Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

CrypTviLL

Scouts, INC. Top 20 MLB Prospects per ESPN

Recommended Posts

Top 25 prospects

posted: Monday, January 29, 2007 | Print Entry

I'm pleased to present the first annual Scouts Inc. top baseball prospects list. Given the late start we got on pro coverage last year, this list is short, with the top 25 prospects ranked and another 10 who merited consideration listed alphabetically afterward.

Here are a few notes to explain where the rankings came from.:

• Both ability (tools) and performance count. The closer the prospect is to the majors, the more important his performance becomes.

• Players must still have rookie eligibility to qualify.

• Players with little or no pro experience, or only experience in a complex or rookie league, don't make the cut. Andrew Miller and Luke Hochevar would both be candidates for this list if I chose to include them, but I'd rather see how players really adjust to the pro game before ranking them against players with full-season experience. For example: Clayton Kershaw was outstanding in the Gulf Coast League this summer -- but he was facing mostly 18-year-olds who were swinging wood bats regularly for the first time.

• I also excluded Japanese players. Even though they're rookies, they're not "prospects" in any conventional sense of the term, especially since they have already played in a major league.

• As always, proximity to the majors counts. The list is largely populated by players with at least some Double-A experience, and of the A-ballers on the list, only Cameron Maybin looks like he won't move that quickly. To put it another way, if you're still in A-ball, you need to have superstar potential to rate highly in these rankings.

With that in mind, here's a quick rundown of the top prospects in the minors.

1. Alex Gordon, 3B, Royals

A complete hitter with a chance to be an above-average glove at a skill position. Ready for the majors now, and the leading non-Japanese contender for Rookie of the Year if he makes the big club in April.

2. Delmon Young, RF, Devil Rays

More raw talent than Gordon, but problems with his patience and his temper push him to No. 2. It would still be a huge upset if he doesn't become a big star, hitting for average and power with good defense.

3. Chris Young, CF, Diamondbacks

Power-walks-strikeouts. Probably a 50-55 bat at his peak, but for a center fielder, this is a star-caliber bat.

4. Philip Hughes, RHP, Yankees

Hughes vs. Homer Bailey is a toss-up. Hughes is more polished, with outstanding control, and he ends up higher because he has more probability than Bailey, who has the ceiling.

5. Homer Bailey, RHP, Reds

If it all clicks for him, he's a No. 1 starter, one of the only such candidates in the minors. Lots of power in a classic Texas workhorse build.

6. Fernando Martinez, CF, Mets

Martinez doesn't look or carry himself like a teenager, and he had no trouble against Double-A and Triple-A pitchers in the Arizona Fall League. A plus glove in center, as well.

7. Adam Miller, RHP, Cleveland

Plus-plus fastball, holds his velocity deep into games, plus slider and plus command. Could use a solid third pitch, and has some minor delivery issues to work out, but he's a potential No. 1, as well.

8. Brandon Wood, SS, Angels

Swings and misses an awful lot, but even if he ends up at third base, this kind of power is tough to ignore -- and if he stays at shortstop, he's a star.

9. Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pirates

Jumped two levels to Double-A at age 19 and didn't miss a beat. Legit center fielder who can fly, already hitting for plus power and controlling the strike zone, too. He and Martinez are the two early leaders for the No. 1 spot next winter.

10. Jose Tabata, CF/RF, Yankees

A teenager in a full-season league who showed nascent power, excellent hand-eye coordination and good pitch selection. Ranks below Martinez because he probably won't be a center fielder long term and because Martinez reached high-A and performed well.

11. Yovani Gallardo, RHP, Brewers

Good-sized kid with 90-93 fastball and a hard 12-to-6 curve in the upper 70s, as well as good control. Here's hoping he avoids the arm problems that have derailed almost every other Brewers pitching prospect of this decade.

12. Billy Butler, LF, Royals

Can hit, and hit for power, but shouldn't be allowed within 15 feet of a glove.

13. Evan Longoria, 3B, Devil Rays

Lower ceiling than a lot of guys on this list, but at worst he's a high-contact, high-OBP hitter with moderate power. Should be a defensive asset.

