2011 Top 10 Shortstop Prospects

Manny Machado

Manny Machado Photo by Ren Dittfield

The position of shortstop in professional baseball has become a virtual melting pot and this list captures a sample of that international diversity. We have five players born in the continental United States, one from Puerto Rico, one from Japan, a Venezuelan, a Cuban and another from Curacao.


1. Manny Machado – Bats: R Throws: R – 6’3″ 185 – BAL – 7.6.92. The third overall selection in the 2010 draft, Machado draws comparisons to Alex Rodriguez for body type and offensive potential but more accurately because, like Rodriguez, Machado was a Miami area prep superstar. Machado, a High School All American hit .639 with 27 2B and 12 HR in 2010 and gave up a scholarship to Florida International to sign with the Orioles for $5.25 MM at the deadline.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

GLF

Rk

2

7

1

1

0

0

1

2

0

0

1

.143

.143

.571

2010

NYP

A-

7

29

2

10

1

1

0

3

0

3

2

.345

.406

.448

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

9

36

3

11

1

1

1

5

0

3

3

.306

.356

.472

2. Grant Green – Bats: R Throws: R – 6’3″ 180 – OAK – 9.27.87. The 13th overall pick in the 2009 draft out of USC, Green debuted at #5 on this list last year then proceeded to tear up the California League. While Green’s season was no doubt a success, it left me with plenty of questions. His K% was a high but not alarming 21.4% but coupled with his below average 6.3 BB% we are left with a piss poor 0.32 BB/K%. You might be able to get away with that in the free swinging hitters paradise of the Cal League but it may lead to a regression next year in the Texas League. Defensively, Green committed a league high 37 errors.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

CAL

A+

131

548

107

174

39

6

20

87

9

38

117

.318

.363

.520

3. Jose Iglesias – Bats: R Throws: R – 5’11” 175 – BOS – 1.5.90. Iglesias could step into Fenway Park right now and wow spectators with his phenomenal glove work. The Cuban defector spent his first year in professional in the AA Eastern League where mangers voted him the league’s best defensive shortstop. Like many Latin American prospects, Iglesias doesn’t take enough walks. If he can be more patient in AAA Pawtucket he should finish 2011 in Boston.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

NYP

A-

12

40

8

14

2

2

0

7

2

7

8

.350

.458

.500

2010

EL

AA

57

221

29

63

19

3

0

13

5

8

49

.285

.315

.357

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

70

281

37

77

12

5

0

20

7

15

57

.295

.339

.379

4. Nick Franklin – Bats: B Throws: R – 6’1″ 170 – SEA – 3.2.91. I regarded Franklin as the 3rd best prep shortstop in the 2009 draft behind Houston’s Gio Mier and Baltimore’s Mychal Givens, and both Mier and Givens made my list last year while Franklin was snubbed. I clearly picked the wrong horse as Franklin tore up the Midwest League and was named to Baseball America’s Minor League All-Star Team.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

MWL

A-

129

513

89

144

22

7

23

65

25

50

123

.281

.351

.485

2010

SO

AA

1

3

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

.667

.750

.667

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

130

516

92

146

22

7

23

65

25

51

124

.283

.354

.485

5. Jurickson Profar – Bats: B Throws: R – 5’11” 165 – TEX – 2.20.93. If you are a little league baseball fan or just a channel surfing pedophile, you might remember Profar from the 2004 Little League World Series where his Curacao squadron took home the championship. A former pitcher, Profar has the arm strength and athleticism to be a plus defender at short, and he walks at an above average rate (9.7%) so I like his chances to become an MLB regular.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

TEX

A-

63

252

42

63

19

0

4

23

8

28

46

.250

.323

.373

6. Devaris Gordon – Bats: L Throws: R – 5’11” 150 – LAD – 4.22.88. Dee ranked #6 on this list last year and responded by having a solid year in AA. If you recall (and I’m sure you do), I predicted that because of Gordon’s unusually high BABIP in 2008 (.368) and 2009 (.355), he’d likely see a dip in numbers in 2010. As predicted, his “slash” line did decrease from .301/.362/.394 in ’09 to .276/.331/.353 in ’10. While we’re at it, his SB’s went from 73 to 53 and he committed a career high 37 SB. It’s not all bad. Southern League managers voted Gordon the Best Baserunner, Fastest Baserunner and the league’s Most Exciting Player.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

SO

AA

133

555

86

154

17

10

2

39

53

40

89

.277

.332

.355

7. Christian Colon – Bats: R Throws: R – 6’1″ 180 – KC – 5.14.89. Although he was a clear cut top half of the first round pick, it was a little bit of a surprise to see the Royals use the 4th overall pick on Colon. The Cal State Fullerton product has limited tools and may be best suited for second base. That position move may happen sooner rather than later now that the Royals have acquired Alcides Escobar.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

