I’ve already dug into one of these lists on the Major League Baseball website this week. They’re just cranking them out over there. If you’ll recall a couple of days ago I covered mlb.com’s rankings of each team’s off-season rosters as they stood at the beginning of free agency. Well today, we’re going to pop into another one of their latest in this recent barrage of listicles.
Today they put out a list ranking the rookie class of 2023 based on their long-term value. The list was put together by Jim Callis. This is their ninth year publishing such a list. Let’s dig in and find out what juicy little tidbits we can find, shall we?
As we approach the announcements for Rookie of the Year this season, there really isn’t much intrigue. We know that Gunnar Henderson is going to win in the AL and Corbin Carroll will win in the NL. If anything else happens it will destroy the legitimacy of those awards. The only real question that exists is whether they will win unanimously or if some homer writer is willing to proudly be wrong on record. Well, this list doesn’t break it down by AL and NL, so that does leave an interesting question. Who tops the list? They went with Gunnar Henderson at the top spot and Carroll in the second spot. I think if I were to get a vote I would’ve ordered it the same way, honestly.
The youngest guy on the list comes in at number three. Miami Marlins RHP Eury Perez is only 20 years old and certainly has a bright future ahead of him. One he’ll be able to see without any obstruction because very few people are tall enough to block his view. The oldest person on the list comes in at number 26. 30-year-old RHP for the Mets, Kodai Senga. While Senga is a MLB rookie he does have professional experience in Japan’s Nippon league.
Now we’ll get to the reason all of you are here. What Pirates made the list? It’s no secret that Pirates rookies didn’t fare too well this season. We have to look near the bottom of the list to find the only two Bucs mentioned. Endy Rodriguez comes in at number 30 and Henry Davis is right behind him at number 31. I think that this is pretty fair. Neither was all that impressive this season, but the potential is there for both and this list is ranking long-term value.
Other notable entries were Reds rookie Elly De La Cruz coming in at number seven. Jordan Walker from the Cardinals was number four. Anthony Volpe from the Yankees squeaked into the top 10 landing in the ninth spot.
Last year’s list saw Oneil Cruz in the seventh spot. In the year prior, Ke’Bryan Hayes was ranked third behind Wander Franco and Jarred Kelenic. Mitch Keller was 15th on the 2020 list. If we continue with this rearview mirror gazing we’ll find ourselves looking at the 2019 list and this is where we might find some bad news. At least if we’re making comparisons to this year’s list. The last time that Pirates landed in back-to-back positions near the bottom of the list was 2019 and it was Cole Tucker at 26 and Kevin Newman at 27. Please let this be a completely meaningless coincidence. Please.
With this list being designed by a friend of North Shore Nine, Jim Callis, it’s a good time to have a look back at when he joined the show to talk about the 2023 draft. This man has some wonderful insights.