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Baseball America releases its annual top 100 prospects list

Feb 21, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

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We previously linked to prospect rankings from Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus and Keith Law of ESPN.com, and today the industry leaders at Baseball America released their annual top 100 prospects list.

I won’t spoil all the fun, because you’ll want to check out the list and their analysis for yourself, but here’s their top five:

1. Bryce Harper, Nationals outfielder
2. Matt Moore, Rays starting pitcher
3. Mike Trout, Angels outfielder
4. Yu Darvich, Rangers starting pitcher
5. Julio Teheran, Braves starting pitcher

Goldstein, Law, and Baseball America all have the same guys in the top three spots, but in different orders. Goldstein goes Moore-Trout-Harper, Law goes Trout-Harper-Moore, and Baseball America goes Harper-Moore-Trout.

  1. Ari Collins - Feb 21, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Some disagreements I have here and there (no Lavarnway, Hak Ju-Lee and d’Arnaud too low), but a solid list, as always.

    • jwbiii - Feb 21, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      BA likes Blake Swihart better than Lavarnaway, although Swihart has only played 2 rookie ball games.

  2. The Dangerous Mabry - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Conclusion: Harper, Moore, and Trout all have a world of potential, and there’s really no meaningful difference between players ranked a couple of places apart in a list like this. For my money, I like the Keith Law list, simply because it comes with a couple of paragraphs about each player, instead of one line (Baseball America) or nothing but an ordered list (Baseball Prospectus). Is it nice to know which organizations have some good prospects? Yes, and all three lists give you that. But Law actually tells you about where a player has been, how he’s developing, and what he’ll need to do to reach his potential.

    Of course, that might be why Law’s article is behind a paywall and the others are accessible to all, but then again, the vast amount of additional content is justification enough for why it’s not free.

    • jwbiii - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      But many of BA’s “analyses” look like this

      51 Will Middlebrooks 3b, Red Sox Age: 23. ETA: 2013.
      “Middle”brooks was No. 50 before Yoenis Cespedes signed. Pure coincidence.

      so they’re not really useful.

      • natstowngreg - Feb 21, 2012 at 3:23 PM

        BA has written up the top 10 prospects in each organization. But you have to subscribe to get that content. Also, they publish a book with writeups of each organization’s top 30 prospects.

        The Top 100 is just a free summary (no doubt, to entice fans to buy their magazine and Prospect Handbook).

    • hackerjay - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      The reason Baseball Prospectus just has an ordered list is because they do a full article on each team with about 6-10 paragraphs on each of the 11 best prospects. So they actually do a lot more then a sentence per player, you just have to be a subscriber to see it.

      • phillyphreak - Feb 21, 2012 at 12:03 PM

        Goldstein and Parks are worth the subscription to BP, Law is worth the subscription to Insider. Money well spent in my book.

  3. rollinghighwayblues - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    Looking at prospect no. 7, Jurickson Profar (SS, Rangers) I’d like to see the Red Sox go after this guy since he’s already pretty well blocked by Andrus and we all know the RS issues at SS. Wishful thinking I guess…

    • rollinghighwayblues - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      And yes, I know Iglesias is the next SS waiting in the wings.

    • jwbiii - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:17 AM

      Another piece of analysis

      58 Xander Bogaerts ss, Red Sox Age: 19. ETA: 2014.
      An Aruba native, Bogaerts apparently is Papiamento for “jaw-dropping, precocious power.”

      • rollinghighwayblues - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:21 AM

        Hot damn, Bill. You’re on top of it today. I guess I’ll sulk for two seasons and wait for this Xander fella to join the ranks…SS with power is always fun to watch.

      • rollinghighwayblues - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:22 AM

        Apparently the iPad 2 screen isn’t clear as they say. Sorry, I mistook the i,s for L’s. Jackass…

  4. okwhitefalcon - Feb 21, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Cards have 6 on the list, love the P’s – not sure there’s any kind of impact postion player..

    #8 P – Shelby Miller
    #27 P – Carlos Martinez
    #74 OF – Oscar Tavares
    #88 3B – Zack Cox
    #93 2B – Kolten Wong
    #94 P – Tyrell Jenkins

    • Ari Collins - Feb 21, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      Very strong system, probably top 5.

      • okwhitefalcon - Feb 21, 2012 at 1:59 PM

        It’s strong on the pitching side for sure, the position guys beyond Tavares seem very much like what they already have – a Daniel Descalso here, a Tyler Greene there…

      • paperlions - Feb 21, 2012 at 3:08 PM

        Wong and Cox have much more hitting ability than Greene or Descalso (neither of which ever sniffed a top 100 list).

      • jwbiii - Feb 21, 2012 at 3:10 PM

        John Sickels has the Cardinals at #5.
        http://www.minorleagueball.com/2012/1/23/2728027/2012-baseball-farm-system-rankings-prospects

  5. crpls - Feb 21, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Profar isn’t blocked by Andrus and if they want to use both they’ll find a way once Profar is ready.

    Nobody thinks Bogaerts is staying at SS.

  6. jason1214 - Feb 21, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    And Starlin Castro was an undrafted FA……….point is until players perform in the Major Leagues, its all jibberish. Thats why they call them “Prospects”. If I had a nickle for every “can’t miss” prospect I’ve heard about over the past 20 years I’d be rich.

    • paperlions - Feb 21, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      Castro is from the DR and was not eligible for the MLB draft….so, of course he was signed as a FA, he couldn’t have been drafted.

      • jason1214 - Feb 21, 2012 at 8:49 PM

        I realize that paperlions, point was minor league stats and ranking prospects generally speaking is for fans,it means very little until they DO something as a Major League player.

      • paperlions - Feb 22, 2012 at 7:00 AM

        First, that isn’t the point that was made.

        Second, it is not “all gibberish”. Just because you don’t care or understand the difference between scouting, projection, and minor league numbers (minor league stats play a very very small part in scouting and projecting player performance), doesn’t mean the exercise is useless or uninformative.

        In general, players that become stars are those that were highly regarded in the minors by scouts. No projecting player performance is not perfect as players develop at idiosyncratic rates and can rather suddenly develop new skills at times….but again, that doesn’t invalidate the process.

    • obpedmypants - Feb 21, 2012 at 9:05 PM

      you could also get rich off of “proven” players who sign fat contracts and never perform at a high level ever again. what’s the point of disregarding a player before he plays in the majors?

  7. stex52 - Feb 21, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    And again the Astros show to have about one quarter of the prospects they would need to make a difference anytime soon. I am pleased that Springer is garnering interest so soon after the draft. Word was when he came out that he was not a sure thing but had a high potential upside. They sure have a wide open outfield if he pans out; could be up in no time.

    Otherwise, just those two middle-of-the-pack Phillies prospects.

    But you have to start somewhere.

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