WTNYJanuary 23, 2007
The 2007 WTNY Prospect List
By Bryan Smith

There is no greater season for a prospect evaluator than the winter, as we finally bear down, combine all the evidence and take our stances. For the fourth winter in a row, I have compiled a list of the minor league's 75 best talents -- Major League Baseball's future stars. This winter, I was lucky enough to have SportsIllustrated.com invite me to post my list at their site. This was a fantastic opportunity at heightened exposure as well as the ability to have my wordiness edited by Jake Luft. Over the last week I have written six installments, the last of which is also produced below. The other five pieces at SI:

Honorable Mentions
Prospects 75-61
Prospects 60-46
Prospects 45-31
Prospects 30-16

With the allowance of Luft and SI.com, I have opted to simultaneously post the final edition of my list at Baseball Analysts. I have much nostalgia built into this site and its readers, so I wanted to post my prospect list in this forum again.

Finally, Rich has allowed me to come back to Analysts this Friday as well, as I wanted to compile a mailbag of the questions I receive during the presentation of this list. So, if you have any burning prospect-related questions, leave them in the comments below or e-mail me and I will pick as many as I can to answer Friday. Thanks, as always, for reading.

Bryan Smith's Top 75 Prospects in 2007
For the purposes of this list, a prospect is a player who played predominantly in the minor leagues last season or was drafted in the 2006 June draft. A player loses eligibility for this list once he surpasses 50 innings pitched or 130 at-bats in the major leagues. Japanese imports Daisuke Matsuzaka, Akinori Iwamura and Kei Igawa were not considered due to lengthy experience overseas. Players are judged based on what scouting and statistical reports claim on their potential. Each prospect is presented below with his 2007 baseball age and 2006 statistics.

15. Jay Bruce, 20, RF, Cincinnati Reds
2006 Stats (Class A-): .291/.355/.516, 19 SB in 444 AB

Bruce had a historic season for a teen-ager in the Midwest League, showing left-handed power unrivaled for a player of his maturity. Like so many young left-handed hitters, Bruce has work to do with southpaws, striking out in 30 percent of his at-bats against them in 2006. This is not what scares me. What does is the context within Bruce's numbers and the similarities they bear to Brian Dopirak's legendary Midwest League season in 2004. That year Dopirak became wildly hyped in prospect circles, but I made note of a 27-game stretch during the summer in which he was a decidedly better player than the rest of the season, which is the same thing that happened to Bruce in 2006. In 33 games between June 4 and July 10, Bruce was amazing, hitting .427 and clubbing 24 extra-base hits. The rest of the season? A paltry .238 batting average. However, his power did remain consistent throughout the season, so I am now cautiously confident in Bruce's future.

14. Andrew McCutchen, 20, CF, Pittsburgh Pirates
2006 Stats (A-/AA): .294/.359/.450, 23 SB in 531 AB

Speed is the name of McCutchen's game, as his quickness with his legs and bat leave the Pirates thinking big with their future center fielder. Generously listed at 170 pounds, McCutchen relies on ridiculous bat speed to hit for plus power. His power was restrained much of the season by the spacious dimensions at his home park; he slugged .536 on the road in Low-A. With quickness unrivaled for players with his power, McCutchen also profiles to steal 30 bases and win Gold Gloves down the road. Raw in both areas, McCutchen could stand at least another season and a half in the minor leagues, but his late-season success at AA might have pushed his timetable forward significantly.

13. Tim Lincecum, 23, RHP, San Francisco Giants
2006 Stats (SS/A+): 1.71 ERA, 14H/31.2IP, 58K/12BB

In modern college baseball history, no pitcher has been as dominant in a single season as Jered Weaver was in 2004. In his final year at Long Beach State, Weaver posted a 1.63 ERA and struck out 213 batters while scouts nitpicked his game. In 2006, Weaver received his vindication for his overshadowed Golden Spikes season, dominating the Majors as a rookie. There are numerous similarities between Weaver and Lincecum, who had a 1.99 ERA and 199 strikeouts as a junior at Washington. Lincecum has better stuff than Weaver, touching the high-90s with his fastball while featuring a hammer curveball, but his height (he's about 6-feet tall) led to a drop to the 10th overall selection in the 2006 draft. Lincecum's largest pitfall could be the combination of his violent delivery and extreme workload. The Giants will work hard at managing both in 2007, preparing Lincecum to contribute in the majors by 2008.

