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Sickels: Walker is Bucs' Top Prospect

Here's John Sickels' new list of the Bucs' top 20 prospects. The results aren't very good for a team with the draft positions the Pirates have had. There are several youngsters who have already apparently played too much in Pittsburgh to be on the list, however, including Zach Duke, Ian Snell, Sean Burnett, Brad Eldred and Ryan Doumit. All those guys except Eldred were Cam Bonifay signees, though.

There's a pretty amazing dearth of prospects above the C+ level. (A C+ prospect is generally a pretty mediocre prospect.) The Bucs only have four - Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen, Tom Gorzelanny and Paul Maholm. Tampa Bay has eleven.

The only 2005 draftees on the list are McCutchen, reliever Matt Swanson, and, weirdly, fifth rounder Brent Lillibridge. I can't tell what Lillibridge did to earn a spot on this list. The only '04 draftees on the list are Walker and Jason Quarles.