Oakland A's 2010 Top-50 Prospects List

After much deliberation, we are releasing our 2010 Oakland A's top-50 prospects list. Inside, subscribers get a sneak preview of the list, which we will unveil to the general public at the end of December. Over the next five weeks, subscribers will also receive in-depth scouting reports on each of the 50 prospects listed. Click inside for the full list…

Below is our 2010 Oakland A's top-50 prospects list. As we did for the first time last year, we are unveiling the entire list to our subscribers first before we release the scouting reports on each of these players. The scouting reports will be released five players at a time on a twice-a-week basis. At the end of the scouting reports series, we will make the full list available to all readers. Until that time, we ask that you please not post this list to any messageboards or other Websites. If the A's wind-up making a number of trades this off-season that impact this prospect list, we will release a revised version after January 1.

This is the fifth year that we have released a top-50 prospects list and we have found that determining this list has become more and more difficult each year, in large part because the A's system has added more and more depth over the past few years. We strongly considered more than 80 players for this list and, undoubtedly, there will be players who just missed this list who will make us look foolish next season for leaving them off. At the end of our scouting report series, we will release a list of players who just missed making this ranking.

We are often asked about our methodology in choosing these prospects and their ranking order. It is, without question, the most difficult task we undertake each year. Guessing the future value of a player is a subjective and unscientific proposition, at best. That being said, it is something that we take very seriously and put a lot of time and effort into.

We base our evaluations on the following criteria: 1) talent/ceiling (does this player have an unusual set of talents that, should he reach his maximum potential, would allow him to be a star?); 2) chances of having a big league career (is this player a future major league regular?) 3) projection (is this player likely to reach his maximum potential, whatever that potential may be?); 4) results on the field (did this player produce numbers that indicate he will have future success?); 5) age relative to level (did this player compete against age-appropriate competition last season and is he still young enough to have a long career in the big leagues?); 6) make-up (does this player project the temperament, intelligence and work ethic to succeed on a big stage?); 7) position (a middle infielder, centerfielder or catcher might be considered more valuable in the long run than a corner outfielder or infielder; same goes for a potential starting pitcher as opposed to a reliever).

Our assessments for all of these players are borne out of discussions throughout the season with baseball executives, scouts, players and other media members, as well as our staff's own personal observations of the players being analyzed, where we have had opportunities to watch them play on numerous occasions.

We recognize that these rankings will be controversial and we welcome your feedback. During the first week of December, we will have a subscriber-only live chat on this site where we invite you to discuss these rankings with us, as well as any questions about the upcoming scouting reports. An exact date and time will be announced next week.

And without further ado, we present to you our 2010 top-50 Oakland A's prospects list…

Oakland A's 2010 Top-50 Prospects

1. Brett Wallace* Traded to the Toronto Blue Jays
2. Chris Carter
3. Grant Green
4. Adrian Cardenas
5. Jemile Weeks
6. Max Stassi
7. Michael Ynoa
8. Grant Desme
9. Sean Doolittle
10. Josh Donaldson
11. Corey Brown
12. Aaron Cunningham
13. Tyson Ross
14. Henry Rodriguez
15. Fautino De Los Santos
16. Clayton Mortensen
17. Pedro Figueroa
18. Ian Krol
19. Arnold Leon
20. Anthony Capra
21. James Simmons
22. Brad Kilby
23. Shane Peterson
24. Matt Spencer* Traded to the Chicago Cubs
25. Dusty Coleman
26. Sam Demel
27. Justin Marks
28. Rashun Dixon
29. Mickey Storey
30. Matt Sulentic
31. Nino Leyja
32. Andrew Carignan
33. Julio Ramos
34. Jeff Gray *Traded to the Chicago Cubs
35. Brett Hunter
36. Jeremy Barfield
37. Ben Hornbeck
38. John Meloan
39. Tom Everidge
40. Connor Hoehn
41. Carlos Hernandez
42. Jason Christian
43. Jared Lansford
44. Argenis Paez
45. Tyler Ladendorf
46. Justin Friend
47. Kenneth Smalley
48. Tyreace House
49. Graham Godfrey
50. Michael Spina

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