What I am always trying to be cognizant of when I look over propsect lists is how relevent they are for fantasy purposes. A great pitching prospect (Rick Porcello) is likely to be a mediocre-to-bad fantasy one in the shorter-term because the bar for his continuing inclusion in the rotation is likely lower than the one he needs to meet to be a contributing member of a fantasy team. If he is close to the majors at all!
What I'd really like to see is a list focused on the more immediate future so I know which prospects are more likley to contribute in some way this season or next rather than longer-term. (I know the shelf life of a minor league prospect is generally just five year from high school to his Age 23 season.)
To this end, Dave Luciani at Baseball Notebook publishes a list like this every year. One need only look at the player his statisticall model has ranked #1 to know it is a different cat.
Sitting atop the list is Braves' SS Brent Lillibridge. This is timely as the Braves are looking for a utility infielder to play the middle and corner infield spots. Lillibridge started at 3B a couple days agao and can play OF in a pinch. With 13 HRs and 42 SBs in AA and AA last year, he is a player to watch.
As with most of Luciani's lists, there are rankings that would make the Obama/Clinton War seems like tossing cotton balls. On the list at #21 is Orioles' CF Adam Jones. He is behind the aforementioned Lillibridge and also #5 Alberto Callaspo. There is little doubt in my mind that this will be wrong.
However, that doesn't mean Jones won't disappoint anyhow. I only recall his inclusion of Royals 3B Alex Gordon last season at a point much lower than the general baseball punditry had him. Mr. Luciani turned out to be more right than not on Gordon.
Wait. Adam Jones isn't this year's Alex Gordon. Rays 3B Evan Longoira is. He clocks in at #27!
Smells like a model biased against 3B men, doesn't it? Especially when one sees Dodgers' 3B Adam LaRoche at #31.
What do you think?