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dodgerblues

My AL top 5 by position and top 20 overall

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After much consideration, I have finally prepared my AL prospect rankings for the upcoming season. The rankings are based on full potential, likelihood of reaching potential, and production thus far. Players closest to contributing at the major league level are ranked a bit higher for the sole reason that they've most likely already proven that they can make it.

Of the players listed, I've seen a few in person and read countless scouting reports and seen video of all.

Catcher

1. Matt Wieters, Baltimore

2. Matt Clement, Seattle

3. Hank Conger, Los Angeles

4. Taylor Teagarden, Texas

5. John Jaso, Tampa Bay

1st Baseman

1. Daric Barton, Oakland

2. Lars Anderson, Boston

3. Chris Parmelee, Minnesota

4. Jordan Brown, Cleveland

5. Zach Daeges, Boston

2nd Baseman

1. German Duran, Texas

2. Sergio Santos, Toronto

3. Jesus Guzman, Seattle

4. Mike Hollimon, Detroit

5. Trevor Plouffe, Minnesota

3rd Baseman

1. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay

2. Beau Mills, Cleveland

3. Chris Davis, Texas

4. Brandon Wood, Los Angeles

5. Kevin Ahrens, Toronto

Shortstop

1. Mike Moustakas, Kansas City

2. Jed Lowrie, Boston

3. Carlos Triunfel, Seattle

4. Reid Brignac, Tampa Bay

5. Sean Rodriguez, Los Angeles

Outfield

1. Travis Snider, Toronto

2. Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston

3. Wladimier Balentien, Seattle

4. Carlos Gonzalez, Oakland

5. Austin Jackson, New York

RH Pitcher

1. Clay Bucholz, Boston

2. Joba Chamerlain, New York

3. Ian Kennedy, New York

4. Rick Porcello, Detroit

5. Radhames Liz, Baltimore

LH Pitcher

1. David Price, Tampa Bay

2. Jacob McGee, Tampa Bay

3. Gio Gonzalez, Chicago

4. Tyler Robertson, Minnesota

5. Aaron Laffey, Cleveland

Top 20 Overall

1. Clay Bucholz

2. Evan Longoria

3. Travis Snider

4. David Price

5. Jacob McGee

6. Matt Wieters

7. Joba Chamberlain

8. Ian Kennedy

9. Daric Barton

10. Rick Porcello

11. Jacoby Ellsbury

12. Gio Gonzalez

13. Matt Clement

14. Lars Anderon

15. Beau Mills

16. Hank Conger

17. Radhames Liz

18. Wladmier Balentien

19. Mike Moustakas

20. Carlos Gonzalez

Notable omissions: Wade Davis, Jose Tabata, Justin Masterson, Michael Bowden, Adam Miller, Brett Anderson, Phillippe Aumont, Elvis Andrus, Alan Horne, Nick Adenhart, Eric Hurley, Luke Hochevar, Anthony Swarzak, Fautino de los Santos, Chuck Lofgren, Jeff Niemann, Desmond Jennings, Bill Rowell, Justin Ruggiano

Bonus - Most likely to close in the majors:

1. Radhames Liz, Baltimore

2. Fautino de los Santos, Chicago

3. Oneli Perez, Chicago

4. Trevor Cahill, Oakland

5. Jacob McGee, Tampa Bay

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2nd Baseman

1. German Duran, Texas

2. Sergio Santos, Toronto- I think he's playing SS in the AFL, no? And i think he's projected to have to move over to the hot corner eventually...

3. Jesus Guzman, Seattle

4. Mike Hollimon, Detroit

5. Trevor Plouffe, Minnesota

Shortstop

1. Mike Moustakas, Kansas City

2. Jed Lowrie, Boston

3. Carlos Triunfel, Seattle

4. Reid Brignac, Tampa Bay - I'd put him ahead of Lowrie, to be honest witchu.

5. Sean Rodriguez, Los Angeles

Outfield

1. Travis Snider, Toronto

2. Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston

3. Wladimier Balentien, Seattle - i pretty much agree on the whole OF...

4. Carlos Gonzalez, Oakland

5. Austin Jackson, New York

RH Pitcher

1. Clay Bucholz, Boston

2. Joba Chamerlain, New York

3. Ian Kennedy, New York

4. Rick Porcello, Detroit - i think Porcello will end up having a better career, but i think you may have put Kennedy this high seeing as he has already hit the bigs for a bit.

