MLB.com set to reveal latest list of Top 50 prospects
Before getting into a discussion about top prospects, let’s just verify that the Braves aren’t interested in Jim Edmonds. In related news, they also aren’t pursuing Garret Anderson or B.J. Surhoff to fill a roster spot.
OK, now that he’s spent the past couple weeks and months talking to scouts, scouting directors and other talent evaluators, Jonathan Mayo is ready to reveal MLB.com’s 2010 Top 50 prospect list.
When this year’s list is revealed tonight (Wednesday) at 8 p.m. ET on MLB.com and MLB Network, you’ll see Mayo’s shiny dome and gain a better sense about how stressful this selection process can be.
Seriously though, these lists stand as just another entertaining highlight to promote the future of the game. Of course right now in Atlanta the future seems to be quite bright.
When Mayo made his midseason selections on July 31 last year, he had Jason Heyward at the top of his list. There’s no doubt the big outfielder will once again be at the top of these rankings.
But we’ll have to wait until tonight to see if MLB.com still considers Heyward to be the game’s top prospect. Last year, the 20-year-old outfielder ranked third on this list and some kid named Tommy Hanson ranked 24th.
Because he has expired his rookie-eligible status, Hanson wasn’t eligible to be listed among this year’s top prospects.
It will also be interesting to see if this Top 50 list includes Julio Teheran and Arodys Vizcaino, who will likely stand as the key return in the December trade that sent Javy Vazquez to the Yankees.
Some scouts say that Teheran is the better prospect and others think Vizcaino has the greater upside. Regardless of where you might rank them, you can’t argue that the Braves are in pretty good position to have a pair of 19-year-old hurlers with this kind of talent.
ESPN’s Keith Law ranks the Braves farm system as the game’s fifth-best in his just-released organizational rankings. He mentions that the ranking would have been higher if not for the results of this past summer’s Draft.
You’ll be able to find plenty of selections that make you, “what ever happened to that guy.” Just to give you one example that will make you laugh, look at the 2006 list and see that the terribly over-hyped Andy Marte ranked four spots ahead of Prince Fielder and 14 spots ahead of Hanley Ramirez.
This is just the nature of these kinds of selections. I had to laugh earlier this week when I looked back at Baseball America’s list of prospects at the end of the 2007 season. They had Tommy Hanson ranked as the ninth-best prospect in the Braves system.
Here are the guys who ranked ahead of him:
1. Jordan Schafer — potentially bright future
2. Heyward — bright future
3. Jurrjens — on his way toward stardom
4. Brandon Jones — claimed by Pirates off waivers
5. Gorkys Hernandez — traded to Pirates
6. Brent Lillibridge — traded to White Sox
7.Cole Rohrbough — no longer considered a top prospect
8. Jeff Locke — traded to Pirates
BA’s list of the organization’s top prospects heading into the 2007 season provides an even greater feeling of nostalgia. It could also be confused as a list of young Rangers players.
1. Jarrod Saltalamacchia — traded to Rangers
2. Elvis Andrus — traded to Rangers
3. Matt Harrison — traded to Rangers
4. Brandon Jones — Pirates
5. Van Pope — no longer considered a prospect
6. Eric Campbell — makes you wonder if Pete Babcock made this draft selection
7. Scott Thorman — Brewers Minor Leaguer
8. Jo-Jo Reyes — hanging on in the Braves system
9. Joey Devine — the reason you still recognize Chris Burke’s name.
10. Yunel Escobar — Hey one out of 10 isn’t bad.
Before sending this into cyberspace, I will tell you that I had lunch with Pete Van Wieren last week. The Professor’s book, which should be a very interesting read, will go on sale on April 1.