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Commish

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March, 2010

2010 BDBL Farm Report

Welcome to the latest edition of the BDBL Farm Report.  This year, our panel of experts includes Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, MinorLeagueBaseball.com and Baseball HQ.  The formula is simple: I assign 100 points to the #1 prospect on each list, 99 points to the #2 prospect, etc..  I then tally up all the points to arrive at the table below:

  Total Pts 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 Avg Rank
CHI 1,730 1 6 12 2 10 14 2 5 1 8 12 6.6
SCS 1,452 2 2 6 12 5 9 13 2 3 10 17 7.4
ALN 1,362 3 13 16 6 13 4 16 12 9 4 18 10.4
SAB 1,299 4 20 22 18 22 8 3 18 15 5 13 13.5
AKR 1,223 5 12 8 23 12 18 21 15 13 2 9 12.5
SAL 1,103 6 10 3 5 8 7 8 1 10 7 1 6.0
ATL 1,054 7 4 4 10 21 10 14 17 11 20 24 12.9
BCJ 976 8 9 23 9 3 12 22 20 21 23 21 15.5
MIS 968 9 1 1 3 16 17 19 7 8 15 10 10.2
CLE 948 10 21 20 13 19 24 24 21 24 24 20 19.9
LAU 903 11 5 2 1 1 2 6 19 2 3 7 5.3
VIL 886 12 15 15 7 6 1 1 10 18 18 8 10.0
NHB 841 13 16 21 20 17 20 18 6 14 17 11 15.6
NMB 757 14 3 7 15 23 22 15 14 5 1 3 11.0
SCA 751 15 17 14 16 11 15 11 9 7 14 15 13.0
GLS 647 16 24 24 21 14 16 9 16 19 21 6 17.0
NIA 475 17 18 17 17 18 11 23 24 6 9 23 16.7
COR 390 18 22 11 24 7 6 5 3 4 6 2 9.6
RAV 318 19 19 19 22 24 23 12 22 20 13 5 18.0
LVF 278 20 11 10 14 15 21 17 13 23 22 16 16.5
KCM 237 21 7 13 8 2 3 7 8 12 16 22 10.8
KAN 150 22 23 9 4 4 5 4 11 16 11 4 10.3
SYL 70 23 14 18 19 20 13 20 4 22 19 14 16.9
STL 65 24 8 5 11 9 19 10 23 17 12 19 14.3

#1 Chicago Black Sox
Ranked prospects: Jesus Montero (8), Ryan Westmoreland (18), Dee Gordon (30), Jarrod Parker (31), Casey Crosby (43), Josh Bell (46), Mat Gamel (76), Ethan Martin (85), Austin Romine (120), Chris Heisey (126)
Unranked prospects: Reymond Fuentes, Nick Noonan, Kyle Skipworth, Matt Sulentic, Nick Barnese, Anthony Ranaudo

So you want the #1 farm system in the BDBL?  That's easy.  Just trade a $100,000 Evan Longoria!  Both Montero and Westmoreland arrived from the St. Louis Apostles thanks to that winter trade, and Gordon was picked up with Chicago's #1 pick in this winter's farm draft.  Chicago's #4 prospect, Parker, was also picked up this winter in a trade for Manny Ramirez.  When you trade away that much established, Major League talent, you should expect to assemble an impressive farm system.  Unfortunately for John Gill, there are a couple of problems here that aren't showing up in the ranking.  Westmoreland is scheduled for brain surgery, and there are now questions as to whether he'll ever play again.  And Parker will miss most (if not all) of the 2010 season after Tommy John surgery.  Regardless of those issues, this is still a strong farm system, and a strong farm has been a Chicago tradition dating back to the formative years of the BDBL.  This is the second time the Black Sox have ranked #1 in this study (the first coming in 2002), and the fourth time they've ranked among the top two.

