Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ten Stories That We’ll be Following in Spring Training

Logan Morrison will be in one of the most interesting position battles this spring



Spring Training games get underway on Tuesday, so it is a good time to take a look at the things that we, here at Diamond Futures’, will be watching most closely over the next few weeks. We make a lot of lists here, and decided that the best way that we could share this with you is another of our Top Ten lists. So without further ado…



1) What are the Nationals’ going to do with 2009 draftees Strasburg and Storen?

This is number one for us, because Strasburg is the most intriguing player to come along in more than a decade. He has a solid frame, sits in the high-90s with his plus-plus fastball, and has two plus secondary offerings to compliment it--all with exceptional control. We have little doubt that he could step into the Nationals’ Big League rotation and would immediately be one of the fifty best starters in the game. That said, we would be shocked if that is what happens. Can he do enough in his limited spring appearances to make it impossible to keep him off the roster—as that is the real question? As to Storen, we were both surprised that the Nationals took him with the 10th pick and further surprised that he performed like he did after signing—especially in the AZFL. We saw him a number of time in college, and never expected a fastball that would consistently sit in the mid-90s. Add to that his slider is better than he receives credit for. One could make the argument that, given his mental makeup, Storen is closer to being Major league ready than is Strasburg. While we don’t expect him to close right away, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Storen make the club.


2) What happens in Cincinnati on the corners?

The Reds believe they have a legitimate shot at contending in the N.L. Central this season, which further complicates this situation and also led to the short-term shortstop fix of signing Orlando Cabrera. But Cabrera is clearly in decline and the Reds are loaded at the corner. We believe in playing for a championship in the season you can win it, and 2010 isn’t that year for the Reds. Which is why we would be positioning this team for a legitimate championship run in 2011. So, the Reds need to use every opportunity to assess how Juan Francisco, Todd Frazier, Yonder Alonso and Joey Votto fit into three positions (1B/ 3B/ LF). Chris Dickerson and Wladimir Balentine are solid ‘reserve’ outfields, but neither one of them will hold down a starting role—especially LF, on a Championship club. At age 34 and with a gimpy back, don’t expect Rolen to be contributing full-time on a pennant run in 2011 either. So one of the aforementioned four is trade bait to net you a legitimate shortstop. If Francisco can defensively handle either LF or 3B, we would send him back to AAA and let him get comfortable there. Although we find Frazier the most questionable from this quartet, his versatility may make him a keeper as well. But this Big League camp is vital for the Reds—not for 2010, but for 2011.


3) How many cars will Jason Heyward dent this Spring?

There is a reason that Heyward was named our #1 prospect, because he has as much offensive upside as any player to come through the Minor Leagues in more than five years—perhaps longer. His batting practice displays have already forced the Braves to put up OF netting in a facility that has been in use for over a decade. The comparisons he is drawing from veteran players and coaches are the makings of ‘lore’. Matt Diaz is not enough reason to keep him out of the starting RF role on opening day—but he still could. Don’t get us wrong, Heyward will have his struggles, but the Braves are going nowhere this year and now looks like as good as time as any to get Heyward’s Major League career rolling.


4) Can Gaby Sanchez hold off Logan Morrison for at least the first half?

Yes, Jorge Cantu is still in the mix as well, but since the Marlins are playing for some year in the future, to us, it would seem silly to put him in the way of either of the other two, as at least Sanchez appears to be ready. While we see Gaby Sanchez as a nice player, he doesn’t have the upside of Morrison, and is almost certain to end up as trade bait before this time next year. But there are rumblings that the Marlins are seriously giving Morrison a shot to win this job this spring. We don’t believe this would be in anyone’s best interests, but how Sanchez performs will really dictate how long Morrison has to wait.


5) Can Dustin Ackley really become a second baseman?

Somewhat under the radar, as few people believe this is really going to happen, but Dustin Ackley has the potential to be a premium offensive talent in CF, and an above average offensive talent in LF or at 1B. But if the Mariners can somehow transform him into a second baseman, his offensive upside is off the charts. Both us and the computer love Ackley’s potential as a future Batting Champion and OBP machine, but we’d drool at the thought of him putting up Ryne Sandberg-esque offensive numbers (potentially better) from the middle of the diamond. We still feel this is unlikely, but what a thought.