CAR

A+

60

245

38

68

12

2

3

30

2

13

33

.278

.326

.380

8. Wilmer Flores – Bats: R Throws: R – 6’3″ 175 – NYM – 8.6.91. Signed out of Venezuela in 2007, Flores has been on the prospect radar longer than most 19 year olds. Flores was always projected to have plus power but I was a doubter as he slugged just .332 in 2009. Now that he’s posted a 36 2B, 84 RBI season I guess I’m back on board.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

SAL

A-

66

277

30

77

18

2

7

44

2

23

37

.278

.342

.433

2010

FSL

A+

67

277

32

83

18

1

4

40

2

9

40

.300

.324

.415

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

133

554

62

160

36

3

11

84

4

32

84

.289

.333

.424

9. Danny Espinosa – Bats: B Throws: R – 6’0″ 190 – WAS – 4.25.87. Nothing about Espinosa really stands out to me, but that’s not a bad thing as he does everything just fine. He did produce 28 HR and 25 SB between his minor and major league stops in 2010. That should be enough to give him a leg up on the second base job in Washington this season.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

EL

AA

99

386

66

101

16

4

18

54

20

33

94

.262

.334

.464

2010

IL

AAA

24

95

14

28

2

1

4

15

5

8

22

.295

.349

.463

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

123

481

80

129

18

5

22

69

25

41

116

.268

.337

.464

2010

NL

MLB

28

103

16

22

4

1

6

15

0

2

9

.214

.277

.447

10. Tsuyoshi Nishioka – Bats: B Throws: R. – 5’11” 175 – MIN – 7.27.84. Sure Nichioka will likely play second base for the Twins as some question whether Nishioka has the arm strength to be an MLB shortstop. Alexi Casilla may start the season at short, but the lack of potency in his bat may send him back to a more property suited utility role causing Nishioka to get some reps at shortstop.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2007

JPL

NPBL

130

494

76

148

31

3

3

40

27

50

73

.300

.366

.393

2008

JPL

NPBL

116

473

78

142

26

6

13

49

18

36

68

.300

.357

.463

2009

JPL

NPBL

120

454

70

118

24

5

14

41

26

67

76

.260

.360

.427

2010

JPL

NPBL

144

596

121

206

32

8

11

59

33

79

?

.346

.423

.482

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2011 Top 10 Second Basemen Prospects

Dustin Ackley

Dustin Ackley Photo from a blog post by Matt Pittman


I figured that compiling my second basemen rankings would be difficult, as it’s traditionally not a very deep position in the minor leagues. As it turns out it was difficult to compile this list for another reason. In the end had about 16 guys I wanted to get into my top 10 and if you would have told me that Royals prospect Johnny Giavotella and his 35 doubles, and .91 BB/K % wouldn’t make my list, I’d have said “no way Jose.” Yet, you won’t find Giavotella on this list. You also won’t find former college baseball star and current Mariners farm hand Kyle Seager and his 14 HR, 13 SB, and .345/.419/.503 line either.


1. Dustin Ackley – Bats: L Throws: R – 6’1″ 185 – SEA – 2.26.88. The second overall pick in the 2009 draft behind Stephen Strasburg, Ackley signed late and didn’t make his debut until the Arizona Fall League that season. In his first full season as a professional in 2010 Ackley was solid but not spectacular. I still think he has batting titles in his future and his .424/.581/.758 performance in the 2010 Arizona Fall League is evidence of his potential.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

SO

AA

82

289

42

76

21

8

2

28

8

55

41

.263

.389

.384

2010

PCL

AAA

52

212

37

58

12

4

5

23

2

20

38

.274

.338

.439

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

134

501

79

134

33

4

7

51

10

75

79

.267

.368

.407

2. Brett Lawrie – Bats: R Throws: R – 6’0″ 215 – TOR – 1.18.90. Drafted 16th overall by the Brewers in 2008, Lawrie, Canada’s prodigal son will return home now that he Blue Jays have acquired him for RHP Shaun Marcum. Lawrie draws plenty of Dan Uggla comps and while it’s hard to imagine the Dan Uggla we know hitting 16 triples and stealing 30 bags in a single season as Lawrie did last season, you’d better look again. In 2003 in the High A California League, Uggla did post an incredible 31 2B, 7 3B, 23 HR, 24 SB season.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

SO

AA

135

554

90

158

36

16

8

63

30

47

118

.285

.346

.451

3. Jason Kipnis – Bats: L Throws: R – 5’10” 180 – CLE – 4.3.87. I’ve admitted before that I’m partial to guys that I was able to follow in college. I had to follow the 2009 Pac 10 Player of the Year a little farther than most as he stared at Arizona State only after being kicked off of the Kentucky squad. An outfielder in college, Kipnis has made a seamless transition to second base. He should spend most of 2011 right here in Columbus and I’m looking forward scouting him. Video to follow.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

