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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mayo: Breaking down MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospects

It’s the moment everyone has been waiting for: MLB.com’s 2013 Top 100 Prospects list is now available for perusal and dissection. Let the debate begin!

Lists like this are made to get people talking and arguing. Every year, discussions have been passionate about who’s on the list, who’s not, who’s too high and who is too low. Don’t worry, those responsible for putting tthis together welcome it.

There’s no better place to start that discussion than at the top. The top four prospects separated themselves a bit among the scouts polled for the rankings. Jurickson Profar, Dylan Bundy, Oscar Taveras and Wil Myers were the clear choices for the 2013 prospect version of Mount Rushmore. The overall tally at the top was close, but more than 70 percent of those polled picked the Rangers shortstop as their choice for No. 1.

Thanks to Drew.

Repoz Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:45 AM | 58 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: prospects

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   1. shoewizard Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:41 AM (#4358043)
Trevor Bauer- 17
Didi Gregorious- 63

Kevin Towers- WINNING !
   2. John Northey Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:45 AM (#4358045)
Kind of frustrating to see 4 ex-Jays in the top 100 and just one who is still here. But I think I prefer seeing Reyes, Johnson, Buerhle, Dickey, etc. here for 2013.
   3. Toolsy McClutch Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:12 PM (#4358185)
I don't know John, as a Jay fan I'm scared out of my pants. The cupboard, she is bare.
   4. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:16 PM (#4358187)
I'm going to go out on a limb and say Addison Russell will be much higher by the end of the year.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:21 PM (#4358191)
Surprised AJ Cole is still a Top 100 guy, he was rocked after his promotion, and then he was dealt for John Jaso, who I don't consider good value for a Top 100 prospect.
   6. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4358198)
Kind of frustrating to see 4 ex-Jays in the top 100 and just one who is still here. But I think I prefer seeing Reyes, Johnson, Buerhle, Dickey, etc. here for 2013.


In the discussion thread of the Nick Johnson retirement link, this link to Baseball Prospectus, circa 2001 was quite fun. Never overestimate prospect lists and never underestimate the value of actual Major League talent.
   7. esseff Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4358234)
Never overestimate prospect lists and never underestimate the value of actual Major League talent.


One of the reasons that, based on the 2012 postseason, I expect Trevor Rosenthal will have a better career than some of the 42 players listed ahead of him, barring injury.
   8. Dylan B Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4358238)
Kind of frustrating to see 4 ex-Jays in the top 100 and just one who is still here. But I think I prefer seeing Reyes, Johnson, Buerhle, Dickey, etc. here for 2013.


Guessing you missed Hechavarria at 81. And it would go to 6 if you include James Paxton who they were unable to sign after playing hardball after the 09 draft.

And I agree about seeing those 4 here this year. I think the return on those 5 prospects was pretty good and there are enough very good players players on the ML roster that we wont see the loss of those prospects affect the MLteam for another 3-4 years.
   9. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:10 PM (#4358249)
And I agree about seeing those 4 here this year. I think the return on those 5 prospects was pretty good and there are enough very good players players on the ML roster that we wont see the loss of those prospects affect the MLteam for another 3-4 years.


3-4 years is an eternity to restock the minor league talent pool of a Major League system.
   10. bigboy1234 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4358252)
The thing I like most about this list is the grades given.

That being said, some interesting grades, for example, one of my favorite players Xander Bogaerts; "Power: 3/5" and "He has significant raw power he’s still learning to tap into..." So he has significant raw power, but that equates to a 5?

Then just comparing that grade, ISO, age/level to the players ranked around him:
Xander Bogaerts 3/5 .216 19/A+
Franciso Lindor 3/5 .098 18/A
Billy Hamilton 3/4 .109 21/A+/AA
Byron Buxton 3/5 .200 18/Rk
Nick Castellanos 5/6 .131 20/AA/A+
Christian Yelich 5/6 .187 20/A+

Bogaerts looks to have the most current power amongst them, but somehow is graded the same current as Lindor, Hamilton, and a kid straight out of HS playing rookie ball and two grades lower than Casty and Yelich who you could easily argue he has more current power then.
   11. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:28 PM (#4358258)
I'm kind of surprised Luis Heredia didn't make the list. He was on it last year, in the 60s IIRC, and he doesn't seem to have done anything to damage his status since then.
   12. Mark S. is bored Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4358262)

In the discussion thread of the Nick Johnson retirement link, this link to Baseball Prospectus, circa 2001 was quite fun. Never overestimate prospect lists and never underestimate the value of actual Major League talent.