6) Is there a significant concern about Madison Bumgarner’s velocity?

Bumgarner had arguably the best raw ‘stuff’ of any prep pitcher in the 2007 draft. When he showed he had the ability to harness it in 2008, his prospect stock climbed through the roof. But Bumgarner spent the second-half of 2009 with a fastball that was barely above 90MPH. The Giants’ have dismissed the concern as arm fatigue and nothing to worry about, but Bumgarner doesn’t have the secondary offerings—or the command to be a special talent without a mid-90s heater. We hear that early outings haven’t seen the velocity return, and while the Giants have him tentatively penciled in as their #5 starter, this is a bigger story than whether or not he breaks camp in the rotation.


7) Will Aroldis Chapman be the Reds’ #5 starter in 2010?

There is little doubt about Champan’s upside, but there have been significant concerns about his Major League readiness. As we have mentioned previously, it is our belief that the Reds should be positioning things for a 2011 run, where Chapman and a potentially healthy Edison Volquez could provide them with the deepest rotation in the National League. So we would be using 2010 to get Chapman accustomed to the culture and the U.S. game—not trying to sell tickets. That said, the reports from the Reds organization about Chapman have been ‘glowing’ from the moment that he signed, and all indications are that they are going to seriously consider him to fill a major hole in their rotation this year.


8) How much more will the Giants try to mess around with Buster Posey?

We try to stay away from picking fights with Major League organizational decisions, but the Giants continue to try our patience. While we have a lot of respect for Brian Sabean et al., the decisions emanating from San Francisco over the last 18 months can only (optimistically) characterized as puzzling. We grant you that the 2010 NL West we be a competitive division, but it is only competitive due to its mediocrity, and it is unlikely that the eventual NL pennant winner comes from here. Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Pablo Sandoval and potentially Madison Bumgarner are the future of the franchise, and to screw with one of them because of some delusional dreams for 2010 is just insanity. Bringing back Molina when Posey would provide more help to an anemic offense just doesn’t make sense. Having Posey take away focus from his developing backstop duties by learning other infield positions makes even less sense. We will be curious to see if this plan is just idle chatter, or if Sabean has really flipped.


9) Who will emerge as the Ranger’s 4th and 5th starters?

The Rangers have a legitimate shot to win what could be baseball’s most competitive division this year, and proven talent in their rotation appears to be their biggest question mark. Rich Harden, when healthy, is a good start at the top—‘when healthy’ being the key. While we aren’t convinced that 2009 was anything less than a career year for Scott Feldman, he has earned the number two spot. Brandon McCarthy is what Brandon McCarthy is and it isn’t that bad and it isn’t that good, but that is where things get interesting. Tommy Hunter pitched well last year, but of the four possible options (Holland, Feliz and Harrison) he has the least long-term upside. Derek Holland would seem to be a lock for the #4 spot if we were assured that he would be healthy enough to get into season condition—a situation that should be monitored closely. Which leaves us with Neftali Feliz and a slimmer, healthier, Matt Harrison. While there are many that will disagree with us, Feliz hasn’t shown the depth to his repertoire nor the ability to carry his velocity deep enough into games for us to change our belief that he should be viewed as a ‘lights out’ closer in the mold of a young K-Rod. We’d be giving Matt Harrison a long look for the last spot, and it bears watching to see if the Rangers do. In any case, the Rangers will likely need six starters as much as any team in baseball and what they decide to do with Feliz appears to be the key.


10) Who will get the Orioles #4 and #5 rotation spots?

The Orioles are another of those clubs that should be going into 2010 with an eye toward the future moreso than the present. There is an interesting nucleus here, but they play in baseball’s toughest division and have no hope of competing with the Red Sox, Yankees or Rays, this season. Yet, their management has created some interesting, if unnecessary situations by acquiring a couple of aging veterans—namely Kevin Millwood, Miguel Tejada and Garrett Atkins. But for us, the real curiosity lies in the rotation makeup, as the Orioles have significant young arms competing for essentially two spots behind Millwood, Guthrie and Matusz. Chris Tillman should take one of those spots at some time during the 2010 season, but he is being slowed right now by some back soreness. Brad Bergesen pitched adequately last season, and is currently the favorite to win one of the spots, but he is experiencing shoulder soreness, and let’s face it, he doesn’t have the kind of stuff that should stand in the way of the other arms. Jake Arrieta is in the Orioles’ longer term plans, but he would have to really ‘wow’ people to have a legitimate shot to break camp with the team. To us, the answer that makes the most sense is 24yo David Hernandez, who was the Minor’s strikeout leader over the period of 2006-2008.


