Baseball America has released their official 2018 mid-season top 100 prospect list, and while there have been updates to the top 100 list during the season, BA notes that this is “a more significant update than any of the multiple updates we’ve unveiled online during the season with more players moving in, moving up, moving down and moving out.” It does not include 2018 draft picks.
As before, the Rangers have four players in the top 100 list, although with a change in the overall slotting of the four Rangers prospects. Leody Taveras is now the top ranked Ranger on the list, at #46 overall, between Luis Robert of the White Sox and Griffin Canning of the Angels. Taveras has had a decent statistical season at high-A Down East, slashing .253/.323/.345 with 12 steals in 18 attempts and 59 Ks and 31 walks in 329 plate appearances, but at 19 years of age, he’s one of the youngest players in the league, and his potential plus defense in center field combines with his youth to give him more value than just the slash line would suggest.
Julio Pablo Martinez (who appears to be going by J.P. Martinez now) is the next Ranger on the list, at #49. The 21 year old Cuban J-2 signee from earlier in 2018 has played in just a handful of games stateside, but is seen as a solid, well-rounded center field prospect who, once he shakes off the rust, should be at a high-A or AA level of performance right now.
Willie Calhoun, who was the top ranked Ranger on the BA list this offseason, is now the third Ranger, having dropped to 55th overall. His defensive limitations and slow start in Round Rock have been discussed ad nauseum here, but there seems to be little doubt he will hit in the majors. Still, BA appears to be acknowledging there’s been a slight drop in his stock.
Finally, Jonathan Hernandez checks in at #97. A somewhat surprising addition to the 40 man roster this offseason, Hernandez, who turns 22 this coming week, has had a breakout year, dominating in high-A Down East before earning a promotion earlier this month to AA Frisco. Hernandez has struggled with his command since moving up, but he’s still seen as good enough to claim a spot at the back end of the top 100 list.