Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Keith Law media conference call, set up to provide more detailed answers to questions surrounding his recently released Top 100 prospects in the game.
I thought this would be a good time to ask about Kolby Allard, who had dropped entirely out of his Top 100, as well as Kyle Wright- who dropped behind Mackenzie Gore since his draft rankings despite neither throwing many pro innings.
Keith’s answers were great, as they really provided some insight into what happened with these two players. I’ll take a look at his responses below and share them with you.
Question 1: Kolby Allard was consistently highly ranked last year by you- coming in 32, 25, and 26 on your three sets of rankings last year. Then he went out and had a very strong season in Double A as a teenager. We’re familiar with his strengths and weaknesses, but what can you tell us about the thought process for that kind of drop?
Law: His ability to hold his stuff, his upper 80s fastball, and his durability concerns(size and injury history) were the reasons for it. I still love his breaking ball, feel for pitching, and athleticsm, but a 45 grade fastball and questions about durability were too much. He was actually ranked higher on earlier versions of the list, but after talking with front office people who thought he should move down because they see a backend starter or lefty reliever, he ended up off the list. That’s not to say that there are only 100 good prospects in baseball, and that guys not on the Top 100 aren’t good prospects.
My thoughts: Law has some good reasons for not including Allard. While I would like to see him in the Top 100, it’s an exclusion that I can understand for now. If Allard is able to add anything additional onto his fastball, these types of questions would start to go away. Considering the level of success that he’s had I’m certainly not going to downgrade Kolby, but he’s a guy to pay close attention to as he has to keep producing at every level if he’s going to reach his ceiling with a below average fastball.
Question 2: On your draft rankings last year, how is it that Kyle Wright was second behind only Hunter Greene, but on the Top 100 he has fallen behind some of his draft classmates. In particular Mackenzie Gore, since neither has had much of a sample size in pro ball.
Law: First let me say my rankings aren’t based off previous rankings. The June list doesn’t mean anything for the Top 100, rather the Top 100 is the player’s value at this moment. Gore moved up because when front office guys got their first looks at him in the summer and last fall, they came away raving about him. It’s not that Wright has done anything to move himself down, as much as it is Gore has really moved himself up.
My Thoughts: I really understand this. I had Wright just a bit higher than Gore on my final draft list as Gore had really grown on me, and the reports around him since his pro debut have been nothing short of glowing- Law even used the word “beloved“ when discussing how those in the game feel about Gore right now. This is no slight to Wright, who was and still is a very big time prospect.