#2 South Carolina Sea Cats
Ranked prospects: Buster Posey (4), Justin Smoak (11), Freddie Freeman (42), Aroldis Chapman (48), Jennry Mejia (52), Fernando Martinez (64), Reid Brignac (76), Jordan Lyles (112)
Unranked prospects: Adrian Cardenas, Chase d'Arnaud, Logan Forsythe, Greg Halman, Reese Havens, Cedric Hunter, Brandon Jones, Anthony Rendon, Anthony Rizzo, Will Inman, Ian Kennedy, Wynn Pelzer

When you finish in last place three years in a row, it helps to have a good farm system, as it gives you something to look forward to.  Thankfully for Tony DeCastro, he has a very good farm system.  So good, in fact, that it has now ranked #2 in this survey two years in a row.  Frankly, however, I think the experts sold this farm system short.  Chapman didn't make Baseball Prospectus' top prospects list (probably due to the timing of the book's release), and didn't make MILB's list, either.  Not only didn't Chapman make Jonathan Mayo's top 50 list, but neither Freeman nor Mejia made his list.  And among the unranked prospects, Rendon may be the best hitter in college baseball right now.  So as impressive as a #2 ranking is, this farm system is actually much better than that.  Something to look forward to in South Carolina.

#3 Allentown Ridgebacks
Ranked prospects: Mike Stanton (3), Carlos Santana (9), Jeremy Hellickson (15), Derek Norris (38), Grant Green (91)
Unranked prospects: Sean Doolittle, Randal Grichuk, Cody Johnson, Alex Liddi, Manny Machado, Angel Morales, Miguel Velazquez, Randall Delgado, Scott Lewis, Garrett Richards

The Ridgebacks acquired all three of their top three prospects last season, trading (among others) Carlos Beltran, Jake Peavy, Carlos Marmol and Yovani Gallardo to get them.  It was a very steep price to pay, but it gave Allentown the third-best farm system in the BDBL -- the franchise's highest ranking ever in this annual survey.  And it comes at a time when the Ridgebacks are predicted to run away with their division.  That's a pretty sweet combination if you can swing it.  Stanton is the highest-ranked hitting prospect this franchise has ever owned (note: Ryan Braun and Jay Bruce were both acquired by Allentown after they had reached the top three.)  While Stanton whiffed 144 times in 129 games last year (including 99 times in 79 Double-A games), his power potential is enormous, and he could very well become the next Russ Branyan.  A small price to pay for Yovani Gallardo.

#4 San Antonio Broncs
Ranked prospects: Neftali Feliz (7), Brian Matusz (9), Aaron Hicks (25), Jared Mitchell (68), Mike Leake (76), Brandon Allen (92), Ike Davis (96)
Unranked prospects: Collin DeLome, Paul Goldschmidt, Gorkys Hernandez, Andrew Locke, Tommy Mendonca, Oscar Tejeda, Danny Valencia, Blake Beavan, Fautino de los Santos, Craig Kimbrell, Michael Pineda

You're welcome, Greg.  Yes, the top THREE prospects on the San Antonio farm were all former Cowtippers.  The last time a franchise traded two top-ten prospects during the same season, it was when I acquired both Delmon Young and Ian Stewart in a trade during the winter of 2005.  Here's hoping that the Broncs enjoy just as much success with Feliz and Matusz.  Hicks was an interesting ranking at #25 overall, given that he hit just .251 in his first full season, with a slugging percentage of just .382.  Of the four experts on our panel, only HQ's Rob Gordon ranked him below the top 30 (#54.)  #4 prospect, Mitchell, will likely sit out the entire 2010 season after tearing his tendon while performing a circus catch this spring.  The unranked group includes several names that were ranked a year ago, including Hernandez, Beavan and de los Santos.  San Antonio's #1 pick in this year's farm draft, Grant Desme, was ranked #109 overall.  But he was released this past chapter after it was reported he had left the game of baseball for the priesthood.  You can't make this shit up.

#5 Akron Ryche
Ranked prospects: Dustin Ackley (12), Domonic Brown (16), Logan Morrison (23), Jhoulys Chacin (56), James Darnell (99), Danny Duffy (101), Travis d'Arnaud (117), Hector Rondon (125)
Unranked prospects: Kris Bryant, Nick Castellanos, Travis Harrison, Evan Anundsen, Jack Armstrong, Dylan Covey, Matthew Purke, Chance Ruffin

If you think Dustin Ackley has been on Akron's farm forever, you're wrong.  It's only been since 2008, when he was just a sophomore in college.  Today, he's considered to be the best pure hitter in the minor leagues.  My, how quickly they grow up.  Speaking of growing up, this team's #2 prospect, Brown, went from #87 overall last year to #16 this year, after hitting .299/.377/.504 at three different levels last year.  How unexpected was this meteoric rise to the top?  So unexpected that Greg Newgard traded Brown (along with David Hernandez) at the Chapter Four deadline last year in exchange for Taylor Buchholz and Fautino de los Santos.  (I'm not sure who the throw-in was there, or why that trade was even made.)  This winter, D.J. Shepard made a huge push toward stockpiling high school and college talent.  We'll see how that strategy pays off a year from now.

