MLB.com's new Top 100 Prospects was released Thursday, with Minnesota outfielder Byron Buxton as close to a unanimous top prospect as there's been in recent memory. There were 35 newcomers named to the list this year.
The time has come once again to unveil a new prospect rankings. The new Top 100 Prospects list is out and ready for you to tear down, err, analyze.
Of course, that's exactly why lists like this come out -- to stir debate and get people talking. Discussions around who's on the list, who's not, who's too high or too low, are always passionate, and this year undoubtedly will be no different.
It would be hard to imagine that anyone would have much to say about who is in the top spot. Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, who became No. 1 when the list was re-ranked last summer, is as close to a unanimous top prospect as there's been in recent memory.
"I think he's made unbelievable strides as far as maturing, not only as a player but as a person," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "As far as taking the responsibility of what he is and who is he and where he's headed, I think he's done a wonderful job.
"He just knows the responsibility that comes with being the best player in the Minor Leagues, according to some people. He gets it."
Buxton and the others are eligible for the Top 100 because they still have rookie eligibility. To qualify for rookie status, a player must not have exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues or have accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club(s) during the 25-player-limit period, excluding time on the disabled list or in military service.
Such international signees as new Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, in case you were wondering, were not considered. The rankings follow the guidelines laid out by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement in terms of who falls under the international pool money rules: Players who are at least 23 years old and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.
Read more: Breaking down the Top 100 Prospects list | MLB.com: News