third best shortstop, but, as you can see, that’s not as much about Russell as it is about the crazy stud shortstop prospects in the game right now. And Russell, himself, is a stuuuuuud.
One parting thought: if spots in the top 100 were equally distributed, you’d expect each team to have 3.333 prospects on the list. The Cubs had 6. And they didn’t just have 6 of the top 100, they had 6 of the top 57. And that’s after graduating Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara, and that’s after Kyle Hendricks showed that he probably should have been considered a top 100 type (after graduating).
When it comes to young talent, the Chicago Cubs are freaking loaded.