12. Andrew Miller, 22, LHP, Detroit Tigers
2006 Stats (A+): 0.00 ERA, 2H/5IP, 9K/1BB

The first player from the 2006 draft to reach the majors, Miller was also the best the draft had to offer. Since opting for North Carolina instead of the Devil Rays out of high school, Miller had long been marked as the player-to-top in his class. Miller won Baseball America's College Player of the Year award with a marvelous junior season. Extremely projectable at a lanky 6-foot-6, Miller's four-seam fastball is already 94-97 mph. As a starter, his bread and butter is a sinking two-seam fastball and a slider that few left-handed hitters can touch. A September call-up showed the Tigers how dominant Miller profiles to be, but also how raw his delivery and command still are; he struck out six batters and walked 10 in 10 1/3 innings with Detroit. Miller will likely begin in Double-A Erie next season and could be pushing for a major-league roster spot again late in the season.

11. Troy Tulowitzki, 22, SS, Colorado Rockies
2006 Stats (AA): .291/.370/.473, 6 SB in 423 AB

Incumbent Clint Barmes struggled in 2006, which means there is nothing holding Tulowitzki back from playing every day in Coors Field. Tulowitzki is a gifted contact hitter who sprays the ball all over the field with gap power. It isn't a stretch to project him as a perennial .300 hitter who bangs out 40 doubles annually. He also has a power stroke that should produce 10 to 20 home runs a season. In the field, he is mistake-prone but shows good range and a cannon arm from the hole. Despite struggling with Colorado in September, Tulowitzki proved in the Arizona Fall League that he's ready for The Show.

10. Adam Miller, 22, RHP, Cleveland Indians
2006 Stats (AA): 2.84 ERA, 133H/158.1IP, 161K/46BB

Miller has gone under a distinct maturation in the minors, the type separating "pitchers" like Jake Peavy from "throwers" like Kerry Wood. Formerly known as "Mr. 101" stemming from a late-season velocity reading before an arm injury in 2004, Miller has since backpedaled his approach and trusted his stuff. These days, Miller focuses on keeping his darting two-seamer down in the zone (resulting in a 1.59 G/F ratio in AA) and striking out hitters with his plus-plus slider. Miller's maturation is still a work in progress. That was evident in 2006 as he allowed seven home runs in his first 10 starts. However, the right-hander limited opponents to a mere two home runs the rest of the season thanks largely to an improved command of his slider.

9. Billy Butler, 21, LF, Kansas City Royals
2006 Stats (AA): .331/.388/.499, 1 SB in 477 AB

Butler played in an unfriendly hitting environment (Wichita) in 2006. At home during the season, Butler hit just one home run compared to 14 while on the road. The latter number more accurately details Butler's huge power potential. Butler's combination of contact and power skills are fantastic, and his late-season performance indicates he could be even better next year. Between June 1 and his exit to play for Team USA, Butler batted .354 while striking out just 33 times. Butler creates an adventure with every fly ball in left field, but his defensive shortcomings will be forgotten if he can provide protection for Alex Gordon in the Royals' lineup.

8. Cameron Maybin, 20, CF, Detroit Tigers
2006 Stats (A-): .304/.387/.457, 27 SB in 385 AB

Maybin lived up to all the hype in his first pro season. He might not be the second coming of Ken Griffey Jr., but Maybin has a generational five-tool set. Many have pointed to Maybin's .408 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play) and called his season overrated, but I don't believe this is true. Maybin has the same kind combination of speed and line-drive ability that allows Ichiro to post high BABIPs every season, albeit not quite as high as .408. While his numbers could come down a bit with worse luck in 2007, it also could be pointed out his numbers took a hit by an early return from a thumb injury. Maybin struggled horribly in his first 15 games coming off the DL, hitting just 12-for-56 without much power. With a healthy season, I think Maybin could improve on his 2006 numbers in the Florida State League; the speedy center fielder has greater power than he showed in the tough Midwest League.

