Top 100 Prospects - 40-31

40. Brett Phillips OF (Brewers) - Brett was a sixth round pick of the Astros in 2012. The Astros traded him to the Brewers last year as part of the Carlos Gomez trade. For a sixth round pick Brett has developed some impressive tools. His power is good enough to hit 20 plus homeruns and his career minor league average is .295. The speed is there to play center and the arm exists for right. Major league projections could have him hit 20 plus homeruns with steals in the teens. All the tools are above average to produce a player that is just below all star caliber but high enough to make it as a starter. He will need to cut back on his whiffs (120) if he hopes to maintain a high average in the major leagues. Last year he finished with 54 games in AA, hitting only one homerun. Don’t be surprised to see him repeat at that level to show he has more power and then getting quickly promoted to AAA. A September callup is a certainty if he has a good year.

39. Josh Bell 1B/OF (Pirates) - Josh was one of those athletic picks drafted in the second round but paid a lot of money ($3 million plus) to abandon his football dream to play baseball. When myworld saw him we were impressed with his speed while running the bases, making playing the outfield still a possibility. The arm exists for right field. The Pirate outfield is crowded and Bell is a big dude whose speed will slow as he matures so first base is his current position. The power has yet to appear in his bat, with his homerun numbers dropping each of the last three years from 13 to 9 to 7, but the Pirates expect it to show itself at some point. Last year he hit .317 between AA and AAA, his .347 average in AAA in 121 at bats showing he is major league ready. Pedro Alvarez left as a free agent so the first base spot is open for Bell to take. Expect him to be the Pirates first baseman before the All Star break arrives if he has continued success in AAA.

38. Ozhaino Albies SS (Braves) - Ozzie is a little guy who runs fast around the bases, similar to another player, Jose Peraza who they traded to the Dodgers. The Braves signed him out of Curacao. His arm is stronger than Peraza which makes sticking at short a possibility now that Andrelton Simmons has been traded. There is no power in his bat so he will spray hits all over the outfield, using his speed to stretch singles into doubles. The Braves used him a lot at short this spring and he handled himself well, though his move for the 2016 season will be to High A. With Erick Aybar a free agent after this year, the Braves may want to rush him quickly to AA to see what they have. A September call up is a strong possibility since the Braves are in rebuilding mode and can give him the playing time.

37. Nick Williams OF (Phillies) - One of the prize prospects the Phillies received for Cole Hamels. Nick was a second round pick of the Rangers in the 2012 draft. His game has progressed since then transforming him into a five tool player. The power is there to hit 20 plus homeruns, the speed exists to play center and the arm is there for right. The one hole in his game is the inconsistency in his ability to make contact, which could impact his average. Last year his strikeout numbers dropped to 97. With more contact his homerun output should increase. The Phillies are in rebuilding mode so there is no incentive for them to promote Nick to the majors to eat up his service time. Expect to see him in AAA until September when the Phillies will want to see what they have.

36. Gleyber Torres SS (Cubs) - The Cubs seem to be swimming in shortstops. With Addison Russell playing so well at the position there appears to be no room for the young Venezuelan the Cubs signed in 2013 for $1.7 million. Torres has the tools to play short and the bat to move to second or third but their is also a crowded situation at those positions. He may ultimately be trade bait. The power has still not developed to make him a viable option at third, but some say it will come as he matures. The Cubs can be patient with him since he did not leave his teenage years until December of this year. He also struggled a bit in High A, hitting just .174 in minimal at bats. The Cubs will probably start him in High A to begin the 2016 season to see him have success there.

35. Jose Deleon RHP (Dodgers) - Jose was not a highly thought of player out of Puerto Rico when the Dodgers drafted him in the 24th round in 2013. His stock went up when the velocity on his fastball increased, hitting the mid-90s but sitting more in the low 90s with the ability to slice the corners of the plate. He complements his fastball with an above average change, keeping the hitters off balance. The opposition has trouble making contact off him averaging about 12 plus strikeouts per nine innings. Jose limits the hitters to averages that fall below .220. Jose did not achieve a lot of success in AA with a 3.64 ERA. Much of that was created with his 11 homeruns given up in just 77 innings. The Dodgers may have openings in the back end of the rotation but Jose will probably begin the season in AAA unless he has a lights out spring to change some minds.

34. David Dahl OF (Rockies) - Dahl has seen his share of injuries, a torn hamstring in 2013 that allowed him to play in only 10 games and an outfield collision last year that resulted in a removed spleen and only 79 games. The Rockies would like to see more appearances from their 2012 first round pick. He has a potent bat that should consistently hit for .300 or better with power that should deliver 20 plus homeruns. His speed should give him 20 plus stolen bases and allow him to roam the centerfield pastures of Minute Maid park. The one concern with Dahl is his 11/81 walk to whiff ratio last year, the worst of his career, leading to a subpar .278 batting average and .417 slugging average in AA. He will need to improve on that if he hopes to consistently hit over .300 in the major leagues. Since his season was cut short he may begin the 2016 season in AA, but with a good spring the Rockies may want to jump him to AAA. Expect him to make his major league debut this year.

33. Tim Anderson SS (White Sox) - Tim was the White Sox first round pick in 2013. The only tool lacking in his tool box is the power, but that could develop as he matures into double digit homerun numbers. His hitting tools allow him to spray the ball to all fields and there is enough power to split the gaps. The one concern with him is his 24/144 walk to whiff ratio which he needs to improve if he hopes to hit .300 in the majors. His arm and range are above average for a shortstop. What he needs to improve on is his consistency in fielding the ball. Last year he made 25 errors in AA, a figure that will have to be improved if he expects to man the position in the major leagues. If he can improve his contact ratio the speed is there to hit leadoff. Last year he stole 49 bases in 62 attempts, legging out 12 triples. To capture that leadoff spot he needs to increase his walks and lesson those whiffs. With Alexei Ramirez departing for free agency the White Sox did not sign any long term options for the position. Tim should start the year in AAA and by mid-year be up with the big club.

32. Aaron Judge OF (Yankees) - At 6′7″ 275 pounds the first round pick of the Yankees in 2013 has massive power. What limits the massive power from becoming 40 homerun power is the frequency of his strikeouts (144 in 124 games) and the inability to make consistent solid contact with the ball. Power hitters are known for their swings and misses, but Judge needs to get more barrel of the bat on ball contact to take advantage of his massive frame. For a large guy he moves well around the outfield with an arm suited for right field. Last year his power showed in AA with a .284 average, .516 slugging percentage and 12 homeruns in 63 games. When promoted to AAA those numbers reduced to .224 average, .373 slugging and 8 homeruns in 61 games. The holes in his swing became more prevalent as he became exposed to more experienced pitchers. The 2016 season should see him begin the season in AAA. He is only a Carlos Beltran injury away from making the major league roster.

31. Andrew Benintendi OF (Red Sox) - The 2015 first round pick of the Red Sox is the antithesis of Judge. At 5′10 he lacks a large frame, but he carries a quick bat that consistently makes solid contact. He won the Golden Spikes award for being the best college player in baseball last year. The Red Sox challenged him by quickly promoting him to Low A where he hit .351 with a .581 slugging percentage. At the two levels his walk to whiff ratio was an impressive 35/24. If he can maintain that ratio batting titles are in his future. Power is not absent in his swing with 11 homeruns in just 54 games. It will be interesting to see what he can accomplish in a full season league. A lack of blazing speed will limit him to the corners. As a college hitter expect the Red Sox to challenge him with a promotion to High A to begin the season.

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