I flipped through all of the cards in the Bowman product; base set, prospects set, chrome prospects set, autographs, inserts, everything. I picked out the ten best players in my opinion. I know we all want these guys to be superstars, but in some cases I willing to settle for solid contributor. That counts for something........
10. Noah Syndergaard- He's really big and has a nice fastball and curveball. Syndergaard should be a power arm in the Mets rotation for a long time. I still like Matt Harvey better, but not being quite as good as Matt Harvey means you are still pretty good. I hate comps, because they usually get people upset, but I will go John Lackey. Similar build, fastball/curveball, and the guy won two World Series rings. If you're a Mets fan you take that right?
9. Joey Gallo- I have two swing and miss hitters on my countdown. I do not like low contact hitters because they usually do not do much in the Majors. See Mark Reynolds. That's not my comp by the way, I don't think......So, Joey Gallo hits a lot of home runs. Last year in the minor the Texas third base prospect hit 41 in 126 minor league games. He also struck out 179 times in 537 plate appearances. He's hitting for average this year in Double A, but the K's are still there. I am going with Adam Dunn as a comp. Should be a fun player to watch in Arlington for years to come.
8. Francisco Lindor- Lindor played locally for the Carolina Mudcats last year and is the gem of the Cleveland Indians farm system. What's he do? He's got a little bit of pop, but not a ton. He hits about .270-.280, steals some bases, plays good defense. I think he's going to be an above average Major League shortstop. He might not hit the home runs that Gallo, or some of these others players put up, but I think he's a safe prospect. Meaning he's going to play and play a long time. I will say his comp is Orlando Cabrera.
7. Carlos Correa- Correa was the first overall pick in the 2012 MLB draft. He's already missed some time with a knee injury, but also already reached Triple A by hitting .300 most of the way through the minors. He's not got a lot of pop yet and will steal a few bases. He's 6'4 and has a chance to fill out a little bit more. Definitely a higher ceiling than Lindor, but he's my second best shortstop on this countdown. I think he develops some pop he could be something really special. If not, he's going to be like Edgar Renteria with a slash numbers.
6. Corey Seager- I am not sure if Corey Seager is going to end up at SS, but I kind of doubt it. He's got some power, he hits for a good average, and he gets on base. I do not mind his defense at short, but think he'd be a good defender at 3rd. I think at worst he is a good to above average everyday third baseman for the Dodgers for the next decade plus. He has the potential to be a very good player though and would not be surprised if he was an All-Star caliber player for a long time. Sounds a lot like the other Seager......
5. Julio Urias- I am putting this guy on my list at five, but I thought about putting him at 1. He's the youngest player on this last, at 18, but has already spent a few seasons in the minors with the Dodgers. Basically he strikeouts about 11 hitters per 9 innings that he pitches. The Dodgers are really careful with him, so he has not pitched a lot of innings, nor won a lot of games (5 wins in 3 seasons), but he's supposedly really impressive. No comp here.
4. Addison Russell- I like Russell better than the other two shortstops on the list. He's has the good qualities of both players (steadiness and fielding of Lindor, average and OBP of Correa) with a little bit more power and pop. Russell is the second highest Cubs prospect on this list, but it' not going to shock me if he ends up being the better of the two players in the long run. I think he's got a lot to offer. I will go with Alan Trammel on my comp.
3. Kris Bryant- I can hear the booing and hissing already along with the chants of "You're a Cardinals fan". Note that my number 4 player was a Cub and his comp player was someone many believe to be a Hall of Famer. Bryant has a higher ceiling than Russell, but I have more concerns with Bryant. Mainly, I do not like players who do not make contact. Bryant has a lot of home runs. He is going to hit a lot of home runs. He is also going to strike out a ton. You remember when Ryan Howard had an OBP above .400 and hit 58 home runs? That could be Kris Bryant. He could also end up being an Adam Dunn, Dave Kingman type too. Lots of home runs, lots of strikeouts. Hopefully lots of walks...
2. Joc Pederson- He's got some of the same problems as Bryant with the strikeouts. Pederson needs walks if he is going to be a good Major League player. He's also already got 9 home runs in his first 40 some MLB games, so the power seems to be there. While I do not think Pederson has 40 home run power, he is probably going to hit 30 in year and he also steals bases. He has gone over 30 twice and 25 two times in the Minors. Pederson has the potential to be a good power speed guy who hits 25-30 home runs a year with 25-30 steals in a season.
1. I think the safe choice here is to go with Pederson or Bryant at 1, but I will roll the dice a little bit and go with Buxton. First, he's really talented, but he's also really raw. It might be a little bit before he's in the Majors, but he has the potential to be really good when he gets there. He's hit for average, he's gotten on base, and he has tons of speed. The home runs are not there yet, but he has hit a lot of doubles and triples during his time in the Minors.