Yesterday, John Sickels’s protege Nick Melotte released his Top 20 Nationals Prospects.
Melotte does the star system — 2.5 to 5, which roughly equates to Sickels’s C to A rating, with a 2.5-star player being an organizational guy and an five-star being a future superstar. The hyperlinked article explains the gradations before getting into the list.
As I’ve done the past few years, I’ll break it down by the star (letter) system while noting the players who have improved (by grade, not numerical rank), declined, and the newcomers. It’s not a perfect translation — Melotte may have been higher/lower on a Prospect A than Sickels was in the first place, so he may not have actually improved/declined — but it’s what we have to work with.
|★★★★½||Michael Taylor, Reynaldo Lopez|
|★★★★||Trea Turner^, A.J. Cole, Erick Fedde+, Joe Ross^, Drew Ward, Austin Voth, Wilmer Difo, Jackson Reetz+|
|★★★½||Rafael Bautista, Tony Renda, Taylor Hill, Raudy Read, Felipe Rivero, Chris Bostick^, Robbie Dickey+, Abel De Los Santos^|
|Honorable mentions||Derek Self, Brian Goodwin, Pedro Severino, Spencer Kieboom, Anderson Franco, John Simms, Steven Fuentes, Neil Holland|
+ Newcomer by draft ^ Newcomer by trade
Now for some quick thoughts…
…There are only seven holdovers (bolded) from the 2014 list, and while we can’t assume the honorable mentions are nos. 21-28, it’s telling that of the 15 eligibles (four were traded, one graduated to MLB), just eight remain in the “Top 28.”
…According to the article, the honorable mentions are all three-star players; I separated from Mendez to make it easier for the list-obsessed folks to figure out who was #20 😉
…Just five guys played their way onto the list; the other eight were either traded for or drafted (hence the superscripts).
…Since B-/C+ guys aren’t delineated, it’s difficult to say that there are more “better than marginal” prospects, which was always something that I would look for; we’ll have to wait until next month to see how that pans out
…With the exception of Fedde, looks like Melotte takes the Weaver-esque approach (“I only deal with the living”) to prospects, which I actually prefer because the opposite leads to too much wishful thinking
As I did last year, I encourage folks to click through to read Melotte’s thoughts on Giolito, Taylor, and Lopez.