Prospects to Keep An Eye On

May 19, 2007 at 3:35 pm 10 comments

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Don’t you love prospects? Who doesn’t? Anyone from Brien Taylor to Alex Rodriguez have been top prospects. Some players have what it takes to dominate the minors and the majors while others end up as AAAA players or out of professional baseball all together. Below is a list of prospects you may or may not have heard of. These are all players that have done one of the above I mentioned: dominate the minors. All they have left to do is prove thier worth in the bigs.

I am not profiling guys that have any big league experience. No Alex Gordon, no Billy Butler, no Delmon Young, no Matt Garza, no Phil Huges, no Tim Lincecum… you get the point.

If you are in fantasy keeper leagues that allow you to have a certain number of minor leaguers stashed away I suggest you look closely at the list provided. Some of the players are going to start tearing up the bigs this season, some will have to wait until 2009.

Without any more rambling I present you with a few prospects you need to keep your eye on.

3B Evan Longoria – Longoria is just 21 and only a year out of college. He has gone a combined .317/.393/.595 in 388 at-bats in his pro career. What is most astounding are his power numbers. Over those 388 at-bats he already has 28 homers, 22 doubles, 1 triple, 92 RBI, 73 runs scored, and a BB/SO ratio of 44/71 (including 25/27 this season). He is a plus defender at 3B with a good arm. He doesn’t have much speed but runs the bases well. He crushes lefties but he hits righties very well too. Longoria projects as a .300-30-110-5-100 middle of the order bat for the Rays. ETA: Sep 2007

SS Reid Brignac – In 128 games in 2006 he hit .321/.376/.539 with 100 runs 32 doubles, 5 triples, 24 homers, 99 RBI, and 15 stolen bases. His only knock is he is an “ok” defender and struck out 113 times. He has improved significantly on his defense and scouts say he can play SS in the majors. He got off to a good start, hitting .298 with 4 homers in his first 114 at-bats. He’s slowed down sicne, going 7 for his last 40 with no homers in his first full season in AA but don’t be fooled, he is one of the youngest players in that league. Brignac projects as a .290-25-90-10-90 guy at SS. If you are in a deep keeper league and have minor league rosters I would stash him away if he isn’t already taken. ETA: Sep 2007 at the earliest and could be the big league SS for TB starting 2008

OF Jay Bruce – Bruce (pictured above), 20, is one of my favorite prospects. He is a true RF, with plus-plus power and a strong arm. He needs to imporve on hitting lefties so he doesn’t become a platoon plyer but he is too good to allow this to happen. So far this year for the Reds HiA Florida State League (pithcer friendly league) team he has hit .340/.389/.642 with impressive power numbers: 9 homers 12 doubles and 5 triples in only 162 at-bats, driving in 30 and scoring 31 in 40 games. He hit .291/.355/.516 last year with 16 homers 42 doubles 5 triples 81 RBI 69 runs and 19 steals in 444 at-bats. But don’t let the steals fool you, he only has 2 so far this year and isn’t exactly a burner. Bruce projects as a .310-35-110-8 guy in the bigs. That’s no joke! Store him now if you can. ETA: 2009

OF Cameron Maybin – Maybin, 20, is off to a hot start: .317/.434/.486 in 142 at-bats with 4 homers, 6 doubles, and 3 triples. He’s also scored 31 and drove in 20 in 39 games with 13 steals and a 29/47 BB/SO ratio. He needs to cut the strikeouts down a bit but that is an impressive walk rate for a young hitter in a pitcher’s league (HiA FSL). Maybin is the Tigers CF of the future and is an impact bat with plus range and a good arm for center. Last year he hit .304/.387/.457 with 9 homers 20 2B and 6 3B in 385 at-bats, not to mention he drove in 69 and scored 59 and stole 27 bases. He is very young and still a little raw. The Tigers expect him to fill his frame out and when he does they expect some of those doubles to turn into homers. He could be a yearly .300-18-85-30-95 guy in the bigs. ETA: 2009

