This a fun time of the year. Not because anything has actually happened in the world of baseball, but because prospect writers throughout the land start to unveil how they rank the current crop of minor league prospects going into the season. Do these rankings have any bearing on promotions/demotions or guarantee or deny success at the major league level? Nope.
Do they give us a sense of how the farm systems stack up, give us insight into the talent level and development of players, and do so all while being a really fun thought exercise? Absolutely!
Keith Law got the ball rolling this week and the news was really good for Braves fans.
That is 9 prospects in the top 81 of KLaw’s list which is a record for his list (at least as far as he remembers) and hopefully is a sign of things to come during the 2017 season. As for Pipeline’s list, it will likely be a good deal different that Keith’s...and that is really half the fun. Comparing the lists as they come out is always intriguing and gives a broader understanding and view of the farm system. In 2016, Pipeline had 7 Braves in their top 100 by the end of the season (Pipeline does add guys and move guys up as players graduate, but they only do a full re-ranking twice a year so it can be a bit wonky at times): Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies, Sean Newcomb, Kolby Allard, Ian Anderson, Kevin Maitan, and Mike Soroka.
Pipeline will be counting down their top 100 prospects tonight at 8 PM Eastern on the MLB Network as well as streaming in on MLB.com. This will be the open thread to discuss the rankings as they are revealed. How many Braves do you think will be on Pipeline’s Top 100? Who will the players be? Who is going to take the biggest jump and fall? Join us as we talk prospect stuff into the night.
The rankings so far:
Dansby Swanson - 4
Ozzie Albies - 11
Kevin Maitan - 32
Kolby Allard - 53
Mike Soroka - 78
Newcomb - 80
Ian Anderson - 86