Don't get me wrong. I'd rather have a successful Major League team and a crappy farm system instead of an uninspiring Major League roster and a great farm system. But on the other hand, if you're going to have that Major League team be uninspiring then it's nice to be able to look to the minors and think: "It's not going to be this way forever. We're not the Pirates."
With the unveiling of their Top 100 prospect list, Baseball America - the game's most widely respected minor league establishment - reiterates what a number of us have been thinking about since the Twins traded away both of their center fielders two months ago: Minnesota's farm system is suddenly looking healthy. Very healthy indeed. Having six players on this list ties Minnesota with the Cardinals and Marlins for representation.
Here's who ranked and where they're ranked, along with BA's scout ratings (on the 20 to 80 scale).
|BA Top 100
BA Top 100
BA Top 100
All six of these players have ranked in our own prospect list, although Eddie Rosario sneaked in at number 6 which bumped Gibson to number 7. Rosario, no doubt, will have fans believing that he should have cracked the Top 100. If he has another good year in 2013, I think it's a pretty good bet he'll do exactly that next season.
While Rosario's ommission isn't exactly a surprise, there are a couple of things that did give reason for the arch of an eyebrow. Here's what did it for me:
- Byron Buxton ranked the tenth-best prospect in all of baseball, in spite of a truncated performance last summer in his first stint in professional ball. I understand that potential means a great deal in these very subjective lists, but remember that last summer's draft had the reputation for not really having a true blue chipper in the bunch. Was BA higher on Buxton at draft time than I remember? Buxton was selected second overall last June, while the top overall selection, shortstop Carlos Correa, sits at number 13 overall for the Astros.
- In spite of having a reputation as a speedster, Hicks gets a very pedestrian 55 rating for his speed. This is still slightly above average, but it's not good enough to be considered a "plus" tool. Does BA's 55 rating also take into account his base running skills? That's the only thing that makes sense to me, unless he's not nearly as fast as he's been advertised to be.
- Sano's arm is stronger than Buxton's and Hicks'. Huh.
- Meyer has an incredible fastball. I'm not complaining, I just didn't expect it to be tied for the second-best rating. With Sano's arm, no less.