In the third, and final segment of my article series I will be going over the top nine teams with the best prospects in the MLB Pipeline. All these guys look like future studs, and could definitely win MVP awards. Leave a comment down below on who looks most promising and which ones you'll look for in the future.
#9: Bobby Whitt Jr. (Kansas City Royals)
Bobby Whitt Jr. is your average SS in the Kansas City farms but excels at every aspect of the game. In the MiLB rating scale from 20-80, Whitt notches everything at a 60, proving him to be an all-around guy. In the rookie leagues, he hit .262 with a continuing slash line of .317/.354. Although these numbers aren't necessarily eye-boggling, Whitt is only 20 years old and has tons of time to grow before he even gets to the majors. One other great aspect of Whitt's game is his speed. That same year he stole nine bases in 37 games, and defensively his speed extends his range in the left side of the infield, letting very few ground balls go past him.
MLB Pipeline rank: #11
#8: Royce Lewis (Minnesota Twins)
Royce Lewis is a super-speedy shortstop for the Twins organization. The 2017 first overall pick has lived up to all expectations. In AA, he won the MVP award and lead the Salt River Rafters to the title. Lewis has a great combination of fielding, hitting, speed, and strike recognition. His high leg-kick in the batter's box does lead him to swing mistimed on off-speed pitches as well as fastballs, but once Lewis smooths those bumps over he's a legit shortstop in the majors that the Twins need.
MLB Pipeline rank: #10
#7: Jo Adell (Los Angeles Angels)
Jo Adell is a 215, 6'3 OF in the Angels organization and checks every square you want out of one. He's good in the field, ha good power, and can make diving plays with ease due to his athletic build. Adell has showcased this in the minors for many years, but once he got the nod to come to the majors he's been nothing less than disappointing. Slashing a miserable .165/.217/.263 Adell has shown no signs of power and fielding with a -8 OAA this season. It's just his rookie year, and under strange circumstances, it could be difficult for rookies to adapt to the MLB scenery this year. We've seen it with top prospects such as Detroit's pitching duo, Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal, Toronto's Nate Pearson, and the south sides slugger, Luis Robert.
MLB Pipeline rank: #6
#6: MacKenzie Gore (San Diego Padres)
MacKenzie Gore is just another gem in the Padres system. Gore is a phenomenal pitcher for the Padre's organization and is looking to help make an impact during this postseason. In the minors, he's got a career W-L of 11-8, boasting a 2.56 ERA in 43 games. The hitters average is just a bit over .200, which shows how he can pitch a lot of swing and miss balls.
MLB Pipeline rank: #5
#5: Spencer Torkelson (Detroit Tigers)
Spencer Torkelson wasn't drafted out of HS but made it very clear that he would be someone to consider for the first pick in the draft. Torkelson is a right-handed first/third baseman who can launch nukes from anywhere in between the foul poles. He's drawn comparisons to the White Sox prospect, Andrew Vaughn, and has drawn comparisons to a smaller Aaron Judge. He draws plenty of walks as well, and battles in every at-bat. Defensively, Torkelson worked very hard to improve as a first baseman at ASU and is very comfortable there. The Tigers, however, intend to see what he can do at third base, a position that Torkelson played in high school and one where he’d taken ground balls in fall ball the past couple years. Regardless of where he plays in the field, Torky will be hitting 450-foot nukes on the daily.
MLB Pipeline rank: #7
#4: Adley Rutschman (Baltimore Orioles)
Adley Rutschman is a catcher in the Orioles organization that can do it all. He hits exceptionally well and even hit .411 in his final year at Oregon State in 57 games. In the minors, however, he only slashed .254/.351/.423 but I'm not concerned for him. He's just as advanced and refined behind the plate as it gets. Pitchers love throwing to him, he already shows understanding for calling a game and he has excellent hands. He moves extremely well behind the plate and has a strong arm. He's been compared to Buster Posey and is considered to be the best catching prospect since Joe Mauer in 2001.
MLB Pipeline rank: #4
#3: Gavin Lux (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Gavin Lux is one of the best middle-infielders in the MLB farm system. He has an extremely high IQ and can recognize the strike zone well. The 20th overall pick in 2016 has blossomed in the Dodger's farm system and became the first infielder to boast a 1.000 OPS in the upper-minors since 1987. Offensively, Lux is a great lefty hitter that can hit for contact and power. He's been working on his smooth swing in the minors and it's finally showing after slashing .347/.402/.607 that same season. If you add in his speed, Lux in his prime could be a +.300 hitter in the MLB with 20+ home runs and stolen bases.
MLB Pipeline rank: #2
#2: Luis Robert
Originally I had Robert at #1, but his recent slump has caused me not to. He started the season hot, hitting .293, but has been in a terrible slump dropping his BA to .223. Now, slashing .223/.295/.491 it raises concerns for me that he might not be as good at hitting as we all thought. He's got a miserable 32.4K% and a .208 ISO which also raises concerns about his power. However, defensively Robert still excels at that part of baseball, boasting a 10 OAA and an 8 DRS. If the Sox look to make a deep playoff run, Robert will need to step up when needed.
MLB Pipeline rank: #3
#1: Wander Franco (Tampa Bay Rays)
Wander Franco was the prized gem of the 2017-2018 offseason that every MLB team wanted. The rays were lucky enough to snag Franco, and it has already paid off. Franco, in the RAL (Rookie Appalachian League), won the MVP his first season slashing .357/.418/.587 against significantly older competition at only 17 years old. If you were able to create a baseball player, taking attributes from the best of the best you would end up making Wander Franco. As a switch-hitter, Franco has blazing-fast bat speed and has the best strike-recognition we have seen this decade. In the minors in 2019, Franco struck out swinging 4.3% of the time and walked more than he struck out total. Franco is one of the highest regarded prospects we have seen for a while and is looking to make an instant impact for the Rays in 2021.
MLB Pipeline rank: #1