Well, we’ve covered the sizable list of players who fell off the top 30 from last year to this year and we’ve covered the shorter list of players who just missed the cut this year. Nothing left to do now but get into the actual top 30 countdown.
Before we do that, a quick recap of our ranking system and format. We tried to keep it as simple as possible, assigning a points system for every spot in the top 30. The 1st ranked player gets 30 points, 2nd gets 29, all the way down to 1 point for the 30th spot. Individual staff members filled out their personal rankings and the points totals from all individual rankings were tallied up for each player. Dom, EJ, Scott, and myself did individual rankings to create this composite top 30.
For the individual player write-ups, we divvied them up among even more of the staff to give you different perspectives and different writing styles on each player. Some of us like certain guys more than others and I think that will definitely come through as you read each player’s capsule. We tried to put a little more into each one than just stats, tools, and potential, especially with this first batch of lower third guys. For some of these players it’s more about why you should care about them as a prospect than what things combine to make them a prospect and we tried to convey that.
The MiL level listed for each player is my best guess at where I think they will open this season, so don’t read too much into that. I’ll definitely be hanging around in the comments and on Twitter over the next few days to discuss the rankings and my thoughts on certain players, and I’m sure we’ll have the rest of the team pop in as time allows. Without further ado, here are the first 10 spots in the 2016 IIATMS Top 30:
30) Jhalan Jackson– OF, Low-A Charleston
Age: 22, Bats: R, Throws: R
Drafted: 7th Round, 2015
2015 Stats: .266/.338/.452, 5 HR, 34 RBI, 35 R, 4-4 SB in 198 PA (SS SI)
Dom’s Take- With the new draft system, signability issues are essentially a thing of the past, and the number of legitimate, high-ceiling prospects slipping into the later rounds has dwindled. As such, it seems almost counterintuitive that a nearly 23-year-old 7th rounder from this past draft would find his way onto this list and into my heart – but Jackson deserves this spot. Jackson has a prototypical right field profile, with plus or better power, a strong arm, and surprising athleticism for his size. The right-handed hitter has a great deal of swing and miss in his game (he struck out in 29.8% of his PA in his pro debut), but he has a solid approach at the plate and doesn’t get fooled too often. He’s Aaron Judge lite, and he’s my sleeper in this system (Editor’s Note- Dom had Jackson ranked 20th in his top 30).
29) Chance Adams– RHRP, Double-A Trenton
Age: 21, Throws: R
Drafted: 5th Round, 2015
2015 Stats: 1.78 ERA, 45 K/9 BB, 0 HR allowed in 35.1 IP (SS SI, A-, A+)
Dom’s Take- I debated calling Adams a right-handed Jacob Lindgren and moving on. They are similarly talented pitchers who feature big-time fastballs and wipeout sliders, and both were drafted with the hope that they would rocket through the minors. Lindgren’s stuff may be half a grade better, but I don’t think the gap is all that staggering (particularly if the uptick in velocity Adams found in his professional debut is legitimate). The key difference (aside from handedness) is that Adams has at least average command and control, and is far less prone to bouts of wildness. Is he the better prospect right now? It’s difficult to say with so little professional information – but it’s a fair question to ask. Continue reading The 2016 IIATMS Top 30: Prospects 30-21