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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Kevin Goldstein: Athletics Top 11 Prospects

Five-Star Prospects
1. Michael Choice, OF
Four-Star Prospects
2. Jarrod Parker, RHP
3. A.J. Cole, RHP
4. Brad Peacock, RHP
5. Sonny Gray, RHP
6. Derek Norris, C
7. Grant Green, OF
Three-Star Prospects
8. Chris Carter, 1B
9. Collin Cowgill, OF
10. Raul Alcantara, RHP
11. Max Stassi, C

Nine More
12. Michael Taylor, OF: He made some improvements in 2011, but the A’s showed “confidence” in Taylor by acquiring Reddick and re-signing Crisp.
13. Josh Donaldson, C: He doesn’t have any star-level tools, but he has improved defensively and has always had solid power.
14. Yordy Cabrera, SS: He had an ugly full-season debut in 2011, but the seven-figure tools are still there.
15. Bobby Crocker, OF: This 2011 fourth-round pick is a big-time athlete with speed and power potential.
16. Aaron Shipman, OF: He could explode with some hitting refinements due to his speed and advanced approach.
17. Vicmal De La Cruz, OF: De La Cruz was beat up in the Dominican Summer League. His speed and bat are his best tools.
18. Ian Krol, LHP: He lost 2011 due to injury, but his instructional league showing has officials optimistic for a bounceback.
19. Miles Head, 1B/3B: Head came over in the Andrew Bailey trade. There is nothing pretty about what he does, but his power is significant.
20. Jermaine Mitchell, OF: He finally had his breakout season, but he is also 27 now.

Tripon Posted: January 14, 2012 at 04:26 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, minor leagues, prospect reports, scouting

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   1. zachtoma Posted: January 14, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4037177)
Well at least they have a pretty good system to show for it now.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: January 14, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4037203)
I'm no prospect hound but Choice as a 5-star prospect seems a questionable choice. (channelling by inner Fozzie Bear)

Anyhoo, he's hit well but he'll be 22 and I assume in AA which is solid but not "wow." His K-rate is a lot higher than you like to see and, consequently, the BA a lot lower. I guess it depends where the 5-star line is drawn.
   3. Barnaby Jones Posted: January 14, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4037240)
5 star means roughly a top 50 prospect.
   4. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: January 14, 2012 at 11:10 PM (#4037243)
Is this before they got Milone or is he not a Top 20 prospect? Or not eligible?
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 15, 2012 at 12:21 AM (#4037265)
Well its a good thing they made all those trades, or they'd only have five guys in their top 11 and that would be embarrassing!
   6. ...and Toronto selects: Troy Tulowitzki Posted: January 15, 2012 at 12:23 AM (#4037267)
KLaw chat this week:

Dale (San Francisco)

Your evaluation of Choice is that his swing is problematic but all I hear from Choice, his Single A hitting coach and A's management is he's simplified his swing greatly. When is the last time you saw Choice and have you seen any improvement? Are you still not high on him?

Klaw (3:06 PM)

Saw him in AFL. Same guy.
   7. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: January 15, 2012 at 02:10 AM (#4037276)
From the files of Keith Law: Pretend Scout
   8. Walt Davis Posted: January 15, 2012 at 03:02 AM (#4037278)
5 star means roughly a top 50 prospect.

OK, top 50 doesn't seem unreasonable on the surface.
   9. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 15, 2012 at 03:02 AM (#4037279)
Is this before they got Milone or is he not a Top 20 prospect? Or not eligible?

Milone was eligible but Goldstein said in the comments that his stuff is very fringy and he didn't make the Top 20

5 star means roughly a top 50 prospect.

OK, top 50 doesn't seem unreasonable on the surface.


It's not unreasonable, but also not that helpful. I mean it could be anything from Bryce Harper to...well....Michael Choice.
   10. Brian Posted: January 15, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4037347)
What does 3 star mean? Chris Carter being one doesn't bode well ....
   11. valuearbitrageur Posted: January 15, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4037355)
Well its a good thing they made all those trades, or they'd only have five guys in their top 11 and that would be embarrassing!


Sadly, their top 11 doesn't seem that great. Is there any likely future star other than Parker?

Selling their cheap major leaguers off for prospects is step one. But they also need a really shitty season or two if they want some uber high upside prospects.
   12. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 15, 2012 at 08:02 PM (#4037557)
Well you also have to not draft Matt Bush and Bryan Bullington, but in any case they're well on their way to that shitty season.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 15, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4037603)

Sadly, their top 11 doesn't seem that great. Is there any likely future star other than Parker?


I think AJ Cole could be an ace. He could also never reach AAA. He has had exactly one good season.


What does 3 star mean? Chris Carter being one doesn't bode well ....,


It means "Future Michael Taylor."
   14. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: January 15, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4037705)
Milone was eligible but Goldstein said in the comments that his stuff is very fringy and he didn't make the Top 20

An absurdity. The man already has 0.4 WAR in the majors. That alone should be good enough for the Top 20 in a middling system.

His minor league statistics mean _something_ even if his stuff profile might mean more (and I'm not convinced it does). So does a fairly decent 25 innings or so in the majors. This is just being stubborn.
   15. MM1f Posted: January 15, 2012 at 11:37 PM (#4037722)

An absurdity. The man already has 0.4 WAR in the majors. That alone should be good enough for the Top 20 in a middling system.

His minor league statistics mean _something_ even if his stuff profile might mean more (and I'm not convinced it does). So does a fairly decent 25 innings or so in the majors. This is just being stubborn.


