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June 20, 2008

Future Shock

Top 100 Update, The First 50

by Kevin Goldstein

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1. Jay Bruce, OF, Reds
Eligible Next Year? Barring a disaster, no.
Production: .364/.393/.630 at Triple-A (49 G); .325/.417/.530 at MLB (22 G)
Stock Report: It's impossible to move him up, but if I could, I would. He's been that good.

2. Clay Buchholz, RHP, Red Sox
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: 5.53 ERA at MLB (42.1-49-20-43); 2.45 ERA at Triple-A (22-20-12-22)
Stock Report: Only a slight adjustment downwards. No-hitter aside, he wasn't ready for the big leagues--he needs to learn how to pitch more and throw less.

3. Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: .200/.333/.200 at Triple-A (7 G); .249/.328/.479 at MLB (61 G)
Stock Report: Unchanged. He's showing incredible power for a rookie; the average will come around once he improves against lefties.

4. Joba Chamberlain, RHP, Yankees
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: 2.36 ERA at MLB (42-32-23-49)
Stock Report: Unchanged. It's impossible for him to be as dominant in a starting role, but he's still been awfully impressive.

5. Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Dodgers
Eligible Next Year? Probably not
Production: 2.28 ERA at Double-A (43.1-32-15-47); 3.75 ERA at MLB (24-23-15-21)
Stock Report: Unchanged. He's currently getting by in the majors on pure stuff; his ceiling remains through the roof.

6. David Price, LHP, Rays
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 1.27 ERA at High-A (28.1-23-5-30)
Stock Report: Unchanged. His season was delayed by minor elbow issues, but after just five starts there are some who think he could get big league hitters out right now.

7. Travis Snider, OF, Blue Jays
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .279/.333/.557 at High-A (17 G); .281/.368/.480 at Double-A
Stock Report: Unchanged. He's mashing at Double-A as a 20-year-old, and is arguably the best hitting prospect in the minors.

8. Colby Rasmus, CF, Cardinals
Eligible Next Year? Should be
Production: .247/.341/.402 at Triple-A (73 G)
Stock Report: Down, but he still has time to recover and is batting .372 in last 20 games.

9. Homer Bailey, RHP, Reds
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: 4.15 ERA at Triple-A (69.1-66-31-55); 8.76 ERA at MLB (12.1-16-10-3)
Stock Report: Down. No more excuses: Bailey simply isn't as good as we thought he would be.

10. Cameron Maybin, CF, Marlins
Eligible Next Year? Probably, but it's not a sure thing
Production: .260/.356/.480 at Double-A (67 G)
Stock Report: Down, but only a little bit. He still strikes out a ton, but also still shows 30/30 potential with lots of walks.

11. Rick Porcello, RHP, Tigers
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 2.94 ERA at High-A (67.1-67-19-41)
Stock Report: Unchanged. That's a tremendous showing for a teenager in High-A, and some say he hasn't really unleashed his full arsenal yet.

12. Matt Wieters, C, Orioles
Eligible Next Year? Almost certainly.
Production: .347/.452/.577 at High-A (65 G)
Stock Report: Up. He's as good as advertised, if not better. Why is he still in the Carolina League?

13. Franklin Morales, LHP, Rockies
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: 6.39 ERA at MLB (25.1-28-17-9); 6.08 ERA at Triple-A (40-38-33-25)
Stock Report: Down. He couldn't afford control issues, but that's exactly what he struggled with.

14. Andy LaRoche, 3B, Dodgers
Eligible Next Year? Probably not
Production: .318/.400/.364 at Double-A (6 G); .277/.444/.420 at Triple-A (38 G); .167/.375/.667 (4 G)
Stock Report: Down just a little. More injuries, more production when healthy, more questions about where he fits into Dodgers' plans.

15. Wade Davis, RHP, Rays
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 4.03 ERA at Double-A (82.2-78-34-58)
Stock Report: Down. Quite simply, he hasn't been as dominant as expected, mostly due to command issues.

16. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF, Red Sox
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: .281/.363/.399 at MLB (66 G)
Stock Report: Unchanged. He has tons of speed and a good bat, but his approach seems to be going backwards.

17. Jordan Schafer, OF, Braves
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .227/.354/.455 at Double-A (18 G)
Stock Report: Incomplete. He missed 50 games due to a suspension for HGH use--scouts and analysts remain in "wait and see" mode.