Other Situations That We Will Be Watching…

With Carlos Santana healthier than expected, how long before he takes over as the Indians’ everyday catcher?

Is Jaime Garcia the Cardinals #5 starter?

Who emerges between Scott Elbert, James McDonald and possibly Josh Lindbloom for the Dodgers #5 spot?

Are Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore really ready to assume Major League starting roles in Detroit?

How serious is Justin Duchscherer’s health issues and who follows Sheets, Anderson and Braeden in the Oakland rotation?

Do the A’s really believe that Chris Carter can play LF…and are they seriously willing to try it?

Hector Rondon is the Indians best option for the 5th starter role, but how long will it take the Indians to realize that he is a better option than either David Huff or Aaron Laffey?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Diamond Futures’ Retrospective: Our 2003 Top 100

Mark Texiera was the clear choice for the top spot in 2003




A number of you have inquired recently as to where you can find our previous Top Prospect Lists. In response, we have begun to post our previous lists and will get through all of them before the season starts.

Next up, we take a look at our Top 100 list from 2003. 2003 was actually a great year for prospect picking, as 25 of our top 30 players went on to have at least reasonably significant Major League careers. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t have our missteps, as we, along with many fanned on Jesse Foppert - #5; Hee Choi - #20; Jerome Williams - #24; Wilson Betemit - #30; Jason Stokes - #31; Joe Borchard - #32 and Scott Hairston - #41. Additionally we were kind of out there on a branch all alone with Chris Snelling - #9; Andy Marte - #33; Felix Pie - #37; Todd Linden - #50. I can’t imagine how much better our early prospect lists might have been if we hadn’t been such big believers in Chris Snelling.

But the successes were plentiful, as we shared positive views with many on players like: Mark Texiera - #1; Hideki Matsui - #2; Jose Reyes - #3; Jose Contreras - #4; Joe Mauer - #5; Brandon Phillips - #8; Justin Morneau - #10; Adrian Gonzalez - #12; Victor Martinez - #13; Miguel Cabrera - #14; Francisco Rodriguez - #15; Hanley Ramirez - #21; James Loney - #22; Scott Kazmir - #26; Adam Wainwright - #28 and B.J. Upton - #38. Additionally we found ourselves ahead of the pack on players like: Grady Sizemore - #11; Rich Harden - #17; Prince Fielder - #27; Jeff Francoeur - #29; Johan (Ervin) Santana - #46; Francisco Liriano - #52; David DeJesus - #63; John Maine - #69 and Kevin Youkilis - #88.



