David Price at #2:
Price works off an electric fastball that sits at 93-96 mph and can touch 97-98. It's a plus-plus offering, as is his hard 85-87 mph slider, a swing-and-miss pitch with sharp break and tilt. He also has an average changeup, though he rarely used it in the minors. At times he sells the changeup well with his arm speed, while at other times he throws it too hard.Wade Davis at #10:
Davis can overmatch hitters with his fastball and curveball. He has a four-seamer that sits at 93-94 mph and touches 96, and he also has a two-seamer. His hard 74-78 mph curve is a plus pitch with two-plane depth and tight 11-to-5 rotation that elicits swings and misses from both lefties and righties.Jeremy Hellickson at #12:
Hellickson's fastball sits in the low 90s and touches 95 with good life within the zone, though scouts say he lacks a true out pitch. His curveball is solid-average and his changeup was average, and all of his stuff plays up because of his advanced pitchability.and the injured Jake McGee at #16:
Before he got hurt, McGee sat at 92-93 mph and touched 97 with his fastball. His slider showed above-average potential, but it was inconsistent in terms of its tilt and the frequency with which he threw it for strikes. He also struggled with his release point, leaving pitches up in the zone too often.It's hard to argue with anyone's placement on the list, though I am surprised Hellickson ranked so high since he struggled some in the Southern League after dominating the FSL. As for Jake McGee, my guess is that his arm was injured in some capacity all season, finally getting bad enough to get it looked at and to require surgery. Because of the injury, his velocity was probably suppressed a bit, so his ceiling was still being able to sit at 94-96 and dial it up to 99. Of course, you never know what you're going to get from a guy coming back from Tommy John, but I'd say there's a good chance he works exclusively out of the bullpen when he comes back, which will be sometime late next year(he could get back into games by August if all goes well, but the Rays might just hold him back, send him to instructionals next year, and have him back in games in 2010).
McGee remained more thrower than pitcher. He often leaned on his velocity to try to blow his fastball by hitters rather than mix in his offspeed stuff. His changeup won't develop until he uses it more frequently, though he wouldn't need it as much if he became a reliever, which some scouts believe is his destiny.
[Edit by Doug]:Since we don't need 2 articles on this, I deleted mine, Kevin's is better. I'll just add that Price lost out on #1 to Clayton Kershaw, which is a defensible choice. Davis over Hellickson still makes sense for this list, but next year Jeremy may pass him. I wouldn't have bothered with McGee on this list. Love the arm, but I believe he will become a reliever, and now a reliever coming off Tommy John. 2009 will be pretty much lost. He's still young enough to come back strong in 2010, but the combination of the uncertainty after the injury, the lost time, and possibly pitching out of the pen lower his value considerably in my view.
[Edit by Kevin]: It is a bit curious about McGee, particularly since the SL was strong this year and a guy like Aaron Poreda, who throws just as hard as McGee from the left side, didn't make the list. The success rate of TJ surgery makes the selection a little more defensible, but you just never know. Either way, he's going to have to develop some kind of breaking ball. Very few guys can get away with just a fastball(like Grant Balfour does), and by all accounts, McGee's fastball is as good as anybody's, but if he comes back from TJ throwing 92-93, just the heater isn't going to get it done.