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June 19, 2008

Future Shock

Top 100 Update, The Back 50

by Kevin Goldstein

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51. Fernando Martinez, OF, Mets
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .280/.314/.408 at Double-A (37 G)
Stock Report: Unchanged, I guess, but certainly not up. It's hard to figure out what to do here. Scouts still love him, the numbers remain only so-so, and he's never healthy for any extended period of time.

52. Adam Miller, RHP, Indians
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 1.88 ERA at Triple-A (28.2-26-12-20)
Stock Report: Down, because he just can't stay healthy. This time it was a finger injury that suddenly and somewhat surprisingly turned into surgery that will cost him the remainder of the season.

53. Justin Masterson, RHP, Red Sox
Eligible Next Year? Almost certainly not
Production: 4.23 ERA at Double-A (38.1-57-16-37); 1.50 ERA at Triple-A (6-4-1-4); 3.00 ERA at MLB (36-22-17-28)
Stock Report: Up, because of his consistent big league success. He's yet to have a bad start in six tries thanks to the best sinker in the minors, that is now one of the best in the majors.

54. J.R. Towles, C, Astros
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: .145/.270/.282 at MLB (42 G); .290/.421/.548 at Triple-A (9 G)
Stock Report: Nobody has a good reason for what exactly went wrong in the big leagues; the good news is that it didn't stay with him once he returned to the minors. Nonetheless, he pretty much has to get a downgrade.

55. Carlos Triunfel, SS, Mariners
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .233/.284/.311 at High-A
Stock Report: Down. He seemed to recover from early season slump by batting .342 in May, but now he's in an even worse hole, going 8-for-75 (.106) in his last 21 games.

56. Gio Gonzalez, LHP, Athletics
Eligible Next Year? Most likely
Production: 5.58 ERA at Triple-A (71-78-38-66)
Stock Report: Down a bit. He's frustratingly inconsistent, having allowed two or fewer earned runs in eight of 14 outings, but five or more runs five times.

57. Jed Lowrie, SS, Red Sox
Eligible Next Year? Probably
Production: .289/.388/.447 at Triple-A (32 G); .310/.340/.476 at MLB (17 G)
Stock Report: No change. He remains exactly what he is-an offensive infielder who will contribute a decent average and OBP, with fundamentally sound but unspectacular defensive skills.

58. Elvis Andrus, SS, Rangers
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .269/.328/.324 at Double-A (53 G)
Stock Report: Down significantly. Scouts are tired of hearing about how young and toolsy he is; he's at Double-A and it's time to produce.

59. Jordan Walden, RHP, Angels
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 2.74 ERA at Low-A (75.2-58-22-60)
Stock Report: Unchanged. His secondary stuff still needs work, but his body, projection, and velocity remain outstanding.

60. Ryan Kalish, OF, Red Sox
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .279/.351/.372 at Low-A (46 G)
Stock Report: Unchanged. His season was delayed by a wrist injury that he's not all the way back from. He's been heating up of late, and his tools and athleticism still impress.

61. Matt Latos, RHP, Padres
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 3.28 ERA at Low-A (24.2-24-8-23)
Stock Report: Down somewhat. Latos hasn't pitched much due to some minor yet nagging injuries, and his stuff has not been near the level it was in his pro debut.

62. Engel Beltre, OF, Rangers
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .271/.296/.399 at Low-A
Stock Report: Down a touch. His tools remain out of this world and he's just 18, but his approach is so awful (49 Ks against five walks) that he becomes a bigger project than was originaly expected.

63. Brent Lillibridge, SS, Braves
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .185/.251/.245 at Triple-A (52 G); .000/.000/.000 at MLB (2 G)
Stock Report: Plummeting. He got off to a bad start at Richmond, began pressing, and now seems to be trapped in a death spiral.

64. Gerardo Parra, OF, Diamondbacks
EligibleNext Year? Yes
Production: .301/.381/.413 at High-A (50 G); .304/.361/.466 at Double-A (15 G)
Stock Report: Unchanged. He's proving that he can hit at the upper levels, but his raw power remains only raw, and it doesn't show up in games often enough.

65. Carlos Gomez, OF, Twins
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: .268/.303/.382 in MLB
Stock Report: Unchanged. The numbers aren't impressive, but he continues to flash remarkable tools and potential.

66. Scott Elbert, LHP, Dodgers
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 3.38 ERA at Double-A (8-5-4-4)
Stock Report: Unchanged due to lack of data. He finally back from a so-called 'minor' shoulder surgery, and he's now pitching in short stints, if understandably not all the way back on a stuff level.

67. Alan Horne, RHP, Yankees
Eligible Next Year? Most likely
Production: 3.44 ERA at Triple-A (18.1-21-7-18)
Stock Report: Unchanged, but tenuously so. He missed two months with a torn biceps, so we have little to judge on this year, except that his already long injury history just got a little longer.

