Using the 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 represents Major League average, we projected Robles as a 60 hitter with 50 power, 70 speed, 65 arm strength and 60 defense in center field. That package, which equates to a .280 hitter with 15-18 homers and 30 steals plus potential Gold Glove defense, helped him rank No. 8 on the Top 100, behind seven prospects who are closer to reaching their own considerable ceilings.
The sum of Robles’ five tools adds up to 305. For comparison’s sake, Byron Buxton had the highest total on last year’s Top 100 at 340, with Robles coming in second at 300. Mike Trout‘s sum was 335 when he was a prospect, and Bo Jackson’s would have been 370 — almost certainly the highest in the Draft era. Bo knew tools.
(Time for a quick disclaimer: Yes, we know that some tools matter more than others and there’s more to evaluating prospects than simply adding up their five tools. This is meant to be a fun look at some of the most talented players on the Top 100, not the most scientific of analyses.)
Top Prospects: Robles, WSH
Top Prospects: Victor Robles, OF, Nationals
2017 MLB.com Top Prospects: Victor Robles showcases all five tools along with elite athleticism on a daily basis
Just behind Robles in terms of all-around brilliance is another center fielder who was used as the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade the previous offseason. Manuel Margot (No. 23 on the Top 100) highlighted the four-player package the Red Sox sent to the Padres for Craig Kimbrel in November 2015.
Margot is arguably the top defensive prospect in the Minors (we graded him as a 70), also has a sterling track record as a hitter (60) and possesses well above-average speed (70) and plus arm strength (60). His lone subpar tool is his below-average power (40), though his total still comes to an impressive 300.
Top Prospects: Margot, SD
Top Prospects: Manuel Margot, OF, Padres
2017 MLB.com Top Prospects: Manuel Margot’s quick bat and outstanding hand-eye coordination help him to generate hard contact to all fields
Mets shortstop Amed Rosario (No. 5) is the standout among infielders, coming in third overall with a tools total of 295. He stands out most for his defensive prowess and arm strength, earning 65s in both categories, but also has plenty of offensive upside with plus hitting ability and speed. He has fringy power, though that’s more than most middle infielders possess.
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
Three players tied for fourth at 290. White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada (No. 2) should be no surprise, because he received the same score a year ago and his talent helped persuade the White Sox to send Sale to Boston. Often described as Robinson Cano with more speed, Moncada is a switch-hitter with electric bat speed from both sides of the plate, well above-average speed and a strong arm.
Top Prospects: Moncada, CWS
Top Prospects: Yoan Moncada, 2B, White Sox
2017 MLB.com Top Prospects: Yoan Moncada is a switch-hitter with tremendous bat speed and is a well above-average runner
Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger (No. 13) and Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman (No. 100) also have 290s, which is notable considering where they play. Up-the-middle players usually feature the broadest array of tools, given the demands of their positions. Twenty of the 21 Top 100 Prospects who averaged 55 or better tools across the board last year were potential middle infielders or center fielders, and the same is true of 20 of 23 this time around.
Top Prospects: Bellinger, LAD
Top Prospects: Cody Bellinger, 1B, Dodgers
2017 MLB.com Top Prospects: Cody Bellinger hit for average when he broke into pro ball, displaying a smooth left-handed stroke
Bellinger and Chapman are both members of MLBPipeline’s All-Defense Team, meriting 70 grades with their gloves. They also stood out on our list of superlative tools on the Top 100, with Bellinger the game’s top power prospect (65) and Chapman owning the strongest arm in the Minors (75).
Top Prospects: Chapman, OAK
Top Prospects: Matt Chapman, 3B, Athletics
2017 MLB.com Top Prospects: Matt Chapman’s defense and power potential gives him the floor of a big league regular
Highest total scouting grades among Top 100:
C — Jorge Alfaro, Phillies (No. 72), 265
1B — Cody Bellinger, Dodgers (No. 13), 290
2B — Yoan Moncada, White Sox (No. 2), 290
3B — Nick Senzel, Reds (No. 26): 280
SS — Amed Rosario, Mets (No. 5): 295
OF — Victor Robles, Nationals (No. 8): 305
OF — Manuel Margot, Padres (No. 23): 300
OF — Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox (No. 1): 285
OF — Lewis Brinson, Brewers (No. 18): 285
Source: Mets News / Mets’ Rosario packs some of top tools among prospects