From the article:


29. Albert Pujols, 3B

The scary thing about Albert Pujols is that it is only one year, and he didn't hold value after promotions. What really drove his figure up was the outrageously good fielding numbers he racked up, Gold-Glove-caliber even after a hefty penalty for the Midwest League-to-majors conversion.


Pujols started the season in the majors and hit .329/.403/.610
   13. JJ1986 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4358268)
Bogaerts looks to have the most current power amongst them, but somehow is graded the same current as Lindor, Hamilton, and a kid straight out of HS playing rookie ball and two grades lower than Casty and Yelich who you could easily argue he has more current power then.


I think Bogaerts, Castellanos and Yelich are all closer to a 4/6 power. I wouldn't expect any of them to have average major league power right now.
   14. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4358277)
Shoe,

Sent you an e-mail. This offseason for the DBacks has really been something to behold. They've got me flummoxed for sure.

   15. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4358288)
The BP list linked in #6 is both cautionary and entertaining. My favourite comment (with benefit of hindsight) has to be Derek Zumsteg, in the course of objecting to Nick Johnson being dropped to #26 due to injury: "It's not like he's Ruben Mateo, plagued throughout his career with an uncanny ability to injure different body part".

   16. zonk Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4358290)
So, Billy Hamilton is most certainly one of the most 'fun' prospects to think about... but can you really trust any list that has him at #11?

Maybe it's unfair, but that's one guy I just won't trust can hit big league pitching until I actually see him hit big league pitching.
   17. JJ1986 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4358301)
The best thing about BP projecting Pujols came the next year. I think they wrote something like "No one is likely to be Albert Pujols this year, but if anyone is it's this guy."

That was about Brendan Harris.
   18. bigboy1234 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4358303)
zonk, I would have said the same thing last year while he was still in the Midwest league, but the fact that he had a 36/43 BB/K in Double-A this year is quite promising. Will he ever hit for much power at all? No. But if he can keep his power at the .100 ISO level while hitting ~.290 he should be a pretty valuable asset. That being said, he is also moving down the defensive spectrum as he is now a CF instead of a SS. But if he can adapt to reading the ball properly off the bat on flyballs, he has the ability (with some of the best speed ever on the baseball field) to be an amazing defensive CF.

JJ1986, I agree. Though I'm lower on Casty, so maybe a current 3 for him, I'm also not a fan of him because the awful BB/K rates. But it's laughable to think of Bogaerts' current power as equal to Lindor/Hamilton/Buxton like the grades say.
   19. esseff Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4358311)
Pujols started the season in the majors and hit .329/.403/.610


I give BB-Pro, specifically Jazayerli, all kinds of credit for putting Pujols as high as 29 after one year of Class-A ball -- plus mediocre PCL playoff cameo -- as a 13th-round pick. But, yes, it's funny that they saw his value coming as a defensive 3b.
   20. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4358312)
Hamilton's numbers are superficially similar to Vince Coleman's. If he can be an average or better CF and put up an 85-90 OPS+ he'll be a pretty useful player. But it's hard to imagine him ever becoming a star.
   21. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4358328)
Hamilton's numbers are superficially similar to Vince Coleman's.


That was exactly the comp I had in mind.

-- MWE
   22. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:38 PM (#4358331)
I give BB-Pro, specifically Jazayerli, all kinds of credit for putting Pujols as high as 29 after one year of Class-A ball -- plus mediocre PCL playoff cameo -- as a 13th-round pick. But, yes, it's funny that they saw his value coming as a defensive 3b.


