Baseball America has released its always anticipated list of what they perceive to be the top 100 prospects in baseball. The Yankees checked in with three players; CF Austin Jackson at 36, C Jesus Montero at 38, and P Andrew Brackman at 92.
In terms of being a 'prospect', I object to Jackson being ranked higher than Montero. By most accounts, Jackson should be a serviceable center fielder; playing good defense, while his bat and discipline still need time to develop. Montero, however, is being touted as an elite bat with a possible move out from behind the dish. Though hard hitting catchers are hard to come by, I feel that in this particular case too much of Montero's value is being tied to position. At the end of the day, a .300/.400/.550 hitter is a 300/.400/.550 hitter. By this time next year, I think Montero could be ranked in the top 5 in all of baseball as a catcher - but even if he is moved, his bat still would not bump him out of my top ten. Nobody f*cks with the Jesus.
While Jackson and Montero have showed results as professionals, Andrew Brackman is the ultimate high-ceiling prospect. Though his track record is limited, throwing only 149 innings in three years of college before TJ surgery and seeing a littel action in the Hawaiian League last fall, the physical tools of Brackman are just too overwhelming to ignore. At 6'10", Brackman is an imposing figure on the mound. His height, along with a fastball that has pushed triple digits, are enough to put him in the top 100. 2009 will be a big year for Brack, who could potentially rocket to the top of the 2010 Baseball America list - or just as easily fall completely off of it.