Re: Comparing the rankings
there is a very interesting article on fangraphs right now. basically it suggests that we look at prospects in a different manner.
player A (lets call him J.Bruce): starts out pretty average in his first two years then gets it together in year 3. years 4-5-6 he is an All Star then leaves as a free agent or signs a market level contract with the Reds.
plays 20 years in the bigs and makes the Hall of Fame.
player B (lets call him J.Votto): starts out of the gate as a star player in year 1 and continues playing well for years 2-3-4-5-6. then leaves as a free agent or signs a market level contract with the Reds.
plays 15 years in the bigs as a good but not HOF caliber player.
in retropect even though player A has the better career player B is the better prospect from the Reds standpoint. why? simple: a team controls a player for ~6 years. for the first 3 they can pay him whatever they want then he gets arbitration in the next three years. after that the team has no control over him. so the ideal player springs forth like Athena fully developed and ready to produce from day one in the bigs. he produces well in years 1-2-3 when the team pays him peanuts then keeps producing in years 4-5-6 when they pay him well but likely below what he would make on the open market.
the article brings up Tim Linecum. the Giants have paid him ~$2M for $84M of production. if his 'injury waiting to happen' delivery produces a career ending injury the team could just jettison him and they would still have gotten incredible value from him.