18. Desmond Jennings, OF, Rays
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .300/.429/.450 at High-A (12 G)
Stock Report: Unchanged. A series of small injures cost him most of the first half, but the tools are still there.

19. Mike Moustakas, SS, Royals
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .228/.285/.386 at Low-A (66 G)
Stock Report: Down some. His adjustment to pro ball and cold weather led to a miserable start, and while he's been better lately, the overall performance is still disappointing.

20. Jarrod Parker, RHP, Diamondbacks
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 3.70 ERA at Low-A (48.2-54-11-37)
Stock Report: Down. His stuff hasn't yet been as good as advertised. Scouts like him, but they don't love him.

21. Joey Votto, 1B, Reds
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: .278/.348/.483 at MLB (69 G)
Stock Report: Unchanged. He's having an impressive rookie campaign, and should get better from here.

22. Daric Barton, 1B, Athletics
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: .222/.332/.329 at MLB (68 G)
Stock Report: Down. He's clearly pressing, and he might get a refresher course at Sacramento soon.

23. Chase Headley, 3B, Padres
Eligible Next Year? Unlikely
Production: .305/.383/.556 at Triple-A (65 G); .375/.375/.750 at MLB (2 G)
Stock Report: Unchanged. He slugged .642 in the final six weeks at Triple-A before finally getting long-deserved promotion to help the sagging Padre offense.

24. Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pirates
Eligible Next Year? Probably
Production: .286/.386/.436 at Triple-A (70 G)
Stock Report: Unchanged. The tools are starting to play; he might just be beginning to tap into the power potential people have anticipated.

25. Reid Brignac, SS, Rays
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .261/.306/.436 at Triple-A (64 G)
Stock Report: Slightly down. He needs to show more power and patience to be an elite prospect; at least his defense continues to improve, though.

26. Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Athletics
Eligible Next Year? Unlikely
Production: .293/.351/.439 at Triple-A (41 G); .246/.279/.385 at MLB (17 G)
Stock Report: Down a bit. He's hitting a lot of doubles, but a big overall dropoff in power creates some question marks.

27. Nick Adenhart, RHP, Angels
Eligible Next Year? Probably, but not a sure thing
Production: 4.66 ERA at Triple-A (67.2-74-35-47); 9.00 ERA at MLB (12-18-13-4)
Stock Report: Down a bit. He was expected to take a step forward, but has lost a significant amount of command, which has hurt his all-around game.

28. Chris Marrero, OF/1B, Nationals
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .250/.325/.453 at High-A (70 G)
Stock Report: Down some. The bat is coming around, but he started the year out of shape, and has been prone to flailing at some bad pitches.

29. Angel Villalona, 3B, Giants
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .234/.293/.411 at Low-A (58 G)
Stock Report: Down. It's an impressive line for a 17-year-old, but now that he's a first baseman, the bat has to play more.

30. Neftali Feliz, RHP, Rangers
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 2.24 ERA at Low-A (68.1-44-24-83)
Stock Report: If anything, up. One of the best pitchers in the minors has added improved control and a solid changeup to his power arsenal.

31. Matt LaPorta, OF, Brewers
Eligible Next Year? Most likely
Production: .295/.411/.610 at Double-A (71 G)
Stock Report: Unchanged. We all knew he could hit, and he's doing just that; his defense in the outfield remains an adventure.

32. Chin-lung Hu, SS, Dodgers
Eligible Next Year? Not with a September callup
Production: .159/.224/.206 at MLB (49 G); .182/.250/.273 at Triple-A (3 G)
Stock Report: Down a bit. Hu had trouble adjusting to a utility role in the big leagues; we need to see if the bat comes back now.

33. Jeff Clement, C, Mariners
Eligible Next Year? Unlikely
Production: .337/.457/.680 at Triple-A (47 G); .160/.300/.240 at MLB (16 G)
Stock Report: Unchanged. He hasn't yet found a groove in the majors; here's to hoping that the new administration won't jerk him around like the old one did.

34. Ian Kennedy, RHP, Yankees
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 7.41 ERA at MLB (37.2-41-25-26); 0.00 ERA at Triple-A (8.1-2-0-8)
Stock Report: Down. Kennedy is currently on the disabled list with a strained lat. He had borderline shocking control problems in the big leagues, and as a pitcher who depends on command and finesse, he has very little margin for error on that score.

