The ranking of prospects is a growing staple of baseball's Hot Stove League, and it's a sure point of interest for fans whose teams are in the building process -- like the Royals.
Kansas City Star
The Star offered its list of the Royals' Top 25 prospects in mid-October. Now, John Sickels of SB Nation reveals his preliminary Top 20. It's preliminary because Sickels doesn't lock into his final grades until January with the publication of his annual guide: 2013 Baseball Prospect Book.
You can read the entire post at www.minorleagueball.com -- yes, I need to learn how to do links properly -- but here are some highlights.
It's no surprise that Sickels ranks outfielder Wil Myers at No. 1, and he gives Myers a rare Grade A, which he applies only to elite prospects who "have a reasonable chance of becoming stars or superstars."
The rest of his top five: RHP Kyle Zimmer (B+), OF Bubba Starling (B+), RHP Jake Odorizzi (B+) and RHP Yordano Ventura (B).
The Star's top five was Myers, Starling, LHP John Lamb, Odorizzi and Zimmer. We pegged Ventura at No. 6. Sickels takes a cautious approach on Lamb, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, and puts him at No. 9 with a B- grade.
It's worth nothing that same sort of disparity exists within the Royals' hierarchy.
The rest of Sickels' Top 20 (check his site for the grades): 6. RHP Kyle Smith; 7. SS Adalberto Mondesi; 8. LHP Sam Selman; 9. Lamb; 10. SS Orlando Calixte; 11. 3B Cheslor Cuthbert; 12. OF Jorge Bonifacio; 13. RHP Jason Adam; 14. LHP Mike Montgomery; 15. C Cameron Gallagher; 16. RHP Bryan Brickhouse; 17. 3B Patrick Leonard; 18. OF Elier Hernandez; 19. RHP Robinson Yambati; and 20. RHP Miguel Almonte.
The Star had all of those players ranked in its Top 25 except Yambati. The Star's highest-ranking player not cited by Sickels was infielder Christian Colon at No. 14.
Want more rankings? Baseball America will publish its list of the Royals' Top 10 prospects next week. The magazine keeps the rest of its Top 30 under wraps until it publishes its annual guide -- 2013 Prospect Handbook -- after the first of the year.