We think we’re good at identifying and ranking future talent. We trust our sources, in this case managers, coaches and scouts. We trust our instincts. We trust our process. But we’re not clairvoyant—as the following examples indicate.
One can build a formidable major league all-star team of players who never appeared in a Minor League Top 10 Prospects ranking.
JORGE POSADA, C, YANKEES
Posada is one of the hardest-hitting catchers since integration—his 121 OPS+ ranks seventh at the position—even though he entered pro ball as a shortstop. He tended to be overlooked as a prospect because of his rough edges behind the plate and subtle offensive contributions. Posada hit just .258 in the minors but with plus power and patience for a catcher.
BEST TOP 10 CASE: 1996 International League
MATT OLSON, 1B, ATHLETICS
Oakland’s power-hitting, Gold Glove winning first baseman appeared on four league top 20s but never ranked among the top 10 prospects in his league—not even in 2014 when he led the California League with 37 homers as a 20-year-old. A high strikeout rate (24%) and low batting average (.249 career) obscured Olson’s carrying tools of power, patience and defense.
BEST TOP 10 CASE: 2014 California League
ROBINSON CANO, 2B, YANKEES
You can read up to 3 premium stories before you subscribe to Magzter GOLD
Log in, if you are already a subscriber
Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories, newspapers and 5,000+ magazines
READ THE ENTIRE ISSUE