Diamond Futures 2003 Top 100

1 ) Teixeira , Mark , TEX , 3B
2 ) Matsui , Hideki , NYY , OF
3 ) Reyes , Jose , NYM , SS
4 ) Contreras , Jose , NYY , R
5 ) Foppert , Jesse , SF , R
6 ) Kotchman , Casey , ANA , 1B
7 ) Mauer , Joe , MIN , C
8 ) Phillips , Brandon , CLE , SS
9 ) Snelling , Chris , SEA , OF
10 ) Morneau , Justin , MIN , 1B
11 ) Sizemore , Grady , CLE , OF
12 ) Gonzalez , Adrian , FLA , 1B
13 ) Martinez , Victor , CLE , C
14 ) Cabrera , Miguel , FLA , 3B
15 ) Rodriguez , Frank , ANA , R
16 ) Cuddyer , Michael , MIN , OF
17 ) Harden , Rich , OAK , R
18 ) Baldelli , Rocco , TB , OF
19 ) Cust , Jack , COL , OF
20 ) Choi , HeeSeop , CHN , 1B
21 ) Ramirez , Hanley , BOS , SS
22 ) Loney , James , LA , 1B
23 ) Soriano , Rafael , SEA , R
24 ) Williams , Jerome , SF , R
25 ) Hart , Corey (Jon) , MIL , 3B
26 ) Kazmir , Scott , NYM , L
27 ) Fielder , Prince , MIL , 1B
28 ) Wainwright , Adam , ATL , R
29 ) Francoeur , Jeff , ATL , OF
30 ) Betemit , Wilson , ATL , SS
31 ) Stokes , Jason , FLA , 1B
32 ) Borchard , Joe , CHA , OF
33 ) Marte , Andy , ATL , 3B
34 ) Hamilton , Josh , TB , OF
35 ) Choo , Shin-soo , SEA , OF
36 ) Figueroa , Jonathan , LA , L
37 ) Pie , Felix , CHN , OF
38 ) Upton , B.J. , TB , SS
39 ) Ainsworth , Kurt , SF , R
40 ) Ludwick , Ryan , TEX , OF
41 ) Hairston , Scott , ARI , 2B
42 ) Floyd , Gavin , PHI , R
43 ) Bonderman , Jeremy , DET , R
44 ) Lopez , Jose , SEA , SS
45 ) Infante , Omar , DET , SS
46 ) Santana , Johan , ANA , R
47 ) Johnson , Kelly , ATL , SS
48 ) Wright , David , NYM , 3B
49 ) Lee , Cliff , CLE , L
50 ) Linden , Todd , SF , OF
51 ) Gomes , Jonny , TB , OF
52 ) Liriano , Francisco , SF , L
53 ) Huber , Justin , NYM , C
54 ) Utley , Chase , PHI , 2B
55 ) Gobble , Jimmy , KC , L
56 ) Restovich , Michael , MIN , OF
57 ) Bonser , Boof , SF , R
58 ) Bullington , Bryan , PIT , R
59 ) Byrd , Marlon , PHI , OF
60 ) Werth , Jayson , TOR , OF
61 ) Harris , Brendan , CHN , 3B
62 ) Greinke , Zack , KC , R
63 ) Dejesus , David , KC , OF
64 ) Pena , WilyMo , CIN , OF
65 ) Nady , Xavier , SD , OF
66 ) Nelson , Brad , MIL , 1B
67 ) Kubel , Jason , MIN , OF
68 ) Mathis , Jeff , ANA , C
69 ) Maine , John , BAL , R
70 ) Greene , Khalil , SD , SS
71 ) Rivera , Juan , NYY , OF
72 ) Willis , Dontrelle , FLA , L
73 ) Nageotte , Clint , SEA , R
74 ) Buck , John , HOU , C
75 ) Gutierrez , Franklin , LA , OF
76 ) Tracy , Chad , ARI , 3B
77 ) Aybar , Willy , LA , 3B
78 ) Nix , Laynce , TEX , OF
79 ) Gomez , Alexis , KC , OF
80 ) Thorman , Scott , ATL , 1B
81 ) Guthrie , Jeremy , CLE , R
82 ) Kelton , Dave , CHN , 3B
83 ) Heilman , Aaron , NYM , R
84 ) Villarreal , Oscar , ARI , R
85 ) Tsao , Chin-hui , COL , R
86 ) Burnett , Sean , PIT , L
87 ) Peralta , John , CLE , SS
88 ) Youkilis , Kevin , 3B , BOS
89 ) Brownlie , Bobby , CHN , R
90 ) Hafner , Travis , CLE , 1B
91 ) Grueler , Chris , CIN , R
92 ) Castillo , Jose , PIT , SS
93 ) Blackley , Travis , SEA , L
94 ) Bedard , Erik , BAL , L
95 ) Lewis , Colby , TEX , R
96 ) Baker , Jeff , COL , 3B
97 ) Brown , Jeremy , OAK , C
98 ) Crosby , Bobby , OAK , SS
99 ) Ross , Cody , DET , OF
100 ) Jenks , Bobby , ANA , R

Friday, February 26, 2010

What We Are Working On…

A solid off-season is leading to significant new projects




With a little less than three days before the first pitch is thrown in a Spring Training game, hope springs eternal among the baseball world. Every team feels they ‘have a chance’, every team is setting goals, and every team is setting out on its ‘plan’. What better time to preview our ‘plans’ here at Diamond Futures, for the coming season.

