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Wander Franco tops Keith Law’s top-100 prospects list

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The Athletic’s Keith Law has released his 13th annual top-100 prospect list. According to Law, Rays shortstop Wander Franco is the number one prospect in all the land.

Franco signed with the Rays as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic in 2017. He saw his first minor league action as a 17-year-old in the Appalachian League where he hit a blistering .351/.418/.587 in 61 games despite being young for the league. Last year he split time between A and high-A ball, batting a combined .327/.398/.487 between the Midwest and Florida Leagues in 114 games. I, personally, had the pleasure of watching him hit in a game for Princeton in 2018 and was amazed at how quick his hands were and how compact his swing was. He was simply outclassing every player on the field despite not being old enough to buy a pack of smokes.

Law notes his outstanding plate discipline — he walks a lot and doesn’t strike out very often – and believes that he can stick at shortstop, which makes him an even more valuable prospect.

Number two on the list: outfielder Jo Adell of the Los Angeles Angels. Adell, who will turn 21 in April, hit .308/.390/.553 in Double-A last year before a 27-game stint in Triple-A. He’s a plus runner who plays center field and has the arm to handle a corner if needed. He also has plus power. Law believes he’ll need more time facing Triple-A pitching before he’s big league ready, but the Angels have a pretty decent center fielder at the moment so I suppose they’ll be OK for now.

If you want to know the other 98 of the top-100, you’ll have to read the article.

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
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Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.