MLB Prospect Watch: Ranking baseball’s three best and three worst ongoing rebuilds

If last week’s headlines proved anything, it’s that conversions don’t always succeed. Neither the Detroit Tigers nor the Texas Rangers have had a successful season since 2016. That’s unlikely to change this year, so both clubs decided to fire their top baseball managers: Al Avila from the Tigers and Jon Daniels from the Rangers. (You can read more about the situation in Detroit here and here in Texas.)

So now is a good time to rank the league’s top three and last three ongoing rebuilds in order of their perceived progress – or in other words, how much talent they have in their organization, from the big league side down.

How did we define a “remodel”? For our purposes, we’ve resorted to using every team that SportsLine has predicted as having a zero percent chance of making the postseason as of Wednesday as a rebuilder. It might not be the most comprehensive classification, but it left us with 10 possible options: the Oakland Athletics, the Chicago Cubs, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Miami Marlins, the Washington Nationals, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cincinnati Reds, the Colorado Rockies, the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers. (The Baltimore Orioles, a recovery team by most traditional definitions, do not qualify for our list as a result of this measure. If they did, they would rank high on the merits of Adleyrutschman, Grayson Rodriguez and Gunnar Henderson.)

Now onto the gas baggery.

Top 3 conversions

1. Arizona Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks finish first because of the strength of their positional players. Outfielder Corbin Carroll is considered one of the best candidates among the minors. He’s already had success in Triple-A and it’s reasonable to expect him to make it to The Show before the end of the season. The Diamondbacks have done well, picking up shortstop Jordan Lawlar and outfielder Druw Jones in their last two drafts (oddly, both were injured after the signing). Each of the three – Carroll, Lawlar, Jones – has an All-Star ceiling. The Diamondbacks already have some youngsters in the majors in Daulton Varsho, Alek Thomas and Geraldo Perdomo who have achieved varying levels of success, giving them the makings of a good home lineup. The pitching side of things isn’t so rosy, but right-hander Brandon Pfaadt has improved his stock in a hurry and could make his debut this season, and left-hander Blake Walston has good potential.

Read  The best Pokemon Unite team composition with the current roster

2. Cincinnati Red
You can argue that the Reds should be #1. They had a full deadline and sent Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle and others away. In return, they netted shortstop prospects Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo and Spencer Steer, among others. (No organization has more shortstop talent than the Reds.) Factor in the drafting of third baseman Cam Collier in July (he was the first-round steal at No. 18), and the Reds added a ton of talent to their farm system over the summer — and that’s without mentioning major division teams Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene, or prospects who were already in the system like shortstops (what else?) Elly De La Cruz and Matt McClain.

3. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates used the portfolio approach successfully during the 2021 draft, landing catcher Henry Davis with the No. 1, as well as right-hander Bubba Chandler, left-hander Anthony Solometo and outfielder Lonnie White, among others. The Pirates then picked Termarr Johnson, one of our favorite picks in this year’s draft. These decisions, in addition to players already employed by the Pirates (notably right-hand Quinn Priester and shortstop Oneil Cruz), give Pittsburgh a promising talent base to build on — though we rank them second among the rebuilders from NL Central.

Lower 3 tags

3. Kansas City Royals
We’re Bobby Witt Jr. fans here, and both MJ Melendez and Vinnie Pasquantino have shown promise since their promotion to the majors. (Nick Pratto could also give the Royals another solid young slugger when the time comes.) Aside from that, where’s the pitching? Recent top-10 picks like Asa Lacy and Frank Mozzicato have been underpowered as professionals, continuing a troubling organizational trend that has seen them squander much top-notch draft-pick capital on weapons they couldn’t develop.

2. Oakland Athletics
The Athletics traded most of their core over the past eight months, but they haven’t received many safe things in return. Catcher Shea Langeliers has good pop and catch-and-throw skills, which should make him an acceptable replacement for Sean Murphy. Left Ken Waldichuk should debut either late this season or early next season, while right Gunnar Hoglund is back on the mound following Tommy John surgery last summer. Former first-round pick Tyler Soderstrom should be fine for the long run, but he struggled on his introduction to Double-A.

1.Detroit Tigers
This may come as no surprise to anyone who read our Tigers breakdown earlier this week. Outfielder Riley Greene still looks like a potential star to us. Otherwise? First baseman Spencer Torkelson’s ongoing heartache at the minors gives us something to think about; starters Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal are injured; and the farm system doesn’t have much to offer. Jackson Jobe, No. 3 in the 2021 class, has struggled in his first full pro season, and neither Jace Jung nor Peyton Graham are enough to lift the Tigers out of the basement. Anyone who takes over in Detroit has a lot of work ahead of them.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.