Bryant, Almora and Soler Ranked Among the Top 20 Prospects in the AFL

MLB.com and Baseball America released their rankings of the top 20 prospects in the recently completed Arizona Fall League. Kris Bryant, Albert Almora and Jorge Soler cracked the top 20 in both lists and created quite the buzz in Arizona this fall.

Kris Bryant was named the league’s MVP prior to last Saturday’s championship game and took home the Joe Black Award after posting a .364/.457/.727 line with eight doubles, one triple, six home runs, 17 RBI, 14 walks and a 1.184 OPS in 20 games.

All three prospects picked up valuable development time in the AFL that was missed during the minor league season.

MLB.com

Byron Buxton, the best prospect in the game, topped MLB.com’s list of the top prospects in the AFL. Kris Bryant followed at number two. Albert Almora was ranked tenth and it was pointed out that Almora was the second youngest player to participate in the Arizona Fall League. Almora is 19 years old but did not play like a teenager. Almora does not turn 20 until April 16. Jorge Soler came in at no. 13 on MLB.com’s ranking. Soler “has top-of-the-scale raw power that rivals that of any AFL player.” Soler has the tools, just needs to work on focusing on daily basis.

MLB.com Top 20 AFL Prospects
  1. Byron Buxton, OF (Twins)
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B (Cubs)
  3. Addison Russell, SS (Athletics)
  4. Aaron Sanchez, RHP (Blue Jays)
  5. Alex Meyer, RHP (Twins)
  6. Austin Hedges, C (Padres)
  7. Andrew Heaney, LHP (Marlins)
  8. Jorge Alfaro, C (Rangers)
  9. Kyle Crick, RHP (Giants)
  10. Albert Almora, OF (Cubs)
  11. Corey Seager, SS (Dodgers)
  12. Marcus Stroman, RHP (Blue Jays)
  13. Jorge Soler, OF (Cubs)
  14. Colin Moran, 3B (Marlins)
  15. C.J. Cron, 1B (Angels)
  16. Garin Cecchini, 3B (Red Sox)
  17. Delino DeShields Jr., OF (Astros)
  18. Stephen Piscotty, OF (Cardinals
  19. Mookie Betts, 2B (Red Sox)
  20. Tyler Naquin, OF (Indians)
Baseball America

According to the report from Bill Mitchell, this year’s AFL “boasted one of the stronger crops of prospects in the league’s 22-year history, with starting pitching being much deeper than usual.”

Baseball America ranked Kris Bryant as the third best prospect in the AFL. Bryant has “explosive bat speed, easy power to all fields and a good approach at the plate.” Bryant does have holes in his swing “that will need refinement.” Bryant’s plus-arm and athleticism “will allow him to move to an outfield corner” if he moves off third base at some point.


Albert Almora made BA’s list as the 11th best prospect in the AFL. Almora “wows scouts more with excellent baseball instincts, a solid work ethic and off-the charts makeup than with plus tools.” Almora makes good contact and is a “plus defender in centerfield with plus-plus range because of instincts despite modest speed.”

Jorge Soler checked in at no. 20 on Baseball America’s list. Soler has “plenty of tools, raw power and good size, there’s also a lot of swing-and-miss at the plate and inconsistent effort on the field.” Soler has “tremendous bat speed and runs well when healthy.” Soler has a big future according to BA, “if he puts it together.”

Baseball America’s Top 20 AFL Prospects
  1. Bryon Buxton, OF (Twins)
  2. Addison Russell, SS (Athletics)
  3. Kris Bryant, 3B (Cubs)
  4. Alex Meyer, RHP (Twins)
  5. Austin Hedges, C (Padres)
  6. Jorge Alfaro, C (Rangers)
  7. Aaron Sanchez, RHP (Blue Jays)
  8. Andrew Heaney, LHP (Marlins)
  9. Marcus Stroman, RHP (Blue Jays)
  10. Kyle Crick, RHP (Giants)
  11. Albert Almora, OF (Cubs)
  12. Drew Hutchinson, RHP (Blue Jays)
  13. Colin Moran, 3B (Marlins)
  14. Matt Purke, LHP (Nationals)
  15. Kyle Parker, 1B/OF (Rockies)
  16. C.J. Cron, 1B (Angels)
  17. Mookie Betts, 2B (Red Sox)
  18. Corey Seager, SS (Dodgers)
  19. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP (Orioles)
  20. Jorge Soler, OF (Cubs)

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  • 07GreyDigger

    I know a lot of people are down on Soler, but maybe he’s just a power guy. That’s OK with me. Teams always need a guy like that.

  • cubtex

    Jorge Soler checked in at no. 20 on Baseball America’s
    list. Soler has “plenty of tools, raw power and good size, there’s also a
    lot of swing-and-miss at the plate and inconsistent effort on the
    field.” Soler has “tremendous bat speed and runs well when healthy.”
    Soler has a big future according to BA, “if he puts it together.”

    Very good description of Soler. He has the tools but a lot of swing and miss at the plate. Hopefully he does put it together but like I mentioned before….he is not close. He has a lot of work to do. MLB pitching will eat this guy up right now.

    • J Daniel

      Yes, but he is young. The same could be said about most 20 year olds … MLB pitching will eat them up. It is men against boys at that age with few exceptions. Hope that the next 2 years he is ability to correct the issues … if not then it won’t be good. If so, he may be really good.

      • cubtex

        It didn’t eat up Starlin Castro at his age.

        • J Daniel

          I said most, not all.

          • cubtex

            I know. Just used Castro as an example.

          • J Daniel

            And it is a great example. It also shows that if a guy can hit and is going to continue to hit it age is over rated. Castro can hit, leave him alone, and let him hit. Wish he could take more pitches and walks but that is not his dna.

        • Denver Mike

          No, it just eats him up now :)

          • cubtex

            Not if they don’t mess with him anymore :)

    • J Daniel

      My question would be of the top 20 how may will be “star” players? I know the odds are with them as they are the best but even still there will be a number of them that don’t impact. Hopefully the 3 Cubs, or at least 2 of the 3, will be impact. If 0 of them are then I will jump on the Theo hater bandwagon.

    • 07GreyDigger

      Good points that he’s some years away, but power potential is important to other teams. I can see Soler being traded for pitching.

      • cubtex

        the problem is that contract. If he struggles at all the next couple of years….who would want to trade for him knowing that he is owed millions?

        • Ripsnorter1

          Ain’t that the truth.

        • Tony_Hall

          The same can be said of any of the foreign players, if they don’t make it. That is the risk involved in signing them. Not saying $30M isn’t a lot of money but over 9 years is just not that big of deal for the upside potential.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Brett Jackson has a lot of swing and miss at the plate. How’s he looking to you right now?
      Starting CF in….AA? That’s truly where he needs to be, I think, for 2014. Nevertheless he’ll probably be
      at AAA. I think he’s off the roster next year.

      • cubtex

        I agree that next year will be BJax’s make or break year.

        • Tony_Hall

          I agree, to a point. He has 2 more option years left and is just 25. I think he has 2 more years to make it with the Cubs.

  • Sanibelchuck

    I predict here and now that Kris Bryant will be the player to watch and will be much better than Anthony Rizzo and even Starlin Castro. It’s all about attitude.

    • Tony_Hall

      Way to go out on a limb :)