Sunday, September 13, 2009

Diamond Futures Retrospective – The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly of our Pre-Season Top 100

While the offense hasn’t shown up yet at the Majors, we’re still big believers in Wieters

1) Wieters, Matt – Wieters was a clear #1 for us and joined Baltimore approximately when we expected him to. While his offensive numbers haven’t been quite what we would have expected, he has nothing to dissuade our belief that he will become one of the top backstops in the game—very soon… GOOD
2) Heyward, Jason – We tend to favor position players over pitchers and we have been tremendously impressed with Heyward from Day 1. His Southern (SOL) League performance was one of a historic nature and he has even exceeded our lofty expectations…GOOD
3) Bumgarner, Madison – We found Bumgarner’s 2008 performance tremendously impressive, and therefore gave him the nod over David Price. While he has worked his way from Hi-A all the way to the Majors over the course of the season, his velocity drop raises some questions. While we wouldn’t likely rank him quite this high if we did it again, the placement still has to be considered…GOOD
4) Price, David – While Price’s 4.65 ERA may not match what many had expected, it falls pretty close to the 4.00ish number we had envisioned and his strikeout rate (7.6 per 9IP) is even slightly better than we had predicted. We have never seen the future ace that has been predicted by others, but he looks right on track to have a very productive 2/3 starter type of career we envision…GOOD
5) Stanton, Michael – We took a risk placing Stanton this high on the list. After the first half of the season, when he posted a .968 OPS in the FSL, it looked like an excellent pick. While his SOL performance didn’t quite match, over the last 30 years, only 101 players have posted more than 100 ABs in AA or higher in their 19yo season. It isn’t a great move by us, but it is still…GOOD
6) Anderson, Brett – His numbers compare favorably with the aforementioned Price and he is 2 ½ years younger. Are only mistake here was not ranking him higher, as we see a future ace…GOOD
7) Parker, Jarrod – Prior to his injury, the reports we were getting was that his ‘stuff’ was looking as good as anyone in the Minors…in fact, there was a point in late May that we would have tabbed him #1, so we will call this pick GOOD. Unfortunately, the injury situation seems bad if not downright ugly, so expect his ranking to plummet.
8) Alvarez, Pedro – A second half that was as impressive as anyone in the Minors saves this ranking. We expect big things from Alvarez, but he may develop more slowly than some…GOOD
9) Snider, Travis – While he still hasn’t shown great comfort in the Majors, his PCL performance was scary good. At only 21yo, expect Snider to become one of the game’s best pure hitters…GOOD
10) Porcello, Rick – His numbers have been nearly equal to Anderson and Price—and he is just 20yo. A tremendous long-term talent…GOOD
11) McCutchen, Andrew – A future All-Star CF…GOOD
12) Posey, Buster – Likely to be the #3 prospect on most lists next year…GOOD
13) Hanson, Thomas – He has been lights out since his first start. The only thing bad about this placement was that he could have been higher…GOOD
14) Cahill, Trevor – He’s only 21yo and put up reasonable numbers, but we don’t see quite the same upside as we did at the beginning of the season…BAD
15) Tillman, Chris – Everything we had expected and more…GOOD
16) Alderson, Tim – While velocity isn’t everything in a pitcher, it’s certainly the most important thing. We had expected Alderson to add a couple of MPH and instead he is going the other way. He’s a savvy pitcher with excellent control and should have a solid Major League career, but the upside isn’t what we expected…BAD
17) Freeman, Frederick – Freeman is another player that we took more of a chance on than most, and he is another of this year’s 19yos playing at AA, so we remain high on him, but this was too high…BAD
18) Maybin, Cameron – This is a tough one to grade, as we still expect Maybin to be a solid Major League regular, but we will admit that his ceiling is getting lower…BAD
19) Matusz, Brian – Even better than we expected…GOOD
20) Moustakas, Mike – We missed on this one about as bad as any, but Wilmington isn’t a great hitter’s park. While we aren’t giving up on him, his defensive liabilities become a bigger issue if he doesn’t flat out rake…BAD
21) Hosmer, Eric – We are more down on the Royals talent to develop players than we are on Hosmer in particular. There is still a lot to like, but this ranking was too high…BAD
22) Morrison, Logan – He put up solid numbers for a 21yo in AA, but this is too high for a firstbaseman with his skill set…BAD
