Keith Law’s Midseason Top 50 Prospects


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.

Categories : Asides, Minors


  1. Jaremy says:

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

  2. infernoscurse says:

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

  3. DERP says:

    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 says:

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

      • bonestock94 says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

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

          • Doug says:

            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.

    • bexarama says:

      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 says:

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

  4. Avi says:

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

  5. CMP says:

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

    • mbonzo says:

      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 says:

        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.

  6. Tom Zig says:

    Arodys :(

    • Avi says:

      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).

    • Mike Axisa says:

      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.

      • 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.

  7. Jimmy McNulty says:

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

  8. Jimmy McNulty says:

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

  9. Jimmy McNulty says:

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

  10. SS says:

    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?

  11. Favrest says:

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

    • Avi says:

      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 says:

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

        • Avi says:

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

          • CP says:


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

            • Avi says:

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

              • CP says:

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

                • Avi says:

                  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 says:

      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..

  12. Avi says:

    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.

    • bgeary says:

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

      • Avi says:

        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 says:

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

        • CP says:

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

          • Avi says:

            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 says:

              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 says:

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

                • Ed says:

                  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 says:

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

  13. CP says:

    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.

    • bexarama says:

      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.

    • bexarama says:

      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 says:

      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.

  14. infernoscurse says:

    i bet 20 bucks i know more than keith law

  15. Gonzo says:

    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.

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