As we approach the midpoint of the 2018 season, we will start to see more and prospect list updates. Some of these will merely be adjustments to preseason rankings while others will be complete overhauls depending on which media outlet you are looking at. Fangraphs went one step further and overhauled their prospect rankings altogether.
Rather than a hard cut-off at a set number like the Top 100 or something like that, Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel instead ranked everyone that had a future value of 50 or higher which gave them a total of 131 names. This makes a ton of sense since towards the bottom of top 100 lists, many of the prospects have similar profiles as those who didn’t make the list at all. This gives all of those players some visibility rather than leave them as unranked because a few players were perceived as being slightly better. Also, there are a lot of Braves players on this list.
The Updated Top 131 Prospect Rankings https://t.co/gLdZewkt0y— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) June 11, 2018
Yes, you read the title correctly. 14 Braves players were in the top 131 prospects in baseball according to Fangraphs. At over 10% of the pool of best prospects in baseball, that is quite good. The players put on the list are Ronald Acuna Jr. (1), Mike Soroka (23), Kyle Wright (24), Luiz Gohara (26), Cristian Pache (28), Austin Riley (40), Ian Anderson (41), Touki Toussaint (51), Max Fried (90), Joey Wentz (92), Drew Waters (94), Carter Stewart (98), Brett Cumberland (99), and Kolby Allard (105).
There is a lot to unpack here and I will let Eric and Kiley explain most of it as I am sure they will, but there are some interesting things to note here. Acuna retaining the top spot over Vlad Jr. is fascinating not as a knock on Acuna at all, but more as a nod to just how good Vladdy has been this year. Acuna, Soroka, Gohara, and possibly Fried will graduate from the list soon. Some new names on the list for the Braves include recent draftee Carter Stewart (who is ranked lower on this list than I would have thought, but is in line with FG’s draft rankings), Drew Waters who has been assaulting the South Atlantic League this year, and Brett Cumberland (more on him in a second). How high Cristian Pache and Touki Toussaint are ranked is certainly eye-opening as well.
As for Cumberland, this was the most surprising ranking in terms of having him in the top 100 at all. He has struggled at the plate in high-A at least statistically, but unfortunately the lack of streaming of Florida State League games has kept us at TC from getting good looks are really any of the guys down there. I mentioned on Twitter a list of names that could be in consideration for top 100 and Kiley was quick to respond that I missed a name. That was clearly Cumberland and I would have never guessed him in play there...well played sir. Hearing what Kiley and Eric have to say about Brett from this season will be something to look for in the coming days as Cumbo is a delightfully weird prospect whether or not one thinks he is a top 100 guy.