Yeah, I've blown the top story with my headline, but Baseball Prospectus has released its yearly top prospects list, this time a top 100, and things look pretty good for the Yankees. Phil Hughes comes in second behind Royals hitting machine Alex Gordon and ahead of last year's #1 the Devil Rays' Delmon Young. This is the highest ranking by a Yankee since Nick Johnson was Prospectus's top prospect in 2000, and probably the highest ranking since the Little Unit, Ryan Anderson, taught Mariners fans the meaning of TINSTAAPP after topping the 2001 rankings.
Further on down the line, Jose Tabata checks in at #22 on the rankings, followed by Joba Chamberlain at #56, Humberto Sanchez at #65, Dellin Betances at #92, and Tyler Clippard as an honorable mention. Before you get too excited by the number of players from the Yanks that made the list, remember that BP doubled its top prospects rankings this year, from 50 to 100, only a couple of years after moving up from their traditional top 40. Chamberlain would have been an honorable mention, at best, under last year's system, and Sanchez, Betances, and Clippard wouldn't have been mentioned at all; so this still definitely ranks behind the 2000 prospects list, when Johnson was #1, D'Angelo Jimenez #16, and Alfonso Soriano #33.
[ASIDE: Yep, there was a time--particularly, but not exclusively, before he broke his neck, that we liked Jimenez more than Soriano. And I wonder, had Prospectus and all the other prospect hounds known that Sori was two years older than he claimed, if he would've ranked anywhere at all. Fast forward to February, 2007, and Johnson's an above-average, but not elite, first baseman, Jimenez is a non-roster invitee, and Soriano's sitting on a $136 million contract. None of them are Yankees. The world's a funny place.]
One of the reasons that the BP list has expanded is because it's now in the capable hands of Kevin Goldstein, who has really improved BP's prospects coverage. Still, as cool as Kevin is and as much fun as it's been working with him is, I kind of miss the old days of the Prospectus Prospects roundtables, where the whole gang would put their two bits in concerning the prospects lists, often leading to some interesting tangents and vicious battle royales.
Elsewhere in Yankeedom, not much is happening. Well, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter are talking about their relationship, which gives you an idea of the level of news we're talking about. I'd like to thank the Metropolitan area news corps for treating us to a homoerotic undertone in their coverage. Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you. Just it doesn't have much to do with baseball.
Perhaps of marginally higher significance, Carl Pavano recently had to sit out with "heavy legs." It's gonna be a an up-and-down ride with Can't Play Carl this season, if we're lucky. Otherwise, like last season, it will simply be a down-and-down ride. Pavano's already had his own relationship subplot this pre-season with Mike Mussina. Any second now, I expect to see the headline "Pavano: Pinstripes Make My Butt Look Big."