Jim Callis and John Manuel of Baseball America were guests this morning on Baseball This Morning with Holden Kushner and Jim Duquette. Each was asked to name their top five minor league prospects. Both agreed LHP David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays and C Matt Wieters of the Baltimore Orioles were #s 1 and 2. However, on #s3-5, there was no consensus.
Mr. Callis ranked Pittsburgh Pirates' 3B Pedro Alvarez 3rd followed by San Francisco Giants' LHP Madison Baumgartner and St. Louis Cardinals' CF Colby Rasmus. Mr. Manuel listed Texas Rangers' flame-throwing RHP Neftali Feliz at #3 followed by two Atlanta Braves, RHP Tommy Hanson and OF Jason Heyward. For those interested, Manuel noted he had Florida Marlins OF Mike Stanton at #5 before dropping him to 10th on the basis of the high strikeouts in Low A ball.
In addition to the hints about which prospects will rank at the top of BA's Top 100 in late February/early March, these ranks also provide fantasy baseball players with an idea of which minor leaguers will be aggressively pursued in leagues with minor leaguers. If you thought any of the above would slip to your pick later in drafts, think again.
FWIW, both David Price and Matt Wieters are already being taken in the first 12 rounds or so of mock drafts. According to Mock Draft Central, Matt Wieters' ADP is 168. However, he has been taken as early at 95th overall. While I think that is too early, I have no doubts the next three months of build-up will take him closer to that than his current ADP of 168.
David Price's ADP of 133 was more surprising. That rank places him in the 12th round of 12-team drafts with his selection coming as soon as 85th overall. In mixed leagues, I can't see him going so early. While I expect Wieters to continue climbing the ADP charts, I don't see Price moving too much from his current spot. There are just too many more established pitchers to take in before the 12th round while catching is filled with undifferentiatable players after the top 5 or so.