Last night, John Sickels released his Washington Nationals Top 20 prospects list for 2016. Here’s how it breaks down by letter grade:
|B||Reynaldo Lopez, A.J. Cole|
|B-||Wilmer Difo, Anderson Franco, Austin Voth|
|C+||Osvaldo Abreu, Rafael Bautista, Christopher Bostick, Pedro Severino, Max Schrock, Rhett Wiseman|
|C+/C||Raudy Read, Abel De Los Santos, Koda Glover, Andrew Lee|
Let’s revisit my explanation for the layout…
The primary focus here is on letter grades, not numerical rank, which if you must know, you can get by going top to bottom, then left in each row. Lucas Giolito is #1, Trea Turner is #2, Victor Robles is #3… Koda Glover is #19, Andrew Lee is #20.
The secondary focus is on improvement by letter grade, which you can see by the color red. The opposite, i.e. folks who have dropped a notch, are in blue.
Top 20 guys from 2015 are in bold. Guys who played their way onto the list are in italics. Draft picks from last June are in green.
The last category is interesting because there are two ways of looking at it: (1) the system was so weak that the new talent simply looks better in comparison (2) the Nats drafted really well. I’ll leave that up to the draft gurus to debate in the comments, but I think I have to lean towards the latter when I look back at previous iterations of this post and realize there’s never been this many just-drafted picks to make the Top 20 (hence the Kermitization 😉
It’s also interesting that Sickels is outlining the guys that are straddling two grades, which he also points out with nos. 11-7 (the C+ guys and Raudy Read):
Significant cut-off here: slots 11-17 could be ordered in many different ways with valid logic. Look at this like tiers.
…Clearly Sickels is higher on Cole than others, especially when you consider that he’s ranked him above Fedde. His comp is to Jake Odorizzi in terms of prospect fatigue.
…Speaking of comps, let the hype begin if Reynaldo Lopez is likened to Luis Severino.
…Andrew Lee appears to be his next Austin Voth: A sleeper pick that becomes a workhorse with stuff that’s neither exceptional nor weak.
As always, I encourage folks to click through to the first link above and read John’s comments on each player. Then discuss in the comments (a.k.a. the opposite of MASN).