14. Ryan Braun, 3B, Brewers

As opposed to Longoria, Braun can hit and has more power. But he is a liability at third and will end up in left (or, if the Brewers are willing to take a risk, in center).

15. Cameron Maybin, CF, Tigers

More tools than Home Depot, but lacks the polish of Fernando Martinez or the discipline of Jose Tabata. With development, he could easily be one of the top three or four prospects in the game next winter.

16. Tim Lincecum, RHP, Giants

Could probably pitch in the majors now as a reliever, putting up stat lines reminiscent of Mitch Williams' better years. Devastating high fastball/hammer-curve combination, with one of the crazier deliveries you'll ever see.

17. Josh Fields, 3B, White Sox

Offensively, there's not much of a drop-off (if any) from Joe Crede to Fields right now. For a player with limited baseball experience coming out of school, Fields has advanced very quickly and shown better strike-zone command than you typically see in multisport guys. I think there's quite a bit of growth left here, given his background.

18. Adam Jones, CF, Mariners

Jones is just a few weeks older than Delmon Young and outhit him in Triple-A this year. He's still raw in center and overaggressive at the plate, but he projects as an above-average bat and glove given some more development time.

19. Adam Lind, LF, Blue Jays

Classic left-handed swing, with good power potential as he fills out. Like Fields, he gets bonus points for being ready to play in the majors right now.

20. Carlos Gonzalez, RF, Diamondbacks

Easy power, good athlete, zero patience. Makes the list on ability, but with as much flameout risk as anyone else in the top 25.

21. Reid Brignac, SS, Devil Rays

Only thing keeping him out of the top 10-15 is his position. His defense improved this year, but he's still erratic, and the Rays do not have a good track record at improving the defense of their prospects.

22. Matt Garza, RHP, Twins

Great arm who raced through the minors and may be forced into a major league role a bit before he's ready.

23. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Rockies

Good range in the field, a 70 arm and plus power? I'll take two.

24. John Danks, LHP, White Sox

Has some fastball command issues to work out, but he's very close to the majors, more so than any of the pitchers on the honorable-mention list below.

25. Andy LaRoche, 3B, Dodgers

Plus bat, plus plate discipline, average power and not a great athlete. Should be an above-average third baseman in the bigs.

Honorable mentions

• Nick Adenhart, RHP, Angels

Ability matches that of the top guys on the list above, but he hasn't proven it at upper levels, and he'll need to show he can handle larger workloads as he gets further away from 2004 ligament replacement surgery.

• Jay Bruce, RF, Reds

I'm probably the low man on Bruce, for a couple of reasons. One is that he's already consigned to right field. A bigger one is that, at this point, he's a pull-oriented, fastball hitter who really struggles against left-handed pitchers and against righties with good off-speed stuff (especially changeups). He's a good athlete with good pull power and plus speed, but 2006 wasn't a good step forward for him.

• Clay Buchholz, RHP, Red Sox

Outstanding fastball/curve combo, but he was a bit old for low-A, making his dominance at that level less impressive. Should spend all or most of 2007 in Double-A.

• Elijah Dukes, OF, Devil Rays

If he would stop trying to unseat Milton Bradley as the Angriest Man in Baseball, he'd be on the list above. Catch him on the right day, and he'll show a 70 bat and 60-70 power. The most impressive thing I saw in the AFL this year was when Dukes (a right-handed hitter) swung at a ball that was off the outside corner and jerked it over the left-field fence.

• Brandon Erbe, RHP, Orioles

Still mostly just a live arm, but made some progress with his slider. Control is a tick below average, and his fastball command comes and goes.

• Phil Humber, RHP, and Mike Pelfrey, RHP, Mets

Pelfrey misses the cut until he has a breaking ball he can really use, while Humber's continued arm troubles (he was shut down again in the AFL, supposedly as a precautionary measure) keep him off the list.

• Eric Hurley, RHP, Rangers

Still some projection here, but he's already working with two plus pitches, and he survived the Cal League. Better long-term prospect than Danks, but Danks gets the nod because he's nearly ready.

• Chuck Lofgren, LHP, Indians

Tall lefty with an average fastball and a plus changeup. Equally effective against left- and right-handed batters in 2006. I'd like to see a better breaking ball before he cracks the top 20-25.

