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I am without words---for once. I can't thank you enough for all the kind words. Leaving BP was toughest decision of my career; feels like walking away from family. But I'll never be too far away. Thanks again. The response was 80 grade.
This is awesome. I'm going to miss it.
Tucker's research schedule and budget in order to play the Sonny Landham role seemed excessive as well. I get that it takes time to learn how to become a skilled tracker and machete wizard, but stay within financial parameters. Method actor/scout. Ridiculous.
In the interest of full disclosure, it's been quite a challenge to beg for financial backing in order to execute the Baseball Prospectus-specific remake of Predator. Over the last month, I've been pressing palms and kissing babies in order to fund said remake, and with a projected budget north of $100M, it's been a disappointing haul thus far. I would apologize again for my absence, but I think we can all share in the disappointments of the Predator project.
Apologies for being off-the-grid. Not marriage related (I think). Article coming out in a few days. Will explain the absence. Thanks for the patience.
You are free to question whatever you want. But I'm dealing with information gathered by industry sources and from the eyes of members of the Baseball Prospectus Prospect Team. You are looking at stats and reading player comments on Twitter. Different approaches.
I think Foltynewicz has earned a call-up to the majors based on the developments in his skill-set (which don't always show up on the stat sheet), his professional sample since getting drafted, strong work ethic/makeup reports and the fact that the Astros major league team is awful and the goal is to build around the youth in the org. Seems pretty understandable and simple to me.
Everybody sees the game through a different lens, so its hard to say if someone is either too high or too low on a prospect (within reason). Personally, I wouldn't mention Matz in the same breath as Noah, simply because of the ceiling/potential that comes with Syndergaard. But what if a scout didn't get a good start out of Syndergaard, and doesn't believe in the ceiling? If that same source put good eyes on Matz and believes in the now, I can see a case for his personal ranking of the two. It all comes down to what you see and what you believe. If you see Matz as a future #3, its not crazy to suggest they have similar value.
Good question. Check out a recent scouting report on Norris from Chris Mellen. On the scouting side, the profiles are similar:
Both? Seems like safe 3/4 type; ceiling slightly higher (2/3).
No. I'm suggesting Matz should have been on the list. Puello was probably the biggest stretch. That was just tool-based love overriding reality.
Gotcha. Apologies for assuming otherwise. Just want people to understand our process when it comes to what we write about.
Cubs prospects get a lot of national love, as they have a premier system and three players ranked in the top ten in baseball. But we write about the prospects we see, without specific organizational preference. If we see Cubs prospects, we will write about them. If we see Mets prospects, we will write about them. That's how it works.
Good question. I think contact could be a big issue with Taylor, and I say this even though I'm clearly high on his talent. I assume the Nats would love to see him step up and establish himself as the CF of the future, a player ready to arrive in 2015 and take over in 2016. I think its very possible--likely even. But he needs to continue making progress at the plate, as there is a huge difference between AA pitching and major league pitching, and he would absolutely get exposed by that level of talent right now.
Deliveries change/approaches change. As I mentioned, his questions have answers. The talent is there.
I'd rather have Appel because of the upside. He's a mess right now; no doubt. The report from his last start was low-90s, crap slider that he couldn't locate (except for one accidental backdoor for a strike), a good looking changeup, and total crap command. Is this a shoulder issue that isn't being addressed? Is it a dead arm? Is it lack of true focus and effort? One scout source suggested that Appel looks like a pitcher that expects to get hit when he's on the mound. Product of his environment? Lack of faith in his stuff? Way too many questions with Appel right now. But the upside is still impact and this is only his first full season in the minors. In my opinion, the majority of his questions will have answers, and I would take him any day over Hader because of that.
Sanchez has superior stuff and a higher ceiling. It comes down to that, not minor league results. Sanchez's raw stuff is really, really good.
I just want to say thanks for all the great questions and comments. Obviously couldn't get to all of them, but I tried to address as many as possible in yesterday's chat. The prospect team appreciates the enthusiasm you guys show, and it pushes us to produce better content.
I'm Ron Burgandy??
In all fairness, Nimmo was facing a LHP for the first three Ks last night, and arm-side stuff is a tough challenge regardless of the level. I think he will be fine, especially against RH arms. I don't see a big impact bat, but he has on-base potential and should be able to make hard contact against RH, and is more than capable of playing all three outfield spots (and I thought he looked good in CF last night). That's a pretty valuable player, even more so if some of the power shows up. I'd take him in the first round of a re-draft.
This isn't the minor league update or a weekly hot list. It's just players we are putting eyes on or getting developmental updates on.
We like drama.
He doesn't belong in this discussion. Not in the same prospect hemisphere.
Tucker is going to be a polarizing prospect. I spoke with an amateur director that had Tucker ranked above Nick Gordon on their board, and saw a future first-division/all-star caliber talent. On the other hand, I've spoken to several other sources that saw an extreme overdraft and a fringe profile. This is going to be interesting.
Gotcha. Thanks for clarifying. I agree.
I honestly don't see how downhill plane can be overrated in this context. I think it's a highly important attribute for a pitcher to possess.
It takes mutual interest, and its likely that several key members of the Giants FO are content in their current role/team.
I'm usually not a big fan of Yankees drafts, but looking at that their 2006 class--even I have to admit they were able to acquire quite a few legit major league contributors.
He does have a chance of sticking at SS. I think he eventually ends up at 2B, but he has the raw tools to make it work. He's just raw.
I just think Crawford has the safer skill-set at the position, and I don't think the offensive upside is crazy enough to stand above a no-doubt shortstop like Crawford, at least as far as rankings are concerned.
I definitely don't see Anderson as a slap/speed hitter; he can really drive the baseball with power. Big explosion off of his stick.
We wouldn't hype a player without cause. Shipley is a high-end prospect and is firmly in the top 50 prospects in the game, and in the running for the top 25. That's high praise. He doesn't have Bradley's ceiling, but that was never suggested. He is--however--a very capable young arm that does offer both high projections and good now stuff.
It doesn't need to be soon but the stuff suggests it could be. He needs to refine the command to have sustainable success, but the raw stuff is as filthy as I've seen this season; premium velocity on the fastball and wipeout slider. It's a very potent combo.
Where I missed was that I didn't give him enough room to improve; or better said, I thought the developmental path was more limited/narrow than it proved to be. Keep in mind that this is a very unusual prospect; a two-way player in college that lacked much rotation experience. We didn't have much of a sample to work with coming into his professional career, and based on my first look this ST, he looked like a reliever. Through the developmental process, he's proved that starting is at least possible.
Referring to our process; internal dialectic method.
I think any team that makes a point to put a variety of skilled eyes on players will benefit as a result. Each scout is going to see the game through a different subjective lens based on their previous experience with the game, and diversity of opinion should be paramount to any high dollar decision.
Jungmann has been better this season, but the profile is still more of a backend starter/long man than the player the Brewers thought they were getting in the draft.
"Real tomato ketchup, Eddie?"
Inconsistent tool utility. Keeps improving on this front. Always put good ABs together. Reads/routes aren't always crisp; can get passive at the plate and mis opportunities to drive mistakes; general execution issues. To be expected with a young player, but he is better than his initial rawness would suggest. He can play baseball.
Thanks. Honestly, I'm not sure that my opinion has changed a great deal (individually), but it has relationally, if that makes any sense. I really thought Jeff Moore nailed his scouting report, putting a 5 on the floor and a 6 on the ceiling. That's completely fair and reasonable, and even though I'm still thinking he might have a tweener future, I can see and accept this outcome based on the updated reports from this season. Given that outcome, he should not only be ranked higher in the Mets system but also nationally. Not sure he's a top 101 guy for me yet, but I think he has a better case than I have admitted in the past, and I will make sure to keep that in mind when I start to put together such lists.
Wow. Thanks for the comment. Appreciate it.
Do not worry about Tapia. He's still a stud.
Great stuff! Thanks, Doug.
Nobody suggested scouting was science; in fact, its an art, one that is a learned skill and normally applied using a historical perspective.
If you want examples of talent improving at the expense of performance, read the countless developmental updates we provide on the Ten Pack. On Monday, I pointed to Eddie Butler's less-than-exceptional numbers in AA, explaining that one of his best pitches was shelved in order to give developmental priority to his CB, a pitch that isn't all that special as an individual offering but will no doubt elevate his overall arsenal. His talent (as a whole) is improving despite an on-the-field performance that would suggest otherwise. I can name countless examples of this type of talent progression at the expense of performance.
I suggest reading more about scouting and player development before putting everything we write about into one box.
Incredibly well-stated, Doug. Thanks.
I suggest reading the capsule again. I'm not jumping the ship. But its important to look at what is happening with a player, why it is happening, and what can be done about. This is what we do for a living. We can't all take wait and see approaches because its our job to document what is happening in between times of struggle and times of success. It's quite common for prospects to fail because of vision issues; hell, it happens at the major league level as well. So even though it was based on a small sample (which was mentioned), the odd day/night splits were worth mentioning given his struggles, even if just speculation. The approach is his biggest enemy, and I've been saying that since he first signed. I've also been high on him since he signed.
I'm not sure. More to hitting than just straight-ahead vision. Other neurological factors involved. Would be something worth exploring in more detail, though.
I just spoke with a trusted industry source that confirms Baez's eyes [both] tested at 20/15 this spring training, and he also scored well in depth perception tests. This should quell some of the vision-specific concerns, but the approach issues remain very legit, and could end up preventing him from reaching his glory. Let's see what adjustments he makes in the coming months. Should be very interesting.
I think that approach [as a whole] is something that is a learned skill, but one of the aspects of approach is early recognition ability, which is a neurological function with limitations beyond his control. I think Baez could curb some of his aggressiveness at the plate--at least when it comes to trying to yank everything out of the park, regardless of pitch or location. This can be learned. I think he is more likely to learn it now than in previous seasons because his success will depend on such an adjustment. In the past, he could damage poor pitching without much adjustment, which is why Triple-A is a great test for him. If he fails to adjust or refine his approach, he is likely to fail. That should be enough motivation for him. He wasn't backed up against a wall like this before. He is likely to always struggle with pitch recognition, but he can do himself a favor by refining his overall approach (something he can actually control) in order put himself in more favorable conditions and take advantage of opportunities. If he continues to crank and yank, he will be an easy mark at the highest level of the game, and likely to bust.
Sosa is a great example. Not a lot of baseball feel and hitability, but tons of strength at the point of extension and a good guesser.
Not at all. He did serious damage at night.
I laugh at the Texas stuff as well. I know it can be ridiculous. I can't help it.
Yes; there is something you are missing. I've responded to your comments. You can continue to use the platform to prove whatever point you feel you need to make, but you are fighting a monster that doesn't exist.
I'm aware that there are all kinds of Mexicans; I've not only scouted in Mexico but also lived in D.F. But as I mentioned, in a baseball context, its quite the norm to raise red flags on Mexican bodies, especially in the teen years. A "Mexican build" isn't a racist statement, no matter how much you want it to be. It's a specific build that is often associated with Mexican players. But it wasn't my intention to be insensitive, and if it came off that way, I apologize. I've said "Texas build" in a scouting context before, I assume you have a problem with that as well?
Suggesting that a Mexican player has a Mexican build isn't a racist statement. Since when is Mexican a slur? Point your false outrage elsewhere.
And things have certainly developed.....he gone
He was never in my top 20; didn't rank him in the top 101 this year; was ranked coming into the 2013 season, but has dramatically fallen off since. I've been quite down on him since he entered full-season ball.
I was working with the information that they were just being cautious and that he had some minor fluid buildup that wasn't a major cause for concern. If things have developed since then, I wasn't aware of it.
Yes. You nailed it. When I say tilt, I'm referring to the two-plane slice the ball features as it approaches the plate. CB can feature two-plane movement as well, but with most sliders, the horizontal action is more extreme.
It is a generalization, but one with a scouting context. Urias is built like most young, Mexican pitchers of recent vintage (Banuelos, Heredia, Osuna, Arano) which basically suggests that he isn't exactly chiseled and might have to pay more attention to conditioning as he continues to mature. It's just a different physical profile than most teen-aged prospects.
haha. Awesome. Many thanks
Being able to communicate with the pitcher is paramount, but some can make it work without a shared language fluency. That said, its always a positive developmental attribute when a catcher can learn to communicate in both Spanish and English, and this is true of all catchers, not just Latin American born players. I can think of numerous catchers that received below-average marks for their communication skills, but it didn't prevent them from performing their other duties behind the plate.
I didn't write the report, but its quite common for CBs to feature both straight vertical action (12-6) and also show a different shape/two-plane depending on the velocity and means of execution of the pitch. Sims can show multiple shapes to his breaking ball, which I believe is the report you are referencing.
You haven't seen anything yet!! We have 30 more reports to drop in the coming days, weeks. Plus the delivery of the series will continue to improve, with links to stand-alone reports and other really cool features we are currently working on. As you can tell, I'm quite excited about this.
Of course. I appreciate the thoughtful comment.
I feel disappointed that I didn't use the word "Mookie" enough in the article. Even when it comes to names, I undersell the prospect.
Not an easy task to steal 30-40 bases at the major league level, given the fact that pitchers are more adept at holding runners, faster releases to the plate, and better catchers. He has legit speed and is a smart base runner, but I don't feel as comfortable projected high SB totals based on that criteria because of the extreme difference between stealing in the minors and the majors.
I'm very familiar with Odor, which explains my preference for the player. I think Odor has a chance of developing into an above-average 2B with a very good bat. Similar to Betts in that regard, although younger and playing at the same level (although the production at this point isn't comparable).
If Betts played shortstop, I would be more excited, as I suggested in the article. It also has nothing to do with Red Sox fans or fans in general. My issues with Betts were discussed in the piece (strength, size, positional assignment).
I'm fine with it, actually. It speaks to the implied simplicity of the tenet I referenced, and is effective in that particular context.
I love Tales of Sack. I love reading about pitchers who amp it up in certain situations. That will never get old for me.
Here's something very about Nick Williams: While I agree that the present arm grades out below-average because of the utility, the overall arm strength has shown plus before (he could hit the 90s from the mound as an amateur). Williams is a very raw player when it comes to skills, and the utility of the arm is one of those underdeveloped skills. Just this spring, I saw him throw a laser from deep CF all the way to second on a line. Easy plus throw. But a few plays later he triple-hopped the second baseman on a similar throw. The arm strength is absolutely there, buried somewhere in his loaded physical profile, But its very hard to forecast how it will eventually play, which is also true of his fielding and running.
It's easy for me to say he should abandon it based on the scouting and the stats, but from a developmental standpoint, he still has a lot of room to grow as a switch-hitter, and the ultimate advantage could prove to be lucrative if given more time to figure it out.
Could be a 6; 4/5 outfielder floor
We write about talent. No preferences.
Ideally, the Rangers want Sardinas to explode into the player his projection suggests, giving them options to either retain his talent or use it as a big trade chip this summer. The likely scenario is a utility player in the short-term that blossoms into more as he adds strength and experience at the major league level. While he's every bit--if not more-- toosly than Profar, his game utility and strength aren't on the same level and it could take several more years before we know which way he's going to go--utility or full-time regular.
Nobody is ignoring stats completely. We happen to focus on the scouting side of things in the majority of these articles, but information is currency and we look at everything when evaluating a player.
I love suggestions like this. We will put something together. Great idea.
We will be producing Call Up articles again this season.
Huge arm. Most likely a RF at the end of the developmental day. Athletic for his size but he's already 6'5'' 245, and his actions aren't great at 3B.
Awesome. We will have people there for the game. I believe Witt will be there.
My guess would be a tier below this group, which could end up being historically good.
It wouldn't have offered much, as mentioned.
He wasn't included because I wanted to limit the contenders to minor league personnel only. I set the variables in order to spark the debate. It wouldn't offer much if all ten people picked Bogaerts, would it? This is the exact article I wanted to produce.
Owings wasn't mentioned because I don't think he has the same star potential as the lifted names. Mondesi could get to that level, but isn't in that class at present and wouldn't have received any attention in this article.
Which prospect would you build a franchise around. They all happen to be shortstops, with some profiling at the position better than others--which no doubt affected the decision. The overall question is about value as it pertains to the preference of a franchise talent.
I would take both Bogaerts over Profar, and possibly Lindor as well--because of the special defensive skill-set. I'm still very high on Profar, so I would take him over the rest of the SS crop.
He would rank #1
It's hard to consider him on the same level when he's playing in the majors. I felt the article would offer more if the talent pool was specific to the minors and more abstract talents.
Lindor gets his love tomorrow.
Without being overly critical of the org, I think its safe to say that makeup hasn't been a major concern when it comes to their talent procurement in recent years. But smart orgs notice negative trends and make adjustments, so I wouldn't be shocked if the Rays put more emphasis on makeup going forward, at least as it pertains to amateur talent.
I didn't see that comp, but I wasn't really looking for it (at the time). He's a very handsy hitter, and he just finds a way to put the barrel on the ball. It was very impressive. As smooth as his swing can look, I gave the credit to incredible hand/eye coordination and good/early recognition.
I don't think that will be necessary. I think reaching AA is possible if he can stay healthy, but logging healthy innings at the minor league level is paramount this season. Take the training wheels off in 2015 if everything looks good.
So only players that have produced at an MVP level before belong in the MVP conversation? That's a bit limiting, no? Harper belongs in the discussion because he has the potential to reach those heights. Most players (even the good ones) lack that type of ceiling. 22 HR and a .270 BA was from his age 19 season. That's a remarkable accomplishment, any way you look at it.
I wouldn't put an average grade on his hit tool; his raw power is well above-average. But I worry that he's more of a mistake hitter that will struggle against better arms and the game power will suffer.
I didn't see him. I was never that high on him. Its a one-tool profile, so that power needs to play for him to bring anything to a 25-man.
It was just rounded up for the book because we wanted continuity of scale, so we put everything on the 20/80 instead of the 2/8. Some of the High 6 types were just pushed to 7 if it was close.
Some would move up/down a bit, but nothing of extreme significance. Spring training is a great experience because it allows you to put eyes on players you might have missed the previous season or players that spent the off-season working on their weaknesses and arrive looking better than expected, but its still a very limited sample presented in an often schizophrenic context, so making bold moves to a list based on that sample is probably more reactionary than anything else.
Because he's not that good at shortstop. I think he has a chance to be a 5 there, so you keep that dream alive as long as you can. But at the end of the day, I think he ends up in center or second, the latter making more sense to me. At second, the athleticism would be an asset, and the arm --while strong enough for the left-side--would be a weapon at the keystone. I think he could be a 6 defender there someday, but I just don't see the same ceiling at shortstop. The actions and instincts weren't there for me.