I don't post that to really harp on B-Pro as prognosticators. I post it as a caution to anyone projecting any "sure thing" from the minors based on one year's listing as a top 10 prospect. Bruce Chen was a consensus top 5 prospect in 1998. Ryan Anderson and Sean Burroughs were the surest of surety in 2001. Odds are Jurickson Profar will have a solid, possibly even spectacular ML career. There are better odds that someone from the 30-50 range of this list will have a better career then him or Wil Myers. There's a better chance of Travis d'Arnaud being Craig Wilson than of him being Brian McCann or Yadi Molina.
   23. esseff Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4358344)
Hush your mouth, #22. Oscar Taveras is going to be Albert Pujols/Mike Trout, and I can't wait for the OT era to begin.
   24. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4358349)
I don't post that to really harp on B-Pro as prognosticators. I post it as a caution to anyone projecting any "sure thing" from the minors based on one year's listing as a top 10 prospect. Bruce Chen was a consensus top 5 prospect in 1998. Ryan Anderson and Sean Burroughs were the surest of surety in 2001. Odds are Jurickson Profar will have a solid, possibly even spectacular ML career. There are better odds that someone from the 30-50 range of this list will have a better career then him or Wil Myers. There's a better chance of Travis d'Arnaud being Craig Wilson than of him being Brian McCann or Yadi Molina.

Right. For that reason, it's fairly pointless IMO to rank guys beyond the top 10 or 20. Even the top 10 are extremely difficult to predict, but at least you have some players who have separated themselves because of performance or physical skills. After that, you have a lot of players who have talent and could be very good, or they could be averagish, or they could do nothing. To use a homerish example, I didn't see Jonathan Schoop in the top 100, but are the guys in the 50-100 range on the list that much more likely to have decent major league careers? There's no way to know. That's why I prefer Sickels' grades, although even those might be too precise. The best we can say is probably that there are a few "A" prospects, 100 or so "B" prospects, and a ton of "C" prospects.
   25. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:55 PM (#4358354)
Going back to Hamilton, I could see him hitting around .300 in the majors between infield singles and frequent bunting, and if he has decent strikezone judgment he could put up a .350 OBP. So even if he has zero power, he could hit .300/.350/.300, and with 80-100 SBs at a high percentage and decent defense he'd be valuable.
   26. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:59 PM (#4358358)
Right. For that reason, it's fairly pointless IMO to rank guys beyond the top 10 or 20


I'd go even further. Right now, I think there are three blue-chip prospects in the minor leagues: Profar, Taveras and Myers. One of those will flame out somewhat between now and multiple ASG appearances. The rest of the top prospects in baseball are high quality contributors like Billy Hamilton or d'Anaurd, many of whom will turn in quality careers at the next level, none of which are even remotely predictable. Then there's the bucket labeled "minor league pitching prospects," of which there is no such thing. (I do think this year's class of top tier prospects is artificially thin due to the fact that folks like Trout, Harper and Heyward shot through the minors so quickly.
   27. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:01 PM (#4358360)

The scary thing about Albert Pujols is that it is only one year, and he didn't hold value after promotions. What really drove his figure up was the outrageously good fielding numbers he racked up, Gold-Glove-caliber even after a hefty penalty for the Midwest League-to-majors conversion.


IIRC, Posnanski once wrote a column about the scout that found Pujols (he was no longer in baseball and working at a grocery store!). The scout loved Pujols' glove but had doubts about his bat.
   28. fra paolo Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:34 PM (#4358385)
The best thing about BP projecting Pujols came the next year. I think they wrote something like "No one is likely to be Albert Pujols this year, but if anyone is it's this guy."

They were half right.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4358496)
It really is hard to see Hamilton as that promising. That said I suppose he's a near-certain shot to get a decent amount of ML playing time -- Willy Taveras got over 2500 PA and was pretty much full-time for three years -- so maybe I can see him as high as #11 on a list that emphasizes the probability of having a career.

The Pujols comment is entertaining but, to me, the Pujols story questions the utility of scouts more than silly prospect lists. At 21, after one year of minor-league ball, he put up a 160 OPS+ in the majors. Yet, coming out of high school, nobody even thought he was worth a late-round draft pick? Nobody saw enough potential in him even to be an average MLer to do that? He goes off to JC and the Cards draft him in the 13th round. That was the 402nd pick. For a guy who was 1.5 years away from being a stud ML hitter and nobody liked his bat enough to take a chance on him as an 8th round draft pick?

I don't mean to suggest scouting is easy and they're idiots for missing Pujols. I mean scouting is probably impossibly hard and just how much utility can there really be if nobody can tell the difference between a 13th round pick and a guy with the potential to be the next Frank Thomas (or Bagwell or Foxx or DiMaggio or whoever you want to comp Pujols to). This isn't even Piazza who spent 3.5 years in the minors, initially struggling before busting out at 22, it was a much faster rise than that.

