Every year, ESPN's Keith Law puts together fantastic lists to rank the best prospects within each MLB draft class, and this morning his first edition of the 2012 list was published over at ESPN. It's Insider-only, but I also essentially continue to get Insider basically because of Law's fantastic work there.
I can't publish the full details of the list here, but I thought that a quick breakdown of some notable things would be helpful for those that don't have access to the full list and his bevy of notes. Here are a few things that I noticed in my first take from Law's list:
- There's a fairly even balance of college and high school prospects here, as Law ranks 27 high school players and 23 college players.
- In an absolute surprise to many people, Law ranks Georgia prep outfielder Byron Buxton as the nation's top draft prospect at this point, ahead of hyped prospects like California prep pitcher Lucas Giolito (ranked No. 2) and Stanford pitcher Mark Appel (ranked No. 3). Prep position players have been selected No. 1 in the past, including recent picks like Washington's Bryce Harper and Tampa Bay's Tim Beckham.
- While the top-2 prospects on Law's list are prep players, of the players ranked No. 3 through No. 11, six of those nine players are in college. One of those players is Florida catcher Mike Zunino, a fascinating prospect that could eventually compare with the likes of Buster Posey.
- This is just a friendly reminder that this list will change a great deal before the draft actually occurs in June. Trevor Bauer, selected third overall by Arizona in 2011 draft, was ranked No. 27 on Law's Top 50 draft prospect list from March 22, and that was made a month closer to the draft than this list.