Using the lists produced by Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus, Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com and the team at Baseball America, the following players could all consider themselves to be ‘Top 10′ prospects entering the 2012 season: Matt Moore, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Jurickson Profar, Julio Teheran, Dylan Bundy, Jesus Montero, Manny Machado, Gerrit Cole, Shelby Miller, Jameson Taillon, Trevor Bauer and Yu Darvish. As only 14 different names feature across the three top 10 lists (13 if you discount Darvish from consideration as Goldstein and Mayo did) there seems to have been a good amount of consensus between the experts on who the top minor league talents were pre-season.
Of those 14 names:
- 3 began the year in the Majors (Darvish, Montero, Moore)
- 2 have since been called up (Trout, Harper)
- 3 have a very strong chance of being called up this summer (Teheran, Miller, Bauer)
That’s a lot of talent that could or should be missing from next year’s lists. Harper and Trout both getting called up almost simultaneously really put the spotlight on this situation but realistically this was going to happen and some point over the course of the season. Although last year’s draft produced a veritable bounty of talent, this year’s crop is reportedly significantly weaker and I would assume there is a reasonable chance it hasn’t produced any top 10 talents this time next year.
Prospect graduations haven’t just impacted the top of these lists either. Just eyeballing a few names from the 11-25 range, spots where one might reasonably expect to find some of next year’s top 10 talents, there are more players who could well lose rookie eligibility in 2012. These are names like Devin Mesoraco, Danny Hultzen and Jacob Turner.
All of this means that next year’s top spots are there for the taking. Only Teheran featured in the 4-6 slots on all three lists so there is clearly a little disagreement following this year’s clear top 3 of Moore, Trout and Harper. Early favourites to jump into the top 10s include Francisco Lindor, Miguel Sano and Taijuan Walker while possibilities for the top slot include Profar, Bundy and Archie Bradley. A glut of call ups really has thrown next year’s lists wide open.