Barring any last-minute injuries, this is the final version of my ranking of the top 100 prospects in this year's Rule 4 draft. I consider only ability, not potential bonus demands or strength of commitment to college. You can read scouting reports on these players written by myself, Kiley McDaniel or Jason Churchill by clicking on the players' names.
I'm often asked where the breaks are between tiers of players; this year, there's a small drop-off after the top eight names, with no clear No. 1 overall prospect (although I would likely have had Lucas Giolito first overall had he stayed healthy all spring). Gausman vs. Appel is a matter of taste and I could very easily argue for flipping those two players. The next gap would be after No. 25, Lance McCullers Jr., somewhat controversial prospect who has remade himself since last summer.
High school: Appling HS, Baxley, Ga.
Analysis: Buxton has the most upside of any prospect in the draft, with unparalelled athleticism (video). He's an 80 runner with a 70 arm and a chance to be a 70 defender in center field. With quick wrists and good hip rotation, Buxton should hit for at least above-average power, although he hasn't hit for much pop this spring. He carries risk, but the potential is enormous -- possibly a Matt Kemp with a grade less power.
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