Being a prospect nuthugger, it's always a personal joy when Mike A. at River Ave. Blues unveils his Top 30 Prospects rankings. And the fact that he does 2 versions, pre- and post-draft, just makes the joy that much more joyous. I'll save the space needed to post the complete list and just direct traffic to the complete list with Mike's comments here. Instead, I'll use up some space to offer my quick take on the list, bullet point-style.
- Can't argue with the top 5 of Jesus, ManBan, Betances, Romine, and Sanchez. That's clearly the head table of the Yankee prospect banquet right now, and anybody who thinks otherwise is an idiot.
- A little surprised to see Mason Williams so high on the list (#6) and Heathcott out of the Top 10. Yes, Williams is having a monster year in SI, and I'm well aware of his potential, but I'd to see him keep it up at the next level before fully jumping on the bandwagon. I understand and respect Mike bumping Slade down because of the latest shoulder injury, but Heathcott was having a big year before getting hurt. Production-wise, he's trending in the right direction, and he's still damn young.
- Too high on Bryan Mitchell and too low on DJ. Yes, Bryan has tremendous upside, but he's shown his rawness this year at the lowest levels. I need to see him start to harness his stuff before I fall in love with him. And I still can't understand the lack of love for D.J. Mitchell. He's having a great year at Triple-A, has 3 above-average pitches, and is almost universally acknowledged as MLB ready. If memory serves correct, Ivan Nova didn't start pitching in the Majors with 3 solid pitches, and look how he's progressed.
- Greg Bird and Jordan Cote wouldn't even make my list. I need to see guys play and progress before I can declare them prospects.
- Mike's right on point dropping Brackman so far down (#24). The guy has completely imploded to the point that he almost needs to be demoted and start over, and he only has 1 more MiL option year to figure his shit out. A huge disappointment.
- Jose Ramirez and Melky Mesa? No thanks. There's only so long I can continue to read and hear about guys stuff and tools without seeing that translate to results before I decide they aren't worth my attention. And it's not like these 2 are hitting the ceiling at the highest levels. Give me production and progression over tools any day of the week.
So those are just my quick takes on the list, but check it out for yourself and make your own decisions. The good thing to take from this is that the Yankee farm system is still very stocked with talent from top to bottom, both at the plate and on the mound. There's still a lot of shaking out that needs to happen to determine who the true diamonds in the rough are and who the turds in the punchbowl are, but that's the fun of prospects.
And if I didn't do a good enough job dropping hints about it, I'll just come out and say it. Yes, there will be the first annual AB4AR Top 30 Prospects List in 2011. I've been following the Minors more this year, reading up on guys as much as I can, and formulating my own list based on my own super-secret judging criteria. Unfortunately for you, dear readers, my list won't be coming out until after the season. There's just too much going on with the Bombers to take time away from them, so be on the lookout for the AB4AR Top 30 as part of my "Offseason Space Filler" series later in 2011.
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