1. Gleyber Torres, Yankees
The recipient of a $1.7 million bonus out of Venezuela in 2013, Torres excelled in his first full pro season in ’15 as he helped Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach win the Carolina League title at age 19. He continued to impress last season in his return to Myrtle Beach before joining the Yankees as their key return in the Aroldis Chapman deal in July, and then became the youngest Arizona Fall League MVP and batting champion (.403) in 25 years. Now 20, Torres boasts one of the highest offensive ceilings among prospects, with the potential to hit for a high average and deliver 20-plus homers from a premium position.
2. Dansby Swanson, Braves
Swanson became the first No. 1 overall Draft pick to be traded the year he was drafted when Arizona shipped him to Atlanta in the Shelby Miller deal following the 2015 season. The Vanderbilt product made quick work of the Braves’ system in 2016, beginning the year at Class A Advanced Carolina before advancing to Double-A and then hitting over .300 in the big leagues as Atlanta’s everyday shortstop. While there’s some concern about his ability to hit for power, Swanson’s bat, speed and defense, as well as his leadership skills, could make him a perennial All-Star.
Top Prospects: Swanson, ATL
Top Prospects: Dansby Swanson, SS, Braves
2017 MLB.com Top Prospects: Dansby Swanson looks every bit the part of the franchise player the Braves hope he will be
3. Amed Rosario, Mets
The Mets had high expectations for Rosario when they gave him a $1.75 million bonus, the largest amount the club has given to an international player, in July 2012, and he’s proved to be well worth the investment early in his career. He broke out in 2016 when, at age 20, he batted .341 in 54 games after a midseason promotion to Double-A. He shows the makings of becoming a plus hitter with extra-base pop, and he’ll always offer plenty of value with his plus speed and defense. Meanwhile, another strong Minor League campaign could have Rosario competing for playing time in New York by the end of 2017.
Top Prospects: Rosario, NYM
Top Prospects: Amed Rosario, SS, Mets
2017 MLB.com Top Prospects: Amed Rosario has very good contact skills and extra-base power
4. J.P. Crawford, Phillies
The No. 16 overall Draft pick in 2013 had his production taper off between the Double-A and Triple-A levels in ’16, although he still held his own as a 21-year-old against advanced competition, showing good feel to hit, advanced on-base skills and plus defense at shortstop. Crawford may never offer much in the way of over-the-fence pop, but that shouldn’t keep him from reaching his ceiling as a top-of-the-order hitter.
Top Prospects: Crawford, PHI
Top Prospects: J.P. Crawford, SS, Phillies
2017 MLB.com Top Prospects: J.P. Crawford has an advanced approach at the plate, drawing a ton of walks
5. Brendan Rodgers, SS/2B, Rockies
The Rockies gave Rodgers a club-record $5.5 million bonus after making him the No. 3 overall Draft pick and the first player selected from the prep ranks in 2015. He lived up to the hype as a 19-year-old in his first full season, when he finished fourth in the South Atlantic League in home runs (19), extra-base hits (50) and slugging (.480). Both Rodgers’ bat and power project to be above average at maturity and should support a move to either second or third base if he’s ultimately forced off of shortstop.
Top Prospects: Rodgers, COL
Top Prospects: Brendan Rodgers, SS, Rockies
2017 MLB.com Top Prospects: Brendan Rodgers generates more power than most middle infielders, thanks to his bat speed and strength
6. Willy Adames, Rays
The Rays’ key acquisition in the 2014 Trade Deadline blockbuster that sent David Price to the Tigers, Adames continued his quick rise through the Minors last season at age 20 with a standout campaign in Double-A. He’s an above-average hitter with an approach that belies his age, and scouts expect him to tap into more of the power he showed in the Southern League last season moving forward.
Top Prospects: Adames, TB
Top Prospects: Willy Adames, SS, Rays
2017 MLB.com Top Prospects: Willy Adames generates hard line drives across the entire field thanks to a combination of bat speed and control
7. Kevin Maitan, Braves
The Braves shelled out $4.25 million to land Maitan — MLBPipeline.com’s No. 1 international prospect heading into the 2016 signing period — last July, as they targeted the switch-hitting 16-year-old Venezuelan for his huge offensive ceiling and potential to stick at shortstop. It’s that combination which gives Maitan a chance at becoming a future superstar, though he’ll likely need several years to develop in the Minors.
Top Prospects: Maitan, ATL
Top Prospects: Kevin Maitan, SS, Braves
2017 MLB.com Top Prospects: Kevin Maitan has pop from both sides, with perhaps a touch more from the right side
8. Jorge Mateo, SS/2B, Yankees
Mateo’s stock took a hit in 2016 with his struggles in the Florida State League, and a two-week suspension for insubordination raised questions about his makeup. That being said, the 21-year-old still possesses a slew of high-end tools including top-of-the-scale speed and average hitting ability, although some question whether he can stick at shortstop in the long run.
Top Prospects: Mateo, NYY
Top Prospects: Jorge Mateo, SS, Yankees
2017 MLB.com Top Prospects: Jorge Mateo’s deceptive strength gives him solid raw power at the plate
9. Nick Gordon, Twins
The son of former big league pitcher Tom Gordon and Dee Gordon‘s half-brother, Nick Gordon has been nothing short of consistent since the Twins made him the fifth overall pick in 2014. A Florida State League All-Star last season at age 20, Gordon doesn’t have loud tools but is a well-rounded player with the potential to be a solid everyday shortstop in the big leagues.
Top Prospects: Gordon, MIN
Top Prospects: Nick Gordon, SS, Twins
2017 MLB.com Top Prospects: Nick Gordon is starting to show more extra-base power and could grow into a bit more as he matures
10. Franklin Barreto, SS/2B, A’s
Acquired in the trade that sent Josh Donaldson to Toronto in November 2014, Barreto jumped directly to the Class A Advanced California League for his first full season and then spent much of his age-20 campaign in Double-A before moving up to Triple-A late in the season. He’s a dynamic hitter who projects to hit for both average and power, though some believe his fringy defense will require a move to second base.
Top Prospects: Barreto, OAK
Top Prospects: Franklin Barreto, SS, Athletics
2017 MLB.com Top Prospects: Franklin Barreto produces line drives with a quick swing and demonstrates good feel for finding the barrel
Few hitters in the 2015 Draft class were more accomplished than Kevin Newman, who, after winning back-to-back Cape Cod League batting titles and then hitting .370 as a junior at Arizona, became the 19th overall pick in June. He continued to rake while reaching Double-A in his first full season, showing the offensive tools to develop into a top-of-the-order hitter while also holding his own at shortstop.
Isan Diaz took home MVP honors in the Rookie-level Pioneer League in 2015, only to be dealt from Arizona to Milwaukee as part of the package to acquire Jean Segura and right-hander Tyler Wagner that offseason. He was even more impressive last year during his full-season debut, when, at age 20, he hit 20 homers to lead the Midwest League, tied for third in RBIs (75) and finished fourth in slugging (.469) en route to the Brewers’ Minor League Player of the Year Award.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Source: Mets News / Rosario named MLB Pipeline’s No. 3 SS prospect