Upcoming Reader Top 30 Poll

Get ready for the 2015 Reader Top 30 Prospect Survey.  An overwhelming number of readers expressed interest in having a top 30.  Of 274 respondents, 246 were in favor  (89.8%).

I will start next week and try to post a poll every day.  I would encourage each participant to submit her or his own Top 30 to prospectpoll@yahoo.com using the Subject – My Prospect List. I am curious how the day-by-day voting would affect the outcome when compared to a one-time submission along the lines of an MVP ballot.  (This is not a requirement.)

I suggest we continue to follow Baseball America’s standards for prospects by considering any player eligible for rookie status as eligible for this poll.

As a quick refresher, the following players exceeded Rookie Status during the 2014 status – David Buchanan, Ken Giles, Miguel Gonzalez (he has 122 playing days at the major league level according to Baseball Reference), Cesar Hernandez, Mario Hollands, Ethan Martin, and Cameron Rupp.

And the following players retained their Rookie Status – Aaron Altherr, Maikel Franco, Hector Neris, and Seth Rosin.

I’ll start with MLB’s Top 20 and will add names, as necessary, along the lines  established last year.

I’ll add a group of about 15 names after we have determined the top 4-5 prospects. That group will probably include guys from last years’ Reader Top 30 (Tommy Joseph, Adam Morgan, Luis Encarnacion, Shane Watson, Jose Pujols, Yoel Mecias, Jake Sweaney, Andrew Pullin, Mitch Walding) who aren’t in BA’s top 20, a couple reader favorites (Samuel Hiciano, Willians Astudillo), guys newly added to the 40-man (Hector Neris, Elvis Araujo, Nefi Ogando), recently acquired prospects and maybe Brian Pointer (for Brad).

I’ll add another group after 10 or 15 prospects have been selected. If you have a favorite that you want considered e-mail me at prospectpoll@yahoo.com using the Subject – Add Prospect. Remember that I’ve seen most of the youger guys as they passed through Clearwater. Someone who looked good in a short span will stick in my mind more than a guy who didn’t stand out over a longer period of time. Like Denton Keys or Cody Forsythe who both looked good in short stints, while a Thresher who I watched all season and flashed in the AFL might not have impressed me. So, if it looks like I’m missing someone you would like considered, send me those names.

Here is the expected starting list (in alphabetical order) –

  • Aaron Altherr
  • Victor Arano
  • Jesse Biddle
  • Dylan Cozens
  • J.P. Crawford
  • Kelly Dugan
  • Zach Eflin
  • Maikel Franco
  • Severino Gonzalez
  • Deivi Grullon
  • Matt Imhof
  • Andrew Knapp
  • Aaron Nola
  • Chris Oliver
  • Cameron Perkins
  • Roman Quinn
  • Cord Sandberg
  • Carlos Tocci
  • Jesmuel Valentin
  • Tom Windle
  • Other, e-mail to prospectpoll@yahoo.com

Proposed first new grouping –

  • Tommy Joseph
  • Adam Morgan
  • Luis Encarnacion
  • Shane Watson
  • Jose Pujols
  • Yoel Mecias
  • Jake Sweaney
  • Andrew Pullin
  • Mitch Walding
  • Samuel Hiciano
  • Willians Astudillo
  • Hector Neris
  • Elvis Araujo
  • Nefi Ogando
  • Aaron Brown
  • Zach Green
  • Andy Oliver
  • Obudel Herrera
  • Joely Rodriguez
  • Brian Pointer

Others I’m considering –

  • Colton Murray
  • Ryan O’Sullivan
  • Logan Moore
  • Ethan Stewart
  • Tyler Knigge
  • Manuel Chavez
  • Hoby Milner
  • Seth Rosin
  • Aaron Baker
  • Cody Forsythe
  • Colin Kleven
  • Mark Leiter
  • Miguel Nunez
  • Gabriel Lino
  • Art Charles
  • Herlis Rodriguez
  • Andrew Anderson
  • Joey Denato
  • Will Morris
  • Julio Reyes
  • Yacksel Rios
  • Malquin Canelo
  • Drew Stankiewicz
  • Scott Harris
  • Brandon Leibrandt
  • Ricardo Pinto
  • Edubray Ramos
  • Calvin Rayburn
  • Bryan Sova
  • David Whitehead
  • Sean McHugh
  • Derek Campbell
  • Jan Hernandez
  • Rhys Hoskins
  • Emmanuel Marrero
  • Wilmer Oberto
  • Matt Shortall
  • Jiandido Tromp
  • Lewis Alezones
  • Austin Davis
  • Jacques De Gruy
  • Seranthony Dominguez
  • Jared Fisher
  • Elniery Garcia
  • Denton Keys
  • Franklyn Kilome
  • Alexis Rivero
  • Josh Taylor
  • Jason Zgardowski
  • Jesus Posso
  • Gregori Rivero
  • William Cuicas
  • Grenny Cumana
  • Damek Tomscha
  • Tim Zier
  • Carlos Duran
  • Ismael Cabrera
  • Yan De La Cruz
  • Adonis Medina
  • Felix Paulino
  • Jose Taveras
  • Julsan Kamara
  • Wilber Torres
  • Bryan Martelo
  • Carlos Indriago
  • Carlos Salazar
  • Ranger Suarez
  • Jesus Alastre
  • Christian Palacios
  • Freddy Zorrilla
  • Lenin Rodriguez
  • Jonathan Arauz
  • Daniel Brito
  • Arquimedes Gamboa
  • Joel Fisher