CAR

A+

54

203

33

61

12

3

6

31

2

24

46

.300

.387

.478

2010

EL

AA

79

315

63

98

20

3

10

43

7

31

61

.311

.385

.502

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

133

518

96

159

32

8

16

74

9

55

107

.307

.386

.492

4. Billy Hamilton – Bats: R Throws: R – 6’1″ 160 – CIN – 9.9.1990. Hamilton was on his way to Mississippi State to play wide receiver before the Reds used a 2nd round pick and $600,000.00 to sign him in 2009. Drafted as a shortstop, his arm is a better fit at second base, where he spent most of 2010. Although he’s only taken up switch hitting when he began his professional career, Hamilton hit .362 from the right side and .309 from the left. Like Kipnis, Hamilton will be in my scouting range as he should spend the entire first half of 2011 in Dayton.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

PIO

Rk

69

283

61

90

13

10

2

24

48

28

56

.318

.383

.456

5. Jean Segura – Bats: R Throws: R – 5’11” 155 – LAA – 3.17.90. Baseball America has Segura ranked as the Angles #3 prospect and for good reason. Segura has above average to plus tools across the board and those tools are already producing results. On top of his offensive accomplishments evidenced in his statistics below, he was voted as the best defensive 2B in the Midwestern League.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

M

MWL

130

515

89

161

24

12

10

79

50

45

72

.313

.365

.464

6. Delino DeShields Jr.- Bats: R Throws: R – 5’9″ 190 – HOU – 8.16.92. The son of former Expos star Marquis Grissom, DeShields Jr. has been around professional baseball his entire life. Considered a supplemental round talent for much of the spring, DeShields pushed himself into first round consideration as the draft approached but I was a little surprised to see him go off the board at #8 overall. An outfielder in high school, DeShields will move to second base in 2011 which is a better fit for his below average arm.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

APY

Rk

16

67

11

21

6

1

0

8

5

5

18

.313

.337

.395

2010

GLF

Rk

2

9

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

.111

.200

.111

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

18

76

14

22

6

1

0

8

5

6

20

.289

.337

.395

7. Jemile Weeks – Bats: B Throws: R – 5’9″ 170 – OAK – 1.26.87. Ricky’s brother ranked 4th on this list last year, but just can’t stay healthy long enough to show his skills. The former Miami (FL) star was a first round pick (12th overall) and one of three Cane first rounders in 2008 (1B Yonder Alonso – CIN – 7th and RHP Carlos Guitierrez – MIN – 27th). While he doesn’t yet put up numbers, he’s projected to develop above average power.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

ARZ

Rk

10

36

9

11

2

1

0

1

5

7

4

.306

.432

.417

2010

TL

AA

67

273

43

73

14

7

3

33

11

28

37

.272

.335

.403

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

77

309

52

84

16

8

3

34

16

35

41

.277

.347

.405


8. L.J. Hoes – Bats: R Throws: R – 6’1″ 190 – OAK – 3.5.90. If you try to steal 20 bases and you get caught 9 times, it’s probably time to stop trying to steal bases. Aside from that snafu, Hoes had a solid 2010. A converted outfielder in high school, Hoes is still raw at second base. The most encouraging aspect of Hoes is that he more than doubled his BB% from 4.9% in 2009 to 12.8% in 2010.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

NYP

A-

8

28

8

13

5

1

1

5

1

2

1

.464

.531

.821

2010

CAR

A+

97

353

52

98

19

2

3

44

10

53

70

.278

.375

.368

2010

EL

AA

3

9

1

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

.222

.222

.222

2010

TOT

3 Lgs

108

390

61

113

24

3

4

50

11

55

72

.290

.383

.397

9. Reese Havens – Bats: L Throws: R – 6’1″ 195 – NYM – 10.20.86. A college teammate of fellow first rounder Justin Smoak, the Mets used the 22nd pick in 2008 on Havens. An oblique injury limited Havens to just 32 games in 2010 following a 2009 season where he missed a month due to quad issues. Havens draws plenty of walks and if he can stay healthy we might finally see a good statistical season.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

FSL

A+

14

57

9

16

2

1

3

7

0

8

18

.281

.369

.509

2010

EL

AA

18

68

12

23

2

1

6

12

0

6

15

.338

.400

.662

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

32

125

21

39

4

2

9

19

0

14

33

.312

.386

.592

10. Oscar Tejeda – Bats: R Throws: L – 6’1″ 175 – BOSA converted shortstop, Tejeda handled second base well, posting .961 fielding percentage while doing enough at the dish to be named the #8 prospect in Carolina League by Baseball America. His 48 XBH in ’10 were more than twice the amount he’s accumulated in any previous year and his 17 SB were also a career high. Tejeda was rewarded for his breakout year by being added to the Red Sox 40 man roster late last year.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

