Keith Law’s Midseason Top 50 Prospects

Game 89: Back at it
Romero debuts in SWB loss

Keith Law posted a midseason ranking of the top 50 prospects in baseball (Insider req’d), and he has Manny Banuelos as the Yankees top prospect at number 18 overall. “He struggled with his command early after looking so good in the fall and spring,” said KLaw. “He has four walks against 24 strikeouts in his last four outings (19 2/3 IP), and that’s a positive sign.”

Jesus Montero dropped from number four in the preseason rankings to number 21, mostly because “[for] a guy who projects as a first baseman or DH … .289/.346/.418 isn’t an inspiring offensive performance given his history.” Law does mention that “I have to believe the power and patience are all still in there.” Dellin Betances jumped all the way from number 73 to 34 because he’s “a physical monster who doesn’t repeat his delivery well because he’s not that athletic but is missing bats this year on raw stuff.” Three top 34 prospects is pretty damn good even if Montero dropped, the Rays (three top eight guys, yikes) and Twins are the only other teams that can make that claim.

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Game 89: Back at it
Romero debuts in SWB loss
  • Jaremy

    Ouch, KLaw. Big drop for just half of a season…

  • infernoscurse

    keith law doesnt know what hes talking about, he listens to hip hop so hes obviously high on dope

    • Tom Zig

      He also injects heroin into his forehead

      • infernoscurse

        hes also been seen painting his forehead with lipstick when hes trying to make up his mind

  • DERP

    From his chat today:

    Montero was a trickier one – consensus of sources was that I ranked him too high, but I couldn’t move the potential of that bat any lower on the list.

    • The Fallen Phoenix

      Sources that I bet would just love to buy low on Montero.

      • bonestock94

        Why does everyone assume there’s some underhanded reason when a Yankee prospect isn’t gushed over? Maybe the makers of these lists are just that fickle and make their decisions off of small sample sizes? Maybe they know better…

        • Ed

          If you’re a scout for another team, there’s no advantage to hyping another team’s prospects. If the player’s perceived value is lower, then it might be easier for your team to obtain him in a trade.

          If you tried to downplay Montero during the 2nd half last year, you wouldn’t get taken seriously. With him having a rough year, it’s easy to get away with saying negative things about him.

          It’s not just a Yankees thing either, every team’s fans feel the same way about their prospects. Read the comments over at MLBTR some time and you’ll see the same stuff going on for every team.

          • bonestock94

            If anything Keith Law has overrated Montero as a prospect, so I’m not so sure I’m going with those theories.

          • Doug

            Yes, every team’s fans do the same thing about their prospects. They overprotect them and criticize anyone who dare say a negative thing about one of their players.

            Maybe, just maybe, these scouts are correct and Law’s overall assessment is spot on.

    • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

      consensus of sources was that I ranked him too high

      Yeah, this I don’t get. I’m not too hung up on the opinion because, well, it’s an opinion – but Montero was ranked significantly higher than that on every other midseason list.

      • Doug

        He has his own sources who he trusts. They obviously aren’t the authors of these other midseason lists you refer to.

  • Avi

    Would be nice to see him come out with his rankings before Baseball America’s; just once.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa
      • Avi

        My bad. I’m just frustrated he has Montero so low.

        • http://www.twitter.com/bgeary8 bgeary

          You do realize that where Keith Law has Montero on his list means literally nothing, right? Montero either will or won’t make it, regardless of his place of any prospect list.

          • Avi

            Yes I do but it’s nice to have the prospect with all the hype. I do believe that the various rankings do effect perception and trade value at least somewhat.

  • CMP

    These lists are pretty much worthless. One hot month and Montero could be in the top 5 again.

    • mbonzo

      All of Keith Law’s lists are worthless. He’s the most opinionated guy on young players, which makes him wrong most of the time. He’s a pessimist about young guys with bright futures and worst of all, he sees very few of them play and somehow knows all about them. He’s more of a critic than a scout, and I suspect thats why he “resigned” from the Blue Jays when they were looking to shake things up.

      • Addison

        Actually, in fairness to him, Law does get out and see some of these guys play, especially now that he recently moved to Arizona.

        I’ve seen him at Arizona Fall League and spring training games, and he was at the Futures Game on Sunday and the AAA All-Star game last night.

        It doesn’t make him any less of a douche, but he sees more games than any of his nerdy peers.

  • Tom Zig

    Arodys :(

    • Avi

      For those of you that don;t know law has Arodys at #11 and the 5th highest ranked pitcher behind only Matt Moore (Rays), Shelby Miller, Carlos Martinez (both cardinals) and Martin Perez (Texas).

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      The obsession with Arodys is getting to be pretty pathetic. It’s been 19 months, it’s time to move on. Trade didn’t work out, nothing you can do. Focus on who’s here.

      Everyone seems to ignore that the trade changes EVERYTHING. Everyone’s career path changes. There’s no telling what he’d be had he stayed with the Yankees.

      • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

        Am I allowed to be sad about Arodys since I went to Staten Island a lot to specifically see him pitch? ;)

        To be fair I was upset that they traded him at the time but felt it was a good deal. No way to predict Javy suddenly becoming just awful.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    Des Jennings is still top ten. 1000 PAs at AAA…yeah, I have a feeling Montero will be just fine.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    Arodys…motherfucker. I wish Javier Vazquez had never been born.

    • Avi

      Wow, that would be wonderful!

  • Jimmy McNulty

    Oh, and I still stand by my “mad for not drafting Tyrell Jenkins” stance.

    • Avi

      Yes. Jenkins was a guy I liked in the Culver spot too. Pretty sure Mike did too. He was a “consensus” guy.

    • http://www.twitter.com/bgeary8 bgeary

      This I can get on board with.

  • SS

    Haven’t Montero’s second-half numbers been significantly better than his first half numbers every year in the minors, even after accounting for promotions?

  • nick

    yawnn

  • http://none Favrest

    Cashman blew it last year when he refused to include a marginal talent along with Montero for Lee.

    • Avi

      I think cashman is a poor GM and I love to bash him but I thought it was a bad idea to lose Montero for just a half season of Cliff Lee.

      • CP

        So 12 playoffs, 6 AL pennants, and 4 WS titles in 13 years aren’t enough?

        • Avi

          Of course it is. But a “replacement level” GM likely would’ve had similar results.

          • CP

            Really?

            Because the Mets, Cubs, White Sox, Angels, and Dodgers disprove that point.

            • Avi

              Right because they spent just as much as the Yankees did.

              • CP

                Right because they had just as much success as the Yankees.

                • Avi

                  Without turning this into a whole back and forth my biggest gripe with Cashman is despite all the resources he’s been unable to put together a dominant pitching staff (namely the starting rotation). He’s put together dominant offenses but has missed badly way too often on starters. When was the last time we had two aces? He’s certainly spent the money it would take to have two CC types.

    • bonestock94

      That would have been a tremendous shit sandwich had the deal gone through and Lee still signed with the Phillies. Then again flags fly forever..

  • Avi

    Law on Mason Williams:
    Dan (NY)

    Do you consider Mason Williams to be a legit prospect? He has been doing well in A ball, but that very slight frame seems worrisome, even for a player his age.
    Klaw (1:35 PM)

    I do. Not a top 50 candidate yet, but I think he’ll really fill out, and his feel is better than I expected from a two-sport guy.

    • http://www.twitter.com/bgeary8 bgeary

      Have you had a chance to see him play yet? Really, really fun to watch. He’s so fricken fast.

      • Avi

        No I haven’t. But I’d like to get to SI to see him Gumbs and ask Culver what it feels like being overvalued by your employer.

        • Avi

          If I miss Culver I’ll just ask Bichette next year.

        • CP

          Except Williams was valued more than Culver, so I’m not sure what this means.

          • Avi

            It means the Yankees were the only team that saw Culver as a fist round talent while everyone else had him going in later rounds. Thus the term overvalue.

            • CP

              I don’t know that that’s true about no other team valuing him highly. There were reports that he would have been picked before the Yankees next pick.

              As for comparing Williams and Culver, Williams got roughly 50% more money, which is a much better measure of how a player is valued than draft pick.

              • Avi

                I fail to see what Mason Williams’ signing bonus has to do with the yankees’ opinion of cito culver’s value.

                • Ed

                  Draft position is about how you think the other teams value a player. You don’t simply pick the player you like best – you limit your list to the players you think won’t be available when your next pick comes up, and take the player you like best out of that list.

                  Signing bonus is about what what you’re worth to the team, how much leverage you have, and your negotiating ability.

                  Williams and Culver were both high school kids, so they had leverage from being able to go to college and reenter the draft later.

                  Either Williams is great at negotiating and Culver sucks at it, or the Yankees think Williams is more valuable.

    • Doug

      Wait, he said something positive about one of our prospects….impossible

  • CP

    I’m always confused by how these rankings change. Last year, Montero went from 11th overall to 6th overall in KLaws rankings by hitting .243/.305/.410/.715 through June last year – reasonable since some of the people ahead of him graduated and a couple behind him passed him.

    This year, he’s been slightly better in the first half (.289/.346/.418/.763), but drops from 4th to 21st. That big a drop just because of a slow first half seems really really steep and a huge over reaction. If you think that you’ve been over rating him for years and finally saw the light, then I could get it, but that’s not how it sounds.

    • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

      It seems like a lot of guys jumped up too, like Moore, Martinez, and Machado, just to name three of the top five. Of course it’s probably more on Montero but there are other factors.

    • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

      A lot of guys jumped up, too – Moore, Martinez, and Machado, just to name three guys in the top five. It’s probably mostly on Montero, but that’s another factor.

    • Doug

      Because he’s proving more and more that he’s very likely not a catcher at the next level, and for someone who’s repeating a level, his numbers were “supposed” to be better.

  • infernoscurse

    i bet 20 bucks i know more than keith law

  • Gonzo

    3 players in the top 50. That’s great. Good to see last year’s uber-successful year is still paying off.

    As for Montero, KLaw has 2 all bat no position players in his top 50. That Montero ranking is all on his bat. Not too shabby.