• Felix Pie, CF, Cubs

Ability is still there, but the power he flashed in 2005 wasn't apparent in 2006.

• Colby Rasmus, CF, Cardinals

Made my first rough cut at 25, but LaRoche's proximity to the majors won out. Just needs development time.

• Justin Upton, CF, Diamondbacks

I imagine this will be the most controversial placement. Upton's tools grade out at or just below Maybin's, but he didn't perform at the level of the A-ball teens on the list above (even playing in the best hitters' park of the bunch), and while it may not be fair, brother B.J. is now four years out and still hasn't established himself in the majors.

One other name to keep an eye on is Atlanta shortstop Elvis Andrus, whose performance in 2006 was nothing special but who is already a good defensive shortstop, has good bat control and was the second-youngest player in full-season ball this year (Fernando Martinez is about six weeks younger than Andrus). He's not one of the 40 or 50 best prospects in baseball yet, but as a legit shortstop with the tools to hit, he's a sleeper and the kind of prospect who can go from nowhere to the top half of a list like this in one year.

My white sox have Fields at 17, and danks at 24 B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

this was helpful. I was looking for a link to the rotoworld prospect article written a few weeks ago, but this was helpful.

Just picked up Adam Miller and Yovani Gollardo to stash in my 2 minor league spots B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'm tired of pelfrey getting tooled on for 'not having a breaking ball.' he has one, and it's decent, it's just not great... yet. he's a groundball machine right now though.

whatever, being a mets fan right now is awesome. between martinez, humber, pelfrey and gomez there are 4 legit prospects. add to that milledge, reyes and wright, and you have a lot of good years ahead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

personally...i think jay bruce should be in all top 25 lists

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brandon Erbe of the Baltimore Orioles is just 19 with an upper 90s fastball.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Despite the struggles, Gordon is still #1. He'll come around, and, like your list says: HE IS BETTER THAN BILLY BUTLER!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hidden

hand on the communicative satisfied cialis multiform <a href=http://clip.nifty.com/entry/0b6090a82b9e481c7924e4a02b1a0db8f21869b2>cialis</a> clarifying, we insufficiency to assistants disadvantaged communities with reduced connectivity to access furlough revealing edness, and to mean

Share this post


Link to post
Hidden
hand on the communicative satisfied cialis multiform <a href=http://clip.nifty.com/entry/0b6090a82b9e481c7924e4a02b1a0db8f21869b2>cialis</a> clarifying, we insufficiency to assistants disadvantaged communities with reduced connectivity to access furlough revealing edness, and to mean

Uhhh....burrito?

Share this post


Link to post

Top 25 prospects

posted: Monday, January 29, 2007 | Print Entry

I'm pleased to present the first annual Scouts Inc. top baseball prospects list. Given the late start we got on pro coverage last year, this list is short, with the top 25 prospects ranked and another 10 who merited consideration listed alphabetically afterward.

Here are a few notes to explain where the rankings came from.:

• Both ability (tools) and performance count. The closer the prospect is to the majors, the more important his performance becomes.

• Players must still have rookie eligibility to qualify.

• Players with little or no pro experience, or only experience in a complex or rookie league, don't make the cut. Andrew Miller and Luke Hochevar would both be candidates for this list if I chose to include them, but I'd rather see how players really adjust to the pro game before ranking them against players with full-season experience. For example: Clayton Kershaw was outstanding in the Gulf Coast League this summer -- but he was facing mostly 18-year-olds who were swinging wood bats regularly for the first time.

• I also excluded Japanese players. Even though they're rookies, they're not "prospects" in any conventional sense of the term, especially since they have already played in a major league.

• As always, proximity to the majors counts. The list is largely populated by players with at least some Double-A experience, and of the A-ballers on the list, only Cameron Maybin looks like he won't move that quickly. To put it another way, if you're still in A-ball, you need to have superstar potential to rate highly in these rankings.

With that in mind, here's a quick rundown of the top prospects in the minors.

1. Alex Gordon, 3B, Royals

A complete hitter with a chance to be an above-average glove at a skill position. Ready for the majors now, and the leading non-Japanese contender for Rookie of the Year if he makes the big club in April.

