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Zephon's Top 40 Prospect list (NEW AND IMPROVED)

(What I really should call this is my top 19 pitchers and top 21 hitters list, but that doesn't sound as good)

Originally I was supposed to wait to post this until after the draft report was done. But I'm impatient, so I'm going to change plans a bit, and post my top prospect list today. IHSB as a much more detailed (and IMHO better) top prospect list coming up that will be posted after the last part of the draft report card is posted. I know i'm repeating my self, but like i said I'm super impatient, and I want to get this out there, so I'm going to jump the gun a bit, and post mine today. I'd like to see this thread as the "official" top prospect discussion thread, but I don't care if that happens or not. If you're aware of any top prospect lists out there, link to them in this thread.

Before we begin, I have to begin with one statement: I hate writing top prospect lists. They are the most arbitrary thing you can write about baseball, period. One thing I really dislike is ranking the pitchers with the hitters. Pitchers are fragile, they can get injured, they can flame out. That's where the acronym TINSTAAPP (there is no such thing as a pitching prospect) comes from. Compared to pitching prospects, hitters are much more of a sure thing. That is why I split my list into two, one ranking hitters, the other ranking the pitchers. I think this way you have a much more accurate representation of the ranking of the players in the system.

When I rank prospects, I generally rank them based on their upside and ceiling, their production so far in the minors, along with age, physical build, and mental makeup. In addition, I factor in how close they are to the major leagues.

Right now, there really aren't a lot of high upside pitchers in the system, outside of Jarrod Parker, Michael Belfiore, and maybe Trevor Harden. The rest of the pitchers we'll really have to wait and see when it comes to their development. On the other hand, there are a lot of great hitters in the lower levels of the minors now, with a lot of upside. That's why I have more hitters than pitchers listed. So with out further ado, here's my top prospect list. (EDIT: updated list because Kennnedy isn't a prospect, swapped orders a bit, and added in Norberto and Collmentor. Added in honorable mentions.)

1. Jarrod Parker, RHP             1. Brandon Allen, 1B
2. Michael Belfiore, LHP 2. Bobby Borchering, 3B
3. Trevor Harden, RHP 3. Cole Gillespie, OF
4. Bryan Augenstein, RHP 4. Ryan Wheeler, 1b
5. Cesar Valdez, RHP 5. Chris Owings, SS
6. Eric Smith, RHP 6. A.J Pollock, CF
7. Scott Allen, RHP 7. Marc Krauss, LF LHB
8. Chase Anderson, RHP 8. David Nick, MI
9.  Roque Mercedes 9. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
10. Tom Layne, LHP 10. Collin Cowgill
11. Charles Brewer, RHP 11. Keon Broxton, CF
12. Patrick McAnaney, LHP 12. Pedro Ciriaco, MI
13. Leyson Septimo, LHP 13. Taylor Harbin, MI
14. Kevin Mulvey, RHP 14. Matt Davidson, 3B/1B
15. Wade Miley, LHP 15. Winston "Ollie" Linton, CF
16. Patrick Schuster. LHP 16.Brent Greer, SS/2B
17. Jordan Norberto, LHP 17. Matt Helm, 3B
18. Daniel Taylor, LHP 18. David Narodowski, SS
19. Keith Cantwell, RHP 19. Reynaldo Navarro, SS
20.Josh Collmentor, RHP 20. Rossmel Perez, C

21. Jeremia Gomez, OF

Honorable mentions and/or not quite prospects: RHP Ian Kennedy, RHP  Billy Buckner, C John Hester, Konrad Schmidt, 1B Sean Coughlin, RHP Braden Hagins,RHP Matt Torra,  RHP Brian Budrow, and RHP Adam Worthington

You can combine the list however you like, but it's going to have the more hitters higher than the pitchers. I don't really feel like writing an entry for every single player explaining why I ranked a player where I did. When IHSB posts his top prospect list, you'll see that he has done a great job writing about each player in his list, and generally I agree with him on most of his writeups. Ask me for my thoughts on a player and I'll explain my thinking, but otherwise, I don't feel like it's worth it writing up every player on this list. If you have any questions about certain players, or why i ranked player X above player Y, just ask me. If you're wondering why I left off a player, go ahead and ask that too. I like a nice healthy debate about minor league prospects. If my list sucks, I apologize in advance. I'm just an amateur. I'm satisfied with how my list looks as it stands. I'm sure some people will nitpick some of my rankings, or wonder why I left some players off, but the honest truth is that I'm just an amateur prospect evaluator, and my rankings are NOT perfect.

So there you have it. That's my top prospect list. I hope every one enjoys it. Or learns from it. Or something....