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Shohei Ohtani is still the best prospect in baseball

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MLB Pipeline revealed their top 100 prospects for 2018 on Saturday night, and Angels’ wunderkind Shohei Ohtani still tops the list. MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo explained the parameters for determining prospect status: a player has to have rookie eligibility and must be under the age-25 threshold if they’ve played in professional leagues in Japan, Korea, Taiwan or Cuba. As Ohtani is entering his age-23 season, he retains his prospect status despite the five years of experience he accumulated in Nippon Professional Baseball.

The rest of MLB Pipeline’s top 10 prospects include many of the same names that made the 2017 preseason list: Ronald Acuna, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Eloy Jimenez, Gleyber Torres, Victor Robles, Nick Senzel and Michael Kopech have shifted around a little in the rankings, but all managed to retain their top-1o status.

Two newcomers were added to the top 10 this year: Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who jumped from no. 52 to no. 8, and Astros right-hander Forrest Whitley, who was promoted from no. 36 to no. 9. Tatis destroyed Single-A pitching in 2017, raking in an unprecedented 21 home runs and 29 stolen bases, and was promoted to Double-A San Antonio by the end of his age-18 season. Whitley was similarly impressive in his first Double-A stint; the 19-year-old right-hander polished off a 1.84 ERA in 14 2/3 innings and currently projects as the no. 2 right-handed pitching prospect behind Ohtani.

The full list of top 100 prospects can be found over on MLB.com. Here’s a fun breakdown of the number of prospects by affiliation:

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.