Top-100 Showdown Redux: NL Central


Putting together a Top-100 prospect list is a massive undertaking and any site that takes on the challenge deserves to be recognized for their efforts. Just about a month ago I did a 7-part series comparing the lists of six sources – Baseball InstinctMLB.comMLB Prospect PortalProject, and S2S.

Now that I’m done with my portion of our team prospect lists, I can revisit this comparative series by looking at another grouping of Top-100 lists from seven new sources. Just as I did the first time around I will tackle one division at a time and then cap it off with a conclusion piece with some final thoughts and system rankings. The sources I have selected for the showdown “redux” series are:

The NL Central had 28 players make at least one of the seven  Top-100 lists while 10 of the 28 were consensus selections.

Chicago Cubs [4]

OFBrett Jackson32446327412837
1BAnthony Rizzo47757837235742
SSJavier Baez6166774939
OFMatthew Szczur648579

These are the four you’d expect to show up in the various prospect rankings with Jackson and Rizzo both well established prospects and on the cusp of the majors. Baez naturally gets some love as a top-10 pick from the most recent draft class but remains more projection than anything at this point. Szczur is similarly a relatively unknown and projectable commodity despite 134 games of minor league action. Jackson was the only Cubs prospect to make it onto all 13 lists I examined across the 2 parts.

Most curious ranking(s): The collective omission of any other Cubs prospects on these seven lists. Ronald Torreyes (2 lists), Junior Lake (2) and Welington Castillo (1) all earned some Top-1oo recognition.

Cincinnati Reds [3]

CDevin Mesoraco16241012171415
SSBilly Hamilton48224357424541
SSZack Cozart7593

Like the Cubs above, Cincinnati can lay claim to just a single consensus Top-100 player. But in the Reds defense, Mesoraco is a catcher and a near unanimous Top-20 prospect. Hamilton cracked 11/13 lists but things thin out significantly after that. Cozart (2), Daniel Corcino (2), Yorman Rodriguez (1) and Ronny Rodriguez (1) were the only other Reds to make a list after the team thinned out their farm system through a number of trades this offseason.

Most curious ranking(s): Baseball Prospectus ranking Hamilton as the game’s #22 prospect – his highest ranking by a fairly wide margin on any list.

Houston Astros [4]

1BJonathan Singleton34735447565434
RHPJarred Cosart504892815159
OFGeorge Springer594939556163
SSJonathan Villar9775

The Astros make it three teams in a row to be represented by just one consensus Top-100 player and if they hadn’t flipped Hunter Pence for Singleton and Cosart they wouldn’t even have that.  Speaking of Cosart, he made 9/13 lists and 2011 1st round pick Springer did one better with 10/13. Villar was the only other Astros prospect to get a mention.

Most curious ranking(s): Including Villar is a bit of a stretch considering he was barely a Top-100 guy heading into the 2011 season and then went on to hit 0.241 with a 156-54 SO-to-BB in 130 games (47 of which came in the offensively charged California League).

Milwaukee Brewers [3]

RHPWily Peralta56921006681
RHPTaylor Jungmann709591
LHPJed Bradley71803781

As we come to the Brewers our streak is broken! Unfortunately it’s not because they have multiple consensus Top-100 players, but rather because they have none. Peralta came the closest but was named on just 8/13 lists. Bradley (7), Jungmann (4), Tyler Thornburg (3), Taylor Green (1) and Scooter Gennett (1) also received “votes” from the various sources.

Most curious ranking(s): Last time around, three sources had Peralta solidly in the Top-100 (#46, #49 and #50) and the other other three sources left him off completely. Things were a little more spread out on him in the table above but the lack of support for Wily is somewhat mystifying.

Pittsburgh Pirates [6]

RHPGerrit Cole129151138812
RHPJameson Taillon15131416121313
OFJosh Bell604353494232
OFStarling Marte73564564787154
RHPLuis Heredia4210097
OFRobbie Grossman76

If you’ve been waiting to sink your teeth into a well regarded group of prospects, then you’re surely relieved that we’ve arrived at the Pittsburgh Pirates which boast two of the most talented young arms in all of baseball. Not only were Cole and Taillon named on all 13 lists, they were in the Top-20 of every list except one (see below). Just behind Pittsburgh’s 1st round pick in each of the last two drafts are Bell and Marte who just fell short of being consensus players (12/13). Heredia (5) and Grossman (3) round out the list of Pirates to receive votes.

Most curious ranking(s): Gerrit Cole was ranked as high as #10 and no lower than #18 last time. As a whole the seven sources above thought even more highly of him ranking him between #8 and #15. That is until Full Spectrum dropped him in at #38 on their list. An outlier ranking that for the purposes of this series defines the term curious.

St Louis Cardinals [8]

RHPShelby Miller810561047
RHPCarlos Martinez27313633922326
OFOscar Taveras742375627770
3BZack Cox887284
2BKolten Wong9388995646
RHPTyrell Jenkins94766988
1BMatt Adams69
RHPLance Lynn9896

The division started off meek and feeble but the Cardinals system keeps Pittsburgh’s momentum going with Miller – a consensus Top-10 prospect – and Martinez who is a consensus Top-50 player (with the exception of Full Spectrum which had him #92). Beyond their top two arms, St Louis has plenty of other players that merited and received Top-100 consideration. The other eight Cardinals to make a list were: Taveras (11), Wong (8), Jenkins (5), Cox (4), Trevor Rosenthal (2), Lynn (2), Adams (1) and Maikel Cleto (1)

Most curious ranking(s): If you’ve been following this series, you’ve come to realize that Full Spectrum marches to the rankings-beat of their own drummer. That’s not a bad thing (the same can certainly be said for Nathaniel’s S2S Top-100) but being out on a limb and bucking the trend makes you stand out. When it comes to the Cardinals, their rankings of Martinez (lowest of all 13 sources) and Wong (highest of the 13) and their omission of Taveras ( also kept him off their list) are collectively curious.


For a truly great resource for all your prospect rankings be sure to check out Fantasy Rundown.

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