2017 Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects: Three New Names In Top 5 & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With the second half of the MLB season underway, now is the perfect time to update our Top 50 prospect rankings.  As you would expect there have been significant changes from the preseason, as there have been several graduations as well as some breakout performances.

Whose stock is rising?  How does the top of our rankings shake out?  Let’s take a look:

RankingPlayerTeamPositionGradePreseason RankingThoughts
1Victor RoblesWashington NationalsOFA1The home runs have been a bit inconsistent, but they will develop (he's produced doubles) and he's backing it up with his average/speed
2Gleyber TorresNew York YankeesSSA5He'd already be in the Majors if he hadn't suffered injury
3Rafael DeversBoston Red Sox3BA22Will he make the jump from Double-A to the Majors remains to be seen, but his performance certainly would justify it
4Amed RosarioNew York MetsSSA14We continue to wait for the Mets to decide he's ready, though the rest of the world already believes
5Eloy JimenezChicago White SoxOFA13His power is developing and he's shown a better approach at the plate, meaning it's all coming together quickly
6Alex ReyesSt. Louis CardinalsRHPA6He's easy to forget about, as he's out for the year, but he may have the highest upside of any pitching prospect
7Francisco MejiaCleveland IndiansCA19One of the elite bats in the minors, regardless of position, he's added power to the equation
8Brent HoneywellTampa Bay RaysRHPA12Don't let the Triple-A numbers deceive you, as he brings strikeouts, control and a screwball that will instantly make him a force
9Vladimir Guerrero Jr.Toronto Blue Jays3BA35The position may be in question long-term, but the bat has clearly emerged as one of the best in the minors
10Yoan MoncadaChicago White Sox2BA-2There's no questioning the raw talent, but there are significant concerns with his strikeouts and extra base hits
11Lewis BrinsonMilwaukee BrewersOFA-29His first taste of the Majors didn't go as planned, but he's improved his approach at Triple-A to go with power and speed
12Kyle TuckerHouston AstrosOFA-32He brings power (which should continue to grow) and speed, the question is if he can keep the strikeouts in check (which he has thus far)
13Brendan RodgersColorado RockiesSSA-9The biggest knock is a lack of walks, but he improved his strikeout rate at High-A & will call Coors Field home
14Ronald AcunaAtlanta BravesOFA-NRA true five-tool talent has reached Triple-A at 19, which is really all you need to know about his potential
15Nick SenzelCincinnati Reds3BA-10We await the power to develop, but that will come in time as he moves quickly through the system (as expected)
16Mitch KellerPittsburgh PiratesRHPA-26Pinpoint control + Groundballs + Strikeouts… You could argue he's a Top 5 pitching prospect yet few respect him
17Ozzie AlbiesAtlanta Braves2BA-20Has elite speed and is beginning to tap into a little power, he just needs to cut the strikeouts and improve the walk rate
18Clint FrazierNew York YankeesOFA-24He's in the Majors, for now, and continues to show his potential upside as his power is developing
19Michael KopechChicago White SoxRHPB+27The only thing standing between him and becoming elite is his ability to consistently throw strikes
20Franklin BarretoOakland A'sSSB+16He's had strikeout issues both at Triple-A & the Majors, which need to be watched
21Triston McKenzieCleveland IndiansRHPB+38The only question is whether he can handle a starters workload, because the stuff is proving to be elite
22Derek FisherHouston AstrosOFB+NRHe presented himself well in his first taste of the Majors, with the key being his improved strikeout rate (the power/speed combo is for real)
23Lucas GiolitoChicago White SoxRHPB+3He's shown signs of turning things around, but overall walks and home runs have crippled him in '17
24Austin MeadowsPittsburgh PiratesOFB+25It's been a disappointing first half as he missed his opportunity to arrive, now we'll have to wait for a trade to open up playing time
25Willy AdamesTampa Bay RaysSSB+21Solid skills across the board, but may be more of a 10/10 player
26A.J. PukOakland A'sLHPB+30Having quickly proven the doubters wrong, those who overlooked him preseason are now regretting it
27Fernando RomeroMinnesota TwinsRHPB+41Things started slowly, but he's found his footing and is showing the entire skillset we look for
28Walker BuehlerLos Angeles DodgersRHPB+NROne of the biggest risers in the 1st half, will need to prove he can work deep into games once allowed to
29Leody TaverasTexas RangersOFB+NRTo show the ability to make consistent contact as an 18-year old at Single-A speaks volumes to his long-term potential
30Alex VerdugoLos Angeles DodgersOFB+NRArguably brings an elite approach and if he can tap into his power potential (20ish HR) the value will be there
31Cal QuantrillSan Diego PadresRHPB+NRHome runs could be an issue, but pitching in San Diego should help to offset that
32Kolby AllardAtlanta BravesLHPB+33He could be a SP1/SP2 in the Majors, but his skills have regressed slightly across the board
33Francis Martes Houston AstrosRHPB+17There have always been thoughts that he may be a better fit in the bullpen, and given the control issues that could prove true
34Scott KingeryPhiladelphia Phillies2BB+NRMay be the biggest breakout of the first half, he's already reached the 20/20 plateau and showing power surge is for real
35Anthony AlfordToronto Blue JaysOFB+NRHe's missed time due to injury, but when on the field the former two-sport star is finally starting to put it together
36Rhys HoskinsPhiladelphia Phillies1BB+NRThe power is for real and he's dramatically improved his strikeout rate, meaning he could be a top rate 1B
37Jason GroomeBoston Red SoxLHPB+31He's shown the strikeout stuff, but his time on the mound has been limited thus far due to injury
38Dominic SmithNew York Mets1BB+48Thriving at Triple-A and he will be the 1B in '18, the question is if the Mets open up an opportunity this season
39Forrest WhitleyHouston AstrosRHPB+NROvershadowed by others in the system, if the tall righty can develop his control he could prove to be the best arm in the system before long
40Luis CastilloCincinnati RedsRHPB+NRThe strikeouts have risen, as expected, while he's maintained his pinpoint control
41Juan SotoWashington NationalsOFB+NRThere was a lot of hype in the preseason and thus far he's backed it up, showing power and a good command of the strike zone
42Bo BichetteToronto Blue JaysSSB+NRHe destroyed Single-A pitching, but we'll have to wait and see if his aggressive approach will be exploited against more experienced pitching
43Fernando Tatis Jr.San Diego PadresSSB+NRAt 18-years old he's showing the power and speed teams covet, the question will be if he can make consistent enough contact to tap into the upside
44Kyle LewisSeattle MarinersOF37After an ACL injury sidelined him for nearly a year he's back on the field so don't make the mistake of forgetting him
45Luke WeaverSt. Louis CardinalsRHPB+NRAfter a poor MLB debut in '16 he's rediscovered himself at Triple-A and is primed to make an impact
46Luiz GoharaAtlanta BravesLHPB+NRIt's easy to lose Gohara among the many Brave pitching prospects, but he has the potential to emerge as the best of the group
47Ryan MountcastleBaltimore OriolesSSB+NRThere are questions as to where he fits defensively, but right now it appears like the bat will play anywhere (though he needs to improve his walk rate)
48Willie CalhounLos Angeles Dodgers2BB+NRWe may not know where he'll settle in defensively, but he can hit and therefore the Dodgers (or someone else) will find a spot for him
49Yadier AlvarezLos Angeles DodgersRHPB+46We'll have to see if he can stick as a starter, but the pure stuff is there to dominate
50Sixto SanchezPhiladelphia PhilliesRHPB+NRHe's showing the skills we want to see, but the question is if his body can handle the workload which could ultimately lead to a bullpen role

