Previous Rankings: 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
As I was putting this list (exclusive to Baseball Prospectus 2012) together, two thoughts came over me that I thought were worth explaining before presenting the list.
1) Quite often, I go back and look at rankings from previous years. I look at what I was right about and, more importantly, what I was wrong about. "Wrong," however, is a very charged word when it comes to rankings. When I rank a player, whether it be in his club's farm system or as a Top 101 prospect, I approach it as if I were a major league club. What I'm sharing with you is what is known in the industry as a "pref list." That is, if I were an MLB club trading for one these players, this is the order i which I would try to acquire them. Every team maintains such a list for all 30 clubs; this is mine.
While it might look foolish in retrospect to have Franklin Morales ranked number 13 and Jordan Schafer at number 17 on my 2008 list (both ahead of Joey Votto and Andrew McCutchen, among others), their rankings are only half wrong. They are wrong in the sense that Votto and McCutchen turned into stars, and that's upsetting to me. I do try to figure out why I put one ahead of the other, but at the same time, when that list was published, the majority of teams would have had a pref list closer to mine than to what actually happened. Rankings can look faulty as time passes, and it's important to always learn from them and try to improve, but they are also snapshots in time as much as predictive tools. That's not an excuse—I wish I had Votto and McCutchen higher that year—but more of an attempt to explain the thinking that goes into these.
2) Based on my emails and Twitter feed, I'm guessing that the comments thread and today's chat could quickly turn into hundreds of people asking the same question about three Cuban players, so let's cut that out off at the pass.
Q: Where would Yoenis Cespedes rank?
A: Number 20, ahead of Nolan Arenado.
Q: Where would Jorge Soler rank?
A: Number 38 (or number 39 if Cespedes was also getting ranked), ahead of Yasmani Grandal.
Q: Where would Gerardo Concepcion rank?
A: Concepcion has signed with the Cubs, so he is eligible for this list, but he's not a Top 101 prospect for me.
As always, I look forward to the comment thread below, and this afternoon's chat to discuss the list. That said, here is the 2012 Top 101 Prospects List:
2012 Top 101 Prospects
1. Matt Moore, LHP, Rays
2. Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals
3. Mike Trout, OF, Angels
4. Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers
5. Julio Teheran, RHP, Braves
6. Dylan Bundy, RHP, Orioles
7. Jesus Montero, C, Mariners
8. Manny Machado, SS, Orioles
9. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pirates
10. Shelby Miller, RHP, Cardinals
11. Trevor Bauer, RHP, Diamondbacks
12. Miguel Sano, 3B, Twins
13. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pirates
14. Taijuan Walker, RHP, Mariners
15. Jacob Turner, RHP, Tigers
16. Travis D'Arnaud, C, Blue Jays
17. Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians
18. Gary Brown, OF, Giants
19. Wil Myers, OF, Royals
20. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
21. Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Diamondbacks
22. Billy Hamilton, SS, Reds
23. Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals
24. Devin Mesoraco, C, Reds
25. Matt Harvey, RHP, Mets
26. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals
27. Bubba Starling, OF, Royals
28. Jake Marisnick, OF, Blue Jays
29. Manny Banuelos, LHP, Yankees
30. Zack Wheeler, RHP, Mets
31. Carlos Martinez, RHP, Cardinals
32. Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox
33. Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins
34. Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Rockies
35. Danny Hultzen, LHP, Mariners
36. Martin Perez, LHP, Rangers
37. Archie Bradley, RHP, Diamondbacks
38. Yasmani Grandal, C, Padres
39. Michael Choice, OF, Athletics
40. Gary Sanchez, C, Yankees
41. Randall Delgado, RHP, Braves
42. Luis Heredia, RHP, Pirates
43. Josh Bell, OF, Pirates
44. Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs
45. Mike Olt, 3B, Rangers
46. Brandon Jacobs, OF, Red Sox
47. Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Royals
48. Jarred Cosart, RHP, Astros
49. George Springer, OF, Astros
50. Jarrod Parker, RHP, Athletics
51. Trevor May, RHP, Phillies
52. Rymer Liriano, OF, Padres
53. Robbie Erlin, LHP, Padres
54. Daniel Norris, LHP, Blue Jays
55. Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Red Sox
56. Starling Marte, OF, Pirates
57. Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres
58. Cory Spangenberg, 2B, Padres
59. James Paxton, LHP, Mariners
60. A.J. Cole, RHP, Athletics