Something unbelievable happened here. Either you have a guy that everybody (correctly) doesn't think has much chance of making the majors turning into one of the greats in 1.5 years; or you have a guy who in 1999 had to have been at least an ML average hitter already but no team could recognize it.

Somewhat amazingly, I see the guy picked just before Pujols was Alfredo Amezaga who has 2.5 career WAR -- two MLers at #401 and 402.
   30. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:14 PM (#4358501)
wily peralta is such a wildcard. if he nudges his control with his fastball and general stuff he could be a solid starter with the chance to eat up innings. if not he's a guy who lurches between 'hey, that was a really good game' to 'd8mmit, 8 runs in 3 plus innings?'

   31. Swedish Chef Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:16 PM (#4358505)
I don't mean to suggest scouting is easy and they're idiots for missing Pujols. I mean scouting is probably impossibly hard and just how much utility can there really be if nobody can tell the difference between a 13th round pick and a guy with the potential to be the next Frank Thomas (or Bagwell or Foxx or DiMaggio or whoever you want to comp Pujols to).

But it must work somehow because Pujols is the exception, most value gets picked early in the draft.
   32. booond Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:17 PM (#4358506)
Willy Taveras got over 2500 PA and was pretty much full-time for three years


In 2008 he stole 68 bases and scored 64 runs.
   33. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:28 PM (#4358515)
Something unbelievable happened here. Either you have a guy that everybody (correctly) doesn't think has much chance of making the majors turning into one of the greats in 1.5 years; or you have a guy who in 1999 had to have been at least an ML average hitter already but no team could recognize it.


It's a really interesting question. One thing I notice is that the Cardinals must have realized very quickly that Pujols was better than your average 13th round draft pick. Looking at the Cardinals draft from 1999, only one of the 16 players they took ahead of Pujols went straight to A-ball Peoria; the rest started at the low-A or Rookie league level.

I don't know enough about the minors to know how unusual that might be. But Pujols apparently asserted himself pretty strongly sometime between draft day and his arrival in the minor leagues.
   34. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:33 PM (#4358520)
ZiPS Top 10 Offensive Comps for Running Billy Hamilton:

Milt Cuyler
Stan Javier
Gerald Young
Stan Jefferson
Vince Coleman (Mike is amazing at guessing ZiPS comps - probably >90% of guesses in Top 10)
Mike Felder
Luis Polonia
Peter Bergeron
Rod Craig
John Cangelosi
   35. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:35 PM (#4358521)
Going back to Hamilton, I could see him hitting around .300 in the majors between infield singles and frequent bunting, and if he has decent strikezone judgment he could put up a .350 OBP. So even if he has zero power, he could hit .300/.350/.300, and with 80-100 SBs at a high percentage and decent defense he'd be valuable.


You can negate both infield singles and bunts by working him up in the zone (where it's going to be nearly impossible for him to hit the ball on the ground), and if he can't drive those pitches you can bet the farm that's what major league pitchers are going to do.

Hamilton has to develop "some" pop. He doesn't have to hit home runs but he needs to be able to drive the ball to the gaps when pitchers come too far over the plate.

-- MWE
   36. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:38 PM (#4358524)
Mike is amazing at guessing ZiPS comps - probably >90% of guesses in Top 10


You watch enough baseball games, you can get pretty close on a lot of players; 40 years at the ballpark is worth *something* :)

-- MWE
   37. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:03 PM (#4358552)
Hamilton has to develop "some" pop. He doesn't have to hit home runs but he needs to be able to drive the ball to the gaps when pitchers come too far over the plate.


Like I said; Gregor Blanco. When he came up he was skin and bones with absolutely no power. Pitchers knocked the bat out of his hands. He went to KC and put on some muscle and became functionally useful. Cross referencing Dan's list @34, a good example of a guy who did not do that was Peter Bergeron.
   38. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4358569)
I'd go even further. Right now, I think there are three blue-chip prospects in the minor leagues: Profar, Taveras and Myers. One of those will flame out somewhat between now and multiple ASG appearances. The rest of the top prospects in baseball are high quality contributors like Billy Hamilton or d'Anaurd, many of whom will turn in quality careers at the next level, none of which are even remotely predictable. Then there's the bucket labeled "minor league pitching prospects," of which there is no such thing. (I do think this year's class of top tier prospects is artificially thin due to the fact that folks like Trout, Harper and Heyward shot through the minors so quickly.

