Baseball America rolled out their Top 100 prospects on MLB Network on Wednesday night. They may have only showcased the Top 50, and in their Google+ Hangout they discussed the possibility of them making a deeper list, but the Top 100 list still had room for two San Francisco Giants prospects to make the list. While that may not be too surprising, what I was surprised about was that the two prospects both made the Top 60, which is very interesting, and Giants fans certainly hope BA is right about the quality of these prospects. You’ll remember the Top 10 prospects of the Giants had Kyle Crick and Edwin Escobar at the top of the list at #1 and #2, respectively, so you know they’re the guys that cracked the list. You can look at the full Top 100 list here and it’s free! Here are their little jottings on the two players, both estimated to arrive in 2015:
Kyle Crick, #33 — “Listen to the Ninja. Giants pitching guru Dick Tidrow has a great track record of shepherding power arms to San Francisco, and with a little polish Crick shouldn’t be too far away.”
Edwin Escobar, #56 — BA says in their Top 100 that, “Escobar followed a breakout season with a strong winter in Venezuela. Maintaining his higher arm slot and the improved breaking ball that came with it will move him up the ladder.”
To recall the variety of these lists, while Crick was also in the Top 40 on Baseball Prospectus’ list, he was only #69 on Keith Law’s list, with both of those lists not including Escobar on their Top 100. MLB.com included both Crick and Escobar in the Top 100, though we won’t know their Top 20 Giants prospects until March 17th. Hard to know which of these lists, if any, will end up being “right,” but since I don’t do any scouting and don’t know how to project talent, I’m not going to criticize these lists, just will tell you my observations as the lists come out.
Games will start next Wednesday, the 26th, when the Giants open up their Spring Training play against the A’s. Excited to see some of the farm, as well as the regulars, start to get going again.
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.