BA's Summer Vacation: Top 100 Prospects Edition
With just weeks before schools across the country shut down for the summer, it’s a fine time to beginning planning your family vacation. And as a Baseball America reader, you’re probably interested in seeing a few of the game’s best prospects in between trips to the beach and evenings behind the grill.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a handy guide to where you can find all of BA’s Top 100 Prospects. We’ve broken it down by league and by state so you’ll know the best hot spots to see the game’s next generation of talent.
The obvious places to start are the states that have leagues named after them—the Florida State, Texas and California leagues. Those three states by themselves house 32 of the 84 active Top 100 prospects.
Say, however, you want to go somewhere different. Somewhere you’ve never thought to go before but can still combine quality baseball with a solid vacation atmosphere. Might we recommend Tennessee? After the big three, the Volunteer State is the place you’ll find the most prospects.
The state’s four teams—Memphis and Nashville in the Pacific Coast League and Jackson and Chattanooga in the Southern League—currently house seven of BA’s most recent Top 100. That list includes Cardinals studs Tyler O’Neill and Jack Flaherty, Athletics infielders Franklin Barreto and Jorge Mateo, Twins infielders Nick Gordon and Brent Rooker and Diamondbacks righthander Jon Duplantier.
Factor in the famed nightlife and music scenes in Nashville and Memphis and you’ve got a recipe for a few days of sun, fun and baseball.
If that’s not enough to scratch your prospect itch, get in your car and drive east to North Carolina, where there are six more Top 100 prospects waiting. From the Brewers' Keston Hiura at high Class A Carolina to White Sox fireballer Michael Kopech at Triple-A Charlotte and baby Rays Willy Adames and Jake Bauers at Triple-A Durham, there’s a little something for everyone.
Even better, if you wait a few weeks you can catch some top-flight college baseball here too, with a possibility of up to three regionals in advance of this year’s College World Series being played in the state’s Research Triangle area.
But where should you target if you want to focus your energy on an entire league instead of sticking to one state? If that’s the case, then make sure your car is gassed up and you’ve got plenty of good driving music loaded on your Zune (that’s right, I said Zune), because you’re headed to the International League, the last stop for half of baseball’s best prospects.
The IL is home 13 of BA’s Top 100. That list includes Kopech with Charlotte, Bauers, Adames and Anthony Banda with Durham, Austin Riley and Kolby Allard with Gwinnett, Nick Senzel with Louisville, Anthony Alford and Stephen Gonsalves in New York, Francisco Mejia and Shane Bieber in Ohio (time it right and you can see them together as a battery) and Chance Adams in Pennsylvania.
The other Triple-A circuit, the Pacific Coast League, is bursting with top prospects as well, with an even dozen. In addition to the group in Nashville and Memphis mentioned earlier, the PCL includes two of the most exciting prospects on the list: the Padres’ Luis Urias and the Astros’ Kyle Tucker.
If it’s high-end leagues you’re after, you would be wise to steer clear of the South Atlantic League. Out of all 84 active members of the Top 100, the SAL has only one representative: Giants’ teenager Heliot Ramos, who inspired enough confidence this spring to earn a jump to Augusta and its beautiful new home at SRP Park.
The rest of the Top 100 is broken down by league and state in the charts accompanying this article. So take a look, get out your maps and plot your way to a fun, prospect-filled summer vacation.
|Top 100 By League|
|League||No. of Top 100 Prospects|
|Top 100 By State|
|State||No. of Top 100 Prospects|