Yesterday, Baseball America released its first Top 10 list for 2020, and (as usual) it’s a testament to the power of incumbency:
- Carter Kieboom, 2B/SS (2)
- Luis Garcia, SS (3)
- Jackson Rutledge (’19 Draft Pick)
- Wil Crowe, RHP (5)
- Tim Cate, LHP (6)
- Drew Mendoza, 1B (’19 Draft Pick)
- Andry Lara, (’19 IFA)
- Mason Denaburg, RHP (4)
- Yadel Antuna, SS (9)
- Seth Romero, LHP (7)
While this isn’t as bad as three years ago—when BA decided to rank Wilmer Difo despite having exhausted his rookie eligibility—but it’s not much better. Seth Romero threw as many pitches as you did last summer. Yasel Antuna played in just three games after having TJ surgery in 2018. I believe if Fred Rogers were still with us, he’d comment “Can you say, BIG RED FLAG, boys and girls?”
This brings us to Andry Lara, who I can’t necessarily fault BA for ranking, though it does have another one of their hallmarks: the more money spent, the better*.
* This reminds me of a conversation I once had with one of the douchebag sales guys at work: “Well, I drive a Jaguar.” “Where is it?” “Oh, it’s in the shop.” “How’d you get here?” “I took the loaner, a Ford Taurus.” “Hey, that looks just my car!”)
Lara was a $1.25M IFA from Venezuela who will turn 17 in January. He’s 6’4″, 180 and reportedly throws a 92-95 mph fastball, a “power curve,” and the “makings of a changeup.” The chat yesterday afternoon didn’t reveal much more, aside from that in a deeper organization, Lara would probably have ranked lower.
Otherwise, the pattern is fairly clear. Victor Robles (finally) graduated, everyone else moves up a spot, except for Denaburg and Romero, while Sterling Sharp and Jake Irvin drop out despite the former being hurt (but still showing promise in the AFL) and the latter throwing the second-most innings of the 2018 Draft class (behind Cate).
As always, feel free to discuss further in the comments.