WTNYJanuary 25, 2005
By Bryan Smith

Friends, thank you for giving WTNY the most satisfying two weeks of my short-lived writing career. Prospect lists are what do it for people, when prospect writers get their due. Or, at least I like to think so.

Not a lot to contribute today. I have a mailbag in process (any more questions, leave in comments), an article on short-season players, and even an extended honorable mention. The fun never stops here, well, after today I guess.

As I try and catch up on the little sleep I ever get, you tell me: who are your top 10 prospects? Why do the minor leagues interest you? What do you want to know more about in the minors?


I'd like to get your take on the following young outfielders - the order in which you would draft them in a keeper league:
Termel Sledge
Jason Kubel
Lastings Milledge
Nick Swisher
Brad Hawpe

Feel free to throw in anyone else that you think I might have overlooked.

I am not overly concerned with defensive prowess, unless it is at one extreme or the other - I'm more interested in the highest ceiling in terms of production.


Bryan, here's my top 10: I'm basing my list on offense only.

1. Hernandez
2. Young
3. Marte
4. McPherson
5. Fielder
6. Kotchman
7. Stewart
8. Kubel
9. A.Miller
10. Kazmir

None of the pitching prospects really stood out for me after Hernandez. I like Fielder a tad more than Kotchman.

Have you soured on Justin Huber, or did he not make the list because he had knee surgery?

1. Felix Hernandez
2. Delmon Young
3. Ian Stewart ... I respect Marte but have to wonder why anyone would even consider him in the same breath as Stewart?
4. Adam Miller
5. Prince Fielder
6. Joel Guzman
7. Chad Billingsley
8. Matt Cain
9. Andy Marte
10. Dallas McPherson

Who are your cubs top 10?

I am curious to find out how you would rank the various farm systems overall, and more importantly, why.

Jonny Gomes. What are your thoughts on him?

I am interested mainly in players who will have solid impact in fantasy terms within the next two years for drafting and keeping them. What are your thoughts on Gathright since the TB outfield looks so crowded (Crawford, Baldelli, Young, and any veterans)

Hey Bryan:

1. Curious on your Top 5 Organizational rankings.
2. Curious about your thoughts on Hardy and why you think he won't hit in the bigs. His ML numbers favor comparably to Crosby from OAK.

I think you should write a book.

Isn't Terrmel Sledge 30 by now?

Sledge will turn 28 this March. I don't know why I put Sledge in there - I meant to put Jeremy Hermida.
Thanks for pointing that out Aaron.


Hey Brian,
Enjoyed reading the rankings. Every year we have a dynasty draft where you pick 2 players out of the 2004 amateur draft. I consider the big 3 as Drew, Bush, and Weaver. Of course I pick 4th. So if those 3 players are gone who would you pick at that spot. Even if the player doesn't sign with the team, we still have them under "contract"

Nice to see the Ian Stewart love in here! He is, by far, my favorite prospect. Given his ceiling and the fact that he'll play in Coors, there is no doubt he'll be a superstar.

I really the series, Bryan!

I would say in this order, based on how soon they'll be effective, and how good they'll be: Swisher, Hermida, Milledge, Kubel, Hawpe.


I would say that my team suck, which is why I am interested in the minors. It gives me something to look forward to as the name of this blog suggests. Wait til next year :)

Ugh don't take Bush if you're drafting from the 2004 draft he isn't likely to be one of the 20 best prospects taken in the draft ..any of the college pitchers are better likely, Verlander, Humber, Niemann, Gardner ...if looking for a HS hitter consider Billy Butler or Chris Nelson, but not Bush under any circumstances. If looking for a college hitter consider Josh Fields or maybe Jon Zeringue but really seriously don't draft Bush.

Keep in mind the rookie league numbers can be very misleading.

Billy Butler had shown a lot of power and a good plate approach, so I would take him first as a hitter. Then, I would take a serious look at Matt Tuiasosopo of the Mariners who projects to be a power hitter with comparisons drawn to a more athletic Mark Teixeira. Chris Nelson is a good pick but is still a long way from the majors and he really isnt projecting to be much more than a 20/20 guy at the very high end even at Coors Field.

Matt Bush is definitely not a top choice for a fantasy gamer because he was simply drafted for his defensive prowess and his cannon arm.

Of the pitchers in the draft, I think health is a major concern. Verlander throws very hard but is still a long way from the majors. Niemann and Weaver are both polished but it depends on how they do in minicamps in Spring because they have not shown much since they left college. I would say Niemann has a higher upside if he can return to 2003 form and Weaver projects to be a #2/3 pitcher who can eat up innings but you likely wont get an ace in him.