CAR

A+

126

508

76

156

32

5

11

69

17

32

96

.307

.344

.455



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2011 Top 10 First Basemen Prospects



1. Freddie Freeman – Bats: L Throws: R – 6’5″ 220 – ATL – 9.12.89. I don’t think I’ve ever truly understood how good Freddie Freeman has actually been. Maybe it’s the fact that he was a second round pick of the same Braves draft class that produced Jason Heyward that I viewed Freeman as somewhat of an afterthought. While I still don’t think he’s as good as Heyward, very few humans are, so I shouldn’t hold him responsible. Freeman has been one of the youngest players at each level he’s played at as a professional and has still produced each step of the way. When a 20 year old posts an .898 OPS in AAA I guess it gets my attention. Congrats kid, you’re my number #1 first baseman. Your parents must be proud.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

IL

AAA

124

461

73

147

35

2

18

87

6

43

84

.319

.378

.521

2010

NL

MLB

20

24

3

4

1

0

1

1

0

0

8

.167

.167

.333

2. Eric HosmerBats: L Throws: L – 6’4″ 215 – KC – 10.24.89. Hosmer was the #2 ranked prospect in the Texas League behind only his Northwest Arkansas teammate Mike Moustakas. Following a horrible 2009 season Hosmer was ranked #7 on this list last year, and treated himself to off-season laser eye surgery. The results have been nothing short of spectacular as Hosmer had a near 1.00 BB/K% and posted a .977 OPS.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

CAR

A+

87

325

48

115

29

6

7

51

11

44

39

.354

.429

.545

2010

TEX

AA

50

195

39

61

14

3

13

35

3

15

27

.313

.365

.615

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

137

520

87

176

43

9

26

86

14

59

66

.338

.406

.571

3. Brandon Belt – Bats: L Throws: L – 6’5″ 195 – SF – 4.20.88. As a college baseball fan, I’m partial to professional guys that I was able to follow in their college years, and while Belt was a good college player he wasn’t supposed to be this good as a professional. The 5th round pick out of Texas wasn’t even included in the top 30 Giants prospects prior to the 2010 season by Baseball America. Belt got off to a great start in the hitters heaven that is the California League but he produced at all three levels last season, finishing with a 13 game stay the AAA Pacific Coast League. On top of the 40+ doubles, 10 triples, 23 HR, 22 steals, 1.00 BB/K ratio and 1.075 OPS, he’s an excellent defensive first baseman. There’s a lot to love about that last sentence if you’re into metrics and commas.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

CAL

A+

77

269

62

103

28

4

10

62

18

58

50

.383

.492

.628

2010

EL

AA

46

175

26

59

11

6

9

40

2

22

34

.337

.413

.623

2010

PCL

AAA

13

48

11

11

4

0

4

10

2

13

15

.229

.393

.563

2010

TOT

3 Lgs

136

492

99

173

43

10

23

112

22

93

99

.352

.455

.620



4. Jonathan Singleton – Bats: L Throws: L – 6’2″ 215 – PHI – 9.18.91. First he writes and directs a great film like Boyz N the Hood then he takes up baseball and becomes a promising prospect. OK different John Singleton. Regarded as the top prospect in the South Atlantic League, Singleton possesses power and patience at the plate reminiscent of Ryan Howard. With Howard in front of him, Singleton has experimented in LF but with his anticipated MLB debut being years away, it’s too early to be talking about a position change.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

SAL

A-

104

376

64

109

25

2

14

77

9

62

74

.290

.393

.479

5. Yonder Alonso – Bats: L Throws: R – 6’2″ 210 – CIN – 4.8.87. Like Singleton, Yonder is blocked by an All-Star in Joey Votto but it’s much closer to decision time for the Reds with regard to the Cuban born Alonso. Yonder did play 30 games in LF last season and he can’t be much worse defensively than Johnny Gomes but it’s unclear that he can match Gomes in the ever so crucial mohawk category. Another go at AAA wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for Alonso as his pitch recognition was exposed in a late season call up.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

SO

AA

31

101

19

27

5

0

3

13

4

19

16

.267

.388

.406

2010

IL

AAA

101

406

50

120

31

2

12

56

9

37

76

.296

.355

.470

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

132

507

69

147

36

2

15

69

13

56

92

.290

.362

.458

2010

NL

MLB

22

29

2

6

2

0

0

3

0

0

10

.207

.207

.276


6. Chris Carter – Bats: R Throws: R – 6’5″ 230 – OAK – 12.18.86. Look out Crash Davis, Carter has 149 career minor league HR, but he won’t get enough minor league time to accumulate the 100 or so needed to break Crash’s fictional record. A first basemen by trade, Carter didn’t play a single game at the position upon his August 9th promotion to Oakland as all 22 of his MLB appearances came at either LF or DH. You know what you’re going to get with Carter; a lot of HR’s and a lot of K’s but he does take his fair share of walks (13.2 BB% last season). If he can win a spot in Oakland this year he could produce enough power numbers to be an All Rookie Team selection.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

