Project Prospects’ Top 200 Prospects List

Projecting Triple-A Scranton's roster
By The Book, a look at an ideal Yanks batting order

Never one to conform to the traditional measuress of top 10’s, top 30’s or top 100’s, Project Prospect posted their gigantic list of the top 200 prospects in the game today. The list is headed by the usual suspects (Wieters, then Price) and is full of familiar names up top, guys like Colby Rasmus, Madison Bumgarner and Jason Heyward. Seven Yankees’ farmhands made the list: Jesus Montero (#37), Austin Jackson (52), Dellin Betances (71), Zach McAllister (110), Brett Gardner (115), Jairo Heredia (169), and Austin Romine (196). So Andrew Brackman isn’t one of the 200 best prospects in the game but Chris Withrow is? Really?

Projecting Triple-A Scranton's roster
By The Book, a look at an ideal Yanks batting order
  • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

    Betances is #71, eh? I guess they must REALLY love this kid’s upside.

  • http://www.bronxbaseballdaily.com Bronx Baseball Daily

    Putting Brackman on that list is basically giving him credit for everything he’s done in college and really basing it off limited professional experience. How many other prospects are on these lists that you can say that for. I think he’s consistently listed too high.

    • A.D.

      So should Pedro Alvarez be taken off the list, given that he is #10 or Josh Fields?

    • Rich M

      There are seven players on that list that were either in college or high school last year.

      • A.D.

        10 that have listed highest NCAA, HS or International

        Alverez
        Hosmer
        Mastuz
        Friedrich
        Lawrie
        Martin
        Fields
        Westmoreland
        Lobstein
        Melville

        Now some of these guys might have gotten a handful of at-bats, but Brackman did pitch a HWB season, so he does have some pro experience.

        • A.D.

          2 International:

          Tazawa & Viciedo

        • Rich M

          There are another 22 that played rookie and short season ball. I would call that basing it on limited pro experience.

    • whozat

      Well…would doing that be any less valid than giving some 19 year old kid credit for what he did in rookie ball?

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      Which is why Westmoreland and Tazawa are not on the list. Oh, wait….

    • Adam Foster

      Well, Brackman is someone who I saw pitch in college and followed very closely during his junior season — that is, until he got injured.

      I wasn’t that impressed with Brackman the time I saw him. His fastball didn’t have much movement and he wasn’t keeping hitter’s off balance with his fastball/curveball combo.

      And while I know Brackman was pitching professionally for the first time last fall in Hawaii, what he did there didn’t really help sell me on him (15.5% BB, 22.4% K).

      I’m not all that aggressive with guys just because they have “good bodies” and “throw hard”. So while Brackman is someone who were talked about for this list, he wasn’t someone who we felt comfortable ranking on it. Maybe he’ll surprise me this year.

      P.S. Thanks for the attention you guys have given to our site. We really appreciate it!

      • A.D.

        Thanks for the explanation, anything on why no Melancon?

        • Adam Foster

          Melancon’s someone who we talked about for the list. And there’s a case to be made that he deserves to be on it. His strikeout rate improvements at each level last season are very impressive. I’m anxious to see if his can replicate his Triple-A strikeout rate over an extended period of time. If he can do that, I’ll be sold.

          • Zack

            So it requires 2 years of AAA to make this list now?

            • Adam Foster

              You can call it two years if you want. A sample of 75 total batters faced isn’t something that I feel very comfortable with.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Great list and great work, but, with all due respect, Andrew Brackman doesn’t have a “great body”. Vanessa Veasley has a “great body” (Google it.)

        Andrew Brackman has a 6’10” body, which gives him an extreme downhill plane on his pitches, making them harder to elevate. If he merely “threw hard” or “was tall”, it wouldn’t be all that impressive. That he “throws hard” AND “is tall” makes him that much more difficult to hit and thus, should boost his prospect status considerably.

        • Jay CT

          I believe he actually said, “I’m not all that aggressive with guys just because they have “good bodies” and “throw hard”.” Sounds like he agrees that he is tall (my way of reading his good body comment. Oh, and I totally disagree with your Veasley pick. She does nothing for me for some reason. Anyway…), but that he wasn’t a huge fan before the injury in college.

          Although I agree that its suprising some names on this list made it and his didn’t, I think we fall into the trap of being Yankee fans and thus seeing our kids through rose colored glasses. Me personally, I can’t wait to see him develop this season. However, I see where this guy is coming from and applaud him for it.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Yeah, I was sorta riffing on the “good body” comment by saying that saying he has a “good” body is a misnomer – Brackman has a unique body, uniquely good. I think Clemens, Joba, or King Felix have “good” pitchers bodies as they’re strong, well proportioned, typical power pitchers frames. Brackman has a power pitcher’s body but it’s 6-8 inches taller than average, which gives him the potential to have an unfair advantage when he harnesses his mechanics.

            Oh, and: (sorta NSFW)
            http://dynastyseries.com/wp-content/2009/02/vv-cover.jpg

            That does nothing for you?

            • Mulls

              kleenex!!!!!!!!!!

  • A.D.

    Surprised no Melancon

    • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

      Mark “Dangerfield” Melancon:

      He can’t get no respect.

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      But yes Bard, because as Kyle Farnsworth has taught us, velocity is everything.

      • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

        I keep hearing conflicting reports as to whether Bard’s fastball is straight or if it has some movement. What has everyone else heard or seen?

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    I’m just happy Angel Villalona isn’t in the top 20 like he is on damn near every other list.

    #109 sounds much more palatable.

  • A.D.

    Abe Almonte getting the mention at the bottom

  • Simon B.

    A prospect list that doesn’t overrate Brackman?

    Hallelujah!

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      If Brackman had sat out the draft, had surgery, had a similar performance to what he had in HWB in college, and then entered the draft, he would be a top 10 pick and would easily be on this list. Because he did it after being drafted, suddenly he is overrated.

      • Adam Foster

        I don’t agree with you here Moshe. I suppose scouts could have seen that his velocity was back. But his high walk rate may be an indicator that he still has a lot to work on.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Plenty of the pitchers on that list have high walk rates and a lot to work on.

          But they don’t have three pitches as good as Andrew Brackman’s.

          • Jay CT

            I think this is a good point that hasn’t been touched on so much. Not only does Brackman have the physical build but he actually has three good pitches.

        • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

          They would look at his returned velocity and pretty much ignore control issues coming straight off of surgery, especially with complicated mechanics such as his.

        • Zack

          All young pitchers struggle with walks, and all pitchers coming off TJ surgery have control issues.

      • Simon B.

        He’s overrated because he’s never done anything besides throw hard and be tall. His college record was mediocre, his command is lousy, he’s injured all the time (even before elbow surgery, he had only 140 IP combined in 3 years), his breaking stuff has looked pretty pedestrian. Not that it means much because he just got off surgery, but he was awful in HWB too, so I don’t know why you referred to that.

        I’m not sure if I’d leave him out of my top 200 prospects (I don’t have a good enough idea of the kind of talent that it encompasses), but I’m sick of him getting so much praise.

        Moshe, I understand what you’re saying, but I think it’s actually the opposite. That is, Brackman is getting all this attention because he’s the “shiny new toy”.

        Contrast this with Chris Garcia: Mike ranked him 26 spots below Brackman on his Top 30 Franchise list because he is injured all the time. And yet, Garcia has almost twice as many innings in pro/college ball as Brackman despite being only three months older. And Garcia has one of the best curves and what looks like one of the best changeups in the organization.

        • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

          BA named him the #2 prospect in HWB, which is why I referred to it. I am not saying there arent issues, Im just saying that he is in the top 200. I have no issues if he was not in the top 100.

          • steve (different one)

            exactly. this is a top 200 list. he should be on it.

            no one is arguing that Brackman should be in the top 50 or whatever.

            • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

              I think putting him in instead of Heredia, at 169, would be totally reasonable.

        • Zack

          Tim Beckham is #31 on this list, he’s TB “shiny new toy” and is 5 years away from the majors.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      A prospect list that overrates Brackman = bad
      A prospect list that underrates Brackman = also bad

      Yes, saying that Brackman is a top 30 prospect is a bit ludicrous. But, saying that a 6’10” power pitching starter who sits at 95 and touches 99 with a sledgehammer curve isn’t one of the top 200 prospects in all of baseball is a little ludicrous as well.

      He’s not a sure thing and he’s got a spotty injury history and imperfect mechanics. That’s true of like 80% of the pitchers on this list. Very few of them have three pitches as good as he does.

      • KW

        I dunno, just not enough out there really to make a judgment. Betances also wasn’t listed, and is Brackman far above and beyond what Betances is as a prospect, who has a bit more pro experience/results to go off of? Can’t say that he is. Wait and see I guess

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Ummm, you may want to go reread the post (or article) more carefully.

          Betances is #71.

        • KW

          nm, reading comprehension FAIL :)

  • Reggie C.

    Imo, Brackman’s lost ’08 season did a good job of cooling the Yankee hype machine. Its his largely positive Hawaii ball performances that’ve resurrected the hype. BA didn’t have to name him HWL #2 prospect , but they did.

  • Grant

    I’d love to know how many of these 200 these guys have seen to even rate them.

    I take prospect rankings with a huge grain of salt.

    It’s just people piggybacking other people who also have never seen them.

  • Drew

    One question I’ve always had was; when does a player stop becoming a prospect? A guy like IPK has only started about 10 MLB games, well 12 to be exact but only 60 innings, and the vast majority of his young career was dominant minor league play; under 2 ERA and over a K an inning in 200+ innings. Isn’t he really still a prospect?

    • A.D.

      I believe generally it is when they loose the ability to be ROY

      • whozat

        That’s when most “prospect rankers” stop putting them on lists and such, yes, but the reality of it is that it’s not so cut-and-dry.

        Kennedy is definitely still a prospect

  • Drew

    That makes sense I guess, but even then, IPK is only a few innings over that limit and he has been nothing short of dominant in the minors. I hope he conitinues that trend and learns how to pitch in the bigs.

    • Drew

      whoops forgot to hit reply

    • A.D.

      Yeah I’m sure there are others in the same situation, such as Hughes, that aren’t full time major leaguers yet. But the line has to be drawn somewhere, and that makes the most sense

  • erik

    Bos- had only 7 on the list
    we should have had nine no melancon/brackman?!