Most top prospect rankings were posted earlier this or late last year, including MLB Pipeline, Baseball America and our own Let’s Go Tribe top-20, but FanGraphs finally joined the fray this week with their own top 100.
Francisco Mejia was the first Cleveland Indians player on the list, coming in at No. 37 overall. They see him as a 55 (out of 80) overall, but feel he has the ability to become a 70 hitter, not bad for a switch-hitting catcher.
Not too far behind him was outfield prospect and 2014 first round draft pick Bradley Zimmer, who appeared at No. 45, and is currently putting on an impressive spring training performance.
Then of course, there’s right-handed pitcher Triston McKenzie, who absolutely tortured Low-A and Single-A batters in a relatively small sample size last year over 15 starts. Considering his age, 19, McKenzie appears to have a very bright future. He was one of only nine players 19 or younger who appeared in the top 55.
After the top 100 was complete, FanGraphs also provided a list of 32 players who were “also in consideration” to be ranked among the elite but just missed the cut. There was one Tribe prospect listed, but it’s not who you would expect: Greg Allen. Allen absolutely deserves to get some respect in the prospect rankings after improving every year in the system, but one question remains: Where is Bobby Bradley?
Sure, Bradley’s batting average took a tumble last year (.235), but that didn’t stop him from setting career-highs in doubles (23) home runs (29), and walks (75) while winning the Carolina League MVP in High-A as a 20-year-old.
Bradley’s ranking with MLB Pipeline dropped a bit earlier this year from 67 to 95, but he was still at least listed. Including the “in consideration” players, FanGraphs is essentially saying there are 132 prospects better than Bobby Bradley.
There will always be a place for high-power, high on-base percentage sluggers in baseball. Hopefully Bradley uses this snub as motivation for the upcoming 2017 campaign, where he’s expected to open the season with the Double-A Akron RubberDucks.