Centerfielder Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
MLB.com released their version of the Top 100 Prospects list for 2012 today. Here are some of my thoughts about it and it is a great topic for discussion.
First of all, I'm not going to go around bashing someone else's list. Jonathan Mayo does good work and these things are hard to put together. There are all sorts of things you have to balance: long-term potential, short-term impact, the balance of pure upside and skill polish, etc..
I see hitters and pitchers as very different species, which is why I've always done separate lists for hitters and pitchers. However, nobody else seems to agree with my logic about that, and the demand for a combined list is so strong that I will bow to the inevitable in February and do a combined list for Minor League Ball/SB Nation, although for book purposes I still did a 50/50 this year.
Anyway, about Mayo's MLB list, I think it is a solid list overall, but there are some things that I think are worth discussing.
1) The decision to rate Tampa Bay Rays prospect Matt Moore (1) over Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper (2). Moore is clearly the best pitching prospect in baseball, but is he a "better" prospect than Harper?
2) Yankees prospect Manny Banuelos at 13. I like Banuelos a lot, but that strikes me as about 40 notches too high. Just among lefties, I like Danny Hultzen, Tyler Skaggs, James Paxton, and Drew Pomeranz better than Banuelos. What do you guys think?
3) Texas Rangers third base prospect Mike Olt at 43 might strike some readers as aggressive, but I think Mayo has a point here. Olt is often overlooked and that could be a really good call.
4) San Diego Padres prospect Casey Kelly at 50 does seem too aggressive to me.
5) I think outfielder Aaron Hicks at 72 is too high, and I'm a Twins fan. Hicks has top 100 tools but his baseball skills seem stagnant. He's certainly a prospect but there are others I like much better.
6) Addison Reed at 100 could seem too low a year from now if he takes over the White Sox closer job and does as well as I think he will.
What things on the list stand out to you as calls that are too aggressive, too conservative, good sleeper calls, or just intriguing?