Baseball America names Kris Bryant as baseball’s top prospect

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Baseball America unveiled their annual top 100 prospects list this evening and the top spot went to Cubs prospect third baseman Kris Bryant.

Bryant earned top honors after batting .325 with a 1.098 OPS while leading the minors with 43 homers in 138 games between Double-A and Triple-A last season at the age of 22. Twins prospect outfielder Byron Buxton was No. 1 on last year’s list, but he dropped one spot to No. 2 after an injury-plagued season. Addison Russell of the Cubs, Carlos Correa of the Astros, and Corey Seager of the Dodgers rounded out the top five.

The Red Sox and Mets tied for the most representatives in the Top 100, with seven each. You can see the full list here.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).