Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
Prospect lists are a tricky animal. Every prospect guru has his or her own biases, favorite prospects, sources, and philosophy, leading to quite a variety in the placement of specific players on his or her list. I like making lists and I like prospects, but I'm no scout and I have no inside connections, so my list wouldn't hold any particular weight. Instead of spending loads of time ranking the players with my own biases, I decided a few years ago to instead assemble a consensus list for each team. You can view all of the previous lists here. Hopefully this will bring safety from a multitude of counselors.
How do I do this? Each time a prospect appears on a list, he gets a number of points (32 minus his ranking). The prospect with the largest amount of points is ranked first.
This year, I made a few changes to the list. First off, I included as many lists as I could possibly find. This includes list from team-specific sites, not just from sites that post a list for every team. Second, I created a separate list for fantasy rankings. Fantasy baseball sites rank their prospects with a different flavor and so there are two rankings: one for real baseball and one for fantasy.
You can also view the 2013 Houston Astros top prospect list.
Minor League Ball (John Sickels)
The "Change" column describes how the prospect’s status changed from 2013. A positive number means the prospect moved up in the list, while a negative number means he moved down.
Here is a spreadsheet that contains all of the 2014 Houston Astros top prospect rankings in one place. I have removed Keith Law's as his lists require a subscription, though his list is included in the final tally.
|3||2||Mark Appel||471||118||1st Round|
|11||NA||Michael Feliz||195||Unranked last year|
|13||NA||Andrew Thurman||159||2nd Round|
|15||NA||Josh Hader||139||Bud Norris Trade, Orioles|
|19||NA||Kyle Smith||82||Justin Maxwell Trade, Royals|
|20||NA||Danry Vasquez||73||Jose Veras Trade, Tigers|
|21||NA||Preston Tucker||54||Unranked last year|
|22||NA||Andrew Aplin||34||Unranked last year|
|23||NA||Aaron West||28||Unranked last year|
|24||11||Japhet Amador||24||22||Mexican IFA|
|25||NA||Kent Emanuel||23||3rd Round|
|28||NA||Tyler Heineman||17||Unranked last year|
|29||NA||Tony Kemp||16||5th Round|
|30||NA||Kevin Chapman||15||Unranked last year|
|31||NA||Leo Heras||14||Mexican IFA|
|32||NA||Luis Cruz||13||Unranked last year|
|33||NA||Jake Buchanan||11||Unranked last year|
|34||NA||Chris Lee||8||Unranked last year|
|34||NA||M.P. Cokinos||8||Unranked last year|
|36||NA||Gonzalo Sanudo||6||Mike Kvasnicka Trade, Twins|
|37||NA||Jandel Gustave||5||Unranked last year|
|37||NA||Chia-jen Lo||5||Unranked last year|
|39||NA||Reymin Guduan||4||Unranked last year|
|40||NA||Jonathan Meyer||3||Unranked last year|
|41||NA||Brett Phillips||2||Unranked last year|
|43||NA||Ronald Torreyes||1||International bonus slots, Cubs|
2013 prospects not on 2014 list
Jarred Cosart, #5
Jonathan Villar, #10
Brad Peacock, #11
Robbie Grossman, #13
Marc Krauss, #19
Paul Clemens, #27
Joe Musgrove, #19
Ariel Ovando, #19
Kevin Comer, #21
Colton Cain, #24
Rob Rasmussen, #26
Bobby Borchering, #28
Here is a chart of the Astros' prospect rankings. The error bars represent the minimum and maximum rankings for each prospect.
It appears that clicking the above graphic makes it slightly larger
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Chris St. John is a writer at Beyond The Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @stealofhome.