Saturday, January 31, 2009

Baseball America Top 31 Prospects

I just got my BA Prospect Handbook in the mail. You know the top ten--now we know numbers 11-31:

1. Jordan Zimmermann
2. Ross Detwiler
3. Chris Marrero
4. Michael Burgess
5. Jack McGeary
6. Derek Norris
7. Destin Hood
8. Adrian Nieto
9. J.P. Ramirez
10. Esmailyn Gonzalez
11. Justin Maxwell
12. Garrett Mock
13. Shairon Martis
14. Danny Espinoza
15. Graham Hicks
16. Leonard Davis
17. Bill Rhinehart
18. Roger Bernadina
19. Ian Desmond
20. Craig Stammen
21. Marco Estrada
22. Mike Hinckley
23. Stephen King
24. Will Atwood
25. Josh Smoker
26. Colton Willems
27. Luis Atilano
28. Cory Van Allen
29. Luke Montz
30. Terrell Young
31. J.R. Higley

Zimmermann ranks 35, 31, and 39 in the top 50 overall prospect lists compiled by Jim Callis, Will Lingo, and John Manuel, respectively. No other National appears on these lists, and it seems possible that we won't have another player in their top 100.

The Nationals system ranks #21 overall, down from #9 last year. The team ranked #30 in '07 and #24 in '06. The brief comment on the ranking is: "The Nats seemed to be making strides before a disastrous 2008, plagued by injuries and a botched negotiation with first-round pick Aaron Crow. Blaming a fallow system on MLB ownership in the Expos years in as excuse that's starting to lose potency with the passsage of time."

Graham Hicks is named as the "breakout prospect," and Chris Curran as the "sleeper." Will Atwood and Danny Espinoza are listed as "closest to the majors."

One of the things I really like is that BA grades past drafts going back to 2004. Since it's impossible to really evaluate a draft until at least 3-4 years down the road, these grades are far more instructive I think than the instant analysis. Last year's draft, for instance, was rated the best in baseball at the time, but now BA gives it a "B." The 2006 draft gets a "C," while the Zimmerman-Lannan-Maxwell draft of 2005 gets an "A."

Other notable rankings include:
  • Jhonny Nunez, traded to the Yankees for Alberto Gonzalez and subsequently sent to Chicago in the Nick Swisher deal, is #16 with the ChiSox.
  • Daryl Thompson, part of the Austin Kearns / Felipe Lopez deal, is #11 in the Reds system.
  • Jake Smolinski, sent to Florida in the Josh Willingham / Scott Olsen trade, is #25 in the Marlins very deep system.
  • P.J. Dean, part of the same trade as Smolinski, is Florida's #20.
  • Brian Duensing, the player drafted by Minnesota with the pick we lost in the 2004 signing of Cristian Guzman, is the Twins' #16.
  • Glenn Gibson, traded for Elijah Dukes and rated last year as the Rays' #11 prospect, didn't make their list this year.
Nats Farm Authority offers some additional break downs on the list here.

1 comment:

Sean Hogan said...

Wow....Smoker and Willems really fell.