61. Wilin Rosario, C, Rockies
62. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Braves
63. Dellin Betances, RHP, Yankees
64. Brad Peacock, RHP, Athletics
65. Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Rays
66. Javier Baez, SS, Cubs
67. Jean Segura, SS, Angels
68. Anthony Gose, OF, Blue Jays
69. Matt Adams, 1B, Cardinals
70. Zach Lee, RHP, Dodgers
71. Nick Castellanos, 3B, Tigers
72. Sonny Gray, RHP, Athletics
73. Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Astros
74. Joe Wieland, RHP, Padres
75. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Cubs
76. Robbie Grossman, OF, Pirates
77. Neil Ramirez, RHP, Rangers
78. Casey Kelly, RHP, Padres
79. Chad Bettis, RHP, Rockies
80. Jose Fernandez, RHP, Marlins
81. Addison Reed, RHP, White Sox
82. John Lamb, LHP, Royals
83. Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B, Royals
84. Jessie Biddle, LHP, Phillies
85. Jonathan Schoop, INF, Orioles
86. Yonder Alonso, 1B, Padres
87. Eddie Rosario, OF/2B, Twins
88. Kolten Wong, 2B, Cardinals
89. Jeurys Familia, RHP, Mets
90. Joe Benson, OF, Twins
91. Matt Purke, LHP, Nationals
92. Wily Peralta, RHP, Brewers
93. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Blue Jays
94. Austin Hedges, C, Padres
95. Joe Ross, RHP, Padres
96. Derek Norris, C, Athletics
97. Tim Wheeler, OF, Rockies
98. Ryan Lavarnway, C, Red Sox
99. Mason Williams, OF, Yankees
100. Grant Green, OF, Athletics
101. Jorge Alfaro, C, Rangers
Thank you for reading
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In all seriousness, thanks for the great work KG
Someone more qualified that me probably has the math on it. I'd be interested to hear.
That should work out, because you only need so many guys out of your system...a 2WAR player isn't (of course) replacement level, but he's also not that hard to find.
First impression: where's Nick Franklin? Do guys like Jean Segura and Kolten Wong really project better?
Other, less dead sexy write-ups on virtually all of these players can probably be found for free around the web.
Toronto - 5
Boston - 4
New York Yankees - 4
Baltimore - 3
Tampa - 2
Kansas City - 5
Minnesota - 3
Detroit - 2
Chicago - 1
Cleveland - 1
Oakland - 7
Texas - 5
Seattle - 4
Los Angeles - 2
Atlanta - 3
New York - 3
Washington - 3
Florida - 2
Philadelphia - 2
Pittsburgh - 6
St. Louis - 5
Chicago - 3
Houston - 3
Cincinnati - 2
Milwaukee - 1
San Diego - 10
Colorado - 5
Arizona - 3
Los Angeles - 1
San Francisco - 1
So are the 2015 Padres going to be the next 2013 Royals?
C: Travis D'Arnaud
1B: Matt Adams
2B: Cory Spangenberg
3B: Miguel Sano
SS: Jurickson Profar
OF: Mike Trout
OF: Gary Brown
DH: Jesus Montero
with a rotation of Matt Moore, Julio Teheran, Dylan Bundy, Gerrit Cole, Shelby Miller and Addison Reed as the closer
I'm surprised I haven't seen any questions (here or Twitter) about Moore over Harper/Trout. While I understand that there *is* a such thing as a pitching prospect, short of a Strasburg-type monster it seems difficult to imagine any pitcher returning the value of a Harper or Trout if either approach their ceiling.
I'd love to hear you expand on that choice, to which I'm sure you gave a LOT of thought.
Apparently Bundy should have been the first pick in last year's draft. The 17 picks for the 2011 draft on the list:
Another few guys will probably make it next year like Anderson, Swihart, Cron, and Guerrieri.
"I approach it as if I were a major league club. What I'm sharing with you is what is known in the industry as a "pref list." That is, if I were an MLB club trading for one these players, this is the order i which I would try to acquire them. Every team maintains such a list for all 30 clubs; this is mine."
If that is the case, why do you have Matt Purke at #91 when he was not chosen until the 3rd round while many not on your list were picked in the 1st & 2nd rounds? I can certainly understand that your evaluation is different from that of 30 other teams, but what is it about Purke-or about those picked much higher-that leads you to a conclusion so different from theirs, especially since there is no pro data on him since the draft?
Kevin could expound on this much better, I'm sure.
I would recommend, though, that you consider listening to the Podcast. This is the sort of topic that Jason and Kevin talk about at some length.
Sammy Solis should be on here though-- no doubt.
The other question I had would be how much of a difference it makes to Lavarnway's ranking if he can a) stick b) catch well enough to survive a couple of days a week or c) give up on catching altogether. Also interested in how you see his chances of sticking as of right now.
fit on this list if he were eligible ? Top 5 ?
Looking at the consolidated prospect rankings spreadsheet and adding these, KG has him about in the middle at #41.
