In this last installment of the prospect values I am going to change things up slightly. This time, instead of going good value/bad value, I am staying positive and only talking about the good from my top-100. And when I say good, I primarily mean the guys I have ranked higher than most that I didn’t already talk about.
I will not be discussing any of the players I wrote about previously. I love Raimel Tapia and Derek Fisher, but I discussed them in my outfield prospect values article so I will save their space for someone else.
If you have any questions on any players, feel free to ask about them in the comment section below or on Twitter Follow @TheSportsGuy40
If you are looking for our top-100 prospect rankings, click here.
Bradley Zimmer (OF): A lot of factors are used to come up with prospect lists. Proximity, ceiling, floor, system, risk, and many more that I probably don’t even realize I am factoring in.
Zimmer makes my top-10 overall prospects largely for two reasons. First, he should be up this year. Second, I think he has a realistic chance at a 15 homer 30 steal annual line. It will come with a .250 average, but that isn’t a killer in today’s game.
He has always had a good on base percentage, and that should not only help him get steals and runs, but it should also be able to keep him as a viable option at the top of the batting order. While the strikeouts are worrisome, his approach still led to a .790 OPS as someone who had a .250 average.
When I do the rankings I try to factor in all sorts of leagues, but mainly I base it off of a roto or categories format where strikeouts don’t hurt and steals are a lot more important.
Tyler O’Neill (OF): He was way too far off the radar coming into last season for someone who hit 32 homers in the minors. He backed it up with a 24 homer season at a higher level and an average that was 33 points higher.
The power for O’Neill is not a fluke. The guy is built like a tank and looks like he might belong on the football field rather than baseball based on physique alone.
O’Neill really had his breakout in the second half of 2015. He left to go play in the Pan American games in June with a .238/.275/.473 line – he returned and hit .298/.381/.702 the rest of the way and increased his walk rate by six percent. It could be random or he could have learned something when he went to play for Canada. Either way he broke out.
O’Neil has real potential to hit for 30 homers at the major league level with a handful of steals. The strikeouts could hurt him, but plenty of other players held down a major league that struck out more and offered less.
Jesse Winker (OF): Winker has shown that he can hit for power and average in the minors, but the last two seasons the power has been a disappointment. In 2015-2016 he hit 18 homers in 836 at bats. A far cry from the 15 in 282 at bats in 2014.
Last season he played through an injury that could have effected his power output so he gets a pass from me there. I think this will be a really big season in determining what Winker can be. He has always been a low strikeout guy for the power potential he could have at 6’3” 215 pounds.
I don’t think Winker will be a standout player, I don’t see 30 home runs, and I don’t see a .300 batting average. What I do see is a 18-22 home run .285-.290 average which is serviceable, but not league winning.
Winker is an example of proximity, relative, and safety, earning him a high spot on my list.
Alex Verdugo (OF): Verdugo has moved pretty fast for a high school player – one year at rookie ball, a season as a 19-year old split between low and high A, and last season as a 20-year old he spent the whole year in AA.
While being young at every level he has managed a .302/.352/.439 line with 27 steals and 25 homers.
The counting numbers don’t really scream excitement as they have come in 1,285 plate appearances, but I am willing to project with what he has shown so far.
Like Winker, I don’t necessarily see a superstar here. He won’t hit 30 homers or steal 30 bases. I do see a regular MLB player that can hit 20 homers in a good year with a solid average. He might have people expecting more than that right now depending on the person, but Verdugo is another “safe” prospect for me.
Kevin Newman (SS): I am fairly confident I am not the high guy on Newman, but I wanted to talk about him at some point this offseason, and being the high guy in the rankings on our site is as good a reason as any to discuss him.
Newman has a plus hit tool already and will rarely strike out; he struck out in 7.8 percent of his at bats last season.
Average hitting prospects with little to no power are a long investment. They will most likely come up and have nice success right away because they can hit. The power numbers wont necessarily be there, but many times the hit tool prospects come up and immediately provide value.
The power might come in a year, it might come in five, it might not come at all, but you already know where the floor is. The floor for Newman is probably a .300 average and 8-10 homers with immediate production once he makes it to the majors. If he can tap into some extra power you are looking at 2016 Francisco Lindor type upside.
Ian Happ, Tristan McKenzie, Luke Weaver, Dan Vogelbach, Braxton Garrett
If you have any questions or players at a position I haven’t gotten to yet also leave them in the comment section below and I can do some digging and maybe they will be included when I get to that position.