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Huh. Let's review for a moment. In 2011, their overall rankings came out looking all right (Pimentel could be justified at #4 because others did not have his ceiling), but in 2010, they had Gabriel Noriega, at #3 after a good though flawed half-season in Pulaski (where everyone seems to hit), and in '09, they were among the first to ignore some real flaws for Halman in favour of his tools. This year though. This year looks strangely reasonable. Take a look.

Five-Star Prospects
1. Taijuan Walker, RHP
2. Danny Hultzen, LHP
Four-Star Prospects
3. James Paxton, LHP
4. Nick Franklin, SS
Three-Star Prospects
5. Jose Campos, RHP
6. Guillermo Pimentel, OF
7. Francisco Martinez, 3B
8. Vinnie Catricala, 3B/1B/OF
9. Chih-Hsien Chiang, OF
10. Chance Ruffin, RHP
11. Phillips Castillo, OF

While the previous draw of the BP rankings was that they went up to 11, Goldstein lets us know of the next nine anyway by making brief comments on Liddi, Esteilon Peguero, Miller, Erasmo Ramirez, Capps, Cortes, Brandon Maurer (!), Pryor, and Snow, in that order.

The ranking isn't flawless, but after what MLB.com came out with, I have to admit I was a bit nervous. I think that Pimentel is probably a bit too high given that his improvement this year was very slight. He went from 30.2% Ks in his plate appearances to 27.4% and his walks went from 2.6% to 5.6%. That's improvement, but it doesn't put him anywhere near where he needs to be and I'm a little curious as to why he wasn't hitting better in Pulaski when so many others find it favourable. By contrast, look at Castillo, who has a similar physical profile. The K's are a little worse actually (31.4%), but the walks are considerably better than Pimentel at the same stage (7.7%) and he actually, you know, hit. I suppose Pimentel is left-handed and projected by some to hit for more power.

There are other selections that I'm not so hot on in certain respects. I like Ruffin and think that he has a place in our future plans, but am leery of ranking relievers too high. I've also voiced some concerns recently with Chiang. We need to figure out what he's about soon. Even when he was hitting quite well, he still was an average and power player, not one that would provide many walks. As additional hair-splitting, Maurer, though I like the guy plenty, is probably a bit prematurely ranked. For alternatives, beyond the moving of Chiang, Pimentel, and Ruffin down a few spots, I would probably bump up Brad Miller and Erasmo, and for kicks, why not consider Jabari Blash as a sleeper if you're already on board with Maurer? He did two interesting things last season, though not generally at the same time.

There are other omissions that people will likely bring up as points of contention. Triunfel isn't around, and considering that he's cleaned up his defense at short, is hitting all right, and is in triple-A as a guy who will turn 22 during spring training, all the traditional factors are there to give him a bit of a bump if you believe in such things. Victor Sanchez, the top international signing, is also not present, though I think that avoiding rankings of such prospects until they debut is generally wise. Three other local favourites that didn't make it were Marcus Littlewood, Mauricio Robles, and Johermyn Chavez, and I think that this reflects some of Goldstein's biases that were evident elsewhere in the rankings. Goldstein puts a pretty good emphasis on performance, which is why you saw guys like Noriega two years ago and Halman three years back. Littlewood, who by all accounts is a great kid, has yet to hit well for an extended period of time (he too, has some strikeout issues so far), though his peripherals were certainly strong his final two months. Robles had horrific command after his elbow was cleaned out and was limited to 32.1 innings as a result of both. His performances in the LVBP were so bad that he was demoted to the parallel league, and he hasn't been doing much better there. The reasons for Chavez' slip are also pretty clear, in that he went from 32 dingers to less than half that on his arrival in double-A while nearly a hundred points in average. I think Chavez had been overrated anyway after last season because the home/road issues were ignored by most camps. At any rate, this is all a long and overwrought way of getting to the basic point that, within Goldstein's particular paradigm, these omissions make sense.

And that's one of the signs of a decent ranking system. You may not agree with everything that the author says or every placement, but you can tweak it based on your own understanding of how said author developed their list because its roots are basically rational (unlike, for example, Pitchfork music reviews). I don't expect every list we see this offseason to look like this, but it's definitely a solid start.