Is there a more inexact science that baseball prospect rankings? Mark Prior was supposed to be as sure of a thing as ever, and injuries derailed his career. Stephen Strasburg has already had Tommy John surgery. Albert Pujols was a mid-round draft pick who flew through the minor leagues like no one could have expected. When the Twins drafted Matt Moses, he was supposed to be a very pure high school hitter. Ryan Mills was such a good college pitcher with perfect mechanics, and he never got above AAA. BJ Garbe? Well, that was probably a bad pick. But for every missed first-round pick, the Twins have had successes later in the draft and with non-draft free agents. Now the efforts internationally are starting to pay dividends as well.

I have been following the Twins minor league system pretty much daily for the last six seasons. I have been trying to figure out patterns and strategies over that time. I made my first real top prospect list following the 2004 minor league season. Early on, the rankings were based mostly on numbers and things I'd read. In recent years, I have been able to gain a lot more contacts, so rankings are based on scouting as much as stats. The funny thing is that no matter how much more information goes into prospect rankings, they remain a completely inexact science.

So why post this blog? It can only make me look dumb! Well, many of you probably agree that I do a decent job of that already, so why not? I think historical prospect lists are fun to look at for a couple of reasons. First, it is fun to see which sleepers you picked. Second, it's fun to see which players you were completely wrong about. And finally, it's just fun to see the names and think back. Do you remember when Deacon Burns was compared to Kirby Puckett? Do you recall  when I was excited about "Three Rockcats with Bats." They were Kevin West, Doug Deeds and Luis Maza. The Real Deal? Really?

With that, let's take a look back at the rankings:

2005 Top 20 Twins Prospects:

1.) Jason Kubel, 2a.) JD Durbin, 2b.) Scott Baker, 3.) Jesse Crain, 4.) Francisco Liriano, 5.) Garrett Jones, 6.) Glen Perkins, 7.) Kyle Waldrop, 8.) Adam Harben, 9.) Jason Bartlett, 10.) Matt Moses, 11.) Trevor Plouffe, 12.) Terry Tiffee, 13.) Steven Duguay, 14.) Boof Bonser, 15.) Scott Tyler, 16.) Denard Span, 17.) Alex Romero, 18.) Kevin West, 19.) Luis Maza, 20.) Alexander Smit.

2006 Top 20 Twins Prospects:

1.) Francisco Liriano, 2.) Scott Baker, 3.) Jason Kubel, 4.) Anthony Swarzak, 5.) Matt Moses, 6.) Jay Rainville, 7.) Alex Romero, 8.) Denard Span, 9.) Kevin Slowey, 10.) Adam Harben, 11.) Travis Bower, 12.) Nick Blackburn, 13.) Trevor Plouffe, 14.) Glen Perkins, 15.) Justin Jones, 16.) Kyle Waldrop, 17.) Boof Bonser, 18.) Matt Garza, 19.) Juan Portes, 20.) David Winfree.

2007 Top 20 Twins Prospects:

1.) Matt Garza, 2.) Kevin Slowey, 3.) Alexi Casilla, 4.) Anthony Swarzak, 5.) Glen Perkins, 6.) Eduardo Morlan, 7.) David Winfree, 8.) Alexander Smit, 9.) Trent Oeltjen, 10.) Alex Romero, 11.) Chris Parmelee, 12.) Denard Span, 13.) Brian Duensing, 14.) Brandon Roberts, 15.) Matt Moses, 16.) Kyle Waldrop, 17.) Brock Peterson, 18.) Jay Rainville, 19.) Trevor Plouffe, 20.) Joe Benson.

2008 Top 20 Twins Prospects:

1.) Deolis Guerra, 2.) Tyler Robertson, 3.) Anthony Swarzak, 4.) Kevin Mulvey, 5.) Trevor Plouffe, 6.) Ben Revere, 7.) Philip Humber, 8.) Jeff Manship, 9.) Joe Benson, 10.) Brian Duensing, 11.) Danny Valencia, 12.) Alex Burnett, 13.) Oswaldo Sosa, 14.) Wilson Ramos, 15.) Chris Parmelee, 16.) Jason Pridie, 17.) Erik Lis, 18.) Deibinson Romero, 19.) Nick Blackburn, 20.) Jay Rainville.

2009 Top 20 Twins Prospects: 

1.) Aaron Hicks, 2.) Ben Revere, 3.) Angel Morales, 4.) Danny Valencia, 5.) Wilson Ramos, 6.) Anthony Swarzak, 7.) Tyler Robertson, 8.) Kevin Mulvey, 9.) Luke Hughes, 10.) Carlos Gutierrez, 11.) Trevor Plouffe, 12.) Deolis Guerra, 13.) Chris Parmelee, 14.) Jeff Manship, 15.) Rene Tosoni, 16.) Shooter Hunt, 17.) Joe Benson, 18.) Mike McCardell, 19.) Steve Tolleson, 20.) Brian Duensing.

2010 Top 20 Twins Prospects:

1.) Aaron Hicks, 2.) Wilson Ramos, 3.) Miguel Sano, 4.) Angel Morales, 5.) Kyle Gibson, 6.) Ben Revere, 7.) Danny Valencia, 8.) David Bromberg, 9.) Rene Tosoni, 10.) Adrian Salcedo, 11.) Deolis Guerra, 12.) Joe Benson, 13.) BJ Hermsen, 14.) Chris Parmelee, 15.) Carlos Gutierrez, 16.) Jeff Manship, 17.) Tyler Robertson, 18.) Alex Burnett, 19.) Blayne Weller, 20.) Billy Bullock.

Preliminary 2011 Top 20 Twins Prospects:

1.) Kyle Gibson, 2.) Aaron Hicks, 3.) Miguel Sano, 4.) Joe Benson, 5.) Alex Wimmers, 6.) Ben Revere, 7.) Liam Hendriks, 8.) Angel Morales, 9.) Oswaldo Arcia, 10.) David Bromberg, 11.) Adrian Salcedo, 12.) Chris Parmelee, 13.) Eddie Rosario, 14.) Max Kepler, 15.) Manuel Soliman, 16.) Danny Ortiz, 17.) BJ Hermsen, 18.) Trevor Plouffe, 19.) Carlos Gutierrez, 20.) Martire Garcia/Niko Goodrum.