MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

2016 Prospect Watch: Top 10 left-handed pitchers

Dodgers' Urias again takes top spot, but Rays' Snell closes gap

2016 Prospect Watch: Top 10 left-handed pitchers

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2016 Top 100 Prospects list on Friday, Jan. 29, on MLB.com. The Top 50 will be revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

Just how high in demand is left-handed pitching? Six of the 10 pitchers on this year's Top 10 left-handed pitching prospects list are relatively recent acquisitions by their organization. Two come via the 2015 Draft, but four of the southpaws on this list have been traded. Three of those four deals happened at last July's Trade Deadline.

Top 10 Prospects by Position
RHP - Breakdown | List
LHP - Breakdown | List
C - Breakdown | List
1B - Breakdown | List
2B - Breakdown | List
3B - Breakdown | List
SS - Breakdown | List
OF - Breakdown | List

There may have been a lot of change on this list -- in addition to the trades, there are five new names on this Top 10 from a year ago -- but there is stability at the top. For the second year in a row, teenager Julio Urias is in the top spot, and for good reason. But he has some good competition nipping at his heels.

1. Julio Urias, Dodgers
He doesn't turn 20 until August, and he's already knocking on the door. Urias has an outstanding combination of stuff and pitchability well beyond his years. He has three plus pitches with outstanding command. The only thing he doesn't have is innings. Urias has yet to top even 90 innings in a season, but that shouldn't hold him back for too long.

Top Prospects: Urias, LAD

2. Blake Snell, Rays
Few prospects in the game improved their stock more than Snell did in 2015. It was a true breakout for the projectable lefty, one that started with a streak of 46 consecutive scoreless innings. It kept going as he dominated across three levels and led the Minors in ERA. He's ready to help out with the Rays now.

Top Prospects: Snell, TB

3. Steven Matz, Mets
It hasn't been the most direct path for Matz, who missed nearly three years of competitive pitching coming back from injuries. The wait was worth it, as Matz pitched his way to the big leagues and even into the postseason in 2015. The further removed from injury he gets, the more the concern about his durability dissipates. Matz is the only one on this list with big league time.

Top Prospects: Matz, NYM

4. Sean Newcomb, Braves
The 2014 first-rounder is exactly what teams look for in a starting pitcher: Big, strong, durable and with plus stuff to boot. That's why the Braves wanted him in the Andrelton Simmons deal. He needs to improve his control, but when he does that, he has front-line starter written all over him. Those Jon Lester comparisons aren't too far-fetched.

Top Prospects: Newcomb, ATL

5. Tyler Jay, Twins
Jay, the first 2015 draftee on the list, went No. 6 overall to the Twins. A reliever at Illinois, Jay has the repertoire and the command to be a starter, and that's how Minnesota plans to develop him. He could have at least four Major League average pitches with above-average control when all is said and done. The transition to starting might slow Jay's progress a bit, but it's also nice to know that if it doesn't work, he could have an impact in the bullpen in a hurry.

Top Prospects: Jay, MIN

6. Josh Hader, Brewers
Hader's pure stuff has been in such high demand, he's been traded twice, first from the Orioles to the Astros, then from the Astros to the Brewers in the Carlos Gomez deal at the Trade Deadline last July. Milwaukee has him right as he's peaking after a huge 2015 season and an absolutely dominant performance in the Arizona Fall League. Once thought to be a future reliever, Hader now looks like he can be much more.

Top Prospects: Hader, MIL

7. Cody Reed, Reds
Another on this list who took a huge step forward with his 2015 campaign, he's also one who was traded, this time in the Johnny Cueto deal with the Royals. Thought of as a projectable lefty when drafted, Reed has come a long way, with two plus pitches in his fastball and slider and a third average pitch (his changeup). Improvement in his command has him looking like a very solid big league starter in the near future.

Top Prospects: Reed, CIN

8. Sean Manaea, A's
The big Indiana State product could've been the top pick in the 2013 Draft, but he slid because of injury concerns. Manaea missed the first half of 2015 with an unrelated injury, but he pitched his way to Double-A and was sent to the A's from the Royals in the Ben Zobrist Trade Deadline deal. He's a mid-rotation workhorse, at the very least.

Top Prospects: Manaea, OAK

9. Amir Garrett, Reds
A two-sport star who spent a couple of years shuttling between college basketball and the Reds' system, Garrett has started to take off since he turned to baseball full-time. Big, strong and athletic, the 2015 Futures Gamer still has considerable upside and a fresh arm because of his split focus in the past.

Top Prospects: Garrett, CIN

10. Kolby Allard, Braves
The second 2015 draftee on this list, Allard had the chance to go at the top of the Draft, until a back injury allowed him to fall to the Braves in the middle of the first round. He had surgery this offseason, and if he can put the back issue behind him, he has the chance to be a front-line starter, with an exciting combination of stuff, athleticism and feel for pitching.

Top Prospects: Allard, ATL

Next up
Many feel the Indians made out extremely well when they got Rob Kaminsky from the Cardinals in the Brandon Moss deal at the Trade Deadline last July. The 2013 first-round Draft pick has an outstanding breaking ball and solid stuff across the board, to go along with good control, athleticism and plus makeup.

During last year's Trade Deadline period, the Twins got as many inquiries about Stephen Gonsalves as just about anyone in their system. There's some projectability to his 6-foot-5 frame, and he's already showing he knows how to pitch with what he already has, leading Minnesota's organization in ERA and batting average against while finishing second in strikeouts and wins.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.