7. Justin Upton, 19, CF, Arizona Diamondbacks
2006 Stats (A-): .263/.343/.413, 15 SB in 438 AB

Like his brother, B.J. Upton, Justin Upton is an extremely divisive prospect as people struggle to understand why his output has not matched his talent. The latter was obvious for four years of high school, and nationally on display in spring training when Upton looked fantastic against the Chicago White Sox on WGN. Upton has a mature body with extremely long legs, which combined with his speed give him fantastic home-to-first times. Upton draws deserved comparisons to Alfonso Soriano, who has a similarly long, controlled and powerful swing. Most people have questioned Upton's makeup due to his poor season, but the concerns are overdone; expectations were just too high for the 2005 draft's top pick. Upton might not be as major-league ready as we thought last March, but his All-Star ceiling should not be altered because of an average debut.

6. Chris Young, 23, CF, Arizona Diamondbacks
2006 Stats (AAA): .276/.363/.532, 17 SB in 402 AB

While the exit of fan favorite Luis Gonzalez provides a public relations hit to Arizona in 2007, the entrance of Young should quickly make D-Backs fans forget their former hero. This will be most evident defensively, as Arizona adds Young's fabulous range in center, pushing Eric Byrnes to left field and surely saving the pitching staff many runs. Offensively, Young should be at least on par with Gonzalez next season, if not better. Young has the chance to be a 25 homer/25 steals threat as a rookie and is the odds-on favorite to capture National League Rookie of the Year honors. Young began making better contact last season as well, but his batting average didn't go up, the product of bad luck against southpaws. His BABIP was .100 points worse against left-handers, and when that number improves, Young could threaten to break the .300 barrier for his first time as a pro.

5. Brandon Wood, 22, SS, Los Angeles Angels
2006 Stats (AA): .276/.355/.552, 19 SB in 453 AB

After a breakout season of epic proportions in the hitter-friendly California League in 2005, Wood entered last year with a considerable amount of pressure. Was it a fluke? Can his offensive approach continue to produce big results? Will his power sustain at higher levels? What Wood proved in 2006 was that he was indeed a top prospect, showing substantial power throughout the season. Wood is going to suffer through a lot of variance in his numbers because of his high strikeout rate, but his ability to hit the ball out of any park offsets concerns about his swing-and-miss tendencies. By walking more often last season, Wood became a more valuable prospect, making a potential move to the hot corner far less daunting. Expect Wood to push the Angels to a decision on whether to call him up in 2007 as Salt Lake's altitude should lend to Wood's 100th minor-league home run by midseason.

4. Philip Hughes, 21, RHP, New York Yankees
2006 Stats (A+/AA): 2.16 ERA, 92H/146IP, 168K/34BB

If Roger Clemens does not return to the Bronx in 2007, Hughes will be the hot-button issue in New York come June. By then, Hughes will be dominating AAA with every outing. The Yankees have done a fabulous job preparing Hughes for his midseason call-up, slowly increasing his workload in the minor leagues. With 146 innings last year, Hughes should be able to pitch consistently through October, by which time he might already be the Yankees' No. 2 starter. Far more impressive than Hughes' heavy sinker or jaw-dropping curveball is his understanding of pitching; he is the most intelligent phenom in recent memory. Hughes does not give in to any bat, rarely allows free trips to first base, and gets groundballs consistently from the stretch. Hughes is as good as a New York pitching prospect has been in a long time.

