This morning, as the second half of the Major League Baseball season begins, the crew at Baseball America released their updated Top 100 Prospect list. While many draft picks still have not officially signed, Baseball America decided to include them in the rankings (subscription required) as it’s highly unlikely those good enough to make this list would go unsigned in the next week-and-a-half. The Cincinnati Reds have a good showing here, landing five players on the list…. but that will change soon, too.

Elly De La Cruz comes in as the top prospect in baseball. By the time you read this he may no longer be eligible for the list. With 126 at-bats, he’s just five away from no longer being prospect list eligible. So if you are reading this a day after I published it, De La Cruz may no longer be the top prospect in baseball because he will no longer be considered a prospect.

Andrew Abbott skyrocketed up the list. He was unranked when the season began, but he blew through Double-A before getting to Triple-A and pitching very well. That, of course, led to his promotion to the big leagues where he’s been dominant in many of his starts, too. The lefty now ranks 37th overall on the list. Like De La Cruz, he’s almost ready to graduate his prospect eligibility. With 41.2 innings in the big leagues, he’s likely two starts away from crossing the 50-inning mark that would make him no longer prospect list eligible.

Noelvi Marte shows up next on the list for Cincinnati and he comes in at #57. The infielder began the season in Double-A Chattanooga and hit .281/.356/.464 with 22 walks, 38 strikeouts, and 10 stolen bases. That got him a promotion after 50 games (he did miss a few weeks with an injury) to Triple-A Louisville. He has only played eight games there – missing part of his last week there due to traveling to Seattle to play in the MLB All-Star Futures Game. He’s added a double, two, triples, and three stolen bases since joining the Bats.

First round draft pick Rhett Lowder shows up on the list at #73. He has not signed yet, but there’s no reason to believe that he won’t sign before the deadline. The #7 overall pick posted a 1.87 ERA while going 15-0 for Wake Forest this season, picking up 143 strikeouts and just 24 walks in 120.1 innings pitched.

Rounding out the list for the Reds was Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Like Abbott, Encarnacion-Strand was not on the list when the season began. But his continued destruction of the baseball in Triple-A once he joined the Bats after missing the first three weeks with a back injury, has vaulted him into the Top 100. The corner infielder shows up at #83 on the list. In his 65 games played he’s hitting .321/.392/.620 with 17 doubles, two triples, and 20 home runs.

30 Responses

  1. Bdh

    I know Collier and Arroyo aren’t putting up huge stats but they’re some of the youngest players in their leagues. Way too soon to drop them off these lists. Then you could also make cases for Rodriguez, Phillips, Jorge, and Aguiar in my opinion as well.

    • JaxDan

      I would also include Acuna and Stewart on your list as well.

      • Bdh

        Those 2, Richardson, and Petty (who just came in at #83 for the updated prospects love list) would be next in line for me. Might be early to say this but Duno getting close to that point already too

    • MBS

      These lists are fun, but A ball players have such a long way to go before you really know what you have, that it doesn’t matter too much to me. I’m very excited for all the guys you mentioned, but if they’re not making the list today, they might next year.

      Jorge needs to get promoted imo. I want to see him play up the middle with Arroyo. Arroyo also needs some better bats around him. So maybe a promotion of Rodriguez would also help, both of those 2 have killed it in A ball.

    • Steve

      I don’t have an issue with those two dropping off the list at this point. The lists just added a bunch of shiny new draft picks so of course some guys had to fall off. I certainly don’t think it takes any shine off of those two guys as they are very young for their league and are still big pieces for the future of the team. The lists are fun, but definitely not something to put a ton of stock into, they are a fun read though.

      • Bdh

        If Collier stayed put in this draft class he’d be one of the shiny new draft picks that were entered into the lists. Instead he’s been dinged for not having the greatest start to full season ball while being over 3 years younger than league average in a pitcher friendly league.

    • asinghoff1

      A draft just happened. People love shiny new things, even Hendricks made at least one top 100 at some point. It all balances out.