What happens during the season to a Major League team is usually a function of their off-season planning and preparations. We have had a fantastic ‘off-season’ at Diamond Futures. Readership is growing exponentially, the Prospect eGuide (http://baseballnumbers-diamondfutures.blogspot.com/2010/02/gain-fantasy-league-advantage.html) is getting exceptional reviews and exceeding our wildest sales expectations, and we have been very fortunate in being able to acquire key pieces to enhance our ability to ‘peer into the future’ by examining the past. This has led to our ability to put into motion some things that we consider to be tremendously exciting and we thought we’d share with you what we have in store for you.
Before we get to those, I wanted to digress a moment to talk about the space that we are trying to occupy in the industry. Let’s start with what we aren’t…1) Diamond Futures’ is not a first-hand news source. We don’t have beat reporters assigned to Major League teams and we don’t try to scoop the industry by breaking a story first. We have a small group of writers/researchers that analyze and evaluate the news, and because baseball—especially the Minor Leagues are our focus, we may bring you information before you have heard it elsewhere, but being a news-source isn’t our goal. 2) We aren’t a fantasy baseball site…Sure we provide you information and analysis that is tremendously useful in managing/building your fantasy team—especially for Dynasty League’s, we focus on what value a prospect is going to bring to a Major League team, and have structured our metrics along those lines. While you can use our Top Prospect List to help you in your fantasy draft, that doesn’t mean that if we were drafting a fantasy team, we would value the players the same way…for the most part, our predictive metrics focus on a prospect’s potential career value, not how he is going to perform over the coming season. 3) We aren’t a scouting service. While we see a lot of baseball over the course of a season, we only witness about 10% of the prospects we talk about live, in person. We see another 50% - 60% of the prospects via television or video, but that still leaves a significant group of players that we rely on other contacts to get our information. More importantly, while we value what traditional scouting methods have brought to the table, we only ‘believe’ in what we can see and/or touch. The plethora of theories and analysis that exists on ‘swing mechanics’ or ‘pitching motions’ just aren’t tangible enough for us, and are likely decades away from being measurable enough to have objective value to what we do. That isn’t to say that their aren’t scouts that are better than others and that there aren’t scouting theories that may be dead-on—it’s just that until they are consistently definable and measurable they don’t have value to us, and become merely data points to fill in a prospect’s profile.

Which brings us to what we are—our mission. Diamond Futures strives for essentially two things: 1) To develop the most accurate techniques in the industry to project a prospect’s future value to a Major League organization and 2) To present the results to you, our reader, in a format that is easily digestible and, most importantly, makes sense. Essentially, we strive to be the bridge that exists between the ‘statheads’, and all of their overly complex formulas, and the general baseball-minded public. All of our off-season preparations have been geared toward furthering that mission.

So here is a peek at what you can expect to see from us over the coming baseball season…


What is the Quantitative Value of a Minor League Prospect?

It is one thing to rank prospects by organization, by position, by league, or even within all of Minor League baseball. But what does that ranking represent? What is the difference in value from the #19 Prospect and the #125 prospect? As you may have noticed form our recent Prospect List Retrospectives, while we have historically done as good, or better, a job than any other source out there, prospecting is about probabilities—not absolutes. So, for the last few weeks, we have been working on a study to measure how effective traditional prospecting methods perform and we will present the results to you before the Major League season gets underway.


New Software Will Bring You Better, More Readable Analysis

We admit it…we have reached the limits of our Blogger site. In an effort to bring you more readable data, we need more/easier database and graphical capabilities than our current site offers. So, we have a new domain ready to go, and now it’s just a matter of setting it up. Our goal is to have everything ready to roll in time for the start of the Major League season.


What is a Second round Pick Worth?

One of our key areas of focus this past off-season has been on improving our projection-engine when it comes to players with minimal professional performance data. A number of things that we have spent time on revolve around how to assess comparative data of draft picks. So, in kind of a partner study to our Prospect Value study is some work we are doing on Amateur draft pick value. Expect to see the results of this around mid-season.


We are Good Now…but We are Getting Better…

Highlighted to us by the work we did this past season in trying to determine the prospective value of Stephen Strasburg, we have a major opportunity to make advancements to our prospect engine in the area of pre-professional player comparable identification. We began adding college data to our models a few years back, and we have been using draft position number and bonus information as comparable identification criteria for longer than that. But we have always felt that draft and bonus information was only a substitute for what we really wanted, which was pre-draft scouting information. Now, through a number of sources, we have acquired nearly thirty years of pre-draft scouting reports and rankings. So now we have various levels of pre-draft information on more than 12,000 players and are in the process of determining the most accurate way of using the information to identify comparables for newly drafted prospects. While you won’t see visible results from this effort, it will lead to more accurate player assessments by the time we do next year’s prospect lists.


