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Who's better - Carlos Gonzalez, Desmond Jennings or Austin Jackson?

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In what order would you rate these guys in terms of highest ceiling and fantasy value? Carlos Gonzalez, Desmond Jennings and Austin Jackson?

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Gonzalez, Jennings, Jackson.

Though Jackson's RBI/Run totals will get better being in a powerhouse Yankaphobic order ( provided they still are when he gets up, or he doesnt get traded to the Twins)

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Immediate impact: Gonzales...though I think Jackson will have the best career.

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Well this one is a bit tricky because of positions.

Jackson can play CF, and has the best chance to play CF of these 3 because of their current teams.

Jennings can also play CF, but he has BJ Upton blocking him there for a long time now, so I see him either in LF (Once Crawford gets too expensive for the Rays) or in RF.

And Gonzalez can play CF too, although he's more suited for RF with his arm, and thats probably where the A's are going to play him. Maybe he will play some games in CF, which will get him qualified for CF in some years in some leauges.

On pure bat, I'd say Gozalez, Jennings, and Jackson. I think Jennings and Jackson are pretty close though, and it could go either way.

On a positon to value ratio, I'd say Jackson, Gonzalez, Jennings, as of now. Now if, the other two are put in CF, they obviously just go with the first list.

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Well this one is a bit tricky because of positions.

Jackson can play CF, and has the best chance to play CF of these 3 because of their current teams.

Jennings can also play CF, but he has BJ Upton blocking him there for a long time now, so I see him either in LF (Once Crawford gets too expensive for the Rays) or in RF.

And Gonzalez can play CF too, although he's more suited for RF with his arm, and thats probably where the A's are going to play him. Maybe he will play some games in CF, which will get him qualified for CF in some years in some leauges.

On pure bat, I'd say Gozalez, Jennings, and Jackson. I think Jennings and Jackson are pretty close though, and it could go either way.

On a positon to value ratio, I'd say Jackson, Gonzalez, Jennings, as of now. Now if, the other two are put in CF, they obviously just go with the first list.

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Thanks for your responses. So what you are saying is that if you could only have one of these guys on your fantasy team for the next 5 years, it would be Gonzalez?

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I'm going to first say that if you have *any* of these 3 guys in your minors system, you should be tickled pink.

Having said, I'm going to stick with my original analysis on an earlier thread, and put them *long-term* as follows:

Jennings

Gonzalez

Jackson

(and they were razor-thin in separation)

The reason why is simple, from a fantasy perspective - you rarely get the 20+ HR, 50+ SB, .300 combo - there's really no coincidence to why the Rays labelled Jennings as "CC Jr." after drafting him. The *only* knock is that he hasn't shown any of his sick skills yet at Double-A or above. Having said that, he has great speed, is a great baserunner, and has high contact rates *and* shown extra-base power in both his professional seasons. Put another way - his numbers at his age so far have actually been better than Carl Crawford's, albeit a 1 level lower (a big difference, but tantalizing nonetheless). Plus, the other intangible factor is that the Rays are incredibly high on him, and given their ability to identify talent in position players, I am more than willing to nudge him up ahead of the other 2.

(For the record, I have a feeling he'll crack Baseball America's top 40, and be the highest riser this year, since he wasn't even closed to ranked, and by 2009 he'll be top 10 easily).

Gonzalez has even better tools, but he's had difficulty translating that to results. Now, when you as much talent as Gonzalez, that could clearly be a blip, much like Hanley Ramirez's indifferent 2005 minors numbers. But, you also have to add in the fact that Gonzalez is going to probably the worst situation and the worst hitter's park for his power, and when you add in the makeup issues that have been raised, I'm more than happy to take Jennings ahead of him.

As for Jackson, it's clear he's got as much raw talent, but he doesn't have Gonzalez's power, or Jennings natural basestealing ability. He's no slouch, as 20/20 or 30/30 is his ceiling, but I love the 40+ HR guys, or the 20/50 guys - when you add in his early stuggles in 2005 and early 2006, I think it puts him 3rd on the list. On the plus side, he's got such a sick skill set that once the Yankees corrected one flaw in his swing, he's been flat-out raking both in high-A and then Hawaain Winter Ball. Of course, 1 more season of success would convince many of us, but that's the whole point of minors drafts - it's easy once most are convinced, the key is to get in ahead of the curve.

In AL-only, these are *elite* prospects IMO. In mixed-league, I think Gonzalez and Jennings are top 50 material, and Jackson either bubbles in or just outside the top 50. Can't go wrong either way.

Put another way - I have the #5 & #7 picks in my AL-only minors draft, and I know for a fact it's going Wieters / Moustakas / Price/ Porcello (don't ask about the usual studs, they're *all* gone - Longoria, Buchholz, Joba, Snider, etc.). I'm going with Jennings #5, and I'm taking whoever of Gonzalez/Jackson is left at #7, and be very happy I've got both.

