Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rays Prospects: High School vs. College vs. Junior College

This has no relevance to anything(and is not at all meant to be a statement on the college vs. high school debate), I just thought it would be fun to split up the Rays minor league system into three teams: players from high school, college, and junior college. The only rules are that a player must have rookie eligibility, so David Price and Jeff Niemann qualify while Matt Joyce doesn't. International signees were not considered(sorry, Mayo Acosta).

Also, I went for the better overall prospect, not the one who would perform better at the MLB level in 2009(for example, Tim Beckham "starts" over Reid Brignac at SS). I switched positions when appropriate and realistic, like Brignac at 2B.

Team High School
C Mike McCormick
C Christian Lopez
1B Eli Sonoqui (yikes)
2B Reid Brignac
SS Tim Beckham
3B Elliot Johnson
IF Shawn O'Malley
IF Luis Marchena

LF Ryan Royster
CF Ty Morrison
RF Kyeong Kang
OF Brian Bryles
OF Rashad Eldridge

SP Wade Davis
SP Jeremy Hellickson
SP Mitch Talbot
SP Nick Barnese
SP Matt Moore

P Alex Cobb
P James Houser
P Kyle Lobstein
P Albert Suarez
P Jason McEachern
P Kyle Ayers
CL Jake McGee

Team College
C Jake Jefferies
C Nevin Ashley
1B Michael Sheridan
2B Josh Asanovich
SS Matthew Hall
3B Chris Nowak
IF Greg Sexton
IF Cody Cipriano

LF Stephen Vogt
CF Fernando Perez
RF Reid Fronk
OF Stephen Vogt
OF Anthony Scelfo

SP David Price
SP Jeff Niemann
SP Heath Rollins
SP Chris Mason
SP Jesse Darcy

P Brian Flores
P Will Kline
P Neal Frontz
P Austin Hinkle
P Ryan Reid
CL Matt Gorgen

Team Junior College
C John Jaso
C Matt Spring
1B Rhyne Hughes
2B Matthew Fields
SS Chase Fontaine
3B Chris Nowak
LF Pedro Powell
CF Desmond Jennings
RF J.T. Hall

SP Shane Dyer
SP Joseph Cruz
P Justin Garcia
SP Jino Gonzalez

Obviously Team JC is at a disadvantage, but it's interesting that we have a few legitimate prospects(Jennings and Jaso) and some decent upper-level filler(Hughes and Nowak) in the field, but only one guy resembling a prospect(Dyer) on the mound.

As for high school vs. college, if you could only pick one group to have in your minor leagues, who would it be?

I think the answer is pretty obvious: high school, even though it means taking the team without David Price. I was particularly impressed with the depth of pitching the team has drafted from the high school ranks. I'd guess two-thirds(or more) of teams would trade their top 5 pitching prospects for that 5-man "rotation" of Davis, Hellickson, Talbot, Barnese, and Moore.