Another top prospect update, this time from Baseball Prospectus:
1. Yoan Moncada, 2B, Chicago White Sox
Why He’ll Succeed: Moncada is a true five-tool player, with potential plus or better grades in all five slots. Slot that in at an up-the-middle-spot, throw in a dash of 70-grade pop, and you have the recipe for a perennial all-star.
2. Amed Rosario, SS, New York Mets
Why He’ll Succeed: Rosario is a plus shortstop glove with plus-plus speed, and the bat has continued to develop. He’s a potential five-tool shortstop and only slots in behind Moncada because of varying reports on the ultimate power projection.
Why He Might Fail: The Mets may never call him up? Well, they will call him up eventually, where his unusual hand path—though it’s less unorthodox than it used to be—and aggressive approach may struggle against major league stuff and sequencing. The glove and speed should keep him in the lineup regardless though.
3. Francisco Mejia, C, Cleveland Indians
Why He’ll Succeed: Mejia barrels everything and has shown power from both sides of the plate. He’s a potential 7 hit, 5 pop catcher, and he’s improved enough defensively to make us confident he sticks as a backstop.
Why He Might Fail: We’re pretty confident Mejia is a catcher. If we were positive Mejia is a catcher, he’d have a good case for number one. His smaller frame might not hold up under the rigors of a 120-game major league catching assignment, making him more of a C/DH type. Bat could play there too though.
4. Victor Robles, CF, Washington Nationals
Why He’ll Succeed: Hey there, it’s another potential five-tool up-the-middle player. Robles is a sure shot centerfielder whose plus-plus speed will cause havoc on the bases and hoover up balls on the dirt. Oh yeah, he can really hit too, and some evaluators think there is average-or-better power to come. That’s a monster player.
Why He Might Fail: The offensive tools require a fair bit more projection than the defensive ones, and Robles may end up more of a Manny Margot type. Actually it feels like we wrote almost this same entry about Margot last year.
5. Rafael Devers, 3B, Boston Red Sox
Why He’ll Succeed: Devers garners easy plus hit and power grades on his bat and one or both of those may end up light. He’s a better third baseman than you think with soft hands and a strong arm. He can make the necessary plays to stick there, where the bat could make him an all-star.
Why He Might Fail: The body is high maintenance, and while he’s a better third baseman than you think now, that might be less true five years from now. It isn’t hard to see a first baseman with an aggressive approach who is a useful regular, but not a star.
6. Brendan Rodgers, SS, Colorado Rockies
Why He’ll Succeed: While the tools might not be as loud as the infielders ahead of him, Rodgers will show all five, including a plus hit/power combo. The fears early in his pro career he might have to move down the defensive spectrum are starting to dissipate, as he’s shown himself to be a capable, sure-handed glove at the 6, making the offensive tools even more enticing.
Why He Might Fail: The offensive tools may end up closer to average, which would make him—get this—a useful regular, but not a star.
7. Gleyber Torres, IF, New York Yankees
Why He’ll Succeed: Torres finally moved from bat projection to stud bat, actualizing his power into game situations while showing advanced hitting ability and approach. After conquering Double-A, he was on the precipice of taking over the second or third base job in New York (and a touch higher on early drafts of this list) until tearing his non-throwing UCL in a freak baserunning mishap.
Why He Might Fail: We honestly have no idea if or how Tommy John on a position player’s non-throwing arm will affect him. The raw power may never play to full in games, leaving him a hit-tool driven second baseman.
8. Eloy Jimenez, OF, Chicago Cubs
Why He’ll Succeed: Jimenez is the first prospect on our list that is likely to end up pretty far right on the defensive spectrum. So you’d expect a hell of a bat. Jimenez looks like he will deliver with thirty home run pop and more hit tool utility and approach than you’d expect from the still-accurate-descriptor “classic right field profile.”
Why He Might Fail: Jimenez is the first prospect on our list who is likely to end up pretty far right on the defensive spectrum. So there better be a hell of a bat.
9. Alex Reyes, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
Why He’ll Succeed: He was no. 1 before the season for a reason. There’s top-of-the-rotation stuff here with a true 8 fastball as a starter and two potential plus offspeeds. He’ll come off Tommy John rehab into a major league spot of some sort, and if the stuff comes back, he could be one of the better starters in baseball as soon as 2019. That’s still a quicker timetable than a lot of the names below him.
Why He Might Fail: Guys don’t always come all the way back from Tommy John. Reyes has some stuff to give back and still be a good major league arm, but you wonder a bit more now if the good major league arm might be best deployed in the late innings.
10. Lewis Brinson, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
Why He’ll Succeed: Elite athleticism means potential gold glove defense in center and a dynamic power/speed combo at the plate. He’s made a habit of tinkering with his swing, eliminating some holes and giving hope that he can continue to do so going forward.
Why He Might Fail: There’s a balance of risk to reward with a profile like Brinson’s. His holes were exploited in a brief cameo and that could continue against MLB pitchers going forward. Despite his aptitude, the learning curve could be steep, with several years of struggles before it all clicks, if it ever does.
Read the rest of the Top 50 here.