2. Delmon Young, RF, Devil Rays

More raw talent than Gordon, but problems with his patience and his temper push him to No. 2. It would still be a huge upset if he doesn't become a big star, hitting for average and power with good defense.

3. Chris Young, CF, Diamondbacks

Power-walks-strikeouts. Probably a 50-55 bat at his peak, but for a center fielder, this is a star-caliber bat.

4. Philip Hughes, RHP, Yankees

Hughes vs. Homer Bailey is a toss-up. Hughes is more polished, with outstanding control, and he ends up higher because he has more probability than Bailey, who has the ceiling.

5. Homer Bailey, RHP, Reds

If it all clicks for him, he's a No. 1 starter, one of the only such candidates in the minors. Lots of power in a classic Texas workhorse build.

6. Fernando Martinez, CF, Mets

Martinez doesn't look or carry himself like a teenager, and he had no trouble against Double-A and Triple-A pitchers in the Arizona Fall League. A plus glove in center, as well.

7. Adam Miller, RHP, Cleveland

Plus-plus fastball, holds his velocity deep into games, plus slider and plus command. Could use a solid third pitch, and has some minor delivery issues to work out, but he's a potential No. 1, as well.

8. Brandon Wood, SS, Angels

Swings and misses an awful lot, but even if he ends up at third base, this kind of power is tough to ignore -- and if he stays at shortstop, he's a star.

9. Andrew McCutchen, CF, Pirates

Jumped two levels to Double-A at age 19 and didn't miss a beat. Legit center fielder who can fly, already hitting for plus power and controlling the strike zone, too. He and Martinez are the two early leaders for the No. 1 spot next winter.

10. Jose Tabata, CF/RF, Yankees

A teenager in a full-season league who showed nascent power, excellent hand-eye coordination and good pitch selection. Ranks below Martinez because he probably won't be a center fielder long term and because Martinez reached high-A and performed well.

11. Yovani Gallardo, RHP, Brewers

Good-sized kid with 90-93 fastball and a hard 12-to-6 curve in the upper 70s, as well as good control. Here's hoping he avoids the arm problems that have derailed almost every other Brewers pitching prospect of this decade.

12. Billy Butler, LF, Royals

Can hit, and hit for power, but shouldn't be allowed within 15 feet of a glove.

13. Evan Longoria, 3B, Devil Rays

Lower ceiling than a lot of guys on this list, but at worst he's a high-contact, high-OBP hitter with moderate power. Should be a defensive asset.

14. Ryan Braun, 3B, Brewers

As opposed to Longoria, Braun can hit and has more power. But he is a liability at third and will end up in left (or, if the Brewers are willing to take a risk, in center).

15. Cameron Maybin, CF, Tigers

More tools than Home Depot, but lacks the polish of Fernando Martinez or the discipline of Jose Tabata. With development, he could easily be one of the top three or four prospects in the game next winter.

16. Tim Lincecum, RHP, Giants

Could probably pitch in the majors now as a reliever, putting up stat lines reminiscent of Mitch Williams' better years. Devastating high fastball/hammer-curve combination, with one of the crazier deliveries you'll ever see.

17. Josh Fields, 3B, White Sox

Offensively, there's not much of a drop-off (if any) from Joe Crede to Fields right now. For a player with limited baseball experience coming out of school, Fields has advanced very quickly and shown better strike-zone command than you typically see in multisport guys. I think there's quite a bit of growth left here, given his background.

18. Adam Jones, CF, Mariners

Jones is just a few weeks older than Delmon Young and outhit him in Triple-A this year. He's still raw in center and overaggressive at the plate, but he projects as an above-average bat and glove given some more development time.

19. Adam Lind, LF, Blue Jays

Classic left-handed swing, with good power potential as he fills out. Like Fields, he gets bonus points for being ready to play in the majors right now.

20. Carlos Gonzalez, RF, Diamondbacks

Easy power, good athlete, zero patience. Makes the list on ability, but with as much flameout risk as anyone else in the top 25.

21. Reid Brignac, SS, Devil Rays

Only thing keeping him out of the top 10-15 is his position. His defense improved this year, but he's still erratic, and the Rays do not have a good track record at improving the defense of their prospects.

