7/26/2014 2:15 P.M. ET
MLBPipeline set to unveil new Top Prospects lists
Updated rankings to be showcased on MLB Network, MLB.com on Sunday night
By Teddy Cahill / MLB.com
The 2014 season is more than half over, and much has happened since MLBPipeline.com released its Top 100 Prospects list in January. Players on the list have been promoted and injured, and some have graduated from prospects to big leaguers. And, of course, in the past two months, hundreds of players have begun their professional careers following June's First-Year Player Draft.
With so much upheaval, it's time for a new set of rankings. Fans can see just how much has changed when the new Top 100 is unveiled on Sunday night, and MLBPipeline.com prospect expert Jim Callis breaks down the top 50 players during an hour-long special at 9 p.m. ET on MLB Network and MLB.com.
In addition to the Top 100, MLBPipeline.com's Top 20 Prospects lists for each club and Top 10 Prospects by position have been updated and will be released on Sunday, as well.
The new lists for the first time include players who were selected in the 2014 Draft. Eleven players from this year's Draft class have immediately jumped into the Top 100, and every team's Top 20 list includes at least one player selected last month.
The various rankings are put together by the MLBPipeline team, with input from industry sources -- including scouts and front-office executives. It is based on analysis of players' upsides, tools and potential Major League impact. All lists on MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Watch only include players who retain their rookie status. Prospect Watch also follows the guidelines laid out by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, in terms of which players fall under the international pool's money rules: Players who are at least 23 years old and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.
Among the players ranked in the preseason Top 100 who have exhausted their eligibility already this season are Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman, Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton and Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura.
One of the most anticipated questions with the Top 100 is who will take the top spot. Twins outfielder Byron Buxton has been No. 1 since last year's midseason update, but wrist injuries have limited him to 15 games this season. Meanwhile, Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant has had a sensational first full professional season, hitting .340/.436/.685 with 33 home runs between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. Those two have competition from the likes of Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras and Astros shortstop Carlos Correa.
Others may wonder where this year's Draft picks will be placed on the Top 100. Though first overall pick Brady Aiken didn't sign, Tyler Kolek and Carlos Rodon, the second- and third-overall picks, are poised to debut high in the Top 100. Which team will have the most prospects in the new Top 100? The Cubs and Red Sox share that honor now, with eight apiece, but will they still have the most on the new list?
These questions and many more will be answered on Sunday night. But the rankings fun doesn't stop with the unveiling. For even more coverage of the Top 100 rankings, visit MLBPipeline and follow @MLBPipeline on Twitter.