OF Justin Upton – Upton, who doesn’t turn 20 until late August, is the younger brother of B.J Upton. Upton was the first overall pick by the Diamondbacks two years ago out of high school. He did “ok” last year hitting .263/.343/.413 with 12 homers and 15 steals in 438 at-bats. This year he is tearing up anything that comes his way. He is now in AA at the ripe age of 19 and is hitting a combined .347/.439/.611 between HiA and AA. He also has 9 homers 7 doubles and 2 triples to go with 10 steals a BB/K ratio of 22/33 and 34 runs and 28 RBI in 144 at-bats. The D-Back believe he can be a #3 hitter and see him as a .310-25-100-25-100 player. ETA: SEP 2008

OF Travis Snider – Snider, 19, is tearing up Midwest league pitching to the tune of .366/.394/.557 with 2 homers 11 doubles and 4 triples in 131 at-bats. He has driven in 27 and scored 16 with 3 steals. His BB/SO ratio (8/27 in 33 games) needs to improve and will with more experience. Snider impressed in the Appy league last year going .325/.412/.567 with 11 homers 12 doubles and a triple in 194 at-bats with a 30/47 BB/K ratio. He also stole 6 and had 36 runs and 41 RBI. Snider is projected as a RF, with plus power potential and a good arm that will be fine in RF. The Blue Jays won’t rush him. He projects as a .300/25/100 bat. ETA: SEP 2009

SP Jake McGee – McGee, 20, is 3-1 in 8 starts in HiA ball with a 1.51 ERA in 41.2 innings pitched. He’s also struck out 45 and walked 17. Here is what is key though, only 27 hits allowed for a .182 average and no home runs allowed. Last year he posted a 2.96 with 171 SO in 134 IP and only 7 homers allowed with a .211 avg. McGee is a power pitcher and is a front of the rotation type starter. ETA: Sep 2008 at the earliest

SP Wade Davis – Davis, 21, is 2-0 in 8 starts in HiA ball with a 1.70 ERA in 47.2 IP, including a no-hitter. He has struck out 45 against 14 walks. Like McGee, he doesn’t allow many hits, only 31 for a .191 avg and only one homer against him. Last year he posted a 3.02 ERA and struck out 165 in 146 IP while allowing only 5 homers. Anothr power arm like McGee and also projects as a 1-3 starter. ETA: Sep 2008 at the earliest

SP Adam Miller – Miller, 22, is waiting for a spot in the Indians rotation to open up. He is currently 4-1 with a 2.45 in 44 AAA innings. He a has struck out 39 and walked 14 and only given up 2 homers. His numbers last year were 15-6 with a 2.84 and 161 K to 46 BB in 156.1 IP. He could be at the top of the Indians rotation for many years. ETA: Sep 2007

SP Homer Bailey – Bailey is possibly the best pitching prospect in all of pro ball, possibly better than Phil Highes. Bailey is 21 and doing quite well in AAA with a 3-1 record and a 2.27 ERA in 39.2 IP. His walks are up and strike outs are down (27/19 SO/BB) and that is the only reason he’s not in the Reds rotation right now. Even with the high walk rate he has only allowed 2 homers and a .194 avg against. His numbers last year were 10-6 with a 2.47 in 138.2 IP and 156 SO and a .198 avg against. ETA: no later than Sep 2007

SP Kevin Slowey – Slowey, 23, is a pitcher with great command and control. Some scouts still like to question his “stuff” but his numbers tell the story. So far this year he is 4-2 with a 1.46 in 49.1 AAA innings. What is most impressive is his 44/3 SO/BB ratio. That’s right, only 3 walks! He has a .176 avg against and only 2 homers against. Last year he posted an 8-5 record with a 1.88 ERA and 151/22 SO/BB ration in 148.2 IP with a .188 avg against. He should join the Twins rotation very soon. ETA: mid June 2007.

stats are from games through 5/18/07

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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2007 MLB Mock Draft Rays Dukes Allegedly Threatened to Kill His Wife

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. BaseballWhammy  |  May 20, 2007 at 6:22 am

    Really good right up. I really don’t keep up too much on prospects minus in the Cubs organization, but I’ve a heard of a few of those guys. The thing that difficult about prospecting pitchers in the minors, especially in AAA is the fact there is a lot of free swingers in the minors. It’s really hard to set up batters in AAA. Take Angel Guzman this season, while he was in the minors prepping to make the change from the pen to the rotation, he was getting HAMMERED in AAA, over 12.00 ERA in 3 starts. They still brought him up anyway, and he’s pitched well in the Majors, with an ERA just over 3.

