Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. retains top billing on MLB Pipeline's new Top 100 prospects list, slotting in just ahead of another player with a Major League upbringing, Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who leads a group of 10 Friars to make the cut.After breaking camp with Double-A
Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. retains top billing on MLB Pipeline's new Top 100 prospects list, slotting in just ahead of another player with a Major League upbringing, Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who leads a group of 10 Friars to make the cut.
After breaking camp with Double-A New Hampshire, Guerrero ascended to the Minors' highest level at Triple-A Buffalo in his age-19 season.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound infielder dominated the Eastern League, posting a .402/.449/.671 slash line with 14 homers and 60 RBIs in 61 games before being promoted at the end of July. He quickly figured out International League pitching and batted .336/.414/.564 with six homers and 16 RBIs over the final 30 games of the season. The only hiccup in Guerrero's season was a left knee injury in June sidelined him for more than a month.
Tatis also had trouble staying on the field in 2018 as a fractured right thumb limited him to 88 games. He'd gotten off to a stellar start with Double-A San Antonio prior to his July 19 injury, hitting .286/.355/.507 with 16 homers, 43 RBIs and 16 stolen bases in 88 games.
MLB.com's 2019 Top 10 Prospects for Opening Day
The duo, along with third-ranked Eloy Jiménez of the White Sox and No. 4 Victor Robles of the Nationals, had little room for upward movement as all four natives of the Dominican Republic were ranked in the top 10 of last year's preseason list. Twins shortstop Royce Lewis rounds out the top five, jumping two spots from the end of last season.
Besides Tatis, the other Padres position players to crack the Top 100 are second baseman Luis Urías at No. 23 and catcher/outfielder Francisco Mejía at No. 26.
Led by Astros right-hander Forrest Whitley
(No. 7), there are 47 pitchers among the Top 100 prospect, including Rays southpaw Brendan McKay
(No. 29) who plans to pitch and play first base this season. Of the Padres' 10 ranked prospects, seven -- MacKenzie Gore
(No. 15), Chris Paddack
(No. 34), Luis Patiño
(No. 48), Adrian Morejon
(No. 49), Michel Baez
(No. 72), Logan Allen
(No. 74), Ryan Weathers
(No. 93) -- are pitchers. Within that group, Paddack, Patino and Baez are three of 37 right-handers ranked in the Top 100.
Everybody gets one
All 30 teams are represented on this year's list, with the Marlins, Red Sox, Brewers and Royals each claiming one prospect. Of the players in that group -- Marlins outfielder Victor Victor Mesa, Red Sox corner infielder Michael Chavis
(No. 79), Brewers second baseman Keston Hiura
(No. 20) and Royals right-hander Brady Singer (No. 54) -- Mesa is the only one who wasn't a first-round Draft pick. Miami signed the 22-year-old outfielder out of Cuba for $5.25 million on Oct. 23.
Hello, it's me again
While the Padres lead the way with 10 ranked prospects, the Braves have the same number of players listed as they did last January, when the club topped the preseason Top 100 with eight. The Astros, White Sox and Rays are next with six apiece.
National League Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuña Jr.
and left-hander Max Fried
both graduated to Atlanta, with outfielders Cristian Pache
(No. 37) and Drew Waters
(No. 86) taking their spots. Pache's jump from No. 68 at the end of last season represents the third-biggest climb, behind the Padres' Patino (35 spots) and Astros right-hander Josh James
, who moved up 33 slots to No. 62.
Left-hander Luiz Gohara
finished 2018 ranked No. 78 but fell off the list as Touki Toussaint
(No. 50) took his place among the five Braves pitchers in the Top 100, a list that includes Mike Soroka
(No. 24), Kyle Wright
(No. 30), Ian Anderson
(No. 32) and Bryse Wilson
The Rays and White Sox also entered the 2018 season with six ranked prospects apiece, while the Astros had three, including right-hander J.B. Bukauskas
, who fell off the list during the season only to return at No. 97. Outfielder/first baseman Yordan Alvarez
(No. 44) and right-handers James and Corbin Martin
(No. 81) represent Houston's other newcomers, joining Whitley and eighth-ranked Kyle Tucker
Welcome to the party
D-backs shortstop Jazz Chisholm
makes the highest debut on the list at No. 60 after being left off the end-of-the-year rankings in 2018. The other nine newcomers include the Martin at No. 81), Rays catcher Ronaldo Hernandez
(No. 84), Rangers right-hander Hans Crouse
(No. 85), Orioles left-hander DL Hall
(No. 90), Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz
(No. 96), Bukauskas (No. 97), Blue Jays right-hander Eric Pardinho
(No. 98), Mesa (No. 99) and Cubs shortstop Nico Hoerner
Gerard Gilberto is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @GerardGilberto4.