- Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers first baseman, age 24
- Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins shortstop, age 24
- Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants pitcher, age 24
- David Wright, New York Mets third baseman, age 25
- Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers left fielder, age 24
- Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox second baseman, age 24
- Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder, age 23
- Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels pitcher, age 26
- Jose Reyes, New York Mets shortstop, age 25
- Nick Markakis, Baltimore Orioles right fielder, age 24
- Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals pitcher, age 24
- Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals third baseman, age 23
- Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher, age 24
- Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies shortstop, age 23
- Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners pitcher, age 22
- Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox pitcher, age 24
- Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays third baseman, age 22
- John Danks, Chicago White Sox pitcher, age 23
- Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres first baseman, age 26
- James Loney, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman, age 24
- Stephen Drew, Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop, age 25
- Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves catcher, age 24
- Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers first baseman, age 25
- Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians center fielder, age 25
- Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds first baseman, age 24
First of all, I have trouble rambling about this because Bill James compilled the list and has an infinitely wider aray of baseball knowledge than I do. Also, I should probably read the book for more in depth analysis on the list and you should too. Nonetheless, here's my take on the names, at first glance.
Prince Fielder topping the list really surprises me. There is no doubt that he is a great power hitter, but I see him as much less of a complete player than most of the guys near the top of this list. I would have seen him closer to fifth. Behind, Ramirez, Lincecum, Wright and Braun, who I think are ordered accurately.
I'm very high on Matt Kemp and think he'll be a fantastic player some day (soon), but I'm not sure if I think he tops Hamels, King Felix, Lester, Longoria, or Sizemore.
Speaking of Sizemore...#24? I understand that he didn't perform to fully to potential this year, but he is a superstar and much more established than many of the names above him, especially everyone in the 18-23 range, with the exception of possibly Adrian Gonzalez, but he isn't the complete player that Sizemore is.
Also, Longoria seems low at #17. He struggled mightily in the World Series, but showed all season why he was hyped so much as a prospect. He is a superstar in the making and deserves more credit on this list.
As for IIATMS' comment on Joakim Soria up at 11, I don't have a problem with his ranking. Yes, I am a charter member of his fan club, however his numbers don't lie. He is a fantastic closer and a top of the line pitcher. It can definitely argue that he is a little too high, however you won't be getting that argument here. Soria is the truth, and he will be displaying that for years to come.
Hamels should probably be a little higher based on the fabulous playoff run he just put together. That doesn't change the good, not great regular season that he had, however, it was a wildly impressive.
And congrats to Nick Markakis for getting some love outta Baltimore. He is a great player who doesn't get the attention he deserves while toiling away in the AL East cellar with the lowly Orioles.
If I was king of the sabermetric world and people would pay for my opinion I probably alter the list a little. But, I'm not and I won't pretend that I can statistically back these comments up. The list is out there and up for discussion. I can't be the only one left a little confused...