When we started the Wankdorf league, it came with the idea of having a prospect list, and everyone got to put a pair of players on the list who wouldn't take up keeper slots. In the initial draft, the slots were occupied by the good (Mark Teixeira), the bad (Austin Kearns) and the ugly (Nick Papagiorgio). Unfortunately for the commish, there was no rule that you couldn't add and drop players as the year went on, making it a logistical nightmare. When owners like me and Ironhead started dropping actual prospects and added Steve Gutenberg and Ted Williams' (Now Defiled) Head, it was clearly time for the list to go.
The list was brought back in 2007 with the caveat that you can't add or drop players during the year, meaning that in theory, you should pay attention when you pick players. While the prospect list wasn't ignored in '07 and '08, this year it got some extra attention in the draft. Last year I was mocked (by Andy, of all people) for taking David Price in the 8th round of the draft. This year nobody laughed Scot took a pitcher still in college in the 5th round, and by the 8th round, half a dozen prospects had been taken. You can chalk that up to people deciding that Tim Beckham was a more worthwhile investment than Mike Aviles (also picked by Andy, who coincidentally, finished in last this year) or everyone just trying to be a genius.
Six months later let's see how everyone did with their picks, bearing in mind that we won't know if some of these guys are any good for a couple of years.
Gordon Beckham (Mission Accomplished). A midseason callup eligible at 2 positions who hit like a rookie of the year. He helped this team this year and should be a keeper for the foreseeable future.
Tommy Hanson (Le Dupont Torkies). He's already Atlanta's second-best pitcher and is a key reason this team repeated.
Rick Porcello (Unenviable Position). Helluva pitcher, stuck on a rebuilding fantasy team. Problematically, by the time Chad's squad gets good, the Tigers will suck.
Andrew McCutchen (Evil League of Evil). I'm sure Scot would have preferred this guy staying in AAA all season, but he's looked pretty good since being called up, albeit on a team that hasn't had a winning season since George H.W. Bush left office.
Chris Tillman (Mission Accomplished, traded to Unenviable Position); Cameron Maybin (wormcheese mousebird); Travis Snider (The Loose Bowels). These 3 guys weren't bad prospects in theory, but they've all exhausted their prospect eligibility this year and have sucked in the process. Query whether any are worth a keeper slot.
Brett Anderson (Flaccid Funiculi). Anderson had a nice rookie year. Sadly for Will, it was on Tucker's team.
Top Prospects for '10
Neftali Feliz (Unenviable Position). He ranks first in this group because in his cup of coffee he's looked like a stud. He's next years David Price.
Stephen Strasberg (Evil League of Evil). Still a scary good prospect. Unsure how helpful he'll be in 2010, mostly because the Nats suck.
Wade Davis (wormcheese mousebird). Tampa's next big thing on the hill and a big reason they dealt Scott Kazmir for 5 boxes of Ding Dongs.
Pedro Alvarez (Wu Tang Financial). Good news: he recovered from a slow start in the minors. Better news: this fantasy team needs a new infield badly, and he'll probably be a cornerstone of it from 2011-2016.
Buster Posey (It's Enrico Palazzo). Not sure why he spent most of September riding the pine in San Francisco, but he should be a fun call up next year and will be their 2nd best hitter by Arbor Day.
Prospects With Questions
Tim Beckham (Aroids Anonymous). The wrong Beckham? It's way too early to write him off but his luster faded a little this year.
Brian Matsusz (Wu Tang Financial). Looked so-so in his call up this year. Fortunately, he only pitched 44 innings for the O's and maintained his eligibility, the problem is there's no reason to think he'll be any good next year.
Madison Bumgarner (The Spam Avengers). Why does he have a woman's name?
Carlos Carrasco (Flaccid Funiculi). A toss-in from the Cliff Lee trade, he may have 4th starter written all over him.
Mike Moustakas (Aroids Anonymous). He's young, but showed very little in High A ball. Of course, he could have just been depressed about living in Wilmington, Delaware.
Josh Fields (Le Dupont Torkies). I have still never heard of this guy. Did Tucker take the modern Sid Fynch?
Prospects Gone Bad
Lars Anderson (It's Enrico Palazzo). Projects to be the next Alan Zinter. Wonderful.
Adam Miller (The Spam Avengers). His arm may have fallen off.
Nick Adenhart (The Loose Bowels). Well, I suppose it's better than having Angel Villalona. [Note: do we know where Villalona was on the night of Adenhart's accident? I think we might have cracked the case!--Teddy]
Gio Gonzalez (Recalcitrant Cobbler). Spent most of the year in the majors pitching poorly. May have gotten whiplash from all the homers he's allowed.
Elvis Andrus (Recalcitrant Cobbler). A fun prospect to end on, because he's the perfect example of a nice MLB player that's so-so for fantasy purposes. He may win ROTY based on defense, good fundamentals and a funny name. And he'll probably be in the majors for more than a decade, on a fantasy team every year, and never kept. We have found the new Orlando Cabrera.