Sunday, November 15, 2009

Personal Top 30 Lists

Here they are, hot off the press. Personal top 30 lists from Andy Leslie, Jake Larsen(who we're bringing on as Bowling Green correspondent for the upcoming season), and myself. Doug may stop by and add his in later. Below them is a top 30 that basically averages the three(30 points for 1st place, 29 for 2nd, etc). It's not our official 2010 top 30, but I imagine it will be very similar. Anyway...
Rank Jake Larsen         Rank Andy Leslie         Rank Kevin Gengler       Rank Doug Milhoan
1 Desmond Jennings 1 Desmond Jennings 1 Desmond Jennings 1 Desmond Jennings
2 Jeremy Hellickson 2 Wade Davis 2 Wade Davis 2 Wade Davis
3 Tim Beckham 3 Reid Brignac 3 Jeremy Hellickson 3 Jeremy Hellickson
4 Wade Davis 4 Jeremy Hellickson 4 Matt Moore 4 Matt Moore
5 Matt Moore 5 Tim Beckham 5 Reid Brignac 5 Reid Brignac
6 Reid Brignac 6 Matt Moore 6 Tim Beckham 6 Kyle Lobstein
7 Kyle Lobstein 7 Alex Colome 7 Alex Cobb 7 Alex Cobb
8 Nick Barnese 8 Matt Sweeney 8 Nick Barnese 8 Kyeong Kang
9 Luke Bailey 9 Nick Barnese 9 Alex Colome 9 Nick Barnese
10 Alex Colome 10 Kyle Lobstein 10 Kyle Lobstein 10 Tim Beckham

11 Wilking Rodriguez 11 Jake McGee 11 Alex Torres 11 Alex Colome
12 Todd Glaesmann 12 Alex Torres 12 Jason McEachern 12 Alex Torres
13 Matt Gorgen 13 Luke Bailey 13 Matt Gorgen 13 Jason McEachern
14 Jeff Malm 14 Mitch Talbot 14 David Newmann 14 Matt Gorgen
15 Jason McEachern 15 Kyeong Kang 15 Jake McGee 15 Joseph Cruz
16 Alex Torres 16 David Newmann 16 Shawn O'Malley 16 David Newmann
17 Shawn O'Malley 17 Wilking Rodriguez 17 Wilking Rodriguez 17 Wilking Rodriguez
18 Nevin Ashley 18 Alex Cobb 18 Kyeong Kang 18 Matt Sweeney
19 Kyeong Kang 19 Todd Glaesmann 19 Hector Guevara 19 Mitch Talbot
20 Hector Guevara 20 Jeff Malm 20 Joseph Cruz 20 Jake McGee

21 Jacob Partridge 21 Ty Morrison 21 Luke Bailey 21 Luke Bailey
22 Cody Rogers 22 Hector Guevara 22 Matt Sweeney 22 Aneury Rodriguez
23 Cesar Perez 23 John Jaso 23 Todd Glaesmann 23 Shawn O'Malley
24 Ty Morrison 24 Jason McEachern 24 Jeff Malm 24 Todd Glaesmann
25 Jake Jefferies 25 Joseph Cruz 25 Ty Morrison 25 Cody Rogers
26 Kevin James 26 Heath Rollins 26 Kevin James 26 Frank De Los Santos
27 Mike Sheridan 27 Albert Suarez 27 Jacob Partridge 27 Jacob Partridge
28 Wester Silva 28 Matt Gorgen 28 Cody Rogers 28 Victor Mateo
29 Matt Sweeney 29 Jake Jefferies 29 Zach Quate 29 Hector Guevara
30 Alex Cobb 30 Aneury Rodriguez 30 Mitch Talbot 30 Nevin Ashley
Certainly some interesting stuff there. Here's what it looks like combined together through the points system:
Rank Player            Points
1 Desmond Jennings 120
2 Wade Davis 114
3 Jeremy Hellickson 112
t-4 Matt Moore 105
t-4 Reid Brignac 105
6 Tim Beckham 100
7 Kyle Lobstein 91
8 Alex Colome 87
9 Nick Barnese 80
10 Alex Torres 73

11 Kyeong Kang 64
t-12 Wilking Rodriguez 62
t-12 Alex Cobb 62
t-14 Luke Bailey 60
t-14 Jason McEachern 60
16 Matt Gorgen 56
t-17 Jake McGee 47
t-17 Matt Sweeney 47
t-17 David Newmann 47
20 Todd Glaesmann 46