PCL

AAA

125

465

92

120

29

2

31

94

1

73

138

.258

.365

.529

2010

AL

MLB

24

70

8

13

1

0

3

7

1

7

21

.186

.256

.329

7. Jerry Sands – Bats: R Throws R – 6’4″ 225 – LAD – 9.28.87. Sands was so impressive in A ball I had to do a double take to verify that he was doing it in the frigid Midwest League and not the California League. Sands, the NCAA DII product, has a power/athleticism combo that is rare for a 1B. He’s spent significant time at all 3 OF positions over the past 2 years and even played a game at 3B last season. Frankly it doesn’t matter where he plays as long as he’s posting a .981 OPS.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

MW

A-

69

243

48

48

16

3

18

46

14

40

61

.333

.432

.646

2010

SOU

AA

68

259

54

54

12

2

17

47

4

33

62

.270

.360

.529

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

137

502

102

151

28

5

35

93

18

73

123

.301

.395

.586

8. Anthony Rizzo – Bats: L Throws: L – 6’3″ 220 – SD – 8.8.89. Rizzo, along with RHP Casey Kelly and OF Reymond Fuentes were dealt to San Diego this off-season for Adrian Gonzalez. While in AA last year, the Eastern League managers voted him as the best defensive first baseman in the league. Rizzo could get the opportunity to play every day with the departure of Gonzalez but he’d have to beat out my very close personal friend Mike Baxter whom I’ve met once and newly acquired Brad Hawpe. Rizzo wi

ll likey start the season in AAA Portland.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

CAR

A+

29

117

26

29

12

0

5

20

3

16

32

.248

.333

.479

2010

EL

AA

107

414

66

109

30

0

20

80

7

45

100

.263

.334

.481

2010

TOT

2Lgs

136

531

92

138

42

0

25

100

10

61

132

.260

.334

.480

9. Lars Anderson – Bats: L Throws L – 6’4″ 215 – BOS – 9.25.87. Lars may have been the top first base prospect in baseball entering the 2009 season and that’s probably the primary reason why he’s still hanging around my top 10. With Rizzo out of town, Lars has reasserted himself as the first baseman of the future in Boston. After an awful 2009 he had a less awful 2010 and made his MLB debut at age 22 so that’s something.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

EL

AA

17

62

13

22

5

0

5

16

1

7

16

.355

.408

.677

2010

IL

AAA

113

409

49

107

32

3

10

53

2

44

109

.262

.340

.428

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

130

471

62

129

37

3

15

69

3

51

125

.274

.349

.461

2010

AL

MLB

18

35

4

7

1

9

9

4

9

7

8

.200

.326

.229

10. Paul Goldschmidt – 1B – ARI. Bats: R Throws R – 6’4″ 220 – ARI – 9.10.87. A high school teammate of Blue Jays pitching prospect Kyle Drabek, Goldschmidt put up such spectacular numbers in the California League that it’s tough for me to ignore. Because of the historical statistical inflation of said league, Goldschmidt’s very appearance on this list could be really be interchanged with other first basemen of the notorious hitter’s league such as Seattle’s Rich Poythress or Washington’s Tyler Moore but suppose I think Goldschmidt’s numbers are slightly less inflated than the other guys.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

CAL

A+

138

525

102

165

42

3

35

108

5

57

161

.314

.384

.606



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2011 Top 10 Catcher Prospects

Jesus Montero

Jesus Montero Photo from a blog post by Mike McCann


The 2011 catching class isn’t as talented as it was in 2010 with the prospect graduation of Buster Posey and Carlos Santana, but last year’s MLB draft brought in some fresh meat. I limited this list to just 10 (down from 15 last year) in the hopes that I may actually finish ranking all positions this year. An unanticipated consequence of this decision is that I’m leaving off a lot of good players and possibly pissing off Blue Jays fans for dissing both J.P. Arencibia and Travis d’Arnaud. It’s important to note that these rankings are a snapshot in time and are subject to change. They are however an accurate representation of how I feel right now, so that’s something.