3. Homer Bailey, 21, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
2006 Stats (A+/AA): 2.47 ERA, 99H/138.2IP, 156K/50BB

A year ago, things did not add up with Homer Bailey. The prep star's full season debut began in the pitcher-friendly Midwest League, where he allowed a 7.73 H/9, struck out 125 batters and allowed just five home runs in just over 100 innings. However, his ERA was 4.43. The reason? Sixty-two walks, indicating poor command that Bailey had not shown as a high schooler. The anomalies I saw straightened themselves out in 2006, when Bailey became the game's best pitching prospect. The electricity of Bailey's stuff -- the life of his fastball and break on his curve -- are fantastic, and Bailey already attacks hitters like a veteran. In 2005, Bailey walked fewer than two batters just six times. In 2006, he raised the number to nine starts. If he can make a 50 percent improvement on that number again next season, Bailey will finish the year in Cincinnati.

2. Delmon Young, 21, RF, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
2006 Stats (AAA): .316/.341/.474, 22 SB in 342 AB

I wanted Young to be my top prospect this season. He held that role a year ago and I have long predicted his future superstardom. My views on Young's future are unchanged heading into this season, but Young was downgraded to the No. 2 spot on this list because of one negative trait: patience. Young does not have great makeup (see: bat toss at umpire), but he would hardly be the first superstar to combine success with anger. What I can't overlook is Young's allergy to drawing walks, as he has just 20 since a mid-July promotion to AAA in 2005. Young must walk more in the majors to reach his full potential, but his power, hand-eye coordination, speed and throwing arm will make him an All-Star regardless.

1. Alex Gordon, 23, 3b, Kansas City Royals
2006 Stats (AA): .325/.427/.588, 22 SB in 486 AB

Gordon is the ultimate hitting prospect. A left-handed hitter with a gorgeous swing, the 2005 Golden Spikes award winner made the transition to wooden bats look easy. He thrived in the Texas League, becoming a potential savior in the eyes of Royals fans. Unlike Butler, Wichita's pitcher-friendly tendencies did not faze Gordon, who hit 19 home runs in the seasons' final 60 games. This did correspond with a rise in strikeouts (63 over that span), but the Royals do not question Gordon's ability to hit for average. Also an intelligent player, Gordon understands the value of a walk and also is fantastic at picking out the right times to steal a base. The Royals expect him to hit and hit quickly as a rookie in 2007.

The rest of my top 75 prospect list is in order after the jump, and remember to leave your questions for the mailbag on Friday.

