Moundtalk Top 100 Prospects

Sickels' Top 20 Yankee Prospects
A-Rod, Boras in a fight

Better prospects than steroids, right? Moundtalk – a site I just stumbled upon and liked what I saw – posted a list of the Top 100 Prospects in baseball. The list was actually compiled by the site’s readers, who submitted their individual lists and had them blended together. Yankee rankings and more after the jump:

#6 – Joba
#39 – Tabata
#42 – IPK
#46 – Ajax
#93 – Alan Horne
#100 – Betances

Over 120 people sent in their list, so there’s a good sampling of opinions here. The Yanks’ kids are placed in a representative spot with the exception of IPK, who should be in the top 25. You’d have to put together quite an argument to convince me that Fautino DeLosSantos, Gio Gonzalez, Eric Hurley and Justin frickin’ Masterson are better prospects than President Kennedy. Tabata’s a little low, but that’s nitpicking.

Update: One of their writer’s also makes an interesting case that the Yanks aren’t truly building a farm system, they’re just buying one.

Sickels' Top 20 Yankee Prospects
A-Rod, Boras in a fight
  • David

    Buying a farm system is a sound strategy for a big revenue team. A better strategy than long term contracts to older players.

  • Andrew

    Wowwee. Talk about sour grapes. The Yankees can’t do anything right, it seems. They’re not building a farm system through scouting, they’re just buying the best players? What a doofus. The Yankees SCOUT the players they like, and do whatever they can to get them. Perfect example is Austin Jackson, who the Yankees SCOUTED since he was 12.

    “The rich get richer.” Bahahaha, the ‘poor’ teams can give just as much money to their players as the Yankees do. That is one of the worst arguments I have ever heard.

    • kris

      What, the sox never sign their draftees overslot? I bet the Angels didn’t outbid the Yankees for the K-Rod either.

  • JRVJ

    I agree.

    With the amount of revenue MLB teams are getting, there is no reason why other teams can’t go over slot in the draft or pay bigger bonuses to (usually) poor Lat Am players. The fact that Drayton McLane’s of the world choose to pay Carlos Lee (my countryman) $100MM per 6 years instead of overslot is up to McLane, but no fault of the Yankees.

    Heck, the Tigers and Red Sox are doing the same thing as the Yankees, and they aren’t getting called on this.

    • Jamal G

      Hey Im from Panama too, you grew up there or you were born here?

      As to the topic, I agree that this Yankees hatred just gets stupid at times. What the hell is the difference between buying and growing a farm system? What the hell do you want us to do, start recruiting these guys like college coaches? Give me a damn break.

  • Ed

    If revenue is shared and a luxury tax exists, shouldn’t we have a randomized draft? If MLB wants to equal the playing field, they need to ensure that successful big market teams are not always penalized in the draft. The Yankees must pay above slot bonuses if they want a fair chance at top talent. MLB can’t have it both ways, either make it totally equal or leave it alone.

    • jscape2000

      The only way a randomized draft makes sense is if you set hard caps on signing bonuses. That’s too close to collusion.

  • Tom

    Aside – I would love to see RABs list of top 100 MLB prospects. (Or a link to another blog’s impartial list.) It does not completely match the blog’s mission of covering the yankee farm, but your expert opinion on this subject would be a very interesting read.

    • Mike A.

      I’ve toyed with the idea before, and since it’s the slow time of the offseason, I’ll see what I can whip up. I am much, much more versed in the Yanks system than any other team, obviously. This will be fun.

      • kris

        “One of their writer’s also makes an interesting case that the Yanks aren’t truly building a farm system, they’re just buying one.”

        I bet this Mountalk guy typed this column in between burying his face in Youks’ game worn jock and taking deep, audible breaths in it.

        Mike. Please start do your homework on other teams soon. Other teams are willing to trade their players for sawx junk because their fans believe in the bull from these sox PR machines.

  • CB

    In 2005, 2006, and 2007 the Tigers acquired arguably the top player/talent in each draft without even having a pick in the top 5. I wonder how they did that? Could it have something to do with money?

    One can make a similar argument that the Tigers also got the top talent based on financial considerations in 2004 when they drafted Verlander #2. The only reason the padres took Bush was because he was easy to sign. No one thought of him as the best player available.

    The Tigers did that by “buying” those players. Dombrowski was the guy who really pointed the way for paying over slot in the draft and the value it returns on the investment. He’s always credited with being terrific at developing young talent. Never heard of him as “buying” his farm system.

    Its humorous when people get fixated on the Yankees this way.

  • zack

    I don’t get it. Don’t you always “buy” a farm system? Its not like any of those players are “born” into the system. Every single player has to be “bought” at the right price.

    I don’t understand how Justin Masterson continues to get this massive hype. Seriously, are the Red Sox paying off baseball pundits everywhere to continuously overhype their system?

    • Yankee Fan in Chicago

      Seems to me a preponderance of baseball analysts, particularly those who come from a stats wonk background are/grew up as Sawx fans. Then add in the fact that Bill James works for them, not to mention Gammons association, and you’ve got a lot of Sawx admirers out there.

  • Travis G.

    i suppose the Yanks ‘buying prospects’ is worse than the Marlins pocketing half their revenue. one team cares, the other doesn’t. which would he prefer?

  • Grant

    So wait, do players play for free for other teams?

  • Robert

    This guy who wrote that column is an idiot. He tries defending himself in the comment section by saying that he’s not condemning the yankees for what they are doing. Wait…so using the money that they have to build their farm system instead of overpaying high priced overrated major league players is wrong? When this dork actually pens the same exact article about teams like Detroit who do the exact same thing, then we can talk about the Yankees spending money on the players they scouted.