#6 Salem Cowtippers
Ranked prospects: Stephen Strasburg (1), Pedro Alvarez (6), Tyler Flowers (54), Dan Hudson (62), Eric Hosmer (83), Scott Elbert (121)
Unranked prospects: Tyson Gillies, Brent Morel, Guillermo Pimentel, David Renfroe, Gary Sanchez, Manny Banuelos, Zach Braddock, Hisashi Iwakuma, Alex Torres

The Cowtippers are the only franchise in BDBL history to rank among the top ten in this annual survey in each of the eleven years I've been doing this study.  That streak may come to an end in 2011, however, as both Strasburg and Alvarez are expected to graduate to the majors, leaving behind no prospect likely to ascend to the top 20.  There was great debate among our panel of experts on whether Strasburg or Los Altos outfielder Jason Heyworth deserved the #1 overall ranking.  In the end, it was a tie.  HQ and BP listed Strasburg #1, while BA and MILB ranked him #2.  Strasburg becomes the third Cowtipper in franchise history to be ranked #1 in this survey, joining Jay Bruce (2008) and Mark Teixeira (2003.)  Incredibly, the Cowtippers would have owned FOUR of the top ten prospects in baseball this year if I hadn't been so generous in trading away both Neftali Feliz (#7) and Brian Matusz (#9) to my good buddy, Greg.  There is a name for people who spread such vast amounts of young talent throughout the league, akin to someone planting trees that bear some sort of fruit.  I just wish I could remember what that name is, but I'm sure someone will help me out with that.

#7 Atlanta Fire Ants
Ranked prospects: Wade Davis (22), Mike Montgomery (29), Tim Beckham (36), Arodys Vizcaino (67), Jordan Walden (73), Mike Trout (84), Ryan Kalish (115), Aaron Miller (119)
Unranked prospects: Brandon Crawford, Robbie Grossman, Bryce Harper, Starling Marte, Max Stassi, Jemile Weeks, Zeke Spruill

Once upon a time, the Fire Ants franchise ranked among the cellar-dwellers in this annual survey.  But for the fourth year in a row, and the fifth time in six years, Atlanta finds itself among the top ten.  As John Danks, Ross Detwiler, Jair Jurrjens, Mat Latos, Max Scherzer and Andy Sonnanstine hurl for the 2010 Fire Ants pitching staff, the next wave of Atlanta phenoms waits in the wings.  There aren't too many farm clubs in the BDBL that can claim to have three pitching prospects as talented as Davis, Montgomery and Vizcaino on the farm.  But the best prospect in this farm system isn't a pitcher, and he isn't even ranked.  If he were eligible, Harper would surely rank among the top ten -- if not the top five -- prospects in baseball. Barring a catastrophic injury or a Grant Desme-like calling from God, that is where we'll find Harper a year from now.

#8 Bear Country Jamboree
Ranked prospects: Desmond Jennings (5), Madison Bumgarner (13), Wilson Ramos (73), Carlos Triunfel (93), Scott Sizemore (100), Hak-Ju Lee (103), Aaron Poreda (110)
Unranked prospects: Norichika Aoki, Nick Franklin, Slade Heathcott, Chris Marrero, Ryan Strieby, Matt Harvey, Matt Hobgood, Yuniesky Maya, Eduardo Sanchez, Karsten Whitson

This franchise's farm system has had an interesting history.  Original GM Bryan Sakolsky enjoyed perhaps the most successful farm draft of any team in 1999 when he selected Pablo Ozuna, Carlos Lee, Jacque Jones, Kris Benson and Seth Etherton in the BDBL's inaugural farm draft.  For the next five years, this franchise ranked among the bottom four.  Then, in 2005, Bear Country's farm director began working overtime and the Jamboree jumped up to #12 in the ranking.  And, with the exception of one fluke 23rd ranking in 2008, Bear Country has ranked among the top ten farm systems in the BDBL ever since.  This year, Jennings leapt from #61 last year all the way to #5, even leaping over Bumgarner, who was ranked #6 a year ago.  With his combination of speed and on-base skills, Jennings could be a Kenny Lofton-like force in the Jamboree lineup as early as 2011.  With Bumgarner's fastball now topping out in the high-80's, his future is a little dimmer than it was a year ago.