Guys I’m not considering –

  • Jordan Guth
  • Mike Nesseth
  • Austin Wright
  • Carlos Alonso
  • Edgar Duran
  • Brock Stassi
  • Perci Garner
  • Nck Hanson
  • Steven Inch
  • Ulises Joaquin
  • Lino Martinez
  • Lee Ridenhour
  • Kevin Walter
  • Corey Bass
  • Harold Martinez
  • Angelo Mora
  • Chris Serritella
  • Ranfi Casimiro
  • Jesen Therrien
  • Jon Prosinski
  • Frank Rivas
  • Nick Rodesky
  • Tyler Viza
  • Jose Mayorga
  • Chace Numata
  • Larry Greene
  • Alejandro Arteaga
  • Richard Bielski
  • Mitch Gueller
  • Matt Hockenberry
  • Manaure Martinez
  • Preston Packrall
  • Feliberto Sanchez
  • Nathan Thornhill
  • Josh Warner
  • Wilson Garcia
  • Emmanuel Serra
  • Chase Harris
  • Angelo Almonte
  • Rivar Angulo
  • Kyle Bogese
  • Daniel Child
  • Tanner Kiest
  • Sam McWilliams
  • Luis Morales
  • Scott Tomassetti
  • Venn Biter
  • Gustavo Martinez


37 thoughts on “Upcoming Reader Top 30 Poll

    1. Good, you won’t be missed. But I’ll check to see if your address pops up after this post. Guess you didn’t see that I would include guys I overlooked if you know how to send an e-mail. Even Guellar, Viza, and McWilliams for GTU above. Even though I’ve seen them and don’t necessarily agree.

      1. Jim, I’d be interested in getting your opinion on SP’s Whitehead, Leibrandt, Leiter and Anderson? Have you seen any of them pitch??

        I hope to get down to Spring training for a few days this year but I only see the AA and AAA teams regularly.

        1. I don’t recall seeing Drew Anderson at all this season. But I did see the other three in what can only be described as an extremely small sample size.

          I saw David Whitehead four times. In his first GCL appearance after his TJ surgery, he broke the bats of the first two batters he faced with his heavy, sinking fastball. I also saw him pitch in an intrasquad game before reporting to Williamsport. I saw him later in 2 Instructional appearances. His fastball is in the 89-90 mph range. He hit 91 and 92 on a couple of occasions. He has a curve ball in the 74-76 mph range and another pitch around 79-81 mph. He struck out 6 and walked 1 in the 10 innings I saw him pitch.

          I saw Brandon Leibrandt twice during Instructs. I his first appearance, he struck out 2 batters in 1 inning. In his second appearance, he pitched 2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk. He recorded 6 outs on 2 pickoffs, a caught stealing, 2 sacrifices, and a fly out. His fastball is in the 86-89 mph range.

          I saw Mark Leiter pitch 3 times. He pitched well in his first 2 road starts after being called up from Lakewood. He walked 1 and struck out 11 in 12 innings. I saw his inauspicious debut at Bright House Field. He allowed 5 runs on 6 hits, 3 walks, a hit batsman, and threw 2 wild pitches. One of the hits was a mammoth home run over the Tiki Bar in a 31-pitch inning. He followed that with a 5 hit, 0 walk, 8 K, compete game shutout. The third outing was a ragged 3 inning affair where he allowed 5 hits, 6 runs, 4 ER, 4 walks, and 2 Ks. His fastball is in the 87-89 mph range, but can touch 90 mph.

          I wouldn’t label any of these three guys as prospects at this time. They all probably need a little more velocity on their fastballs. Whitehead is coming off TJ surgery. Maybe he has a couple more mph coming. Leibrandt and Leiter rely on command and location. A few more ticks on their fastball would make their secondary pitches more effective.

    1. He has 122 days of MLB service according to Baseball Reference. That precludes him from consideration for ROY, and therefore this list. I don’t know how he managed 122 days with just a Septenber call-up. I imagine that since he signed a major league contract that once he started rehabbing in the minors, his service time clock started running.

