Top 100 MLB draft prospects
Prep lefty Brady Aiken keeps his spot at No. 1 on Keith Law's board
The 2014 MLB Rule 4 draft is four weeks away, and the first round is more muddled than it has been all spring thanks to a series of injuries and setbacks to pitchers in the top 30. The draft remains deep, particularly in high school right-handed pitchers, but is weaker up top than it appeared to be in March, and it's light on position players in the middle of the field.
This is my first ranking of the top 100 prospects for this year's draft, and reflects some significant changes from my top 50 ranking in mid-March, due to the aforementioned injuries as well as changing industry sentiment on players who've played well or poorly in front of scouts. As always, this list attempts to rank players on expected pro baseball ability and value, without any consideration for the players' signability (bonus demands or expectations) or which teams are likely to take them. I'll update this list one more time right before the draft, after the various Division I conference tournaments.
As always, I use the 20-80 grading scale in these comments to avoid saying "average" and "above average" a thousand times across 100 player comments. On that scale, a grade of 50 equals major league average, 55 is above average, 60 is plus, 45 is fringy or below average and so on. Giancarlo Stanton has 80 raw power. David Ortiz has 20 speed. Carlos Gomez is an 80 defender. An average fastball for a right-hander is 90-92 mph, with 1-2 mph off for a lefty.
Analysis: Aiken has the weapons -- fastball up to 95 mph, curveball, changeup, even a cutter he plays around with -- the frame and the polish to project as a No. 1 starter, and he's been judiciously handled over the past year to try to keep him healthy.
Analysis: Rodon has been better over the past month than he was over the spring's first six weeks; the stuff is still inconsistent and the command is stubbornly below-average, but it's a 70-grade slider most outings now and he's hitting 95-96 mph more frequently.