1. Jesus Montero – Bats: R Throws: R – 6’4″ 225 – NYY – 11.28.89. The Venezuelan born Montero ranked second on this list a year ago behind only Carlos Santana and right in front of NL Rookie of the Year Buster Posey. While I have my doubts that Montero will catch in the major leagues, his bat should play anywhere. And by anywhere, let’s be honest when we say we’re talking about 1B or DH. Montero saw his K% rise from 13% to 20% in 2010 but I’m not alarmed given the fact that he was one of the younger players in the International League and he still posted an .870 OPS. He should get an opportunity to battle for the DH spot in NY in 2011 but when defensively challenged Jorge Posada is your number 1, I’d want a better defender than Montero as my #2.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

IL

AAA

123

453

66

131

34

3

21

75

0

46

91

.289

.353

.517

2. Wil Myers – Bats: R Throws: R – 6’3″ 190 – KC – 12.10.90. In a leap of faith, I listed Myers as the #4 catcher heading into last season he didn’t disappoint, but even I didn’t anticipate a monster 2010 that would include a 15.6 BB%, 0.90 BB/K% and .935 OPS. Like Montero, the offensively minded Myers may be best suited for DH. The Royals have the best farm system in the league and Baseball America has ranked Myers as the #2 Royals prospect behind only Eric Hosmer. Myers was also named as the #4 prospect in the Carolina League and the #3 prospect in the Midwest League.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

MW

A-

68

242

42

70

19

1

10

45

10

48

55

.289

.408

.500

2010

CAR

A+

58

205

28

71

18

2

4

38

2

37

39

.346

.453

.512

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

126

447

70

141

37

3

14

83

12

85

94

.315

.429

.506

3. Wilin Rosario – Bats: R Throws: R- 5’11” 190 – COL – 2.23.89. Rosario was the #4 prospect in the AA Texas League where the managers voted him the best defensive catcher. In compiling this list, it’s become alarming to me that there are surprisingly few catchers with offensive firepower and defensive skills to match. Rosario might be the exception as his .894 OPS would suggest.

Year

League

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

TEX

AA

73

297

42

77

13

1

19

52

1

21

57

.285

.342

.552

4. Yasmani Grandal – Bats: B Throws: R – 6’2″ 215 – CIN. 11.8.88. Grandal and Devin Mesoraco were two of the top rated prep catchers in the 2007 draft and now the Reds have spent 1st round picks on both of them. Grandal slid to Boston in the 27th round that year but honored his college commitment to Miami (FL). He started as a freshman on an Omaha bound 2008 team that included fellow first rounders Yonder Alonso and Jemile Weeks. He came to his own in a 2010 All-American season and the Reds used the 12th overall pick on him. As a professional Grandal should produce a high OBP with above average power while providing above average defense behind the plate.

Year

League

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

ARI

RK

8

28

4

8

1

0

0

1

0

4

4

.286

.394

.321

5. Gary Sanchez – Bats: R Throws: R – 6’2″ 195 – NYY – 12.2.92. A $3 million bonus baby of the 2009 International signing period, Sanchez draws comparisons to fellow “Pinstriper” Jesus Montero. While Sanchez’ arm strength should make him better defensively than Montero, its his offense that gets your attention with his power as his best tool. Baseball America ranked Sanchez as the #1 prospect in the Gulf Coast League, and he could move up to the Low A South Atlantic league in 2011.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

GLF

RK

31

119

25

42

11

0

6

36

1

11

28

.353

.419

.597

2010

NYP

SS

16

54

8

15

2

0

2

7

1

3

16

.278

.333

.426

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

47

173

33

57

13

0

8

43

2

14

44

.329

.393

.543

6. Devin Mesoraco – Bats: R Throws: R – 6’1″ 220 – CIN – 6.19.88. The 15th overall pick in the 2007 draft, Mesoraco has been a disappointment year after year. From 2007 to 2009 he didn’t post an OPS over .710 but 2010 was his coming out party as he produced a mammoth .964 OPS through three levels. The #6 prospect in the Southern League and #5 prospect in the High A Carolina League will likely spend 2010 in AAA Louisville. He still strikes out at a near 20% clip so while I can’t ignore his monster 2010, I’m still a little skeptical.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

CAR

A+

43

158

24

53

11

2

10

31

2

19

29

.335

.414

.620

2010

SOU

AA

56

187

42

55

11

3

13

31

1

18

37

.294

.363

.594

2010

IL

AAA

14

52

5

12

3

0

3

13

0

6

14

.231

.310

.462

2010

TOT

3 Lgs

113

397

71

120

25

5

26

75

3

43

80

.302

.377

.587

7. Derek Norris – Bats: R Throws: R – 6’0″ 210 – WAS – 2.14.89. The #2 Nationals prospect behind only uber phenom Bryce Harper, Norris battled a broken hamate bone and a fastball to the noggin on his way to a disappointing 2010. Despite his struggles, his 22% BB% still led to an impressive .419 OBP. He’s always had a problem with K’s but last year’s 31.5 K% was a career high.

Year

League

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

CAR

A+

94

298

67

125

19

0

12

49

6

89

94

.235

.419

.419

8. Tony Sanchez – Bats: R Throws R – 6’0″ 215 – PIT – 5.20.88. Sanchez was limited to just 59 games last season thanks to a Brad Holt fastball to the head. The best defender on this list, Sanchez is a great bet to make the major leagues and have a productive career but his ceiling is limited. Despite his defensive prowess and above average arm strength, Sanchez only threw out 15% of base runners last season indicating that adjustments need to be made.

