Baseball America Top 10 Prospects

Friday, January 13 2006 @ 12:01 AM EST

Contributed by: Gerry

Baseball America released their top ten prospects on-line today. The list was available to magazine subscribers a week ago. The top ten are, in order, Dustin McGowan; Ricky Romero; David Purcey; Adam Lind; Josh Banks; Casey Janssen; Brandon League; Franciso Rosario; Curtis Thigpen; and Vince Perkins.

Before we start discussing the BA list a little refresh is in order. BA rank prospects based on tools and potential. BA looks at a players ceiling and they use that evaluation as the basis for their ranking. Recent draft picks, especially high round picks, score high with BA, as they admit "pedigree is important". A position player with speed and some power will also score well, better than a player who is slow and hits home runs. A pitcher who throws 95 will generally score better than one who throws in the 80's.

The prospect forecasting business is somewhat unreliable, about half of the top ten prospects never last in the major leagues. Within that uncertain environment BA do a very good job. They talk to the clubs, minor league managers and coaches, and minor league scouts to develop a complete picture of each player.

Last years top 10

The top 10 last year were, in order, Brandon League, Aaron Hill, Guillermo Quiroz, Francisco Rosario, David Purcey, Russ Adams, Dustin McGowan, Zach Jackson, Josh Banks and Gustavo Chacin. Three of these ten lost their rookie status with the Blue Jays. Jackson was traded. Of the remaining six, three rankings went up and three went down, Quiroz right out of the top ten. It was unfortunate that the three who went down were ranked numbers 1, 3 and 4. League dropped six places, Rosario four, and Quiroz an unknown amount. Of this years top ten five are returnees with McGowan moving up the most. Romero is a 2005 pick and four moved into the top ten. Janssen had the biggest move from number 30 last year, Lind moved up from 17, Thigpen 15 and Perkins 13.

BA compared to Batters Box

There is little disagreement between BA and Batters Box. BA values Ricky Romero higher than Da Box, not surprising given BA's penchant for high draft picks. I am somewhat surprised that Adam Lind scored as high as he did with BA. Lind has two above average tools, hitting for average and power, and is below average in speed and fielding tools. BA included Brandon League although he spent a lot of time on the Jays roster last season but his inning count was low enough to qualify him. BA likes Josh Banks more than Casey Janssen, Da Box had the opposite view. It is encouraging to see BA still ranks Francisco Rosario in the top ten. Rosario did not have a great 2005 and was switched to the bullpen but he still has excellent "stuff" and had a reasonable AAA ERA of 3.95. And finally Canadian pitcher Vince Perkins comes in at #10. Batters box spoke with Perkins last season.

Dustin McGowan   BA #1; BBox #1
Ricky Romero     BA #2; BBox #6
David Purcey     BA #3; BBox #2
Adam Lind        BA #4; BBox #4
Josh Banks       BA #5; BBox #7
Casey Janssen    BA #6; BBox #3
Brandon League   BA #7; BBox unranked
Franciso Rosario BA #8; BBox #9
Curtis Thigpen   BA #9; BBox #11
Vince Perkins    BA #10; BBox #13

Organization rankings

BA's organization rankings are not done yet but I am sure we will hear today that BA ranks the Jays in the bottom half of the thirty teams. In the Yankee chat earlier this week John Manuel rated the AL East organizations as Red Sox, Devil Rays, Orioles, Yankees and Blue Jays. The first three teams on that list have some good prospects but it is bad to be ranked behind the Yankees farm system. The Blue Jays did promote Russ Adams, Aaron Hill and Gustavo Chacin last season and lost Zach Jackson in a trade. It hurt that the three of the top four prospects did not have good years.

As stated in the introduction BA values tools, the Jays value speed to the major leagues. Pitchers like Romero, Banks and Janssen are average in the eyes of BA as they throw 91-92, Lind is not a five tool player. But BA's organizational rankings are driven to a large extent off the top of the list and the Jays have questions at the top. McGowan had mixed results in the major leagues last year and pitchability is a concern, Romero profiles as a #3 starter according to BA, while Purcey has control issues. So it is not a surprise that the Jays would rank low in BA. BA rates the system poorly as they don't see many stars. The Jays are more optimistic as they see many regulars, including eight pitchers some of whom will be used as trade bait. But don't get caught up in the ranking. The Yankees were the number 24 organization last year and gave the parent club Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang. Baltimore were number 25 and Chris Ray, Hayden Penn and John Maine all look like they will help the Orioles this year.

BA Chat

BA will conduct a chat for subscribers this afternoon. The chat is copyright to BA so please no reproductions, paraphrase if you must.

New Depth Chart

With all the recent signings and trades it can be hard to keep track of the Jay's system and the players. The latest Blue Jay depth chart is here.