23) Bowden, Michael – Over the last couple of years, we have had nothing but praise for the Red Sox player development, but there have been a couple of questionable moves this year and the handling of Bowden is one of the biggest ones. We still believe he is a solid mid-rotation starter and his INT performance indicates nothing less. We’d like to give this an incomplete, but for now we will just call it…BAD
24) Revere, Ben – In retrospect, we were surprised to see that we had Revere this high, as we have always had our questions about him. We were really not impressed with his .741 FSL performance and expect him to tumble in this year’s list…BAD
25) Vitters, Josh – After what Vitters did in the MWL, this looked like a solid spot for him. But unless he learns to take some pitches he is never going to make it at higher levels. Vitters won’t be as high on next year’s list…BAD
26) Martinez, Fernando – Forget what anyone else is telling you about Martinez. A .877 OPS in the International (INT) League is impressive for a 20yo. We remain extremely high on Martinez…GOOD
27) Rasmus, Colby – Rasmus may not have posted great MLB numbers, but they still were better than we had expected from him this year and certainly justify this ranking…GOOD
28) Flores, Wilmer – Don’t let the .637 OPS in the SAL fool you. That was a solid performance for a 17yo with Flores’ glove…GOOD
29) Tabata, Jose – It was somewhat of a ‘lost’ season for Tabata, yet his numbers still were solid, given his age. While we have lowered his ceiling, we still feel Tabata will have a solid Major League career…GOOD
30) Anderson, Lars – It isn’t the .673 OPS that has us concerned, it’s those 9 HRs. As a firstbase only guy, Anderson will need a big bounce back next season. We’ll call this one merely BAD, because others got it much worse.
31) Triunfel , Carlos – An injury in April kept him out nearly all season. He’s just 19yo, so it won’t affect him as much as it might some others, but it still has to make this pick…BAD
32) Beckham, Gordon – The unquestioned best debut from the 2008 draft class. We still worry about pitchers adjusting to holes in his swing, but he answered many lingering questions this year…GOOD
33) Carrasco, Carlos – Forget his 2 MLB starts, while this ranking may have been a tad too high, he has posted a solid season for a 22yo…GOOD
34) Hellickson, Jeremy – The rest of the baseball world is figuring out what we already knew…GREAT
35) Santana, Carlos – Santana is another player that we were out front with, and he certainly has not disappointed…GOOD
36) Alonso, Yonder – Injuries have slowed him down, but this still seems like about the right spot for him…GOOD
37) Inoa, Michel – Huge bonus, 16yo, Latin American players are an inherently large gamble. 16yo pitchers are even a bigger one. Injuries have kept him out, and this doesn’t look nearly as good right now…BAD
38) Feliz, Neftali – Feliz made huge strides with his control this year, punctuated by an almost unreal MLB debut. We missed only because he should have been higher…BAD
39) Cecil, Brett – Cecil has struggled in what has been a very uneven season. The biggest disappointment is that he is looking like a pitcher with the ceiling of the back of the rotation. He should have been further down…BAD
40) Beckham, Tim – We were one of the few places to put Beckham this low. He has not had a very good debut, and this might have even been generous. Still we’ll call this one…GOOD
41) Soto, Neftali – We’ll call this one BAD, but we are still fairly high on Soto, who played the entire year in Hi-A as a 20yo.
42) Salome, Angel – Another pick that really deserves an incomplete grade as Salome is ready for the Majors and should have been given the chance. He will never hit a ton, but he should be a MLB average backstop. Perhaps we were a bit optimistic on him…BAD
43) Perez, Martin – Look for Perez to begin 2010 as the 3rd or 4th best pitching prospect. Arguably no pitcher is rising faster…GOOD
44) Andrus, Elvis – Andrus is exactly what we thought he was…GOOD
45) Montero, Jesus – With Texeira the long-term answer at 1B, look for Montero to be a DH. He’ll have to hit a ton, but the bat is one of the best in the Minors. Our only mistake may have been to rank him too low…GOOD
46) Dominguez, Matt – Some may say this is too high, but Dominguez may be the best defensive thirdbaseman in the Minors. His offensive numbers were very playable for a 19yo, and we believe there is considerable offensive upside here. In the end, this will prove…GOOD
47) Hicks, Aaron – He is the better prospect between him and Revere. This still seems about right for him…GOOD
48) Martin, Ethan – There will be those who are not fond of his 3.87 ERA, but given his first real focus as a full-time pitcher his 120 K’s in 100IP works for us…GOOD
49) Rondon, Hector – Another player that we have been ahead of the curve on…GOOD
