With the Top 100 Prospects about to go live next week, could you tell us who just barely missed? Say, from Nos. 101-110?
Jim Callis: We have sent the Top 100 issue to the printer, and the list will go up on the website next Thursday. But I'll get some message boards revved up by answering this question as a sneak preview.
When we put the Top 100 together, we don't rank them in a definitive order beyond that. But I can reveal the players who came closest to making the cut.
There were four players who were on the list at various times, and just missed out: Reds righthander Johnny Cueto,
Phillies righthander Kyle Drabek, Devil Rays third baseman Akinori Iwamura and Giants third baseman Angel Villalona. Iwamura will have a better big league career than at least a few Top 100 guys, because he'll be in Tampa Bay's lineup on Opening Day, but we opted for prospects with higher ceilings. On the other hand, Drabek and Villalona have huge ceilings but have proven next to nothing yet. Cueto falls in between, as he's a little guy with a big arm who hasn't gotten past high Class A.