The Baseball America Top 100 Prospects List has been released. It was originally unveiled on MLB Network on Wednesday night at 9pm and is now live on their website. The Baseball America Top 100 list is the oldest one around and goes back to 1990, so it is viewed a bit more as a standard than the other lists around for that reason and several others (other places tend to be a one man show and most of those places have had that one man become another over the years and some places have had more than a few). While Baseball America has had writers come and go, it is never an entirely new look because writers aren’t all new from one year to the next and have been involved in past rankings.
The Reds have had four guys show up in various other Top 100 lists from ESPN, Baseball Prospectus and MLB.com. The guys over at Baseball America though only included two of the Reds top prospects in the mix as they ranked Robert Stephenson 19th overall (5th highest pitcher excluding Japanese pro Masahiro Tanaka – Who I personally don’t count) and Billy Hamilton 43rd overall.
Here is what the short blurb on the free list had to say about Robert Stephenson.
Aside from gaining experience, staying healthy and learning to the nuances of the craft, Stephenson just needs to stay ready. He’s already acclimated to the major leagues and is likely an injury away from a Cincinnati callup.
Here is what the short blurb on the free list had to say about Billy Hamilton.
Hamilton is expected to win a big league job. As Cincinnati’s center fielder, he doesn’t have to replace Shin-Soo Choo’s production; he just needs to make good use of his transformational speed.
I am both surprised and unsurprised that Phillip Ervin and Jesse Winker weren’t on the list. Ervin was in that close range of the Pioneer League list that has gotten some guys ranked in the top 100, and I thought that his outstanding debut would get him pushed up a bit. At the same time, Baseball America has historically held onto draft position for rankings for at least that first year, so that is the part that is unsurprising. With Jesse Winker, while I don’t want to say that he is “all bat” because he isn’t a bad left fielder, his being a left fielder does not do him any favors. That hasn’t always hurt players in the past, but more often than not guys at the lower end of the defensive spectrum have to be raking at the higher levels. Still, Winker fell in the area of the Midwest League list that has been right on the edge of inclusion into the Top 100 the past two years, so I thought he could fall either direction.