Project Prospect has Delgado at #23, Dobber Baseball at #28, Deep Leagues at #39, Scout.com at #55, Top Prospect Alert at #56, and Keith Law at #98.
He is KGâ€™s (and Talking Chopâ€™s) #2 Atlanta prospect, and is ranked #3 in the system by Baseball America, John Sickels, and Top Prospect Alert.
Baseball America lists him as the #7 prospect in the Southern League. Deep Leagues lists him as the #20 pitching prospect.
So whatâ€™s the truth? As a player with his first Strat-O-Matic card, albeit not a very good one for contending teams, Delgado could merit drafting by prospecting and rebuilding teamsâ€¦but should he?
"Has played fewer than 40 games as a pro, but has already showcased plus hitting skills, gap power, good wheels, an outstanding approach, and good defense. Could play a big role in a pennant race come September."
From this quote I would think he would crack the top 100.
Besides, if everyone followed their slot bonus, then signing bonus = draft position.
Just surprised to see him this high.
Thanks for the list!
54- Aaron Crow (hated him then, wondering what you were smoking putting him at 54)
56- Tim Beckham (for someone who never liked him, you gave into the trendy â€œhes gonna breakout this year crap)
57- Scott Sizemore (just awful)
62- Michael Saunders (at this point, I would have asked the webmaster to take the list down)
66. Michael Inoa (No need to say anything, really)
67. Todd Frazier (My favorite 4th string backup 2nd baseman)
68. Tanner Scheppers (Aaron Crow with a diff name)
78. Phillippe Aumount, RHP, Phillies (again you rank a player you spent years doubtingâ€¦why?)
And BTW - Beckham has since broken out. He's no longer in the top 100, but last season he made the adjustments that were previously holding him back. He will not live up to his 1-1 history, but now looks like he could contribute to a winning team.
I'm also baffled as to whether your use of the word "dearth" was an attempt at sarcasm or not.
Please let me know when you find Blog Writer X that provides more information than Country Mouse.
Mr. Kennedy, if you feel like you can do a better job why don't you go for it? You seem to think you have a vast knowledge and great understanding of the job at hand.
It's easy to take shots. It's a hell of a lot harder to produce. So produce. Please, share with the world your infinite wisdom and prospect knowledge.
In addition, it's the bottom half of the list. Did you expect the success rate there to be the same as the top half? If so, that's idiotic. The top 20 are the blue chips, 20-50 are solid prospects, 50-100 are a lot more flyers and speculative stocks. The success rate there is supposed to be lower. If it's higher than the rest of the list, then that list has a lot bigger problems than the one you cite.
It sounds like your expectations are a wee bit out of whack.
If you have a league that drafts off the BA top 100 and you use KGs the only thing that really matters is if picking someone that KG ranks higher makes you more competitive. It would take some analysis to figure this out, but a cursory look shows that last year he ranked Kimbrel and Choice higher than BA, so picking them ahead of your competition would be beneficial.
However, the ranking of Tavares makes up for it, lol. Great job overall!
82. Jason Knapp, RHP, Indians (do you just ignore major shoulder surgery on young hurlers?)
85. Brandon Allen, 1B, Diamondbacks (you trash him within the blurb, yet still rank him!)
91. Nick Hagadone, LHP, Indians (swing and a miss)
94. Gabriel Noriega (Iran Contraâ€¦.ok, this is so bad its not even worth the joke)
98. Ethan Martin (again, why rank a player youâ€™ve never liked?)
As far as 1-50 went, its hardly prophetic, as Tampaâ€™s Matt Moore (41) and Alex Colome (42) arenâ€™t differentiated, and 15-30 is basically an all out pipe-bomb (K Drabek (16), Brian Matusz (18) and ROY pick, Michael Taylor (20), Chris Friedrich (22, REALLY?!?!), Alcides Escobar 19, Derek Norris 28- and that was 50 spots higher than most everyone else- and uber-loser Donovan Tate at 29. Theres more, but I made my pointâ€¦.
At what point are you going stop waxing poetic about the Ronald Torreyesâ€™ of the world on a daily basis and start looking at YOUR past performances. Youâ€™re far more Brandon Allen than Matt Moore. And youâ€™re awfully snarky for someone whoâ€™s readers are as sharp as the you, the guy with all the outlets these days. Why is 2012â€™s list so young, and are you any more confident than you were in 2010??
Now, I didnt know Aaron Crow was so beloved. With a WHIP near 1.50 and as many blown saves as HOLDS, all hes proven is that hes not the complete dud he looked to be after arm trouble in 09-2010
Don't throw your own complete failure to come across like a reasonable person into the faces of the people who pointed out how ridiculous you sound right now.