75. Jonathan Sanchez, 24, LHP, Giants
74. Jaime Garcia, 20, LH SP, St. Louis Cardinals
73. Travis Buck, 23, LF, Oakland Athletics
72. Jeff Clement, 23, C, Seattle Mariners
71. Glen Perkins, 24, LH SP, Minnesota Twins
70. Brandon Erbe, 19, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
69. Gio Gonzalez, 21, LH SP, Chicago White Sox
68. Dustin Pedroia, 23, 2b, Boston Red Sox
67. Daric Barton, 21, 1b, Oakland Athletics
66. Mike Bowden, 20, SP, Boston Red Sox
65. Ryan Sweeney, 22, OF, Chicago White Sox
64. Chris Iannetta, 24, C, Colorado Rockies
63. Kevin Slowey, 23, SP, Minnesota Twins
62. Phil Humber, 24, SP, New York Mets
61. Carlos Carrasco, 20, SP, Philadelphia Phillies
60. Neil Walker, 21, C, Pittsburgh Pirates
59. Kevin Kouzmanoff, 25, 3b, San Diego Padres
58. Sean West, 21, LH SP, Florida Marlins
57. Trevor Crowe, 23, OF, Cleveland Indians
56. Adam Lind, 23, LF, Toronto Blue Jays
55. Travis Snider, 19, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
54. Jacob McGee, 20, LH SP, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
53. Elvis Andrus, 18, SS, Atlanta Braves
52. Humberto Sanchez, 24, RHP, New York Yankees
51. Ian Stewart, 22, 3b, Colorado Rockies
50. Troy Patton, 21, LH SP, Houston Astros
49. Erick Aybar, 23, SS, Los Angeles Angels
48. Dexter Fowler, 21, CF, Colorado Rockies
47. Donald Veal, 22, LHP, Chicago Cubs
46. Chuck Lofgren, 21, LH SP, Cleveland Indians
45. Jeff Niemann, 24, RH SP, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
44. Franklin Morales, 21, LH SP, Colorado Rockies
43. Jacoby Ellsbury, 23, CF, Boston Red Sox
42. Clay Buchholz, 22, SP, Boston Red Sox
41. Hunter Pence, 24, OF, Houston Astros
40. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 22, C, Atlanta Braves
39. Elijah Dukes, 23, OF, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
38. Bill Rowell, 18, 3b, Baltimore Orioles
37. James Loney, 23, 1b, Los Angeles Dodgers
36. Jason Hirsh, 25, RHP, Colorado Rockies
35. Luke Hochevar, 23, SP, Kansas City Royals
34. Felix Pie, 23, CF, Chicago Cubs
33. Eric Hurley, 21, SP, Texas Rangers
32. Joey Votto, 23, 1b, Cincinnati Reds
31. John Danks, 22, LHP, Chicago White Sox
30. Nick Adenhart, 20, SP, Los Angeles Angels
29. Ryan Braun, 23, 3b, Milwaukee Brewers
28. Colby Rasmus, 20, CF, St. Louis Cardinals
27. Mike Pelfrey, 23, SP, New York Mets
26. Matt Garza, 23, SP, Minnesota Twins
25. Adam Jones, 21, CF, Seattle Mariners
24. Yovani Gallardo, 22, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
23. Jose Tabata, 18, of, New York Yankees
22. Evan Longoria, 21, 3b/2b, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
21. Fernando Martinez, 18, of, New York Mets
20. Scott Elbert, 21, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
19. Carlos Gonzalez, 21, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks
18. Andy LaRoche, 22, 3b, Los Angeles Dodgers
17. Reid Brignac, 21, SS, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
16. Clayton Kershaw, 19, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers


You mean 2007, right?

Would you say this is a strong prospect list compared to '06, '05, '04? It seems there's a lot of talent. I'm only asking because I feel the tops of those years--Felix, the '05 Young, Mauer, and maybe B.J. Upton at one point--were all "better" prospects than Gordon.

Am I wrong?

As a prospect is Gordon really comparable to, say, Teixeira?

To what extent do you take defense (both a player's individual ability based on scouting or available metrics, and the position they play on the defensive spectrum) into consideration when ranking position players?

How would you "tier" this list? Where are the drop-offs from "uber-prospect" to "really really good prospect" to "really good prospect" or whatever....

Adam Jones was 19 on your mid-season list...the drop from 19 to 25 isn't all that significant I realize, but did he do anything to drop his stock in the last months of the season? He appeared to take a big jump forward from June-on in Triple-A, but struggled in the majors. If he continues what he did from June-on in the minor leagues, do you see him as a potential top-10 guy next year (assuming no callup)?


There's a good piece on Jones at the incomparable USS Mariner that should answer your question. The short version: he'll either be a superstar or a scrub.


Thanks Jurgen for alerting me of the mis-type in the title ... stupid me. It should be changed now.

Questions have been great so far, keep 'em coming!

At least as seen by PECOTA.

Thanks, Bryan. I always look forward to the list. A couple of questions.

How good of an indicator do you feel this list is in relation to a team's overall farm system strength? In other words, how worried should an organization be if it has poor or minimal representation on the list?

How much do off-field and or personal issues(i.e. Elijah Dukes' recent/consistent transgressions) weigh in the rankings? Is there a red flag, so to speak, when it only is considered if applicable?

Thanks again.

Less questions, more madlibs:

Daisuke Matsuzka would be ranked #____.

I agonized the most over the ranking of ____.

I'm kind of surprised that Joba Chamberlain doesn't get an honorable mention but that's just the Yanks fan in me talking. Good stuff in general. Thanks for the effort.

Since Nick didn't ask a question, I'll reply directly to his comment here.

