Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

MLB Pipeline top 30 comes out: who are they up/down on?


Rutledge is holding stead at #3 on nearly everyone's list. Photo via BA

Rutledge is holding stead at #3 on nearly everyone’s list. Photo via BA

In quick succession to Keith Law‘s list of top Nats prospects, the prospect team at (Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo) has released their top 30 for the nats system.

Here’s the major pundits in the space and links to their top X lists:

  • MLBpipeline (Callis, Mayo):
  • Athletic (Keith Law): (paywall)
  • Fangraphs (McDaniel and Longenhagen):
  • Baseball America:
  • Baseball Prospectus: (paywall)

The only major pundits remaining without published lists are John Sickels, who ran for years but who is now at the Athletic and i’m not sure if he’s still in the business of prospect rankings (he did not do one last year but it was perhaps still during the transition to the site) and Kiley McDaniel, who recently left Fangraphs to take over for Law at ESPN and probably doesn’t have time in 2020.

Anyway, lets take a look at the MLBpipeline guys and see who they’re “up” and “down” on.  From a prospect perspective, I perceive that Callis/Mayo tend to more heavily weigh the “famous factor” in these rankings, often keeping players around just due to draft pedigree or signing bonus.  They also seem to weigh floor a bit more than ceiling (hence why we have a few “edge of the 40-man roster types” lingering on this list, and often will have promising but younger players omitted to include older guys … that is unless the younger guy is in the “famous” category.

  • Same top 3 as everyone else
  • They’re definitely high man on both Andry Lara and Eddy Yean.
  • As per the “famous factor,” Romero continues to linger in their top 10
  • They like 2019 IFA Roismar Quintana; Law and BA didn’t rank him at all and they have him 15th despite never having played an inning in pro ball.
  • They have a bunch of  higher-round college arm draft picks in teh 20-30 range (guys like Schaller, Irvin, Bourque, Braymer) that seem to be to be low ceiling guys; are any of these guys anything other than org-arms?
  • Raudy ReadJakson Reetz and Tres Barrera listed as 25,28 and 19 respectively.  Is this how you’d rank these depth chart catchers right now on your prospect  list?
  • They’re much lower on German than Law was, but are in line with BA and Fangraphs.   I wonder what Law sees in the guy.

Who’s missing?

  • as others noted, no Jackson Tetrault anywhere.  No Malvin Pena mentioned either.  No Augustin on mlb’s list; only Law likes this guy.

9 Responses to 'MLB Pipeline top 30 comes out: who are they up/down on?'

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  1. As Luke mentioned earlier, Read is too old/been around too long at this point to be on the list.

    He’s a DH for somebody in the American league.

    Mark L

    4 Mar 20 at 3:26 pm

  2. The one I just don’t understand is Raudy Read. How? Why? The only reason he’s not an auto-DFA is he got busted for PEDs a couple years ago so he has a fourth option. I’d certainly put Jackson Tetreault or Carson Teel in that spot over Read.


    4 Mar 20 at 10:17 pm

  3. Read got kneecapped on the first cut, with Barrera and Gushue kept in camp over him. That says a lot . . . particularly since those two have one spring hit between them!

    After all the buzz about German, it was curious that he was among the first cuts.


    9 Mar 20 at 12:53 pm

  4. I’m been out of pocket and haven’t had a chance to weigh in on this post and the last one. A few thoughts:

    — I think Rutledge is the Nats’ highest-ceiling prospect. It’s interesting that the prospect evaluators are willing to jump Lara and Yean pretty high based on very little actual action but won’t put Rutledge above Kieboom and Garcia. Why not? Anyway, if I were making a list, Rutledge would be #1.

    — I’m higher on Kieboom than Sao seems to be, but it’s very hard to pinpoint at this point what level of player he’ll be. It’s quite a stretch that he’ll be Bregman, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. The FanGraphs guys comp him with Hiura, who had a .938 OPS as a rookie. I’d take that, but I don’t see Kieboom having enough power to support that number at the moment. Plus his brain currently is twisted in knots trying to learn a new position.