#9 Mississippi Meatballs
Ranked prospects: Michael Taylor (24), Christian Friedrich (25), Zach Wheeler (69), Phillippe Aumont (71), Alex White (71), Miguel Sano (82), Josh Reddick (85), Jacob McGee (130), Thomas Neal (130)
Unranked prospects: Kellen Kulbacki,

The acquisition of Taylor this past chapter shot this team's ranking all the way from #15 to #9.  Which is great if you're trying to build an elite farm system, but not so great if you're trying to compete.  With five ranked pitching prospects and five ranked hitting prospects, there is good balance on the Mississippi farm.  And there are a number of players here who can vault to the top of the prospect lists by next spring, including Sano, White, Aumont, Reddick and McGee.

#10 Cleveland Rocks
Ranked prospects: Kyle Drabek (20), Tanner Scheppers (34), Lonnie Chisenhall (49), Ben Revere (59), Tony Sanchez (79), Michael Brantley (95), Jordan Danks (124)
Unranked prospects: Stephen Jenkins, Matt McBride, Beau Mills, Ryota Igarashi, Adam Miller, Santos Rodriguez, Zack Von Rosenberg, Carl Webster

The Cleveland Rocks at #10??  Surely this is a sign of the Apocalypse.  Or global warming.  Something surely isn't right.  In the previous ten years, the Rocks finished above the bottom five just ONCE -- a #13 ranking in 2005.  So this is a new high-water mark for the franchise that has prided itself on paying zero attention to its farm system.  Of course, Mike Stein would be quick to point out that his farm system was the fourth most successful in the league's first decade (better than fifth-place Salem), according to this article I wrote for our 10th anniversary last year.  The reason for the discrepancy is that Cleveland's best prospects through the years (Brandon Webb, Chase Utley, Russ Martin, Joe Crede, Freddy Sanchez, Dan Uggla, etc.) weren't very highly regarded as minor leaguers.  So now that Cleveland's prospects are highly-regarded, does this mean they'll eventually suck?

#11 Los Altos Undertakers
Ranked prospects: Jason Heyward (1), Julio Teheran (35), Tyler Matsek (39), Kyle Gibson (79), Fabio Martinez (129)
Unranked prospects: Nolan Arenado, Bryce Brentz, Kentrail Davis, Kenny Diekroeger, Sonny Grey, Danny Hultzen, Ryan Wheeler, Kyle Blair, Brad Holt

A year ago (or even a minute before I put this survey together), if you had bet me $10 that the Cleveland Rocks would own a better farm system than the Los Altos Undertakers, you'd be $10 richer right now.  It's difficult to believe, but this is the lowest this franchise has ranked in this survey since 2003!  Even with this "low" ranking, the Undertakers still own the best hitting prospect in baseball.  This is the third time in four years the Undertakers have owned the #1 prospect in baseball, which is a mighty impressive feat.  With Heyward graduating to the big leagues, there doesn't appear to be enough top-30 candidates waiting in the wings to prevent this franchise from finishing out of the top ten two years in a row.  Oh, what will Jeff do??

#12 Villanova Mustangs
Ranked prospects: Martin Perez (17), Josh Vitters (45), Jason Knapp (63), Jaff Decker (64), Trevor Reckling (79), Jake Arrieta (85), Carlos Carrasco (108), Christian Bethancourt (133)
Unranked prospects: Ryan Flaherty, Caleb Gindl, Mychal Givens, Justin Jackson, Tommy Joseph, Jarred Cosart, Kasey Kiker

There continues to be a wide disparity of opinion about Vitters.  He was ranked among the top 30 by both HQ and BP, but was ranked just 70th by BA, and was not ranked among MILB's top 50.  The consensus is a bit more consistent regarding Perez, who is generally considered to have front-of-the-rotation stuff.  When it comes to prospects, it is often better to have quantity instead of quality, and Villanova seems to fit into that category.

