Here at the MLB season's midpoint, and with the deadline to sign draftees coming up on Friday, I put together an update of the top 50 prospects in baseball, given that a good number of players from my Top 100 prospects rankings in January have graduated to the majors.
In ranking these players, I tend to weigh upside or ceiling more heavily than proximity to the majors. The list includes a mixture of players as high as Double-A or Triple-A as well as a few who have signed in recent weeks but have yet to make their professional debuts.
Players who already have passed the cutoff for Rookie of the Year eligibility or are currently on a major league roster (e.g., Josh Bell and Trea Turner) are not included here. Players who have not signed out of the draft are ineligible for the list, which is why Jason Groome, drafted 12th overall by the Red Sox, and Braxton Garrett, drafted seventh overall by the Marlins, are absent.
One important note: I start these lists from scratch every time I assemble them, so it's not as if I've "moved" players up or down from previous rankings. Players change, and the rankings should reflect that, but just because a player is lower now than he was in May or February doesn't mean he's somehow gotten worse. It only means I'm trying to make these rankings as accurate as I can.
Note: The "previous rank" for each player refers to Keith's May rankings; NR stands for "Not Rated" and means the player wasn't among the top 25 in May.
1. Alex Bregman, SS/3B
Previous rank: 15
Current level: Triple-A
Bregman's power output this year -- 19 homers in 70 games between Double- and Triple-A -- has been way beyond anything I've ever forecasted for him, and even if you (or I) still want to argue that he's not going to have more than average power, how could you reasonably say he won't ever hit 20 homers in a full season when he has done this? He also has played adequate enough defense at shortstop that he'd be an upgrade over Carlos Correa, he has proven very difficult to strike out, he works the count, and he draws walks. He might be peak Dustin Pedroia with the bat, but on the other side of the bag. That's a superstar.