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Prospectus Prospecting

One of the real prospect gurus of baseball has his top-10 Braves prospects up over at Baseball Prospectus. Kevin Goldstein throws a real curve ball in this list at number three:

Very Good Prospects
  1. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  2. Matt Harrison, LHP
Good Prospects
  1. Neftali Feliz, RHP
  2. Eric Campbell, 3B/2B
  3. Elvis Andrus, SS
Average Prospects
  1. Brandon Jones, OF
  2. Joey Devine, RHP
  3. Jeff Locke, LHP
  4. Chase Fontaine, SS... maybe
  5. Anthony Lerew, RHP

I like his list a lot more than the other's we've seen so far. His listing of Salty and Harrison, one and two, make my list seem a little more verifiable. I like that he listed Elvis lower in his list than most, and that he listed Campbell higher. I also like that he completely left off Yunel Escobar, though I would love to hear his take on whether or not he is overrated.

The real shocker in the list is of course Neftali Feliz, of which Goldstein says:

...18-year-olds who can throw 98 mph don't grow on trees you know...This is a teenager with a lightning arm who could turn into a frontline starter or a dominant closer, but right now, he's a teenager with a lightning arm.

I am a bit shocked that just because he has a "lightning arm" he gets ranked as the third best prospect in the Atlanta system. Neftali will definitely be someone to keep a close eye on next year.

Goldstein has some great notes about the ten guys he lists, but I especially like what he has to say about Matt Harrison:

...with his command of three solid-or-better offerings, he could take off at any point.

Much like Feliz, the inclusion of Jeff Locke at number eight seems like an inclusion based upon pure projectability. As for not listing any of the other young arms in the system, Goldstein tells us that:

...Locke gets the edge for his combination of size, velocity (for a lefty), and control.

The article over at Baseball Prospectus is behind their subscriber area, so if you're one of the lucky ones that subscribe you get to read all the goodness that is the KG top-10. Many thanks to BP editor Alex Carnevale for sharing this list with me. If you have never checked out Baseball Prospectus, give it a look. What it lacks in eye-popping graphic design it more than makes up for in professional content.

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