I have no idea who he is or why he would have beef with BP. I assume he just trolls to bring more attention on himself. Not the best approach if you want to be taken seriously.
I would rather not feed the trolls.
Mid-late 2015 could be possible.
They aren't official, but they aren't simulated either. Real umps; 9 innings.
I only hit the backfields once the MiLB games start.
You can expect more scouting notes of this nature as backfield games kick off in a few days. We might have enough scouting info to run three articles a week until camp ends.
I had good reports on him from instructs, so that's why we ranked him in the BP 101. I believe we were higher on him than anybody else, but I'm not sure. I want to see more before going crazy with it, but he's clearly a top 50 prospect when healthy, and with a strong full-season experience, should be a candidate for the top 30.
I would really, really like more hours in the day.
Yes. Jays and Giants come to mind.
Cedar Rapids will be loaded all season. New Britain will be a no-brainer affiliate to hit in 2014, but all three of those prospects you mentioned could find their way to the majors at some point.
Thanks for putting that together. I'm actually shocked I didn't have more short-season affiliates listed.
Hoping he gets back on the field before the 2014 season ends. Aggressive and optimistic.
It's coming. We are already working on it.
I have no idea what the Rangers plan, but I assume Alfaro will find his way to the AA level at some point in the 2014 season. Based on his strong AFL campaign, he looks prepared if they want to get aggressive with him to start the season.
Jays could really jump up. I think they are underrated now. Dodgers could tumble. They have a nice collection of young talent, but half of the legit prospects in that system could graduate in 2014.
I know it doesn't add up. But up is better than down, and in late February, optimism is easy to come by, especially after an off-season spent studying every system in the game, finding hope on the farm and propagating potential.
Balance is nice but talent is talent. You can acquire pitching with bats.
Yes. I tend to be optimistic when it comes to player developmental (as a whole), which of course creates a trend that is not actually possible to achieve. The reality is that most teams will ebb and flow around their current placement, and its hard to predict which teams will really make a jump forward. It's just an arbitrary exercise based on perceived hope/failure, with an obvious lean towards the positive for the sake of general spring optimism.
No. But they could get there at some point in 2014, and when you factor in the other talent at that level, Chattanooga looks more appealing.
Would have been On the Rise were it not for the injury. Smallish lefty with strong feel for both a curve and a change; fastball velocity fluctuates, but he can work in the upper-80s/low-90s and can touch 93+. The ceiling isn't extreme, but he can pitch and would have been in the mix without the injury.
He's not a non-prospect; he has a major league projection. But its not an overwhelming profile and his command isn't sharp enough to project higher.
There is a better chance we are looking at a frontline starter than a reliever. This is a monster profile, with both size, strength and stuff. Nothing in the profile says reliever to me.
Projections. Elite projections.
I'd probably give Stras three 8 grades on the FB/CB/CH. Harvey's FB could be an 8; SL 7/CB 7
As impressive as Harvey's breaking ball assortment is, I prefer Strasburg's CB, and his CH puts him over the top for me.
I see a major league ceiling, but not an impact arm. He's just not the same pitcher he was before the shoulder injury.
I'd take Strasburg. It's the complete package.
We aren't denying you reports on those players but since he was traded after the Tigers list was published on the site, we are going to offer updated lists/reports for the Futures Guide before we update the lists on the site. The 2014 FG will include every team list, the full BP 101 with scouting capsules, never published eyewitness scouting reports on more than half of the players on the BP 101, and more exclusive fantasy content than last year.
It's possible, but I don't really see the wipeout secondary pitch to profile as an elite closer. The CH is more of a 55/60 type not a freakshow bat-missing pitch; the CB/SL is more of a fringe-average pitch without much distinction.
Yes. WIll be updated for the Futures Guide
Kershaw's CB was very advanced; Giolito's elite distinction is a projection and could eventually play at that level. Not every elite pitch is the same, just as not every average pitch is the same. It's just a spot on the scale. We need to rely on specifics to distinguish greatness from greatness.
I still think Buxton was the top player in that class. Throw a healthy Giolito into the mix and he would have been popped in the first few picks. If you assume Astros go Correa, and the Twins take the gift that is Buxton at #2, Giolito falls to the Mariners at #3. Not chance he slides beyond that.
Karns could have made the list. He will be added to the Rays list for the Future Guide.
Some consideration, but he's 25 and yet to pitch above High-A. It's a tough sell.
Along those lines, Bo Jackson wasn't a top of the scale base stealer, but given his straight-line speed, its hard to fathom many players being faster than him. He ran a 4.12 40 in the NFL combine, which is still the fastest time ever recorded (hand-timed).
Depends. I have several sub 3.5 times for Hamilton on jailbreak bunts; several sub 3.8s on full swings. Both sides.
It's good but not great. Good pitchabilty/feel for execution. Good FB/CH. Can change speeds, move the ball around. It's back-end profile for me with a chance for more if the stuff ticks up as he matures.
Interesting point. They might have been similar as far as ceiling is concerned. Flores might have more natural bat-to-ball; Rosario more athleticism and defensive projection.
But now you have heard of the guy. Problem solved.
Was tempted to put his ceiling as a #1 starter. I can see the case for it based on the scouting report. If the CB reaches its potential and the change up plays up to the level I think it can, Syndergaard just might reach those heights. Admittedly, I'm overly cautious when it comes to dropping that distinction on a young starter.
I'm not a big fan of Cecchini. I like the defensive profile but its not special, and I didn't see a lot of hitability at the plate; unbalanced in the setup with noisy feet and average bat speed. I think the bat would never play beyond expectations to even consider him for the top ten. This is a loaded system and its going to take more than just a first-round pedigree to get your name in lights. .
Very good athlete with impressive size and present strength, which I love. it's very raw, though. and the hit tool could end up spoiling the party. Big raw pop; 6 run at present; might be able to make CF work, but plenty athletic for a corner. It's a project but you have to like what the Mets have to work with. But its definitely more athlete than baseball player at present.
Only so many spot on the list. Herrera is a legit prospect, and I think he has a major league projection. But I preferred Molina at #10. Herrera, Matz, and Fulmer were in the mix for that spot.
Flexen is very interesting to me. As you would expect, his arsenal is very fastball heavy, but he can show several breaking ball shapes and has a changeup. He has some projection, but already has a strong body and can pitch deep into games. The secondary stuff needs to improve to really explode as he climbs, as he gets by on the heater right now. But he has the profile to project as a mid-rotation type. Good reports from Appy. He could jump straight to full-season ball in 2014.
It's about scouting not stats. Molina is an ultra-athletic arm that can already work 91-96 with the heat; flash two promising off-speed pitches; good feel for craft; high competitive fire. That's what I look for when scouting a young arm. He's more than just an arm strength pitcher.
Smith could have more than just an acceptable glove; he's a plus defender. But the offensive profile (Overbay) isn't far off. Smith will arrive younger and has more ceiling, but good average/OBP with big doubles pop sounds about right.
80 present. Sits mid-upper 90s with explosive life and he can spot it. I'll stand by calling that an elite offering.
As someone who has actually seen him in person--and observed him in pre-game workouts, game action, etc--I saw a very casual approach to the game. Natural hitter with good hands and a strong arm, but the body was sloppy and his focus left a lot to be desired. If you ask the org, he's a hard working kid. Of course the org is going to say something like that, especially to a national source like BA. But if you want the real goods, watch the players in person. Perhaps my small sample with the player wasn't indicative of a larger problem, but based on my experience with the player, I saw some red flags in the overall approach. That heavily influenced my report. But it was echoed by several outside of the org sources, so that's why I mentioned it.
I like Encarnacion; have good reports on him. IPL kid; big juice in the stick. Wait and see with him right now because it might not happen right out of the gate.
I'm not really high on either prospect; Quinn is a speed-first type with a substantial speed-altering injury and Altherr is a toolsy type that won't hit against better pitching. I can see the case for their inclusion based on the raw tools, but I felt more comfortable with some of the other players in the system.
Most of the plus-plus distinctions in the minors are projections, although you will see some present arm/speed grades in that stratosphere.
This is the 20/80 scale:
30: well below-average
If a prospect receives a 6+, its like saying its a 65 (or perhaps even higher if everything clicks).
I love this idea. We should rank the top/bottom U25 lists.
Take that back
Rendon had more polish and a better chance of reaching the projections. He fell in the draft because of the injury corners, and his prospect status was hurt for similar reasons. Moran's bat is legit and should carry him all the way, but I wouldn't put them in the same prospect tier (at least not right now).
The "Factors on the Farm" section is designated for prospects that will likely reach the major league level in the upcoming season. Romero will likely start the year in Low-A. I like him for what he is, but its a tough profile if the bat doesn't reach projection. I sat on him a few times last season. I thought it was good but I came away with questions about the bat. Case for the top ten based on tool-based ceiling, but I went with Solorzano at #10 because of his power/speed combo.
It's okay; not great. Good overall feel; average stuff.
The scary thing is that he still might blossom.
HIgh 6; no. 2 starter/frontline closer. Love the guy. I'd put him right behind Taveras; mostly likely a top 25 prospect in the game.
If fastball command were easy, we would all have it. Both Taillon and Glasnow have a lot of body to control, and with the body in a constant state of physical growth and maturity, you can often sacrifice athleticism and coordination, which can influence command and repeatability of mechanics.
The applicable 101 rankings will appear in the 2014 Futures Guide, along with a more detailed statistical breakdown for each player.
First-division/all-star. Highly LIKELY to become great.
Highly unlikely to succeed.
Gayo seems to take pride in the fact that he can find gems for less than other teams, so I don't think it will impact them much. International scouting is still about due diligence/effort, and the Pirates are one of the hardest working and most thorough orgs in that market.
I disagree with this. These are scouting distinctions. Scouting reports can change; players develop. Its easy to scout results.
Still like the ceiling, but he really struggled in 2013. It wasn't pretty. Couldn't hit off-speed stuff at all.
Ervin has a more polished plan at the plate and hit tool. Yorman has loud tools, but Ervin isn't exactly a fringe type. With comparable physical gifts, I opted for the player with a better chance of reaching his ceiling.
Not every role 7 is created equal for a variety of reasons, just like not every major league regular is the same. That's why we offer scouring reports to explain the projections.
Hard to project minor league arms to 8. Not many elite arms in the game.
Hamilton is faster, but Buxton is still an elite runner.
Margot failed to crack the Red Sox top ten, so he wasn't going to crack the 101. Martinez had a better shot this year.
Far. Bright future, but not a top 101 prospect. Might not even be a top 200 prospect right now.
It's a fringe arm for me, which limits his utility at the position. He does have a flare for the dramatic, but he can struggle with balls hit directly at him. More than enough athleticism to develop into a good 2B.
2B is right-side. 1B is an island on its own. Just a way of making the distinction between a left-side type that profiles at either SS or 3B.
Great fantasy name: Reverse Haniger
In the mix. Just didn't crack the top 10. Long way to go.
The value is expressed in the order in which the players are ranked.
Read my response above. It's about future role.
Player specific; nature of the future role. Hellweg is going to be a major league pitcher, but he's likely to end up in the bullpen. Nelson has more value because he has a a better chance to start. Position players tend to have more value than relievers.
Yes; those are reversed.
I'm confused by that as well. Doesn't make any sense to me.
I've been busy. I'm not that high on Bauer. I can recognize the talent, and at times I've given him due credit for the raw stuff. But the approach has been bad from day 1, and not much has changed on that front, which speaks to a larger but concerning issue. It's hard to defend a guy that seems to turn off everybody he comes in contact with on the player developmental front. I don't know what else to say about it. He's not the type of player I want to champion.
Defensively, he's a much better fit in the OF, and I always liked the bat. Despite the drug suspension, I'm still on board.
I never really had any to begin with.
Ozuna was not prospect eligible; Marisnick was right on the bubble.
Those questions remain, but I'm still high on the player. I don;t see an all-star, but a first-division player is absolutely possible--hell, even likely. I don't see a top ten overall player, but he can do just about everything on a field at a solid-average or better level.
Sano is going to struggle (as he did) against better arms. His hit tool will be enough for the power to play, but I'm not sold that his power will play to full potential. He could still end up hitting 30+ bombs, but the power will likely come at the expense of consistent contact. He's still in the top 20 prospects in the game (in an absolutely loaded class), and even though he has weaknesses in his game, the power is so good that it justifies such a high rank. I can't see ranking him in the top 5, though. Too many questions about the hit tool and defensive profile to go that crazy.
When he signs, I can see him in the top 10.
He was #102
Was on the initial list. Good prospect; not a SS for me; bat is good but not great. I think he gets overrated a bit, but you can make a case for him in the 75-100 range, along with 20 other prospects that missed the list.
They wouldn't. We don't rank players that will completely bypass the minor league developmental system. These are players, not prospects.
I'm a fan. Was on initial draft. Should jump this season.
He was in the mix. We will be producing a "Just Missed the Cut" article this week to highlight some of the prospects that were in the 101 mix.
This is amazing.
He was in the mix. I like the kid and I think he will hit. Not sure about the power, and I'm definitely not sure about the body, But he should be able to hit for average. That said, hit tool first prospects that are first-base only types have to REALLY hit to make a splash in the prospect world.
Giolito has a better scouting profile, without the makeup concerns that have dogged Guerrieri since his amateur days. The drug suspension only reinforces those concerns. I think he will rebound from the injury and rejoin the 101 very soon. But the makeup issues could slow his rise.
A substantial injury and a drug suspension will do that to a prospect.
Vogelbach has no chance to play in the outfield, and I'm not sure he could even be below-average at 1B. I haven't seen a lot of athleticism in Vogelbach, at least compared to other professional athletes. He's a very good athlete compared to people that play in beer softball leagues or just average Joes, but at the professional level, its hard to go too high on his overall athletic profile. That said, you don't have to look good in a uniform to hit a baseball, and I think he's going to hit for both average and power. Value is going to be tied to his stick, so he will have to rake to become a first-division type. But I believe in the bat.
Yep. And the BP 101 will be dropping soon.....
It's still not easy for me, even when its justified. It's difficult to assign elite distinctions to things in general, much less prospects that have yet to produce at the major league level.
This doesn't make much sense. There is plenty stuff to be critical of in Edwards' profile. If he lacked weakness, he wouldn't have been drafted in the 48th round, or moved as a secondary piece in a rental trade, or even pitching in the minors to begin with. If Edwards didn't have much wrong with him--as you say--why didn't the Cubs put him in the rotation after acquiring him?
Still high on him. He has upside. The system is just much stronger now than last season.
I wouldn't change my mind. I believe the Twins have the better system right now. Cubs have the depth and impact talent to pass them, but as of right now (pre-2014), the Twins are the premier system for me. The reason has nothing to do with balance; rather, its just about talent. They have a ton of talent, both of the superstar variety, high impact variety, and depth that could eventually reach those levels. While its true that the Twins have a good mixture of both arms and bats, I just care about the talent, regardless of the position.
It's not so much that he is overly aggressive; rather, he just tries to hit every ball out of the park, so he often jumps fastballs and shifts his weight and rotates his hips early in order to launch the bat, and if he guesses wrong, he's unbalanced and struggles to recover.
The defensive profile is more 1B
Fringe profiles. They will have to prove it at every level, and even then I might not be a believer until it slaps me in the face.
Split duties last season, but the consensus seems to think 2B will be the long term position for Alcantara. Personally, I think he can handle either position defensively; although, he could be considered above-average at second.
July 2nd; international signing window
When Julio Urias was born, the movie Escape from LA was released.
Yes; I had several reports on that loaded AZL team. Lots of arms in that crew, with Munoz, Arano, Victor Gonzalez, and William Soto. That AZL squad was loaded with loose-armed pitchers with good fastballs. Almost across the board, the secondary stuff was underdeveloped and raw (not surprising given the age and level), but you have to like the projection in the arm and the ease in which the fastballs are delivered. Dodgers fans should be very excited about the recent crop of J2 talent that pitched stateside. That's a group that could eventually make a very big mark on prospect lists in the coming years.
He's still promising. The system received a jolt from the J2 market and the 2013 draft, which pushed a fringe top ten prospect like Bird out of the running this year.
His listed height/weight has been the same since he signed. It just hasn't been updated by the team yet. But I was told by the team that he is probably closer to 6'1'' than his listed height of 5'11''.
I don't see a lot of remaining projection in his body. In fact, he might have to watch his weight going forward because he isn't exactly a fast-twitch athlete and Mexican players don't have the best reputation in that regard. But he should be fine, mechanically speaking. As with any young arm, he will need to add strength without losing his fluidity and balance, but Urias is pretty smooth on the mound and the arm is loose and easy. Even with some additional growth, I don't see much of a problem. The only issue I can see (long term) is the body escaping him, but I doubt anybody involved lets that happen.
Not bad. Not bad..
I think Bradley can stand side-by-side with Bundy in terms of ceiling. Giolito and Gray might be slightly ahead on that front.
I'm of the belief that the ultimate distinction of "Ace" is earned and not projected.
For me, frontline is any pitcher capable of pitching atop a rotation, most likely as a legit #1 or #2 starter (scouting). Mid-rotation can be a weaker number two-four starter set; back-end can be a weaker number three-five set.
Scouting distinction. True #1 starters are rare. Look around the league and you will find several frontline number two starters (scouting) that pitch atop their team's rotation. With Crick, his shaky command and inconsistent secondary profile prevent him from projecting as a true #1 starter, a distinction that only a few pitchers in the minors can boast. Nothing wrong with a frontline number two starter. That's a pitcher that would be considered the ace of half the staffs in the game.
Crick is the only top 101 for the Giants. Mejia was in the mix, but failed to make the cut. I'll probably regret that by summer.
I didn't have an issue with the Jones pick. I thought Arroyo was a bit of a stretch at the time, but only because there were doubts about his ability to stick at shortstop and it seemed like a Panik profile, which I'm not a big fan of, especially that early in the draft.
Good question/comment. I think the Giants can boast a mixture of frontline arms and back-end arms, although the latter is clearly more abundant. Crick is a stud, and even with the risk involved, is going to be an impact arm in some capacity. Mella has similar impact potential with a lot more risk attached, and you can make the case that Gregorio belongs in the discussion based on his size and remaining projections.
To explore your question: I think its safe to say the Giants won't develop every mid/back arm to potential, but they are likely to develop a healthy chuck of major league arms from the current crop of talent. You hope for impact types, but if you just assume #4 ceilings (for the sake of argument) I think any developmental success should be seen as a huge win for the org, regardless of the impact or potential logjam. Having too much talent is never a bad thing, especially when all players are forms of currency that can be used to better your ball club.
