2010 Preseason Top 25 Prospects

FutureSox has published our 2010 Preseason Top Prospects list! We publish the list three times a year - early April just as the minor league season begins, July after the draft picture gets solidified and the minor leaguers have part of a season under their belts, and then in October after the minor league seasons are completed. The list is created by a voting system, much like AP college sports rankings, with the votes coming from seven of our most knowledgeable prospect gurus.

Some highlights...

Dan Hudson moves into the number 1 slot, just ahead of Tyler Flowers, who was number 1 previously. Jordan Danks, Dayan Viciedo, and recently-injured Jared Mitchell round out the top five. The biggest upward movers on the list are catcher Miguel Gonzalez (from 28th all the way to 8th), infielder-converted-to-pitcher Sergio Santos (from unranked to 10th, and now with the big club), and pitcher David Holmberg (26th to 14th). On the flip side, the biggest drops were almost all pitchers: Jhonny Nunez (12th to 22nd, and now converting from reliever to starter), Charlie Shirek (8th to 17th), Steven Upchurch (23rd to unranked) and Brandon Hynick (24th to unranked). Stefan Gartrell dropped eights spots from 16 to 24, by far the biggest plunge of a hitter. The only new player in the system since the fall to break the list is outfielder Alejandro De Aza, who scraped together a few votes to put him at number 32.

Below is the list, showing their rank, position, current age and 2010 minor league level. The votes are on a 210 point scale.

Rank Player Points Previous Change
1 Dan
208 2 1
2 Tyler
203 1 -1
3 Jordan
194 4 1
4 Dayan
186 3 -1
5 Jared
184 6 1
6 Brent
178 7 1
7 Trayce
160 9 2
8 Miguel
158 28 20
9 CJ
146 5 -4
10 Sergio
137 NR n/a
11 Josh
132 10 -1
12 David
127 "26" 14
13 Charlie
124 18 5
14 John
Shelby III
114 15 1
15 Christian
108 14 -1
16 Clevelan
94 25 9
17 Charlie
93 8 -9
18 Kyle
92 19 1
19 Carlos
79 11 -8
20 Stephen
77 21 1
21 Nathan
69 17 -4
22 Jhonny
68 12 -10
23 Santos
51 "30" 7
24 Stefan
42 16 -8
25 Ryan
38 NR n/a

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES (in order of points): Nevin Griffith, Lucas Harrell, Dan Remenowsky, Jon Gilmore, Eduardo Escobar, Nick Ciolli, Alejandro De Aza, Kyle Colligan, LeRoy Hunt, Brady

DROPPED OFF FROM LAST LIST TO NO VOTES: Steven Upchurch (23), Brandon Hynick (24)

Tell us what you think of our rankings! Are we out of our minds? How do you rank the prospects?


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  • Overall, I like our list more than some of our previous renditions, but there are still some problems. I don't know why Shirek would be higher than Torres. Leesman is a bit high for a raw pitcher. For the most part though, I think it's a pretty fair list. I don't think Santos Rodriguez and Santeliz are the top 10 prospects we've seen at other publications.

  • In reply to DannySantaromita:

    I think we saw the higher upside prospects rise to the top, which is the way it should be. Lessman is a bit high based on his results in the minors, but everything we have heard from the organization probably puts him at the right spot on this list.

  • In reply to DannySantaromita:

    I think Shirek has substantially higher upside than Torres. Torres has shown he can pitch in the majors, but his stuff seems to indicate he's a middle reliever or #5 starter at best. Shirek can hit 95 and has good movement on his pitches. He was considered a high round draft choice at one time, then dropped down when he had some problems in college. Torres has a better chance to be a major league regular, but I think Shirek's ceiling is higher.

  • In reply to DannySantaromita:

    Thanks for the information on White Sox prospects. Having said that, there are a few notable differences in what seven prospect gurus (also known as fans) think and what the Sox org. themselves think.

    I can tell you they are much higher on Eduardo Escobar than this list indicates, for one. Similar with Holmberg, but where he's listed isn't too far out of line.

    Not criticizing, just shariug some info. For what it's worth.

  • In reply to JimH1:

    Escobar was a tough one for me to rank. He has a great glove but his offensive potential seems fairly limited. He doesn't walk much and he doesn't hit for any power. He's still somewhat young, so there is time for the offense to come, but it's tough to see him becoming more than a backup infielder at the Major League level at this point.

    That said, he has started the year well, and if he can put together a good offensive season he would fly up the rankings, but I need to see it from him first.

    As for Holmberg I was quite aggressive with my ranking of him. I have some concerns, for example he doesn't appear to have a true out pitch, so he may find the K's a little hard to come by. But he has good upside and he's comfortably the best pitching prospect for me behind Hudson.

  • In reply to OzzieBall:

    I love Escobar, but if the White Sox think highly of him as a hitter (as in top 10 prospect), then they're flat wrong. As Jeff said, I want to see it before I believe it.

    As for Holmberg, him being the 2nd best pitching prospect in the system speaks poorly on White Sox pitching prospects.

  • In reply to JimH1:

    We actually have had significant talks with people in the White Sox front office in regards to the list. From Buddy Bell to Doug Laumann and those talks impacted to an extent how the players were ranked.

    However, in the case of Escobar, I don't recall either party ever mentioning him as a guy they were significantly high on. But I know the Sox are quite high on his defense and two years ago were pretty high on him in general.

    Last year questions arose about his offensive potential and whether he'd be willing to hit. I'd compare him to a former Sox top prospect Robert Valido in the sense that until he proves he can hit, he'll be a suspect prospect.

    If he does hit, well than look out.

  • In reply to JimH1:

    Projecting prospects is exactly that, it's about projecting. It is not all about what a guy has or hasn't done stat wise. Escobar is drastically different than Valido because he's not a head case. He is starting to get stronger, thus far the White Sox love his work ethic although that is always subject to change.

    A couple of KW's sr. assistants are high on Escobar. We'll see if he pans out, but he should be on this list.

  • In reply to JimH1:

    Ok. To clarify, yes, you're right. Escobar should be in the top 25. I had him in mine, but only two of us did. I just meant to say there are major question marks with Escobar so I don't think it's totally egregious to leave him out. Given the way our voters react to performance, you can bet he'll be in the next top 25 if he keeps his hot start up.

  • In reply to JimH1:

    There's an X-curve of sorts when it comes to evaluating talent in the minors. Obviously, for an 18 year old just drafted with minimal playing time in minor league ball (i.e. Trayce Thompson), the numbers are almost (but not entirely) meaningless. On the other hand, if its a guy who has been in the minors for years and is at the AAA level (i.e Gartrell), then by that point, you have to expect the physical and mental tools to translate into performance, so stats (a wide array of them) are very meaningful. The curves pass each other somewhere in the middle. Escobar is still quite young age-wise, but, he has played a few years of pro ball now. Its a balance. Of course, everyone has different ideas about where the levels are for each at any given development point.

    I had Escobar just outside the Top 25, based partially on his performance (offensively, in particular), but also taking into account all the various scouting-like info that is out there. I don't see him projecting out as well as some others do, but I'll be perfectly happy if I am wrong.

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