Matt Shaw – Picture by Rich Biesterfeld
We have finally reached the point in the year where the midseason prospect lists start to drop. This week, we are expecting lists from MLB Pipeline and Joe Doyle of Future Star Series. Those should be fun lists to examine and pick apart because they will include some recent draft picks. Such was the case today as Baseball America released its latest rankings and they made some interesting decisions in compiling their compendium.
The Basics of the List
Pete Crow-Armstrong is number one. No shocker there. Cade Horton follows at two and then Matt Shaw, the Cubs 2023 #1 Draft pick, is all the way up at #3. BA said of Shaw, “He is listed at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, but has significantly more strength than you’d expect from that frame thanks to snap-quick hands and immense wrist and forearm strength.” I liked reading that of Shaw but 3 is a bit high considering who is right behind him and who is flaming hot in the system.
Miguel Amaya, Matt Mervis, and Ben Brown are the next three. Amaya should be falling off lists soon once he hits 45 days of MLB service time. Still, it is cool to see him regain some of his earlier prospect glory as he is in Chicago permanently. Jordan Wicks is next at seven followed by Jackson Ferris. Then we finally get to Owen Caissie, James Triantos, Kevin Alcantara, and Moises Ballesteros. All four should be top 10 guys with Caissie and Alcantara sitting comfortably in the top 5 with Ballesteros not too far behind them. Instead they are in the late 00s and early 10s.
The teens are filled with familiar names like Alexander Canario, Pablo Aliendo, Luis Vazquez, and Luke Little. We also see Jaxon Wiggins in this range who BA likes as they added, “When healthy, Wiggins threw a fastball that sat 94-95 mph and touched 97 in a starting role, with impressive vertical break and extension to go with it thanks to his 6-foot-6, 225-pound frame.” I will be curious as to how much of a rope the Cubs are going to have on him next when he gets the green light to pitch in games.
Josh Rivera, the Cubs third round pick last month, was all the way down at 27.
Baseball America’s can best be described as tentative. They tend to focus on upper level names. They still have Brennen Davis at 23 and Jared Young at 28.
Only 2 players in the list are below South Bend on the organizational ladder. They have Myrtle Beach’s Jackson Ferris at 7 and Jefferson Rojas at 25. There is no Cristian Hernandez or Derniche Valdez or even one player in from the Arizona Complex League.
The list is filled with prospects from Iowa mostly. 2 are in Chicago (Palencia and Amaya), 12 guys are from Iowa, Tennessee has just 7 while South Bend has 6, Myrtle Beach has the aforementioned 2, and Jaxon Wiggins has not been assigned to an affiliate yet.
Looking at North Side Bound’s recent midseason top 40 list, the other major notable omissions after Hernandez are that of Luis Devers, Ed Howard, and Brody McCullough. As well, we had DJ Herz and Kevin Made in our top 30 names and both of them are no longer with the Cubs.