With the Rule 4 draft now just under four weeks away, I'm expanding my rankings of the best prospects in this year's draft class to 100 names, including some pretty significant changes within the top 100. As always, these rankings are based on my evaluations of players and those of my colleague Kiley McDaniel and of conversations with evaluators from MLB clubs over the past several months. I'll update the rankings one more time before the draft to reflect late changes (such as injuries).
These rankings are not a projection of who's going to be drafted where. They reflect my opinion of who the best players are, in order. My first projection of the first round -- matching players to teams -- will appear here on Tuesday, May 15. For the curious, if I had to produce such a list today, I'd have Byron Buxton going first overall to Houston, Kyle Zimmer second to Minnesota and Mike Zunino third to Seattle.
(Note: I've made one adjustment since this list was posted, removing Virginia high school lefty Nate Kirby after he declined to participate in MLB's predraft program for their top 200 draft prospects. He'll matriculate at the University of Virginia and is a potential first-round pick in 2015.)
Click on the player's name for a full scouting report. Those reports will be updated regularly, so be sure to check back for updates.
High school: Appling H.S., Baxley, Ga.
Analysis: He's still on top of most scouts' individual preferred lists, with game-altering speed, an incredibly athletic body, a plus arm and a swing that produces a lot of contact and should lead to future power, although he has just one home run this spring. He's risky and no lock to go first overall, but a player who earns comparisons to Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, Josh Hamilton and other superstars has to be a strong consideration up top.
Previous ranking: 1 | 1