    Reply
  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  May 20, 2007 at 6:26 am

    Good point on pitchers. That’s why I think it’s important to bring a pitcher up at the right time (i.e. against the Royals or Nationals) and give them a favorable matchup to help boost their confidence. I also think it important to be a hitter and be selective. Delmon Young is a prime example of that this year.

    Reply
  • 3. blah  |  May 20, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    SP Yovani Gallardo (MIL)

    Reply
  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  May 20, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    Definitely another good one. Many good options out there.

    Reply
  • 5. Blake  |  May 21, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    Chase Headley 3b- San Diego Padres
    George Kottaras C (was traded from the padres to idk where)

    Reply
  • 6. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  May 21, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    Some more good options. I like Kottaras more though. He’s with the Red Sox now.

    Reply
  • 7. MikeMcGinnis  |  May 21, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    homer bailey= the next big thing to pitching that i cannot wait to see, he seems like the pure explosive power pitcher

    kevin slowey= i see him coming up sooner rather than later due to the twins pitching problems. i hear many comparisons to brad radke due to his equisite control.

    devil rays= evan longoria seems like a stud end of story you put him with reid brignac,b.j. upton, carl crawford and delmon young man you really got something in tampa. i don’t include baldelli because i see him getting traded before the year is out perhaps to the dodgers or maybe even boston. he’d be a good fit in anaheim too and they could shift matthews to LF.

    as for jeff niemann and wade davis i have heard about these guys for what seems like a while now. the devil rays need to get this guys on the hill like……NOW!

    jake mcgee i have heard about but he has not been as hyped as davis and niemann

    justin upton= ahhh b.j.’s brother heard he’s a hitter like his older brother too! question is can he play defense unlike his brother. the other question is where do you play him? the d-backs have some solid OF’s in young,byrnes and quentin. i heard rumours they were going to try to make upton a super utility guy like a chone figgins/billy hall type. maybe they should try to make him a third baseman and trade chad tracy?

    adam miller= the guy the tribe would love to see take over the reigns when the big C train leaves for greener pastures. as much as i like adam miller i like andrew miller(tigers) even more!

    Reply
  • 8. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  May 22, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    I too like Andrew Miller but I like Adam a little more. I don’t think Upton will move. He will play in the OF but there is a log jam there with Chris Young, Carlos Quentin (maybe the odd man out; traded), and 20 year old Carlos Gonzalez.

    Reply
  • 9. K. G.  |  June 20, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    Again good job. I look foward to more good write-ups especially when they apply locally, i.e. Rays, Bucs and Lightning.

    When Longoria and Brignac come up what adjustments do you see the Rays making or do you think they’ll trade B. Harris and Iwamura?

    Aki could go to second, but where does Harris go and if Upton goes to CF then apparently Dukes and/or Baldelli have to be traded like to San Diego for some of their extra young bullpen talent.

    A new catcher with talent would be nice. Riggans could be good if he stays healthy and gets to play, but another catcher is still needed whether he starts or backs-up.

    I hope the Rays never trade within the division unless they get a huge return which probably won’t happen.

    You guys are better than the local newspaper guys.

    Reply
  • 10. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  June 20, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    When these guys come up it’s gonna be tough to tell where everyone plays. But that’s a good thing right!?

    It’s hard to say who’s gonna get traded, who’s gonna become a platoon player…

    I do beleive the emergence of Harris allow the Rays more time to develop Brignac, he is one of the youngest everyday position players in AA and he’s at a skill position.

    I think Iwamura will become a super utility guy but will get 450-500 at-bats and Longoria will be the everyday 3B no later than June of next year.

    Either Upton or Baldelli will be traded even after Dukes is gone. I like the idea of leaving Upton at 2B and Baldelli in CF but the Rays front office might think differently.

    I would love to see a team that looks like this:
    1. Upton – 2B
    2. Crawford – LF
    3. Baldelli – CF
    4. Pena – 1B
    5. Young – RF
    6. Longoria – 3B
    7. Gomes – DH
    8. Brignac – SS
    9. Jaso – C

    Bench:
    Iwamura – 3B/2B/OF
    Harris – SS/3B/2B

    Rotation:
    1. Kazmir
    2. Shields
    3. Price
    4. Wade Davis
    5. Jake McGee

    CL Jeff Niemann (call me crazy but I think he can be Joe Nathan in the closer role!)

    Reply

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