Now that you’ve gotten over the shock of the Nationals not being ranked a Top 10 farm system, let’s take a look at MLB Pipeline’s 2019 Top 30 for Washington.
In its chase for clicks, MLB continually updates the Top 30, so if you’re inclined to look at the 2018 list, understand that it’s been updated several times since last February (which is not a bad thing because they keep track of when players exceed their rookie limits).
Like a year ago, MLB’s Top 6 is the same as BA’s. While the boys in Durham still think of Seth Romero as a Top 10 talent (even if he might not pitch in the regular season), MLB did not (#15). Other dramatic differences:
• Israel Pineda #8 (MLB) vs. #15 (BA)
• Raudy Read #20 (MLB) vs. #13 (BA)
• Malvin Peña #14 (MLB) vs. #28 (BA)
• Jake Irvin #17 (MLB) vs. #10 (BA)
Most noticeable, of course, is Jeremy De La Rosa – one of six IFAs the Nationals signed for $300K (the max Washington was allowed in 2018). MLB ranked him at #12, while BA did not include him at all.
As noted in the comments, the differences in evaluations are stark. I could extend this exercise to others (e.g. Fangraphs, Prospect Digest) but I think the essential point has been made: Most folks can agree on the first tier, but after that, there’s dissent.
I will say, however, that I don’t buy MLB’s excuse offered for Luis Reyes’s fall from grace (“The 24-year-old landed on the injured list twice in his first Double-A campaign and pitched with diminished stuff when healthy“). Why the italics? As I wrote in this space a year ago, (“Reyes didn’t have the best stuff on his team, never mind the rest of the righthanders in the system… aside from one strong outing against the second-worst offense in the league, he was decidedly mediocre.”)
Or put another way, I informed you thusly.
As always, feel free to discuss in the comments…