Who are baseball's top prospects?
This seemingly innocent question can be answered in many different ways, inspiring more debate than a contentious session on the Senate floor in the process.
Major League Baseball's expansive farm system includes thousands of players, spread out over 150 teams and five different levels of competition. Choosing the best of the best from such a large pool of players is a Herculean task, requiring diligence, fortitude and a high level of expertise on every rung of the professional baseball ladder.
Jonathan Mayo is up to the task. Next month, the intrepid host of MiLB.com's "Around the Minors" radio program will unveil his list of 2006's Top 50 Prospects, a compendium of rising baseball stars that will serve as a who's who of our national pastime's best and brightest for the upcoming season.
And just who are the best and brightest? Some names spring immediately to mind. Five-tool phenom Delmon Young has Tampa Bay Devil Rays fans salivating. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim farmhand Brandon Wood led the Minors in home runs in 2005 with 43. Outfielder Jeremy Hermida seems set to make an impact with the retooled Florida Marlins. Francisco Liriano hopes to solidify himself in the Minnesota Twins rotation. Ryan Zimmerman is poised to become one of the Washington Nationals' first bonafide stars. The list goes on and on, and, of course, is subject to debate.
Fans, now is your chance to get in on the act, and see how your favorite prospects stack up with Mayo's. Scour your brain and submit who you think are baseball's Top 10 prospects to firstname.lastname@example.org. The results of the fan balloting will be compiled and compared with Mayo's Top 10. How will your picks stack up against MiLB.com's Minor League guru? Put your list together and find out!