  • Geno

    To paraphrase Jack Nicholson’s character in A Few Good Men,

    Small-market baseball can’t handle the truth! We live in a league that has games. And those games have to be won by teams with talent. Who’s gonna do it? You, Minnesota? You, Tampa Bay? The Yankees have a greater responsibility than the rest of baseball can possibly fathom. You weep for a salary cap and you curse the Yankees. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what we know: that our greatness, while tragic to you, probably sells tickets. And our existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, sells tickets…You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want us winning those games. You need us winning those games. We use words like tradition, history, loyalty…we use these words as the backbone to a life spent winning something. You use ’em as a punchline. We have neither the time nor the inclination to explain ourselves to baseball fans who rise and sleep under the blanket of the very shared revenues we provide, then questions the manner in which we provide them! We’d rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, we suggest you spend some money and win a game. Either way, we don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to!


    I know this is supposed to be a fun “mock” list, but i can’t put too much stock into it. There is no way that you can tell me there are 5 guys in the minor league system (including Bucholz) who are projected to be better than Chamberlain when the guy absolutely dominated at the ML level and made half the batters he faced look like little leaguers.

    And Bucholz? What, so the guy throws one good game, and now he’s the best SP prospect in baseball? Gimme a break. He came down to earth his final 2 starts. Nobody on that list is nearly as dominant (and probably wont ever be) as Joba, im sorry, case closed on that one.

    And Ian Kennedy at #42? The guy only had a 1.7 (ish) ERA in 4 starts and nearly no-hit the Bluejays in Toronto. So once again, I find it hard to believe that Kennedy is relegated to the “middle of the pack” in the PROSPECTS lists when this kid already has shown he can be very effective at the ML level whereas 90% of these other players are doing well against 19-22 year olds. Lets see how they do when (if) they reach the Big Show.

    p.s. sorry for the edginess of this post, shitty day at work.

  • Lanny

    Why not spend your money on talent to build the farm system especially when you pick 30 every yr?

  • Paul

    Why is Justin Masterson rated so high? Last year in both A+, and AA he posted an ERA significantly over 4.

  • Koby Schellenger

    Hello everybody. I wanted to address a few concerns people raised in your posts.

    First, though, I want to take the time to thank you all for checking out the site and taking your time to comment. If I failed to address something, let me know. My email is or you can comment on moundtalk and I’ll get back to you.

    The first theme I noticed is the concept that I am slamming the Yankees for going over-slot. I most certainly am not trying to do that. I am just pointing out the way they have done things and how successful they have been at it where other teams have been content to allow players like Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy etc. slide because of bonus demands, the Yankees have gone out and taken chances on guys like Brackman and company.

    Second, I understand frustration about specifically mentioning the Yankees and it was not my intention to pick on the Yankees or anything like that. People have brought up very good and very valid points about the Tigers and Red Sox. I am in the process of analyzing all teams and, thanks to a flurry of interest in this article of late, will be ready to publish it this weekend. The reason I chose the Yankees to look at first is two fold: 1) The Yankees have gone overslot more than other teams. By my rough count (and it could be wrong) of the non-draft-and-follow guys, the Yankees have gone over slot on 17 players in the first ten rounds over the last five seasons. Tampa is next with ten followed by the Red Sox at eight. The Tigers have had six in the last three seasons and certainly that has been a benefit to them. So I do not mean to isolate the Yankees as if they are the only ones doing it. They are just doing it more. Not that that’s a bad thing. They’ve clearly succeeded in revitalizing their farm system through their method.

    I am not trying to advocate a change towards a hard cap or locked in slotting. I agree that that is collusion and unfair for both players and owners.

    Travis makes an interesting comment that reflects nicely how I feel about the situation. The Yankees care, they have the money and they spend the money. That’s good for baseball. I’ve pointed out a number of times that when the Yankees are good, baseball thrives. Baseball, in my estimation, needs the Yankees to survive. Conversely, the Marlins don’t care, they have the money (roughly 40M from revenue sharing and MLB Media money) and they don’t spend the money. That’s a real travesty.

    I will look at the two comments I saw about the Community Top 100 List with a short preface:

    The Community List is a compilation of 122 lists sent to me by readers. There is no doubt a slant towards a couple Boston prospects, in my mind, and high-reward young players. The first trend is most likely a function of a couple Red Sox web outlets linking to The second trend is likely from everyone’s affection for the next “so-and-so” and that leads players like Angel Villalona, Carlos Triunfel to be very very very highly ranked.

    As for the Buchholz/Chamberlain debate, that is something I am unsettled upon at the moment. However, to throw out this list because Joba is below Clay is a bit rash. I would guess most lists have Buchholz ahead of Chamberlain. I do not know where I stand on the two yet, but they are very close. In the Community List, Joba trailed by just two points. So, what’s more is that even though the Community had them fourth and sixth, they are really viewed as very, very close.

    As to Masterson, I agree that he is rated too highly. I would expect he’ll land about 10-15 slots lower in my Top 100 Prospects List.

    As to Kennedy, I agree that he’s is rated too low. I would expect he’ll land about 10-15 slots

    On an ironic note, I have received nine emails from Red Sox fans claiming the list is completely biased towards the Yankees and calling me a Red Sox hater (despite this being a Community List, of course).

    Finally, as a general point, to disspell a little myth, I am not a Yankees Hater. I actually like the way they’ve approached personnel moves in the past few years.

    Once again, thank you for taking the time to read the article and comment. I’m happy to answer any questions.