Baseball America has released their top 100 draft prospects for the upcoming draft, complete with scouting reports. The list is for subscribers, and is broken down in groups of 25 on their draft page.
The top six in order aren’t a surprise. Baseball America went with Byron Buxton, Mike Zunino, Kyle Zimmer, Mark Appel, Kevin Gausman, and Carlos Correa. The only thing that changed in that group from their rankings a month ago is that Correa has moved up from number eight to number six. Correa is now in the top six in the rankings for Baseball America, Jonathan Mayo, and Keith Law.
After that there are some familiar names. Albert Almora comes in at number seven. They mention he’s one of the draft’s safer picks, and put his potential at 20 homer power who could provide plus defense in center field.
Michael Wacha was ranked eighth, which is where the Pirates pick. Baseball America mentions that he doesn’t have as high of a ceiling as Appel, Gausman, or Zimmer, but he does have a higher floor. I have to say that I don’t really like the idea of Wacha. He seems like one of those “safe” picks who doesn’t have a shot at being a top of the rotation guy, but gets rated high because he seems like a lock to make the majors. But what if he doesn’t make the majors? No prospect is guaranteed. I’d rather miss shooting for upside, rather than play it safe just for a smaller chance of missing.
Lucas Giolito, who is my favorite in the draft right now, came in at ninth. If it wasn’t for his injury, he’d probably be at the top of a lot of these lists. There could be an issue with his bonus, considering the new draft rules, but I don’t think it would be to the point where teams would have to go over their draft pool. They’d just have to get a cheap, signable player or two in the middle rounds to make up for the extra money.
Rounding out the top ten is Marcus Stroman, who I’m not high on. He’s got great stuff, but he’s short, at 5′ 9″, 185 pounds. He throws 92-94, touching 95-96, and has a great slider. He profiles to some as a bullpen arm more than a starter.
Notables outside of the top ten are Max Fried (11), Deven Marrero (14), Gavin Cecchini (16), and Victor Roache (22). Fried moves down one spot from last month’s rankings, while being ranked in the top seven by Mayo and Law. Marrero also moves down one spot, and is ranked 13th by Mayo and Law. Cecchini moved down five spots, putting him closer to where the other rankings have him. Baseball America was the only outlet that still had Roache in the top 20, but this move puts him closer to Mayo’s number 26 ranking.
After the top six, I like Giolito, Almora, and Fried, probably in that order. After those guys, I don’t see a big difference between the number ten player and the number 22 player.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.