2B: 2 (can we have a new acronym ... "TINSTASBP" There is no such thing as a second base prospect?)
Seriously dude, no class.
Either that or James is really KG and is just driving comments and page views.
I'd still like to see a list where you look at KG's 1-10 vs. his 11-20 and his 21-30 over the years looking at how many 1) made it to the bigs 2)became top 100 players. How good is KG at evaluating tiers overall versus finding individual talent. It's so hard to judge him when you pick out single players, but how does he do over a long period of time at evaluating tiers of talent?
"Your 100% sarcasm is unclear because you can't spell worth a damn. You can't be taken seriously just "becuz" you say so."
So...despite using "shorthand" to save time I'm not serious (despite a Journalism degree from Syracuse), and I was intentionally trying to act like a tool to counteract everyones lovefest. "Kevin, do you like blue hats?" Really guys? Really? So I'll join in with a soft-toss: KG- How close are the following hurlers to becoming name prospects: Justin Nicolino, Cody Buckel, Asher Wojocowski, Zack Cox, Ronald Torreyes, Noel Arguelles, Rich Poythress, and DJ Mitchell?
I stand by what I said. Kevin is the best. Why would I be on this AM if I wasnt eagerly awaiting the Top 100? I didnt realize how intense I sounded. I apologize to the bodyguards....But if youre gonna seriously tell me that I can't dislike the non-sensical personal questions, and I have to lob eephus pitches at a former friend of mine on the day that kicks off 2012 Prospects (Kevins top 101 means that much to me), you both 1) disrespect freedom of press, and 2) will ultimately get sniped by KG asking him such God-awful questions, (ie- "Do you like Arcade Fire?) This isnt Bill Simmons. Its the premier prospect mind out there, period
I noticed a heavy representation of the 2011 draft class, which I would assume is indicative of how deep and talented that class was.
Overall I think the list is well balanced between projection/ceiling and floor players as well as those with pro ball experience and those who signed at the 2011 deadline/yet to make stateside debut.
Good deal, can't wait for the chat!
*Looks like this isn't going to post directly to that comment for some reason. Good bad pun by the way*
BillJohnson said that four star prospects make the Top 101 list which makes sense to me, but for some reason, didn't click in my mind at the time.
And I'm glad you liked the pun :)
"Three questions, sir, three!"
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Also, he didn't steal 30 bases.
If I remember correctly, Rendon's concerns are injury-related and Cosart is still seen by many as a late-inning reliever (which pains me, as an Astros fan, but doesn't change the accuracy of the opinion).
Rendon's 30 SB's actually were 21 SB's and were accompanied with 12 CS. That doesn't scream anything that indicates a guy with elite baserunning tools. He struggled towards the end of the season, also, if I remember the podcast, Wheeler is a guy who has good-not-great tools across the board. A solid producer but not a likely superstar.
plus, 36 million is that big of a risk.
I have no idea about cespedes, but, certainly seems like a decent move.
The remaining (21-101) probably stand a 50/50 chance of ever having any meaningful MLB impact. At odds of 50/50 (at best), I think it's safe to say that those names could be interchaneable anywhere on the 21-101 ranks.
Kevin's quality of work lies in the Future Shock series that gives every fan the deepest and most researched look into their favorite organizations. You don't fall into quality like that without painstaking work. The Top 101 is more an excersize in dart throwing, provided to those who lead condensed and ordered lives. Want to learn about prospects?.........read Future Shock. Want something to argue about prospects around the water cooler?.......read the top 101.
On a side note, Kevin, did my favorite prospect make #116, or did he plummet to #120? I adore him.
If you had to pick a few Players who are outside of the top 50, who could be top 15 next year, whos your target?
Still surprised that Matt Szczur gets no love-- a plus-plus runner with a premium defensive future in CF with polished hit skills who's put up nice numbers in the minors despite focusing on football at Villanova.
Also glad to see Syndergaard and Lavarnway on there. Very surprised that Fernandez and Purke made it while Solis gets left off as usual.
Check out baseballnewshound.com top hitting prospects and pitching prospects 2012, gotta say pretty well though out pieces with 20-80 grades and spreadsheet
From a bunch of places I've read, he's not even a consensus top 3 prospect in his own team's system.
Szczur doesn't strike out, he puts the ball in play and he gets on base. He wore down after donating bone marrow and playing D1 football at Villanova and establishing himself as one of the top wideout prospects in the game. Considering the circumstances, Szczur is remarkably advanced. A remarkably advanced player with plus-plus speed, great center field defensive tools and the bat to get on base 36% of the time and hit 10-15 homeruns a season is a top prospect. Period.
Sorry, you lose tons of credibility when you plug your own site under the auspices of being another person, Ryan.
You deserve every minus you get after that gem.