Every year, Baseball America publishes a Top 100 Prospects list before the season begins. MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus come up with their own lists as well, and baseball fans around the country think they know the whole prospect story. But there’s a lot more to The Farm than a top 100 can cover, and many impact players remain anonymous until they reach the majors. In this article, we’ll look at five hitting prospects producing at higher levels than their notoriety would suggest. (We’ll do pitchers next week.)
Here are the criteria we’re working with: The players discussed in this article have never appeared on a top 100 list, Baseball America’s Top 10 prospects by team rankings, or MLB.com’s Top 10 by position. The list is in no particular order, and includes each player’s position, team, age and minor league level, as well as what rank they currently hold in MLB.com’s Top 30 Prospects by team. We also include the cumulative 2016 season’s stats of each prospect (entering play Friday, June 24) for reference. More weight has been given to those players at the higher levels of the minors, as they are facing tougher competition and are closer to the big leagues.
For one reason or another, whether it be a lower ceiling than their peers, or lack of any dominating tools, these players have been deemed unworthy of any significant recognition. That, however, does not mean that they cannot develop into useful big leaguers.
OF Greg Allen, CLE, A adv, Age 23, Organization Rank: 22
237 AB, 11 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 20 RBI, 61 Runs, 43 BB, 39 K, 34 SB, .291/.427/.392
Beginning the 2016 season in Lynchburg, at the same level that he finished last season, Greg Allen has been raking. Sure, he is a bit older than the competition and doesn’t hit for much power, but he is a switch hitter with very good on-base skills. This season, he has more walks than strikeouts, which contributes to an outstanding .427 OBP. Furthermore, while always having put up good stolen base totals because of his above-average speed, this season has seen Allen refine his stolen base skills, tallying 34 SB to 4 CS, a blistering 89%. According to MLB.com’s prospect profile, Allen is still developing as a centerfielder with the potential to be an above average defender along with a leadoff hitter at the MLB level.