21 Shawn O'Malley 37
22 Jeff Malm 36
23 Hector Guevara 34
24 Joseph Cruz 33
25 Mitch Talbot 30
26 Ty Morrison 23
27 Jacob Partridge 18
28 Cody Rogers 18
29 Nevin Ashley 14
t-30 Kevin James 10

t-30 Aneury Rodriguez 10
t-32 John Jaso 8
t-32 Jake Jefferies 8
t-32 Cesar Perez 8
35 Heath Rollins 5
t-35 Frank De Los Santos 5
t-37 Albert Suarez 4
t-37 Mike Sheridan 4
t-39 Wester Silva 3
t-39 Victor Mateo 3
41 Zach Quate 2
Three of us had nine of the same players in our top 10s, but we each had a different last player(Bailey, Sweeney, and Cobb). For a draft pick that hasn't debuted yet and is coming off of Tommy John surgery, I think Luke Bailey up at #11 is pretty high. I also think that Wilking Rodriguez is getting a little bit overvalued for someone who hasn't played above Princeton, while Matt Gorgen and Alex Cobb posted good numbers with Charlotte.

Looking down the rest of the list, though, I don't see a whole lot to quibble about. Aneury Rodriguez just missed both Jake and my own list(he was probably #31 on each), so he's too low at #39.

Anyway, this post is all about sparking conversation, so if you have any questions at all, Jake, Andy, and myself will be checking in to answer any questions you have in the comments section. If you'd like to post your personal top 30, you can go ahead and do that too and I'll go ahead and factor it into our composite rankings.

(And a quick note to the other site writers: I'll likely be bumping this back to the top of the page or as the second post throughout the weekend.)

[Sunday 8:10 PM: Updated to include Doug's list. The combined rankings now count all four lists.]


  1. Kang are ranked too low, don't you think? Do you guys really think Jaso still has "prospect" status?

  2. I just want to give a brief explanation of my methods and explain why I have a few guys ranked where I do. In general, I gave more credit to guys who are in the upper levels of the minors and appear to be close to big league ready than guys in the lower minors. Even if I don’t see them as more than a backup or a relief pitcher, these players still have value to the club even if their upside is limited. I’m thinking of guys like John Jaso and Mitch Talbot in particular here.

    While Talbot may or may not fit into the Rays’ future plans, I think he could become a serviceable reliever in the majors, even if it isn’t for the Rays. He is out of options so he’ll either have to be in Tampa’s pen or pass through waivers, where another team could pick him up. I’m surprised he is not a little higher on the others lists. Jaso could likely hold it down as a reserve catcher, so I think he deserves to be on the backend of the Top 30. Their upsides may be limited, but they still have value to the major league roster even in these capacities.

    Jake McGee is in a similar situation. Tommy John Surgery has a high success rate, and it usually takes about two years for a pitcher to get back to full strength after surgery. I wouldn’t read too much into his performance in 2009 as a result. Assuming he comes back healthy, he’s at least a high end relief prospect, as lefties with mid-90s heat are always a hot commodity, even in the bullpen.

    I’ll admit, I’m one of the biggest Reid Brignac fans around, always have been. His glove is at least big league average at shortstop and I think his bat is at least average already for a big league shortstop. He still has some upside with the bat too. Basically, someone who is essentially a league average shortstop right now, both at the plate and in the field, or at least very close to being there, has tremendous value for any team. I think he is generally undervalued in the prospect community.

    I’m also more pessimistic about pitchers who don’t have top-flight stuff that are performing well in the lower minors. As a result, I’m lower on Alex Cobb than Kevin, and I’m pretty sure Doug views him more highly than I do as well. It’s not that I don’t like Cobb, I just want to see him perform well at a higher level before I move him up my list.

    I may be a bit too high on Sweeney. Let’s just call it gut feeling, even if he is a likely 1B/DH.

    Hector Guevara is a very intriguing prospect, and we all had him ranked around #20. He’s certainly one to watch next year as he makes his debut stateside.

  3. I know that Doug is pretty on high on Kyeong Kang, so if he had a list that was factored in, Kang probably would've been up higher.

