This is always painful, but it’s also necessary. What follows is a look back at my preseason prospect rankings — a self audit, if you will. To be clear, this isn’t a re-ranking or anything, but it should suffice to remind all of you that I am mostly stupid. Please keep in mind that these guys are very early in their careers, and there is plenty of time for each to either figure it out, or get figured out. Anyway, let’s cut to it. Here’s the list as it appeared back in February:
1. Shelby Miller, RHP, STL
2. Oscar Taveras, OF, STL
3. Wil Myers, OF, TB
4. Tyler Skaggs, LHP, ARI
5. Julio Teheran, RHP, ATL
6. Bruce Rondon, RHP, DET
7. Trevor Bauer, RHP, CLE
8. Wily Peralta, RHP, MIL
9. Hyun-Jin Ryu, RHP, LAD
10. Travis d’Arnaud, C, NYM
11. Adam Eaton, OF, ARI
12. Dan Straily, RHP, OAK
13. Leonys Martin, OF, TEX
14. Mike Olt, 3B/1B, TEX
15. Jurickson Profar, SS, TEX
16. Zack Wheeler, RHP, NYM
17. Dylan Bundy, RHP, BAL
18. Martin Perez, RHP, TEX
19. Rob Brantly, C, MIA
20. Trevor Rosenthal, RHP, STL
21. Jedd Gyorko, 2B, SD
22. Gerrit Cole, RHP, PIT
23. Hunter Morris, 1B, MIL
24. Oswaldo Arcia, OF, MIN
25. Jake Marisnick, OF, MIA
- It’s far easier to gauge opportunity than potential impact, so just because some of these prospects may have surfaced in the bigs doesn’t entitle me to any bonus points. This list was intended to identify fantasy value, so unless he offered legitimate mixed league relevance at some point this season, I can’t justify listing him on the good side of things.
- His performance has waned in recent months, but I’m still happy with Shelby Miller at #1. He’s the 3rd highest valued rookie according to our to-date player rater.
- Wil Myers was an easy top-3 choice, even with the knowledge that he wouldn’t be called up until June. Since his arrival, he’s hit .280/.343/.441 with 9 HR and 5 SB.
- I believed the reports that suggested Teheran’s poor Triple-A season in 2012 was due to mechanical tweaks, and that said tweaks would make him a better pitcher for the future. Thanks, reports!
- Ryu isn’t your typical rookie, but his circumstances allowed for prospect status. Considering his experience, I probably should’ve listed him higher than #9, but I try to be cautious with the Asian imports.
- With 30 stolen bags, it’s difficult to deny Leonys Martin’s fantasy value.
- Zack Wheeler, Martin Perez, Trevor Rosenthal, Jedd Gyorko, Gerrit Cole, and Oswaldo Arcia have offered value appropriate to the range in which I ranked them. I’m pleased with having slotted each in the top 25.
- Taveras at #2 is a classic case of me assuming that talent would supersede opportunity. It didn’t work out that way. It also didn’t help that an ankle injury kept him off the field for most of the season. Still, the 21-years-old, is an easy #1 on this list next spring, provided the Cardinals don’t retain Carlos Beltran.
- Based on MLB success down the stretch last season, I put some faith in Tyler Skaggs. Sorry about that.
- Back in February, Bruce Rondon was the odds-on favorite to claim the closer gig in Detroit, so I’m not especially disappointed with ranking him at #6. Looking back, though, #6 is pretty lofty for a relief pitcher who’s only earned 1 save in 29 games.
- My, how Trevor Bauer has fallen from grace over the past year. One cannot walk 5+ batters-per-nine at Triple-A and expect to be an effective big leaguer.
- At the time I ranked these guys, Hunter Morris seemed to have a great shot at claiming the 1B job in Milwaukee. The Brewers didn’t think he was ready, however, and they never really gave him a serious look — a good move in retrospect, as Morris has batted just .247 at Triple-A.
THE HORRENDOUS OMISSIONS
- Let me begin this section by saying I’ve never been shy about my love for Jose Fernandez. That love dates back to early last season when I began highlighting him in my weekly MiLB reports. I also want to make it clear that in a podcast segment from August of 2012, I told Nick and Rudy that I thought Fernandez would arrive this season… I just didn’t think he’d arrive in April.
- Blocked by an outfield loaded with big contracts, I didn’t see a clear path for Yasiel Puig to join the Dodgers this season. Also, when I put these rankings together — prior to when he started mashing in big league camp at Dodgers spring training — there wasn’t a ton of intel on Puig, and I fully admit that I underestimated his skill set and readiness.
- While their time spent in the majors has been brief, it’s tough to ignore the impact that both Danny Salazar and Sonny Gray have had on the fantasy game.
- To be fair to myself, I actually ranked the top 50 fantasy prospects (26-50 are here), but we’re only discussing the top 25 right now. A few valuable names appeared in the second half, including Chris Archer (#31), and Tony Cingrani (#32).
- I also want to give a nod to Nick Franklin, who’s truly surprised me with his production this season.