On Deck: The 2008 FutureAngels.com Top 10 Prospects Report

With the minor league seasons done, it’s time to turn my attention to writing the 2008 FutureAngels.com Top 10 Prospects report.

Many lists come out in the spring. I prefer to write it after a season ends. In any case, all such lists are just a snapshot in time.

The FutureAngels.com Top 10 Prospects Report has been around since 2001. It’s unique in that I actually see the players I write about, talk to their coaches and the players themselves, and shoot video of the players which I post online so you can see them and judge for yourself. You get a lot more than just a line of stats, which many so-called “expert” reports use as their sole basis for evaluating talent. Mine also relies on context. Theirs don’t.

My philosophies have evolved over the years. Baseball America goes by a player’s ceiling — if he maximizes his raw potential, what could he become. In recent years, I’ve tended to go more with actual production and progress, which means I will give a Triple-A or Double-A player the nod over someone in the lower minors, simply because he’s progressed his career to within range of the major leagues.

But now I’m thinking about how well our lower-level teams did this year, and considering that maybe some players at Orem and Tempe deserve more consideration. For example, five Orem players made the Baseball America Top 20 Prospects list — Will Smith, Luis Jimenez, Jose Perez, Angel Castillo and Michael Kohn. Roberto Lopez, who hit .400 and was the league MVP, didn’t make the cut due to his age. But should he be on the FutureAngels.com list? Tom Kotchman thinks he projects as a possible big-league role player — my rough analogy would be Robb Quinlan — so should Lopez make the list?

I’ll start writing in early November. If you want to add your thoughts and suggestions, please feel free to post a reply. Please note that the BA eligibility rules apply — no more than 130 ABs or 50 IPs in the big leagues. That means Brandon Wood, Sean Rodriguez and Jose Arredondo are no longer eligible.

I’ll be at Tempe September 25-27 for instructional league games, all against the Cubs. A World Series preview? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But I’ll be shooting video and trying to record some more interviews in anticipation of the Top 10 Prospects report.

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