John Sickels of SB Nation actually does one of my favorite prospect rankings only because he grades the prospects on an A/B/C scale and gives a brief for each player as well.
Check his website for what the grades mean. These are preliminary rankings that he does before the 2012 Baseball Prospect Book comes out.
Take a look at his list along with an excerpt of his summary after the jump:
- Jesus Montero, C-DH, Grade A: What he did in the majors last year was not a fluke.
- Gary Sanchez, C, Grade B+: Excellent power production in full-season ball at age 18; that is rare
- Manny Banuelos, LHP, Grade B: Borderline B+. He got a B last year and I can’t bump his grade up a notch given the command difficulties he had in Double-A.
- Dellin Betances, RHP, Grade B: Borderline B+. He’s got plenty of stuff but command wobbles prevent the B+ at this time
- Mason Williams, OF, Grade B: We need to see him higher than the New York-Penn League, but he showed progress with both the bat and the glove
- Dante Bichette, Jr, 3B, Grade B: Way ahead of where his father was at the same stage
- David Phelps, RHP, Grade B-: I like him more than most people do. Has developed the secondary pitches needed to off-set the fastball.
- Ravel Santana, OF, Grade B-: Borderline C+. This grade assumes that the gruesome ankle injury doesn’t permanently hurt his career.
- Tyler Austin, 3B, Grade B-: Borderline C+. I don’t know why this guy doesn’t get more attention.
- Adam Warren, RHP, Grade C+: Borderline B-: Often paired with Phelps. I like Phelps a little better even though Warren gets more press
- Austin Romine, C, Grade C+: I don’t like Romine as much as a lot of other people do. His bat is stagnating and his performance doesn’t match his reputation behind the plate.
- J.R. Murphy, C, Grade C+: Defense reports improving, but bat is erratic and he had adaptation issues in High-A before getting hurt.
- Cito Culver, SS, Grade C+: Good defensive reports, still very raw with the bat but was younger than most of his competition.
- Brett Marshall, RHP, Grade C+: Fully recovered from Tommy John and had solid year in High-A.
- Slade Heathcott, OF, Grade C+: Has tools to rank as high as seven, but persistent shoulder problems are slowing his development.
- Angelo Gumbs, 2B, Grade C+: Makes a nice double play combo with Culver and they should move up together.
- Nik Turley, LHP, Grade C+ Breakthrough candidate for 2012.
- Daniel Lopez, OF, Grade C+: Showed speed and some power potential in Gulf Coast League.
- David Adams, 2B, Grade C: Has lost most of two seasons to injury.
- Ramon Flores, OF, Grade C; Draws walks, contributes touches of power and speed, but could end up stuck as a tweener.
There aren’t a ton of differences in his top 10. from a year ago. Montero and Sanchez’s grades were the same compared to last year. Betances goes from a B+ to a B. Romine, Heathcott, and Warren all dropped from a B- to a C+. Noesi and Nova graduated, while Brackman dropped out as he is now with the Reds. All of that seems fair to me based on the seasons each had. Williams, Bichette, Santana, and Austin all make their debuts on the list at No. 5, 6, 8, and 9 respectively.
Spots 11-20 had a lot more turn over. Eduardo Nunez graduated and the once promising Brandon Laird, Corban Joseph, and Jose Ramirez dropped off the list for performance reasons. Graham Stoneburner went from No. 11 to being completely left off, he didn’t have a terrible year, but I guess it was bad enough to drop at least 10 spots. Murphy, Culver, Marshall, Gumbs, and Adams hang on from last year. Newcomers are Turley, Lopez, and Flores.
Here is Sickels’ list from a year ago if you want to compare.