I'm not a big prospect guy, so I won't pretend to have actual opinions on Jason Parks' recent list of the top 101 prospects in baseball. I will say that while these lists are fun to look at, they tell us very little about the actual players and what they are expected to do in the majors.
Nevertheless, lists like this are great discussion starters, so I figured I'd use this post as a starting point for said discussions. One question for debate is the number one spot: should Jurickson Profar or Oscar Taveras (or someone else) be on top? Here are some of Parks' thoughts:
Profar plays a premium position, can swing a great stick, and has a wonderful smile, so I’d be arguing an unwinnable case. But Taveras’ bat has a chance to stop wars (or start wars; whichever you prefer). I’ve never been more impressed with a young hitter than I am with Taveras.
I know that BtB's Spencer Schneier is very high on Taveras, and believes that an elite bat like his, even at DH, is the number one tool a prospect can have. If he can stay in center field, Taveras could be a once in a lifetime player.
On the other hand, shortstop is such a premium position that Profar would only need to be an above average hitter to be at the level of an elite hitting DH. If he reaches his offensive potential while playing good defense at short, Profar will be one of the best players in the game.
Other topics for discussion:
- Are you surprised by any of the rankings on this list?
- Which of these players do you consider sleepers? That is, which ones do you envision rising the ranks the most in the next year?
- Based on this list or based on your own opinion and research, which team has the best farm system in baseball?