While I can't speak to specific trade value without looking at the attributes of the specific players involved, cost-controlled number four starters are extremely valuable commodities to own, even if the upside is limited. The overflow could open up a lot of possibilities, including bundling a package of quality, low-risk/minimal upside arms for something of more value [read: upside].
While I don't think building a system of #4 starters is a market inefficiency, I think any kind of talent that you can develop to potential is more valuable than the dreams you can sell with higher risk players, especially in trades. I'd be willing to bet that most teams would prefer to acquire a guaranteed number four starter ready for action than a potential number two starter that is years away that comes with a higher risk.
Not in the top ten. Tool-based ceiling would have put him in the debate, though.
I'm not sold on Williamson. Obvious athleticism and strength, but several sources put the Quad-A profile tag on him. Like several other players that weren't featured, Williamson has a case for inclusion. But the doubts about his bat against better pitching helped make the decision.
You can really make a case for a dozen guys in the #3-#10 mix. Stratton has a very good case, but I happen to prefer Agosta a bit more. Its just a slight preference at that point based on the depth of the stuff and my own experiences with the player.
I wouldn't think so.
6 utility. The arm is plenty strong, but the throws don't always have the carry or accuracy to warrant a higher grade at this time.
I think the scouting report above best describes my feelings on Wisler. I think its a mid-rotation projection or a late-innings arm if the delivery breaks down and he struggles to locate the secondary stuff. If the stuff ticks up, which I'm not projecting, the evaluation will (and should) change. But as of right now, I don't feel comfortable projecting Wisler as a #2 or higher.
I doubt it. He would most likely be a Factor on the Farm rather than a prospect in the running for the list. That system has impact talent and depth. Tough to crack the top 20.
Both are iffy prospects. Jones is the bigger stretch because of the approach and the holes in the swing. He's still young, but its a developmental long shot. Asencio is a slightly better hitter, but its still a below-average profile. I wouldn't bet on either one.
Several reports received a boost. I ended up with seven outside the org (scouts/front office) sources with this farm. As for the players that moved around: Dickerson jumped into the top ten; Peterson moved up a spot; Ross moved down.
That video makes me have child-like accidents.
I was always a fan of Daal, as I was able to watch him in person several times. I believe Nick Faleris was high on him as well. He can swing it; good arm-side hitter that can square velocity; has pop in the bat. It's a good profile. Major league projections.
He wasn't in the running. Personally, I was trying to squeeze Franchy Cordero on the top ten more than any other player. Jankowski's bat doesn't do much for me.
Wasn't prospect eligible because of service time.
Several sources like the bat more. Dickerson has legit power potential. Most people have seen more of it during batting practice than in game action, but he can hit the ball a long way. If the power works--which isn't a given--he could hit 25 bombs.
Thanks. I appreciate that. Honestly, as much as I love writing about prospects, I need to step away from it from time-to-time to find some sanity. Since the season ended, I've been completely engulfed in the prospect rankings, which means talking to scouts and front office personnel on a daily basis and compiling all of my (our) notes from throughout the season. I take the work very seriously, and I end up spending 20+ hours on each team that I breakdown, so its very intense. That's why taking a day off to write an article like this--one that is free from analysis and structure--really helps me reset and clear my mind.
It's an [often] coarse baseball conversation between two friends, not a Family Channel program. At times, explicit descriptions or reactions will occur, much like how they will occur in a bar or stadium setting between friends. I don't think it subtracts from the product in any way; rather, I think the authenticity of the discussion adds to the overall appeal.
Absolutely. Good call. I've been a fan of repetition all my adult life; it shows up in my music, art, and writing. I'm drawn to it. I definitely enjoy Peace's work. Excellent.
I appreciate that. Thanks.
Heard you the first time. Thanks.
Well played. Hat tip.
Working on that as we speak. I ended up getting some last minute scouting reports (fantastic ones), so I wanted to go back and incorporate all the new information with the existing work, which caused the order to change a bit. It will be worth the wait.
Rationality was not the goal. I appreciate the comment and thanks for reading.
You are witnesses at the new birth of Spinal Tap, Mark 2.
That particular section is based on Kenny's Twitter commentary on Hall of Fame day when he was claiming (or suggesting) that Piazza didn't specifically deny using steroids in his book even though Piazza specifically said (in the book) that he didn't use them. Or something like that. I used the scouts/stats debate to help frame it.
No. I actually think raspberries are frisky. Quite the delicious and pesky little fruit.
Very cool. I appreciate the comment. Thanks!
Dahl has a much better bat, in my opinion, with a better chance of staying up the middle. My guess is that Meadows turns into a bat-first LF type, whereas Dahl has a bigger arm, better run, and in my opinion, more bat speed/better swing.
You can make a case that Meadows--in the snapshot--is a better prospect right now, especially with Dahl losing a season to injury. But it won't take long for Dahl to surpass Meadows in the prospect world.
Good catch. Definitely a RF (and a lefty with a very strong arm and some history on the mound).
Its fair. With more athleticism and little less offensive projection.
I think he weighs more than 160. Unfortunately, most listed height/weight for prospects are inaccurate, as they are supplied in camp by most teams, and can often look curious 10 months later. That said, Tapia still has room to mature (physically) and has a frame to add more strength/muscle.
Despite his placement on the list, in a pref list situation, I'd still go with Story over Herrera. Story's bat might play drag his profile down, but I prefer his defensive skills over Herrera. Snapshots, though. The player development process ebbs and flows, and the corresponding rankings will follow that pattern as a result. Story could be back in the top five by summer.
He's definitely a right-handed hitter.
I know several amateur (LA) scouts that loved this kid pre-J2, but their teams didn't have the pool money to spend on him. Athletic and projectable; good present pitchability; good reports on the hammer; can throw three pitches for strikes. Have to wait and see how the arsenal looks with added strength and instruction, but he's a legit arm in this system and should be on the radar soon.
Good observation. Most top tens feature numerous high risk (and possible high reward) types. The Red Sox top ten doesn't have nearly the risk of most farms without losing any of the impact reward. Pretty impressive and something to factor in when ranking the farm system.
Thanks for pointing out a casual error.
"Dickerson, who seemingly has a chance to be a platoon player or maybe more this year doesn't qualify as a Top 10 prospect?"
He doesn't qualify as a prospect. 194 major league at-bats; more than 45 days on an active roster.
In my viewing of Owens last summer, I wasn't overly impressed with his stride, especially given his length. Luke Jackson (pitching for Myrtle Beach) had a longer stride on the night (based on mound divots), despite being at least four inches shorter. Owens' FB was pedestrian that night, working 89-92 most of the night, and the ball didn't appear to have much late jump to it. Because of his length and extension potential, the FB has a chance to play up, but blowing a 90 mph FB (that looks 92-93 MPH) by a High-A hitter is an easier task than blowing the same pitch by a major league hitter.
Average speed; can play up in the outfield (range) because of his quick reactions and quality reads. Bradley is a heady player, so I think his base running will improve with more experience; should be at least average in that regard, if not better.
He's a prospect in the sense that he has a major league projection; although most likely as a middle-reliever or perhaps a back-end starter if he maxes out. Lacks crazy impact stuff, but has good pitchability. Probably not going to be a big bat-misser against more advanced competition; relies on low-90s fastball that can touch higher; shows slider average and fringe change as well.
Plate discipline is observed/acknowledged when scouting a player, despite the fact its not one of the five tools. Approach is multi-faceted, with components such as tracking and recognizing pitches and knowing the strikezone and controlling it. A good approach can elevate the utility of the hit/power tools, and plays a role when evaluating those elements both in the present and future.
Personally, I think Cecchini gets overrated at times because of his minor league numbers, namely his on-base percentage. While I think its a positive skill to possess and one that can not only help put him in friendly offensive situations at the plate but offer another dimension to his overall offensive game, I think it can disguise some of the present limitations in his game, like playable power, which does affect his value as a prospect and his projection as a major league player. Some people see his OBP and get weak in the knees over his value, but his lack of power and average at best defensive profile at third base stand out for me and drop his stock as a result.
It wasn't pretty at second; third should work, but again, my sample with the player is small. He's already grown [physically] since he signed, and with professional instruction, he should find some level of fielding refinement. It's too early to say, but I highly doubt second base is a realistic future home.
Was absolutely in the running. I'm high on him.
I'd want to see him in more game action against professional competition before putting an OFP on him. I only watched a few days of workouts and games before he signed, and I really liked it. The swing is pretty; great hands and fluid, easy mechanics. But I would want to see a larger sample before assigning grades that I felt comfortable standing behind.
I still have doubts that he is a long-term shortstop; long-term being the next ten years. But he has proven to be better than I expected, and if he can maintain his athleticism, he should be able to stick around for a while. I get spoiled watching the likes of Lindor and Mondesi, so I often expect too much flash from a shortstop when solid will suffice.
Dual development (especially behind the plate) is incredibly taxing on a player, both physically and mentally. Catchers are tasked with being generals on the field, learning how to receive, control the running game, and assist the pitching staff throughout the game. That takes a lot of focus and developmental dedication, and then you add the offensive element into the equation, which has to play to a certain level or all the work on defense won't end up mattering. Its the hardest position to develop, and legit dual-threat catchers are one of (if not THE) most sought after profile in baseball.
The stuff is there, the execution isn't. He's still in the developmental process, and is learning how to use his stuff to miss more advanced bats. It's not like in the lower minors when he could just blow the fastball by slow bats. When you are working on your secondary arsenal, and fine tuning the delivery, missing bats isn't always the targeted objective; although, missing bats is usually a desired outcome. I think he will develop into an effective bat-misser, but he's always going to have iffy command.
As an amateur, there were concerns about his delivery (effort) and projection in a rotation. Personally, I think he's a reliever, but the stuff gives him the potential to be a very good one. The surgery obviously delays his rapid rise through the minor league system, but when healthy, he should be a prospect that can move quickly if developed as a short-burst relief arm. The stuff can be quite nasty; lively mid-90s heat and multiple breaking ball looks. Sharp stuff. CH is underdeveloped compared to the rest of the arsenal.
Was in the mix, but didn't make the cut.
He was--before the hip surgery.
The stuff isn't great, and he has poor command of it, so that makes his profile tough to project at the highest level. I think he could end up a long way or perhaps a #5 starter if everything clicks, but that's not strong enough to make the top ten, even in a disappointing system.
5 is possible; some project the hit tool to be plus. I tend to think it will struggle to reach those heights, especially when he reaches the major league level and advance scouting gives pitchers an even bigger advantage.
Yes. I think it will sink that low in the org rankings.
Yes. That's his future potential and highest value.
I still like Gumbs; he has bat speed you just can't teach. But eventually you have to offer production on the field, and Gumbs fell short in 2013. I haven't given up on the kid. I really like his potential, and I think he can take a step forward. But its time to see it.
I think some players (regardless of ability or organizational affiliation) just have makeup concerns, some of which are associated with general immaturity (and can improve) and some are a part of a more complicated problem.
Makeup isn't a black/white issue, and its not always a direct critique of the character of the player. Some makeup concerns are focused on work ethic or intensity, or perhaps the inability or unwillingness to make developmental adjustments. Some makeup concerns do focus on a player's character, especially if it encourages behavior (on or off the field) that has negative consequence to the player's ability to focus or perform on the field.
You are assuming the industry sources that helped supply this information [re: makeup] are as easily persuaded as casual fans or that they are more critical of the players in the system because of the stature and history of the franchise [itself]. I think this is foolish. Makeup concerns came from off-the-field DUIs, inability (or unwillingness) to make certain adjustments, and general displays of work ethic or intensity of approach. Makeup comments are delivered when applicable, regardless of the organization. Scouts aren't sitting in the stands looking to snipe the Yankees, and that's where this information comes from, not sensational reports from media sources.
I don't see any reason to start him in High-A. What's the rush? If he proves to be too advanced for the level or needs a challenge, you can bump him up during the season.
Harvey is only 19-years-old, and he only has 8 professional starts under his belt. He's advanced and could move quickly, but a late 2016 ETA is still aggressive.
2015: High-A/Double A
2016: Double-A/Triple-A (majors call-up)
I want to live a long life by Machado's side, but this almost convinced me to leave him for Gausman. Great explanation, Diesel.
Urrutia spent more than 45 days on the active roster (25 man). The majority of Gausman's 2013 service time came after the rosters expanded in September.
Urrutia didn't qualify for the prospect list because of major league service time; he didn't qualify for the Under-25 list because he's 26.
The U25 was not subject to group debate. It's the singular work of Chris Mellen. I'm sure he will offer his thoughts on the ranking, though.
No chance. I would guess that he's closer to Stroman's height than 6'. But he's a freak. Nobody should be compared to Lincecum.
I didn't construct the U25 list (Chris Mellen's name is under the report). But I absolutely agree with it.
Very solid guess.
Yes. We will offer a Sanchez v Stroman debate.
The hit tool could reach that. I'm more comfortable projecting it to average, but the hands and the coordination could push it that far.
We will write him up.
He's a very promising arm, but you couldn't stash him on a 25-man roster right now. The projections on the player are actually quite neat. Don't forget that players who sign at age 16 or 17 often become rule 5 eligible before they can escape the lower minors. In this case, its a fault of the process not the prospect.
College hitter crushing in the lower minors. I couldn't find many sources that believed in the bat against better arms. He will get overrated on lists because of his numbers, but the scouting doesn't back it up.
It's not bad. I tend to like the Omar Vizquel comp more. Not quite the glove but a better bat.
I think its possible, but the bat can't be lifeless. A good example is Austin Hedges. I think his defensive profile could be an 8. If the bat is soft, something like a .250 type with 10 bombs a year, some will sour on that overall profile. But for me, that's an all-star player. If you are an 8 defensive player at a premium position, anything your bat can offer is gravy. Unfortunately, offense is the nude scene in a movie, and without the skin, its harder to generate tangible value or excitement.
More reliever grades put on Baker than expected; good FB/CB combo, but delivery and arm action not ideal for rotation; poor reports on Brady; FB was below-average; secondary stuff projects as average at best; Brown was similar to Brady; fringe-average to solid-average stuff; middle-relief type ceiling/perhaps a below-average starter.
It's reductive, but Wolters is just a good baseball player. He's an interesting guy behind the plate given his arm and athleticism. He's obviously not a great receiver yet, but he works his ass off and has the makeup to handle the rigors of development from that position. Unfortunately, he's just not a big time prospect. I can see a future as a major league bench player, one that can play catcher, some infield, etc. But the bat lacks impact, so I don't see a major league regular. Nice player to have in the org, though.
He's fun to watch, so he was in the mix. I had Monsalve right on the edge of the top ten, with Luigi close behind him in the queue.
Yep. We've seen him; have video; have six sources on the kid. I don't have a comp, nor do I want to throw that on a player so young and inexperienced. It's a very promising skill-set, but high risk given the dual development required. He has serious bat speed and very good hand/eye coordination. Add a 7+ arm into the equation from a premium spot and it creates the opportunity for something special. Will he get there? Most don't.
Lindor is at least a full grade better at the position. Lindor is a monster at SS.
He's okay. He can hit a little and has pop for the minors. But I don't think its a mistake to exclude a 25-years-old corner outfielder with a bat that doesn't project to average at the major league level. I can see him as a Factor on the farm; a player that can contribute to the major league team in 2014. But I don't see a top ten prospect.
I think Lindor has a chance to be a #2 type in a lineup, but I think its more realistic to assume he becomes a down lineup bat.
Ramirez isn't ideal on the left-side, but he can make it work in a utility role if necessary. With a guy like Lindor in the org, he's probably not going to get many reps at the spot. That said, I like this player. He's not an impact type, but he brings a lot to the table and he's still quite young with more development in the tank. The numbers won't be great, but he's a good player.
He was definitely in the mix for the top ten; I've liked him in the past. The reports weren't high on his bat, especially the way he looked against arm-side stuff. It's probably a backup role, but I still like the player and he might bring more.
As for Naquin, I was little surprised myself, because I've never been high on him. But I can't discount the developmental progress he's made, and highly trusted sources came around on him throughout the season and during the AFL. I always had some makeup concerns with Naquin, and I think the profile was a bit of a tweener. But with an improved swing and a better chance of sticking around in center, the profile has improved a great deal and he looks like a player that could be a major league regular at an up-the-middle position. Huge value in that.
I believe you are referencing a list from 2011, produced by Kevin Goldstein.
I didn't have sleeper prospects listed last year, and I've never listed Jabari Greer to bust out.
I've seen them both. Calixte is further along in the developmental process. Hernandez's offensive tools are a little louder, but the risk is higher as he hasn't even played in full-season ball yet.
Watching the players in person has certainly influenced the evaluations, but I still think we are quite high on Zimmer. He's ranked #3 in the system and projected to be a very good #3 starter. That's a high ceiling.
But I guarantee that if more people had the opportunity to watch Mondesi in person, they would be just as high on him as we are. Sometimes you just have to see magic before you can believe it.
He's in the 11-15 range; it would have been hard for him to crack this top 10. I still like the offensive potential, but the makeup reports don't inspire a lot of confidence.
You are going to see the 8 grade secondary stuff in the majors; rarity in the minors. Pitchers start with the FB, so in most cases, that's the offering that will be more advanced. As a pitcher matures, the secondary stuff improves and that's why you see the grades spike at the highest level.
The bat isn't that great, but he's a very good defensive shortstop (played 2B when on the same field as Mondesi.) I think he could end up being a quality utility player. Not a great prospect but a guy with a major league future.
The comment about depth relates to the talent found outside of the top ten.
We decided to target a specific audience (initially) for several reasons. With a re-design in the works and more initial consumer appeal for merchandise coming from the aforementioned "insular of demographics" it made sense to release the already designed merchandise in order to test the waters of our new partnership with the online store. It was tactical, and not intended to disappoint our readers who might find the hashtag merchandise immature and voice their displeasure as a result.
More merchandise is set to be released in 2014.
They aren't for everybody. It's a preference. The good news is that you don't have to order one if you don't want one. Thanks for expressing your opinion.
Not exactly equivalent, as I would probably take a role 6 starter over a closer. But with Meyer, his specific function didn't rally matter to me because either way he was an impact arm with a respectable risk factor as compared to Stewart.
I think so, yes. I think that's a reasonable projection.
I still think d'Arnaud is going to be very legit, and I'd take him over Pinto. I think Zunino is average (possibly solid-avg), so I would rate him in the same ballpark as Pinto right now.