We Are Going to Dip Our Toe in the ‘Stathead’ vs. ‘Scouting’ Debate

We’ll preface this with the disclaimer that we do not now, nor have we ever, consider this (Stats vs. Scouting) to be a mutually exclusive decision path. But let’s be honest, a lot of what we do requires little in the way of first-hand viewing. One of the things that developed into a residual outcome of our Prospect Value study, was a fun little exercise that we did comparing pure performance metrics vs. the valuations of one of the major industry sources that relies heavily on the scouting community. Based on some initial results, we think you’ll find it interesting. Look for this mid-summer.


Improved Transparency with Regard to Our Projections

We walk a delicate tightrope, as we try to present our analysis in simple, understandable, methods and terminology, yet at the same time provide enough insight into our methodology. We won’t try to convince you that what we do in our analysis is simplistic, but realistically, it’s the accuracy of our projections that is important. We realize that this has led to somewhat of a ‘black box’ approach at times. We don’t intend to ‘kluge’ up the process by giving you information overload. But we feel that if we give you more information, you, the reader will find more uses for what we do. So, we have developed new ways to present our analysis and you should see more information, and yet retain our simplicity, by time we do next year’s rankings.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Diamond Futures’ Retrospective: Our 2002 Top 100

We believed in Jake Peavy before it became fashionable



A number of you have inquired recently as to where you can find our previous Top Prospect Lists. In response we have begun to post our previous lists and will get through all of them before the season starts.

Today, we take a look at our Top 100 list from 2002. As is our typically ‘want’, we begin with our significant misses. Looking back, we don’t feel as good about the 2002 list as we do 2001, as a number of high profile prospects never had the type of career that we would have expected from them. Among these were: Hank Blalock - #2; Sean Burroughs - #3; Nick Neugebauer - #12; Jerome Williams - #17; Wilson Betemit - #18; Joe Borchard - #24; Carlos Hernandez - #25; Drew Henson - #31; Dennis Tankersley - #34 and Alex Escobar - #46. I suppose that we could find some solace in the fact that most everybody missed on these as well—and many had them far higher than we did, but we missed nonetheless. Additionally, there were some unusual circumstances on this list, as shortly after we put it out, Juan Cruz - #13 was discovered to be two years older than his previously listed age, and Mark Prior - #6 was well on his way to a solid Major League career before injuring his shoulder after only about 90 Major League starts. But we also had some ‘just plain old misses’ with Chris Snelling - #5, Hee Choi - #29 and Dave Kelton - #40.

But things weren’t all bad, as Josh Beckett - #1, Carlos Pena #9, Mark Texiera - #11, Austin Kearns - #14, Adrian Gonzalez - #16, Justin Morneau - #20, Joe Mauer #21 and Brandon Phillips - #27 have all posted the type of careers that we, and most everyone else expected. Additionally, like Jake Peavy - #4, we identified our share of players that we were ahead of the curve on such as: Jose Reyes - #8; Carl Crawford - #15; Carlos Zambrano - #33; Francisco Rodriguez - #36; Grady Sizemore - #50; Garret Atkins - #64 and John Lackey - #93. The full list is posted below:


