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February 23, 2006

You're Gonna Laugh...

Correcting a Mistake

by Rany Jazayerli

Here's an admission that will be met with raucous agreement by the scads of Red Sox fans who have bombarded us with questions about the absence of Jon Lester from our Top 50 Prospects list.

We screwed up.

But not in the way you might think.

The ranking of the top prospects in baseball has become an annual exercise in collaboration for us. The final rankings this year were arrived at only after a prolonged, sometimes heated discussion of every player, in which every writer associated with Baseball Prospectus was invited to participate. And like every list that is meant to capture a dynamic process--the rising and falling fortunes of young players--at a moment in time, our prospect rankings were constantly being revised, edited and tweaked right up until the very moment the final copy is to be shipped off to the printer to be published.

In that commotion, apparently a brief spasm of confusion appeared. The final rankings, which were sent off to the publisher last month and will be found in Baseball Prospectus 2006 when it begins shipping in a few days, does in fact have Jon Lester listed as an Honorable Mention. A preliminary list, which had substituted Lester with Anibal Sanchez was sent to the editorial staff of our Web site, and that list was published here this past Monday.

We did not catch the error at first, even after angry e-mails from Red Sox Nation started pouring in from the moment the list was published. I went so far as to defend the omission of Lester in a recent chat session, but the level of exasperation from several readers was enough to make me think that maybe Lester deserved a second look. Maybe we missed something here.

It turns out we did, but not in the way that we thought. So we would like to issue this correction: The Top 50 Prospects list published on our Web site should have included Jon Lester, LHP, Boston Red Sox as an Honorable Mention in the place of Anibal Sanchez, RHP, Florida Marlins. (The list is otherwise correct. We checked.)

We screwed up. We regret the error and will do everything we can to ensure it will not happen again.

We'll now wait to hear from the hordes of Marlins fans who demand to know why their player got dissed. I hear crickets...

Rany Jazayerli is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Rany's other articles. You can contact Rany by clicking here

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