He has definitely put on more weight than listed. We just use the heights/weights provided by MiLB.com. We would be here all day if we had to adjust for HT/WT accuracy
Thanks. I couldn't produce these without the help of people like Craig Goldstein doing some of the dirty work with the biographical info, without the editors for putting together a pretty product, without Bret Sayre crushing the fantasy takes, and without the debates and discussions from the excellent BP prospect team.
Yeah, its certainly not for everybody, and I can respect this point-of-view. Hell, sometimes I get tired of it. But as with everything I seem to do, there is a fine line between clever and applicable and annoying and unnecessary. Some would argue the latter is a better description.
I think this is a the first time I've ever had the balls to throw an 8 on the OFP. I'm often quite hesitant to go THAT high on any one tool or player, but the scale only works when 8s actually exist. Somebody has to be an 8. Might as well be Buxton.
I normally list the playable tools or tools projected to be average or better.
He's at least 6'3'', and my guess would be closer to 240 lbs. He's built like an NFL tight end.
Be careful with the "usually excellent ones" comment. That's simply not true of minor leaguers in general. You want to see young players at an advanced level, and yes that is a good indicator of a player that will eventually play in the majors--perhaps even at a a high level. But I've seen far too many young players fail to reach their ceiling to believe in a blanket statement like that.
Considering he's only played in front of a handful of people in closed showcases, I haven't been able to see him in person. As I've mentioned, I was able to speak with four sources at those showcases, so I have a good idea who the player is. This doesn't include video viewings of the player.
What the player will be against major league pitching is another story. I'll take extra time to watch him in camp this March, but there isn't going to be scouting consensus on a player who lacks pro experience against major league caliber arms. Mashing is Cuba is great. Mashing against the Verlanders of the world is another story.
He might end up being a monster--the hit/power tools are promising--but people on this side of the aisle can't form strong opinions on that yet. You can't say "you don't see anything to be real uncertain about." You have everything to be uncertain about until you get to see the player against major league competition. Suggesting otherwise is just internet hot air. Save that stuff for other sites.
I'm optimistic about the ceiling, and that's based on the tools. But with Hawkins, I'm realistic about the likely outcome. I put a 4 on him. I put a H4 on Thompson.
A). Yes. I've spoken with scouts that question the utility of the hit tool and if the power will play to potential. I wouldn't have suggested otherwise if I didn't.
B) My sources watched him in showcases before he signed. I have four different sources from that event, all of which were slightly different. Two of those sources were from teams that went heavy on him with their bid.
Many "real scouts" had doubts about Puig, as I did when I first saw him. His body didnt look the same as it does now and he was clearly rusty. They are both Cuban players, but the comparisons should end there.
I think its better than that. Give the org credit for improving the talent at the minor league level. They have a long way to go, but this is a much better system than in previous years.
Plenty of thoughts on Garcia; been watching him since he was 16. He's not prospect eligible, but I think he could develop into a super-utility player, one of my favorite concepts in baseball: a player that can play all OF, IF positions. Super-sub. He's a 7 glove; 7 arm; 8 speed player. His approach needs work and he needs to learn to play to his strengths instead of pretending to be a player he isn't, but I think he eventually becomes the mythical super-utility player and changes the way some teams approach filling those bench roles.
I'm a tough grader.
Love the bat speed; don't always love how he puts it together.
Disappointing season; overwhelmed at times by quality stuff.
He has a tendency to chase sliders or two-plane curves.
I think so.
Correa has a higher offensive ceiling, in my opinion.
Good relief prospect, if such a thing counts as a legit prospect (which I guess it does). I usually wait until AA to get excited about relief-only types.
I think he's a shortstop. You will run into sources that suggest a move to third is possible, but I personally don't see it happening for a very long time. I think he makes it work at SS and develops into a first-division player as a floor. That's why the OFP/Realistic Role suggest as much.
He didn't make the cut. Was in contention, but reports on Nunez were better.
With some of these players, especially the ones that are raw and in the lower minors, certain skills are going to be slow to develop. Williams isn't a very skilled player, but the one skill he does show is the ability to put his bat on a baseball, and that just happens to be the single most important carrying tool a position player can have. That's why he is ranked so high, despite anything else.
He's a young, super-aggressive hitter. I care way more about the ability to hit a baseball than the ability to not hit a baseball, especially at that level of development.
I wasn't high on him last year (didn't rank him in the top ten (we might have been the only outlet to exclude him), and my hesitations about him proved accurate. I think its possible that he finds his footing and returns to high-level pitching, but his overall approach needs serious work and its not easy to snap out of the pitching yips.
Obvious feel and instincts for the game. Lacks the up-the-middle profile as his older brother, but can hit the baseball and make plays in the field. He has something. It's not a special something, but its something. He's more than just a familiar last name.
I like Demeritte quite a bit, but I listed the players I think will be in the top ten next year, and I often like to profile prospects that aren't on the map yet.
In the primer (linked on every article) its mentioned that we are going by divisions this year. The reason is that I wanted to start the research process before the baseball season was over, so draft order was still in flux.
High ceiling prospect in a system full of high ceiling prospects. I don't see a lot of feel in his game yet, but the potential is enormous. He was just outside the top 10.
I assume just an editing oversight. (I probably chopped it off when I submitted it). I'll look into it. Thanks.
It's a scouting report. It's limited.
Sanchez might only be 16--thus putting an extreme risk on the outcome. But it's not outlandish to think he will one day be a major league pitcher; he's already throwing in the low-90s with two secondary pitches. He's quite advanced for his age, but it still comes at a big risk. That said, I think a realistic outcome is at the major league level.
Given the fact that he was a polished college player taken number three overall in the draft, I would hope he impressed in short-season ball. That's easy scouting.
His receiving skills aren't high-end; still has issues with side/side drift. Same with his catch/throw skills. His bat speed is only average to me, and velocity ties him up. I think he will be a quality major league player, mostly thanks to positional value, but he's not an impact player in my opinion.
You can compare one system to another at the end of the process when we rank them, and you can compare players [individually] based on their placement on the BP 101. If you really want to go deep into the work, you can compare players based on their OFP, realistic role, and risk factors. There is more than enough information to make prospect comparisons. I never thought the star-system was all that useful. I'd much rather see a specific tool-based projection coupled with a realistic outcome and associated risk. I think it makes comparing players in different systems much easier.
Yes; of course. I thought you meant since he's been drafted (as far as status is concerned.)
He has been playing third, but its highly unlikely that he sticks at the position. You make every effort to develop him into a more valuable player, but the realities of his skill-set (as noted in the article) point to an eventual move to 1B.
He was once mighty?
Sanchez's polish won that debate for me. He might lack the ultimate ceiling of Gohara, and the stuff might not be as projectable as Diaz, but the buffalo can pitch. He has a very good feel for command, and can pitch off his FB effectively using his secondary arsenal to keep hitters off-balance. I like him.
Zunino was ranked #33 (on BP 101) coming into the year. I can't speak for Mark, but I was never that high on Zunino, and at the end of the day, I wouldn't be shocked if Peterson offers more impact at the highest level. It's a good debate, though because Zunino is going to give you more positional value.
Yes. Basically. That's still a very high floor.
It's not age as much as its developmental progress and level of accomplishment. Correa is a safe bet for a teenager--no doubt--but his risk isn't on the same level as Springer. That's a stretch.
I'd rather just keep it simple for the sake of keeping it simple. I understand your point completely--and maybe we can add a distinction going forward--but its easier for me to just lump every source together under one label (for these articles). Not that it would affect my relationship with those sources, but I tend to play it very cautiously when it comes to their thoughts, especially when they are being re-produced.
I think 2B is a more physically demanding position than 3B (as far as athletic requirements are concerned), but the hot corner is still a skill position and should be valued accordingly.
My favorite quote: "I know he [Appel] ended up going 1-1 and getting his cash, but diesel would have been going to work against pros all of this year." --Chris Mellen
There are several redacted sources, but they don't come from the Astros. It's vital to our process to work with sources outside of the org in question to create the lists. It's only after our debates that I will contact the org to confirm tool profiles and get some developmental updates.
Thanks. They might mention them, but they weren't cracking this list (at least not this season). If only they played for the Brewers or Tigers....
Of course. With Folty, you have this 6'4'' horse that can touch 102 on the radar gun, so it opens up this magical world of what if and what could be. I get that. The problem is that his secondary stuff isn't all that great, and his command is below-average.
But back to that fastball.....Because its such an impressive singular offering, it buys him all sorts of developmental patience, more than the average player would receive. That's not to say he should have been moved into the bullpen already. I think he should remain in a rotation until it becomes clear his arm is better fit for the back of a 'pen. BUt I think this influences prognosticators just as it influences developmental personnel, as the fastball is the bait and we all swim towards it. He might end up improving his secondary stuff a grade, which would not only allow him to start but to excel, assuming the command takes a similar step, which is asking a lot from an arm, regardless of the level.
I've spoken to some that see him as a rotation arm, albeit one that is erratic and inconsistent, one capable of dominating and then quickly losing it. Similar to the reports on Cosart coming into the season. But the bullpen option will always be there, but I saw let him start and fail until he can't start and fail anymore. The fastball creates such a big dream that its worth riding it out just to see what happens, You know it will play in the pen. Find out if it can play in a rotation.
His weaknesses are stated very clearly and specifically, and those are type of things that can derail an ultimate projection and push a guy into the bullpen.
"Command is below average; fastball can work up and lose effectiveness; lacks a true wipeout breaking ball; changeup is below average; gets too firm and lacks movement."
Good question. I had a source (who was very high on Santana) describe his swing like this: "His [Santana] swing can get long and labored, like he picked out the heaviest/longest bat in the pile and brought it to the plate. If you can put a ball inside, he really struggles to get his hands in and square it. But he's very strong and when he gets it moving, he might lack control but he can make a baseball go a long way, especially if a pitcher makes a mistake out over the plate."
He took a big step forward, and would have been in the top ten of most systems. This just happens to be a deep farm. He was close.
Outside of Correa and Appel (1:1) the Astros list by draft position:
Springer (1st round; 11th overall)
Foltynewicz: (1st round; 19th overall)
Singleton (acquired via trade)
Velasquez: (2nd round)
McCullers:( Supplemental 1st round; 41st overall)
Santana: (acquired via trade_
Ruiz: (4th round)
Feliz: International free agent
Tucker doesn't profile as a major league regular, and it would be hard to justify ranking him above players with a higher projection. I wouldn't be shocked if he turned into a decent bench player; he has a good approach and some pop. But he's not a top ten talent.
Just because he wasn't mentioned doesn't mean he is considered a poor prospect. He doesn't belong in the same class as Heras and he's not a top ten type. Only so many spots to go around.
Wanted to drop a huge thanks to Craig Goldstein for assistance with the data/bio. He made my life a lot easier. It's really appreciated. Also big thanks to the editors and tech side for making it all possible and pretty.
Fedoras are never a good idea.
It's not about his emotions as they are displayed on the mound as much as its a certain passivity that some have noticed as it relates to how he attacks hitters and responds to situations .
Good combination of talent procurement (draft, trade, international free agency) and talent development.
He could have been a factor on the farm, but he wasn't in the discussion for the top ten.
This is the product we are putting out.
I'm not going to alter the product for fantasy purposes. That's why we have our excellent fantasy team.
Prospects are commodities, just like anything else, and its the buying and selling of those prospects that establishes the market, and its the projected outcomes that supplies the theater. I think fantasy certainly plays a role on this side of the wall, but the realities of the system exist regardless of our involvement or connection to the process.
Right. I understand now. Thanks. It's not an arbitrary act, as the rankings cement a moment of time and that has value. But that's also part of the problem, as player development is constantly in a state of flux so the action of cementing anything has a limited shelf-life.
"It took me a while to grasp much of what you outlined above - to both take it seriously as a craft, and to not take it seriously (literally) at all, at the same time"
I have no idea what this means.
I'd rather focus any/all available research time on the prospects and reports [themselves] than anything of trivial significance. It's not that I didn't like them in KG's articles; I absolutely did. But we are offering a more detailed product (scouting wise) and collecting that information takes up all of my allotted time. It really comes down to that.
Congrats, Colin. You left your mark on this site and you will be missed. Best of luck in the private sector.
BP is losing its way because we are offering merchandise that has been extremely well-received so far that you either don't understand or don't care about (which is fine), yet you still felt the need to comment on the subject anyway? Gotcha.
Apologies. We will look into that. $17.29 for shipping is extreme.
This might be my all-time favorite comment on the site.
70 resumes received before 2ET. That's #want.
Everything during the season will be focused on the playoffs. Next year, we are going to expand the series and focus on both hitters and pitchers, and try to scout as many players as possible throughout the season. We will also be offering some hot stove reports on free agents this off-season.
A few reports are on the way.
Yes. This series is going to expand and evolve. This is just a taste.
That information is available on the player card, which can be accessed by clicking on the player's name. One-step away.
It stands up. You can find exceptions to every rule, but for the most part, undersized pitchers don't often develop into sustainable starters at the highest level. It's not just about height; rather, its more about the body itself and the strength and stamina involved. You have to scout each player as an individual, but if you show me a slight Dominican arm in the low minors, I'll be willing to bet that pitcher fails to develop into a major league starter.
It's not pretty over there. He can make some plays, but he wouldn't be a reliable defender at the position at the major league level. But it comes down to the bat and the opportunity. If Asche isn't productive, you can bet that Franco gets a chance to swing the bat.
About the same for me. Slow and steady type, not flashy and fast.
He did. Very young player; raw. Still streaky, but he is ready for full-season ball in 2014. Most likely an "On the Rise" prospect in the Royals' system, with a chance to crack the Top 10 if the outside reports back it up.
I don't think he stays at 3B long-term. It's all about his bat. If he hits, it doesn't matter where he plays.
Not yet. I love his upside and his advanced skill-set for his age, but the top tier is very difficult to crack. If he has a strong 2014 season and the bat really starts to pop, I can see the case then.
Not a comprehensive list. Just ten prospects that fit the bill that we wanted to write about. Polanco exceeded my expectations coming into the season. No doubt.
This is one of the reasons why BP makes every effort to get opinions from outside of the org in question. We also trust our own eyes, as the BP prospect staff watches a lot of minor league action in person.
As for Edwards vs Syndergaard: I've been watching Edwards since he first signed. I've been around him on the field and off, and I think I have a very good feel for what kind of an arm he is. It's very good. The stuff is very good. The body is a concern because he's very thin and lacks much strength. The delivery is very easy and that is a good sign going forward. But he has also been trying to add weight since he signed with the Rangers, and he is still very slight. He has a very narrow frame and I don't see him adding much to it as he continues t mature physically.
Because of the body, its natural to question the durability, which certainly influences his projection. As far as the stuff is concerned, Edwards has very good stuff, but it doesn't belong in the same sentence as Syndergaard, and anybody suggesting that it does is either scouting the numbers and not the man, or their sources are feeding them incorrect info. Syndergaard works 97-100 with a very good breaking ball. Edwards also shows a quality breaking ball, but the stuff isn't on the same level. On-the-field results are always a good thing, but sometimes they can influence the way people evaluate talent. Box score scouting isn't scouting. It's lazy.
Look at it this way: How many GMs in baseball would trade Noah Syndergaard for CJ Edwards? What type of player would you have to kick in just to get a team to listen? They aren't that close, and I don't see a case that can be made to convince me otherwise, especially on the scouting side. I think its a form of pandering to suggest its even close, and that sort of sensational approach doesn't benefit anybody.
He was? I honestly don't recall mentioning him in that write-up.
DeShields' makeup has been an issue; reports haven't been very good this season. Lots of low-energy comments and poor on-the-field attitude.
I believe he did, or at least was going to.
He actually has extra skin over his eye. Its a condition that caused some concern with some scouts during his amateur evaluations. It definitely scared some teams off. According to the Dodgers, it doesn't affect his ability to execute on the mound.
Yes; Baker should say 5th round; 26th for Davies. Will get that fixed.
Middle-to-backend stater; could be an innings horse. Stuff could play up in bursts, but I don't think you get an impact reliever out of the profile.
They will be featured in the NL edition. This is just the American League.
"When I want variety and style, I'll send you a personalized email requesting it. Until then, please provide my protein and my starch free from any form of creativity or color. Thanks again. Burp."
This series is a bunch of #Candywhompus.
Roles (or player distinctions based on the 2/8 scale)
Role 4: Up/down player/utility/middle relief
Role:5: Average major leaguer/number 4 starter types/7th-8th inning reliever
Role 6: First-division player/number two-three starters/closers
Role 7: All-stars; number one/two starters/elite closers
Role 8: Best player in the game
The scout was scouting the player, not using Triple-A stats to make his evaluation. It's also a major league projection.
He would have been #1 on the list; top prospect in White Sox system.
If you really think about it, how much difference actually exists between a good number three starter and a number two starter? Major league production will ultimately decide the proper distinction, but its hard to find much separation between a low 2 and a 3. I think getting too deep into the labels at the minor league level is an exercise in futility.
I think the weight is inherent given their profession, regardless of the specifics of the tenure. It's hard to assign anything more concrete without a more detailed explanation from the source or a complete examination of their resume. I always take such a statement as the highest praise, regardless of the experience involved. One of the reasons I say that is because one of the most respected scout sources I have has only been scouting for a few years. Been in the game all of his life, but only scouting for a short time. I'd put his opinions over most in the game, and that includes guys who have been scouting for 20+ years. I comes down to who you trust, and for this series, we are extracting quotes from sources we have relied on in the past and that we trust. Doesn't mean they are always right, but we feel confident in their evaluation skill-set.
I watch a lot of baseball, and I found it to be an interesting event. I don't recall seeing a 20-year-old catcher attempt a back pick in the first inning of an exhibition game.
He's extremely big; 6'4'' 250 big. Not ripped up like the strength suggests, but noticeably athletic. He's not built like Puig.
Yelich could have a 7 bat. That's a substantial carrying tool to possess.
Some consider him to be the top European prospect to come out of the market.
Hedges could have an 8 at the highest level, but I wouldn't put a legit 8 on him now. Not many true 8 tools in the minors. Bethancourt, and Alfaro, Hedges are the high-end tool horses at the position in the minors.
Ah. Yes. I see. It should read: casual
Thanks! I appreciate that.
It's not fancy-speak. I think his mechanics are casual. Casual mechanics (effort) are only poor mechanics when they don't work, which is true of anything in baseball. A poor swing isn't a poor swing when a player hits .300.
