This really isn't in response to all the prospects traded lately, since I'd been planning to post this sometime soon anyways when I had the time. I have (still) a copy of the 2000 STATS, Inc. Minor League Scouting Notebook. Rather than ranking prospects by team, they gave each prospect a grade, from A to C-. These were the top 10 players listed, by grade:
1. Pat Burrell, 1B-OF (A)
2. Brad Baisley, RHP (B)
3. Eric Valent, OF (B)
4. Brett Myers, RHP (B-)
5. Jimmy Rollins, SS (B-)
6. Marlon Byrd, OF (C+)
7. Jason Michaels, OF (C+)
8. Franklin Nunez, OF (C+)
9. Carlos Silva, RHP (C+)
10. Reggie Taylor, RHP (C+)
Of that, we had 3 pan out very well for us, including one of our all-time greats. As for the rest, there's a mixture of a little bit and nothing.
Geoff Geary is the onle other one of our prospects at the time that became relevant. He was given a C- grade. Rollins was called a "utility infielder" who could start if he learned to hit. Burrell was rated as the #3 prospect in baseball (behind Corey Patterson and Rick Ankiel).
A look at the top 50 overall prospects (lengthy for this post, will put in the comments if someone asks) shows you more failures than there were successes.
Like I said, this isn't in response to the prospects changing hands recently; I was going to post this anyways at some point. It's interesting to look at though. Or at least I think so.