Ozhaino Albies and Dansby Swanson have been popular names this offseason, and both earned deserving of spots in MLB Pipeline's Top 10 Shortstop Prospects list. Swanson rated as the higher of the 2 at number 4, with Albies rounding out the list at 10. The Braves are the only team with 2 players on the list, an impressive feat due to the sheer strength of the shortstop class this year. When the Top 100 prospects are announced on Friday, it is likely that all 10 players will rank in the top 40 on the list.
Swanson ranks just above fellow first round draft pick Brendan Rodgers, the player that was widely regarded as the best in the draft. Fellow SECer Alex Bregman, who was the second overall pick, ranks in at 9th on the list. 4 players on the list have 60 grade hit tools, and Swanson is the best defender of that group. With the idea that Corey Seager may not profile as a shortstop in the big leagues, Swanson is effectively the third best shortstop in the minor leagues and is the only one with 4 tools graded as 55 or above. That showcases the all around skillset that made him a coveted draft prospect last year.
Ozhaino Albies reaching the prospect heights he has given his age is very impressive, as he is the youngest player on the list. He rated second in batting average and on base percentage amongst the full season players, behind only Trea Turner, but was younger than Turner relative to his competition. The only thing holding Albies back is his lack of power (20 grade) compared to his peers (Orlando Arcia is next worst at 35). With the likelihood being that both Turner and Seager graduate this year, he should make jumps up the list especially is he continues to perform as he has. For what it's worth, if you see Albies as a second baseman in the major leagues he would likely rank behind only Yoan Moncada at that list, as Jose Peraza ranks in that second spot currently.
Both players will likely start together at High A in 2016, putting the Carolina Mudcats in position to have 2 of the top shortstops in the minor leagues batting 1-2 and creating a double play combo. That is two players that will likely hit around .300 all season and play good defense up the middle, something that should make the team exciting to watch.