Nick, Chamberlain was pretty close, as the 2006 draft became far more prevalent towards the back end of my list. If you follow along my rankings, seven 2006 draftees were in the top 75, and I believe they might go in that order should the draft be today: Miller, Lincecum, Kershaw, Longoria, Hochevar, Rowell, Snider. Eighth and ninth, in my eyes, are Brad Lincoln and Jeremy Jeffress. They were both among the last players to get nixed from the top 75.

Lincoln and Jeffress are then two of seven more draftees in the honorable mention section. Dan Bard and Tony Butler are the only players I think that can be argued to be worse prospects than Joba, but I don't see it.

I think if the draft were held today, Joba would go about 20th overall, which means the Yankees already look to have stolen the Cornhusker. If Joba can get a little more tilt on his breaking balls, he could fly through the New York system.

Five more 2007 draftees that just missed: Kyle Drabek, Bryce Cox, Drew Stubbs, Tyler Colvin, Adam Ottavino.

I respectfully disagree with Homer Bailey ahead of Phil Hughes. To me, Bailey is an injury waiting to happen with that high effort delivery. Hughes' delivery is smooth and effortless. Hughes has a 6'5" 220 frame which seems ideal and very muscular. Bailey looks like a twig and doesn't intimidate any batter. They both clearly dominated AA but at the same level Hughes had a better K/9, BB/9, and H/9. Hughes is also a month and a half younger than Bailey and further along his minor league career. There's no doubt in my mind that Hughes is the #1 pitching prospect in baseball.

Thanks, Jurgen. I've actually read the USSM thread. I'm specifically interested in Bryan's opinion on Jones here.

Pretty good list you have there. A few questions....

First to Doug who posted above me....Bailey has a high effort delivery? I must have missed that one. As for his size, he weighs in at 210...at 6'4, that isnt quite a twig. As for not being intimidating... well unless you have stepped into the batters box against him, you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

Bryan, back to a question for you. You rank Jay Bruce at #15 and bring up his insane hot streak from June-July, but dont mention he played hurt in August and if you take those 60 at bats out, and the 124 at bats you speak of, he still OPS'd at .800 for the season... tossing aside 28% of his at bats seems a little extreme. Every player has hot and cold streaks...
As for Cameron Maybin, the guy had somewhere like 28 infield hits last season. He also, according to minorleaguesplits.com had a line drive percentage of 9.6%, which compared to guys like Upton (12.3%) and Bruce (15.5%) I cant see him sustaining anywhere near that BABIP he had last season and expect his infield hits to also dry up some as he moves up the ladder. Sure, he has the amazing speed, but defenders, for the most part are also a little better as you move up the chain as well. Combine the loss of infield hits and a low line drive percentage and I just dont see the man love that some do for Maybins current hitting ability.

I just wanted to give you kudos for ranking Chris Young as high as you did. I've never seen anyone who liked Young as much as I do. Too many analysts seem to rank him down in the teens or twenties and note that he may never hit for average because of his career BA ignoring his improvement in contact rate. His whole package makes me think he could be one of the 10 most valuable players in baseball within a few years. Think Grady Sizemore with better defense!

Did Adam Harben draw any consideration? Did any of the Braves' 06 draft picks( Adam Coe, Cody Johnson, Steve Evarts, Chad Rodgers)? Any thoughts on any of the guys mentioned. thank you and I enjoyed the list

Too funny.

I was waiting for this column;while reading the SI. prospect countdown this week (seeming to like some of the info there).

Bryan, I love your lists but was surprised to see no Joel Guzman? He certainly fell apart after being traded to TB but still had an 774 OPS in 405 AB as a 21 year old in AAA. I guess I don't see him as being too different from an Ian Stewart who's about the same age and had similar numbers in AA (at least before the trade).

