Last night, the MLB Network aired the Top 100 Prospects in the game from the MLBPipeline team and Alex Reyes was named 13th-best prospect in baseball. This comes a few days after Baseball Prospectus named him the 10th best prospect. As the rankings conitnue to come in from Baseball America, FanGraphs, and Keith Law at ESPN, we can expect to see similar rankings for Reyes who is universally lauded as one of the best prospects in baseball. Reyes was not the only one to make the list as Cardinals righty Jack Flaherty came in at number 80 overall.
As for Reyes, his scouting report included in the rankings was very complimentary.
The big right-hander has serious swing-and-miss stuff, with a fastball that touches the mid-90s consistently and can hit triple digits to complement a devastating power curveball. Unlike some young pitchers, Reyes is willing to throw his changeup and understands the value of having it to make his two plus offerings better. Though it's behind the other two, it should be Major League average in time.
Reyes was also ranked the third-best right-handed pitcher, and was listed in the running for best fastball in the tools section. Reyes, who was promoted during the night by MLB as one of a handful of players live-tweeting the event, and had an interesting exchange with Jose DeLeon, a top pitching prospect for the Dodgers, who was ranked at number 24.
.@J_DeLeon18 I struck out vs you while BUNTING. Fair deal.— Alex Reyes (@AlexReyes_67) January 30, 2016
In ranking the best tools, Jack Flaherty also earned some recognition, finishing in the running for his changeup. Flaherty, who was given an overslot bonus to sign out of high school in 2014 did not completely focus on pitching before the Cardinals, but he has come a long way in a short amount of time.
Flaherty provides the Cardinals an intriguing combination of pitchability and upside. He's more polished than you'd think for a former two-way player and right now is more of a feel to pitch starter than a pure stuff guy. But there might be more to come. His fastball is average to a tick above velocity-wise and he could add some miles per hour as he matures. His changeup is his best pitch and he's not afraid to use it, maintaining his arm speed and throwing it with good deception. He throws both a slider and a curve, with the former better than the latter, though they sometimes blend together.
MLB.com lists Flaherty's ETA at 2018 so the 20-year-old still has a little more development ahead of him. In our rankings, the red baron had the Cardinals pitching prospects in the same order with Reyes number one and Flaherty behind him at number two. Reyes' ETA was listed at 2016, indicating we might see him in St. Louis at some point this season.
Due to a 50-game suspension for marijuana that Reyes began serving in the Arizona Fall League, Reyes will not be able to play in competitive games until late-May. While the suspension is unfortunate, he will not lose much development time as he will likely stay down in Jupiter for extended Spring Training. The suspension certainly has not cost him among those ranking prospects as he is still regarded as one of the very best prospects in the sport. The Cardinals pitching anchored the 2015 team, and it is expected to do so again this year. If these prospect rankings are any indication, the Cardinals still have a pipeline to keep that tradition going into the future.