Top 10 A.L. Hitter Prospects - John Sickels
It's hard to say. They earned more across the board. But the only true success stories were Longoria and Ellsbury. Everyone else got a cup of coffee - at least in Rotisserie terms - earning $5 or less.
Still, more was expected of this group by the touts. Only Wieters was completely bypassed by all of the tout leagues and by Alex Patton. Seven of the 10 hitters here received a $1 or higher bid in at least one league and the two who weren't bid on (Lowrie and Teagarden) were picked pronto in the reserve round.
Most of these bids mean nothing to us in serious leagues. If we were allowed to bid on Carlos Gonzalez, we might have gone to $10, since we'd be able to keep him in 2009 at that price.
Er, maybe Gonzalez is a bad example. But you get my drift.
The tout leagues were bidding for hitters who would make an impact in 2008. Gonzalez - who had spent most of 2007 in AA as a 21-year-old - seemed unlikely to make a big splash in the majors, if he made it at all. From that standpoint, Barton was worth a much larger bid, even if Sickels didn't think Barton was the better prospect.
Just like with the N.L. hitters, Baseball America likes more of the guys who are farther away.
Top 10 A.L. Hitter Prospects - Baseball America
Lowrie, Clement, Teagarden, and Barton are replaced with Snider, Moustakas, Andrus and Tabata. BAs picks definitely skew younger.
Yet Andrus (19 in 2008) and Moustakas (19) were both auctioned or drafted (on reserve) in one of the expert leagues. I actually understand the Andrus pick more than I do the Moustakas pick. Having wound up with Luis Hernandez at $1 in the Sportsline league (I screwed up the "auto" bidding), I could see why an owner would want someone who probably wasn't going to play in 2008 over a schlub who wouldn't.
Snider - is the odd hitter who no one expected to make it to the majors in 2008 and did.
Snider's inclusion in the BA list isn't the anomaly, because the geniuses at Baseball Prospectus liked him too.
Top 10 A.L. Hitter Prospects - Baseball Prospectus
Like BA, Baseball Prospectus ranked Snider #2, which makes his omission from Sickels' Top 10 all the more startling.
Because we are looking for differences of opinion here, right?
No matter what magazine or publication you picked up last winter, this is the kind of inside information you were looking for. If and when you saw Longoria at #1 on all three of these lists, you probably shrugged, yawned, and wondered what his price would be if he made the Rays on Opening Day. When he didn't make the Rays, you shrugged, since you either knew that he was going to be taken with the first farm or reserve pick, was already kept as a farm player, or was going to command a hefty FAAB bid later.
It's the differences that make us sit up and take notice.
In my regular money A.L. league, non-rookies can be drafted in the farm draft alongside rookies. The only requirement is that they have to be in the minor leagues of an American League team.
The rookie eligible hitters went as follows: Wieters, Gonzalez, Wladimier Balentien, Chris Davis, Lowrie, Moutsakas, Austin Jackson, Jennings, Lars Anderson, Andrus, and Teagarden.
The rest of the prospects on the charts above were frozen - either on the major league roster (Ellsbury and Barton) or as farm players.
We look at these differences in the expert lists as we make our final decisions. I'd bet that Lowrie and Teagarden might not have been picked at all if they hadn't made Sickels' list. Someone who was a big Baseball Prospecuts believer probably was grinning ear-to-ear when Jennings was sitting there with the 13th pick.
But we make our own determinations, too. Some owners are looking for the next Longoria when they pick, which is why guys like Jackson and Anderson rumble past guys like Andrus and Teagarden.