Grading on the Curve: Top Five MLB Prospects by Position

To follow up Grading on the Curve’s top-50 prospect list, we give to you our list of the top-five MLB prospects for each position.

Spring Training is underway, and baseball fans around the country can almost taste the 2016 MLB season. With new additions around the MLB, each and every team will have new faces in new places. In addition to fresh faces on the team, some MLB teams will choose to call up their prized prospects over the course of the season.

With baseball’s focus shifting from buying high-profile players via free agency to building stout farm systems, more and more teams rely on their highly-touted prospects to shoulder the load and fill voids left from aging veterans or expiring contracts. With each MLB team at a different stage of development, some organizations will rely more on rookies; while, others might delay that process.

By MLB prospects playing an integral part in today’s game, let us take a look at some of the best prospects for each position. So, take a look at whom made the list and who did not. Your team/farm system may have a few players make our list, which could foreshadow future success.

Top Five MLB Catching Prospects

In today’s game, it is tough to find a productive catcher on both sides of the baseball. More often than not, MLB catchers are either offensively or defensively minded, but it is very rare that you find the full package from a catcher. Today, there are only a handful of MLB catcher who can do both, with Buster Posey, Brian McCann, and Salvador Perez coming to mind. However, let us take a look at whom are the best MLB catching prospects heading into the 2016 season.

  1. Willson Contreras – Chicago Cubs – #33 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  2. Gary Sanchez – New York Yankees – #59 on MLB.com’s Top-100 Prospects
  3. Jacob Nottingham – Milwaukee Brewers
  4. Dom Nunez – Colorado Rockies
  5. Jorge Alfaro – Philadelphia Phillies – #96 on MLB.com’s Top-100 Prospects

Top Five MLB First Base Prospects

For the longest time, first basemen were seen as power-hitting, run-producing studs that anchored down your lineup. However, in the MLB today, finding a power-hitting first baseman has become harder each and every year. Outside of a few dominant, power-hitting first basemen, the MLB has become barren at the position, and teams are paying a premium to acquire these talents. However, some teams have more-than-capable first basemen in their farm system ready to make the jump to the MLB.

  1. A.J. Reed – Houston Astros – #30 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  2. Josh Bell – Pittsburg Pirates – #40 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  3. Dominic Smith – New York Mets – #51 on MLB.com’s Top-100 Prospects
  4. Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers
  5. Bobby Bradley – Cleveland Indians – #93 on MLB.com’s Top-100 Prospects

Top Five MLB Second Base Prospects

Over the past few seasons, the MLB has seen an increase in productivity from the second base position. With players like Robinson Cano and Brian Dozier, second base is not an afterthought anymore, and more offensive-minded players are finding their home at the keystone position. However, as of now, the second base position, from a prospect perspective, is relatively thin. So, let us take a look at whom made our list for top MLB second base prospects.

  1. Yoan Moncada – Boston Red Sox – #4 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  2. Jose Peraza – Cincinnati Reds – #49 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  3. Micah Johnson – Los Angeles Dodgers
  4. Forrest Wall – Colorado Rockies – #90 on MLB.com’s Top-100 Prospects
  5. Rob Refsnyder – New York Yankees

Top Five MLB Third Base Prospects

In the MLB, third base has turned into one of the most productive infield positions, with numerous studs occupying the hot corner. Also, with a young wave of impressive talent, third base looks like a position that should only continue to improve over the next few seasons. With Manny Machado, Kris Bryant, and Nolan Arenado, young studs are occupying third base and providing elite numbers from an offensive standpoint. Moreover, these guys are no slouches at defense, either. So which prospects make the list?

  1. Joey Gallo – Texas Rangers – #15 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  2. Rafael Devers – Boston Red Sox – #21 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  3. Ryan McMahon – Colorado Rockies – #35 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  4. Richie Shaffer – Tampa Bay Rays
  5. Austin Riley – Atlanta Braves

Top Five MLB Shortstop Prospects

The shortstop position at the MLB level seemed to be steadily declining in recent years; however, with an unbelievable crop of young talent, shortstop is turning into one of the best offensive positions in the infield. With Carlos Correa‘s dominant rookie campaign, more breakout candidates are on the way for the 2016 season. Led by top overall prospect Corey Seager, the new wave of young, talented shortstops is underway, and we should expect more great things from highly-touted prospects in the near future.

  1. Corey Seager – Los Angeles Dodgers – #1 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  2. Orlando Arcia – Milwaukee Brewers – #7 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  3. J.P. Crawford – Philadelphia Phillies – #11 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  4. Dansby Swanson – Atlanta Braves – #12 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  5. Trea Turner – Washington Nationals – #14 on GotC Top-50 Prospects

Top Five MLB Outfield Prospects

In the outfield, at the MLB level, players are expected to be multiple category contributors, while playing solid defense. 2016’s outfield prospects crop looks solid, with Byron Buxton leading the way in the MLB prospect rankings. Moreover, there are several other outfield prospects in the minor leagues who could make an impact for the upcoming season. So, without further adieu, let us see who makes our top five outfield prospect list for the 2016 season.

  1. Byron Buxton – Minnesota Twins – #2 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  2. Lewis Brinson – Texas Rangers – #16 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  3. Nomar Mazara – Texas Rangers – #20 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  4. Aaron Judge – New York Yankees – #22 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  5. Brett Phillips – Milwaukee Brewers – #23 on GotC Top-50 Prospects

Top Five Right-Handed MLB Pitching Prospects

At the MLB level, the name of the game is pitching. If you have a solid starting rotation, mixed with some bullpen help, you are in the driver’s seat to being competitive at the top level. For some teams, their farm system is stacked with impressive, young arms capable of making an impact at the MLB level. The up-and-coming crop of right-handed pitchers is pretty staggering, with several teams having impact pitching prospects in their system. So who makes our list?

  1. Lucas Giolito – Washington Nationals – #3 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  2. Tyler Glasnow – Pittsburg Pirates – #5 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  3. Jose Berrios – Minnesota Twins – #13 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  4. Alex Reyes – St. Louis Cardinals – #17 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  5. Jon Gray – Colorado Rockies – #26 on GotC Top-50 Prospects

Top Five Left-Handed MLB Pitching Prospects

Finding a dominant left-handed pitcher in today’s game is anything from an easy task. In the MLB today, the left-handed pitching scene is dominated by the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, and Chris Sale. Moreover, every MLB team would love to have a highly-touted lefty in their farm system. And for those who do, they should reap the benefits in the near future. With the wave of left-handed MLB prospects, Kershaw, Sale, and Bumgarner might not be the only flashes in the pan.

  1. Julio Urias – Los Angeles Dodgers – #6 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  2. Steven Matz – New York Mets – #8 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  3. Blake Snell – Tampa Bay Rays – #9 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  4. Sean Newcomb – Atlanta Braves – #10 on GotC Top-50 Prospects
  5. Cody Reed – Cincinnati Reds – #66 on MLB.com’s Top-100 Prospects