      1. Thanks very much for the reply on MAG and prospect status! Good ol’ MLB – Ichiro played for how many years in Japan and was eligible for ROY!. Well, from the standpoint of unproven players trying to prove they can make it for the Phillies perhaps not having MAG in there is a shame, but on the other hand, he is 27(?) Y.O., maybe almost half-again as old as many of the other prospects.

  1. A lot of players are very similarly rated. second half the of the top 30 gets hard from too many people making sense at each selection.

  2. Will be interesting to see how posters place Eflin and Windle. I’ll certainly have Eflin in my top 10, perhaps as high as no. 5. He doesn’t turn 21 until April and will likely see Reading next year. As far Windle, he’s more borderline for my Top 10. Both Biddle and Windle will pitch their age 23 season’s in 2015. Biddle already has two seasons of AA under his belt while Windle hasn’t yet pitched at that level. I suspect Windle will ultimately sit outside my Top 10 but as I stated earlier the week, I’m really liking the Rollins trade.

  3. I think we all agree on JP Crawford as #1. The Top 30 is always fun to read. I am sure we will have Dugan, Altherr, Tocci debates again. Thank you for doing this again.

  4. Jim, thanks for taking this on. Some people may complain about how you go about or don’t go about setting this up, but the vast majority of regular readers greatly appreciate your willingness to volunteer your time on this. Thank you. It is always a fun exercise.

    1. Yes, and this goes for all contributors, the vast majority of readers appreciate your efforts tremendously. Just ignore the couple of trolls that for whatever reason can’t find anything better to do with their time than plague this wonderful community.

      1. “Troll” has no place in sports discussions. That word is passive aggressive and catty, and it gets thrown around way too much these days to the point of being annoying. We’re discussing sports here….. grown man stuff.

        I do agree that people should appreciate what jimpeyton does though. That doesn’t mean we have to say the same for every contributor regardless of whether we feel they actually improved the site or not. Most of us read this site because of what James started. I have made my opinions on the contributors who left clear, and I stand by them. I also doubt any of the current contributors on this site are that thin-skinned that they can’t handle somebody telling them off when doing a blog in a metro that is known for people loudly given their opinions.

  5. I think it would be interesting at some point to see what everyone thinks about who is our top prospect at each position? Here is what I have….just posting to discuss a bit….did not want to go into a detailed analysis, sorry for spelling errors on names;

    1st base – Would be a stretch at this point because many guys could slide their, like Franco, but I’m thinking that are actually playing there now like Hoskins?

    2nd – Valentin or Pullin?

    SS- Crawford

    3rd – Franco

    OF – Brown and Cozens

    CF – Quinn

    C – Gruillon……Joseph??

    1 SP – ????

    2 SP – Maybe Biddle or Windle but that is a far out projection at this point.

    3 SP – Nola, Biddle, Windle

    4 SP – Eflin, Imhoff, and ????

    5 SP – You could put quite a few in here

    RP – Arano, Rodriguez, ????

    Would be good to get everyones opinions on where we have some legit MLB prospects and where we are bereft of talent. Just something to fill over the holiday weekend before while you thinking about top 30’s.

    Enjoy your weekends!

    1. Right now, Nola is the best starting pitching prospect and it’s not close. I have Eflin and Biddle essentially tied for the second best starting pitching prospect. Windle or Mecias would probably be third and after that it’s a free for all.

      I have Dugan ahead of Brown and Cozens in the outfield, his ceiling is not as high, but he’s much more likely to be a big league contributor.

    1. Missed that while editing. I created the file a couple weeks ago and missed that reference while updating prior to publishing. I meant MLB’s Top 20. Sorry and thank you for pointing that out. I corrected the text.

      1. Jim,
        Any reason why the new pitcher from the Pirates, Joely Rodriguez, in exchange for Bastardo is not on the 40?

        1. None that I know of. I think it’s just to drive us crazy. Pittsburgh has already added Bastardo to their 40. I almost forgot to include Rodriguez in the Winter Ball Update. I had to look him up as a Pirate.

  6. Have you considered pushing the start back a bit? I could see trades in the middle of the list just kind of making the whole process pointless.

    1. As I stated in a December 3rd post, I needed to start within 3 weeks to accomodate my schedule. Last year the Reader Top 30 started after the New Year and ran into Spring Training. I cover Spring Training, and want this to conclude before Spring Training starts. I also spend a considerable amount of time at the Carpenter Complex during Phantasy Week. Plus, I do have a life outside of baseball, maybe not much. I’ll be out of the country for a week in January, and don’t know what kind of internet service I can count on. And really, the point of the process is to generate conversation about prospects through a ranking process. Only a Hamels’ blockbuster could upset the Top 10, and if that happens we’ll have conversation and come up with some way to rank the proceeds from a trade that, realistically, isn’t going to happen unless some team meets the Phillies’ asking price.

      1. Seems to be a little smoke building on the Padres front. I could see us getting back a guy or two that would be in our top 5 easily.

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