I think people make too much of TINSTAAPP. Is the hit rate *that* much lower than with position prospects? As you note, one of those top three position guys will probably flame out, and lots of highly regarded pitching prospect do end up having good MLB careers. (And don't forget Machado when discussing the top tier prospects who graduated)

You can negate both infield singles and bunts by working him up in the zone (where it's going to be nearly impossible for him to hit the ball on the ground), and if he can't drive those pitches you can bet the farm that's what major league pitchers are going to do.

True, but Coleman and Brett Butler had ~.080 ISO, so it's certainly possible that Hamilton could have enough power to survive. So to revise my (admittedly extreme) example from above, he could hit .300/.350/.380.
   39. bfan Posted: January 30, 2013 at 06:35 PM (#4358575)
If Gregor Blanco can start for the world champions, then Billy Hamilton can succeed in MLB.
   40. booond Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:01 PM (#4358591)
True, but Coleman and Brett Butler had ~.080 ISO, so it's certainly possible that Hamilton could have enough power to survive.


Butler had an extremely good batting eye. Look at his numbers in the minors. I'm not saying Hamilton can't be a fine player in the bigs but Butler may be the top of that type of player and he showed the skills in the minors.
   41. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:05 PM (#4358596)
Wow. Those are some amazing BB/K numbers.
   42. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:25 PM (#4358606)
Butler's 366/513/513 in 300 PAs in Durham is one of the most outlandish lines you'll ever see.
   43. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:33 PM (#4358612)
Yeah, Brett Butler is to slap hitting lead off men as Rickey Henderson is to power-hitting lead off men. They represent the Platonic Form of the concept.
   44. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:36 PM (#4358615)
Gregor Blanco, at age 20, hit eight home runs in Myrtle Beach, which is one of the harder parks in which to hit a home run in the minors. Billy Hamilton, through age 21, has hit a total of 7 minor league home runs.

Looking at the entire ZiPS comp list wouldn't give me a lot of hope that Hamilton's going to have much of a career. Coleman was perhaps the best player on it, the others (except maybe for Cangelosi) were various degrees of disappointing.

-- MWE
   45. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:39 PM (#4358620)
Gregor Blanco, at age 20, hit eight home runs in Myrtle Beach, which is one of the harder parks in which to hit a home run in the minors. Billy Hamilton, through age 21, has hit a total of 7 minor league home runs.


Who was the very fast, zero power OF that came up with the Rays, then bounced around the Mets system for a while?
   46. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 30, 2013 at 07:44 PM (#4358625)
The scary thing about Albert Pujols is that it is only one year, and he didn't hold value after promotions. What really drove his figure up was the outrageously good fielding numbers he racked up, Gold-Glove-caliber even after a hefty penalty for the Midwest League-to-majors conversion.


Actually, the "didn't hold value after promotions" comment, standing alone, is stupid.

He had all of 89 PAs in the Carolina League after being promoted from the MidWest League- and its' not even like he tanked, he hit .284/.341/.481 there, then he was promoted again to AAA- just 3 games- but think about it, 20 year old starting the year in the Midwest League ends up in AAA by the end. Obviously the Cardinals organization were tremendously impressed- the next year he went to the MLB camp and made the team- many 21 year old prospects who have no real AA and above PT go to the minor league camp, others get a cup of coffee in the MLB camp with no chance of making the team out of ST- Pujols was obviously being looked at for the purpose of making the team that year.
   47. bigboy1234 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:03 PM (#4358644)
Looking at the entire ZiPS comp list wouldn't give me a lot of hope that Hamilton's going to have much of a career. Coleman was perhaps the best player on it, the others (except maybe for Cangelosi) were various degrees of disappointing.


While this is true, lets not act like any of those guys other than Coleman had comparable speed to Hamilton.
   48. Greg K Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:11 PM (#4358650)
Who was the very fast, zero power OF that came up with the Rays, then bounced around the Mets system for a while?

Joey Gathright?

He could jump over cars!


EDIT: Gathright never played in the Mets system, so it must be someone else you're thinking of.
   49. Brian White Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:15 PM (#4358655)
Who was the very fast, zero power OF that came up with the Rays, then bounced around the Mets system for a while?


Jason Tyner came up with the Mets, then bounced around the Rays system. Is that who you're looking for? One career home run! Off Jake Westbrook, if you're wondering.
   50. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:16 PM (#4358657)
Jason Tyner is exactly who I was thinking of.
   51. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 08:49 PM (#4358669)
I'd take the futures of any of the next five position players in the rankings (Sano, Yelich, Lindor, Baez, Buxton) over Hamilton's. If I thought Bogaerts would end up at SS, I'd take his, too.