35. Ross Detwiler, LHP, Nationals
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 5.73 ERA at High-A (55-63-32-56)
Stock Report: Way down. Scouts who didn't see him in college are wondering what the big deal was in the first place--on a stuff and command level, Detwiler has been way off.

36. Jason Heyward, OF, Braves
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .328/.383/.492 at Low-A (64 G)
Stock Report: Up. The tools are already coming into play, as Heyward is showing power, speed, and top-notch hitting skills.

37. Geovany Soto, C, Cubs
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: .286/.370/.534 at MLB (65 G)
Stock Report: Up. Last year's breakout was no fluke, and Soto is already one of the better catchers in the game.

38. Brandon Wood, 3B/SS, Angels
Eligible Next Year? Probably not
Production: .250/.306/.507 at Triple-A (36 G); .125/.164/.188 at MLB (29 G)
Stock Report: Down. His contact problems continue to plague him; scouts see nothing new adjustment-wise.

39. Matt Antonelli, 2B, Padres
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .191/.316/.282
Stock Report: Way down. Nobody has a good explanation for his plummeting production, but it's so bad that any mitigating factors can't prevent a serious stock drop. If there's any room for optimism, he has ten hits in his last six games.

40. Jacob McGee, LHP, Rays
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 3.81 ERA at Double-A (75.2-64-34-65)
Stock Report: Down a bit. Issues with command and finding a dependable off-speed offering remain, but there are still only a handful of lefties with his kind of size and velocity.

41. Johnny Cueto, RHP, Reds
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: 5.19 ERA at MLB (86.2-87-34-74)
Stock Report: Unchanged. Cueto flashes dominant stuff at times, but his secondary stuff remains inconsistent, and he's in the wrong park to have a bad habit of elevating his fastball.

42. Manny Parra, LHP, Brewers
Eligible Next Year? No
Production: 4.22 at MLB (74.2-81-36-61)
Stock Report: Unchanged, maybe a bit up. He's had a solid rookie campaign in the Milwaukee rotation, and is clearly making adjustments and improving as the season goes on.

43. Steven Pearce, 1B, Pirates
Eligible Next Year? Not if he gets an extended September look
Production: .255/.306/.427 at Triple-A (67 G)
Stock Report: Down. Pearce just hasn't gotten his bat going, and as a 25-year-old without a lot of defensive possibilities, he's not going to get a lot of chances.

44. Chris Tillman, RHP, Mariners (now with Orioles)
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 2.67 ERA at Double-A (70.2-48-37-73)
Stock Report: Way up, because what else can you say for a 20-year-old power arm dominating at the upper levels?

45. Josh Vitters, 3B, Cubs
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .214/.214/.429 at Low-A (4 G); .286/.375/.286 at Short-season (2 G)
Stock Report: Down a bit. A wrist injury pretty much eliminated the first half of his season. We don't have enough evidence to really drop him, but we don't have it to keep him here, either.

46. Fautino de los Santos, RHP, Athletics
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 5.85 ERA at High A (23-29-11-26)
Stock Report: Down significantly. He just never looked right in five early starts before having Tommy John surgery.

47. Austin Jackson, OF, Yankees
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .285/.361/.448 at Double-A (67 G)
Stock Report: Unchanged. He recently went deep in four straight games to answer some questions about where the power had gone.

48. Jose Tabata, OF, Yankees
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: .241/.319/.298 at Double-A (66 G)
Stock Report: Down considerably. Beyond the poor performance is a swing that no longer looks good, and questions are being asked about his conditioning and makeup.

49. Eric Hurley, RHP, Rangers
Eligible Next Year? Depends on how well he pitches from here on out
Production: 5.30 ERA at Triple-A (74.2-86-29-72); 4.91 ERA at MLB (11-11-2-8)
Stock Report: Down somewhat. The adjustments seemed to have either stopped or stopped working, as Hurley remains susceptible to lefties and the long ball, dropping his projection to a back-of-the-rotation type.

50. Brett Anderson, LHP, Athletics
Eligible Next Year? Yes
Production: 4.10 ERA at High-A (68-65-15-72)
Stock Report: Up a bit. A thumb injury led to some poor starts and a brief DL trip, but he's thrown scoreless baseball in six of 13 appearances.

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

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