#13 New Hope Badgers
Ranked prospects: Brett Wallace (20), Austin Jackson (40), Donavan Tate (56), Simon Castro (58), Brett Jackson (73)
Unranked prospects: Juan Duran, Hector Gomez, Brett Jackson, Mitch Moreland, Dellin Betances, Andrew Brackman, Clayton Cook, Chad Jenkins, Brett Marshall, Pat Venditte

Known for stockpiling unusual, quirky players in his farm system, it is strange to see Tony Badger's franchise ranked this highly.  Because Badger likes to focus on freakish players with one or two unique traits (such as lugging around 270 pounds, or being 7 feet tall, or pitching with both hands) and aging prospects with the upside of being #4 outfielders, middle relievers or backup infielders, the Badgers franchise has not traditionally fared well in this survey.  But this season, one of those freaks, Brett "The Walrus" Wallace, ranked between #11 and #43 on our four experts' prospect lists.  And the acquisitions of a couple of highly-athletic basketball players-turned-outfielders, Austin Jackson and Donavan Tate, in 2008, give the Badgers a couple of fliers who could eventually convert their athleticism into baseball skills.  Sometimes, being a freak isn't necessarily a bad thing.

#14 New Milford Blazers
Ranked prospects: Alcides Escobar (14), Brett Lawrie (41), Matt Moore (44), Adam Moore (118), Nick Weglarz (123)
Unranked prospects: Andrew Lambo, John Raynor, Garrett Gould, Scott Mathieson, Jake Odorizzi, Cody Scarpetta, Zach Stewart

It's always nice when you can trade a pitcher who won't throw another pitch for at least a year and get your franchise's #1 prospect (and a top-15 overall prospect, at that) in exchange.  But then, Peabrain has grown used to having teams in the BDBL throw their best players at him in exchange for his unwanted garbage.  The consensus on Lawrie is that there is no consensus.  Baseball HQ ranks him as high as #19 (which should disqualify them from the label of "experts"), while Baseball Prospectus places him at a much more reasonable #99.  The Moore brothers are nothing to write home about, and Weglarz has been trolling around in the Blazers farm system for what seems like decades.  While none of the players above scream "future all-star," there is no doubt whatsoever that Peburn will have no difficulty converting some (if not all) of these second-tier jackoffs into high-impact platoon players and situational relievers by the end of this season.

#15 Southern Cal Slyme
Ranked prospects: Jacob Turner (28), Casey Kelly (31), Aaron Crow (33), Tim Melville (127), Noel Arguelles (134)
Unranked prospects: Max Ramirez, Kyle Russell, David Bromberg, Yu Darvish, Zach McAllister, Deck McGuire, Josh Osich, James Paxton, Stolmy Pimentel, Henry Sosa

The top prospect in the Slyme farm system has yet to throw a single professional pitch.  Their #2 prospect has just 95 pro innings under his belt (after an aborted attempt to become a positional player) -- none above the Low-A level.  Their #3 prospect has also yet to throw a professional pitch.  #4 throw 97+ innings at the Low-A level.  And #5 has also yet to throw a professional pitch.  All told, the five ranked prospects in the SoCal farm system are all pitchers, and they've thrown a total of 197 innings -- none above Low-A.  In other words, there is a huge gap between what the SoCal farm system should eventually become, and what it actually is at the moment.

#16 Great Lake Sphinx
Ranked prospects: Starlin Castro (19), Chris Carter (27), Zach Britton (89)
Unranked prospects: Kyler Burke, Josh Donaldson, Daryl Jones, D.J. LeMahieu, A.J. Pollock, Neftali Soto, Tony Thomas, Chris Carpenter, Kei Igawa, Tyler Robertson

After finishing dead-last in this survey for the past two years, the Sphinx leap all the way to #16 on the strength of their #1 pick in the farm draft this winter, Castro.  In this day and age, it is very rare to see a top-20 prospect go unclaimed throughout the entire previous year, yet Castro somehow snuck under everyone's radar.  Carter came to this franchise last season in exchange for Mike Lowell and Eric Hinske.  Not much of a sacrifice for a guy who may hit 40 homers in the big leagues at some point soon.  Once you get past those two, there isn't much left in this farm system to get excited about.  None of the other 11 names above are likely to appear among the top 25 in next year's survey.