68. Carlos Carrasco, RHP, Phillies
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 3.78 ERA at Double-A (88-85-32-85)
Stock Report: He's missed more bats at Double-A this time around, but remains a bit more hittable than one would like. Still, it's a slight step forward.

69. Chris Perez, RHP, Cardinals
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: 2.04 ERA at Triple-A (17.2-12-9-22); 2.77 ERA at MLB (13-8-6-12)
Stock Report: Unchanged. Six good weeks at Triple-A earned him a big league promotion; he's still in line to be their closer next year, but command issues remain.

70. Brandon Jones, OF, Braves
Eligible Next Year? Unlikely
Production: .263/.335/.379 at Triple-A (54 G); .476/.522/.762 at MLB (6 G)
Stock Report: He didn't do much at Richmond, but a hot start in the big leagues has probably bought him an extended look.

71. Bryan Anderson, C, Cardinals
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .388/.412/.525 at Double-A (19 G); .320/.387/.400 at Triple-A (30 G)
Stock Report: Up. He's still a singles hitter, but they keep on coming, as Anderson continues to put up high batting averages at every level while making some small improvements behind the plate.

72. Luke Hochevar, RHP, Royals
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: 2.60 ERA at Triple-A (17.1-11-6-12); 4.36 ERA at MLB (65.2-66-32-45)
Stock Report: Unchanged. Now a permanent part of the Royals, Hochever looks like a solid mid-rotation starter, but scouts don't see much more coming.

73. Michael Main, RHP, Rangers
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: Has not played
Stock Report: Maybe down a tiny bit, just because no progress has been made. A pair of stress fractures on the right side of his rib cage has pushed back his season's start until the end of the month at the earliest.

74. Chris Davis, 3B, Rangers
Eligible Next Year? At this rate, maybe not
Production: .333/.376/.618 at Double-A (46 G); .353/.411/.682 at Triple-A (24 G)
Stock Report: Even now that he's a first baseman, way up. He seemingly gets better at each level, and could play second half of the year in the big leagues. He now looks like a future home run and RBI machine in the cleanup slot.

75. Chorye Spoone, RHP, Orioles
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 4.62 ERA at Double-A (25.1-25-18-20)
Stock Report: Down slightly. He missed two months with a sore shoulder, and his stuff is not all the way back yet.

76. Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Brewers
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 6.16 ERA at High-A (30.2-31-10-46)
Stock Report: Unchanged. He's still a raw product with top-line stuff. He has the potential for a tremendous step forward; he just hasn't taken it yet.

77. Taylor Teagarden, C, Rangers
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .169/.279/.305 at Double-A (16 G); .245/.371/.427 at Triple-A (33 G)
Stock Report: Down a bit. As expected, his batting average hasn't translated at the upper levels, but the power drop-off is of even greater concern, as is a drop in arm strength behind the plate.

78. Wes Hodges, 3B, Indians
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .325/.390/.492 at Double-A (66 G)
Stock Report: Up a bit. The power might be down , but he can he rake; scouts have little trouble seeing him as a .300 hitter in the majors.

79. Deolis Guerra, RHP, Twins
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 4.83 ERA at High-A (63.1-66-30-34)
Stock Report: Down. He still remains big and projectable, but he's not too impressive on a 'right now' basis, and scouts are wondering where that big-time velocity they were promised is.

80. Chris Nelson, SS, Rockies
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .229/.298/.349 at Double-A (44 G)
Stock Report: Way Down. Last year's breakout is looking like a Cal League mirage, as Nelson has done absolutely nothing in an injury-plagued Texas League season.

81. Michael Burgess, OF, Nationals
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .262/.338/.512 at Low-A (65 G)
Stock Report: Unchanged. He's showing tons of power and good patience, but with 83strikeouts in 244 at-bats, will the power and patience be enough?

82. Greg Reynolds, RHP, Rockies
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: 4.86 ERA at Triple-A (33.1-45-9-16); 5.98 at MLB (43.2-44-21-13)
Stock Report: Even though he's in the big leagues, he's down a bit. He got hit hard at Triple-A, and his ERA of nearly six in the majors should be even higher based on these peripherals. There's no way to succeed in the big leagues when you miss nobody's bats.

83. Gorkys Hernandez, OF, Braves
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .318/.376/.519 at High-A (35 G)
Stock Report: Up. Although he missed a good chunk of the season with a hamstring injury, he's showing improvements in both power and patience, which is the difference between his being a good prospect and an excellent one.

84. Henry Sosa, RHP, Giants
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 1.57 ERA at High-A (23-18-7-23)
Stock Report: Unchanged. He missed the first six weeks of the season, but hit the ground running at San Jose, having let to allow more than two runs in any of his five starts.

