Darwin Barney: A Prospect?

According to Jonathon Mayo of MLB.com, The Cubs top ten prospects look something like this:

Rk Player           ETA
1. Brett Jackson    2012
2. Trey McNutt      2012
3. Chris Carpenter  2012
4. Hayden Simpson   2013
5. Josh Vitters     2013
6. Jay Jackson      2011
7. Rafael Dolis     2012
8. Matt Szczur      2013
9. Reggie Golden    2014
10. Darwin Barney   2011
There's one of two possibilities here: (1) The Rays took way more of our farm system than I expected, or (2) Jonathon Mayo has no idea what he's talking about.

Why? Darwin Barney is not a prospect. Yet he's listed number 10 in yonder scale.

Well, according to Kevin Goldstein, Baseball America, John Sickels, The Hardball Times, Fangraphs, Diamond Futures, Top Prospect Alert, and MILB Prospects, Darwin Barney is not a prospect. In 2010, Goldstein went to so far as to rank Barney #15 or so in the system, noting he had potential -- potential, mind you -- to be a utility player.

If that really is the tenth best hope for the future Cubs, then the future is severely bleak.

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  1. Ehh... not sure I completely agree with you here Brad. I guess the idea of a prospect is sort of subjective depending on how you look at it, but as far as I'm concerned, if Ryan Theriot was capable of providing the surplus value that he did in his time with the Cubs-- and it was more than your average "prospect," so many of whom flame out-- then I see no reason not to believe that Barney can be a valuable player, at least as long as he's really cheap, and also assuming he's as good as they say on defense.

    I dunno... I guess it depends how you value prospects. I buy that he probably doesn't belong in the top 10 almost no matter what, but I don't buy that he's a 'non-prospect.' I'm actually kind of excited about his potential to be a contributor off the bench, especially with the glove, considering the questions surrounding Starlin's defense.

  2. Good points, Jack. I'm really spoiled, though, because I also follow the Rays, whom have more prospects than any team not named the Royals right now.

    It's just frustrating when a backup utility infielder is the 10th best thing in the system. Were he in the Rays minors, Barney would not be considered a prospect -- though he still might be a contributor. Just being a contributor, however, doesn't make you a prospect. Prospect are supposed to have high ceilings. Barney's ceiling is Neifi Perez 2.0.