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dodgerblues

Wieters vs. Clement vs. Conger

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Ok, here are the three top AL catching prospects. Let's discuss the following:

a) who's the top overall prospect?

B) who has the highest ceiling?

c) who's closest to contributing?

d) who's got the best bat? power?

e) defense/arm?

Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles

21 years old

6'5", 230

Bats: S, Throws R

Team's current starting catcher: Ramon Hernandez (31 years old)

2007 (Georgia Tech): 218 AB's, .358 BA, .480 OBP, .592 SLG, 1.072 OPS, 10 HR, 59 RBI, 2 SB

2006 (Georgia Tech): 259 AB's, .355 BA, .480 OBP, .606 SLG, 1.086 OPS, 15 HR, 71 RBI, 3 SB

Jeff Clement, Seattle Mariners

24 years old

6'1", 210

Bats: L, Throws R

Team's current starting catcher: Kenji Johjima (31 years old)

2007 (AAA): 455 AB's, .275 BA, .370 OBP, .497 SLG, .867 OPS, 20 HR, 80 RBI, 0 SB

2007 (Mariners): 16 AB's, .333 BA, .462 OBP, .524 SLG, .985 OPS, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB

2006 (AA/AAA): 304 AB's, .263 BA, .334 OBP, .382 SLG, .716 OPS, 6 HR, 42 RBI, 0 SB

Hank Conger, Los Angeles Angels

19 years old

6'0", 205

Bats: S, Throws R

Team's current starting catcher: Mike Napoli (26 years old)

2007 (Rookie League/A): 305 AB's, .289 BA, .333 OBP, .466 SLG, .799 OPS, 11 HR, 51 RBI, 9 SB

2006 (Rookie League): 69 AB's, .319 BA, .382 OBP, .522 SLG, .903 OPS, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 1 SB

2006 (High School): 78 AB's, .449 BA, 11 HR, 27 RBI, 1 SB

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I know more about Jeff Clement than the rest. I grew up in Iowa and followed his amazing high school career where he set the national high school record for HRs at 75. He then had a great college career.

I think Clement answers your questions a-d. He's by far the closest to contributing---the Mariners took him #3 overall and new he'd be ready in a couple years. I think he has terrrific power and a great bat and a great ceiling. He'll be an all-star eventually.

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I had to get to class so I threw my thoughts down quickly. I'll elaborate a little more:

C) Who's the closest to contributing?: Clement already has some ML experience as well as a couple years of AAA. No one else is even close to that. Clement has the edge there

D) Who has the best bat/power?: Clement had 20 HR at a full year of Triple-A

B) Ceiling? I think its pretty subjective

A) I would argue that Clement is the best overall.

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I'd take Clement for A-D, but Conger is close on power. Weiters is probably best on defense with Conger trailing significantly.

Here is a fairly good scouting report on Clement:

http://www.moundtalk.com/prospects/jeff-cl...couting-report/

Here is a good writeup on Conger:

http://armchairangel.mlblogs.com/armchair_...bout_hank_.html

And my only experience with Weiters has been seeing him in college.

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I see Wieters as the best prospect of the three. He reminds me very much of Joe Mauer, only much taller. I can see the guy being a .330, 25 HR, 90 RBI guy down the line. Clement is the safe pick amongst the three and is the most likely to succeed, but I'm not sure I like how the Mariners are handling him. I thought he was ready to start or at least see Kelly Shoppach-like time last year, but the M's seem happy to keep Kenji behind the plate for at least another year. Wieters, on the other hand, might likely replace Hernandez as soon as late this year and push Hernandez to a DH role. Conger has the most potential for power amongst the three but obviously is the youngest and the furthest away from seeing big league AB's. The guy has 30+ HR power and good control of his bat.

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agreed Wieters will be a huge star, probably 2010-11; think Posada w/ more power. Of the three he is easily the best defender w/ the best arm (was also Ga.Tech's closer on occasion), the only thing that may hold him back is his size (kinda big for a C). But hes very athletic, and great makeup. I'm not an O's fan nor do I own him in a league. The fact that Angelos paid Boras (most all of) what he wanted speaks volumes. He pretty much defines cant miss prospect.

There are doubts about the other two staying at C, mainly due to defensive liability. I can see that w/ Clement, and as long as Johjima continues to play so well and remain "affordable" the Mariners will probaby move Clement or turn him into a 1B/C. His best attribute is his bat, maybe comparable to Ramon Hernandez at his peak. Clement is definitely closer to MLB than Wieters but not by much.

I think it would be a mistake to move Conger. He's plenty young & athletic enough to learn the nuances of MLB, and his potential is too good to dismiss so early. His bat is terrific, maybe not Wieters power but close. A future star I think. I also cant help but wonder what in the world is going on w/ Max Sapp. Drafted just ahead of him, and has done nothing but struggle. I watched him grow up & play ball here in Orlando, big strong kid, plenty of power and great batting eye. Maybe next yr he'll show it.

