28 Baseball Factory Alumni Named In MLB’s Top 100 Prospects List
The list of the Top 100 Prospects from MLB.com’s 2016 Prospect Watch has been released and Baseball Factory alumni account for nearly one third of the entire tally.
Four of the first 15 selections are Factory alumnus who have participated in big-time events, starting with the No. 2 prospect, Byron Buxton, OF in the Minnesota Twins organization. Buxton was a 2011 Under Armour All-American who had one of the best arms in his grad class during that year’s event. Buxton received his first taste of the majors with Minnesota’s surprise squad last season, arriving to the big stage on June 14th. He played in 46 games and hit his first major league home run, September 27th against the Tigers.
Brendan Rodgers is one year removed from playing high school ball at Lake Mary in Longwood, FL and is already a prospect to watch in 2016, coming in at No. 12. The 2014 Under Armour All-American who also participated in the September 2013 Under Armour Futures East event was selected third overall in last year’s Draft by the Colorado Rockies. The dynamic shortstop, who doesn’t turn 20 until August, hit for a high average (.273) and showed pop (eight doubles, three homers) in just 37 games with short-season Grand Junction Rockies last season.
Coming in at No. 22 on the list is Albuquerque, New Mexico native, Alex Bregman, a former First Team All-SEC selection while at LSU. Bregman, a 2009 Team One Futures participant, was also selected in back-to-back Pre-Season All-America Tournaments in 2010 and 2011 and was part of a Baseball Factory 1-2 punch with Rodgers last June as he was selected second overall by the Houston Astros in the MLB First Year Player Draft. He quickly asserted himself as a fantastic prospect, advancing two organization levels (Low-A Quad Cities and High-A Lancaster) and hit a combined .294 with 13 doubles, four triples, four homers and 34 RBI in 66 games.
Andrew Benintendi has all the tools to be a huge part of the Boston Red Sox future as the seventh overall pick in last year’s Draft put together a solid 2015 campaign in his first professional season. The Cincinnati, OH native is a seasoned hitter after a tremendous sophomore campaign with the Arkansas Razorbacks in ’15, leading the nation in home runs (20) and the SEC with a .376 batting average. After being drafted, the power surge continued between Single-A outfits, Lowell and Greenville where he hit 11 homeruns with a .313 average in just 54 games. Benintendi participated in an Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout in Amelia, OH back in June of 2012.
Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect, Brent Honeywell lands at No. 43 on the list, and the right-hander from Carnesville, GA pitched well at the Single-A level in 2015, finishing a combined 9-6 with a 3.18 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 130 1/3 innings pitched. The second-round selection by the Rays out of Walters State Community College in Morristown, TN attended a 2011 Under Armour Baseball Factory National Tryout in Kennesaw, GA and was named a 2013 Under Armour Pre-Season All-American.
Sean Manaea, a left-hander from Wanatah, IN, comes in at No. 68 on the list after an impressive 2015 that saw him jump to Double-A Midland with the Oakland Athletics organization and go 6-0 with a 1.90 ERA in seven starts. Originally drafted by the Kansas City Royals as the 34th overall pick in the 2013 Draft, Manaea was shipped to the A’s in the deal for infielder Ben Zobrist as the Royals made their run to a World Championship. In his last 10 games in ’15, Manaea went 7-0 with a 1.75 ERA with 72 strikeouts in 61 2/3 innings. Manaea attended an Under Armour Baseball Factory College PREP event in September of 2009.
A key cog of the Chicago Cubs organization led by former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, Billy McKinney is yet another jewel in the Cubs minor league system, coming via trade from the Oakland Athletics in the Jeff Samardzija deal in July 2014. McKinney comes in at No. 88 on the list and is a former first round pick (24th overall) by the A’s in 2013. McKinney spent 2015 between High-A Myrtle Beach and Double-A Tennessee and didn’t miss a beat, hitting .300 combined with 31 doubles, three triples, seven homers and 64 RBI in 106 games. The Plano, TX native was a 2011 Under Armour Pre-Season All-American that showed great projection at the event, especially with his speed and defensive abilities. In 2012, he was named an Under Armour All-American, playing in Wrigley Field where he will likely roam the outfield sooner than later for the Cubs.
In at No. 91 is Nick Gordon the youngest of the Gordon’s; brother Dee plays for the Miami Marlins and is a two-time All-Star, while father, Tom (Flash) Gordon, pitched 21 seasons in the majors and won 138 games, mostly as a starter early in his career while saving another 158 games as a closer. Nick is 20 years-old and was the fifth overall selection by the Minnesota Twins in 2014 out of Olympia High School in Orlando, FL. Last season at Single-A Cedar Rapids, Gordon hit .277, scored 79 runs, drove in 58 and stole 25 bases in 120 games.
Nick’s first Baseball Factory event was the 2012 Under Armour Futures Series East event in Florida, where he showed that weekend as a pitcher. After playing in the Under Armour Memorial Day Classic in May, 2013, Gordon was named to the Under Armour All-American Game that August and played outstanding, collecting three hits, driving in two runs with a stolen base and a run scored.
Complete Baseball Factory Alumni Prospects List
#2 – Byron Buxton – OF (Twins)
#5 – J.P. Crawford – SS (Phillies)
#12 – Brendan Rodgers – SS (Rockies)
#16 – Lewis Brinson – OF (Rangers)
#19 – Jose Berrios – RHP (Twins)
#20 – Austin Meadows – OF (Pirates)
#22 – Alex Bregman – SS (Astros)
#25 – Andrew Benintendi – OF (Red Sox)
#27 – Clint Frazier – OF (Indians)
#32 – Brett Phillips – OF (Brewers)
#34 – Jesse Winker – OF (Reds)
#42 – Anthony Alford – OF (Blue Jays)
#43 – Brent Honeywell – RHP (Rays)
#49 – Josh Bell – 1B (Pirates)
#51 – Dominic Smith – 1B (Mets)
#54 – Jameson Taillon – RHP (Pirates)
#62 – Grant Holmes – RHP (Dodgers)
#68 – Sean Manaea – LHP (Athletics)
#74 – Kyle Tucker – OF (Astros)
#75 – Daz Cameron – OF (Astros)
#83 – Trent Clark – OF (Brewers)
#85 – Hunter Harvey – RHP (Orioles)
#87 – Gavin Cecchini – SS (Mets)
#88 – Billy McKinney – OF (Cubs)
#90 – Forrest Wall – 2B (Rockies)
#91 – Nick Gordon – SS (Twins)
#94 – Alex Jackson – OF (Mariners)
#100 – Matt Olson – 1B/OF (Mets)