ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel released his Top 100 prospects in Baseball on Wednesday, and the Giants had both a good and poor showing, with two players in the Top 20, but only three overall.
Joey Bart was ranked at #7 overall, while SS Marco Luciano was #18 overall. The only other Giant ranked on the list was OF Heliot Ramos, at #74. It’s the highest ranking for Bart and Luciano on overall lists yet.
This list is similar to a couple of the other major rankings. Baseball America also has the Giants with three in the Top 100, with Luciano at #19, Bart at #32, and Ramos at #63. Fangraphs had Bart at #10, Luciano at 24, and Ramos at #68. The outlier is MLB.com’s own prospect rankings, which had five Giants on the list. They had Bart at #14, Luciano at #35, Ramos at #65, OF Hunter Bishop at #71 and P Seth Corry at #99.
McDaniel praised Bart extensively, noting his plus raw power and arm strength, and that he is rare being a tall catcher (6’3”) that is a plus defender. “It’s striking when you notice how easily catching comes to him, as he slows down the game in all facets,” McDaniel noted. He also added that scouts and pitchers love Bart’s mind and preparation. The only negative is that Bart can be a bit of a free-swinger, but McDaniel dismisses that in comparison to other catcher’s and the relative offensive numbers at that position.
On Luciano, McDaniel calls him “arguably the most exciting player in the minor leagues” while praising his power and bat speed at the age of 18. He notes that Luciano’s power and impact comes without much effort and pretty good pitch selection. Luciano’s defense, which has been a concern in other rankings, is noted. He says that his hands are “fine” and his arm strength can play anywhere, but that Luciano has limited lateral quickness. Other shortstops have stayed there with that in the past, but McDaniel predicts Luciano will end up at third or in right field long-term.
Ramos got his lowest ranking in any of the major rankings from McDaniel. He says that Ramos has a “mess” of above average tools, but they are undermined by an aggressive approach at the plate, though he says the approach is improving. Like many, he notes that Ramos is gaining power but losing a step, likely making him a right fielder long term.
Rankings, as always, are very subjective and should not be taken with too much weight, but are of course very popular to read and can be indicative of how many stars a system has. Kiley McDaniel includes “Future Value” as one of the pieces of information in his rankings, which goes on a 20-80 scouting scale. By his article, a 50 is a “low-end everyday player”, and correlating to a 2.0 WAR. Ramos has a 50 FV to McDaniel. Bart and Luciano both rate a 60, a “well above average position player on the scale.
On the entire list, only three players have a FV over 60. Overall top prospect SS Wander Franco of the Rays has a 70. #2 prospect on the list is 2B Gavin Lux of the Dodgers, who has a 65 FV. And #8 LHP Mackenzie Gore of the Padres also gets at 65 FV. 18 total players get at 60 FV.
This was McDaniel’s first Top 100 list on ESPN, replacing Keith Law, who has since moved to The Athletic. McDaniel previous was a writer for FanGraphs.