85. Radhames Liz, RHP, Orioles
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: 4.05 ERA at Triple-A (60-56-25-58); 4.32 ERA at MLB (16.2-12-5-12)
Stock Report: Unchanged. Liz continues to pitch primarily off of his fastball, which is plenty good, but his lack of a consistent secondary pitch and fly-ball tendencies catch up to him at times.

86. Jair Jurrjens, RHP, Braves
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: 3.43 ERA at MLB (84-86-34-62)
Stock Report: Up significantly. Jurrjens has proven himself a reliable, above-average big league starter, and he's only 22 years old.

87. Aaron Poreda, LHP, White Sox
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 3.31 ERA at High-A (73.1-67-18-46); 6.00 at Double-A (6-6-0-5)
Stock Report: Slightly down. He's been promoted to Double-A for the second half of the season, but Poreda is not missing bats despite his size and velocity, as he's made almost no progress with his breaking ball has.

88. Chris Volstad, RHP, Marlins
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 2.92 ERA at Double-A (74-64-25-50)
Stock Report: Unchanged. Volstad entered the year as an 'is what he is' type of prospect, and he remains a strike-throwing, groundball generating innings eater.

89. Hank Conger, C, Angels
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .293/.328/.466 at High-A (16 G)
Stock Report: After missing the first two months with a shoulder injury, he's still not showing much power, and has only played one game behind the plate, the element of his game that needs the most work. So his stock is down, but almost by default.

90. Max Scherzer, RHP, Diamondbacks
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: 2.84 ERA at Triple-A (25.1-16-6-43); 2.90 ERA at MLB (31-25-14-33)
Stock Report: Up. He was unreal in his first three starts at Triple-A (17 IP, 0 ER, 29 K), but he's been up and down since. The fact that he's still dominating at times says a lot about his ability.

91. Casey Weathers, RHP, Rockies
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 2.73 ERA at Double-A (26.1-20-16-29)
Stock Report: Unchanged. His velocity is at the top of the scale, but he isn't throwing enough strikes, and inconsistency with his breaking ball is giving him particular troubles against lefties.

92. Dexter Fowler, OF, Rockies
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .313/.394/.489 at Double-A (69 G)
Stock Report: Up slightly. Nothing can help you more than following up an injury-shortened year with a breakout at the upper levels, but as he gets closer to the big leagues, many are wondering just home much of a power ceiling he has.

93. Wladimir Balentien, OF, Mariners
Eligible Next Year? Probably not
Production: .254/.329/.619 at Triple-A (17 G); .196/.265/.346 at MLB (32 G)
Stock Report: Unchanged. Balentien remains what he is-a big-time power hitter who's not going to hit for much of an average, strike out a ton and draw some walks.

94. Neil Walker, 3B, Pirates
Eligible Next Year? Most likely.
Production: .229/.264/.445 at Triple-A (65 G)
Stock Report: Down. Although his defense at third base continues to improve and he's showing solid power, he's just stopped hitting.

95. Michael Bowden, RHP, Red Sox
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 2.24 ERA at Double-A (76.1-48-18-72)
Stock Report: Way up. Everything about his game has taken a step forward, but more than anything else, it's consistency that has been the key to his phenomenal numbers.

96. Joe Savery, LHP, Phillies
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 4.69 ERA at High-A (78.2-99-33-64)
Stock Report: Down. After a good start to the season, Savery has been getting hammered of late, giving up 57 hits in his last 35 2/3 innings. Some scouts are worried that something else is wrong, as his stuff has been way off as well.

97. Ben Revere, OF, Twins
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .413/.463/.565 at Low-A (44 G)
Stock Report: Up. After a month in extended spring training, Revere has been the best hitter in the Midwest League while crushing teams with his 80 speed, as evidenced by six triples and 22 stolen bases.

98. Trevor Cahill, RHP, Athletics
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 2.78 ERA at High-A (87.1-52-31-103)
Stock Report: Way up. He's the minor league strikeout leader and one of the top pitchers at any level of the minors during the first half, and is moving up to Double-A for the second half of the season. Both his stuff and his command rate as above average.

99. Chris Carter, 1B, Athletics
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .231/.356/.486 at High-A (70 G)
Stock Report: Down slightly. With 16 home runs in 247 at-bats, Carter is showing plenty of power, but his low average, large strikeout total (79), and weak production against lefties are all cause for concern.

100. Lars Anderson, 1B, Red Sox
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .314/.404/.502 at High-A (56 G)
Stock Report: Good numbers for sure, but don't forget he's playing at Lancaster, and hitting just .250/.361/.394 on the road. The expected explosion just hasn't happened, and to simply classify him as unchanged would be a bit optimistic.

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

Related Content:  Mlb 12,  Mlb The Show,  Triple-A,  Era,  Year Of The Injury

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