Coming into the season Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Matt Moore were the consensus top-three prospects in baseball, but now that they’re all in the majors to stay who are the minors’ most promising players?
Baseball America just released its midseason rankings update. It’s worth reading in full, so I won’t share too much, but Orioles right-hander Dylan Bundy holds the top spot after annihilating the competition in low Single-A to earn a promotion to high Single-A, and Rangers shortstop Jurickson Profar rates as the top position player.
Royals outfielder Wil Myers, who has been perhaps the most impressive hitter in the minors this season and is now one step from the majors at age 21, ranks third. Between Double-A and Triple-A he’s hit .328 with 27 homers and a 1.083 OPS in 82 games.
The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.