    — Like Law, I’ve scratched my head over the exuberance about Garcia. Yes, he was one of the youngest players at AA, but also wasn’t very good there. He started hot in the AFL but then faded badly. He’s now started hot in the spring with the big club. Like Kieboom, they’ve still got him playing SS even though they don’t need a SS. If Kieboom looks like he’s going to stick at 3B, then they need to get Garcia at 2B pronto.

    Beyond those guys, who knows? They really, really suck with position players. They’re hoping that Mendoza outplays his draft position, but fallen college stars Banks and Wiseman have not. They’ve drafted hardly any position players in the top 10 in the last two drafts, and I still consider Cole Freeman a faster Tony Renda at best. They do have a number of good mid-level arms, but most will be relievers at best if they happen to make it.

    I have no idea what to think about Denaburg and Romero, other than that the Nats had a lot of other good options when they took them, and so far the gambles don’t look good.

    I like Cronin, a lot. I don’t have a problem with “reliever all the way” considering how much prospect capital we’ve perpetually traded away to shore of the bullpen.


    9 Mar 20 at 1:13 pm

  5. Agustin???? Really, Keith Law? While repeating A+, he hit .236 with an awful .289 OBP and 25% K rate. He’s pretty much a corner OF, mostly LF, with no power. Barring a miracle (or PEDs, the Read approach), he’s an org guy at best.


    9 Mar 20 at 1:17 pm

  6. It’s all a crap shoot. But here’s my top-41. Which is to say, 41 that I am watching because I think they could develop helium. I’m doing this to get conversation going beyond the same circulated names or people who are hyper hyped that are 14 years old.

    1) Kieboom
    2) Garcia
    3) Rutledge
    4) Y. Hernandez
    5) Cronin
    6) C. Freeman
    7) Kyle McGowin
    8) Bourque
    9) Reetz
    10) Yean
    11) Braymer
    12) Barrera
    13) S. Romero
    14) J. German
    15) Crowe
    16) Cate
    17) Teel
    18) Adon
    19) A. Hernandez
    20) De La Rosa
    21) Mendoza
    22) Seijas
    23) Emiliani
    24) Dyson
    25) I. Pineda
    26) Bogan
    27) V. Pena
    28) Fuentes
    29) A Troop
    30) Istler
    31) Klobotsis
    32) Read
    33) Antuna
    34) A Guillen
    35) Rhinesmith
    36) Peguero
    37) B Pena
    38) Denaburg
    39) J. Irvin
    40) L. Knowles
    41) G. Diaz

    I did not include people who have not played, and did downgrade players who just have not shown they measure up to the hype. With that said, I admit I am suckered by Jackson Rutledge hype, because all Expos fans like me have longings for Randy Johnson sightings. You will forgive me for that and the Klobotsis love.

    But if certain players have shown flashes, I’ve remembered those flashes. Players with more recent significant injuries (Pineda) are ranked lower, and players with strong late-19 performance are rewarded. As I have noted before, a prospect is a player who shows upward progression to the majors, regardless of age. It is not Yadiel’s fault that he was signed late in life. That said, someone who is performing at a level with older players definitely deserves more credit for his “prospects.”

    I also did not hold it against certain players that are not given a chance to showcase what they can do, like McGowin as a starter. He’s not a reliever. But I am affected by people like Austin Adams who were AAAA until they were given a chance to do what their role should be. McGowin is a starter that I believe will pitch somewhere in the majors as a starter.

    I know that most will disagree with a number of these, but I trust more of the evaluations of the posters here and at Luke’s site than I would the folks cited above. That includes my own judgment.

    So that noted….let’s see who’s right in seven months 😉


    9 Mar 20 at 5:57 pm

  7. fore, I thought it inspiring for you to have Yadiel at #4. He’s ‘old’ but has shown this spring that he belongs In the show. I hope for his sake he gets a chance somewhere. It’s not his fault it took longer than usual to escape Cuba.

    Someone I’m watching this year is Lucas Knowles, at #40. Not that I have inside knowledge but am intrigued.

    Mark L

    10 Mar 20 at 8:20 am

  8. ESPN just ranked the Top 100 players in baseball. The Nats are:
    7) Scherzer
    11) Soto
    16) Strasburg
    33) Corbin
    60) Turner

    Mark L

    10 Mar 20 at 10:40 am

  9. new posted about the system rankings in general.

    Todd Boss

    10 Mar 20 at 12:25 pm

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