Prospect season is upon us and Baseball America has just released its first list of 2018. Some notable names were at the top of the list such as Angels Shohei Ohtani, Yankee’s Gelyber Torres’s and topping the list off, the Brave’s outfielder Ronald Acuna.
Braves highlighted the list by not just having the number 1 overall prospect, but also outdoing every other club by having 2 more prospects giving them a grand total of 8 prospects on this years list.
There’s no doubt Acuna will be making his MLB debut sometime this year as he’s been slugging away since he joined the Brave’s farm system back in 2014. He’s hit .269/312/.325 in his 3 years in the minors.
Even more impressive was his 2017 season where his average never dipped below .280 and included 31 doubles, 21 home run’s; showing off his speed with 44 steals all while playing in 3 different levels.
There was no doubt that Ohtani would make the list. Not only is the Japanese Bath Ruth one of the most anticipated Japanese prospects since Ichiro Suzuki and “Godzilla” himself, Hideki Matsui. He’s also the first Japanese prospect with a realistic shot of winning Rookie of the Year since Ichiro, who did it back 2001.
However, even with all the hype surrounding the dual-threat prospect for the Angels, he still came in ranked at number 2.
With the year Acuna had as well as his overall progression it’s easy to see why Ohtani was ranked behind him.
The rise of Ohtani along with other prospects such as Blue Jay’s third basemen Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (who ranked 3rd) led to a slight drop in ranking for the Yankees top prospect, Gleyber Torres. Last year Baseball America ranked at number 5 entering the season, this year he enters the list at 6.
This doesn’t mean the Yankees prospect isn’t living up to his potential, he still hit 287/.383/.480 with seven home runs across two levels in 2017. However with an injury to his non-throwing elbow cutting his 2017 campaign short along with the rise of Acuna and the signing of Ohtani it’s understandable to see why a prospect with Torres talent dropped on the list.
Despite Torres falling other Yankee prospects rose as the Bombers finished the list with a total of 6 current prospects in the top 100. Outfielder Estevan Florial, followed Torres ranking 38th with lefty Justus Sheffield behind him at 41.
The third baseman from the Dominican Republic Miguel Andujar was ranked 59th on the list. He made a splash last year with four rbi’s in his major league debut against the White Sox. A promising start for the prospect who the Yankees plan on having compete for their vacant third base spot.
A couple of righties round out the list for the Yankees with Albert Abreu at 77th and Chance Adams at 81.
Prospects always lead to nice conversations during a slow offseason, however, the real fun begins when they’re called up. If all goes well for these players and the others on this list we will all get the chance to see who really will be the future of this league.
Feel free to check out the entire top 100 list over at baseballamerica.com