Ranking the prospects

I was initially shying away from doing a “top X prospects list” for a number of reasons. After mulling it over for most of this weekend I think that I probably will do something similar, but it’s going to wait until after the draft pick signing deadline. That’s for a few reasons; it seems like a logical time to do such a thing, waiting until after the deadline will allow me to wait until my written comps are done, and both Bucs Dugout and the Post-Gazette have come out with their lists today and I don’t want to pile on top of theirs.

There are a few interesting things I want to point out. I suppose you can consider the rest of this post me musing aloud before putting together my own list of things. It’s very interesting to me that DK’s list, which was compiled with “significant input” from the Pirates’ front office, has Rudy Owens so low. I wonder if the team doesn’t seem him as a Zach Duke-type prospect; a lefty with great peripheral stuff that gets hitters out in the low minors, but that as a result won’t carry his strikeout rate into the big leagues and will be a mid-rotation guy at best. It’s not a bad thing to be Zach Duke, mind you, it’s just interesting to see him ranked that low on someone’s list after the way he’s pitched this year.

I also wonder how Trent Stephenson and Zack Dodson will rank out when guys like Kevin Goldstein, John Sickels, and Baseball America make their lists. Both Charlie and DK have Stephenson ranked just above the 20 spot and his bonus was considerably less than Dodson’s. Charlie doesn’t rank Dodson at all and that meshes with the scouting reports that came out right after the draft (he wasn’t as highly regarded as Von Rosenberg, Cain, or Stephenson), but the $600,000 bonus the Pirates gave him is interesting because it’s much more in the neighborhood of Victor Black’s $717,000 and Brooks Pounders’ $670,000 than Stephenson’s $350,000.

Finally, it’s really great to see Starling Marte fly up the prospect lists. He was a Rene Gayo signing from the Littlefield era and a year ago, he wasn’t much more than a mention in a PG story about Gayo’s favorite prospects. His signings (DK’s list also has Diego Moreno and Rogelio Noris, Charlie has Exicardo Cayonez on his) are just starting to crack these sorts of lists and it’s a breath of fresh after after so many years without a significant, home grown international prospect.

As both writers note, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Still, the system has come a long way in the last two years and with McCutchen already hitting in the Majors, it’s hard to not be excited about the direction things are heading below the big league level.

Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.