Drafting in any sport is such an inexact science. The Super Bowl is this coming Sunday. Quarterback Tom Brady was the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL draft, from the University of Michigan. Is there any doubt now that if those “experts” had crystal balls back then, that Brady would have gone 198 picks sooner? ESPN touts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay as experts. If I ever had the time or desire, we would all have a good laugh thumbing through their picks. The “can’t miss” guys who turned out to be busts and conversely the Brady types, who were greatly undervalued.
Same holds true in baseball. “Baseball America” puts out an annual list of the top prospects in all the organizations. It is uncanny how quickly those prospects are jumbled. The 2012 list has third baseman WIll Middlebrooks listed as #1. Will is followed by shortstop Xander Bogaerts, Catcher, Blake Swihart, righty Anthony Ranaudo, and outfielder Bryce Brentz at #5. Rounding out the top 10- outfierlder Brandon Jacobs, 3b Garin Cecchini, righthander Matt Barnes, Catcher Ryan Lavarnway and of Jackie Bradley. A quick look back just one season shows an amazing amount of change in the top 10.
1. Casey Kelly (rhp) currently #3 San Diego prospect Adrian Gonzalez deal)
2. Jose Iglesias (ss) hit .235 for PawSox in 2011. 31 rbi, 12 errors, turned 22 on 1/5/12
3. Anthony Rizzo (1b) currently #1 San Diego prospect (Gonzalez deal)
4. Anthony Ranaudo (rhp) currently #4 Red Sox prospect (9-6, 3.97 at Salem/Greenville in 2011)
5. Drake Britton (lhp) after 4 years in organization 4-18, 4.82 ERA, in 2011 1-13, 6.91
6. Reymond Fuentes (of) traded to Padres (Gonzalez deal) .275, 5, 45rbi, 41 sb (A ball)
7. Josh Reddick (of) traded to Oakland for Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney. In 184 games over parts of 3 seasons, Reddick had 32 home runs and 107 rbi for Pawtucket. He will be 25 on Opening Day
8. Felix Doubront (lhp) Doubront suffered through an injury plagued 2011 season, he was 2-5, with a 4.22 ERA for the PawSox.
9. Stolmy Pimentel (rhp) went a combined 6-13, 6.79 (A/AA)
10. Garin Cecchini (3b) in 32 games at Lowell, the 20 year old hit .298, 3, 23 with 12 SB
Just a thumbnail sketch of how quickly things can change. It is a lot of opinion and conjecture. You can form your own opinions by coming out to the park and watching the PawSox.