Monday, February 4, 2013

A busy weekend for prospect lists

Aaron Hicks and a fan at a Twinsfest autorgraph table.
Last week I noted that MLB.com's Top 100 prospects included six Twins.

This weekend John Sickels released his top prospect lists in an email to people who have ordered his annual prospect book. Sickels does two lists: 50 position players and 50 pitchers. This makes his listings difficult to compare directly to the others, which lump everybody together.

There are seven Twins on the Sickels lists, five hitters and two pitchers.

The hitters: Miguel Sano (7), Oswaldo Arcia (16), Byron Buxton (19), Aaron Hicks (44) and Eddie Rosario (46). The pitchers: Alex Meyer (29) and Kyle Gibson (37).

A few comments:

Sickels obviously likes Arcia a lot more than MLB.com's panel, which put him at 93. For that matter, so does Baseball America (see below). I'm inclined to think Arcia was underrated by MLB.com.

Sickels has been less enthusiastic about Buxton than most prospect followers, but putting Buxton 19th among position players is hardly an insult. He does have Buxton behind Carlos Correa, the No. 1 overall pick last summer -- No. 11 on the Sickels list -- and that's consistent with Sickels' evaluation immediately before the draft; he preferred the 17-year-old shortstop to the 18-year-old outfielder.

Unlike MLB.com, Sickels did not slide Hicks down for having his best season. Hicks didn't make Sickels' top 50 a year ago; now he's number 44. Much more logical than MLB.com's treatment.

Rosario was No. 47 on Sickels' list last year, 46 now. MLB.com didn't rank him.

A year ago, with Gibson recovering from Tommy John surgery, the Twins had no pitchers on Sickels' list. Now they have two. Trevor May, acquired in the Ben Revere trade, was No. 20 last year, but he's fallen off the chart after a season of control issues in Double A.

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Meanwhile, my copy of Baseball America's Prospect Handbook arrived Saturday.

BA released its Top 10 Twins prospect list early in the offseason, before the trades of Denard Span and Ben Rever, which brought Alex Meyer and Trevor May into the organization. Both pitchers make the revised Top 10, which now runs:

1) Miguel Sano, 3b
2) Byron Buxton, of
3) Oswaldo Arcia, of
4) Alex Meyer, rhp
5) Kyle Gibson, rhp
6) Aaron Hicks, of
7) J.O. Berrios, rph
8) Eddie Rosario, 2b/of
9) Trevor May, rhp
10) Max Kepler, of

Middle infielder Daniel Santana and rhp Luke Bard slip to No. 11 and 12, respectively, on the BA list.

BA hasn't released its consensus Top 100 yet, but the Handbook does give the Top 50 selections by each of the four editors. Sano is ranked 13, 17, 8 and 7 (average a bit over 11); Buxton is ranked 8, 21, 10 and 8 (average just under 12); Arcia is ranked 44, 34, 44 and 42 (average 41). No other Twins were mentioned in the Top 50 of any of the four.


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