50) Smoak, Justin – Our only crime with Smoak is that he should have been ranked higher. We are more impressed now than we were in February…BAD
51) Escobar, Alcides – The Brewers waited too long to bring him up. His glove is one of the better ones in the game and he will hit enough to justify playing regularly…GOOD
52) Duffy, Daniel – At the moment we are leaning toward Montgomery over Duffy, but this certainly was a reasonable placement…GOOD
53) Marte, Jefry – The numbers he put up didn’t justify this ranking, but we still like him…BAD
54) Main, Michael – No player was more disappointing to us than was Main, as we expected a breakout year. He looked much better in the two appearances after the long layoff and we still are big believers, but for now, this is just…UGLY
55) Cunningham, Aaron – Posted solid numbers for a 23yo in AAA and appears to be right where we expected…GOOD
56) Garcia, Jaime – We ranked Garcia this high knowing full well about his injury status—that’s how high we are on him. A 2.87 ERA, with 41 Ks in 37 IP, says our confidence was rewarded. Look for him to be a Major contributor in St. Louis next year…GOOD
57) Lawrie, Brett – We were very high on Lawrie’s bat, and would have placed him higher if we could have figured out where he will play. Nothing’s really changed…GOOD
58) Holland, Derek – While Holland’s numbers haven’t been great (5.93 ERA), at times, he has looked unbelievable. There are a lot of good rookie pitchers on this list plus Rickey Romero, but over the long run, Holland should be as good as any of them…GOOD
59) Brown, Dominic – You know there are some players that you just can’t get as excited about as everyone else does…for us that’s Domonic Brown. A lot of tools, and reasonable production for a 21yo, but we just don’t believe in the upside as much as some. Others may disagree, but we feel this is still about right…GOOD
60) Fowler, Dexter – For us, Fowler is Domonic Brown only one year earlier. He will be a nice middle of the road Major League OF—nothing more…GOOD
61) Wallace, Brett – There has never been any doubt that Wallace will hit…just whether or not he will hit for enough power at the 1B or DH position he will likely play…GOOD
62) De Jesus, Ivan – After his 2008 and Winter League performances, we fully expected DeJesus to be contributing in Los Angeles by mid-season. Unfortunately, an injury left him with 10 meaningless August ABs…BAD
63) Noonan, Nick – I’d love to tell you we had a good reason for placing him this high, and we do recognize that he is playing against an advanced competition level for a 20yo—but what were we thinking. As a SS, Noonan was a decent prospect…at 2B, this way too high…BAD
64) Jackson, Austin – Jackson posted solid numbers for a 22yo OF in the INT, but we are beginning to believe the upside is only that of a league average OF. Still the placement seems reasonable…GOOD
65) Viciedo, Dayan – If you give Viciedo a mulligan for the first half of the season and credit it to the adjustment of playing in the U.S., then his .814 OPS in the second half looks pretty good for a 20yo in the SOL…but then again he did only post a .655 OPS in the first half. We still believe that there is tremendous offensive potential here, and we would be really excited if he showed up to camp in February at about 225lbs, but for now, we will have to call this one…BAD
66) Erbe, Brandon – The enigmatic Erbe got off to a blistering start, went down with an injury and came back and posted a solid 21yo season in the ESL. There is talent here, but few pitchers with his stuff fly so far under the radar. We realize we like Erbe more than most, but we have a hard time figuring out what is wrong with everyone else…GOOD
67) Brantley, Michael – No one has had higher regard for what Brantley brings, for a longer period of time, than we have. He isn’t going to ever be flashy, he doesn’t hit for enough power in LF and he doesn’t have any spectacular tools. But what he is, is an on-base machine that should have a substantial career as a League average OF. At 22yo, he posted a .351 OBP between AAA and the Majors. Maybe we had him a tad higher than we should have, but given a chance we could see him having a Mark Kotsay type of offensive career…BAD
68) Chacin, Jhoulys – While we are a bit concerned by a walk rate that jumped from 2.6 per 9IP in 2008 to 4.1 per 9IP in 2009, a 21yo that has earned his way to the Majors is a pretty good deal…GOOD
69) Burgess, Michael – While a 20yo with 19HRs and a .735 OPS in the CAR isn’t a bad thing, and his overall numbers were better than the more highly regarded Moustakas, his strikeout rate (25%) is tremendously alarming. There is certainly potential here, but we are less optimistic about his chances of success than we were a year ago…BAD
70) Adenhart, Nick – What can I say?
