Mayo's Top 50 Prospects
OK, so perhaps this isn't exactly the midway point of the season. But finding the Top 50 prospects in all of the Minor Leagues is a lot of work. This re-ranking comes courtesy of a dozen scouting and player development executives who were polled anonymously. Each supplied their list of the top 30 prospects in all of baseball. The results were tabulated in an AP poll-type format: Any prospect listed No. 1 got 30 points, No. 2 got 29 and on down to one. The cumulative score for each player helped determine the final rankings. Each prospect's score can be seen in parentheses. Those who have moved up the list from my first rankings at the start of the season will have a green up arrow next to his name; fallers are accompanied by a red down arrow. Many of the original Top 50 have ascended to the big leagues, causing a bit of a dilemma. Which players should still be considered prospects? After much deliberation, I've decided on a fairly arbitrary cut-off date of June 1. If a player was called up after June 1, they still qualify for this list (e.g. Rickie Weeks). That's why players like Jeff Francis, Scott Kazmir, Jeremy Reed and Nick Swisher are no longer in the rankings. As always, I'm sure you'll think there are obvious omissions. This list is nothing if not a conversation starter. So feel free to let me know your thoughts by emailing me at the address below. Happy reading!
2005 Club: Montgomery/Durham ETA in Majors: 2006 Preseason Rank: 1
Let the countdown begin. A slow August does nothing to diminish this rising star; can Tampa be far behind?
2005 Club: Tacoma/Seattle ETA in Majors: 2005 Preseason Rank: 3
The Hernandez era begins now. The M's are cleaning house and Felix got the call. Judging from his first two starts, I wouldn't expect him back in the Minors any time soon.
2005 Club: Nashville/Milwaukee ETA in Majors: 2005 Preseason Rank: 7
After tearing it up in Triple-A, he's certainly held his own in the bigs since being called up in June.
2005 Club: Mississippi/Atlanta ETA in Majors: 2005 Preseason Rank: 13
It started out as a callup to fill a hole. Now he's got a full-time gig in Atlanta. Hitting over .400 and slugging over .800 in his first 86 ABs will do that.
2005 Club: Carolina (Double-A) ETA in Majors: 2006 Preseason Rank: 17
Hermida continues to put up impressive numbers at age 21 in the Southern League. Could a Francoeur-like jump to the bigs be in the cards soon?
2005 Club: Richmond/Atlanta ETA in Majors: 2006 Preseason Rank: 9
Chipper's injury allowed Braves fans to glimpse the future; Atlanta will have to find a permanent home for Marte soon.
2005 Club: Modesto (A Advanced) ETA in Majors: 2007 Preseason Rank: 2
Stewart shook off the rust after missing the first month. After hitting .211 in May, he hit .287 in June and .345 in July.
2005 Club: Fresno (Triple-A) ETA in Majors: 2006 Preseason Rank: 8
After a stellar start in April, Cain has scuffled in Triple-A. Command has been an issue, though the 20-year-old is still fairly unhittable with a .222 batting average against.
2005 Club: Nashville/Milwaukee ETA in Majors: 2005 Preseason Rank: 10
He's gotten his feet wet in the bigs and he's hit for power (25 homers) as a 21-year-old in Triple-A, finishing on fire with a .444 average so far in August.
2005 Club: Lakeland/Erie/Detroit ETA in Majors: 2005 Preseason Rank: --
Not bad for a guy in his first professional season. His command has been surprising, leading to making it to the bigs in his first pro season. He's the highest debuter on the list.