5. Radhames Liz, Baltimore

LH Pitcher

1. David Price, Tampa Bay

2. Jacob McGee, Tampa Bay

3. Gio Gonzalez, Chicago

4. Tyler Robertson, Minnesota

5. Aaron Laffey, Cleveland

Top 20 Overall

1. Clay Bucholz

2. Evan Longoria

3. Travis Snider - highest I've ever seen him ranked...dont necessarily disagree, though.

4. David Price

5. Jacob McGee

6. Matt Wieters

7. Joba Chamberlain

8. Ian Kennedy

9. Daric Barton

10. Rick Porcello

11. Jacoby Ellsbury

12. Gio Gonzalez

13. Matt Clement

14. Lars Anderon

15. Beau Mills

16. Hank Conger

17. Radhames Liz

18. Wladmier Balentien

19. Mike Moustakas

20. Carlos Gonzalez

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Love the thread, like the list a lot...

One thing I'd shy away from is viewing lists by top 5 by position - I don't believe FBB owners should fill needs with a lower-ceiling 3B than a high-ceiling OF because in the end, getting the more talented player wins out (you can always trade later to fill needs or the regular draft). Plus, we have to fill 5 OF spots and only 3 CI/MI spots, while we do need to fill 2 C spots in a league that doesn't have enough starting C's, we also have to fill those 5th OF spots - so while C is important, having more OF's in the list makes sense, too, especially if the talent is better. So, with that said, here are a few notable changes I'd make....

Catcher - Gotta downgrade Conger, only because I think he moves to DH/1B - not written in stone, but a big concern. Teagarden may be blocked, but if his elbow holds up, makes #3. Jaso is OK, but nowhere near the top 3.

The 3 I'd be interested in are Wieters (by a mile), then Clement (by a mile again over #3), then Teagarden, barely ahead of Conger (but only because of position issues). Jaso doesn't even come close ceilling-wise, so I'd leave #5 blank.

Bottom Line:

1. Matt Wieters

(Big gap)

2. Jeff Clement (I know you didn't mean Matt)

(Big gap)

3. Taylor Teagarden

4. Hank Conger

(HUGE gap)

5. ???

1B - I'd add Mills to this list, as he really can either DH or play 1B. Because Barton has serious power issues for a position that traditionally calls for it, I'd revise the rankings accordingly:

Bottom Line:

1. Lars Anderson

2. Beau Mills

3. Daric Barton

4. Jordan Brown

5. Chris Parmalee

(Not many gaps, pretty evenly spaced - I love Lars though - FWIW, if Conger makes the switch, I'd put him #4/#5).

2B - I'd almost ignore this position, because to me, the majority of MLB stars @ 2B usually get moved over from SS (Brian Roberts, Utley being the most notable exceptions, and in the past, Roberto Alomar). Can't argue with Duran & Guzman, I'd agree that Santos moves to the hot corner.... if Lowrie gets traded, I wouldn't be surprised he goes to 2B for the Twins, and he'd be at #1/#2... Holliman & Plouffe, I'd leave them off, and just put the top 3:

1. German Duran, no Jed Lowrie, no Duran, ahh...call it Jed Lowrie

2. Germano Duran

(Fair gap)

3. Jesus Guzman

SS - I'd be leery of downgrading Brignac, it's just a very weird year - how does a LH hitter struggle against RHP's and not LHP's? I'd put him solidly at #2. With Lowrie gone, I'd put Andrus right with Triunfel - both have similar skill sets, and definite issues with projectibility (unlimited ceiling, but so much projection involved at this stage). As with Jaso, I'd put Rodriguez out of the discussion, and leave #5 blank.

1. Mike Moustakas

2. Reid Brignac

(Fair gap)

3. Carlos Triunfel

4. Elvis Andrus

(Huge gap)

5. ???

