Shadowing Goldstein 

As I wrote last month, I've been tracking Kevin Goldstein's team-by-team top-10 prospect lists as he's rolled them out on Baseball Prospectus this winter.

About half way through, I decided to rank his top-10 rankings; I gave "Excellent" prospects 6 points, "Very good" 4 points, "Good" 2 points, and "Average" just 1. (For the Giants, Goldstein gave only one excellent, Lincecum, two very goods, Villalona and Sanchez, one good, Burriss, and six averages, EME, Schoop, Lewis, Schierholtz, Sadler, and McBryde. In my system that produced a score of 22. Top score, running away with it, was Tampa Bay with 40, bottom of the pile was Washington with 16.)

Now that he's finished all 30 and ranked the organizations, let's see how close my back-of-napkin ranking system compares to his.

Please note, his rankings are more complicated. He factors in players who aren't in the top-10, splits the talent between pitching and hitting, and adapts them to the famous 20-to-80 scouting scale. But in general my little sketch worked well. His top 10 organizations are my top 10 -- D-Rays, Rockies, Angels, Mets, Dodgers, Yankees, D-Backs, Brewers, Reds, Royals -- although I have the Mets in a tie for third and he drops them down to 8th.

I have the Giants ranked in a five-way tie for 15th, Goldstein has them 17th. Here's his thumbnail description: "Pretty much the entire group of good hitting prospects went splat at Double-A, but Angel Villalona is already a scouting legend at 16. Tim Lincecum leads off a pitching group that offers depth and little else."

No argument from me there, although I'd like Villalona to first play organized professional baseball before we anoint his brow with rare sumptuous oils. To move up the rankings in coming years, the Giants need to draft smarter starting this June, when they have six of the first 51 picks, according to this.

The system will also jump a couple notches if EME, who went "splat" because of injury not performance, stays healthy, hits in Fresno, and shows he can play the field without people in the stands saying, "Ooh, that's gotta hurt."

Also note the system will slip dramatically if both Lincecum and Sanchez join the big club this year, because there are no pitchers near their caliber to replace them in the star pupil's chair.

Final note: Martin the Obsessive Giant Compulsive makes a good case that first-base prospect Travis Ishikawa -- one of the guys who went splat at AA last year -- still has promise. In fact, he compares quite well to Matt Williams at the same age. Read his obsessive-compulsive argument here.


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