The group featured Corey Seager (No. 1), the eventual National League Rookie of the Year, as well as a host of up-the-middle talents in Byron Buxton (No. 2), Orlando Arcia (No. 6), Yoan Moncada (No. 7) and Dansby Swanson (No. 8).
Both Moncada and Swanson remain eligible for this season’s list after not exhausting their rookie status last season, and the same goes for hurlers Tyler Glasnow and Alex Reyes, who ranked as baseball’s Nos. 10 and 13 prospects a year ago.
In all, 29 players from the 2016 Top 100 exhausted their rookie status.
The annual preseason ranking of the Top 100 Prospects will be revealed Saturday night during a one-hour special on MLB Network and MLB.com beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The show, hosted by Greg Amsinger, will feature analysis from MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis, and from former Colorado Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd of MLB Network.
Which team will have the most prospects in the Top 100? And after so many players from last year’s list graduated to the Major Leagues, who will join the rankings?
Those are just a few of the questions that will be answered. Fans can follow along on Twitter, as several top prospects, including outfielders Austin Meadows, Eloy Jimenez and Mickey Moniak, will join @MLBPipeline in live tweeting the show using the hashtag #MLBPipeline.
Prospects tweeting during the broadcast
Willy Adames, SS, Rays: @willya02
Ozzie Albies, 2B/SS, Braves: @albiesozhaino
Jose De Leon, RHP, Rays: @ jdl_87
Braxton Garrett, LHP, Marlins: @braxgarrett
Ian Happ, 2B, Cubs: @ihapp_1
Eloy Jimenez, OF, Cubs: @Lamantha21
Carson Kelly, C, Cardinals: @carskelly
Kevin Maitan, SS, Braves: @MaitanKevin
Austin Meadows, OF, Pirates: @austin_meadows
Mickey Moniak, OF, Phillies: @mickeymoniak
Corey Ray, OF, Brewers: @FutureIs_Bright
Brendan Rodgers, SS, Rockies: @broddddd3
Blake Rutherford, OF, Yankees: @BlakeRuth2
Kyle Tucker, OF, Astros: @KTuck30
HOW THE TOP 100 IS DETERMINED
The MLB Pipeline team compiled the rankings with input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. They are based on analysis of players’ skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. The list, which is one of several prospect rankings on MLBPipeline.com’s Prospect Watch, only includes players with rookie status in 2017. Prospect Watch also follows the guidelines laid out by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, in terms of who falls under the international pool money rules: Players who are at least 23 years old and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.
FORMER NO. 1 PROSPECTS
Being ranked as baseball’s top prospect comes with very high expectations, naturally. Yet, quite a few former No. 1-ranked prospects have made good on the hype and have enjoyed successful careers at the highest level.
Over the past 13 years, Joe Mauer (No. 1 in 2004) and Mike Trout (’11) have gone on to win league MVP Awards, with Trout winning it twice to go along with his three second-place finishes and Rookie of the Year Award. David Price (’09) was named the AL Cy Young Award winner in ’12. Jay Bruce (’08) is a two-time All-Star with a pair of top-10 NL MVP Award finishes on his resume, while Jason Heyward (’10) helped the Cubs end their World Series drought in 2016 after signing an eight-year, $184 million pact during the offseason.
As for prospects who claimed the No. 1 spot in recent years, it’s still yet to be seen what types of careers they might have. Left-hander Matt Moore (2012) showed the makings of a future ace when he first arrived in the big leagues, only to have his progress derailed by Tommy John surgery in ’14. The injury bug has also impacted the development of Rangers shortstop Jurickson Profar (’13), who debuted in the Major Leagues and homered in his first plate appearance in ’12 at age 19, but missed the entire ’14 season and most of ’15 with a major shoulder injury. Meanwhile, Seager (’16) shows the makings of becoming a perennial MVP candidate after winning the NL Rookie of the Year Award last season.
MLB.com’s Preseason No. 1 Prospect Rankings by Year
2004: Joe Mauer
2005: Delmon Young
2006: Delmon Young
2007: Delmon Young
2008: Jay Bruce
2009: David Price
2010: Jason Heyward
2011: Mike Trout
2012: Matt Moore
2013: Jurickson Profar
2014: Byron Buxton
2015: Byron Buxton
2016: Corey Seager
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 / Who’s No. 1? MLB Pipeline to unveil Top 100 Prospects