#17 Niagara Locks
Ranked prospects: Shelby Miller (55), Chris Withrow (60), Alex Colome (66), Juan Francisco (96), Michael Ynoa (98), Jay Jackson (113)
Unranked prospects: Jonathan Lucroy, Marcell Ozuna, Jurickson Profar, Domingo Santana, Eric Arnett, Wilmer Font, Brad Lincoln, Shelby Miller, Jose Ramirez, Madison Younginer

When Mike Ranney took over this franchise last June, we all wondered what kind of farm system he would build, given that his predecessor spent so much time and effort scouting the Pacific Rim.  Ranney skipped out of last year's midseason farm draft, so this past winter's draft was his first opportunity to place his own unique stamp on the Locks farm system.  If that draft is any indication, Ranney has evidently pulled all of his scouts out of the Pacific Rim and has assigned them to Latin America.  No fewer than six of Ranney's nine picks in this winter's farm draft were teenagers signed last year out of Latin America.  Two of the three exceptions, #1 pick Withrow and #3 pick Colome, are among this team's six ranked prospects.  Those teenagers on the unranked list?  Only time will tell.

#18 Corona Confederates
Ranked prospects: Drew Storen (53), Michael Saunders (61), Andrew Cashner (106), Hank Conger (106), Jiovanni Mier (110), Chad James (113)
Unranked prospects: Bobby Borchering, Yordy Cabrera, Allen Craig, Anthony Hewitt, Brandon Snyder, Matt Sweeney, Joe Savery, Jason Stoffel

When the Confederates unexpectedly (to borrow the AP's favorite word) bolted out of the gate to post the best record in the BDBL over the first six weeks of the season, Ed McGowan dealt his top prospect, Michael Taylor, in order to shore up his pitching staff.  As a result, the Confederates fell from #16 to #18 in this survey.  A small price to pay.  While this franchise enjoyed an incredible streak of top-7 rankings through the first seven years of this study, their #18 ranking is now consistent with recent history.  And with two 95+ win seasons in the past four years, and evidently another one on the way, the Corona franchise has hardly suffered.

#19 Ravenswood Infidels
Ranked prospects: Todd Frazier (47), Will Myers (69), Jose Tabata (103), Brandon Erbe (116), Peter Bourjos (132)
Unranked prospects: Jeff Bianchi, Michael Burgess, Ivan DeJesus, Conor Gillaspie, Jason Kipnis, Josh Phegley, Rafael Rodriguez, Alex Meyer

The #1-ranked farm system in BDBL history (according to my 10th Anniversary study), the Infidels have never ranked very highly in this annual study.  With an average rank of 18, the Ravenswood farm ranks behind only the lowly Cleveland Rocks in that regard.  The reason, as I pointed out in my 10th Anniversary article, is that many of Ravenswood's best prospects through the years (Johan Santana, Dontrelle Willis, Mark Ellis, Robinson Cano) did not enjoy remarkable minor league careers, and didn't have glowing scouting reports to indicate that they would ever enjoy the level of success they have.  Certainly, the same can be said of the group of names above, as none of these prospects are considered shoo-ins to become Major League all-stars.  Bah.  "Experts."  What do they know?

#20 Las Vegas Flamingos
Ranked prospects: Yonder Alonso (37), Nick Hagadone (88)
Unranked prospects: Bryan Anderson, Corey Brown, David Cooper, Wilin Rosario, Bryan Henry, Josh Lindblom, Brett Lorin, Lance Lynn, Michael Main, Trevor May, Greg Reynolds, James Simmons, Ryan Tucker

Perhaps the biggest mystery throughout all four prospect lists on our expert panel this year was Baseball Prospectus prospect guru Kevin Goldsmith's omission of Yonder Alonso from his top-101 list.  Alonso ranked #45 on BA's list, #17 on HQ, and #30 on MILB.  But Goldsmith deemed him to be an inferior prospect to guys like Danny Espinosa, Gabriel Noriega and Fabio Martinez.  Really??  I really miss the days when Baseball Prospectus' prospect lists were compiled based almost purely on statistics and the probability of reaching a given level of ability.  Back in those days, BP's prospect lists used to outperform all others.  But alas, since the introduction of Goldsmith to the lineup several years ago, BP's list is now just like everyone else's.  Which is one of the reasons why I'm no longer a subscriber.  Anyway...Alonso's pretty good.  Certainly a top-50 prospect in my book (if I had one.)  And Hagadone is a potential sleeper if he can stay healthy.