Adrian Beltre is a good example of a player with very casual throwing mechanics. He makes it work and it often looks amazing in the process, so we look beyond the fact that he flips the ball from the side without really stepping into it; in fact, he often throws from a completely stationary position, which is just strange. But he has an 8 arm and he hits his target, so its all good. Franco flips the ball in a similar manner, but his accuracy isn't on the same level. His approach to making the throw appears to be very casual, which is why I wanted to mention that in the report.
Right. After the most recent look, I think he's a major leaguer but not the impact player others thinks is possible. If I watch him in a month, I could form a different conclusion. He hasn't reached the top of his developmental arc.
Yes, I'm elitist because I have no interest or familiarity with a subject that I didn't write about or claim to hold any expertise in.
I mentioned Sano a lot over the last week because I was watching him play every night. That certainly upped the flow.
That's the nature of scouting, especially when it comes to young, underdeveloped talent. It's always changing. These aren't finished products on the field.
I have no idea. I'm not a fantasy [baseball] writer.
He hasn't proved anything of the sort. He pitched 109.1 innigs in 2012, which was a career high. That's not proving you can pitch in a rotation. If he wants to be a top of the rotation arm, he needs to log 220+ a season, and most people question the physicality to pull this off. It's not a knock of his game as much as its a reality of his game. Outside of Pedro and a small handful of others, how many slight Dominican arms become sustainable starters at the major league level?
It does if you understand what I mean by trajectory. His previous ranking doesn't influence the trajectory, which is a projection of his future rank as it relates to next off-season's 101. Cecchini didn't enter the year as a top 101 prospect, but thanks to an explosive first half, he finds himself ranked #39. However, I am suggesting that his trajectory will be trending down going forward. The trajectory is the will be and not the was.
Apologies if that wasn't made clear.
I offered up an opinion on Buxton's floor from a very good scout source. It doesn't mean that he is right, but I did feel it had a place in the discussion, regardless if people found it absurd.
Both are high-ceiling prospects, so yes, both could find their way onto the 101 with strong second half performances. The scouting is already there. I've seen both of them a bunch and I think they both are going to hit, especially Guzman.
Not really sure there is one. Not much difference between #11 and #16 if you really think about it.
It's not. Buxton has more impact potential/louder tools. If forced to pick one over the other, I'd take Buxton.
I wouldn't rank him number one, but it's difficult to take a player raking at the major league level and compare him with players still in the minors. It's impossible to remove that knowledge from the equation.
He's been solid, but I wouldn't say that he's been excellent. I think he ends up in a 7th inning role eventually, but perhaps he can carve out a role in the back of a rotation. That's a good player, but not really a top 101 type.
I think he ends up in the bullpen, and that opinion seems to be shared by a lot of my sources. It's still too early for that box, though. Things can change.
He was close, but he didn't make it because I liked a few more players more than I liked him. I disagree that if he moves to 2B he's an all-star, but I do think he develops into a quality major leaguer. I like the bat.
Cole would be the top pitcher and in the top 5; Cingrani would be in the ~25 mix.
It would be close. I might lean towards Profar because of the dual threat skill-set and tool maturity, but Buxton has the higher ceiling.
I like him. The stuff is very good; very natural and easy. But there are a lot of good arms in the minors. It's not a knock on Edwards, but I don't see a frontline ceiling.
I don't have Edwards on the same tier as Gallo, Williams, Alfaro, or Brinson, but all of those names could push for top 101 with a strong second half.
I'm not a huge fan. I think its middle-of-the-rotation at best, which is fantastic and has a ton of value, but given the crop of talent in the minors, its hard to push that into the 25-50 range.
Nope. Quality prospects, but this is a tough list to crack.
I think he has a better combination of now stuff and arsenal projection, and based on every report I've ever read--and in my own personal experiences watching the player and listening to the player discuss pitching --his work ethic and makeup are elite. All three of the arms you listed could get there, but they aren't on his level yet. Syndregaard gaining quickly, though.
He wasn't close.
I've been skeptical of his bat for years, but now he's absolutely raking in AA and I'm skeptical for other reasons.
He could really jump up the list. Top 25 is a tough tier to crack, though. A strong second half could put him in the discussion.
Franco has slow feet; great hands, but slow feet. I'm not sure what that body looks like in 3-5 years, either. I think its a 1B profile in the end, but the bat is real.
Tocci belonged in the Top 50 discussion. He's 17 and in a full-season league. He is struggling, which is natural, but he's not overwhelmed by the competition and that speaks to his skill-set and makeup. I like him a lot.
46 innings at the major league level over the last two seasons was enough for me to leave him off.
I really like both De Paula and Ramirez, but I think at the end of the day they are both relievers, and that's a hard profile to squeeze on this list.
I really like Arcia, and he was in the mix (at the very beginning). They have a few guys with impact potential, but the farm as a whole isn't very deep or skilled, so they might be in some trouble.
The injury did push him down. Sims is going to move up this list in short order. He's a stud.
I'd rank him much higher if I thought he was likely to stay up-the-middle at the highest level. In the end, I think its a LF profile, which is fine, but it also puts more pressure on the bat. Top 101 guy, but not Top 50 ( for me).
I think that's possible.
He didn't make the list because I don't think he is a top 50 prospect. I've written about my appreciation for Miller's game several times, and I do respect the hit tool.
Also, Martin Perez was on the list before he was called up to the majors. He was in the ~40 range.
I think the dry eye was certainly a factor, but Olt isn't going to be a great hitter. I like the bat, but his value is in the power potential and the defensive profile. I think he has 25+ home run potential, but his game will always feature a lot of swing and miss.
He's very much on my radar, and would be on any 101 list. Didn't get a lot of play in the Top 50 discussion, though.
He hurt his ankle, and that type of injury can linger and return, especially when you attempt to play before you are healthy. I don't think its a long-term issue at all.
Yeah, the profile doesn't scream Top 50 to me, and the environment inflates his numbers. He can hit, but I'm not sold he can HIT, especially if moved to 1B.
He has extra skin over his eye, but I was told that it does not hinder his pitching (at present) or his development.
Webster's at the ML Level
Top 30, perhaps Top 25. I'd rank him ahead of Soler.
Yes; I wrote that about Urias.
I don't know about a dynasty draft because I don't focus on fantasy, but Urias is a more advanced prospect right now and the ceilings are similar.
We just write about the players we see, regardless of team or league.
I think the majority of prospects on that Hickory roster fall into this category, as do most high-ceiling teenagers/20-years-olds in the lower levels of the minors. Obviously a role 7 player is special, but the space between present/future for most players in Low-A will be pretty extreme.
I think Stratton;s stuff can be inconsistent, and I think that opens him up for potential exploitation or regression, especially when he moves up a level.
Losing Cole is a hit, but they should still move up in the rankings. I'm not sold on Allie or Sanchez, but I am very fond of Taillon, Polanco, and Glasnow.
It's a testament to their depth and draft crop that they weren't mentioned as a farm on the fall. I still think they are a top tier system, despite losing Miller, Rosenthal, and most likely prospects like Taveras, Wacha, Wong, and Martinez in the coming months. They won't be number one, and most likely will fall a few spots, but they still have a healthy crop of talent on the rise in that system.
He's legit #Jersey
I'm not sure the outlook is bleak, but I don't think he's as good as his numbers suggest. Look for a full Kyle Smith scouting report at BP tomorrow courtesy of Zach Mortimer.
This is the type of comment that makes us want to work even harder and produce better content. Speaking on behalf of the entire MiLB staff, we thank you.
It wasn't a comprehensive list of all prospects on the rise. His turnaround certainly makes their system better. I think some are still on the fence because of the injury history, but if this season proves anything (so far), its that a healthy Ranaudo is a legit arm with a legit major league future, the kind of pitcher they thought they were getting from the jump. Staying healthy is going to be the big if.
Thanks! I'm realistic about Springer, but Cole would be a good person to ask about him because he recently sat on a series. As for me, I think he is going to end up being a Chris Young type of player at the highest level, perhaps with more contact ability. He has a very good defensive profile up the middle and legit over the fence power. That's a very nice player. Role 5 is more likely but he could end up as a 6, which is a very, very nice player.
The reports are still mixed because he is still so young and in the lower minors. The command is a little rough, as he has a lot of body to control in the delivery. I spoke with a few scouts that think his stuff is going to continue to tick up as he fills out the frame, and that he could end up with an easy 7 fastball and two plus secondary pitches, which would make him a monster, even without sharp command. The ceiling is extremely high, but there is a high risk involved as well. The safer bet is a mid-rotation innings horse, which is incredibly valuable. But given his size, stuff, and projection, he might have more to offer than that.
Actually, a queue can be a line or a sequence of people or objects, and that line or sequence can lack depth or be considered "thin" and not just long/short.
Thanks for playing.
If you are referring to the Minor League Update, those articles were limited (this week) by the fact that several full-season leagues were on their all-star break. They will return to glory very soon.
He has definitely taken a big step forward this season, and he was in the mix.
Nope. I like the way we cover prospects, and based on the feedback we receive, so do the majority of people who read the content. If you want in-depth statistical analysis of prospects, perhaps the current model at BP isn't for you. We don't lean heavy on stats when covering underdeveloped talent, and I think we offer way more than any other site when it comes to eyewitness evaluations. The Upton report was about process and perspective, as was clearly explained. If you have an issue with the content of the report, we offered up nine more that were specific to players in the minors. It's not that hard to skip over or ignore if it bothers you so much.
Sorry; had a game last night in Staten Island. Personally, I'd lean towards Perez given his present stuff and level of success in the high minors. But the majority of scouts I spoke with went with Appel. The sexy scent of a 1:1 can often prove to be too intoxicating for some to ignore. It's a hard comparison, though.
Yep. It's very hard to compare the two, but I'm really thinking about it right now, and I'm sending out a few texts to scouts to get their opinion as well.
I saw him throw a bullpen during camp, but that's it. It was awesome, but it was just a 30-pitch 'pen and not a live game.
This is a fascinating question.
Shooting for next Monday.
Well, he's 16, so I would hope players four-to-six years his senior would be able to adjust to him. But the stuff is still quite good, despite two outings of suspect statistical production.
The point of the Upton write-up was the perspective it offers when applied to the scouting of younger, underdeveloped talent. While Upton has fallen short of expectations, the ease in which he plays stands out, regardless of the production. That's what caught my eye. Bandwagons should have more exclusivity anyway.
That will happen very soon.
They were quite dramatic, but the scouting reports were very similar. He has been able to take advantage of mistakes and he has struggled against more refined stuff.
Soon? Probably not. He's in High; big jump to AA coming soon; even bigger jump from high-minors to majors. Late 2014 (cup of coffee) at the earliest. Most likely a 2015 guy.
I'd go with the Cubs top 4 at this point, but both the Twins and the Pirates (and even the Red Sox) make it an interesting discussion.
The extreme power potential. Always a premium, especially given the dearth of extreme power bats in the minors.
On the positional side, the Cubs have Baez/Soler/Almora, which is a potent trio; Sox have Bogaerts and Cecchini.
You never know until you know, but Buxton's profile is more attractive than Sano's so I can see the case for supremacy based on that alone. Coming into the season, I was torn between the two, as I mentioned above. When we started the Twins org debates, I would have been perfectly fine placing Sano above Buxton. I'm a sucker for power, and Sano has some of the best raw around. I'm also a sucker for tools. I guess I'm just a sucker.
Sano's age has been verified. Not an issue with him.
Great way of putting it. Excellent.
Correa's legit. He was cheaper than Buxton (which helped save money for the Ruiz/McCullers signings), he's considerably younger, plays a premium position, and has impact potential at the highest level. That's a win.
But if Buxton becomes the best player in the game, the Astros will be reminded of it daily. Nature of the beast.
I've been right next to the man, and he looks much closer to 250 than he does to 215 lbs. He's thick. Legit linebacker build. It's not bad weight, but he's a very large man.
Story was featured in the Ten Pack back on May 11th.
Trevor Story, SS, Rockies (High-A Modesto)
Story broke out in his full-season debut in 2012, and a move to the California League in 2013 was expected to provide even more fuel to his prospect fire. The performance so far has been disappointing, as the swing-and-miss tendencies from last season have been magnified and the contact has been quiet. The approach needs work, but a source suggested his swing mechanics were the scariest villain so far this season. The bat speed that drew praise last season isn’t receiving the same glory this season, but all hope is not lost. A few tweaks and a few hits are often all it takes to put a hitter in a confident state, and Story still has the raw physical tools to develop into an offensive force at a premium position. –Jason Parks
It's absolutely fair. Instincts for the game can be quite obvious at a very young age. Players either have them or they don't. Players can gain experience through repetition, but the natural feel is either present or it isn't. In fact, some of the most athletically gifted players fail because of the lack of feel in their game. It's not code.
Yes; I was disappointed as well.
Yes; hitter template is in the works. It's a more complicated process. Scouting hitters takes multiple looks; you really want to sit on an entire series before going to the page on a position player. Those will be coming out soon.
Insane bat speed.
You will get it all. We started with reports we already had in the tank.
No; just preference. I'm a 2/8 man, but others are 20/80.
I want to live in a world where any and all relation to Vlad Guerrero guarantees exceptionalism.
Excellent. I'll focus on the purity of the defensive skill-set when applicable (C, CF).
Up next: 2B.
21 prospects featured on the BP 101 or team lists. Quite a heavy crew at the position.
Would you be interested in more articles (along these lines) about the other positional talent in the minors? I was thinking about "Checking In On" every prospect featured in the BP 101 and team top ten lists, and this might be the best way to do it.
I posed this question to several sources and most thought Bogaerts had to skill-set to be an above-average third baseman (55).
Trying to evaluate them in a vacuum, free from organizational need/depth.
Looks like I'll be attending this event.
It has both velocity and movement, but if he can't command it, it doesn't have elite utility.
The book will feature updated top tens based on trades made, etc, but the rankings will not be altered or influenced by performance or attrition. Prospects that were traded before their teams were profiled (Bauer, May, Meyer, etc) will have reports and be placed with their current team, and the old lists adjusted to reflect their absence.
The book is a resource that will house every (updated) Top Ten list, the 101, detailed notes on those prospects, fantasy lists, etc, and all in one convenient location. It's a repackaging of sorts, but you get updated information and you get everything compiled together and you get it for very cheap.
Profar and Machado both moved off the position for organizational need, not defensive deficiency.
He's not prospect eligible, so he wasn't included in the rankings. Always had the speed and the glove, but the strength at the plate just hasn't been there. Not sure it shows up. He's probably looking at a utility future, which is a shame because he has very loud tools on defense and on-base.
I think so. From those polled for this series, the defensive reviews on Bogaerts were still mixed, but I think he's improved and is better (and has a better chance to stick around) than originally thought. I don't think he's ever going to be a premium defender, but I think he can play the position for a few years at the major league level. I would classify him as a "less-than-pure" shortstop, but that doesn't mean he can't pull it off.
I happen to like it. If you watch a lot of baseball in person, especially at the lower levels, presence is an attribute that you look for.
No; he wasn't included in the BP 101 and wasn't featured on the team's prospect rankings.
As I tried to explain in the opening paragraphs, some shortstops are no-doubt shortstops all the way up the chain, some will encourage whispers of a future positional move, and some are definitely going to have to move off the position at some point at the highest level. Derek Jeter is a very good example of a pure shortstop, as he was projected to stay at the position from amateur status through the professional ranks, thanks to his elite instincts and well above-average glove.
Hanley Ramirez and Jose Iglesias aren't in the same universe when it comes to defense, and nobody suggested that Iglesias was a better all-around talent than Ramirez. I'm not sure which article you were reading.
I put the shortstops in defensive tiers based on their defensive skill-sets and the likelihood that they would stick at the position, which I thought made sense because the majority of up-the-middle talent in the minors eventually has to move. I don't think the structure is a gimmick; rather, just a means of grouping the talent that puts a specific focus on the characteristics of the position they play.
Reports are mixed on both the glove and bat, but he makes a lot of contact. More of a 2B.
He didn't make the cut on the team list because I was infatuated with teenaged pitchers, but I can still profile him. He was included on the Mariners 'Factors on the Farm" section. I was able to watch Miller a lot this spring, and I like him more than Franklin. Neither prospect is a classic shortstop, but I think Miller will end up as the better all-around player, and I'll profile him in Part 3.
Anaco is in Venezuela. Home of Miguel Cairo.
I wouldn't classify guys like Vinicio and Marrero as significantly better than the shortstops featured in part 1. Both have chops and perhaps a case, but the line had to be drawn somewhere. Marrero is a solid-avg to plus type, but those featured in part 1 had even higher projections than that. The grace in which the position is played will always be a factor, as fluid, athletic movements tease the eye more than movements that lack fluidity. Subjective stimulation. Unfortunately, some of the shortstops that make all the fundamental plays without the flash aren't viewed in the same manner as shortstops that make the abnormal plays even if they happen to scuff a few of the routine ones.
Less-than-Pure. Part 3
He is Venezuelan. Sent that fix into editing.
He has a lot of tools. The arm is basically elite, but he shows serious run, legit raw (not power utility), and a good glove. Lacks refinement, but has four of the five tools.
Playing shortstop, but more of a 2B/3B. Not in the series as a SS.
Peterson didn't make the cut. I've seen him play countless times, and he can flash it. He's not a great shortstop and I don't believe in the bat. He also didn't make the Padres top 10 or the "On the Rise" section, so he was excluded from this particular series. I'd be happy to profile any player not featured after the fact.
Tovar wasn't featured on the Mets Top Ten list, or mentioned as an On the Rise prospect, so he won't be mentioned in this particular series.
This is an interesting point. Bulking up could be a factor, especially with the physical demands of football. If you want to survive high school football in the South, you need to have the body of a man at an early age.
I'd put a 6 on it now, and through repetition the utility of the tool should play to 7. The actions are very smooth; hands very soft.
Part 2: Pure Enough.
Losing premium athletes to other sports is a big issue in baseball. Premium athletes in the U.S. usually play multiple sports, and if college is the goal, the scholarship packages and general exposure are likely to to be more attractive in those other sports (football/basketball). In other parts of the world, baseball is life and the only ticket out of town.
Yep. Speaks to the scarcity of pure shortstop skills available stateside. Oddly enough, the five main prospects in the "Pure Enough" tier were all acquired in the Rule 4 draft.
Speaking of pure quality, that movie still stands up.
Yes. Up the middle talent will always be at a premium, but its easier to find a good outfielder than a good infielder. I know centerfield gets called a premium position--and it is--but I don't put it in the same league as shortstops or catchers. If you have speed and baseball instincts, you can probably figure centerfield out. It takes a lot more than that to develop into a quality shortstop.
