After two weeks of introducing our lists for the top 10 prospects in each position, MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospect list for 2021 has finally arrived. We have already started to break down the Top 100 group loaded this year in different ways, whether it is a breakdown by team
After two weeks of introducing our lists for the top 10 prospects in each position, MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospect list for 2021 has finally arrived.
We have already started breaking down the Top 100 group loaded this year in a number of ways, whether it be a breakdown by team, who made the list, or whether we looked at which players climbed the most places on the list to have. We’ll continue to analyze the brand new Top 100 in the coming days, first examining which teams are best represented on the list.
This year, five teams included at least five interested parties in the top 100. That total is lower than last year, when nine clubs had at least five Top 100 representatives, and is well below the MLB pipeline record of 11 from 2016.
A total of 15 organizations have included at least four interested parties in the top 100 and together they make up 69 percent of the entire list. The Tampa Bay Rays are the best-represented team for a second straight year with their franchise record of eight Top 100 prospects.
Tampa Bay Rays (8)
The Rays Top 100 are also the third highest in the history of the MLB pipeline, behind the Padres 2019 (10) and the Red Sox 2014 (9). The mind-boggling shortstop phenomenon Wander Franco is making the system number 1 in the MLB pipeline for the second year in a row and is one of six Top 100 prospects for Tampa Bay that will impact the team’s big league lineup in 21 could. Randy Arozarena and Luis Patiño, who were acquired by the Rays off-season every year, are the new additions to the invited group.
The Rays have now placed at least five players in the top 100 for four years. The series of the team with at least three top 100 interested parties extends over 15 years and goes back to 2007.
The Rays’ 373 prospect points – a ranking no.1 corresponds to 100 prospect points (PP), a ranking no.2 corresponds to 99, etc. down to ranking no.100 in the amount of 1 – is the highest sum of the franchise since 2008, but is second on the list of 2021 after Detroit.
Seattle Mariners (6)
For the Mariners it has been a steady build-up over the past four years, from one Top 100 prospectus in 2018 to six in this year’s edition – an all-time high for the organization. The Mariners are in third place behind the Tigers and Rays in Prospect Points (341). This is the organization’s second highest score since 2013, when it earned 351 Prospect Points and had one less top 100 prospect. This year, the total number of prospect points in Seattle is heavily influenced by the club’s two top 10 prospects in Jarred Kelenic (# 4) and Julio Rodriguez (# 5).
Detroit Tigers (5)
The Tigers top all 30 clubs with 421 prospect points this year – a mark well above the team’s 115 average from 2012-20 and higher than all but three sums in the past six years (Padres, 574 in 2019, 423 in) ’18; Braves, 429 in ’19).
The Tigers had never placed more than four players in the top 100 before placing five in the top 25 on this year’s list. Four of their representatives were draft selections from the first round, with Spencer Torkelson (2020) and Casey Mize (’18), former number 1 overall, leading a group that included Matt Manning and Riley Greene. The Tigers have identified an average of four top 100 prospects per year during their reconstruction over the past four years, after having identified fewer than two top 100 prospects on average from 2012 to 17.
The best of the rest
The Marlins and Orioles are the other two teams with at least five top 100 prospects, a solid indicator that both systems are on the rise. Miami has now ranked five in the top 100 for two consecutive years after hitting a total of five top 100 prospects in a four-year period (2016-19). Baltimore’s five top 100 prospects, led by Adley Rutschman, number 2 on the 2019 draft, are the most they have had since MLB.com began ranking in 2004.
With their two top 10 candidates in MacKenzie Gore (No. 6) and CJ Abrams (No. 9), the Padres have the most prospect points (283) among the 10 teams with four Top 100 representatives, while the Padres and Braves (266) both lead the Orioles (260) even though they have fewer top 100 players. San Diego has had at least three prospects in the top 100 every year since 2012.
The Pirates and Twins have had at least three top 100 prospects every year since 2013, while Atlanta has had at least four top 100 prospects every year since ’15.
Three of White Sox’s four top 100 prospects are in the top 40. This is the eighth highest prospect points (255) for the South Siders, although it’s their first total under 325 since 2016 (117).
The royals, with all three of their top 100 prospects in the top 30, check in with 237 prospects points – the tenth highest total of all 30 teams. Kansas City also leads the Prospect Points for teams with three or fewer representatives and has a higher total than six teams with at least four in the top 100.
In terms of overall standings, the Rays (75), Braves (65), Dodgers (64) and Padres (59) have had the best prospects since the MLB.com rankings started in 2004, at the end of the spectrum are the Angels (33rd) ), Nationals (33), Giants (34), Cardinals (36), Tigers (37), Orioles (38) and A’s (38).
The Padres (5.20), Rays (4.90), Braves (4.90), Pirates (4.50), and Twins (4.40) have had the most Top 100 prospects per year since these rankings in 2012 have expanded, while the Rays (4.17), Braves (3.61) and Dodgers (3.56) stand out for their Top 100 success from 2004.
Nine teams have two or fewer prospects of the top 100 in 2021. The Astros and Rockies both have a single prospect of the top 100 for a second year in a row and are supported by the Nationals this year. After three consecutive years in the top 100, the A’s are the only team without a representative on this year’s list.