Blake Swihart and Henry Owens have been named to Baseball Prospectus' midseason top-50 prospects list, placing 22nd and 40th respectively.
It's a jump of 29 places for Owens, who started the year ranked 69th on BP's preseason list. The last time the Baseball Prospectus folks saw him in person, Owens was in the middle of a short run of walk-heavy games, leaving them to comment that he would need to improve his fastball command if he wanted to make it in Boston. It seems he's being credited for his recent performances, however, with Chris Mellen citing the 'further mastery of his heater" for his selection in the top-50. There's still the implication that Owens lacks a strong enough third offering or the overpowering fastball to be a front-line starter, however.
If Owens' jump was large, Swihart's 51-spot leap is massive. The prospecting community has become awfully enamored with the young catcher, and Baseball Prospectus is no exception. 2014 has proven quite the breakout year for Swihart, with a red-hot start at the plate leading into a more well-balanced summer that has seen him return to his old patient approach without sacrificing much of the early-season power performance.
There's more to Swihart than just the bat, though. Even as early as last year, BP was pleasantly surprised by Swihart's glove, with Jason Parks predicting that he would "improve a full grade [behind the plate] because of work ethic and baseball aptitude." It seems that the defensive improvements play some part in his improved ranking, with all talk that he might eventually end up in the outfield having faded well into the background.
Of course, you might notice that Mookie Betts is conspicuously absent. No, the folks at BP aren't detractors, he's just no longer eligible, as they don't include anyone currently in the majors. As for where he would have ended up:
Not too bad for a guy who couldn't crack the preseason top-101.