Sources – MILB.com, MLB.com, Fangraphs

Make sure to check out all of our 2017 Prospect Rankings:

AL EastAL CentralAL West
Baltimore OriolesChicago White SoxHouston Astros
Boston Red SoxCleveland IndiansLos Angeles Angels
New York YankeesDetroit TigersOakland A's
Tampa Bay RaysKansas City RoyalsSeattle Mariners
Toronto Blue JaysMinnesota TwinsTexas Rangers
NL EastNL CentralNL West
Atlanta BravesChicago CubsArizona Diamondbacks
Miami MarlinsCincinnati RedsColorado Rockies
New York MetsMilwaukee BrewersLos Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia PhilliesPittsburgh PiratesSan Diego Padres
Washington NationalsSt. Louis CardinalsSan Francisco Giants

4 comments

  1. Rick Baker says:

    Luis Castillo has pinpoint control and massive strikeout potential. What is stopping him from becoming elite?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      He was one of the last cuts on the list. I’ve been a fan of his since last season, but the lack of groundballs at Double-A (and subsequent HR issues in the Majors) is something we need to monitor closely

  2. JR says:

    If Willie Calhoun had any defensive skills, he’d be a top ten prospect
    Ryan McMahon is a top 50 prospect. Especially given the chance he could see time at second, third and first.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      McMahon is another of the last cuts. Average is buoyed by unsustainable BABIP and we need to see the power translate outside of Triple-A. There’s value there, if he can carve out a position

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