We Sure “Top Prospect” Domonic Brown is a Sure Thing?

Since 23-year-old Domonic Brown is the next big thing in Philadelphia baseball, a comment I made last week about the chance he’s not quite ready, led some people to believe that I was selling him short.  Last Thursday commenter, The Original Chuck P, said, “Domonic Brown is a top 5 Baseball America prospect… they don’t miss on these guys.”

So to see how accurate that claim was, I went all the way back to 2001 (my wonderful High School graduation year!) to see how accurate Baseball America has been in their top, “Top Prospect” picks.  Brown ranks at #4 in this year’s preseason TOP 100, taking the top five from each of the past 10 years.  (For the record, I do think Domonic Brown will be an All-Star – he’ll just need a few years of MLB experience).

Some of the “Top Prospect” picks were right on the money: Joe Mauer, Mark Teixeira, etc…  Some have been way off the mark: Jesse Foppert, Joel Guzman (who?), etc…  I’ll let you be the judge: 

2001: #1 Josh Hamilton (OF, Devil Rays)

#2 Corey Patterson (OF, Cubs)

#3 Josh Beckett (RHP, Marlins)

#4 Jon Rauch (RHP, White Sox)

#5 Ben Sheets (RHP, Brewers)

Also a Top 10… Bust- #8 Ryan Anderson (LHP, Mariners)

2002: #1 Josh Beckett (RHP, Marlins)

#2 Mark Prior (RHP, Cubs)

#3 Hank Blalock (3b, Rangers)

#4 Sean Burroughs (3b, Padres)

#5 Carlos Pena (1b, Athletics)

Also a Top 10… Bust- #9 Drew Henson (3b, Yankees)

2003: #1 Mark Teixeira (3b, Rangers)

#2 Rocco Baldelli (OF, Devil Rays)

#3 Jose Reyes (SS, Mets)

#4 Joe Mauer (C, Twins)

#5 Jesse Foppert (RHP, Giants)

Also a Top 10… Bust- #none (Jose Contreras, Brandon Phillips, Hideki Matsui, Gavin Floyd, Francisco Rodriguez… all good players in my book, Contreras gets the vote if I need to pick one)

2004: #1 Joe Mauer (C, Twins)

#2 B.J. Upton (SS, Devil Rays)

#3 Delmon Young (OF, Devil Rays)

#4 Edwin Jackson (RHP, Dodgers)

#5 Rickie Weeks (2b, Brewers)

Also a Top 10… Bust- #7 Kazuo Matsui (SS, Mets)

2005: #1 Joe Mauer (C, Twins)

#2 Felix Hernandez (RHP, Mariners)

#3 Delmon Young (OF, Devil Rays)

#4 Ian Stewart (3b, Rockies)

#5 Joel Guzman (SS, Dodgers)

Also a Top 10… Bust- #9 Andy Marte (3b, Braves)

2006: #1 Delmon Young (OF, Devil Rays)

#2 Justin Upton, (SS, Diamondbacks)

#3 Brandon Wood (SS, Angels)

#4 Jeremy Hermida (OF, Marlins)

#5 Stephen Drew (SS, Diamondbacks)

Also Top 10… Bust- #9 Lastings Milledge

2007: #1 Dice-K Matsuzaka (RHP, Red Sox)

#2 Alex Gordon (3b, Royals)

#3 Delmon Young (OF, Devil Rays)

#4 Phillip Hughes (RHP, Yankees)

#5 Homer Bailey (RHP, Reds) …

Also Top 10… Bust- #6 Cameron Maybin (OF, Tigers)

2008: #1 Jay Bruce (OF, Reds)

#2 Evan Longoria (3b, Rays)

#3 Joba Chamberlain (RHP, Yankees)

#4 Clay Buchholz (RHP, Red Sox)

#5 Colby Rasmus (OF, Cardinals)

Also a Top 10… Bust- #6 Cameron Maybin (again), #9 Homer Bailey

2009: #1 Matt Wieters (C, Orioles)

#2 David Price (LHP, Rays)

#3 Colby Rasmus (OF, Cardinals)

#4 Tommy Hanson (RHP, Braves)

#5 Jayson Herward (OF, Braves)

Also a Top 10… Bust- #8 Cameron Maybin (might as well just keep putting him on here)

2010: Jason Heyward (OF, Braves)

#2 Stephen Strasburg (RHP, Nationals)

#3 Mike Stanton (OF, Marlins)

#4 Jesus Montero (C, Yankees)

#5 Brian Matusz (LHP, Orioles)

…Way too soon to label Desmond Jennings, Buster Posey, Pedro Alvarez, Neftali Feliz and Carlos Santana anything other than YOUNG TALENT


After looking at this list, we have to give credit to Baseball America for pretty accurately listing players that HAVE been and WILL become All-Stars, MVPs, and CY YOUNG winners.  But we must also take note that there are a number of “can’t miss” prospects that do miss, and never reach the lofty goals we set for them.  We see that nothing in life is certain, not even players labeled “Top Prospects” becoming the next great thing.

In the case of one Domonic Larun Brown (middle name Larun…really??), I hope they hit it right on the head and he makes us forget all about that guy with the beard.  You know who I mean, the one that hit .444 in the ’08 World Series, but later cursed-out a Dad in the stands, then took all that money…ah, what’s his name???  See, since the odds are strongly in Brown’s favor that he backs up that hype, I’ve already forgotten.

-Don M

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