Friday, August 5, 2011

Weekend Open Thread

I don't think we've done one of these in a while, so lets get this weekend started with a question: Who has been the most surprising and most disappointing prospect in the system this year? You can answer that in the comments section or pose a question of your own. Here are a few candidates (not an inclusive list) for both:

Jeff Malm
Alex Cobb
Drew Vettleson
C.J. Riefenhauser
Brandon Guyer

Chris Archer
Alex Colome
Nick Barnese
Justin O'Conner
Jake Thompson


  1. Adding Parker Markel, Derek Dietrich, and of course Oscar to the Surprising ledger.

  2. For me, the most surprising is between Malm and Riefenhauser, Malm because he seemed so bad last year and Riefenhauser because I knew nothing about him. I will go with Riefenhauser as at least Malm came with a reputation as a plus power hitter and one poor short season (I am not counting the 7 games in 2009) is not enough to discount him.

    I also considered Beckham and Vogt for this category.

    My most disappointing has been O'Conner. Those strikeouts are a very bad sign, especially so low in the system. And his BB and K rates are even worse this year. I also considered Joe Cruz although perhaps the injury should disqualify him.

  3. My question is what is considered a "prospect" in the organization? My definition of a "prospect" is anyone that plays in the organization. Now I know a "top prospect" is different, but there are several guys that aren't on your list that have been very surprising. Guys that you said wouldn't make it out of spring training that are tearing it up. But by looking at your list you just picked guys that are currently and have been on your "top" prospect list. Guys that are on your "top" prospect list or have been recently shouldn't have been surprising because it is what you expected from them.

  4. It's a tricky question, but I consider the whole organization "prospects" in the sense that they're minor leaguers trying to make it. In terms of only top prospects being listed, I'd say that makes sense for the disappointing category, as a top prospect who puts up a .600 OPS is more disappointing than, say, a prospect with a career .650 OPS putting up a .600 OPS. In terms of the surprises, I suppose I'd agree though it's worth noting C.J. Riefenhauser really wasn't on anybody's radar entering the year.

    Who would you consider for surprising that I didn't list and wouldn't be considered a top prospect? I'm also not sure which players we said wouldn't make it out of spring training.

  5. I don't think malm was on anyone's radar either. I suppose you really didn't discredit anyone either. I read somewhere you guys said it would be interesting to see if some boys could even make it out of XST. I guess I am talking about some more of the players from HV. Not the "bloggers" but some anons really slammed HV's outfield. Craige Lyerly is not batting .309 (He was injured with a ankle injury for 2 weeks and didn't play any mid way through the season) In his last 10 games he is batting well over .400 since coming back. In only 27 games he has stolen 15 bases (He is 15 for 15). I just think he could be considered a surprise because him and winder were 2 of the boys someone said needed to worry about just getting out of spring training.
    I know you guys can't sit around and pick out every guy that is doing well. I love reading your blog. I try to keep up with all the minor teams. I am a huge baseball fan and love going to games. Thanks for all you guys keep up with.

  6. Lyerly is now batting .483 (14-for-29) during his current eight-game hitting streak, with two home runs, seven runs batted in, and six stolen bases.

  7. Malm is a hard one to gauge. While he was a 5th round pick (#169 overall) and signed for more than 6 times his slot number, he struggled last year, and this year had a couple of excellent weeks in mid-July sandwiched between a slow start and a pedestrian last 10 games. Also, he has yet to show any longer-term consistency. I want to see his numbers after the season is over, and which results are more reflective of his ability - the struggles or the hot July streak.

  8. Many of the prospects are doing very well. Too many to name them, but many look to be learning a lot and working hard. Some had a slow start and are finishing stronger in the second half which is good to see.

  9. Josh Sale has been disappointing for me.

  10. The extremes for me are Cobb and O'Conner. I will admit that I never saw much of a big league career for Cobb, well he sure know what he's doing out there and he's downright dominating, not just good.

    But on the sadder side, I thought O'Conner was gonna bust out in a big way this season, look like the catcher of the future and the guy can't even hit Rookie ball pitching, he's historically brutal.

    Expected more out of Archer, Romero, Shurman and Bailey
    Pleasantly surprised by Lee (knew he was good, not this good), Gomes (just owning the majors) and C.J....last name

    Then there is what I expected in Moore making fools of hitters and McGee looking like a very soon to be closer.

  11. It's better to give these prospects at least a full season to see how they do. Can't judge on such a short time in pro ball. Time will tell all. They are all learning.

  12. If I had to make out 5 SURPRISING and 5 DISAPPOINTING prospects in the system, I'd definitely go with some of yours, Kevin.

    Here would be mine:
    Surprise: Riefenhauser, Markel, Malm, O. Hernandez and Cobb (surprises me every year). Others would be e.g. Jose Lobaton and Kyeong Kang.

    Drew Vettleson is not that much of a surprise to me. I feel that he simply plays a little bit better than advertised. Same goes for Brandon Guyer.

    Cruz, O'Conner, Perez, Sale (cause my hopes were SOOO high) and Archer. Others would be Jake Thompson and Kevin James.

    Alex Colome is in no way a disappointment to me. I'm rather pleased with his performance. Just going by performance he was very fine in A+ and will be fine in AA as well. Sure, his K/9 rate dropped, but only 6.8 H/9 are still very encouraging. And Nick Barnese is playing as I expected him to.

  13. My biggest surprise Pitching: Alex Cobb. I was not down on him coming into the year, but I have been shocked with how good he has done in the majors so far. Only 23 and he has pitched so far in the majors.Him and Hellboy have looked very similar this year in the majors.

    My Biggest Surprise Offense:Stephen Vogt.Even though the guy is a little old, I didn't expect him to hit so well between AA and AAA.He needs to walk more, but still the contact and power has been excellent so far.

    My Biggest Disapointment Pitching:Jake Thompson.I know his ERA is good, but the lack of K's has been frustrating.A guy with his stuff should have better K rates and less hits allowed.I chose him above Archer because Archer, while struggling, is still getting good K rates.

    My Biggest Disapointment Hitter:Justin O Connor.This guy has been horrible.Only 3 HR's and a .148/.210 AVG/OBP line. That and according to Kevin, historicly bad K rates.I don't know how the D has been, but I hope it has been good. With how he is struggling at the plate, I am starting to wonder if it is time to just make him a full time pitcher.