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Every year, several well-respected publications put out their own list of the top prospects in baseball.However, due to differences of opinion, it is difficult to gauge who exactly are the top prospects beyond the top 2-3 players.
Judging the status of these top prospects is even more difficult if we consider that most fans have never seen any of these players in action.
One solution is a meta-analysis.
In the science community, a meta-analysis is what we do when we take the work of a bunch of other people, tease the data a little, and draw some broader conclusions.
This way, instead of several different lists, each compiled by a single person or small group of people, we can put together a list of baseball’s top prospects based on the opinions of several well-respected individuals and groups.
In this case, we will take the average ranking of the top prospects from the rankings of ESPN.com, MLB.com, CBSSports.com, Baseball America, and Fangraphs.com. In compiling this list, we only used players that appeared in the top 50 of all five prospect lists.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL’S 2011 TOP 35 PROSPECTS
Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels is the near-unanimous choice as the top prospect, topping four of the five lists. Bryce Harper, the top pick of the 2010 draft, and only 18 years old, received the only other top vote. Dom Brown of the Phillies comes in third. He is the only other player to appear in the top 5 of each list. In total, six players appear in the top 10 of all five lists.
Nine teams have more than one player in the Top 35. The Kansas City Royals, the top farm system according to Baseball America, leads the way with five players on the list. The Rays are second with four. No other organisation has more than two.
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