Prospect-ranking season started early for the Giants after the World Series, getting turns with both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus before 2015 ended. But it's not over yet. John Sickels released his top-20 prospect list for the Giants last week, and it includes a cheery postscript:
I like this system. While more top-flight prospects would be useful, the Giants have a ton of B-/C+ depth and a proven track record for getting the most out of those kinds of players and helping them exceed expectations. It has been going on for years, the result of design, not luck.
That's exactly how I feel about the state of the farm. Yes, flashier impact prospects would be dandy and helpful, and I'm covetous of the prospects other teams have, but I certainly don't start retching when I get to the middle of a top-20 list. There have been years like that, alright. This is not one of them.
Now we get to add Minor League Ball's list to the fancy table*!
|Baseball America||Baseball Prospectus||MLB.com||John Sickels||McC community list||Mine|
|Christian Arroyo||Christian Arroyo||Tyler Beede||Christian Arroyo||Christian Arroyo||Christian Arroyo|
|Tyler Beede||Lucius Fox||Christian Arroyo||Phil Bickford||Tyler Beede||Phil Bickford|
|Phil Bickford||Tyler Beede||Phil Bickford||Clayton Blackburn||Phil Bickford||Tyler Beede|
|Lucius Fox||Jalen Miller||Lucius Fox||Tyler Beede||Mac Williamson||Lucius Fox|
|Chris Shaw||Phil Bickford||Sam Coonrod||Sam Coonrod||Clayton Blackburn||Sam Coonrod|
|Sam Coonrod||Sam Coonrod||Kyle Crick||Chris Shaw||Lucius Fox||Clayton Blackburn|
|Aramis Garcia||Chris Shaw||Jalen Miller||Aramis Garcia||Adalberto Mejia||Chris Shaw|
|Clayton Blackburn||Kyle Crick||Chris Shaw||Lucius Fox||Chris Shaw||Aramis Garcia|
|Jarrett Parker||Aramis Garcia||Steven Okert||Andrew Suarez||Sam Coonrod||Mac Williamson|
|Adalberto Mejia||Adalberto Mejia||Josh Osich||Jarrett Parker||Chase Johnson||Adalberto Mejia|
Sickels has the most aggressive ranking for Clayton Blackburn yet, which coincides nicely with what Blackburn's Triple-A stats are suggesting. Now I'm annoyed that I ranked him too low, but I must preserve that important list for historical purposes.
This list is also the first top-10 ranking for Andrew Suarez, the Giants' second-round pick in the 2015 draft. He showed above-average command across three levels after being drafted, though we're talking about a sample of just eight starts. Still, with his draft pedigree, it's somewhat surprising it took this long for him to make a list.
Which brings us back to that original point from Sickels. It's a system that's thin at the top, but thick in the middle. Boy oh boy, do I have a lot of jokes that I'm not going to use for that one, but my point is that if a polished college lefty with above-average stuff can do extremely well in his professional debut and not make a lot of top-10 lists, the system can't be too messy.
If you add up the five lists (not including mine, which is just for fun) by assigning 10 points to the #1 prospect, 9 points to the #2 prospect, et cetera, you get the following consensus list:
- Christian Arroyo
- Tyler Beede
- Phil Bickford
- Lucius Fox
- Sam Coonrod
- Chris Shaw
- Clayton Blackburn
- Jalen Miller
- Aramis Garcia
- Kyle Crick
Reasonable enough, I suppose. While you're getting goofy, waiting for the regular season to start, don't forget that we have an entire minor-league season to look forward to, as well. It's like the secret best part of the year.