Over the past couple days, Baseball America has released several lists of the Best Tools among professional baseball players — the National League and American League rankings are subscription-free, while the lists for Triple-A, Double-A, and Single-A are not.
Quite a few Giants crack the NL list –
- Freddy Sanchez is ranked third-best hit-and-run artist.
- Sergio Romo is tied with Roy Halladay for second-best slider (Carlos Marmol is listed as best).
- Tim Lincecum comes in at second-best changeup, right behind Cole Hamels.
- Brian Wilson is listed as the best reliever.
- And lastly, quite interestingly……best manager honors go to Bruce Bochy.
For the minor leagues, prospect rankings are divided by league (i.e., best tools among California League prospects, Eastern League prospects, and Pacific Coast League prospects). Though not a single Giants prospect is listed on the Triple-A rankings, they have quite a few at the lower levels.
Gary Brown gets quite a lot of recognition on the Single-A Rankings: best baserunner, fastest baserunner, best defensive outfielder, and most exciting player. Heath Hembree gets best reliever honors, while Ryan Cavan gets best defensive second-baseman honors. Lastly, and rather surprisingly, Tommy Joseph is ranked as the best defensive catcher. Either his defense has improved a lot this season, or there aren’t very many good defensive catchers in the California League; or both.
Anyway, interesting stuff, and a lot of topic for debate. Especially the Lincecum changeup snub. I don’t know how much trust to put in a list that has Jair Jurrjens as the second-best pitcher in the National League.