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September 24, 2010

Future Shock

Top 11 Review: AL Central

by Kevin Goldstein

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Chicago White Sox
No. 1 Prospect: Daniel Hudson, RHP (55th overall)
What Was Said: “...a good third starter at best.”
Analysis: Obviously, Hudson has been much better than that since his trade to Arizona, but I'm not convinced it will last. The league will obviously catch up to him a bit, but he's still likely going to exceed that projection.
Two Through Eleven: The team's two other four-star prospects had nightmare years, as 2009 first-round pick Jared Mitchell missed the entire year due to injury, while catcher Tyler Flowers regressed heavily. In the end, third baseman Brent Morel was too low at sixth, and control issues caught up to power reliever Clevelan Santeliz (seventh) at Triple-A. All in all, it was a bad year down on the farm for the White Sox.
Sleeper: Catcher Miguel Gonzalez collapsed at Low-A with a .218/.260/.276 line, but his defense was still outstanding, as he gunned down half of opposing base stealers.

Cleveland Indians
No. 1 Prospect: Carlos Santana, C (eighth overall)
What Was Said: “...bat is so special that if he was a first-base prospect, he'd still be elite.”
Analysis: Santana was one of the more exciting rookies in the game, batting .260/.401/.467 before a knee injury cost him the remainder of the season.
Two Through Eleven: Third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall (second) and righty Alex White (third) held serve at the upper levels, neither exploding nor collapsing. Four-star power pitchers Nick Hagadone (fourth) and Jason Knapp (fifth) were slow to come back from injuries, although Knapp was nearly unhittable late in the season. I thought putting Jason Kipnis at eighth was aggressive, and I turned out to be low on him.
Sleeper: After slugging .488 last year in Low-A, Dominican outfielder Abner Abreu hit just four home runs for High-A Kinston as part of an ugly .252/.289/.362 campaign.

Detroit Tigers
No. 1 Prospect: Jacob Turner, RHP (25th overall)
What Was Said: “...certainly has an ace-level ceiling”
Analysis: While treated lightly with just 115 1/3 innings, in other ways Turner was pushed, spending the majority of the year in the High-A Florida State League as a teenager. The secondary stuff needs work, but the velocity and command are special.
Two Through Eleven: Lefty Casey Crosby (second) has a nightmare year revolving around mysterious elbow pain that just never went away. I thought second baseman Scott Sizemore would seize the big league second base job, but he struggled and got sent down. This wasn't a good list talent-wise, and won't be this time around either, although lefty Andy Oliver (fifth), catcher Alex Avila (sixth), reliever Cody Satterwhite (seventh), and outfielder Casper Wells (11th) all saw big league time.
Sleeper: I said righty Robbie Weinhardt “could help the Detroit bullpen as early as mid-year," and while I got the timetable right, "helped" is not the word I'd use to characterize his performance.

Kansas City Royals
No. 1 Prospect: Mike Montgomery, LHP (36th overall)
What Was Said: "...oozes projection," "...questions about his stamina"
Analysis: Montgomery began to fill that projection with one of the better first halves of any pitcher around, but his second half was filled with arm soreness and he threw only 93 innings on the year, so the stamina questions still linger.
Two Through Eleven: Putting Aaron Crow as the second-best prospect seems like a bad joke at this point, as Mike Moustakas (third) and Wil Myers (fourth) both exploded, as did first baseman Eric Hosmer (eighth) after a miserable full-season debut. Power lefties Chris Dwyer (ninth) and John Lamb (10th) will both move way up, and for what might be the best system in baseball, they had their fair share of disappointments, including Crow and righty Tim Melville (fifth)
Sleeper: Jordan Parraz's .266/.350/.410 line at Triple-A as a 25-year-old did him no favors, but he still could end up as a nifty fourth outfielder.

Minnesota Twins
No. 1 Prospect: Aaron Hicks, OF (26th overall)
What Was Said: “...Hicks has the potential to be a five-tool monster.”
Analysis: The potential is still there, but he made depressingly little progress in getting there during his second shot and Midwest League pitching. He was basically the same player he was last year, only with more walks, and that wasn't necessarily a good thing.
Two Through Eleven: Highly-touted Dominican Miguel Sano (second) was as good as advertised during his stateside debut, while Ben Revere (third) met expectations at Double-A. Now with the Nationals, Wilson Ramos at fourth seems a bit high, especially with righty Kyle Gibson at five. Angel Morales (sixth) was a personal favorite, but not after this year, while clearly third baseman Danny Valencia was too low at ninth, even if his big-league debut is fluky (and it is).
Sleeper: Seven-foot-one Dutch righty Loek Van Mil was a mess after returning from elbow surgery, and is now in the Angels system.

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:  Righty

12 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

Mtn Jam

I love this site.

Looking ahead to the top 100 lists that will come out in the next few months, despite all the graduations, I think we're going to see much more diverse lists this year. Is there a true #1? Last year, basically everyone had some combination of Stasburg/Heyward at 1/2. There are quite a few guys you can make an argument about as the #1 prospect. There'll be plenty of good reading coming up in the future. Can't wait.

Sep 24, 2010 05:49 AM
rating: 3

Thanks, this was pretty close to what I had in mind with my comments on the "Unfiltered" entry. One suggestion going forward, and maybe you could fill it in on this entry as well: Include a "where did that come from?" entry for each team that had guys NOT on the top-11 (plus sleeper plus "four more") lists who made the Show. Clearly there will be some; the Cubs, to name one, used 19(!) rookies this year, and obviously they can't all have been on your lists. I'm not asking for a comprehensive review, but a snapshot of how the non-list system performed would be nice.

Sep 24, 2010 06:19 AM
rating: 2

KG, Easily one of my favorite articles you've ever written. One thing I'd like to see is a brief write-up on a "just missed" prospect or a player you were on the verge of putting on the list but didn't for one reason or another and then watched that player explode. Sort of the anti-sleeper.

Sep 24, 2010 07:03 AM
rating: 0

Thanks, Kevin, this is great!

Sep 24, 2010 07:16 AM
rating: 2

Since I don't know (but need a 3b for Strat), why is Danny Valencia performing flukily? Just that his minor league #'s don't match up? BABIP?

I can look it up, but any info would be useful.

Sep 24, 2010 07:27 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Neither minor league stats nor scouting reports coincide with what he's doing right now.

Sep 24, 2010 09:42 AM
Mark Anderson

Great stuff, KG.

Should note that Satterwhite didn't make Detroit this year, and missed the entire season with shoulder surgery.

Mark A.

Sep 24, 2010 08:03 AM
rating: 0
G. Guest

Not too much room for Dwyer and Lamb to move 'way up' with everyone else above them (save Crowe) likely holding their spots. That's a good thing.

Sep 24, 2010 09:02 AM
rating: 0
Al Skorupa

Crow and Melville certainly didn't hold their spots and were surpassed by Lamb and Dwyer, IMO. Both from a performance and scouting standpoint.

Sep 25, 2010 09:34 AM
rating: 0

This is a great feature Kevin - looking forward to seeing more along these lines.

Sep 24, 2010 09:25 AM
rating: 2

Adding to the chorus, I'm a big fan of this article. It's great to see some follow-up on the "beginning of the season" prospect lists.

Sep 24, 2010 11:37 AM
rating: 2

I'd like to put in a vote for Nick Weglarz for next year's top 11...13 HRs, 41 XBH and .900 OPS in 310 ABs across AA and AAA at age 22. Granted injuries have been his Achilles heel, but he has to displace all but 5 of the Indians prospects.

Sep 24, 2010 23:15 PM
rating: 0
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