Composing a ranking of the top prospects in the game is far from an easy chore, yet countless publications undertake the task each winter. It’s something the fans want to see, particularly where there are such varying opinions. That’s important to remember here – these are opinions and not ones that everyone will agree with.
This year, the rankings we’ll be publishing here at Seedlings to Stars have been developed in a different manner than those you’ve seen from this site in the past. Last year, for instance, former Editor Nathaniel Stoltz spent a fair amount of time devising his Top 100 rankings, beginning the publication process in late September as the season was coming to a conclusion. Nathaniel then pushed out 100 posts, one profiling each and every player on the list – complete with scouting reports and predictions. He even admitted up front that in his fourth year devising such a list, he still hadn’t come up with a perfect system to determine his rankings.
The year prior, S2S didn’t exist yet, so our rankings appeared over at Call to the Pen, our flagship MLB site. Nathaniel once again authored the list, once again using a system that worked for him that might not work for others. Some of the notable omissions from his list include Yonder Alonso, Brett Lawrie and Jarrod Parker – all guys who’ve since established themselves as solid Major Leaguers.
As we get set to unveil our rankings for the 2013 season (which you’ll start to see on this site beginning tomorrow), there are some things that you should really know going into this list.
One, there is no perfect formula for determining prospect rankings. If there was, every list would be exactly the same and there would be no reason to review the lists published by the likes of Baseball America, MLB.com, ESPN.com, and others. Players are bound to be ranked too high or too low on this list, as we’ll learn while time plays out. Predicting the future path of prospects is an inexact science.
Two, someone is bound to be left off the list. There are always players who are either under-the-radar or simply haven’t established themselves enough yet to be considered for a spot in these rankings. It happens each and every year.
Three, this list is entirely subjective. You are not going to agree with all of the rankings that will follow. That’s ok. You’re not supposed to agree with them all. That’s where your chance to leave a comment and start a discussion comes into play.
There have been numerous versions of this list and it has been adjusted multiple times. The lion’s share of these rankings stem from my own opinions, though there have been varying degrees of influence from the rest of the staff here at S2S. Simon Daillie, for instance, spent a fair amount of time with me early on sharing some insight into these rankings and that insight certainly helped shape some of my final opinions. But I can guarantee that Simon, James, and the rest of the staff here will not fully agree with every one of these rankings.
There will be surprises. There will be rankings you won’t agree with. There will be players that some feel are missing. There will be some ranked too high and others too low. That’s the beauty of prospect rankings – it’s a tough task and there is no perfect answer.