71) Friedrich, Christian – While this is a higher ranking than most, we felt Friedrich was the second best college pitcher in the 2008 draft and tremendously surprised by the year (2.41 ERA, 159Ks) that he posted…GOOD
72) LaPorta, Matt – We knew going into the year that we were harder on LaPorta than most. His performance at Columbus was impressive, his MLB stint—less so. We still belive LaPorta will be an above average MLB Left Fielder, but there isn’t superstar potential here…GOOD
73) Poreda, Aaron – What’s the value of a two-pitch, left-handed, RP? Expect a solid Major League career, but little else…GOOD
74) Marrero, Christopher – After his injury-plagued 2008, few had Marrero this high. The scouts still cringe at his swing mechanics. We still believe in his ability to get the job done. As a first basemen, his upside is likely only league average, but we expect him to achieve it…GOOD
75) Gonzalez, Gio – His PCL numbers were outstanding, and his MLB numbers were adequate for a 23yo. We don’t see a lot of projection jeft in him, but what you already have is a likely solid mid-rotation lefty…GOOD
76) Davis, Wade – We’ve never been as high on Davis as some, as the scouts love his 6’5, 220lb frame. But he is still likely a mid-rotation innings eater…GOOD
77) Jennings, Desmond – I’m not sure that there were many players that gained more respect from us than Jennings did with his season. He went from being a speedy, athletic fielder, to a player that we really believe in his stick. The reality is we should have ranked him higher…BAD
78) Walden , Jordan – Injuries have slowed his season, but both the Angeles and us still see #2 type potential here. He is still just 21yo…GOOD
79) Coghlan, Chris – Another player that we had higher than many, Coghlan looks to us to be one of the better offensive secondbasemen—in a pretty weak field, as soon as next year. A solid top of the order presence…GOOD
80) Ramirez, Max – Injuries killed his season, and his ranking was, in large part, based on a phenomenal 2008, so expect major downgrades here…BAD
81) Skipworth, Kyle – Can we get a pass by saying “Others liked him more?” No player from the 2008 class has likely been a bigger disappointment…UGLY
82) De Leon, Kelvin – We reached with De Leon a little, and while he may still prove to be worthy of this rank, he hasn’t yet…BAD
83) Weglarz, Nicholas – There is more risk in this placement than there are with many because we see Weglarz with a relatively low ceiling. 2009 was another solid season for him, and we are glad we hadn’t ranked him higher…GOOD
84) Hernandez, Gorkys – Hernandez was the key piece received by the Pirates in the McLouth deal, and has been relatively awful since the deal. Another player that we are not nearly as excited about as we were a year ago…BAD
85) Hunter, Cedric – What were we thinking?...UGLY
86) Carter, Chris – Carter solidified our belief in his bat with a tremendous 2009 campaign, but we still are somewhat cautious in our assessment, due to his defensive liabilities. Perhaps he should have been higher, but we’ll still call this good…GOOD
87) Zimmermann, Jordan – Hard to tell what kind of numbers Zimmerman might have been able to post if he had remained healthy…GOOD
88) Villalona, Angel – We had already begun downgrading our ceiling for Villalona, last winter. This year produced more of the same…GOOD
89) Teheran, Julio – Seem’s appropriately placed for what is likely to be the Brave’s top pitching prospect heading into 2010. Teheran may become next year’s version of Martin Perez…GOOD
90) Parra, Gerardo – Few people believed in Parra as strongly as we did, and we couldn’t be happier with his 2009 results…GOOD
91) Blanks, Kyle – A massive individual who posted solid numbers, both in the PCL and MLB. We still don’t believe his ceiling is as high as some, but it should be interesting to watch his development over the next few years…GOOD
92) Arrieta, Jake – Was sensational in the ESL, but only good in the INT. Appears to have the upside of a mid- to backend of the rotation starter…GOOD
93) Melville , Tim – In hindsight, we should have placed Montgomery in this slot, but that doesn’t mean it was a bad pick…GOOD
94) Rohrbough, Cole – His ‘stuff’ never seemed to come around this year and the control seemd to get worse as the year went on. This is one of the most disappointing names on the list…BAD
95) McGee, Jacob – Hard to say what kind of injury recovery he will have, but nothing has changed with him.
96) Norris, Derek – Everyone else now has figured out what we did last year about Norris. He’s one of the best complete backstop packages in the Minors…GOOD
97) Niese, Jonathon – Still looks like a back of the rotation starter to us, but should be a solid one…GOOD
98) Cooper, David – Cooper had somewhat of an up and down season, and now appears to have a limited ceiling…BAD
99) Castro, Jason – Castro answered most of the questions we had, and proved to be even slightly better than we had expected…GOOD
100) Halman, Gregory – It is hard to imagine how bad Halman was at times this season, as he repeated the SOL and was even worse. The 38% strikeout rate will make it unlikely for him to achieve success and any higher levels…Truly UGLY

No comments:

Post a Comment