Thursday, September 10, 2009

Predictions Review: Most Overhyped

Back in March, we polled the Rays blogosphere for predictions about the 2009 season in the minors. Now that it's September and the minor-league seasons are drawing to a close, it's time to take a look back and laugh at stupid things we all said. We continue today with predictions about the most overhyped prospect. Again, the panelists were: Cork Gaines from RaysIndex, Tommy Rancel and R.J. Anderson from DRaysBay, the RaysParty gang, Tyler Hissey from AroundTheMajors, Brickhaus from all over the place, and Doug and I from this site.

The question I sent out for this was: "Which prospect do you think is the best bet to have his stock fall a lot in 2009? Alternatively, this could mean which prospect do you think is most overhyped coming into 2009?" You can view the original post with everyone's full answers here.

There were a few popular answers this time around. Cork, Brickhaus, and the RaysParty gang all went with Desmond Jennings:
Cork: The guy has a world of physical abilities and appears to have solid baseball instincts. But if he is going to justify his top 5 rankings he will need a huge 2009.

RaysParty: He has been over hyped a little and we must see a full season from him in order to fully evaluate his potential as a Major Leaguer.

Brickhaus: If he spends half the year injured again, he's probably pretty close to being done as a prospect. Also, the fact that he has spent so much time off the field might mean that his development would lag a bit.
Obviously Jennings has had a breakout season and is one of the darlings of the prospect world, but just a few months ago these were very valid points to raise. He stayed healthy for the entire season for the first time since 2006 and did just about everything you'd want statistically. Another popular answer was Reid Brignac, given by Tommy and R.J.:
Tommy: He'll be repeating AAA and should be pushing for the starting job this year. However, if he has another offensive season like 2008, we'll be talking about him as a utility guy and asking why didn't the Rays pull the trigger on trading him earlier.

R.J.: Brignac unless he goes bonkers offensively. Defense doesn’t seem to lead to higher prospect ratings.
Honestly, I'm still not sure what to make of Brignac. His defense still draws strong reviews, but his bat has really stagnated. It'll be interesting to see what the Rays do with Jason Bartlett this off-season, because that could clue us in to how they value Brignac.

Tyler Hissey chose pitcher Alex Cobb as his most over-hyped:
As he starts facing more advanced hitters, he could really run into some difficulties, and, though he has youth on his side, it would not be a surprise to see him fall off the Rays’ Top 20 in the next few years.
Cobb did what he had to do this year: Increase the strikeout rate while maintaining his other decent ratios. He's not exactly a hot prospect, but he's settled into solid-prospect territory.

Doug went with Fernando Perez, who missed nearly the whole season with injury. And lastly, I went with a former #1 pick:
I would've drafted Pedro Alvarez or Justin Smoak over him, and despite the fact that I ranked him pretty highly on our prospect lists, I think he's getting too much respect out there.
You can see the Tim Beckham prediction review for more, but he didn't exactly wow people with his play this year. He wasn't as bad as infamous bust Matt Bush was in his first full season, but for the #1 pick, he didn't do all that well. Obviously one slightly down season doesn't kill his stock, but I was a little low on him entering the season and I'm even lower on him now.

We have one more to get to, Biggest MLB Impact, and it should be up tomorrow.


  1. CT: What would you have said? And send me an email if you want to contribute.