22. Matt Garza, RHP, Twins

Great arm who raced through the minors and may be forced into a major league role a bit before he's ready.

23. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Rockies

Good range in the field, a 70 arm and plus power? I'll take two.

24. John Danks, LHP, White Sox

Has some fastball command issues to work out, but he's very close to the majors, more so than any of the pitchers on the honorable-mention list below.

25. Andy LaRoche, 3B, Dodgers

Plus bat, plus plate discipline, average power and not a great athlete. Should be an above-average third baseman in the bigs.

Honorable mentions

• Nick Adenhart, RHP, Angels

Ability matches that of the top guys on the list above, but he hasn't proven it at upper levels, and he'll need to show he can handle larger workloads as he gets further away from 2004 ligament replacement surgery.

• Jay Bruce, RF, Reds

I'm probably the low man on Bruce, for a couple of reasons. One is that he's already consigned to right field. A bigger one is that, at this point, he's a pull-oriented, fastball hitter who really struggles against left-handed pitchers and against righties with good off-speed stuff (especially changeups). He's a good athlete with good pull power and plus speed, but 2006 wasn't a good step forward for him.

• Clay Buchholz, RHP, Red Sox

Outstanding fastball/curve combo, but he was a bit old for low-A, making his dominance at that level less impressive. Should spend all or most of 2007 in Double-A.

• Elijah Dukes, OF, Devil Rays

If he would stop trying to unseat Milton Bradley as the Angriest Man in Baseball, he'd be on the list above. Catch him on the right day, and he'll show a 70 bat and 60-70 power. The most impressive thing I saw in the AFL this year was when Dukes (a right-handed hitter) swung at a ball that was off the outside corner and jerked it over the left-field fence.

• Brandon Erbe, RHP, Orioles

Still mostly just a live arm, but made some progress with his slider. Control is a tick below average, and his fastball command comes and goes.

• Phil Humber, RHP, and Mike Pelfrey, RHP, Mets

Pelfrey misses the cut until he has a breaking ball he can really use, while Humber's continued arm troubles (he was shut down again in the AFL, supposedly as a precautionary measure) keep him off the list.

• Eric Hurley, RHP, Rangers

Still some projection here, but he's already working with two plus pitches, and he survived the Cal League. Better long-term prospect than Danks, but Danks gets the nod because he's nearly ready.

• Chuck Lofgren, LHP, Indians

Tall lefty with an average fastball and a plus changeup. Equally effective against left- and right-handed batters in 2006. I'd like to see a better breaking ball before he cracks the top 20-25.

• Felix Pie, CF, Cubs

Ability is still there, but the power he flashed in 2005 wasn't apparent in 2006.

• Colby Rasmus, CF, Cardinals

Made my first rough cut at 25, but LaRoche's proximity to the majors won out. Just needs development time.

• Justin Upton, CF, Diamondbacks

I imagine this will be the most controversial placement. Upton's tools grade out at or just below Maybin's, but he didn't perform at the level of the A-ball teens on the list above (even playing in the best hitters' park of the bunch), and while it may not be fair, brother B.J. is now four years out and still hasn't established himself in the majors.

One other name to keep an eye on is Atlanta shortstop Elvis Andrus, whose performance in 2006 was nothing special but who is already a good defensive shortstop, has good bat control and was the second-youngest player in full-season ball this year (Fernando Martinez is about six weeks younger than Andrus). He's not one of the 40 or 50 best prospects in baseball yet, but as a legit shortstop with the tools to hit, he's a sleeper and the kind of prospect who can go from nowhere to the top half of a list like this in one year.

Wow, the lower the ranking, the better they turned out. I always feel like the top pedigree prospects falter. How come we still can't accurately predict future prospect success??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually that list looks funny becauseit puts much more value on guys that were closer to the majors. It actually says that right on top. The only player info I actually read was on Braun, and it was spot on lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow, the lower the ranking, the better they turned out. I always feel like the top pedigree prospects falter. How come we still can't accurately predict future prospect success??

Because people aren't psychic. Almost all of the modern-day superstars made the list, seems pretty accurate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.