How many different no-stuff, no-walks RHPs have have we heard this about? Josh Banks, Yusimero Petit, Justin Germano, ect.

Who is the success story from this type of pitcher?

You say "already has .4 WAR in the majors." Another way of phrasing that might be "Tom Milone will be a 25 year old who has yet to accumulate even .5 WAR in the major leagues."
   16. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: January 16, 2012 at 12:12 AM (#4037736)
Who is the success story from this type of pitcher?

Bob Tewksbury, Aaron Cook, Tom Browning, Wang Chien-ming, Zane Smith, Hippolito Pichardo, Jim Abbott, Mike Boddicker, Randy Tomlin, Jon Garland, Bill Swift?

Also I wouldn't say Milone has "no stuff". He supposedly has a plus change. There's a decent chance he can be a back of the rotation, average to below average pitcher for a couple of years.
   17. Poster Nutbag Posted: January 16, 2012 at 12:34 AM (#4037741)

How many different no-stuff, no-walks RHPs have have we heard this about? Josh Banks, Yusimero Petit, Justin Germano, ect.

Who is the success story from this type of pitcher?



Also I wouldn't say Milone has "no stuff". He supposedly has a plus change. There's a decent chance he can be a back of the rotation, average to below average pitcher for a couple of years.


A few years before the turn of the century, wasn't the roughly the same stuff said about Huddy?
   18. MM1f Posted: January 16, 2012 at 12:54 AM (#4037745)
Bob Tewksbury, Aaron Cook, Tom Browning, Wang Chien-ming, Zane Smith, Hippolito Pichardo, Jim Abbott, Mike Boddicker, Randy Tomlin, Jon Garland, Bill Swift?


Most of these guys had better stuff than Milone. Wang and Cook, for example, both had low-to-mid 90s power sinkers. I'm not sure how on earth you find that comparable to a change-up artist with a mid to high 80s fastball.

Yeah, Milone has a plus changeup but polished minor leaguers with plus changeups and minus fastballs are a dime a dozen because that plus changeup doesn't play as a plus pitch at the MLB level if you can't support it with a fastball.

I will confess to forgetting that Milone is a LHP, not a righty. This improves his chances at a career but he still isn't much of a prospect.

A few years before the turn of the century, wasn't the roughly the same stuff said about Huddy?


Uh, no? Certainly not by anyone worthwhile. Like with Cook and Wang, being a groundball guy with good stuff isn't the same as Milone's profile. Hudson threw/throws in the low 90s with sink and quality secondary pitches. Milone does not.

There is a peculiar tendency among fans, when trying to support their belief in the latest rag-armed flavor of the week, to pretend to that great pitchers actually had much worse stuff than they actually did.
   19. Poster Nutbag Posted: January 16, 2012 at 01:24 AM (#4037749)

Uh, no? Certainly not by anyone worthwhile. Like with Cook and Wang, being a groundball guy with good stuff isn't the same as Milone's profile. Hudson threw/throws in the low 90s with sink and quality secondary pitches. Milone does not.

There is a peculiar tendency among fans, when trying to support their belief in the latest rag-armed flavor of the week, to pretend to that great pitchers actually had much worse stuff than they actually did.


Your making quite a leap there....I recall Hudson labeled as a guy who wasn't supposed to make it. That's all I was mentioning, which is why I quoted two different sets of opinions.

There is a peculiar tendency among posters to completely ignore half of your post and make assumptions that aren't true, almost as if the post was directed at them specifically and not just a general comment....
   20. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: January 16, 2012 at 02:29 AM (#4037768)
Let's list them at the stage of their careers before they make the majors.

Tom Milone: In 2011 at 24 years old in AAA, Milone had 16 walks and 155 strikeouts in 148 innings with 9 homers allowed
Josh Banks: In 2006 at 23 years old in AAA, Banks had 28 walks and 126 strikeouts in 171 innings with 35! homers allowed
Yusmeiro Petit: In 2006 at 21 years old in Albuquerque, Petit had 20 walks and 68 strikeouts in 96 innings with 14 homers allowed
Justin Germano: In 2004 at 21 years old in Portland: Justin Germano had 25 walks and 98 strikeouts in 123 innings with 12 homers allowed

See he's _better_ than they were in the minors (and it's not just in the listed seasons). I get discounting Milone's success because of his slow fastball (I agree), but _ignoring_ it is unbelievably dumb. Those are real games against real AAA players trying to impress enough to get a shot in the big leagues and he wasn't good, he was outstanding. You can't just run those guys out there without mentioning that since he was better than they were in the minors, it suggests he'll be better than they were in the majors (and Petit for all the home runs was essentially dead on replacement level so he would probably have belonged on this list too).

Furthermore, I'm not talking top 20 in the league, I'm talking top 20 on the damn A's. The majority of guys on there that won't come close to contributing any WAR in the majors. You're trying to tell me one of the most effective pitcher in AAA last year at 24 years old isn't at least a top 20 for the A's? That's nuts. Josh Donaldson? The 26 year old catcher with an OPS+ projection in 2012 of around 75 is a better prospect? Really? C'mon.

As for pitchers who he could be, Eric Milton is a decent match and was an above average pitcher for several years before the home runs finally got the best of him after some injuries. Paul Maholm is more of a groundballer but doesn't throw any harder than Milone and is roughly a league average SP. It's not like he was throwing 81 up there like Moyer. 88 mph fastballs aren't impressive but a bunch of guys have carved out decent careers with them.

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