I devised a consensus prospect list from five sources: me, Nick James at PNR scouting, Tony Pente at Orioles Hangout, John Sickels at Minor League Ball, and the guys at Baseball Prospectus. It should be noted my top 20 and James' top 20 were constructed after the rule 5 draft, so Steve Johnson is not on ours (in mine, he would have come in around 15 or 16). In weighting the composite rankings (located after the jump), I merely moved anyone below Johnson on the other lists one ranking up. Of course, this ranking system assumes equal difference between one rank and the next. This is a faulty assumption, but one I felt was necessary in order to combine the lists. Be sure to click on the image to make it larger. Here is how the five evaluations differ:
After the jump, the composite top 10.
1. Brian Matusz LHSP A
Four solid above average pitches with great control. After dominating HiA and AA, he pitched 44.2 innings in Baltimore. He continued to show a high k rate, low walks, but was susceptible to the long ball as well as hits in general. With time, these should settle.
2. Jake Arrieta RHSP B+
Opinions on Arrieta have diverged greatly over the past year. Some concerns have been placed about his potential trouble in facing batters two or three times through. He has great upside and bottoms out as a force in the back of a bullpen.
3. Josh Bell 3B B+
Bell made great strides in the past year. His defense has improved remarkably, but needs more refinement to be MLB ready. His bat on the left side of the plate plays against righties at a MLB level. He is incapable of hitting anything against lefties when he gets into the right handed batters' box. Still young, there looks like there is more power potential in his swing.
4. Zach Britton LHSP B/B+
Britton continues to improve at each level. His pitchability is through the roof and he induces an incredible amount of groundballs. As he advances, he will probably face better hitters who are more capable of getting solid contact. Britton could be special.
5. Brandon Erbe RHSP B
Brandon struggled some this year with injuries encouraging some concern about how well his body would be able to hold up as a starting pitcher. High upside, but projecting more toward the pen.
6. Brandon Snyder 1B B-
Snyder has a solid swing and has increasingly gained converts to his ability during the AFL season. I'm still not sure there is enough power in that swing.
7. Matt Hobgood RHSP B-
Hobgood flashes pro quality fastballs and breaking balls. Both will require several years of refinement and he will need to develop a useful splitter or changeup to remain a starter. He arrived in rookie ball slightly out of condition, which hopefully should not be a career long concern.
8. Kam Mickolio RHSP C+/B-
Reliever with a big fastball. His success is dependent upon how consistent his changeup is. He was flashing an adequate one at the end of last season.
9. Brandon Waring 1B/3B C+
Acquired in the Hernadez trade along with Ryan Freel and Justin Turner. He managed to acquire a better contact rate and continued to hit for power. Old for the league last season, he should face a ore demanding test in Bowie this season.
10. Caleb Joseph C C+
Uneven season, particularly toward the end when he appeared to get tired. Good hitter who profiles for above average power from the position.