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   1. John DiFool2 Posted: January 15, 2007 at 05:53 PM (#2280676)
Listing the positions of these players in their headers would help. Spann for example is probably very good-if he's a middle infielder.
If he's a 1B or corner OF, he ain't all that great.
   2. Darren Posted: January 15, 2007 at 07:33 PM (#2280717)
Yeah, good point. He's a 3B, FYI.
   3. Xander Posted: January 15, 2007 at 08:36 PM (#2280743)
20. Lowrie- SS
19. Negron- SS
18. Martinez- RP
17. Egan- C
16. Doubront- SP
15. Spann- 3B
14. Fernandez- OF
13. Moss- RF
12. Murphy- RF
11. Kottaras- C
   4. philly Posted: January 16, 2007 at 02:55 AM (#2280919)
It's difficult to get a read on players like Spann and Moss who really haven't been terribly good for any substantial period of time and yet end up in the high minors at a reasonable age with pretty solid performances.

I'd still take the under on Spann. Just spuerficially looking at his splits it looks like he had a pretty high BABIP (.367) with a pretty low LD% (12.6%) although perhaps that isn't all that low for the EL. He also beat the hell of of LHP (1029) and struggled against RHP (761). I'm not sure how projectable that performance really is and his tools have always been fairly blah. A nice "remember me" year, but I don't think upside is the right word.

The Moss-Nixon comparison that has been going around a bit lately is too easy and hopeful imo. Nixon had health related reasons for struggling in his early 20s and always carried the residual skills and tools that made him considered arguably the top HS bat in the 1993 draft. The residuals that are holding up Moss' prospect status are his fluky good year in A ball. The foundations are so different that it undermines the comparison for me.

BA left Kottaras out of their Top 10 as well and unless he flat out cannot catch, I think he's being underrated. A LH catcher with a strong hitting track record in the high minors should be a notch about the Murphys and Mosses and not so easily passed by June draftees with a couple of months of pro pitching like presumably Masterson, Johnson and Cox.

Scott Hatteberg's minor league line - 256/360/384 (744)

Kottaras - 283/383/450 (833)

Now Hatteberg has probably had a better career than expected and Hatteberg's MLB line (including his time at 1B) would be a pretty good end result for Kottaras, but in this case I think the comparison undersells the prospect.
   5. Balerion Posted: January 16, 2007 at 07:40 AM (#2281029)
Is CFO really a future RFer? Obviously he's not going to be playing center, but I thought his arm pushed him to LF. Not a huge deal as long as he continues to hit.

As far as positional stuff goes, I'd like to amend the "SS" next to Lowrie's name on Temple's list to "2B". He made a ton of errors and from all accounts isn't comfortable at SS. I'd rather that he shift over to 2B where he will be more effective defensively, giving him more time to worry about his offense (which as last season showed, merits worrying).

Also, Egan seems to be a 50/50 shot to stay at catcher. He had a bad defensive rep coming out of HS, then when he didn't hit a lick in his GCL debut was noted in the "at least he was better than expected with the glove" sense. Of course when he mashed last year, the questions arose again. Hopefully a year tearing up the Sally League will give us a clearer picture of his defensive abilities.


As far as Marginal Moss and Murphy go, both are prime candidates to be included in a trade to the right team. For now, they're not bad injury insurance, but they'd really have to open eyes this year to even come close to be taken seriously as a potential starter for the Sox.
   6. Xander Posted: January 16, 2007 at 01:44 PM (#2281063)
I don't see a reason to change someone's listing yet, until there are plans to actually move that person. There are a number of scouting reports there which say Lowrie can stay at SS for at least the near future. I also don't know where the phrase "by all accounts" comes in, when BA had this to say in their Carolina League Top 20:
"He's kind of like David Eckstein with a lot better tools," an AL scout said. "You sit there and say to yourself, 'That guy's an everyday shortstop.' He makes the plays, nothing necessarily real flashy, but he's going to get it done."

If he changes position, then his listing will change. Same with Egan.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 17, 2007 at 04:01 PM (#2281730)
It is kinda weird to see Kottaras there, just barely ahead of a bunch of similarly aged corner players with much worse hitting numbers. As Philly said, if Kottaras has any aptitude for catching, he's got to be way ahead of Moss, Murphy, and Spann. If Kottaras were a first baseman, he would still be a better prospect than those three.
   8. JB H Posted: January 17, 2007 at 05:23 PM (#2281790)
I agree that Kottaras is probably a little underrated. I think this year will do a lot to determine if he's Jason Varitek's replacement, John Buck's replacement or Steve Lomansey's replacement.

