Friday, October 29, 2010

Personal Top 30 Lists - Some Thoughts

Kevin put out the call for all of us to start sending him our Top 30 Prospects lists last week and I've begun work on mine the past couple of days. I thought I'd share some thoughts on a slow Friday afternoon.

I start out with everyone who is eligible (less than 130 AB's or 50 IP in MLB) and start weeding players out. Some guys are harder to cross off than others, for me personal favorites like Omar Bencomo, Josh Satow and Julio Cedeno, but eventually they go. Here are a few things I've noticed:

- As Kevin tweeted the other day, it's difficult to rank guys from the 2009 draft class who played poorly this year against guys from the 2010 class who have yet to play.

- I use several small rankings to help me sort out the overall rankings, for example by affiliate, by age, or by draft class. Here are a few things that stood out...

- From the 2008 draft class, which is beginning to look awful (I'll review it next spring in depth), who should be higher, Tim Beckham (1st overall) or Ty Morrison (4th round)? Morrison is 6 months younger and played 1 level lower than Beckham, and both played premium defensive positions, but not necessarily very well (Beckham .949 fld% at SS vs. Morrison .960 in CF). Morrison jumped from Princeton in 2009 to BG, while Beckham moved up from BG to Charlotte. Considering that and looking at their numbers at the plate, how do I not rank Morrison higher?:
Player  Level  AB 2B 3B HR SB CS BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS GDP HBP
Beckham    A+ 465 23  5  5 22 14 62 119 .256 .346 .359 .705  14   4
Morrison    A 452 21 13  6 58 10 43 133 .250 .324 .394 .718   6   7
- From the non-top 10 rounds of the 2010 class, lets look at Robby Price (13th round, DOB 4/20/88, 2B for HV) vs. Phil Wunderlich (12th round, DOB 11/4/88, 1B for HV) vs. Kevin Kiermaier (31st round, DOB 4/22/90, RF/CF for Princeton):
Player  Level  AB 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS GDP HBP
Price      A- 194 17  1  2 13  1 36 25 .294 .437 .423 .860   1  15
Wunderlich A- 209 19  0  4  0  1  9 40 .330 .372 .478 .850   1   6
Kiermaier  R+ 218  8  7  2 17  5 24 54 .303 .380 .431 .811   4   3
- From the top of the 2010 draft, Ryan Brett (3rd round, DOB 10/9/91, 2B for GCL Rays) vs. Derek Dietrich (2nd round, DOB 7/18/89, SS for HV):
Player  Level  AB 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS GDP HBP
Brett       R  89  5  2  0 12  3  8 17 .303 .364 .404 .768   1   1
Dietrich   A- 179 12  2  3  2  2 11 42 .279 .340 .419 .759   2   6
- I included HBP just for Price... 15 in 194 AB's??? Duck kiddo.

- Hellickson didn't pitch enough innings for the Rays to be excluded, and I think he's clearly #1.

- I thought Jennings would be my clear #2, but now I'm considering Moore. Probably will end up back at Jennings.

- Who should be #4? I'm thinking Alex Cobb. McGee is an obvious choice, but if the move to the pen is permanent, and with Cobb at AAA and still a starter, I'm leaning more towards Cobb.

- I'll be higher than most on Tyler Bortnick and Joseph Cruz, as usual.

- Don't forget Nick Barnese, another very good year as he heads to AA.

- Lots of 2010 NDFA RP's put up incredible numbers... but none will make the top 30.

- How to rank the 1st rounders from 2010 - Sale 1/17, O'Conner 1/31, and Vettleson 1/supp? The more I read about Vettleson the more I like him.

- Not sure what to make of Henry Wrigley or Jose Ruiz. Or Leslie Anderson for that matter, who won't be on my list since he'll be 29 on opening day.

- Interested to see how Alex Diaz (17th round 2009) does in Princeton next year. Was .304/.390/.393 for the GCL Rays last season.

- Enny Romero and Braulio Lara are getting a lot of attention lately for their performances in Princeton, but don't forget about another short-season starter - Wilmer Almonte from HV. He had a 2.77 ERA over 78 innings with 73 SO's vs. 15 BB's.

- Speaking of HV, lots to like from their pitching staff: Austin Hubbard (14th round 2010), Jake Thompson was the most impressive (2nd round 2010), Jimmy Patterson (18th round 2010), Adam Liberatore (21st round 2010) and Nate Garcia (16th round 2010).

- If I could have a season ticket to any affiliate for 2011 I would easily pick the Princeton Rays. Between the high picks from the '09 and '10 drafts moving up from the GCL, plus new players from the '11 draft, should be an incredible team to watch. Montgomery would probably be #2, with all of the pitching.