I wasn't dipping back into the mid-90s, but yes, that's a very impressive class, featuring hall of fame level talent. Perhaps in ten years we will be able to look back on this class with the same reverence. It certainly has the talent and the depth to produce a long list of first-division players.
Every team in baseball covets up-the-middle talent, but method of procurement is always a factor. Teams that heavily scout and acquire from the Latin American markets are better equipped to stockpile lower-level shortstops, as the rule 4 draft puts an even greater premium on their services, especially the ones that can stick all the way up. The farm systems you listed have been big players in the international markets.
The better the bat, the better chance that player can survive as the shift off the middle, which most players do. That's what makes the pure shortstops so special because they will only have to move for organizational need, not developmental inefficiency. Of course, finding a legit (pure/pure enough) shortstop that is also a plus hitter is a rare find, and can offer extreme value at maturity.
I can't recall a shortstop class this deep in recent memory, but the ultimate goal is to develop these players to the highest level, so we can look back in a few years for more historical perspective. Lots of high ceiling talent; lots of pure shortstops; lots of shortstops that are just a step below that (Correa, Baez, Russell, etc.). Even the shortstops that are unlikely to stick at the position long-term (Bogaerts, Paulino) are highly skilled elsewhere.
Yes. Not a prospect I consider to be a "pure" shortstop. Not really a prospect I consider to be a "Pure Enough" shortstop either, but he will definitely appear in the series.
Defensive tiers for this series:
"His momma call him Clay, I'm going to call him Clay."
Russell projects as a shortstop, just not one that I consider to be a "pure" shortstop. He will appear in Part 2, under the "Pure Enough" tier.
Profar has a chance to be a better offense player than Elvis, but his glove isn't on the same level. Elvis is one of the best in the game. Profar is a pure shortstop, but he will still have a ton of value at 2B, especially if the bat proves to be legit.
This Ten Pack didn't have a theme. Not sure why the description suggested it did. Just ten prospects worth talking about.
It would take one additional click to find out more information on Bubba Starling via his player page. Nobody else had a problem with it.
Exactly. He's had a slow start (this season; small sample) and there are some concerns going forward, specifically with his feel for hitting, but he's far from a bust at this stage of the game. Development is never a black and white issue. This story is far from over.
Re: Starling. I've spoken to a few players who weren't very impressed with him and wanted to challenge him. Of course, its hard for me to separate a competitive kid wanting to challenge every hitter he faces from a kid wanting to challenge Starling specifically because of the hype.
I think this is a very good question, one that I can only answer based on information I've gathered from a small pool of amateur scouts I've spoken to about Starling (more talks with pro scouts). The obnoxious raw tools/ceiling made Starling a very attractive amateur prospect. As was mentioned, the level of competition he played against and the lack of focus on baseball gave some reason to be more pessimistic than others, but the extreme reward was most likely the carrot on the stick. I don't think he would have fallen very far if the Royals hadn't popped him, but some in the industry suggested that the Royals just couldn't pass on a local kid with that much upside, regardless of some of the red flags.
Yes; Rany did a fantastic study on the age/development issue. Here's the link: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=15295
Again, I think it has to be player specific, but when it comes to hitting, I think you want to see a very natural bat-to-ball relationship. Is it easy for the player to hit? You can tailor swings and make adjustments that help the task along, but ultimately it comes down to the simple act of recognizing the ball, reacting to the ball, and putting the stick on the ball. You either have that ability or you don't.
Scouts at the amateur level do their homework when it comes to a player's history and overall familiarity with the game. It is a factor in the overall evaluation process.
It depends on the player involved, but some multi-sport athletes never develop the instincts for the game (baseball), which can often be attributed to a lack of focus on the sport in early development. While most top-shelf athletes play a variety of sports growing up, the ability to hit a baseball at the highest level is directly tied to learned visual-motor skills that start to develop at a very early age. It's not something that most athletes can just play catch-up with at this stage of the game. Apologies if that point wasn't clear.
There are different tiers of high risk gambles, and a poor gamble in the 15th round doesn't have the same effect on a franchise as a poor gamble in the 1st round. Not fielding a winning team since 1989 shouldn't encourage a go big or go home philosophy; in fact, you would think it would promote more introspection and a more meticulous process of talent procurement.
But finding talent hasn't been the Royals problem. Their farm system has been thick in recent years.
Assuming the problem is with recognition and reaction --which is just one of the industry opinions floating around and not a fact--the problem would most likely go far beyond eyesight. I think there is a ceiling to what is possible when it comes to recognition/reaction skills from a neurological standpoint.
I think it has to be talent specific. Starling had one of the highest ceilings (if not THE highest tool-based ceiling) in the draft class. That's hard to pass up, especially when you factor in his local ties. But while high risk/high reward picks can help turn the fortunes of a franchise around, you can't play Powerball with a top 5 pick.
Very few of the late-blooming tool-shed types make it. The late-bloom rarely comes.
Being a paying customer isn't a shield from retort, especially if you preface your request for content with a shot at the current content being offered.
The write-ups were excellent and contain the kind of in-person evaluations that aren't readily available elsewhere. What more could you possibly ask for when it comes to prospect reporting?
This isn't a cafeteria, harry
Hosmer seems to hit a lot of line-drives right at people. I think his luck eventually changes, and if he can put better wood on breaking balls and return to an all-fields approach, I think he will help that luck along.
I think he hits 20+ bombs; average and power start creeping up over the summer; prepare for explosion in 2014.
I owe everybody a beer because of the Hosmer histrionics
I agree with this 100%
It might be the most important tool
D.J. Davis is a prospect in the Jays farm system. He's very fast.
This is great, Doug. Thanks
These are fantastic.
I'd pick Gallo's raw over Sano's, but its close. Both 80 raw.
I honestly think makeup is vital when it comes to aggressive promotion, and I do think you can tell when I player is advanced in that regard. I could tell when Profar was 17 that he was going to be able to move very quickly, and in the spring of 2012, I could tell he was ready to skip to Double-A. Some players wear their maturity on their sleeve.
He was in the 86-88 range when I saw him earlier in camp. I didn't see any reports that suggested he hit 91, but its possible. The arm speed was slow in the two outings I caught this spring.
I agree with this. I'm very pro-Stieb
Not a big difference between #14 and #16. I like the Yankees depth a little more because of a few under-the-radar types like De Paula, that could really explode in '13. I prefer Bradley to Williams, but it's not a straight player over player debate. When looking at the entire farm system, top to bottom, I lean towards the Yankees when it comes to higher ceiling depth. It's very close.
Not all depth is created equal.
Beat me to it. Thanks.
I wanted to pick him as AL MVP as well. Just give him all the awards.
Good catch. It should say he's only 25-years-old.
They will be worth the wait. Org rankings coming out first.
Not in the same league, imo. Yelich could win a batting title one day. Winker could be a plus hitter. I like Winker, but I don't think he is a special bat.
Best way to put it, I think.
I love the question. You need a base hit to win the game, who is the one player you absolutely want in that spot? Wade Boggs isn't a bad choice. He would get you the hit and then drink 64 beers on the way to the next city. Gwynn would probably get my vote as well. Miguel Cabrera wouldn't be the worst choice for such an AB. Rod Carew was born hitting singles.
He hit on my mom once, does that count?
No; more is not needed to justify Mantle's placement. We debated and decided he was the top power bat. You can disagree with it and make your own case, but it's not like we just picked Mantle's name out of hat.
His bat to ball ability is special. I've been watching him in person since he was 16, and it's so natural and easy. He just has a feel for putting that barrel on a baseball.
I don't think its responsible to project a player to heights that he might not have the skill-set to achieve. Saying that Baez/Bogaerts could hit 30+ at their peak is a possible outcome, and given their position on the field, a substantial level of production that would make them superstars, not pretty good players.
All of the low-level prospects that are projected to hit 25+ bombs at the major league level, how many actually end up hitting 25+ bombs at the major league level? Not many. It's still a lofty achievement.
Ichiro belongs in most tool discussions. I think his elite speed and running out of the box hitting style helped his cause more than any other player in the debate. When looking at the raw hit tool, I try to remove the speed from the equation. Yes, Ichiro was a wizard at contact, with elite hand-eye coordination and balance. But his legs turned a lot of weak infield dribblers into base hits, which inflated his average and his historical significance with the bat.
Puig is a grown man with grown man power. It's legit and it plays. He might have 8 raw, and I wouldn't be shocked if he finds a way to make the power play as a legit high 6 or 7. He could be a 30+ bomb type. It's still early for him, and the book hasn't been written yet so spring training results don't mean a lot. But the swing is very power friendly, with lots of lift and backspin ability. He's going to hit balls out of the park. We shall see how he adjusts to major league quality arms after they get a good look at him.
I Jackson belongs in the discussion. We didn't list every player with a case.
A good way to measure raw power is distance, and Mantle was known to hit the ball a very long way.
Baez has more raw power than anybody in the Cubs org. It has 80 potential. I like Vogelbach, but his bat speed doesn't live on the same planet as Baez.
The hit tool is the hardest tool to scout. It's much easier to look at Mantle's tape measure shots or power consistency and arrive at the conclusion that he belongs in the all-time discussion. It's not that Williams was excluded because he doesn't belong in the debate (he does), or that he was excluded because the youth at Baseball Prospectus think baseball started in the 21st century (nice shot at us); although, familiarity helps form the skeleton of subjective analysis. I personally voted for Gwynn because I believe his swing would play in any era, on any field, against any pitcher in baseball, and I'm not sure that statement holds true for every great name in the debate.
28 ABs is a tiny sample. The scouting report is a contact oriented bat, but not an empty swing; he can put a charge into the ball, hence the sneaky power comment.
Thanks for all the kind words. Obviously this type of piece isn't for everybody, and I don't expect it to receive a wam welcome from every reader. But I like to think the meat and potatoes scouting stuff we offer is more than enough to satisfy the hardcore palate, which gives me an opportunity to explore a different delivery when the setting fits. Baseball is a passion, but its not my only passion, and I feel like that is true of the audience as well. This is just one outlet I use to bridge my interests. If you are looking for a meaty scouting report on Mondesi, you can check out the Royals Top Ten and eat your scouting fill. With this piece, I just wanted to invite people into my head for a brief 1000 words.
Many thanks! I love writing for BP because they encourage out of the box thinking, regardless of the delivery.
Org guy; role 3/4 type; strong; limited hitability; 5 arm; 4 glove; 4 hit; 2 run; 2 power.
I think Gumbs is ready to play at HIgh-A; real test for Gumbs and his aggressive approach will come in AA.
The Sally is going to be stacked. I can't wait.
One will miss all of 2013 with TJ; was falling down the list before the injury. The other has 20-grade command and is unlikely to find any mechanical consistency. Assuming he comes back to form, you can make a case for Banuelos, although only in the back-end of the top ten. I don't see a case for Betances.
Yes. As mentioned in the risk factor, he holds a high risk because of a history with injuries. He wasn't a fast mover to begin with, but injuries have certainly slowed the progress.
KG did mention that, and at the time it had merit. But I've seen Culver numerous times since he was drafted, and I just don't see the upside. I don't think he was ever destined to be a star, but the tool package (especially on defense) had promise, and the premium position on the diamond justified the pick. You hit on some and miss on others, and from that same draft, the Yankees hit on Mason Williams and Tyler Austin.
Thanks. Oh yes. Hickory might be the most stacked team in the minors, at least to start the year. I need to make the trip.
One of the bigger names on the 2012 J2 market; signed for seven-figures; converted to catcher; big offensive potential in the stick; project behind the plate. He could be a slow mover because of the developmental demands of the position.
Depending on the source, its a 6/7 pitch. As a starter, he normally works low-90s, and can go get 95+, but the command wobbles at the higher velo. Grades for most players could change if they only worked in bursts, and because Campos projects as a starter, I wanted to profile him as such.
I think Rosario is a better all-around catcher than Sanchez, but I think Sanchez could have the better bat. Rosario is a very good hitter, but his home park really sticks a needle in the numbers.
The bat has the potential to play anywhere on the diamond.
I'll let Zach speak up on the U25, but it might be because of the injury and the uncertainty surrounding that.
But if I can pull off every team before next March, that would be ideal for me as well. Just not sure if I can do it without skipping a few steps or cutting corners, and I'd rather take the series deep into March than sacrifice any quality for the sake of convenience. I'll make it a goal, but I don't want to promise something that I might not be able to pull off. I'll give it every effort, though.
It takes anywhere from 20 to 40 hours to research and write each team. I try to get five to ten outside the org sources on each player profiled, and then I like to talk to the org about developmental progress of each player profiled. It's a major project and I treat it as such. I care more about putting out the best product possible than I do do about your fantasy draft.
Gallo might have the best raw power in the minors; Sano might have a better shot at power utility.
167 AB in 2012; not prospect eligible; not in elite class at highest level. Very good defender, but without the prospect eligibility, hard to get into major league mix.
Many thanks! Mark Anderson deserves a healthy serving of the praise for this series. He has helped orchestrate the debates and turn those notes into a coherent product. It was a cool idea brought to our attention by our fearless EiC Ben, and the entire BP prospect team has participated in the debates. Fun experience.
Wow, good call. Definitely not a player I thought about, but one that deserves some recognition. Excellent.
Well gosh, you seem unable to grasp the concept of this particular exercise.
Good case for White being a legit 8 as well.
Gose wasn't prospect eligible this year, so he wasn't in contention on the MiLB side.
Just sent out a quick industry poll on Griffey, and every source put an 8 on the glove, which was the only tool being debated in this article. I didn't ask about the grade on his range or his arm, just the raw glove score they would assign. Every scouting source called it elite, or suggested it held that distinction at some point during his career.
Best ever? Now that is the real debate, as that is very subjective and I might favor a different player every day of the week. In a pool of 80-grade tools, its very difficult to identify the one that stands above the rest. I remember throwing out names like Cameron and Hunter, two gloves that burned a hole in my memory when I first started focusing on the particulars of tool identification. I know that I can make a case for both, just as many can make a very good case for Griffey.
Given the fact that this was an article debated, discussed and constructed by members of the BP prospect team, not to mention that its a scouting series based on individual tool evaluations, I'm not sure its the best platform for a scouting/stats debate. This is just straight up raw scouting.
It's a good question. First of all, its very hard to scout position players while also scouting the entire game. I find it very useful (when applicable) to sit on one player throughout the course of a game or series. It's narrow, but that's how you can make detailed observations on the player. If you focus on a player long enough, you start to see how he moves, when he moves, why he moves, and the results of those moves. I find it very difficult to make such defensive observations when I'm also watching the pitcher and hitter do their thing.
Along the lines of the "Scouts are good" thought, ability and experience do play a role in the scouting process. I've been around some scouting veterans that seem more engaged in bleacher chatter and gossip than the play on the field, yet when pressed, they saw details of the game that I wouldn't be able to pick up on multiple viewings. It's almost creepy and Jedi-like how a properly trained eye can observe multiple things taking place on the field while also telling war stories to other scouts participating in the same process. Experience and knowing what to look for are major components.
Obviously, not everybody has such scouting gifts and/or experience, so I find it best to really sit on a player for a long period of time to gather such particulars of the skill-set. If you watch long enough, the actions start to become representational. I spend half my life at fields watching games and I can't take photographs of all the actions all of the time.
The basic point is that if you really want to see how a fielder breaks to a ball or reads the ball off the bat and you aren't a Jedi, focus on the player throughout a game. You can hear the ball off the bat and follow the trajectory while watching the initial movements of the fielder in question.
Very good choice. I loved watching him play. Beast.
I'm not a fan of defensive metrics, regardless if they wear the BP brand. When debating these tools, I highly doubt any of the BP prospect team looked at metrics to determine value. It's a scouting series. We all see the game with different eyes, and that should encourage a healthy debate on the subject. It's a subjective exercise, not a definitive list of players based on one specific stat. What fun would that be? The goal is for people to make their own case for players in the comments.
I don't think its good or bad. Just a visual comp.
He has the arsenal to start, but the limited size and whippy arm might best be suited for the bullpen. It's hard to say at this point and I certainly wouldn't rule out a rotation outcome, but if I had to project him, I'd feel more comfortable calling him a reliever, possibly a 7th inning guy at maturity.
It was just an opportunity to get the arms additional work in a controlled environment. Most teams do arrange sim games like this on the backfields during camp.
I stood behind them during the backfield game, but I haven't seen them pitch yet.
Not unreasonable; legit ceiling.
Honest answer? They all have major league projections; most of them have legit impact potential at the highest level. It's pretty sick.
I can't predict injury in a 30-game sample much less a one-inning burst. Some pitchers can just make it work. While some deliveries were better than others, I don't think it would be responsible to discuss injury risk without a much longer sample/evidence that suggests a trend in the stuff/command.
Not a typo. It had the shape of a CB but was thrown at 86 mph, and I was told he calls it a CB. It's funny. I thought it was a slider and it might be a slider, but it looks like a traditional CB on steroids.
They get labeled relievers when the delivery is max-effort and they don't have a projectable breaking ball to work with.
Elander was in the initial discussion; Beckwith didn't survive the first cut.
It's thick. Nats and Royals in the mix for top U25 as well.
Scouts I spoke with still hold out hope for Salcedo, but power potential will always keep the dream alive. Also, KG included him on prospect lists (top 10) each of the last two seasons, as did most prognosticators. If he went off prospect lists two seasons ago, that's news to the internet.
I like pitchers that can move the ball around and change the view for the hitter. When you can spot low in the zone and establish that plane, it's disruptive to throw a pitch that starts (or stays) on a higher plane. You can often achieve this with a tall CB or a fastball up in the zone. Anything to keep hitters off-balance or uncomfortable helps the cause.
I appreciate the comment, but I'm happy with the delivery method we have in place; I think it offers something for both hardcore and softcore scouting fans. I don't consider it to esoteric nonsense.
Excellent call. I'm a fan. It was close. I like the bat. Javier has more actual baseball skills than Cabrera, but I went with the high ceiling, even though the bust rate is crazy.
" Are you too lazy to spell out velocity or explain to the folks you treat like dummies what the latest scout jargon is? Please show me some respect."
Are you too lazy to read the primer at the top of each article? You are the first person to ever complain about the reports in such a manner. If we are disrespecting people because of the latest scout jargon, this is the first I've ever heard about it. I'm just going to assume its your problem, and not ours.
Please show us some respect.
The U25 and the rankings are separate beasts. I constructed and executed the prospect list, and Mark Anderson put together the U25. I'll let him weigh in on the Belt ranking, but I was always high on Belt. Of course, he's a Texan, so you know I'd rank him high on any list regardless of the tools. Ha
Received several positive reports on Blach. It's not special profile, but they might have a major leaguer in the end, which is where the value is found. Like you said, the Giants have a good eye for arms, and they have a good track record when it comes to development.