P.S. If you need results this year, then Gonzalez gives you the edge - but, in most formats that I know of that include minors, this isn't as important, so I've ranked them as above.

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Thanks for your responses. So what you are saying is that if you could only have one of these guys on your fantasy team for the next 5 years, it would be Gonzalez?

Thank you for your perspective - much appreciated. I kind of like Jennings the most of the 3 mentioned as well - but as you say, any of these 3 would look good on my team.

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Jennings has to prove it at a higher level before he gets taken ahead of Gonzalez or Jackson. Jackson confirmed his great year with a good showing in Hawaii winter ball and Gonzalez has been a stud for years now. Gonzalez and Jackson are top 30 prospects in the majors and Jennings is just outside the top 50 with a chance to make a major jump next year if his power translates at higher levels.

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While Oscar is right, Rotobronco just crawled out of my MIND! Insane. I don't really see any warning signs that say that Jennings won't be able to do this at higher levels. His contact rates and batting eye are exceptional, and while it seems as if he might be susceptible to inside pitching because he crowds the plate, I mean, that's something that isn't a flaw. Gonzalez has flaws in his swing, so does Jackson. I'm super mega big on Jennings, and for EXACTLY the reasons that Rotobronco says, would take him without a doubt.

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Jackson 20

Jennings 21

Gonzalez 22

This is the age of the three players. I think that is the biggest thing overlooked when evaluating talent. I think Jennings has the most potential but the worst chance of filling that potential. I think Gonzalez has the least potential but is the safest pick of the three with Jackson in the middle.

I just has a long talk with Branon Snyder about Jackson and he was impressed with his hard work. Don't have any inside scoop on the other two. However, FSL has big parks and Jackson hit 10 bombs in 258 abs. With power usually being the last tool to develop, this was impressive to me.

I would draft them as follows:

1) Jackson (likely 20/20 with .300+ avg; max 30/30 winning batting titles)

2) Gonzalez (likely .260 avg with 25 hr; max .300 to .320 avg 40 to 50 hr)

3) Jennings (likely 50+ SBs. afraid to project anything else yet)

Jennings might be the best of the three in 5 years but I have seen a ton of players crumble making the jump from low A to high A or double A. Gonzalez and Jackson have succeded facing much better talent.

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Jackson 20

Jennings 21

Gonzalez 22

This is the age of the three players. I think that is the biggest thing overlooked when evaluating talent. I think Jennings has the most potential but the worst chance of filling that potential. I think Gonzalez has the least potential but is the safest pick of the three with Jackson in the middle.

I just has a long talk with Branon Snyder about Jackson and he was impressed with his hard work. Don't have any inside scoop on the other two. However, FSL has big parks and Jackson hit 10 bombs in 258 abs. With power usually being the last tool to develop, this was impressive to me.

I would draft them as follows:

1) Jackson (likely 20/20 with .300+ avg; max 30/30 winning batting titles)

2) Gonzalez (likely .260 avg with 25 hr; max .300 to .320 avg 40 to 50 hr)

3) Jennings (likely 50+ SBs. afraid to project anything else yet)

Jennings might be the best of the three in 5 years but I have seen a ton of players crumble making the jump from low A to high A or double A. Gonzalez and Jackson have succeded facing much better talent.

Nice analysis - it appears that different conclusions can be drawn from the same data, and nothing wrong with that. Your explanation for each player in your rankings is why I'd rank them in opposite order - the most likely projections have Jennings with 50+ SB's, Gonzalez with .260 power, and Jackson with 20/20 potential. As for ceiling, you're not pegging Jennings, but his ceiling is being evaluated right now as unlimited except power - 25-30 HR's is probably his max, and .300+ is very possible. Gonzalez hitting .300 seems pretty iffy with his mechanics and track record, but even .280 and 40+ HR's would be a monster contributor.

It's funny, in that I only have a few differences in the analysis you gave, but it shows how much personal values change the rankings - I'd much rather go for the highest ceiling possible, and when their ceilings are all good, I'd rather take the 20 HR, 50+ SB, .300 guy, then the 40 HR guy, then the 30/30 guy.

And you're *absolutely* correct on the A-ball issue being Jennings' major blemish - but when it comes to minors guys, I don't mind taking chances, especially since *none* of these guys are going in the top 3 picks of an AL-only minors draft (Wieters, Moustakas & Price are pretty locked in there), from there on it's just a matter of perspective.

And don't get me wrong, I need to be clear on this - they're all stud prospects in my book, you can't go wrong either way, and BA & BP are in agreement.

P.S. Age-wise, it's a little misleading - Jennings is only 4 months older than Jackson, so by Opening Day 2008 they're both 21, while Gonzalez is only a full year older than Jennings. Given that they're 22 or less come Opening Day, the Gonzalez difference *might* be a factor, but the difference between Jennings & Jackson is trivial IMO.

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