I really don't get the mini David Murphy prospectdom resurgence. I think people get too excited when they see an 800 OPS. He's gonna be 25 next year, projects to have about a 700 major league OPS and I'd be mildly surprised if he was an average centerfielder. Maybe in his prime he puts up a couple of David Dellucci's bad years, but I think that's about it. I would rather have any of the GCL kids with at least a shot at being valuable than him. I think Lowrie is significantly better too
   9. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 17, 2007 at 05:47 PM (#2281807)
I really don't get the mini David Murphy prospectdom resurgence. I think people get too excited when they see an 800 OPS. He's gonna be 25 next year, projects to have about a 700 major league OPS and I'd be mildly surprised if he was an average centerfielder. Maybe in his prime he puts up a couple of David Dellucci's bad years, but I think that's about it. I would rather have any of the GCL kids with at least a shot at being valuable than him. I think Lowrie is significantly better too

I don't think the reasoning behind it is that he's suddenly going to start hitting .290/.370/.480 in the majors or something, but more that he looked like he might be a complete washout after his struggles at Portland to start the season, and now it's looking as though he might end up as a nice 4th OF again. Sure, he's almost certain to never be an impact guy, but there's nothing wrong with having a guy who could hit .265/.330/.425 or so and play all three OF positions for the league minimum for a few years - and it appears he could realistically achieve that.
   10. JB H Posted: January 17, 2007 at 06:06 PM (#2281821)
I don't think the reasoning behind it is that he's suddenly going to start hitting .290/.370/.480 in the majors or something, but more that he looked like he might be a complete washout after his struggles at Portland to start the season, and now it's looking as though he might end up as a nice 4th OF again. Sure, he's almost certain to never be an impact guy, but there's nothing wrong with having a guy who could hit .265/.330/.425 or so and play all three OF positions for the league minimum for a few years - and it appears he could realistically achieve that.

Well, how often does a contending team say to themselves "Damn, we really need a tweener OF who can give us a 90 OPS+ but they're just too hard to find"?

I made a highly scientifical graph to explain why I would rather have Ryan Kalish than David Murphy: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v178/gehrig38/kalishmurphy.jpg
   11. Darren Posted: January 19, 2007 at 12:58 AM (#2282807)
The catcher I really like (who didn't make the list) is Wagner. He hit very well in the Sally League last year and has maintained a good K/BB ratio. He also apparently has a good arm. A bit old for his league, but catchers develop late, so I'm not concerned.

Anyone know anything else about his defense or where he'll play this year?

I made a highly scientifical graph to explain why I would rather have Ryan Kalish than David Murphy: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v178/gehrig38/kalishmurphy.jpg

That looks to me like they've got pretty similar values, just Murphy has a better chance of being alright while Kalish has a better chance of being good. And I think Shane Spencer types have some value.
   12. Darren Posted: January 19, 2007 at 01:01 AM (#2282810)
It is kinda weird to see Kottaras there, just barely ahead of a bunch of similarly aged corner players with much worse hitting numbers. As Philly said, if Kottaras has any aptitude for catching, he's got to be way ahead of Moss, Murphy, and Spann. If Kottaras were a first baseman, he would still be a better prospect than those three.

I concur. Sickels has Kottaras at 8 with a grade of B and Murphy at 14 with a grade of C+. I think that better expresses the gap between these two. I think if Temple included grades here, that gap would be similarly pronounced.
   13. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 19, 2007 at 01:06 AM (#2282814)
I concur. Sickels has Kottaras at 8 with a grade of B and Murphy at 14 with a grade of C+. I think that better expresses the gap between these two. I think if Temple included grades here, that gap would be similarly pronounced.
Yeah. Just to be clear, I don't have any particular belief that Kottaras is "underrated" here, or that's he much of a prospect. I'm just saying that Murphy, Moss, and Spann look like completely blah prospects, while there are aspects of Kottaras which are non-blah.
   14. Xander Posted: January 19, 2007 at 01:15 AM (#2282824)
I would probably have Murphy as a C+, but I think I would have Kottaras as a B-. But I will admit that my perception of him may be clouded by the fact that he played pretty poorly at triple-A and he has a below average-average glove.

W/r/t Wagner, I just need to see a college player do better at a level higher than low-A to start getting on the bandwagon. I have heard he is a decent enough defensive catcher, but again, I want to see him hit well at an advanced level first. He projects as a backup to me.
   15. Darren Posted: January 19, 2007 at 03:25 AM (#2282878)
Both A and B are true of Wagner too.
   16. Darren Posted: January 19, 2007 at 03:27 AM (#2282879)
Also, Egan had 14 BB and 41 K last year, while Wagner had 49 BB and 61 K. Note, I'm not arguing Wagner's better, just that he's got some things going for him, despite being old for his level.

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