    With Jaso, he's old, yeah, but he hasn't reached the AB or games played threshold for prospect eligibility. And while anyone else that old probably wouldn't be considered, there's something to the notion that catchers take longer to develop.

    I guess Alex Cobb is going to be "my guy" this off-season, because I think it's criminal how low he was rated in the composite list. He played the entire season as a 21-year old in the FSL. He improved his strikeout rate from a year ago(up to 7.7 per 9 innings), maintained his low walk rate(2.2 per 9), and got groundballs(1.58 GO/AO).

  4. Agreed, I certainly agree that we all are curiously looking forward to Hector Guevara's state-side debut. However, as you can see from my rankings, I love the potential of a few of our international signees(This year's Int'l "bonus baby" Cesar Perez and Brazilian teenager Wester Silva). Like I said in a conversation with Gengler, if someone sees a portugese translator at the complex...silva's somewhere around.

    As for my rankings, the majority of them are how I perceive their potential in the long-run. I put Luke Bailey at #9 without him having any pro ABs, so that says how strongly I believe in his future with the Rays. Jeff Malm may not play a premium position, but knowing his bat's potential and reading his scouting reports are why I put him where I did.

    In terms of Jaso, McGee and Newmann, their ages and/or perceived futures are why I left them unranked. Jaso, from seeing him play for the SWM Rays to now, is a different player but his future tops out as a future back-up in the best. McGee was unranked due to my belief that has pitched his last meaningful innings in the minors and will soon be prepared to become a reliever. Newmann, great season with PC, however I think(despite his injury problems in the past that hindered him) has to prove me that he can match his performance in AA before I can rank him in the Top 30.

  5. Sorry I didn't get my list done in time, here it is:

    1. Desmond Jennings
    2. Wade Davis
    3. Jeremy Hellickson
    4. Matthew Moore
    5. Reid Brignac
    6. Kyle Lobstein
    7. Alex Cobb
    8. Kyeong Kang
    9. Nick Barnese
    10. Tim Beckham
    11. Alexander Colome
    12. Alexander Torres
    13. Jason McEachern
    14. Matt Gorgen
    15. Joseph Cruz
    16. David Newmann
    17. Wilking Rodriguez
    18. Matt Sweeney
    19. Mitch Talbot
    20. Jake McGee
    21. Luke Bailey
    22. Aneury Rodriguez
    23. Shawn O'Malley
    24. Todd Glaesmann
    25. Cody Rogers
    26. Frank De Los Santos
    27. Jacob Partridge
    28. Victor Mateo
    29. Hector Guevara
    30. Nevin Ashley

  6. Wow, Albert Suarez seems to have fallen off your collective maps. Ceiling wise he is one of the top 4-5 arms and looks like a #2-3 starter.

  7. Suarez was a very intriguing arm entering the year, but he made only two starts at Hudson Valley before needing Tommy John surgery. Being at the lower levels and being that he'll likely miss all or most of 2010 rehabbing, it's tough(for me, anyway) to rate him very highly.

  8. What about Ryan Wiegand?

  9. Wiegand's performance was good, but he was playing mostly against high school draftees. If he gets bumped to Bowling Green for 2010 and performs well, then he could be in the conversation.

  10. On Suarez, what Kevin said. High hopes entering the season, but TJS + hasn't reached full-season ball = not Top 30 at this point.

    On Wiegand, what Kevin said plus for me a lot of the lower ranked position players were based mostly on draft position. The org is light on position players so all of the lists have recent draftees without much on-field production. Just the way it is right now with the Rays. Wiegand was drafted in the 25th round, so the other guys got more attention despite his solid performance: .324/.389/.477/.866 with 23 BB to 29 K's in 222 AB's.

    Another position player/2009 draftee that I have higher than Wiegand is Tyler Bortnick. The 16th rounder was 21 at Hudson Valley as opposed to Wiegand at Princeton at 22. Bortnick has a good defensive rep and hit .300/.386/.470/.856 with 27 BB and 38 K's in 217 AB's.

    Bottom line is I think everyone had to do a lot of projecting of recent picks for the hitters. Of the guys below the top 10 picks in the '09 draft, I like Bortnick the most at this point.

