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BP Top 50 (07/07)

July 7, 2016

BP Top 50

Honorable Mentions

by Craig Goldstein and BP Prospect Staff

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It's common knowledge that no matter how big your list is the first question one will ask was "who was the next guy?" In an anticipatory effort, we bring you 10 additional names that received consideration but ultimately did not make the BP Top 50. They are not presented in order of "just missed-ness," nor do they necessarily represent the next 10 names on the board. Given the prospect landscape mentioned in the preface to the list though, it is reasonable to consider each of the following names in the same zip code as those on the back portion of the Top 50. —Craig Goldstein

Ronald Acuna, OF, Atlanta Braves
Why He'll Succeed: If the raw tools (speed, defense, and even some power) he flashes combine with the advanced approach—and not just for an 18-year-old in his full season debut—they'll create a Voltron-style prospect who people fall all over themselves just to see and/or talk about.

Why He Might Fail: The likely three-plus years of development time could reduce him down to merely a defense- and speed-based center fielder whose hit and power tools leave those who remembered his near-breakout in 2016 forever disappointed.

Christian Arroyo, SS, San Francisco Giants
Why He'll Succeed: Arroyo could ride a borderline plus hit tool to the majors, while showing enough with the leather to be passable at short—with the benefit of positioning—or solid at the keystone.

Why He Might Fail: His range is questionable enough that a move off short seems likely, and if the ability to hit for average isn’t as advertised, he’ll have to embrace a utility role.

Javier Guerra, SS, San Diego Padres
Why He’ll Succeed: If Guerra finds his timing in the box, allowing his loose hands and surprising natural strength to drag his hit tool into respectable territory, it could a first-division career at short.

Why He Might Fail: The bat might never reach even a 40, and the sporadic pop might not be enough to save the day, leaving him at the ceiling of a glove-only shortstop with occasional bouts of second-division starting.

Grant Holmes, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Why He’ll Succeed: If the elite arm speed and raw stuff wins the day, they could drive a best-case-scenario of command gains and full utility in his changeup development.

Why He Might Fail: He might never quite master the physicality of his higher-maintenance body and struggle to repeat the delivery consistently enough that the fine command to fulfill his mid-rotation ceiling never develops.

Ryan McMahon, 3B/1B, Colorado Rockies
Why He’ll Succeed: The physical tools suggest a potential impact player thanks to surprising defense, good aptitude for hitting, and the potential to become a considerable power threat.

Why He Might Fail: A move to first base, which has already begun because of Nolan Arenado’s presence, puts a ton of pressure on his offensive game reach peak potential and dramatically increases the risk profile

Joe Musgrove, RHP, Houston Astros
Why He'll Succeed: Four average-or-better offerings—including a plus fastball and a curve that flashes plus too—and elite control. He won’t be an ace, but he’s close to being a mid-rotation starter already.

Why He Might Fail: He hasn’t pitched much, and there are a few durability concerns baked into the profile. Some question whether he throws too many strikes; the guess here though is that time and experience will teach him when to pound the zone and when to try to lure hitters into chasing something off the plate.

Tyler O’Neill, OF, Seattle Mariners
Why He'll Succeed: O’Neill’s makeup drives his gradual improvements, as his slashed strikeout rates and improved walk rates could hold steady, allowing the raw power to play to its fullest.

Why He Might Fail: The power is the carrying tool and a backslide toward a 30 percent whiff rate would compromise his best quality, and given the corner outfield profile, that could push him to a reserve role.

Braden Shipley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Why He'll Succeed: Shipley commands his two-seam fastball well, and combines that delivery with a plus curve and a changeup that should miss bats in the big leagues. He’s not a future star, but he’s ready to contribute in a big-league rotation right now.

Why He Might Fail: Expectations are perhaps a bit higher for Shipley than his present stuff warrants. His velocity this year is down a few ticks from previous norms, and he might turn into a back-of-the-rotation guy instead of the no. 2 the Diamondbacks envisioned over the past few years.

Robert Stephenson, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
Why He'll Succeed: If the stuff trumps his ebb-and-flow control, and allows him to attack hitters with a plus-plus fastball, a plus curveball and a workable split-change, he could yet make his ascent to the top of the rotation.

Why He Might Fail: He continues to walk batters at an alarming rate, which could render the potency of his stuff feckless, and his chances of remaining in the rotation—much less atop it—rather dim.

Jesse Winker, OF, Cincinnati Reds
Why He'll Succeed: The advanced approach, which still hasn’t taken a season off, enables Winker to tap into more power than his raw would suggest—allowing him to pair 15-20 bombs with strong contact and on-base skills.

Why He Might Fail: His swing path could prohibit him from providing the requisite over-the-fence power for left field, causing him to end up as a tweener who invokes Jeremy Reed name drops for as long as he hangs around.

Craig Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Craig's other articles. You can contact Craig by clicking here

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