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wieters is the most complete hitter of the three, and defantiely has the edge on defense.......he's got loads of power and controls the strikezone extremely well.....and as others mentioned, his path to the big leagues is wide open - i see him starting in AA next year and ending the season with the o's, heading into '09 with the job all his........

clement is going to put up 30 jacks/year once he's rolling, but a switch to 1B looks likely to me......he'll settle in as a .250-.260 hitter though, so that will drag down his value further

conger has loads of skills, but a 19 year old catcher with back problems scares the hell out of me.........can't see him staying at the position if he's already have those kinds of problems.......none the less, you got to like the guy! vote hank!

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I agree with d wag...Wieters is the best prospect. Clement has alot of raw power but Wieters' approach is really advanced and will consistently put up a better BA than Clement with similar power numbers. Conger has great power and he will be a player in time. I like Conger better than Clement long term term but Clement is really close to the majors at this point. Conger is so far away, I dont think he's really worth talking about yet.

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Just curious, but with Johjima in Seattle, is it believed that they're gonna move Clement?

And if so, what would they be looking for with him, pitching?

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Just curious, but with Johjima in Seattle, is it believed that they're gonna move Clement?

And if so, what would they be looking for with him, pitching?

Clement wouldn't be the one to get traded. He's younger, cheaper, and has much more potential. It seems to me that what's going to happen is Clement will see about 200-300 at-bats splitting time between DH and catching. They might just split DH/C duties amongst the two to keep both their legs fresh. But it looks as though Clement will need either a trade of Johjima or an injury to see the AB's he's ready for. I really believe that Wieters is closer to seeing regular playing time because he's a much better catcher (defensively) than Hernandez is at this point and the O's have more flexibility in moving Hernandez to a DH or 1B role. I see Wieters making the team out of spring training as backup and earning his way to pretty regular AB's by mid-season.

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Clement wouldn't be the one to get traded. He's younger, cheaper, and has much more potential. It seems to me that what's going to happen is Clement will see about 200-300 at-bats splitting time between DH and catching. They might just split DH/C duties amongst the two to keep both their legs fresh. But it looks as though Clement will need either a trade of Johjima or an injury to see the AB's he's ready for. I really believe that Wieters is closer to seeing regular playing time because he's a much better catcher (defensively) than Hernandez is at this point and the O's have more flexibility in moving Hernandez to a DH or 1B role. I see Wieters making the team out of spring training as backup and earning his way to pretty regular AB's by mid-season.

I doubt they'd put Wieters on the team to be a backup....they'd want him playing everyday, even if it's down in AAA instead.

And I was just hoping, cause if possible I'd love to see Clement on the Mets. Short of Posada who will ask for too many years/$$$ for an aging catcher, I'd take a chance on Clement every day over any of the other alternatives if he was available. If he hits for a 650 OPS, I can at least live with it because he's got potential and is only going to get better.

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I doubt they'd put Wieters on the team to be a backup....they'd want him playing everyday, even if it's down in AAA instead.

And I was just hoping, cause if possible I'd love to see Clement on the Mets. Short of Posada who will ask for too many years/$$$ for an aging catcher, I'd take a chance on Clement every day over any of the other alternatives if he was available. If he hits for a 650 OPS, I can at least live with it because he's got potential and is only going to get better.

The thing is Baltimore doesn't have a backup catcher signed and it's rumored that they are atempting to trade Hernandez. It seems like the door is wide open for Wieters. I'd say get him to the club, let him get used to the big stage and working with big league pitchers and give him some time to practice chasing down Daniel Cabrera wild pitches. He should still see AB's like Shoppach did last year.

You're dreaming with Clement unless you're willing to part with a top prospect.

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Wieters hands down .. it may take a few years but as far as catcher's go he's as close to a sure-fire MLB stud as you can find. If he doesn't make the majors by next year he'll be top 5 on almost everyone's prospect lists.

Clement has potential but will have trouble keeping his BA above .270 in the majors. He'll provide some good pop and eventually end up at first.

Conger is full of potential but I don't think he'll ever realize it as a catcher. Injury problems will force a move and kill his value.

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Ok, here are the three top AL catching prospects. Let's discuss the following:

a) who's the top overall prospect?

B) who has the highest ceiling?

c) who's closest to contributing?

d) who's got the best bat? power?

e) defense/arm?

Some really great comments so far. Here are my thoughts:

a) Wieters

B) Wieters

c) Clement

d) Best Bat: Conger / Wieters / Clement Best Power: Clement / Conger / Wieters

e) Wieters [huge gap] / Clement / Conger

I agree that Wieters is the only sure thing as a catcher. The O's instantly moved Brandon Snyder, a former 1st round pick, from all catching duties once Wieters was drafted. I think Conger has to stay healthy. If he does he moves to first. As for Clement it depends on the team but I wouldn't want him to catch for my team. He could be a poor man's Mike Piazza. Lots of power but a much lower batting average.

Wieters is by far the best prospect overall. If both stay at catcher I would have Conger next and then Clement but I would flip flop them if Clement catchers and Conger moves to 1st or DH.

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Wieters faired pretty well in Fall-ball from what I recall for not ever playing against minor leaguers.

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