Revisiting the 2001 Baseball Prospectus Top Prospects

By Blaidd Drwg

Recently, I was in a conversation with someone regarding the Baseball Prospectus Top Prospects list that comes out annually. We were essentially talking about how much talent made their debut in 2001 so I decided to go back and look at the list to see how well, 12 years later, the guys at BP did. The full article is here and it is worth reading especially with discussion about Ichiro, Nick Johnson and Ryan Anderson.

Below is the top 40 list if you don’t care to read the article:

1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
2. Sean Burroughs, 3B
3. Ryan Anderson, LHP
4. Corey Patterson, CF
5. Ben Sheets, RHP
6. Antonio Perez, SS
7. Jimmy Rollins, SS
8. Roy Oswalt, RHP
9. Vernon Wells, CF
10. Jose Ortiz, 2B
11. Jon Rauch, RHP
12. Joe Crede, 3B
13. Josh Hamilton, CF
14. Chris George, LHP
15. Bobby Bradley, RHP
16. Austin Kearns, OF
17. Brad Wilkerson, OF
18. C.C. Sabathia, LHP
19. Kevin Mench, OF
20. Bud Smith, LHP
21. J.R. House, C
22. Keith Ginter, 2B
23. Alex Escobar, CF
24. D’Angelo Jimenez, SS
25. Adam Dunn, OF
26. Nick Johnson, 1B/DL
27. Luke Prokopec, RHP
28. Hee Seop Choi, 1B
29. Albert Pujols, 3B
30. Adrian Hernandez, RHP
31. Craig Wilson, C/1B
32. Michael Cuddyer, 3B
33. Mike Bynum, LHP
34. Luis Rivas, SS
35. Jack Cust, 1B
36. Wilson Betemit, SS/3B
37. Brian Lawrence, RHP
38. Marcus Giles, 2B
39. Dee Brown, LF
40. Nick Neugebauer, RHP

There are a couple terrible misses on this list, particularly in the top 10. Sean Burroughs, Corey Patterson, and Antonio Perez never really got it together in the majors, although Perez will probably be best remembered as one of the guys the Mariners got for Ken Griffey. Ryan Anderson had all sorts of arm trouble and never made the majors. Beyond that, they did pretty well with the list. Ichiro, say what you want about him, has posted a 57.8 career WAR, won an MVP and a ROY award. Ben Sheets posted a 25.6 WAR in 8 seasons before his arm fell off. Jimmy Rollins has a career 41.9 WAR and an MVP award. Roy Oswalt has a career 50.8 WAR and finished in the top 5 in Cy Young voting 5 times. Even Vernon Wells, as overpaid as he is, has posted a 30+ career WAR.

The guy on this list that they underrated the most? Some guy at #29 who was a 21 year old 3B for the Cardinals who had one minor league season under his belt; Albert Pujols.

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