The future of the game and the future of the teams baseball fans have loved for years rest in the bats, gloves, and arms of a lot of these kids that are occupying the Minors and some even have knocked down the door into the national spotlight. People love rankings, so when it comes to ranking the future, it’s easy to see how people can get excited, as well as downright stupid, when these rankings come out. MLB.com released their rankings last night for the Top 100 prospects in baseball, and Baseball America came out with their rankings for the San Francisco Giants farm system this morning, so it’s given us some time to consider what the Giants farm has to offer. Since both these sites are free to access, I’ll post the pictures that give Giants fans what they’re looking for right here:
If you can’t read it because the font’s too darn small, that’s Kyle Crick at 86th, and Gary Brown at number 100. Not a huge surprise to a lot of people, given the hype of Crick we’ve been hearing throughout the year, and even validated by Fangraphs and SBNation rankings from December, and November, respectively. Gary Brown did not have a stellar first half to the year in Double-A Richmond and reports on him soured during that time.
This is Baseball America’s ranking, and here’s a another spot where Crick comes before Brown, but this one has Joe Panik and Chris Stratton before Brown! The Giants farm system is fascinating to me because it seems to be that Crick is the consensus #1 and then from there it’s a lot of cross-checking on strengths and weaknesses on the different guys within the system, which can understandably jumble up the list. Another cool point about this list:
In that list, Crick (#1), Stratton (#3), Blackburn (#6), and Mejia (#10) all are possible starters for High-A San Jose in 2013.
— Stuart Jones (@HeHitsItDeeeeep) January 30, 2013
Top picks for the Giants of 2009 (Brown), 2011 (Panik), and 2012 (Stratton) are all within the Top 5, so while none of them may be gracing the Top 10 of any league-wide national rankings, they are all projected for the moment to be of some use to the parent club, which is a credit to the scouts and decision makers within the organization. However, things don’t always go the way we expect them to, much like the front office may have when they decided to keep Brown and trade Zack Wheeler for old friend Carlos Beltran.
It’s a good idea not to get too overly invested in prospect rankings to the point where you are getting angry over something like Panik being #3 instead of #2 unless you are a prospect evaluator that has plenty of sources to double-check reports. Now, if you do want to become invested in this, take the reports in, ask questions to people in the industry, go to San Jose to catch some games, talk to some scouts to get some info, make some phone calls, and you’ll be on your way to making your own ranking, which is exactly why I don’t make my own rankings on prospects.
As for what’s next in prospect rankings, I’ll be waiting on Baseball Prospectus, as well as MLB.com to release their rankings of the Giants system like Baseball America did today so I have a better idea of some of the kids I might get to see over the course of Spring Training.