After getting more Talking Chop input, we have finally arrived at our final top 25 Braves prospects for 2007. I took everyone's list and assigned each ranking a point value. A first place ranking was given 25 points, a little bonus for being ranked number one. Places two through twenty were given descending point values from 20 to 2. Players who were ranked 21 to 25 were given one "bonus point." I did the ranking this way so that the number one prospect was rewarded a bit for being listed first, and the last five were rewarded just for being listed but their inclusion didn't skew the rest of the results. Here is the list (in a wonderful Excel print screen):
Devine, Andrus, and Escobar were all very close. Thorman probably would have been higher if he were on more lists. Dan Smith made an impressive leap from not really being on my radar to 14th on the list. Others that snuck on were Neftali Feliz (I still want to type Perez), Zach Schreiber, and Chase Fontaine. Noticeably absent are Beau Jones and this year's first pick Cody Johnson. Johnson's absence is especially interesting since six players that were taken behind him in this year's draft are listed in the top-25. Even John Sickels listed six players from this year's draft and none of them were Cody Johnson.
I must say that I rarely remember such excitement for a Braves draft "class." People gave good reviews to the 2002 draft class (Francoeur, Meyer, McCann) and the 2003 class (Salty, Atilano, Stevens), but I can't remember such buzz about a class that goes so deep. Medlen was a 10th round pick, and several people listed him in their top-20. To further explain the depth of this 2006 class, no one even listed Chad Rodgers or Adam Coe who were the GCL Players of the Year for the Braves. Also, don't forget that this is the last class we will be able to draft and follow. So next year before the 2007 draft we will probably sign several more players from this class who might be along the lines of a Tyler Flowers or a Jamie Richmond. When we look back on the Braves 2006 draft, we may say it was the best one ever, even if just half of the top arms make it to the Majors, and even if our top pick doesn't pan out.