Leading up to his annual book, John Sickels has released his Top 50 batters and Top 50 pitchers to the folks that pre-ordered it.
For the second straight year, Bryce Harper ranked #1. Coming in at #2 was Mike Trout, who I would have not have been surprised or upset if he had ranked #1 (OK, maybe that second qualification is akin to my giving up skydiving for Lent). Sickels ranked just five batters with a Grade A, with four others getting the Grade of A-.
The last of those four, coming in at #9 overall, was Anthony Rendon. That’s mighty high praise when you consider that there are a few dozen more than 2,000 batters in the minors. For those wondering, Derek Norris still made the list, but dropped from #25 to #45 and in letter grade from B+ to B.
As you might have guessed, there are no Nationals pitchers in the Top 50. Former farmhands A.J. Cole (#23) and Brad Peacock (#39) made the list for Oakland, which was one of the top organizations in terms of total players making the two lists:
|Zero||Arizona, Chicago (A), Los Angeles (N), Milwaukee, Philadelphia,|
|One||Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Miami, New York (A), New York (N), San Francisco|
|Two||Baltimore, Chicago (N), Cincinnati, Houston, Los Angeles (A), Oakland, Pittsburgh, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Texas, Washington|
|Three||Boston, Colorado, Kansas City, Minnesota, Toronto|
|Zero||Cleveland, Chicago (N), Cincinnati, Houston, Miami, Minnesota, San Francisco, Washington|
|One||Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Kansas City, Los Angeles (A), Texas|
|Two||Chicago (A), Colorado, Los Angeles (N), Milwaukee, New York (A), Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay|
|Three||Arizona, Atlanta, New York (N), San Diego, Seattle|
|Four||Oakland, St. Louis|
Double-crunching it, the Toronto Blue Jays are this year’s “it” organization with eight players on the two lists, followed by San Diego with seven, and Oakland and St. Louis (six apiece). Unlike last year, no organization was shut out, but Cleveland, Miami, and San Francisco each had but one player on either list. Washington is one of nine organizations with two players on either list.