#21 Manchester City Irish Monarchs
Ranked prospects: Jason Castro (50), Tim Alderson (102), Matt Dominguez (103)
Unranked prospects: J.P. Arencibia, Jeff Clement, Zach Collier, Chad Jones, Dayan Viciedo, Angel Villalona, Levon Washington, Tim Wheeler, Everett Williams, Andrew Oliver, Chris Sale, Jameson Taillon

Boy, has this farm system laid a few eggs recently.  Last year, this franchise ranked #7 in this survey, led by Villalona, who went from #47 on the prospect list to #1 on the Dominican Republic's Most Wanted list.  He is now baseball's version of O.J. Simpson, facing a minimum of 20 years in prison if he's found guilty of murder (bringing a whole new meaning to the term "Murderer's Row.")  While Jim Doyle and his front office accomplice search for the real killer, they should be asking themselves why Villalona is still on their roster.  Last year's #2 prospect, Dominguez, fell from #50 to #103 in this ranking after posting a yawn-inducing 725 OPS at two levels last year.  Last year's #3 prospect, Arencibia, went from #57 overall to falling right off of everyone's list.  This year's crop isn't looking much better (although there probably aren't any other murderers in this lot.)  The most interesting prospect in this entire farm system is Taillon, who has a chance to be #2 overall this June after the Great Bryce Harper.

#22 Kansas Law Dogs
Ranked prospects: Mike Moustakas (51)
Unranked prospects: Christian Colon, Zack Cox, Esmailyn Gonzalez, A.J. Cole, Gerrit Cole, Danny Gutierrez, Hitoke Iwase, Brian Leach, Cory Luebke, Michael McCardell, Edward Reynoso, Will Smith, Travis Wood

If not for the Chapter Two trade that brought Moustakas to the Law Dogs, Kansas would have become the first franchise in many years to tally zero points in the Farm Report.  Moustakas (.250/.297/.421) hardly impressed in his first full season of A-ball, but that didn't stop all four of our experts from ranking him among the top 80 prospects in the game (topping out at #32 for MILB.)  To reinvigorate his farm system, Chris Luhning went hard after the high school and college kids in the farm draft -- which, as I showed in the 10th anniversary farm study, has not proven to be a recipe for success in years past.

#23 Sylmar Padawans
Ranked prospects: Jose Iglesias (93), Lars Anderson (121)
Unranked prospects: Isaac Galloway, Reggie Golden, Miguel Gonzalez, Wes Hodges, Jake Marisnick, Hunter Morris, Connor Narron, Carlos Perez, Eury Perez, Tanner Bushue, Juan Nicasio, Chaz Roe

To hear John Duel tout his "future superstars", "good, young talent" and "prized possessions" throughout the course of the winter and spring, it's shocking to see the Padawans ranked second-from-last in this survey.  Evidently, the rest of the world sees things a little differently than Mr. Duel.  Go figure.  Iglesias was only ranked by one of our experts (#45 by MILB), as was Anderson (#87 by BA.)  Golden is currently ranked #23 on BA's list of high school prospects for the 2010 draft, and Narron is ranked #76 on that list.  Morris is ranked #43 on BA's college prospect list.  For the most part, players ranked below the top 10-15 on these lists rarely vault to the top 100 prospect list, so these guys are longshots to appear among the ranked group next year.

#24 St. Louis Apostles
Ranked prospects: Wilmer Flores (90)
Unranked prospects: Kelvin DeLeon, Daniel Descalso, Alfredo Despaigne, Jon Gaston, Christian Lopes, David Lough, Jeff Malm, Robert Stock, Jaime Garcia, Jeanmar Gomez, Tyler Kehrer, Mike Minor, Drew Pomeranz, Robbie Ross

A fixture of the top ten for the past four years, the Apostles now occupy the space once reserved for the Cleveland Rocks.  A couple of years ago, Bobby focused almost entirely on stockpiling teenaged international free agents from Latin America.  He managed to hit paydirt (somewhat) with Flores, who is now the system's only ranked prospect.  Of the unranked group, Pomeranz could be a high draft pick this June, and Lopes could be among the top five in 2011.