Baseball America Releases Their Top 10
|1.||Jarrod Saltalamacchia, c|
|2.||Elvis Andrus, ss|
|3.||Matt Harrison, lhp|
|4.||Brandon Jones, of|
|5.||Van Pope, 3b|
|6.||Eric Campbell, 3b|
|7.||Scott Thorman, 1b/of|
|8.||Jo-Jo Reyes, lhp|
|9.||Joey Devine, rhp|
|10.||Yunel Escobar, inf|
There are really no surprises on this list except for Van Pope at #5. The rest of the guys round up most of the well known Atlanta prospects. Van Pope is surprising not because I don't think he should be there (that's exactly where I would have him on my list), but because he is ahead of players such as Campbell, Devine, and Escobar who are much more hyped. Eric Campbell thought of by some people as the #1 prospect in the Braves organization and yet here he is one spot below Van Pope. The article does not give any reasons for the rankings but they do list Pope with the best infield defense and arm which adds to his value.
We also see yet another list with Yunel Escobar as the 10th best prospect. I guess people are scared away by his age and lack of development time but others seem to really like him. If I had to choose I would agree with those who list him as #10 although his sophomore slump could be attributed to his first full season of professional baseball in America.
There are a lot of tools at the top of the list with Elvis Andrus 2nd and Brandon Jones 4th. Brandon Jones is once again listed as the top athlete in the system and Andrus would lead the list of those with greatest potential if there was such a list. Andrus played much of 2006 in single-A as a 17 year-old with mixed results but obviously has immense untapped potential.
The fact that there are 2 starters and only 3 pitchers on this list further emphasizes the shortage of upper level arms in the system. Harrison is a well liked prospect but he doesn't have much star potential. The good news is that our crop of young arms in the low minors is more promising than ever.