John Sickels, who runs MinorLeagueBall.com, has published his top 120 prospects for the 2012 season. Normally Sickels does separate lists for hitters and pitchers, although this year he combined them in to one big list. In the link above, Sickels provides some explanation for his rankings process. The big thing he notes is that he leans towards guys who are closer to the majors.
Five Pittsburgh Pirates prospects ended up on the list. The top two were Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon, who ended up ranked 11th and 16th, respectively. The Pirates had the highest pitching combo in this ranking, as no other team had two pitchers ranked before Arizona saw their second pitcher ranked 23rd overall. Arizona did have their third pitcher ranked 24th.
The position players were the next to end up on the list. Josh Bell got the highest rating by Sickels, coming in at number 49. Starling Marte came next, ranking 64th overall. Robbie Grossman was the last player to be ranked, coming in at 118th.
There was no Luis Heredia on the list, although that could have something to do with how he’s very far away from the majors.
All of the individual rankings are in line with what we’ve seen from other top prospect lists. The biggest difference in this one is the ranking of Josh Bell. Sickels joins Baseball Prospectus as the only outlets who had Bell in the top 50. Baseball America, Keith Law, and MLB.com rated Bell in the 60-69 range. Baseball Prospectus had the highest rating at 43rd.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.