    • DaveCT

      What’s inconsistent with BA is that Collier is ranked 4th by them in the Reds system, ahead of Abbott and CES, behind Elly, McLain and Marte. Arroyo is ranked 8th, behind Petty. Lowder doesn’t yet appear.

      There’s plenty of words to describe this ‘nuance’ and, of course, in season performance counts. However, if Collier is good enough to be ranked ahead of two guys just making the Top 100 … right? I’m with the BDH here. There’s no reasonable way Collier and Arroyo have fallen out of the Top 100 after a little more than half a year.

      My take is they rushed to get this list out before they could add the draftees and re-arrange the club Top 30’s. Tsk, tsk, Baseball America. You’re better than this.

      • Doug Gray

        The organizational rankings are put together by the person who has that system for BA. The Top 100 is a group project. That’s why you will occasionally see guys ranked ahead of guys there, but not the other place.

  2. RedsGettingBetter

    Walker Jenkins is #5 draft pick overall and BA is ranking him #19.
    Rhett Lowder is #7 draft pick overall and BA is ranking him #73. What a difference ranking between two very close picks so it shows the Reds bad luck in the lottery process but by now it is only “theorical” because we can’t know how will be the outcome of Lowder vs Jenkins in the next five years….

    • Jonathan

      @RedsGettingBetter- probably has a lot to do with Upside of Jenkins compared to Lowder. Lowder is considered almost ready for MLB – probably the closest MLB ready pitcher the Reds have drafted since Mike Leake. Jenkins – may have more projectability and is 3 years younger than Lowder. We won’t know the outcome of how this shook out until 7+ years from now. It could take Jenkins 4 years to reach an MLB team.

    • BK

      The top five picks were consensus 60 FV (elite) prospects. Lowder was a consensus 55 FV players. There are a couple of handfuls of 60+ FV prospects. There are dozens of 55 FV prospects. Most of the Top 100 are 55 FV–there may even be a few outside of the Top 100.

    • Optimist

      IIRC Doug and others have explained over the years that the gradation of rankings is along the lines of 3 or 4 groupings. The top 5 or so are clearly future all stars, possible HOFers. Numbers 5 thru 50-100 are usually good to very good MLBers, with a few even better and some few not quite that good. Numbers 100-1000 not really that distinguished, but some long shot achievers here. Over 1000 are a few lottery ticket winners.

      Point being there may not be as much difference between 19 and 73 as it sounds.

  3. Hal Ludwig

    I am super happy we have Lowder. Great fit.

  4. BK

    I’m not saying that Abbott doesn’t deserve to be in the Top 100, but sliding him in at this point is a bit of 20/20 hindsight. Abbott is a skill-over-tools pitcher, and these rankings favor tools over skill.

  5. Doc

    Is it surprising that none of the Reds draft picks have signed yet or is this timing ‘business as usual’? I believe Doug said in an earlier post that teams don’t draft players in rounds 1-10 unless they know they will sign.

    When should we typically see the draft tracker populate with signees?

    • Doug Gray

      It’s not surprising at all. Guys all gotta head to Arizona to get their physical before anything is official anyways.

      • MK

        Did any of the Reds’ picks attend the combine? I know they will get new ones, but did they get physicals there?

    • Laredo Slider

      Doc, they have until I think July 25 to offer contracts so I’d imagine signings will come in the next few days.

      I wonder if Reds will bring in all or part of draft class into Cincy this weekend?

  6. Greenfield Red

    I’d like to reread the article on the signing of the Korean kid. Anybody got it close at hand?


  7. MK

    So, it begins. Aguiar and Farr promoted to AA, Maxwell, and Abel to High A.

    Not disappointed to not continue to watch the inconsistency of Farr, but will miss Aguiar and his dominance, Wish good fortune to them both.

    • MBS

      Great news on Aguiar, only wish Petty would have joined him.

  8. Greenfield Red

    There are a couple of pitchers in the lower leagues who look really good to me, and they are not being talked about much. Aguiar is one of them.

    • Optimist

      Acuna is another one. It would be impressively aggressive to move him to AA now, but letting him finish the season with 100+ ip, in rotation, in Dayton, is nice as well.