What makes Tulowitzki and better prospect than Longoria? thanks

4. Philip Hughes, 21, RHP, New York Yankees
2006 Stats (A+/AA): 2.16 ERA, 92H/146IP, 168K/34BB

24. Yovani Gallardo, 22, SP, Milwaukee Brewers
2006 Stats (A+/AA): 1.86 ERA, 104H/155IP, 188K/51BB

Bryan: Given that Hughes and Gallardo seem to have similar stuff, and posted very similar numbers at around the same age and the same levels (A+/AA) this past year, what specifically would you point to that separates Hughes from Gallardo, and justifies a difference of 20 spots in your rankings? Is it simply that you like Hughes's makeup and pitching IQ that much better?

Doug is obviously a Yankees fan and not someone who can honestly examine prospects. Instead of picking through your arguments and trusting your expert medical background you should realize that Hughes has missed a great amount of time to injuries while bailey has not. Why can you argue Hughes is more likely to be healthy when his minor league career is filled with injuries. And the fact that Bailey is 6 weeks older as a reason for him to be #2 is just plain laughable. I seriously foubt you have the ability to project the health of these two by reading each players bio to determine which one will be the better prospect and one slightly better season in AA doesnt tip the scales. Bailey has better pure stuff and no injury history, and that is why he is the #1 Pitching Prospect in baseball

For the record Im a Phillies fan and could care less about either team involved but I hate overly biased posts

You are wrong there Fitz, Id take Hughes first(but im a yankee fan) but they are both pretty close. Hughes has better polish/control but Bailey has the better FB. Id pick hughes as a better bet to be good but at their ceilings Bailey could be better.

But Hughes doesnt have an injury plagued past, he stubbed a toe and missed time, everything else was the yankees being overly cautious.

If Franklin Morales can improve his control w/o altering his delivery, or, at least, with minimal impact to his delivery, do you think he could be considered in the top 25-30 range? His "stuff" is pretty filthy when he's on target.

You bastard! :))) It's after 3 am and I'm bored and need to check out your comments on the top 15. And probably curse you and disagree with you. So how dare you be late with your free content!

ps: keep up the good work!

pps: Butler after Maybin? Puhlease. (or however kids spell that nowadays)

I think Hughes is a better prospect than Bailey, but its because he has shown better control so far.

Their build doesn't really mean a thing. So Homer doesn't look intimidating, so what? Neither does Pedro, or Oswalt, or Kazmir. There are more examples than I can name of guys with the perfect 6'5, 225 lb pitchers build spending more time on the DL than off.

Probably too far in the future, but how about Angel Villalona?

Bryan, if these recent Dodger grads still qualified, where would they rank in your 75? Matt Kemp, Russell Martin, Andre Ethier, Chad Billingsley and Kuo? If that is too many, then how about just Kemp since he barely went over the At Bat threshhold.

Your list is exactly the same as the one on CNNSI - why is that? Did you take their list?

Bryan is currently a freelance writer. He wrote this list for Sports Illustrated, but also put it on this site, as he was a part of it for so long.

Bryan, two quick questions.
1) Last year you had Jon Lester ranked #14. He will probably start the year in the minors for the Red Sox while he rebuilds his strength after recuperating from kicking cancer's butt. If he still qualified for your list, what would he rank this year?
2) You have T.Snider ranked 1 spot ahead of A.Lind. What pushed Snider ahead in your eyes?

Hail DevilRays! At least my team can be good at something! Without a doubt, the DevilRays have the most talented minor league system in the major leagues. If only their major league squad was as good. With the likes of Evan Longoria and Reid Brignac, the left side of our infield should be set for years and Joel Guzman could be the 1st baseman of the future. Delmon Young will start at RF this year, Elijah Dukes should also make it to the big league squad as a fourth outfielder. Jeff Niemann, Andy Sonnanstine, Wade Davis, and Jacob McGee are future starters. Either Jeff Ridgeway or Juan Salas should make the big league bullpen. Only the L.A. Dodgers come a close second as far as overall prospects. I know, I know.... the Rays have a bunch of uncontrollable attitudes from some of the more higher profile players (i.e. Young and Dukes), but the potential is there for great things. Keep in mind the Rays have the #1 overall pick in the 2007 draft as well. This should keep the string alive of impact players for the DevilRays minor league system.