In preparation for our highly successful and critically acclaimed A Podcast For Your Eyes debut last week, our Benevolent Dictator Bret Goodwin asked Craig and myself to create individual Top 10 lists for 2014.
While I was initially glad to accept my assignment simply because I find these things enjoyable, I was surprised to find that it’s actually a pretty useful exercise, too. If you want to really put a prospect under a microscope and truly weight his upside, what better way than to ask yourself if you could ever see that man topping a list of all players in the minors?
I’ve carried that idea to its logical conclusion here, and am bringing you eight players I think could rank No. 1 over all on Top 100 or 101 or 150 lists before the 2014 season. The first four names might make you say “duh,” but reasoning is provided. The following four might surprise you, and reasoning is provided here as well. My Top 150 rankings from my 2013 list are in parentheses.
Xander Bogaerts, SS, BOS (3)
I’m not sure if you guys know this, but I’m actually sort of high on Bogaerts. All he did last season was decide to post a wRC+ of 144 in High-A and of 159 in Double-A as a 19-year-old, all while convincing many that he can at least begin his career at shortstop. That’s, like, really good. I don’t think he sees a ton of MLB this season because there are two capable players head of him in Stephen Drew and Jose Iglesias, and if he does switch positions he’ll need time to adjust as well. But if Bogaerts is still prospect eligible next season and he still profiles as a shortstop, he’s almost guaranteed to top my list. Continue reading