Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mid season prospect rankings

Jose Berrios or J.O. Berrios: By either name,
his stock has risen this season.
I'm a few days late to this party, but Baseball America this week released its midseason Top 50 prospects list. (Keith Law of ESPN is to publish his list after the All-Star break, and I suppose there will be others.)

Even though Byron Buxton had played just five games this year at the time the list was drawn up, he remains the top guy on the list. Even though Miguel Sano hadn't played at all, he's still in the top 10.

And this should not be any surprise whatsoever. Baseball America doesn't include the guys on major league rosters for the midseason list; that takes out the likes of Xander Bogearts, Gregory Polanco and Oscar Traveras. They also skip the 2014 draft picks. Carlos Correa has a broken leg, so if you want to downgrade Buxton and Sano for injury, you have to downgrade Correa also. Basically, the prospects who could arguably be ranked ahead of Buxton are either already in the majors or themselves injured.

BA listed five Twins prospects, Buxton (No. 1), Sano (9), Jose (or J.O.) Berrios (27), Kohl Stewart (30) and Alex Meyer (32).

It's the order of the three right-handed pitchers that intrigues me. The wintertime lists typically had Meyer ahead of Stewart with Berrios trailing not only those two but, in some cases, Eddie Rosario and/or Josmil Pinto.

Berrios was outstanding in high A ball; now the 2012 supplemental round pick gets to test his skill against Double A hitters. Stewart is holding his own, or a bit better, in low A. Meyer has been up and down at Triple A, and I infer that he's slipped behind Berrios and Stewart on the continuing question of the quality of his command.

Ranking Meyer 32nd is hardly dissing him. He was raked No. 45 by BA over the winter, after all. I'm more inclined to view the reordered ranking of the three pitchers as a good sign regarding Berrios than as a red flag on Meyer.

(This might be a good place to note that the Star Tribune's LaVelle Neal tweeted Tuesday that Meyer appears unlikely to get any major league time this year. The Twins are being careful about his innings after he missed a couple months last year.)

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