-- MWE
   52. RollingWave Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:00 PM (#4358674)
In the discussion thread of the Nick Johnson retirement link, this link to Baseball Prospectus, circa 2001 was quite fun. Never overestimate prospect lists and never underestimate the value of actual Major League talent.


Yeah, but then again, If Nick Johnson had even below average health instead of god god awful, he would have been a very valuable MLer.


Also, the title of this article is rather unfortunate, the last thing most fans want to hear in a sentence with their prospect is "breaking"
   53. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:15 PM (#4358684)
Gregor Blanco, at age 20, hit eight home runs in Myrtle Beach, which is one of the harder parks in which to hit a home run in the minors. Billy Hamilton, through age 21, has hit a total of 7 minor league home runs.

Brett Gardner had 9, total, through his age 24 season (he's now hit 15 HRs in the Majors). He also K'ed a bunch in the minors (less than Hamilton, but he walked less too) and still K's a fair share in the Majors. He's been pretty good when he's been healthy. Of course, a large part of that is being awesome defensively. But he's got legs, no arm, no power and his contact skills aren't other worldly. If Hamilton can pick up the OF, I could see him producing similar value.
   54. RollingWave Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:46 PM (#4358694)
Brett Gardner's game translated a lot better into the majors then I feared though, and he has actually show a slightly better ISO in the majors so far then in the minors, though that's mostly because almost 1/3 of his minor career was in Trenton.

Still, Gardner's more of an example of a relatively unheralded C+ to B- prospect turning good. Hamilton's rated a lot higher than him.


Also, I chuckled a bit seeing a Adam Eaton on the list, who also has big beard. He actually put up crazy good number, but I guess half of that is PCL and/or him being a very polished College player. still if those number even translate 80% to the majors he's a star and he did manage a pretty good OBP in a brief major stint.


   55. puck Posted: January 30, 2013 at 10:41 PM (#4358712)
IIRC, Posnanski once wrote a column about the scout that found Pujols (he was no longer in baseball and working at a grocery store!). The scout loved Pujols' glove but had doubts about his bat.


Didn't find the Pos story, but found this one about Dave Karaff:

The things he did as a scout make him proud, even if it didn't end like he wanted it to. That makes Pujols' recent public comments cut deep.

The slugger, for instance, told The Kansas City Star: "He said I wasn't going to make the big leagues. That's why he got fired."

He told USA Today : "How can you draft a guy and say you don't know if he's going to make the big leagues? All of a sudden, the next year (I'm) in the big leagues, and he wants to take all the credit."

That burned up Karaff's family, who felt like a superstar multi-millionaire was picking on a guy who stocks shelves at Wal-Mart. They say Karaff isn't trying to take any credit.


Here's another story about a different guy (Edgar Willard) who discovered Pujols (and Nolan Ryan).
   56. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 10:55 PM (#4358719)
Still, Gardner's more of an example of a relatively unheralded C+ to B- prospect turning good. Hamilton's rated a lot higher than him.


And my point is that I don't think Hamilton should be rated that much higher until and unless he shows some ability to drive the ball. Ranking him the 11th best prospect in all of baseball implies a likelihood of success that Hamilton hasn't demonstrated yet.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter how fast you are; it matters what you can do with the bat in your hands, and Hamilton's ability to do much with the bat is still a big question mark.

-- MWE
   57. bigboy1234 Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:43 PM (#4358741)
It's not like Lindor and Buxton don't also have huge questions with their bat. It's also weird to hear you say that, while excluding Bogaerts from the group you did.

Anyways, it may be just because he is new and shiny but I'm liking Dahl a lot more than I probably should.
   58. Cooper Nielson Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:48 PM (#4358744)
Butler had an extremely good batting eye. Look at his numbers in the minors. I'm not saying Hamilton can't be a fine player in the bigs but Butler may be the top of that type of player and he showed the skills in the minors.

Butler had a .338/.461(!)/.452 batting line in the minors over 1668 PA. He didn't become a regular in the majors until age 26. I was wondering why it took so long for the Braves to notice him, but I see they did give him a pretty good shot in 1981 and 1982 and he did not do very well.

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