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.