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Where Xavier Edwards ranks in baseball’s top farm system

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With the addition of the rising Xavier Edwards, the Rays’ farm system grew even stronger.

WBSC Premier 12: USA V Dominican Republic Photo by Alfredo Moya/Jam Media/Getty Images

Friday evening, it was confirmed by the Rays that they traded outfielder Tommy Pham and two-way prospect Jake Cronenworth to the Padres for outfielder Hunter Renfroe, second base prospect Xavier Edwards, and a player to be named later.

Edwards offers a unique skillset on the field, and the Rays have a new prospect almost assuredly ranked in their top 10. Let’s take a look at what the various publications think of the new Rays infield prospect.

Fangraphs

In FanGraphs’ evaluation of the trade, Ben Clemens noted that the site’s prospect team of Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel placed a 50 on Edwards’ future value. In their midseason update to the top 100, 69 prospects in the league had that rating, including four with the Rays — Matthew Liberatore, Shane Baz, Ronaldo Hernandez, and Brent Honeywell Jr. Edwards — where Edwards would have ranked fifth among that group on the list. Wander Franco, Brendan McKay, and Vidal Brujan were all rated 55 or higher.

Offseason adjustments to the list are likely forthcoming, but Edwards should rank in the back half of the team’s top 10 on FanGraphs.

Baseball America

Baseball America hasn’t yet published its offseason top 10 list for the Padres, but in the story breaking down the trade ($), Kyle Glaser noted that Edwards was slated to rank sixth in a similarly deep organization ($). When BA updates its rankings to reflect the trade, Edwards should rank in the back half of the top 10 ($).

Baseball Prospectus

At Baseball Prospectus, a July eyewitness report ($) gave Edwards a 50 OFP — similar to FanGraphs’ FV — with a very high risk factor. Showcasing just how deep the organization is, BP’s November update to the Rays’ top 10 ($) has every player with an OFP of 55 or higher.

Update: It would appear that Edwards ranks between a 60 OFP and a 55 OFP player, by BP’s standards, per a comment in the trade’s Transaction Analysis, which notes Edwards likely slots in 7th to the BPro list.

ESPN

At ESPN, Keith Law reiterated his position that Edwards is a top-50 prospect in the league ($). In his midseason update from July ($), four Rays ranked ahead of Edwards — Franco, McKay, Brujan, and Liberatore. The lack of power for the 2018 draftee does not seem to bother Law:

He could probably stick at short, but [...] has a chance to be plus at second, with an old-school leadoff profile that features on-base skills and speed.

Conclusion

It’s fair to exercise caution in using midseason reports and lists in December. A couple months of games and new information can change a lot. With that context in mind, here’s where Edwards would appear to have ranked in a mid-season Rays list:

  • Fangraphs - 8th in system (84th overall)
  • Baseball America - estimated 9th in system (not yet in Top-100)
  • Baseball Prospectus - 7th in system (not yet in Top-101) (Updated)
  • ESPN - 5th in system (46th overall)

Given the above, it’s a safe guess that Edwards will rank in the No. 5-10 range in the organization and should receive strong consideration in top-100 lists after his continued performance through his mid-season promotion to High-A in 2019.

On Dec. 16, the annual DRaysBay Community Prospect list will begin, and you can weigh in on Edwards’ place in his new organization.