From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:
With spring training fully underway and exhibition games set later this week in Florida and Arizona, it’s time to take a quick look at some of the best 100 prospects in the minor leagues recently released by Baseball America.
Though frugal in operation, like just outright releasing a 30-home-run hitter (C.J. Cron) after the 2018 season, the Rays definitely know how to stockpile young talent in the minors.
The Rays, whose farm system is ranked tops among the 30 MLB squads heading into the season, lead all clubs with eight Top 100 prospects, while the Dodgers and Padres are tied for second with six each.
These are the names to watch in future years for the Rays — shortstop Wander Franco (No. 1), left-handed pitcher Brendan McKay (No. 14), second baseman Vidal Brujan (No. 51), right-hander Shane Baz (No. 71), right-hander Brent Honeywell (No. 80), left-hander Shane McClanahan (No. 83), second baseman Xavier Edwards (No. 85) and right-hander Joe Ryan (No. 98).
The 17th-ranked Yankees have three players in the Top 100 — outfielder Jasson Dominguez (No. 38), and two right-handers Clarke Schmidt (No. 62) and Deivi Garcia (No. 65).
Boston, ranked 20th before the mega Mookie Betts-David Price trade, got a mini-boost with now four prospects overall — right-hander Brusdar Graterol (No. 60), who was acquired from the Twins, first baseman Triston Casas (No. 70), third baseman Bobby Dalbec (No. 75) and shortstop Jeter Downs (No. 86), acquired from the Dodgers.
The 25th-rated Mets had only a pair of prospects — shortstop Ronny Mauricio (No. 66) and catcher Francisco Alvarez (No. 67).
After the Rays, the next Top 10 farm-system organizations are: Padres, Dodgers, Braves, Mariners, Blue Jays, White Sox, Twins, Marlins and Diamondbacks.
The bottom 10 organizations ranked from Nos. 30-21 are: Brewers (the only squad with no Top 100 prospect), Rockies, Reds, Astros (what will this MLB roster look like five years from now?), Phillies, Mets, Nationals, Pirates, Cubs and Rangers.
Finally, here are the best Top 100 ranked by position: C — Adley Rutschman (No. 5, Orioles); 1B — Andrew Vaughn (No. 30, White Sox); 2B — Gavin Lux (No. 4, Dodgers); SS — Franco; 3B — Alec Bohm (No. 28, Phillies); OF — Luis Robert (No. 2, White Sox), Jo Adell (No. 3, Angels) and Julio Rodriguez (No. 8, Mariners); RHP — Nate Pearson (No. 7, Blue Jays); and LHP — MacKenzie Gore (No. 6, Padres).
Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org