  11. 2 thoughts: (1)I can't help but wonder what will happen to Eli Sonoqui-played 1st base at Hudson Valley this past season...Would Wiegand bump him out at Bowling Green? (2)Also wondering why neither Bortnick nor Sonoqui were never even invited to the Rays Instructs. From what I've observed, the best usually get invited.

  12. I started watching the P Rays 2 years ago and Wiegand was a much better defensive 1st baseman than Sonoqui who played there for 3 years

  13. where would Levon and Diekroger have ranked if they would have signed?

  14. That's a great question...

    For me, LeVon would've ranked around #20, probably just ahead of Joseph Cruz. I'm not sure I would've ranked Diekroeger, but he'd be in my 30-35 group since 1) he seemed to be more athlete than baseball skill and 2) there's some uncertainty about his position(probably a move to the OF in his future).

    Interested to hear where everyone else would've had them.

  15. My top 10

    1. Jennings - if healthy he projects to be an all star CF.

    2. Davis - Pitches heavy, tough to elevate.

    3. Moore - Exploded to elite level in 2nd half.

    4. Colome - top of rotation arm. Pitching education ongoing.

    5. Hellickson - Think Sonny (control+) with a little better stuff - hittable when not precise.

    6.Beckham - Still an elite prospect. On field performance needs to catch up to tools. Future at SS in serious question.

    7. W. Rodriguez - BA says "has the arsenal to pitch near the front of a big league rotation". That's good enough for me to put him at the bottom of the elite top 7 list.


    8. Brignac - Solid. Think Aki with less foot speed and more power.

    9. Lobstein - Not visually impressive at HV but good bet to be an MLB #4-5.

    10. Suarez - Said to have a great repetoire, control, and savy working off the plus FB before the TJ. The only other guy on the board who projects as an elite. Pure projection selection.

  16. I should add:

    11. Bailey - Like Suarez he projects to be an elite at his position and is coming off TJ.

  17. Not impressed with Lobstein at all, wow. That is shocking, did you see his numbers after his shaky start, they were as good as Colome. Colome is going to end up a closer, that kid is wiry thin when I saw him and I don't think will hold up for 150 innings.

  18. One thing to remember about Lobstein, is that this was actually his first season of professional ball. Even though he went to Princeton and then Hudson Valley in mid August, 2008, he did not even throw one pitch, since he signed so late. He was just there in person. Another Princeton player, Eli Sonoqui was there 3 years, BUT, one of those years, he was out for almost the entire season with an injury.

  19. I don't remember Colome being overly thin....maybe I just didn't notice. The really thin pitcher at Hudson Valley was Jason McEachern at 6'2", 160 pounds...very young, but also very good.

  20. Mike, Lobstein is a short season pitcher who I think is a good bet to pitch in MLB. To me that is very impressive. I am almost certainly less concerned with his numbers at this point than you are. Stuff, command, and projection trumps results until you are seeing near MLB hitters (AA/AAA).

  21. I think Mike was replying to the post above his where that guy said he wasn't impressed with Lobstein. If I'm reading it right, Mike was impressed with Lobstein after a shaky start.

  22. I agree with you, Kevin about Mike. Lobstein came on STRONG as the season progressed. Hey, maybe I should change my user name to Anonymous II, cause all these Anonymouses are starting to get confusing~ haha

  23. Colome isn't that thin, or at least he wasn't when I saw him. Looked like a solid 6'0" 185-190 to me.

    To Jake - I think dropping McGee out entirely based on him moving to relief may be a bit of an overreaction. Half the guys on this list probably will never play in the majors. There's some value in having a guy who can be a good reliever.

    To all - the one guy I personally have rated much higher is Torres. I guess it's a matter of personal preference, but he would easily make my top 10. Kang also seems high to me, but that's just a gut thing. Maybe, because the position players relative to the pitchers are weak, a decent but not great hitting prospect is getting overrated a bit?

    - Brick

  24. It's certainly possible that we're overrating the hitters(I'm almost definitely guilty of this with O'Malley). I wasn't that high on Kang but he tore the cover off the ball for the last month and a half of the season and could finish 2010 with Montgomery if he keeping hitting well.

    With Torres, the stuff sounds nice, but where are the strikes? He walked almost 5 batters per 9 innings in 2009, and his career rate is 5.2. I'll need to see at least flashes of control before ranking him higher. Him and Sweeney were two of the harder guys to rank simply because I hadn't followed them until they got to the Rays.

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