Ranking season goes ever onward and we are now firmly into Baseball America’s league Top 20 prospects. Joining the GCL list we now have the NYPL list and SAL list. I am going to address the NYPL list first before going into my philosophical differences with the SAL list.
New York-Penn League Top 20: (Link)
#11 Adonis Medina
Medina’s stuff improved this year, but he missed fewer bats and seemed to tire later in the year after putting up some big workloads early in the year. I am not worried about the lack of strikeouts this year, but it is something to watch next season. He still has the upside for 3 plus pitches and could be a mid rotation starter down the road. The only other player with the upside to make this list was Arquimedes Gamboa, but his injury cust short his season just when he was starting to make adjustments.
South Atlantic League Top 20: (Link)
#8 Franklyn Kilome
#19 Jose Taveras
I first saw this ranking a few days ago and I still have not come to understand it. Kilome is fine, I might have him over some of the other pitchers, but he is in the middle of a group of good young pitchers. But then there is Jose Taveras. Here is a an excerpt from their writeup on Taveras:
Taveras projects as a future No. 4 starter with three pitches that range from near-average to solid-average. He can sink his 89-92 mph fastball to set up an average slider (it flashes above-average) and changeup, and he even flips a usable curveball into the zone on occasion. What makes him successful is his ability to locate all three of his primary offerings at any point in the count.
I don’t disagree with this writeup at all. What I disagree with is whether this is a profile that has value. It is similar to Ben Lively, Alec Asher, Adam Morgan, Tyler Viza, David Buchanan, and a host of other fringe right handed starters. Taveras is also not young. This would be something that would make some sense if he was 18 or 19 and there was room for more upside, but Taveras turns 23 this November. This makes him older than Zach Eflin and Jake Thompson. He also has not seen a significant uptick in raw stuff over the past year. This is all not to slight Taveras who is a great dev story, getting a guy for nothing at an older age and making him a possible major leaguer is amazing. I am still in the extreme early stages of the offseason ranking but among players on the Lakewood roster this year, Taveras is behind at least Franklyn Kilome, Cornelius Randolph, Deivi Grullon, Jose Pujols, Alberto Tirado, Seranthony Dominguez, Josh Tobias, and Drew Anderson. There will be consideration given to Jiandido Tromp, Luke Leftwich, Shane Watson, Edgar Garcia, and Grant Dyer for being higher than Taveras as well. That puts him at highest 9th on the Lakewood team along and it is possible he falls out of the Top 50 altogether this offseason. I am not saying that one of the other BlueClaws should have been on the list, but I really don’t understand this at all.
I will add more if there is insight in the chat.
Image of Seranthony Dominguez by Baseball Betsy