The BA Prospect Handbook, Part One

2013-BA-Prospect-HandbookThe 2013 Baseball America Prospects book is here and the staff is reviewing it. As much as I like to bash BA, I can’t ignore them, either. Like it or not, when it comes to prospects, the conversation starts with them. Fine by me, because I think the recent anointing of the Brothers Upton is proof positive that baseball fans are desperate for winter to end (that, and lately, narrative in sportswriting has been cheap and easy).

Like last year, I’m doing multiple posts to spread out the material and have fodder for discussion.

As mentioned in the comments, I was shocked to see that the system came in at #16 — I was expecting somewhere in the mid-20s. And this does not include the return of A.J. Cole. Much like 2011, the folks in Durham really approved of the gamble taken with the drafting of Lucas Giolito.

Let’s take a look at what happened to last year’s Top 26 (remember, the Gio Gonzalez trade happened after the book went to press).

Graduated (3) — Bryce Harper, Steve Lombardozzi, Tyler Moore

Rule 5 Draft, Taken (2) — Jeff Kobernus, Danny Rosenbaum

Traded (2) — Alex Meyer, David Freitas

Dropped Out (4) — Kylin Turnbull, Cole Kimball, Kevin Keyes, Adrian Sanchez

So a little more than than half (15/26) of last year’s list is the same. Half of it has been signed since GM Mike Rizzo has become GM. One-fifth (6) are IFAs signed by the Nationals. A bit more of a mild surprise: six of the thirty will be 25 or older by midseason, which is somewhat of an indictment of Washington’s collegiate drafting bias, but one would have thought that more these guys would have been passed over in favor of 2012 draftees.

Today, I’ll leave you with the Top 15 Prospects listed in the book, then pass along 16-30 in Part Two. Where applicable, last year’s ranking is in parentheses:

1. Anthony Rendon, 3B (2)
2. Lucas Giolito, RHP
3. Brian Goodwin, OF (5)
4. Matt Skole, 3B (21)
5. Nathan Karns, RHP
6. Christian Garcia, RHP
7. Eury Perez, OF (22)
8. Sammy Solis, LHP (8)
9. Matt Purke, LHP (7)
10. Zach Walters, SS (19)
11. Michael Taylor, OF (14)
12. Tony Renda, 2B
13. Taylor Jordan, RHP (31)
14. Jason Martinson, SS/3B (25)
15. Sandy Leon, C (24)

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

17 thoughts on “The BA Prospect Handbook, Part One”

  1. Where did AJ Cole rank among the A’s prospects? How about Treinen? How about the PTBNL (I hope he ranked very high indeed)?


  2. I’m sure there are exceptions, but I can not remember any case ever that the PTBNL was a significant player at the time of the trade (except cases where it was announced / leaked at trade time that it was a too recent draftee e.g., the Ubaldo Jiminez / Pomeranz trade). I will be shocked if this PTBNL is a ranked player, since Cole was obviously the key piece for Rizzo.

  3. BA sure doesn’t seem to ding pitchers much for injuries. In addition to Giolito, the one that really stands out to me is Taylor Jordan moving up that much with 9 mediocre starts after TJ.

  4. g_burg-

    I know that you are right, but I was amused by the idea of seeing someone listed as “Player to Be Named Later” in the rankings for the A’s, since we don’t know who it is.

  5. BA’s folks aren’t like John Sickels … he rushed an update right after the Michael Morse trade … I guess they are slower moving …

    1. My guess is that the galleys were sent in around Dec. 10, given that the Rule 5 picks were already in their new teams — Kobernus, #20 for Detroit; Rosenbaum, #22 for Colorado– while last year’s trade was roughly two weeks later and was too late to make the book. It’s a 500-page book, so you can more appreciate what Sickels does with a fraction of the manpower.

  6. There you go humiliating the staff again.
    Riley seems more pliable for photos than Lulu.
    I love these lists, to be honest. Never completely agree with them, but it allows us all this fun.
    I think we can all agree it’s:
    After that, let the discussion begin.
    To me, putting a player who has about 3 innings of pro ball & a broken wing at # 2 is just plain dumb.

    1. Let’s not forget that Spike was much older when I started (ab)using him for site pix. At LuLu’s age (~2.5), he would have been just as challenging. Bulldogs are pretty feisty until about 3 or 4, then they become like Matzoball on Tuesday afternoon.

    2. I’m not sure that it is a “joke” to rate Giolito that high. The concept of a prospect list is to rate the guys who could have the greatest major league impact. If Giolito gets healthy he is by far the highest upside arm in the system. The list isn’t projecting health. It is projecting potential.

      1. so a kid that didnt pitch his senior yr didnt face college batters and hasnt really faced anybody in the minors is the best arm in organization! Uh yeah right i guess you follow the hype and age mold!

  7. I am shocked the Nats’ system is ranked that high, given the losses (don’t forget McGeary & Nelo, lost in the minor league Rule 5 draft). My guess was mid-20’s.

  8. Always liked Taylor Jordan and had him on my own top thirty, but was surprised to see him ranked so high. Like Mark, I love these lists, just for the fun of them. And like most of you I was surprised to see the system ranked as high. Would have thought low twenties myself. On the other hand, if everyone were projected healthy, The system might have been ranked a little higher. But healthy they are not and in at least one case (Purke) likely never will be.
    Great clip, Luke. And a good picture of your copy editor, alert and intelligent, exactly the attributes one would expect in a newspaper gal.

    1. I can understand TJ making the list (maybe not that high) even after having, um, TJ — I was fortunate enough to see him on my one and only trip to Burlington, VT and if he’s recovered and progressed, then there’s a chance that this is his Nathan Karns year.

      Riley, btw, is Security (she’s always underneath my feet while I work) and IT.

  9. Wow, where in the world is Chris Marrero? Nowhere on the radar … A mediocre September (2011), an off-season injury, maybe not-so-much at Syracuse when in came back in 2012 — the decent continues. Wonder if he’ll get it goin’ again.

  10. I also am mildly surprised to see Jordan ranked so high. Even more shocked to hear that BA has the system #16, even before accounting for the Cole re-acquisition. I would have guessed we’d be bottom 5 after all the trades and prospect losses.

Comments are closed.