3B - I agree with Longoria at #1, but he's so far ahead, I'd put Eva Longoria #2 (well not really, but you get the idea). Because Mills moves to 1B IMO, I'd also flip-flop Brandon Wood with Davis, but both have issues, and monster power potential. I guess Wood could move back to SS, but if he stays @ 3B, he'd be more advanced than Davis, with the same 40 HR+ potential, so he gets the nod. In the same mold as Brignac, I'm not ready to bail on Rowell - let's give him 1 more year before we toss him out of the 3B mix. Ahrens is a worthy #5, but again, well behind the guys discussed (and with Mills moving over, #4 - I'd leave #5 blank), and we really need to see how he fares in High-A.

1. Evan Longoria

2. Evan Longoria

3. Evan Longoria

(Yes, the gap is that huge)

2. Brandon Wood

3. Chris Davis

4. Bill Rowell

(Fair gap)

5. Kevin Ahrens

Outfield

Here, I say we gotta go 10 deep, or at least try to, given the almost double number of positions to fill, and the talent here - there are a lot more OF's that will make an impact than some of the bottom 4-5 IF's.

One of 2 major differences - I don't see Balentien as having the same kind of ceiling as the others in the top 5. Also, I'd definitely put Desmond Jennings in the top 5 - if we're going to include natural talent and have Carlos Gonzalez there (which I totally agree with), then Jennings gets the nod. In fact, I'd nudge him ahead of Austin Jackson, and because of Gonzalez's makeup issues, I wouldn't be adverse to nudging Carlos down. FWIW, the top 5 I'm listing are sick in terms of potential, so it's no real slight - I just think 20-25 HR, 50+ SB guys are even more special than 30/30 guys - I call it my "Carl Crawford man-crush" blind spot, LOL. Snider's got the best bat, but absolutely ZERO speed, which is the only reason why I think the rest of the elite monster OF prospects catch up to him...

So, here goes:

1. Travis Snider

2. Desmond Jennings

3. Carlos Gonzalez

4. Austin Jackson

5. Jacob Ellsbury

(Mix the top 4, throw any order you want, I can't really argue - I'd definitely add Jennings to the mix, and concede that the ceiling for all 3 of the "toolsy" guys <Jennings, Gonzalez, Jackson> is unlimited, but Gonzalez has yet to translate it consistently, Jennings has done so in his 1.5 seasons but needs to show it Double-A to convince everyone, and Jackson did have an awful start to his career and 2007, which has been well documented, and I do think the mechanics change may be responsible - his Hawaain Winter Ball results support this. In the end, I'm leaning to give the edge in the toolsy guys to the guy the Rays call the next CC Jr. - they haven't missed on many position player prospects, and I can't help but think their trade of Delmon Young was influenced by Jennings' meteoric rise and their belief in him. I only put Ellsbury at #5 becaues I think his power potential is dwarfed by the others, and in Jennings' case, he matches the SB potential.)

(Small gap)

6. Wladimir Balentien

7. Jose Tabata

(Tabata's decrease in speed and wrist # are concerning, otherwise he'd have been right there with top 4 - Balentien's .270-.280 .avg projection as a best case scenario makes him a superb, but not elite OF prospect IMO).

(Big gap)

8. Engel Beltre

9. Ryan Kalish

(Two more guys with unlimited potential, but very raw - Beltre, or slightly lower ceilings - Kalish - still shouldn't be ignored in AL-only drafts, great fliers)

10. ???

(Tempted to put Ruggiano in, but really think at age 26, we're seeing a AAAA player, so I'll leave it blank).

RHP

My only other area where I'll make big changes, by dropping *both* Kennedy and Liz. Liz is Daniel Cabrera re-incarnated, *without* the control.....which means you get my point, LOL. Kennedy's ceiling is what you see, so I tend to downgrade them, more a matter of perspective.

Here goes....

1. Clay Buchholz

2. Joba Chamberlain

(The difference between their styles is drastic, but ranking-wise, you could go Clay/Joba, Joba/Clay, and get absolutely *zero* argument from me...)