Enough for now, feel free to add your thoughts. I'll probably do a Part II later in the week with additional comparisons I'm sorting out.


  1. Well my top ten right now will be:
    1. Hellickson
    2. Jennings
    3. Moore
    4. McGee
    5. Torres
    6. Barnese
    7. Sale
    8. Colome
    9. Beckham
    10. Cruz

    I will have to look harder into the others. Also, when more scouting reports come out, it will get easier. For this top 10, there were a few debates for me.

    --Should I go with Torres or Barnese for #5. I went with Torres because of Barnese's injury history and because Torres was at a higher level. I don't like the walks Torres issues, but his stuff is good enough to make up for it. Probably #2 potential.

    --Should Beckham make the top 10? Yes for me. His upside os too high to ignore, and he has shown flashes. I see a breakout in 2011. Remember that the FSL is a big time pitching league.

    --I also wondered how high Sale should go. I put him at 7 because there is so much to love about his bat and work ethic.

  2. No mention of Steve Vogt? He was fantastic in the Florida State League this past season. Check out his stats. Even though Matt Moore got Most Valuable Player for the StoneCrabs, Steve's name had to be right up there with Matt.

  3. Nice post Doug, I think I'll write something similar. I did sort of the same thing. I took the organizational player list (big thanks to Jim for maintaining that) and went through eyeballing it for anyone who would be in the conversation. Would up with about 70, ranked them roughly into tiers, but haven't started sorting it out yet.

    I love Alex Cobb, but I also know his ceiling is lower than the other two Alexes (Torres and Colome), so how do you weigh that? This year's list is a lot tougher than last year's, I think.

  4. I really have a tough time seeing Cobb over Torres or McGee. I didn't even put him in my top ten. His stuff is really average and while his control is great, I doubt he ever starts in the majors. Plus, I don;t think I see his stuff playing well in relief. For me, he is a 10-20 prospect. Obviously, I am big on upside, but still.....

  5. I was hoping one of our young catcher prospects would shine this year in the minors. Is there any good news you can share in that regard? Obviously the Posey/Beckham comparisons suck, so I was looking for a positive place to park my hope.

  6. Every time I see Posey step up to the plate, I think the same thing. Also- Still wondering if anyone else feels the same way about Steve Vogt not being labeled a prospect. To me, he's hands down above Beckham. Does anyone know where Vogt was in relation to all Tampa Bay hitters this past 2010 season?

  7. Didn't expect this much interest in a Friday afternoon post, good to see.

    To address some of the comments:

    - Cobb. The lack of dazzling stuff will lead to folks ranking him all over the place. To me he's continued to succeed year after year, level after level, all the way to AAA now. I'm fine with being the guy who ranks him the highest.

    - Fair list Michael in #1. Won't be the same as mine, but I understand your reasoning. Good to see you include Cruz and Barnese. Sale seems about right to me. No way on Beckham for me. I've led the efforts to stop calling him a bust at least until after 2011, but not being a bust yet is not the same as Top 10 in my book. He's near the bottom of the Top 30 for me.

    - Vogt. This was not a discussion of every player, just some thoughts I had as I was trimming down my list towards a reasonable number. Vogt and Wrigley are still on my list of possibles, and I see them as similar. Great 2010 stats and... that's about it for me. Vogt also has age and position problems.

    - Kevin is correct, this year is much tougher than last year or previous years, at least for me. On the Alexes, I'm going Cobb then Colome the Torres. Torres is a lefty and has some electric stuff and has been through AA, but size/projection and the walks bring him in third.

    - Vogt had the highest OPS in 2010 of anyone left on my list. Here is the rest of the top OPSs left on my list, in order: Vogt, JRuiz, RPrice, EJohnson, Wunderlich, Bortnick, Kiermaier, Fronk, Alex Diaz, Cipriano.

    - Catchers. In addition to the '09 and '10 draft classes, don't forget Nevin Ashley and Mark Thomas.

    - Yes, Posey makes us all sad.

    Since there seems to be some interest, this afternoon I'll post my current list. REMEMBER, this is NOT a final list, just how far I've gotten it cut down. In some areas I've pruned a little more than others. Look for it later and then for a great post from Kevin on Monday am.

  8. This post is a response to Doug.

    I have seen Beckham play, and it looks like he was unlucky. I would also factor in that it is a pitchers league. Plus, he still looks like a kid out there. The tools are there, and when he develops more, I think he will bring his game together. Also, aside from a terrible first month, he was pretty decent. I also think more highly of his defense than others.