Wednesday, November 12, 2008

BaseballAmerica Rays Top 10

Can be found here. Biggest surprise to me is Matt Moore at #6, which is ahead of Barnese(#7) and Hellickson(#8).

No big surprises on the Best Tools list. Tidbits from the insider-only scouting reports:

1. David Price: "He has two plus-plus pitches with a mid-90s fastball and a biting slider. His fastball has outstanding movement with late armside run. His slider is reminiscent of John Smoltz's with its depth and 87-88 mph velocity."

2. Tim Beckham: "With his plus bat speed and the leverage in his swing, the Rays believe he'll develop 20-homer power. Defensively, he has fluid actions, good range, soft hands and a strong arm."

3. Wade Davis: "Davis is one of the premier power pitching prospects in the game. His four-seam fastball sits in the low to mid-90s, and he can dial it up to 95-96 mph when needed. He throws his hard 11-to-5 curveball with plus control, and it's filthy when he produces two-plane break."

4. Reid Brignac: "One of the premier glovemen in Triple-A, he has a solid arm and good quickness. He also has shown plus power for a middle infielder and the ability to use the entire field. A good athlete, he possesses above-average speed and an excellent feel for the game."

5. Desmond Jennings: "Jennings has the exceptional speed and the discerning eye to become a prototypical leadoff hitter and center fielder. His strike-zone judgment rates among the best in the system."

6. Matt Moore: "Moore's easy delivery produces a 92-95 mph fastball that has added velocity in the past year. He also throws a tight, late-breaking curveball that was virtually unhittable in the Appy League. After Moore improved his control, there isn't much not to like."

7. Nick Barnese: "Barnese pounds the lower half of the strike zone with a low-90s fastball that features excellent late life. His three-quarters breaking ball also has late action with good depth. He has good control and command, and he mixes his pitches well."

8. Jeremy Hellickson: "Hellickson has the best overall stuff of anyone in the system not named Price. He has a lively low-90s fastball that touches 95 mph, a curveball he'll throw in any count and a solid changeup."

9. Jake McGee: "Few lefthanders have better stuff than a healthy McGee, who has a fastball that resides in the mid-90s and touches 98. He also throws a power three-quarters breaking ball with good tilt. He has improved his changeup to where it shows signs of becoming a plus pitch when he trusts it."

10. Jeff Niemann: "Niemann possesses two above-average pitches, a fastball that sits in the low 90s and tops out at 95 mph and a hard curveball that acts much like a slider on occasion. He has developed a splitter to use as a changeup and looked more comfortable throwing it in 2008."


  1. I'm flat out stunned Hellickson is so low. He better be in the top 100 list they do. That would mean we have 8 top 100 prospects.

  2. You're right, that's probably even more surprising than Moore at #6. The report on Moore was absolutely GLOWING, though. I'd guess Moore doesn't make the top 100 since he hasn't pitched above rookie ball.

  3. Top 10's are done by one writer. Top 100 is done by several. So Hellickson may be higher in the Top 100 than some of the guys ahead of him in the Top 10.

  4. From Jim Callis' ESPN chat:

    Jake (KC): I was stunned to see Hellickson so low on the Rays list...what gives?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:07 PM ET ) Jake refers to our Rays Top 10 Prospectslist, which is up at The thing to remember is that these are opinions, not facts, and just because someone ranks eighth on a good Top 10 doesn't mean we don't like him. I don't see how he could rank ahead of David Price, Tim Beckham or Wade Davis. Hellickson could have ranked as high as No. 4 and no lower than where we put him. We like the chances of SS Reid Brignac and OF Desmond Jennings to become quality regulars, and LHP Matt Moore and RHP Nick Barnese are going to open eyes in 2009. None of this is a slight to Hellickson.

  5. Reading that list, you'd think they were all All-Stars already and should be starting in the MLB.

  6. Barnese has great movement on his fastball and moves like a sinker. If his breaking pitch and changeup become above average he could have the upside of a Webb or 2007 version of Carmona.