(HUGE Gap)

3. Rick Porcello

4. Faustino de los Santos

5. Wade Davis

6. Nick Adenhart

(All of these guys have #1 power pitcher potential, and in Adenhart's case, again not ready to bail on him after 1 off-year.)

(FAIR Gap)

7. Eric Hurley

(He profiles a potential #1, but not quite as high as the others IMO, and the Texas environment scares me...)

LHP

Here, the only difference I have is my exclusion of Laffey - not a single out pitch, worried he'd be the next Chacin/Sowers. Because he has a wider arsenal and even better command, I'd put Anderson here, but well behind the top 4, so...

1. David Price

(Big Gap - and McGee/Robertson are potential studs; Price could be *that* good)

2. Jacob McGee

(Small Gap)

3. Tyler Robertson

4. Gio Gonzalez

(Three #1 SP's as well, just not quite in Price's stratosphere)

(HUGE Gap)

5. Brett Anderson

(Almost tempted to leave it blank, but Anderson's makeup nudges him into relevance....)

OVERALL

In our league, we get more *bang* for our buck if we draft players who break out and register their first rookie season (> 130 AB, 50 IP, or 45 days on the MLB roster, etc.) in 1-2 years, not this year - the salary goes from $10, then to $5, then $1. So, in some ways, getting the high-ceiling guys early is better, but I also realize in most leagues it may not work that way. Also, I tend to take bats over SP's, given the higher injury risk, and I have a need for speed. So, keeping in mind my biases, here's the straight-up top 20 for the future (let's say 2010-beyond)....

1. Evan Longoria

2. Clay Buchholz

3. Joba Chamberlain

4. Matt Wieters

5. David Price

6. Travis Snider

7. Mike Moustakas

8. Jacob McGee

9. Jeff Clement

10. Desmond Jennings

11. Carlos Gonzalez

12. Lars Anderson

13. Austin Jackson

14. Jacoby Ellsbury

15. Rick Porcello

16. Reid Brignac

17. Brandon Wood

18. Carlos Triunfel

19. Beau Mills

20. Jose Tabata

Again, I love the thread, and as you can see, much of what has been said is repeated, just different perspectives.

Great stuff.

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Rotobronco and Dodgerblues rockonbigtime.gif

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Great list, but I have to disagree with a couple of things.

Teagarden is ahead of Conger for me. I'm fairly certain that, barring another catastrophic injury, he will make it to the majors, and he will play catcher for the Rangers, probably in '09. My theory is that he and Salty will split C/DH initially before they make a decision about either moving Salty or trading one of one.

Duran is probably the best 2b prospect, but he really only fits as a utility guy for us. He's not going to displace Kinsler, who I think is prime to break out for real this year, and MY is pretty much entrenched at SS.

I would put Andrus at no.5. By the time he hits Arlington, we'll have done something about MY (moving him to DH most likely). If he keeps progressing the way he did last year, he projects as a mini Jeter. Keep in mind, A. A majority of people believe that he's major league ready right now defensively, and B. He's 19.

Hurley does not project as a no.1 in any way. He's projected by basically everybody as a no.2/no.3, and I've seen nothing to contradict that. The dude just doesn't have no.1 stuff, but he is solid. Hurley and Matt Harrison are the two guys (out of our more touted prospects) that I'd bet on seeing sometime in 2008 for us.

Also, as far as closers go, watch out for Neftali Feliz. Goldstein ranked him as our 5 star prospect (and no.1 prospect ahead of Andrus, Davis, Hurley, etc.). Dude can deal and is most likely our closer of the future. Of course, he's a long way away, but potential wise he's definitely a dark horse.

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awesome thread...thanks for the insight dodgerblues and rotobronco

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awesome thread...thanks for the insight dodgerblues and rotobronco

I agree... B)

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This is some great reading. I've got my dynasty draft coming up in a few months and I'm looking to add a few more prospects. With Manny Ramirez, Carlos Lee, Ichiro and Gary Sheffield already in tow, I need a 5th OF. I have Carlos Gonzalez on my Farm System. Would it be wise to bring up this season? His potential, IMO, is huge and he looks to be a lock to get a starting spot in the OF.

Thanks guys!

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