Year

League

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

FSL

A+

59

207

31

65

17

9

4

35

2

28

41

.314

.416

.454

9. Hank Conger – Bats: B Throws: R. 6’1″ 220 – LAA. 1.29.88. I feel like Hank Conger has been one of the top Angles prospect since Wally Joyner broke into the league. That’s probably not accurate though. In the past I’ve been both too low and too high on him, so I’m confident I have him just right this time. He gets on base, has power and has a shot to win AL rookie of the year in 2011.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

PCL

AAA

108

387

56

116

26

2

11

49

0

55

58

.300

.385

.463

2010

AL

MLB

13

29

2

5

1

1

0

5

0

5

9

.172

.294

.276

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

121

416

58

121

27

3

11

54

0

60

67

.291

.372

10. Justin O’Conner – Bats: R Throws: R- 6’0″ 190 – TB – 3.31.92. Drafted by the Rays in the 1st round out of an Indiana HS (31st overall) last year, O’Conner was able to sign quickly enough to qualify as the #3 prospect in the Gulf Coast League according to Baseball America. I’m taking a Wil Myers like leap of faith that O’Connor will produce in 2011. While Myers he’s not, O’Conner does have similar plus raw power. O’Conner is raw behind the plate having not caught full time until his senior year but the former pitcher/infielder has the arm strength and athleticism to become a plus defender.

Year

League

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

GCL

RK

48

161

18

34

13

0

3

29

1

18

46

.211

.301

.348


MLB Draft Prospect: Alex Dickerson – OF – Indiana – Scouting Report


2011 MLB Draft Prospect: Alex Dickerson – OF – Indiana. Bats: L Throws: L. 6’3″ 225. DOB: 5.26.90

SCOUTED

Indiana @ Ohio State – April 9, 2010 (in person)


A prep star in California, Dickerson has been hitting since arriving in Bloomington in 2009. A freshman on a deep Indiana team that included 2009 first rounder Eric Arnett (MIL) and supplemental first rounders Josh Phegley (CHW) and Matt Bashore (MIN), it was clear that Dickerson was the most feared Hoosiers hitter by season’s end earning an All Big 10 Tournament Team selection while leading Indiana to the NCAA tournament. Dickerson earned Conference Freshman of the Year honors and was named Second Team All Conference as a DH.

As a sophomore in 2010, Dickerson was a Baseball America 3rd Team All American and won the conference triple crown (.419 AVE – 24HR – 75RBI). In the summer he played in the Cape Cod League where he put up a .500/.553/.706 line in a 9 game stay.

STATISTICS

YEAR

CLASS

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

K

SB

AVE

OBP

SLG

2009

FR

58

238

45

88

15

1

14

57

18

47

2

.370

.428

.618

2010

SO

58

236

62

99

19

0

24

75

20

35

3

.419

.479

.805

2011

JR


It’s important to note that watching one game doesn’t provide nearly enough information to produce a true scouting report. That’s not going to stop me from giving you my report anyway.

HITTING: Dickerson has a powerful pull heavy swing and according this article by collegeplits.com, the results match the swing. In the game I saw, he was susceptible to off-speed pitches away. It was not clear to me if the problem was pitch recognition or that he was trying to pull these pitches or both but you can view the video above and judge for yourself. It should be noted that the at bats that I scouted were against 2010 Minnesota Twins 1st Round pick Alex Wimmers and his curve ball and changeup both rate well above average especially when compared to other amateurs that Dickerson faces. On a positive note, while Dickerson kills right handed pitching, he still hits well against lefties. I give his hitting a plus rating.

POWER: The .805 slugging percentage Dickerson posted as a sophomore is proof positive of his prestigious power at the plate. It’s pretty rare that anyone hit 38 HR in his first two years of college, much less to do so in the frigid Big Ten Midwestern weather therefore I give his power a plus plus rating.

SPEED: Dickerson has below average speed.

ARM: Dickerson has average arm strength in my small viewing sample size.

DEFENSE: His defense is passable in LF for the time being. I have not seen him at 1B but he has played there in the past. His ultimate best position as a professional will be DH.

FUTURE: Dickerson could go as early as the middle of the 1st but it’s conceivable that he gets exposed under increased scrutiny and slides to the 3rd round. However, there are so few college players in this or any draft with as much raw power as Dickerson that I have a hard time believing he makes it out of the supplemental round. As a professional he’ll need to improve his K:BB ratio in order to be successful.



