A pleasant surprise — even if I did pay extra for expedited shipping — as the 2016 Baseball America Prospect Handbook arrived in today’s mail. This is almost a full week earlier than last year… and despite the recent snowstorm.
A bigger surprise? The folks in Durham, NC rated the Nationals as the fifth-best organization..
Obviously, having a Top 5 overall prospect in the person of Lucas Giolito helps. But they also give props to the team’s success in the D.R., noting that five of the team’s Top 11 come from the Caribbean island nation “despite a restricted international budget from ownership.”
While this doesn’t change my opinions that system is top-heavy, drafts too many college seniors, and isn’t deep at certain positions, BA sure loves what the Nats have been doing in terms of acquiring younger talent with more upside – including a high-priced 2016 IFA who has yet to play a professional game (some things never change).
Let’s review how last year’s Top 30 fared:
Graduated (2) – Michael Taylor, Felipe Rivero
Traded (3) – Steven Souza, Nick Pivetta, Tony Renda
Removed from 40-man – Taylor Hill
Dropped out (11) Brian Goodwin, Hill, Jake Johansen, Jefry Rodriguez, Spencer Kieboom, Matt Grace, Matt Skole, Drew Vettleston, Hector Silvestre, John Simms, Robbie Dickey
The Top 30 is now down to two (2) older-than-25 guys — both left-handed relievers — which is something we’ve been hoping for and had suggested might happen last year.
With that, I’ll close with the Top 15 from the book and continue with nos. 16-31 in Part Two. Last year’s ranking, if applicable, in parentheses:
|1. Lucas Giolito (1)||6. Wilmer Difo (7)||11. Pedro Severino (13)|
|2. Trea Turner||7. A.J. Cole (6)||12. Blake Perkins|
|3. Victor Robles (25)||8. Andrew Stevenson||13. Rafael Bautista (20)|
|4. Erick Fedde (4)||9. Austin Voth (11)||14. Jakson Reetz (14)|
|5. Reynaldo Lopez (3)||10. Anderson Franco||15. Osvaldo Abreu|