Tuesday, March 29, 2011

AL Central's Top-50 Prospects

1) Eric Hosmer
2) Chris Sale
3) Mike Moustakas
4) Wil Myers
5) Kyle Gibson
6) Jacob Turner
7) Drew Pomeranz
8) Lonnie Chisenhall
9) Mike Montgomery
10) Aaron Hicks

11) Brent Morel
12) Jason Kipnis
13) John Lamb
14) Alex Wimmers
15) Chun-Hsiu Chen
16) Jake Odorizzi
17) Andrew Oliver
18) Ben Revere
19) Johnny Giavotella
20) Alex White

21) Liam Hendricks
23) Danny Duffy
23) Nick Weglarz
24) Jason Knapp
25) Jeremy Jeffress
26) Tim Collins
27) Chris Dwyer
28) Aaron Crow
29) Louis Coleman
30) Daniel Schlereth

31) Dayan Viciedo
32) Joe Benson
33) Chance Ruffin
34) Brett Eibner
35) Casey Crosby
36) Miguel Sano
37) Drew Smyly
38) Robbie Weinhardt
39) Nick Castellanos
40) Addison Reed

41) Joe Gardner
42) Bryce Stowell
43) Kyle Blair
44) Carlos Gutierrez
45) Christian Colon
46) Jared Goedert
47) Brayan Villareal
48) Cord Phelps
49) Angel Morales
50) Tim Melville
Note about the process: When ranking prospects there are two key factors that weigh in the process - projectability, and upside. I value projectability quite a bit more than a lot of other rankings systems. Therefor toolsy players who've yet to refine their talents into skills will rank lower on my charts than on some others. Please realize this doesn't mean that I don't see someone's inherent talents, or understand what they could become. But given the choice between a player I "know" will contribute at the MLB level, or one that has a chance to be a better one - I'll take the "sure thing." Feel free to agree or disagree with that methodology at your leisure.  

Notes on the list: There are two really egregious things that stick out to me and both have to do with rankings on this list vs rankings on my Top-15 lists. On the White Sox list I have Addison Reed, a reliever I really like a lot, as their #3 prospect, and Dayan Viciedo at #4. Astute observers of my list will see that on this list I have Viciedo a nine spots ahead of Reed. The other situation is where I put Brayan Villareal at #48, while omitting Daniel Fields, despite having him ranked a spot higher on the Tigers Top-15.

In Viciedo's case, that has a lot to do with a misranking on my part. I'm not particularly high on any aspect of Viciedo's game outside of his power, but he will be a decent MLB bench bat at worst, and his floor is certainly set at that level. I value the floor a lot, and should've ranked him higher initially, even though I like Reed quite a bit. The Villareal situation however is different. This is more an instance of a player simply pushing himself forward since I published the Top-15 list. 

Feel free to take that as you will. I know I'm kicking myself quite a bit over the Viciedo thing quite a bit, so I would actually hope that one or two of my readers would as well.

Other than that, I think the only two rankings likely to cause too much of a stir would be the Miguel Sano and Nick Castellanos rankings. But if you understand why they're ranked so low on my lists (they really haven't come anywhere close to setting an MLB-level floor) then it should be clearer.

Corey Ettinger is a Senior Writer for Baseball Digest as well as a proud contributor to both 612Sports.net, 312Sports.com, and 313sports.com. He also provides extensive analysis of the American League Central Division at his own blog, AL Central In Focus. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @Coreyettinger for the latest updates, random thoughts and general tomfoolery. 


  1. Eibner must be hella awesome to be ranked at #34 and #43

  2. It's moments like this that prove God has a sense of humor. :-)

    Talk about embarrassing. The good thing? That lets me get an extra player on the list.