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Going over old community prospect lists

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Let's try not to think about the time we spent evaluating the Kevins Pucetas of the world

Mac Williamson shows up a few times
Mac Williamson shows up a few times
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

It's community prospect list season, so all the MCC people who spend the season intensely studying prospects are getting together over in the fanposts and giving thoughtful, well-reasoned arguments over how to best rank Giants prospects. Then the rest of us butt in and say "Oh, Hunter Cole had a good OPS this year, so I've voted for him eight straight times!" It's a wild time. Come vote for someone.

This is a tradition that's been ongoing for several years now, and I thought it would be fun to look at some past lists and see how they turned out. I've included the top 10 players here, and also linked to the full list of (usually) 44. I also threw in this year's top-10, which is done, even thought the list itself has a while left.

2009:

1. SP Madison Bumgarner
2. C Buster Posey
3. SP Tim Alderson
4. 1B Angel Villalona
5. 2B Nick Noonan
6. 3B Conor Gillaspie
7. SP Henry Sosa
8. OF Rafael Rodriguez
9. OF Roger Kieschnick
10. SP Kevin Pucetas

2010:

1. Buster Posey
2. Madison Bumgarner
3. Thomas Neal
4. Zack Wheeler
5. Roger Kieschnick
6. Tommy Joseph (tie)
6. Angel Villalona (tie)
7. Brandon Crawford
8. Rafael Rodriguez
9. Dan Runzler
10. Nick Noonan

2011:

1. Brandon Belt
2. Zack Wheeler
3. Thomas Neal
4. Gary Brown
5. Francisco Peguero
6. Brandon Crawford
7. Charlie Culberson
8. Chuckie Jones
9. Ehire Adrianza
10. Jose Casilla

2012:

1. Gary Brown
2. Joe Panik
3. Tommy Joseph
4a. Eric Surkamp
4b. Heath Hembree
6. Hector Sanchez
7. Andrew Susac
8. Francisco Peguero
9. Kyle Crick
10. Ehire Adrianza

2013:

1. Kyle Crick
2. Gary Brown
3. Clayton Blackburn
4. Chris Stratton
5. Joe Panik
6. Mike Kickham
7. Heath Hembree
8. Mac Williamson
9. Adalberto Mejia
10. Gustavo Cabrera

2014:

1. Kyle Crick
2. Edwin Escobar
3. Adalberto Mejia
4. Christian Arroyo
5. Andrew Susac
6. Clayton Blackburn
7. Ty Blach
8. Mac Williamson
9. Chris Stratton
10. Heath Hembree

2015:

1. Andrew Susac
2. Kyle Crick
3. Tyler Beede
4. Christian Arroyo
5. Keury Mella
6. Matt Duffy
7. Mac Williamson
8. Ty Blach
9. Clayton Blackburn
10. Hunter Strickland

2016:

1. Christian Arroyo
2. Tyler Beede
3. Phil Bickford
4. Mac Williamson
5. Clayton Blackburn
6. Lucius Fox
7. Adalberto Mejia
8. Chris Shaw
9. Samuel Coonrod
10. Chase Johnson

Some thoughts:

  • Man, we really overvalued Thomas Neal, huh. I mean, we overvalued Gary Brown too, but all the cool kids were doing it, so we had to too. But with Neal, the numbers were there, and we listened, and it didn't work out. He was good in Augusta, phenomenal in San Jose, good in Richmond, and we were all, "COOL HE'S PROBABLY THE NEXT AL KALINE." Let this be a warning about either scouting minor league box scores or how hard it is for prospects to make it in the majors. I don't know which. I'll be wishy-washy and say both.

  • On a related note, Gary Brown was a destroyer of worlds with San Jose. The Giants opted to trade Zack Wheeler instead of Brown for Calros Beltran, and at the time, it was a perfectly sane, defensible choice that, uh, didn't exactly work out.

  • It's tough to know what to make of the low minors guys. A lot of the players who got on the list after a year spent below high A-ball (San Jose, for the Giants) have been disappointments. Rafael Rodriguez, Chuckie Jones, Kyle Crick (if you want to give up on him), and Gustavo Cabrera have all disappointed in some way, and Chris Stratton hasn't lived up to his draft billing. Clayton Blackburn could still contribute, and of course, Joe Panik is a very good player. Is this bad news for Phil Bickford, Lucius Fox, Chris Shaw, and Sam Coonrod? No! They're separate people whose successes and failures aren't tied to past prospects. But...you might want to temper your enthusiasm. They're all a long, long way from the majors.

  • Brandon Crawford made multiple top-10 lists based almost entirely on his defense. Ehire Adrianza also made multiple top-10 lists based almost entirely on his defense. If you hear that someone is a minor league defensive wizard, I understand if you have traumatic Cody Ransom flashbacks, but he could also turn into an excellent player, or merely a capable one. That latter result is not a failure.

  • Nick Noonan made two of these top-10 lists. Kelby Tomlinson came in 37th one year, and didn't place again. Matt Duffy was an afterthought until he was already in the majors. Don't take it super seriously. You'll get things wrong. That's how it works.

  • Mac Williamson has been on a lot of prospect lists.

  • The only thing about Francisco Peguero I remember is his name.
What are your observations?