MLB Draft Prospect: Alex Lavisky – C – St. Edward HS – Scouting Report

MLB Draft Prospect: Alex Lavisky – C – Lakewood St. Edward. Bats: R Throws: R. 1.13.91. 6’1″ 210. College Commitment: Georgia Tech

SCOUTED

Lakewood St. Edward v. Cincinnati Elder – June 6, 2010 (In Person)

STATISTICS (Through May 25)
YR-CLASS-AVE.- AB – H- 2B -HR – RBI SB

2010 – SR – .450 – 66 – 29 – 7 – 13 – 34 – 1

HITTING: Lavisky has a level swing and will generate a lot of line drives, but he has a timing hitch that may cause issues at the next level.

POWER: Lavisky does a good job of getting his arms extended and pulling the ball for power. The last swing in the video above generated a fly out the warning track at Huntington Park, a 405 foot trip that would have cleared most of the high school parks he’s accustom to.

SPEED: While a good athlete for a catcher and former starting QB for the St. Edward football team, Lavisky is a just a fringe average runner, however that rates him near the top of his catching peers in that area.

DEFENSE: Not many H.S. catchers can handle a 95 MPH fastball, nor do they have the opportunity to, but Lavisky catches Stetson Allie and more than holds his own. His receiving skills are advanced for a prep catcher. He has quick feet behind the plate and moves well to block pitches in the dirt.

ARM: The arm is above average but not spectacular. I had him clocked at 1.9 and 2.0 on two throws to second with a runner successfully stealing 2B.

FUTURE: Rated as the #89 best prospect in the 2010 draft by Baseball America, Lavisky figures to go in the 3rd round depending on signability. Already 19, he’ll be 21 and draft eligible after his sophomore year if he follows through on his college commitment to Georgia Tech. His receiving skills are advanced enough that I think he be able to stick at catcher. If he goes to school, I think he’s good enough to play right away in the ACC. As a professional, I view him as a low average, high OBP power hitting catcher who’s average on defense.

MLB Draft Prospect: Ryan LaMarre – OF – Michigan – Scouting Report

MLB Draft Prospect: Ryan LaMarre – OF – Michigan. Bats: R Throws: L – 6’2″ 205. 11.21.88.

SCOUTED

Purdue @ Michigan – April 9, 2010 (On Film)

Iowa v. Michigan – May 29, 2010 (In Person)

STATISTICS
YR-CLASS-AVE.- AB – H- 2B -3B- HR -RBI -OBP- SLG-SB

2008 – FR – .305 – 141 -43 – 5 -0 – 3 -23 – .376 – .404 – 8
2009 – SO -.344 – 192 -66- 11-1 – 12 -62 -.468 – .599 – 13
2010 – JR – .424 – 144 -61- 9 -5 – 5 -39 – .455 – .660 – 7

Undrafted out of Lumen Christi High School in Jackson, Michigan, where he was a 12 time letter winner in Football, Baseball, and Hockey, Ryan LaMarre is one of the most athletic prospects in the 2010 MLB Draft. LaMarre has increased his stock this spring as much as any other draft prospect and has been linked to several clubs as a potential late first round selection.

HITTING – LaMarre hits from the right side and uses his quick hands and level swing to make consistently solid contact. He’s struck out a respectable 14.8% of the time in his college career. An exceptionally aggressive hitter, LaMarre walked only 4 times in 2010 (2.7 BB%), and he’ll need to be more selective as a professional or pitchers will abuse that aggressiveness. He has shown plate dicipline in the past. In 2009 he walked 33 times to go with 36 strikeouts. LaMarre stays back on curve balls and can drive them to right field, and he punishes fastballs on the inner half.

POWER – LaMarre has hit for above average power in college and that trend could continue as a professional because of his quick hands and forearm strength. He may have more power than what he’s shown this season as a broken thumb that caused him to miss 18 games earlier this year may be adversely effecting his swing.

SPEED – LaMarre has some of the best speed in this draft class and it should be playable at any defensive position. On the basepaths however, he’s been caught stealing 15 times in 43 attempts in his college career including being caught 5 times in 12 attempts this season.

ARM – LaMarre’s arm is rated as average and suitable for a move to CF as a professional. In my limited sample the arm seemed to be below average but I’d need to see more to be comfortable giving out any grade.

DEFENSE – LaMarre possesses the instincts and athleticism to play CF and while I may be a doubter, if scouts didn’t feel he had the arm for CF, he wouldn’t be shooting up the draft boards as quickly as he has.

FUTURE – Like Kolbrin Vitek, the lack of inpact bats in this college draft class is a contributing factor to LaMarre’s vault up the draft board. That’s not to take away from LaMarre’s talent which is obvious to anyone who watches him play. His athletisism stands out next to his Big 10 Conference peers. LaMarre could go anywhere from the late first round to the early third, where I think he has the ability to become a starting left fielder for a big league club if he can harness some of that aggressivness and be more selective at the plate.

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