No. Olt is a similar. Very good 3B, but unlikely to play much 3B because of Beltre at the major league level. This doesn't influence his ranking, though. The scouting report is about the player, not the org.
This is great, Rob
Huh? Scouting in a vacuum: meaning we are just focused on the specifics of the player, not organizational issues/influence.
If Russell can stay at SS, he's a role 7 player or potential all-star. Middle of the diamond players with plus bats are extremely rare and extremely valuable.
Choice is most likely a LF, but he can also handle RF. He has played some CF, but its not an ideal home for him at the major league level.
Highly unlikely given my love of stuff. Guys with upper-80s fastballs rarely turn into quality major league pitchers, and prospect projection is all about what is possible at the major league level.
Most top of the rotation arms have a plus-plus pitch, at least two plus secondary pitches, plus command, durability, and a good approach/feel for pitching. Rare combo
He didn't. He failed to crack the Rangers top ten. He's a good candidate to jump into the top ten in that system next year, but right now, too many questions (too many unknowns) about the skill-set.
Sure. On most team rankings, the "On the Rise" types are usually low-level dreams that could become bigger prospects in 2013. I tend to favor the high ceiling types for that section, so you will find a high number of high risk/high reward types.
Major league depth doesn't influence the list. Prospects are prospects, and we try to evaluate them in a scouting vacuum.
Fringe players don' get much love. If Green was a better prospect he'd get more prospect love. He has a chance to be a second division type. That's the reality of the skill-set. He's a white, hit-tool first 2B type that was originally a SS, so the Michael Young comps are obvious and easy. It doesn't mean Green is going to be Michael Young.
No; 7-upside for a pitcher is basically a number one or a very good number two. I don't have those ranked quite that high.
Nice ceiling; nice prospect; hard to find a spot for him when I couldn't even find a spot for Berrios, a prospect ranked higher in Twins system.
Owings projects to stick at SS with a decent bat and good secondary skills. He's not ready for major league action, but I think there is a good chance that he gets there eventually.
Both are quality arms. I like Fullmer's chances to stick around in a rotation. Tapia is electric, but might end up in the 'pen.
Not far off at all. I can see him taking a very big step forward in 2013
I can't really think of many players with all-star ceilings that didn't get a mention on the list. Rare types. You can go very low in the minors with guys like Sanchez and Gohara in the Mariners system, but the list is very short.
The upper minors exposed more of his weaknesses, which is often the case. He's still a very legit prospect, as the ranking suggests. He's just not without warts.
I'm not sold that Hanson is a SS long-term; Polanco could be a solid CF. Both have legit potential with the stick. I think Polanco has a better chance than Hanson, but others disagree.
The response has been cray. Many thanks to everybody for the comments, both here, in the chat, and on Twitter. Just got back from the fields. Available all night for questions.
MIssing a season is never a good thing, but his work ethic and ability to adjust/overcome setback is a huge positive. I think he recovers his status. I believe in the kid.
Yes. He has wizard potential behind the plate. Very valuable place to find a wizard.
I'm not that high on the guy based on the (limited) reports I received while researching the Dodgers list. Obviously knows how to pitch, but its more pitchability than stuff and that shrinks the error margin. I might be too low on him, but I haven't seen enough to write the report in ink.
Combo, with a heavy lean towards the talent in the minors and the reality of Odorizzi's role projection.
I think it was close. I'm not as high on him as some, and my sources seemed to agree with that assessment. I think his ultimate ceiling is lower than some of the projections being tossed around.
Absolutely. You can make a case that he belongs on the list. I'm not sick over his omission, though.
Peacock would have been in the Top 10.
Both have already been used.
These are great points.
We are using the 2013 draft order, so please send all thanks to the individual teams for their 2012 performance.
I don't think stats have much to do with it, honestly. I don't know any scouts that use stats to evaluate low level players. They use their eyes, and the eyes were very impressed with Russell. He's a top 20 prospect in baseball. He's ahead of Correa, not behind him.
We were both interested in Alcantara after the Bailey trade, but I don't recall the specifics of the podcast conversation.
I think its too early to say. Correa has more projection, but Russell is better now and moving faster. Both have a few question marks about staying at SS; Correa might have the higher ceiling, but comes at a higher risk.
Sure. It's strong enough to play in a corner, but not a plus tool. Depending on how you look at the tool itself (raw strength and utility), it can be rated in both camps.
I greatly appreciate that. The MiLB team tries to bring it with every project.
20" Up to 5
Sure. He has a major league projection. It's most likely a bench OF, but he's a prospect.
I think playing the game at the highest level, regardless of primary position, has more benefit than any potential position specific developmental regression that might occur. You can't simulate the action of the majors in the minors. If they have the talent, they should be fine. It's not like they can't take reps or simulations at the position.
He's top 20, but he wasn't in the discussion for the top ten. Very promising arm; easy delivery; plus FB velo; shows feel for very good CB; good overall feel for pitching. Even if he doesn't throw another pitch in the minors he was a steal. The fact that he is a legit prospect is beyond a draft theft in that round.
Depends on what the low-level (high risk/high ceiling) players do in 2013. I will assume the system takes a hit, but with all that talent, other prospects could step up to take their place.
Top 5 for me. We haven't debated it yet, though.
#3 starter would be a 55 on the 20/80 scale; possibly a 60 depending on the player. It's an above-average to plus role projection.
He's far away; extreme risk. But I love the tools and the upside.
I took a lot of criticism a few years ago when I suggested Alberto had one of the best hit tools in the Rangers system. He does. He can play on the left-side of the infield, although he's not on the same defensive level as guys like Profar, Sardinas, Marte, or Garcia. He isn't a burner, but he can run and he's a smart all-around ball player. I like Hanser a lot. He's not going to crack the top ten in a system like this, especially with a utility/second-division ceiling, but he looks like a future major leaguer in some form.
I think they will be able to locate and acquire talent, but the new CBA sucks for a team like the Rangers, especially in the LA market. It not only limits one of baseball's most talent-rich environments, but it punishes teams for being successful. I'm not a fan.
Machado has a much better chance of being a superstar than most prospects because he does in fact have plus (to plus-plus) tools. He was playing at the major league level as a 20-year-old. That's very special.
At least I didn't suggest he was a "real lady killer." That would have been in bad taste.
Was submitted for BP 2013 back in early January. The book should be released soon, and then we can drop the list on the site. Hopefully next week.
I'd grade Damon's raw arm strength lower than 4, but he did have a quick glove-to-hand transfer and a quick release, which helped his well below-average arm strength play up a bit.
I have his arm graded as a 4. I think arm strength is very important, even in left/center. Normally, those are the positions where weaker arms can still play, but I think that reality has a tendency to downplay the benefit of a strong arm from any/all outfield positions. I can't speak for every scout in the industry, but the ones in my universe have always stressed the importance of arm strength from the outfield, even in spots where weaker arms can survive.
He will never pass Ted Bundy. It's hard to compete with 80-grade charm and an intense wild side.
In all honesty, I wanted Bridwell to make it. When he failed to crack the Top 10, I assumed I could squeeze him in the "On the Rise" section. The problem was that my sources for the article just weren't very high on him. I've put eyes on him a few times, and in one of those appearances he was working in the low-90s and dropping a promising CB. I was impressed and thought he was going to keep getting better. Unfortunately, he just hasn't taken that step forward yet, and the majority of the sources didn't think it was going to happen in 2013 either. He still has a good arm, and with a little extra patience, he might develop into a major league caliber talent. But even in a lower tier system, the case for Bridwell just wasn't strong enough.
The cutter has the potential to be a mind-blowing offering, no doubt. The report isn't based on those five cutters, though. It's a pitch he had as an amateur and its a pitch he currently has in his back pocket. When its time to deploy it, it could be a special pitch. Obviously, forcing Bundy to work on other offerings rather than destroy and humiliate with the cutter was a smart developmental move.
I don't care if I created the stat personally, named it after my dead mother, and wore its qualities like a badge of honor on my bare chest---I found the statement to be ridiculous and I stand behind that.
You make a very good case. I feel the same way, except I might view Hellickson slightly higher.
Clearly there is some question....
Power is power
Yep. They are patient and they have their pitchers throw a lot (and throw their secondary stuff with fastball arm intensity). It's a common refrain to hear pitchers say that throwing is the key to injury prevention. Well, the Rays pitchers throw a lot. I think they do an excellent job of nurturing arms.
All of them
Moore was more valuable in his rookie year than Hellickson was in the past two years combined?
We had him graded as a fringe role 5/role 4 player; most likely a 4th outfielder.
Extremely glowing reports on Snell, both outside the org and inside of BP.
The problem with those scouting distinctions is that the reality of production will properly classify a player, not assumed projections. We can call a pitcher a future number two starter all day long, but he won't become a number two starter until he actually becomes a number two starter.
Jason Cole wrote the U25, but I agree with his take. Moore might end up a high-end pitcher at the major league level; he;s already flashed the potential. But Hellickson isn't a joke, and I think his current standing puts him in the discussion. I think its debatable either way.
Moore's contract shouldn't be a part of the scouting discussion.
Just because a pitcher is athletic doesn't mean he will return to his high school velocity. As professionals, pitchers are throwing more often and against much better competition. It's quite common to see lower velocity. When projecting velo, I look at the way the arm works and the overall projection of the body. It can take time to find your professional rhythm.
Was in the debate, but didn't make the cut. One really good pitch and a projectable curve, but the most likely outcome is a reliever, and its hard to crack the top ten in a really good system if you profile as a high risk reliever.
He's faster than Billy Butler but slower than a well below average runner. It's a legit 2.
Very toolsy, but hit the prospect wall in Double-A. He will play the 2013 season as a 24-year-old, so if he wants to stay on the prospect grid, he will need to take a step forward in a return to the level. As I mentioned in a few of the reports, Double-A is the level that separates players and pretenders. Tools are great, but if you can't make it work in game action, you aren't going to make it. He still has a chance.
I think there are too many doubts about the power to find comfort in an all-star ceiling. His approach could be a problem, and based on the characteristics of the swing coupled with that approach, the huge raw power might remain at rest at the highest level. Wide range of opinion on this kid. Some see a first-division talent while others don't even see a major league regular (because of approach/utility). I'm very curious to see what happens in '13. I'd love to see him blossom into more than I gave him credit for.
Losing picks is certainly an issue, but talent doesn't cease to exist beyond the first round of the draft. Approach is certainly a culprit as well; the Tigers of recent years have been heavy on the college talent at the expense of high-ceiling/high-risk high school talent. Scouts are tasked with identifying the talent, but the front office pulls the string on the deal. On the developmental front, you can't turn a low-ceiling college player into a high-ceiling talent through the magic of instruction. While some orgs are better than others, player development starts with talent.
I disagree. The political and economic climate of Venezuela has already persuaded several teams to vacate their complexes in the region. While high-end talent will find a way to be scouted--either by other teams in the region or in showcases in other locations--any form of diminished focus will result in a form of diminished acquisition.
We had a role 4 evaluation on him.
Scouting by numbers is not a good way of grading a hit tool. He's tot a finished product. He has a long way to go to reach his potential. But the necessary characteristics are there.
This is so cool. Thanks for doing this.
Brisket sammich with smoked sausage and dirty rice.
I absolutely believe that failure is a vital component in the developmental process. Re: Miller, yes, I think his maturity was elevated because of such failures and setbacks. Every player is going to fail, but how they respond to that failure is what separates them from the rest. Some need to fail early and some need to fail late, but it's win-win if the player learns and grows from the experience. As is so often the case, the inability to fail and respond is what dooms players.
Evaluations change as players get closer to maturity (or at least graduation from prospect to player). Of course, it's also a subjective exercise, so what I call a number two might be a number one to others.
The success of the farm is never the singular work of one man, in this case Luhnow. He played an important role, but the same can be said of the scouts that first identified the talent and the player developmental staff for nurturing that talent. The Cardinals have a ton of prospects, but they also have a ton of talented on/off the field personnel that make it all happen. The staff in place will keep the pipeline flowing.
I would say that the violent recoil once featured in his finish has improved. His overall mechanical profile is a red flag to some, but not to all. There is some effort there, but he makes it work and he can hold his stuff into games.
Yes. Son of former pitcher Chuck McElroy.
Yeah, the Cardinals are a dangerous org. They know how to recognize talent, acquire it, and develop it. They are stacked at both the major and minor league levels. They are going to be competitive for a very long time.
Middle of the road case is that he's only a first-division player.
Command is never a bad thing, but you can live in a world with really good stuff and really shaky command in short bursts whereas its more difficult to survive a full game if you can't locate. Some power arms can achieve this out of a rotation, but it's much easier to find success in the 'pen if you happen to be loose.
Look at it this way: You are piss drunk and about to interview for a job. In a short burst in front of a small group of people, you might be able to fake it and survive without much damage. You might even shine if their own approach is loose and they buy into your faux-sobriety. But when the room expands and you have to sell yourself for a much longer period of time and to a much larger pool of people, your chances of success shrink a tremendous amount. In all likelihood, you are going to get exposed and your own issues will work against you.
I actually like Hellickson's breaking ball, although I know it doesn't get the love that his CH receives. But I also don't think Hellickson is a front of the rotation starter. I think he's a very good pitcher that will pitch in the middle of a rotation for a very long time, but not a prototypical frontline type.
As players move from the middle-of-the-diamond (which most do), their offensive production becomes a larger part of the equation. While its true that the specific makeup of a team's offensive structure will dictate how value can be distributed around the field, from a scouting perspective, corner players carry the burden of a greater offensive weight. This is one of the reasons middle-of-the-field players have so much value in the available markets. Ideally, yes, teams would prefer to acquire talent that can play premium positions. But that's not always possible.
Ranking him number one doesn't eliminate the difficulty from the process of ranking him in the first place. Information procurement is a challenge when the sample size is small. We felt we had enough to go on, but it's not like there is a wealth of scouting information and background on Puig. He has a very promising profile, so we put him at the top of the list.
I haven't ranked all the teams yet, so I can't accurately compare the Dodgers with the rest of the league.
I haven't ranked the individual systems yet, but I think the Phillies system could take big steps forward if a a few players blossom, and I think the Mariners system could take a step back if guys like Zunino, Hultzen, Paxton, Franklin don't develop as planned.
I think it's possible, but that's just a guess. I don't think sending an advanced power hitter to the California League will offer much above the obvious. He needs to be challenged by more advanced pitching to advance as a hitter.
First of all, there are so many unknowns with Garcia that you can't put him in any one box with any conviction. The underdeveloped CH is probably the biggest hurdle in the skill-set re: starting
He doesn't have an Ike Turner approach, but I can see a little R Kelly in his swing.
For me, yes. Without a plus fastball or plus breaking ball, I don't see him pitching high up in a rotation. The sources I spoke with agreed, but others in the industry are higher on his profile than I am.
I thought he was overrated in 2011. I know he was missing bats and not walking hitters, but the overall profile didn't impress me. I always saw him as the type that can make it work in the minors but will struggle to make it work in the majors. As much as I would like to evaluate players in the vacuum of their level, scouting is about projecting that player to the highest level. Molina showed the ability to command a deep arsenal and keep minor league hitters off-balance, but the reality is that the stuff was always fringy and required sharp command to play. It's a backend profile at best.
Angels are probably the worst system in baseball. Haven't ranked them yet, but based on a preliminary sketch, the Angels system has a good chance of finishing last.
He doesn't have the same explosion that he used to. I don't see a major league regular.
Yes. Bottom two system.
He didn't make the cut.
3B Luis Castillo is very interesting. Brief profile of his skill-set in the "On the Rise" section.
The system is better than last year, but still among the worst in baseball. The White Sox are notorious for going cheap in the draft and avoiding the LA market. That leaves you with a system devoid of high ceiling talent, made up of mostly low-ceiling college players. Perhaps the 2012 draft is a step in the "right" direction, and the organizational philosophy will be different going forward. I can't speak to that, though. I do think Rick Hahn will be a very good GM and will keep the team competitive, but it's not easy to turn around a system that has been neglected for years. It's not like they can't spot talent. It's more about resource allocation and focusing efforts on the major league team rather than the construction of a sustainable, talent-rich farm system.
Bad profile for me. The bat is unlikely to play as a regular at the major league level, and the defensive profile is on the right-side of the infield. That's not even a good utility profile. It's a fringe major league profile at 2B only. Tough to sell that.
Every team in baseball should have a few major league quality relief arms in their system. Not every team will have frontline guys, or arms that project to be closers, though. Not sure the Sox have any frontline closer candidates in the system.
Unlikely to sneak up, but not a bad prospect. I had a role 4 projection on him. Not a good profile on the left-side of the infield; not a highly projectable stick. He shows some pop and is more than a non-prospect, but not a major league regular for me.
I'm not high on him at all. I don't think he develops into a quality major league contributor.
Molina was not in the running.
Yes; top 101 will first drop in the BP Annual and then on the site.
The Top Tens might still be going when the 101 reaches land.
They haven't really started yet, but it's anybody's guess. Loud whispers that SS Obispo Aybar is older than his 02/26/97 DOB. I heard he might be closer to 19. He ran a ~6.5 60, which is pretty crazy for a kid his listed age.
Thanks for the thoughtful compliment. I appreciate it.
Yes. They weren't swinging for the fences or looking to inflict pain; it was a reminder not to put your feet on the seat.
Sorry for the delayed response. I appreciate the questions and comments. I'm in the DR and have been away from the computer.
I don't see him as a regular at the highest level; role 4/bench OF
I don't have any hope.
Several sources did question his bat speed.
There is a mention of Darin Ruf
Clean deliveries don't always look clean, especially in young arms. The younger they are, the more likely that the mechanical profile and delivery execution are inconsistent. What looks clean and easy for three innings might go sour in the next appearance. Most of the reports on Biddle had positive things to say about his delivery. Hard to scout a pitcher based on a picture, so I can't speak to that.
Martin Kove and the Baseball Hot Stove
I only vote for PED users. When I signed my groupthink contract with BP, I was given a list of PED users to champion on social platforms. Sele wasn't on that list. I can't deviate from the group. I won't deviate from the group. The group is good. The group keeps me safe. I hope the group is reading this. I hope the group loves me.
Trust me that cycling has never been fun to watch.
After reading all of your comments, I had to take amphetamines.
I voted for Bonds because he's one of the best baseball players in the history of the game. I read the book in question. It didn't alter that opinion.
His ceiling at a premium position is a big factor in the ranking. His stats in AA weren't sexy, but the scouting reports about his bat speed were still very promising, as were the reports on his defensive skill-set. I think he's ranked appropriately based on those factors.
