Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Top 30 Prospects in Review: 1-15

We looked back at the lower half of our 2009 pre-season top 30, now let's see how we did in the first 15. They were:

1. David Price
2. Wade Davis
3. Tim Beckham
4. Jeremy Hellickson
5. Jeff Niemann
6. Reid Brignac
7. Mitch Talbot
8. Desmond Jennings
9. Nick Barnese
10. Matt Moore
11. Heath Rollins
12. Jake McGee
13. Fernando Perez
14. Alex Cobb
15. John Jaso

Everybody and their brother had David Price as the #1 guy, but it was #5 Jeff Niemann who had the better rookie season in the Rays rotation. Wade Davis and Jeremy Hellickson are the next wave of arms to arrive, and I expect they'll occupy the #2 and 3 spots in most 2010 lists, but it'll be a split decision on which to rank higher. Neither of the Tim Beckham and Reid Brignac shortstop brigade did a whole lot to help their stock, but neither was so bad they'll fall far in the rankings.

Mitch Talbot at #7 is the first real over-rank, and after an injury-plagued 2009 season he might be out of the Rays organization as he's out of options and would have the make the team out of spring training or be exposed to the waiver wire. Desmond Jennings is obviously the big riser, staying healthy for the first time as a pro and catapulting his way into the conversation about the game's best prospect.

Matt Moore vs. Nick Barnese was a toss-up heading into the season, but Moore made SAL hitters look silly and figures to rise into the top 5, while Barnese fought shoulder tendonitis and treaded water in terms of prospect status. #11 Heath Rollins, #13 Fernando Perez, and #15 John Jaso all had rough 2009 seasons. Rollins' fringy stuff was exposed somewhat at the higher levels, Perez suffered a major shoulder injury and missed of the year, while Jaso just plain didn't hit. Perez is no longer has prospect eligibility, while Rollins and Jaso will likely slide to tail-end of the list.

It's tough to get a read on Jake McGee, who pitched limited innings returning from Tommy John surgery. His strikeout rate was in line with his career average, but he got hit around in Charlotte to the tune of a 6.45 ERA. Alex Cobb continued to post solid numbers, but neither his stats or stuff jump out at you. I think he's one of the more interesting prospects in terms of how much the opinion on him varies.

Tomorrow: Personal top 30 lists!

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