I like Olt a lot more than Davidson. The defensive profile is vastly superior. I'd also take Olt's bat over Davidson, but it's not a slam dunk like the defense. I think Olt has more bat speed, and I think he has more impressive raw power. Olt has a chance to be a first-division impact talent, with enough athleticism and baseball skills to play in elsewhere on the diamond if necessary, like an outfield corner.
Suggesting Eaton has a 5 hit tool isn't the same thing as suggesting his hit tool will not play. Hitting .270+ is very impressive when you can add secondary elements to that equation. 5 or average isn't a bad word, nor is it a knock on the player. It's a conservative evaluation based on numerous reports. We can't view all players through the lens of plus or bust. Most players fall in between, right?
If the hit tool falls short of that mark, it will most likely be a result of a swing that can't, 1) time to high-end velocity; 2) can't produce enough bat speed; 3) stay in the zone long enough to make consistent contact; 4) or find the plane of plus breaking stuff.
Even the best minor league hitters will struggle against major league pitching.
Minor nitpicks, really, and not opinions shared by every source. I just tried to be as objective as possible, passing along some concerns from selected sources. Some sources were so high on the kid that they didn't bother mentioning any weaknesses beyond command refinement.
I absolute love Didi's face. It's classic. It says that he's confident and likes to have a good time, but it also says he takes care of business.
I plan on writing him up for the Indians. I'll update that very soon.
Didi plays a premium position at the plus level. We had spirited internal debate his ranking, and his total projection. He could have been listed even higher if I believed the bat would play more.
He wasn't given a higher ranking because he was dealt for Bauer. This isn't Bleacher Report.
Hedges. Bethancourt has the crazy pop times and the insane arm strength, but Hedges is the better receiver and isn't far behind on the arm strength and catch/throw skills. Catching is more than just the physical characteristics, and Hedges has the type of makeup and baseball intelligence to develop into a true field general.
I think his overall defensive profile will struggle to be called average at the major league level, but I do think he will be able to hit enough to make it work.
Not a believer in the toolsy players you listed, but its hard not to enjoy toolsy players. I've always liked Tate, but he's not a very good baseball player, which is ultimately what matters.
Not a wide gap between number three and number four starters. What is a #3 starter? It's most likely a pitcher that has the stuff to be a number two but lacks the consistency, or a pitcher with only average stuff that is consistent and plays up because of it. Ultimately, it's about execution.
It's complicated, and I don't want to speculate on something that I can't back up. Some arms aren't designed to be starters for a variety of reasons. be it that way they warm up, or their in game approach, or their arm action, or their arsenal, or their command, etc. I can't speak to the specifics, but from a developmental standpoint, it might end up being the best thing for the player and the org.
He was another name on the lengthy "On the Rise" list. He is a big, strong kid that can sting baseballs, but its difficult to gauge his progression in the DSL. Stateside ball in 2013 will be the big test. He's a prospect, but next year will start to tell us how legit he is.
I actually like Peterson. I've seen him enough at the position to believe he can stick at the position, but he's not a wizard over there and the tools aren't crazy loud. He's a very good athlete that can play the game, but I think he's more of a role 4 type that might grind his way for more if given the opportunity.
A legit setup arm in a 'pen has a lot of value, as do second-division starters that are standing at the gates of the majors. The goal of the minors is to produce major league quality talent, and the Padres should have a lot of that. Hedges, Liriano, Friend, Ross, and Wisler all have high ceilings, as do two of the three "On the Rise" players, and I could have listed several more high ceiling players, but they aren't in the same prospect tier at the present.
We will be there.
That's the ultimate projection. I think he gets close to that. His bat can be delicious.
He's not prospect eligible. 199 career AB at the major league level.
Low risk second division types have a lot of value. Second division shouldn't be viewed as a knock. Franklin should find himself in the Top 101. He's a good player.
Heredia was even bigger at the same age, standing close to 6'6''. It's really hard to say because the two pitchers have different backgrounds, different approaches, etc. Gohara is a lefty with pretty serious stuff for his age; Heredia had an equally impressive fastball, but his secondary stuff wasn't flashing at the same level. Again, its really hard to compare the two arms. Not many reports exist on Gohara.
You don't want the ball to carry a catcher's glove after impact. Catcher's are responsible for framing the ball. Salesmen of the strikezone, if you will. If you let the glove drift, you could negatively affect the call. Zunino has some drifting issues to work out.
A fast arm is exactly what it sounds like. As reductive as it is, some arms are simply faster than others, and the arm speed is a vital characteristic of a pitcher's profile. The faster the arm, the more explosive the pitch.
That Tacoma (Triple-A) roster could feature seven prospects from the Top Ten, not to mention a few other players that were in Top 10 consideration. Stacked isn't a strong enough word.
Paxton uses both a two-seam fastball and a four-seam fastball.
He was bad in the Midwest League in 2012, both in terms of numbers and in the scouting reports. He wasn't in consideration for the top 10. I'm not sure he could crack the top 20. He still has a lot of upside, but the questions about his pitch recognition skills and overall approach are a big concern.
On ceiling, he can stand with Walker. But that's not a reality we can embrace yet. He is still a 16-year-old without a professional record. We can be aggressive with his ranking, but we can't go absolutely crazy yet.
Wow. This is fantastic.
This tickled me. Loved it.
Not a fan of the profile. Corner infielder with suspect bat.
Legit pop; legit holes in the swing and the approach.
The current top 10 will only graduate a few prospects, and with the draft, it might be hard to sneak onto the list. Lupo has a chance, though. The bat could be really good. If the reports are promising, he will have a good chance.
Sure; that's usually the case. In short bursts, the intensity of the arsenal plays up.
I never thought his bat was special. He can make a ton of contact, but that doesn't mean he can always make good contact. It's almost Vitters like. The swing is nice and the coordination is excellent, but the decision making doesn't allow the tool to execute at a high level. Making contact on a ball that you can't drive is a waste, and most likely an out.
If he can hit .270 (5 hit tool) with 4 game power (11-17 HR), that will keep him playing everyday. Not sure at what position or with what team, but somebody will find that production appealing.
I would have traded Wright, but that's an easy statement for me to make. Inside the org, trading Wright is a more complicated task, both in terms of talent acquisition and public relations.
Depends on the changeup, but several sources thought it was possible. When you look at the age and the present arsenal, a bullpen future looks like the more likely outcome, though.
He is. The Mets did very well in this trade. It could end up being very significant for the franchise.
Yep. Big impact in the top guys; quality profiles in the middle-tier; newfound depth at the lowest levels. This is a good system. It's not elite, but they have some dudes.
Easily a top 15 system.
Catchers can take longer to develop than other position players. Not uncommon to log more time in the minors.
Let's name all the sub 5'9'' right-handed starters with fringe changeups who had success in the majors. I'll start.....
3: Well below-average
6: Above-average (Plus)
7: Well above-average (Plus-plus)
I'm cautious of players that turn their full attention to baseball at this stage of the game. I think it puts them behind the developmental curve, and if baseball instincts aren't already present, they are unlikely to arrive. I love toolsy athletes, but without a feel for the game, they are long shots to develop.
Secondary stuff has a long way to go.
While a number three starter should be considered a high ceiling, that term is usually reserved for the tier above that, players that profile near the top of a rotation (1/2).
Yes. Top 100 prospect, but not in the same tier as Sanchez/Syndergaard
I highly doubt that Sanchez/Syndergaard get traded, much less for Dickey. They are well on their way to elite status in the prospect world.
Very impressive system. Top tier despite the trades. Not sure of their ultimate rank yet, but they will be in the discussion for top system.
He has legit raw pop, but his approach is very aggressive and opens up him to massive exploitation at the higher levels if he doesn't refine.
I'm against the Navy SEAL training.
Not enough data (scouting or otherwise) on Puig to compare him to a player with a more substantial record. I know several international scouts that are still very unsure about Puig.
He wasn't in the discussion. I'm not a big fan of the defensive profile, which puts more pressure on the bat, and I have legit questions about the ultimate projection of the bat. Top 20 for sure, but tough to crack the top ten in this system.
Yes. i'm a big fan of Marte.
I would. It's close, though.
I'm not sure if he will get any taller, but he's plenty tall now. He's not going to be a chiseled athlete; its not his genetic profile. But if he gets the job done, the package doesn't matter.
KG has a fetish for little 2B. It's why he decided to go to the Astros. He wanted to be closer to Altuve.
Sure. Rhythm hitting is about timing, or operating the swing with a specific timing mech. Some hitters are purely read/react types, while others are locked into a more consistent groove with their swing.
It's a tough place to play. Cuthbert wasn't very good in 2012, but his potential is still legitimate and worth acknowledgment.
Cuthbert has good makeup; outside sources and team officials will comment on it. But he did have a setback season where he struggled on and off the field. It happens. He's very young and playing at an advanced professional level. But his quality make up should allow him to overcome these setbacks. I think there is a difference between maturity and makeup.
But maybe a 6. Stuff is worthy of a 6.
Probably a 5
Control is the ability to throw stikes. Command is the ability to throw quality strikes (or balls; hitting spots outside of the zone is equally important).
Defensively, I'd take MIddlebrooks over Lawrie. I never felt comfortable with the metrics that said he was a near-elite defender. He's solid, but spastic, and I have a high opinion of Middlebrooks.
I'd take Iglesias. I think Hechavarria has the better chance to hit, but I think Iglesias is the better defensive shortstop.
I think it has more to do with two different writers and two different evaluations. Chris Melln produced the U25 list/paragraph. His personal evaluation of Bradley's bat might be different than the one expressed in the player report. In all fairness, the difference is slight, as an optimistic assessment of his bat could make him a top-of-the-order type, while the more conservative view would push him down the order a bit. It could go either way.
It depends on the pitcher. Personally, I prefer tall, athletic pitchers because of the leverage involved.
ETA doesn't suggest when a prospect will get significant playing time in the majors; rather, it indicates when a player will arrive at the level. I can see both Barnes and Brentz getting cups of coffee in '13.
Yes. We will produce a comprehensive ranking of all the systems in baseball after we finish will all the individual team breakdowns.
Legit power, but difficult profile (LF) and the swing has a lot of miss. Without a tighter approach, the upper minors will chew him up. Pitchers with a plan can already get him to expand and follow their lead.
I think he can stay on the left-side of the infield, at least from a scouting perspective, with 3B being the best fit for his skill-set. That's not to say he couldn't hang at SS for a few more years, even if the quality isn't high. He might eventually end up in RF, but that's a destination born from organizational need rather than a tool-based deficiency.
I don't think its a makeup issue; rather, it's most likely maturity related, which is a very subjective observation to begin with. The expectations placed on these kids are very high, and when teenagers exhibit teenaged behavior, they are often criticized because of their professional [read: adult] occupation.But that's the nature of the beast and the reports have to reflect that.
I think it all starts with health. It's hard to paint a picture of a player unless you get to see a functioning product. I'd like to say that a healthy Ranaudo is a pitcher that can contribute at the highest level, but in what form I can't say. I would wager that its in relief, but I'd like to see what it looks like at 100% before putting him in that box.
The great Chris Mellen created the U25 list, so he is better source to ask. But judging by the players on the list, Kalish falls a bit short, at least for me.
Not good enough?
I think it depends on the offensive structure of the team. If you can get above-average offense elsewhere in the line-up, especially from spots normally viewed as deficient offensive roles (catcher, center), you could put a .230 hitter in the 9-hole if the value of his glove is that legit. I think premium defense up the middle is under-appreciated in a game that often celebrates runs over run prevention. Iglesias might not produce runs, but he would help prevent them.
Sure. That could happen. Middlebrooks has a quality glove. It wouldn't be ideal, especially from the standpoint of range, but it would inject the bats into the lineup. From a Red Sox fan perspective, I would hope Iglesias eventually steps up and claims that role. His defense makes the team better, but his bat isn't going to carry any of the weight. If Iglesias makes it work, Bogaerts has the athleticism and arm to handle a move to RF.
I love this kid.
I think the top four are very strong; thins after that, but some of the depth have legit ceilings and potential to develop. I think its a good (not great) system.
Because how many players at the major league level have actualized 6+ hit, 6+ power? In combination with the ability to play on the left-side of the infield, I think that creates an all-star ceiling. It's not a common package.
1.) Maybe a platoon future. Maybe some hope.
2.) All you have to do is click on the player name to link to their BP player card. More stats available on that page. It's just one click away.
Hamels had a more consistent FB, better CB, and his CH was/is at least a full-grade better. They have a similar profile, but Hamels became elite for a reason. That CH is a near 8 pitch, which makes everything else look better as a result.
Not necessarily. It would depend on the tool in question and the context of the discussion. When I say "at present," I just want to clarify that I'm not talking about a projection or a future grade.
Exactly. He was on the bubble for the list, with a sinking, low-90s fastball, impressive changeup, and not as impressive breaking ball. #4/5 profile without a ton of upside but good pitchability.
I don't actually consider them to be the same thing. It might seem confusing, but a pitcher can have all the characteristics of a number one starter but not be an "Ace." As I mentioned, Aces are created at the major league level through high-end performance and consistency. Justin Verlander entered major league baseball with a number one ceiling, but only through his consistent high-end performance did he emerge as an ace.
Aces are extremely rare, and they usually posses either pinpoint command or multiple secondary offerings in the plus-plus range (or both). Fernandez is a hoss, but I don't think the changeup achieves that level of maturity. Of course, "Aces" don't exist in the minors. Aces can only appear at the major league level, when the on-the-field results achieve a high-standard over an extended period of time.
I wouldn't think so. That's not a very attractive package. If you want Stanton, it would take several blue-chip prospects, and possibly some young major league talent.
Rodriguez has already been playing a lot of 2B, and I think he has the athleticism to handle the OF; Paulino will be a 2B/3B in the end. These issues were addressed in the player evaluations above.
The systems just haven't been pitching heavy. It doesn't have anything to do with the acronym behind the curtain. I think this is a study that needs to be done after every team has been profiled. While its entirely possible that a pitching bias exists. It's impossible to make that determination after only five teams and 50 players. I don't think it will be a 50/50 split, but more pitchers will represent in arm-heavy systems like Pittsburgh, Arizona, and Toronto, while systems like Texas will be very hitter friendly.
The proper response is: #want
Great question. I'm going to say "Mezzanine" by Massive Attack. It's not ubiquitous, but those lucky enough to know it praise it. It's as good today as it was 15 years ago. That will be Lindor if he hits his ceiling. He's going to be worth listening to for 15+ years and the production will be slick. He might not have any blockbuster singles (awards), but people won't complain when he gets a spin and he will be a quiet influence on a world of music that gains more popularity.
Again, a lot of it comes down to time issues rather than personal taste. Decisions have to be made. Revolution #9 is a major time chewer; Bungalow Bill is over before it begins, so it doesn't clog the bases.
For me, "Mother Nature's Son" is a sleeping pill. I love McCartney, but I can do without some of his more mawkish romps that just don't have enough thorns to stand up. That's just a personal take. "Martha My Dear" is another one of his tracks that just leaves me flat. I can appreciate the composition and execution of the piece, but I just don't want to listen to it very often. When he drifts into sentimentality, I often drift away.
His swing isn't going to cut it at higher levels. Nice raw pop, but Double-A will be a brick wall for this guy.
I am a believer in the sense that I recognize that he has raw tools. I've never seen those tools translate to on-the-diamond skills, though. I'm not a believer. He never looked like a baseball player to me. You can't learn feel.
Yep. I think its possible. Low ceilings, of course, but a chance to stick around.
Tough year for him; most likely a reliever, and a high risk type. Hard to sneak into the top 10 with that profile, even in a system that is in the back half.
Nope. Savoy Truffle is a cool little jam. I love the feel of that song. Very underrated track. I didn't have enough space on the record to include Julia. I was maxed out. Again, I had to make tough choices based on time, not just preference.
When you are trying to make the track list fit under a certain time, you have to make hard choices. And yes, that's cheating.
I've whittled the White Album down to one full-length record before. Here's the track list (which has been timed and fits under standard length):
Back in the U.S.S.R
The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Happiness is a Warm Gun
I'm So Tired
Why Don't We Do It In the Road
Everybody'S Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey
Cry Baby Cry
One record. One brilliant record.
I highly recommend watching "Pelotero." It's on Netflix. Half of the documentary is about the process of signing Sano; most notably, some of the shady maneuvers by Rene Gayo and the Pirates. Basically, Gayo helped create (or at least exploit) an age investigation on Sano that scared off teams and lowered his original valuation.
"Trying to grab him" is certainly one way of looking at that particular signing process. That was a shady scene.
I don't think Sano's hit tool is without projection; drop him in the majors now and he hits .150. He has plenty of room to grow, but that growth has an ultimate ceiling. Buxton has a wider gap between the present/future, but the ceiling of tools like hit, glove, etc. are much higher than Sano's. Big difference between a 4/5 hitter and a 6/7 hitter.
Production does matter. Sano has shown solid tool utility in game action, and I think he was given credit for that. This was a tough debate. Buxton didn't run away with unanimous support.
Keep in mind, Buxton was considered by many to be the top player available in the entire draft. This isn't just a top draft pick. This could have been THE top draft pick. To compare him to another high dollar five-tool talent in a previous draft, Bubba Starling, Buxton grades out higher. He has a special ceiling. That buys him a lot of helium, especially right out of the gate. Now he will have to produce to justify the lofty ranking, and if he struggles in his first full season, the reports and the evaluations should document that.
Performance is only one part of the equation. Buxton's tool profile is superior, which is ultimately what justified the #1 spot.
It's possible, but I think his potential is likely to remain in the same range. I think his OFP is very high. This isn't a guy that is likely to pitch at the top of a rotation, though. Those guys are rare. If he develops into an ml #3, that's huge.
Yeah, if you check the primer at the top of the page, there is a glossary of terms. It means the same thing. Sometimes I just use raw and sometimes I add the power after the raw. I like to keep it fresh.
I received utility futures on him, and those were optimistic.
Yep. 8 raw power
His minor league stats certainly suggest he is a better hitter, but that doesn't make him the better prospect. Hicks still has a lot of upside, and he plays a premium position on the diamond.
Good things about Hicks. It's the overall profile that helps with the ranking. Hicks can play CF at a high level and he has good secondary skills. That's a sexy combination. Will he get there? Not sure. I will assume Arcia's bat will play better, but Hicks still has the chance to be a bigger impact player because of his position.
The entire Sano/Buxton debate article (released tomorrow) will focus on the value of power. Great question.