Diamond Futures 2002 Top 100

1 ) Beckett , Josh , RHP , FLA
2 ) Blalock , Hank , 3B , TEX
3 ) Burroughs , Sean , 3B , SDP
4 ) Peavy , Jake , RHP , SDP
5 ) Snelling , Chris , OF , SEA
6 ) Prior , Mark , RHP , CHN
7 ) Cust , Jack , OF , COL
8 ) Reyes , Jose , SS , NYM
9 ) Pena , Carlos , 1B , OAK
10 ) Johnson , Nick , 1B , NYY
11 ) Teixeira , Mark , 3B , TEX
12 ) Neugebauer , Nick , RHP , MIL
13 ) Cruz , Juan , RHP , CHN
14 ) Kearns , Austin , OF , CIN
15 ) Crawford , Carl , OF , TBR
16 ) Gonzalez , Adrian , 1B , FLA
17 ) Williams , Jerome , RHP , SFG
18 ) Betemit , Wilson , SS , ATL
19 ) Cuddyer , Michael , 3B , MIN
20 ) Morneau , Justin , 1B , MIN
21 ) Mauer , Joe , C , MIN
22 ) Johnson , Kelly , SS , ATL
23 ) Bonser , Boof , RHP , SFG
24 ) Borchard , Joe , OF , CHA
25 ) Hernandez , Carlos , LHP , HOU
26 ) Byrd , Marlon , OF , PHI
27 ) Phillips , Brandon , SS , MTL
28 ) Infante , Omar , SS , DET
29 ) Choi , Hee Seop , 1B , CHN
30 ) Soriano , Rafael , RHP , SEA
31 ) Henson , Drew , 3B , NYY
32 ) Kotchman , Casey , 1B , ANA
33 ) Zambrano , Carlos , RHP , CHN
34 ) Tankersley , Dennis , RHP , SDP
35 ) Gross , Gabe , OF , TOR
36 ) Rodriguez , Francisco , RHP , ANA
37 ) Gobble , Jimmy , LHP , KCR
38 ) Ishii , Kazuhisa , LHP , LAD
39 ) Hamilton , Josh , OF , TBR
40 ) Kelton , Dave , 3B , CHN
41 ) Hudson , Orlando , 2B , TOR
42 ) Rivera , Juan , OF , NYY
43 ) Perez , Antonio , SS , SEA
44 ) Anderson , Ryan , LHP , SEA
45 ) Johnson , Adam , RHP , MIN
46 ) Escobar , Alex , OF , CLE
47 ) Phelps , Josh , C , TOR
48 ) Cabrera , Miguel , SS , FLA
49 ) Myers , Brett , RHP , PHI
50 ) Sizemore , Grady , OF , MTL
51 ) Claussen , Brandon , LHP , NYY
52 ) Restovich , Michael , OF , MIN
53 ) Chen , Chin-Feng , OF , LAD
54 ) Wainwright , Adam , RHP , ATL
55 ) German , Esteban , 2B , OAK
56 ) Berroa , Angel , SS , KCR
57 ) Gomez , Alexis , OF , KCR
58 ) Nunez , Abraham , SS , FLA
59 ) Rauch , Jon , RHP , CHA
60 ) Aybar , Willy , 3B , LAD
61 ) House , J.R. , C , PIT
62 ) Santiago , Ramon , SS , DET
63 ) Stephens , John , RHP , BAL
64 ) Atkins , Garrett , 3B , COL
65 ) Howington , Ty , LHP , CIN
66 ) Terrero , Luis , OF , ARZ
67 ) Benoit , Joaquin , RHP , TEX
68 ) Ainsworth , Kurt , RHP , SFG
69 ) Brazleton , Dewon , RHP , TBR
70 ) Ludwick , Ryan , OF , ATL
71 ) Crede , Joe , 3B , CHA
72 ) McLouth , Nathan , OF , PIT
73 ) Evert , Brett , RHP , ATL
74 ) Bedard , Erik , LHP , BAL
75 ) Blanco , Tony , 3B , BOS
76 ) Johnson , Ben , RHP , SDP
77 ) Hill , Bobby , 2B , CHN
78 ) Jackson , Nick , OF , CHN
79 ) Lewis , Colby , LHP , TEX
80 ) Bradley , Bobby , RHP , PIT
81 ) Nady , Xavier , 1B , SDP
82 ) Cornejo , Nate , RHP , DET
83 ) Baldelli , Rocco , OF , BOS
84 ) Thurston , Joe , SS/2B , LAD
85 ) Floyd , Gavin , RHP , FLA
86 ) Tsao , Chin-Hui , RHP , COL
87 ) Perez , Oliver , LHP , SDP
88 ) Torres , Joe , LHP , ANA
89 ) Hinske , Eric , 3B , CHN
90 ) Phillips , Mark , LHP , SDP
91 ) Cantu , Jorge , SS , TBR
92 ) Burnett , Sean , LHP , PIT
93 ) Lackey , John , RHP , ANA
94 ) Buck , John , C , HOU
95 ) Werth , Jayson , C , TOR
96 ) Haynes , Nathan , OF , ANA
97 ) Holliday , Matt , OF , COL
98 ) Malone , Corwin , LHP , CHA
99 ) Martinez , Victor , C , CLE
100 ) Hummel , Tim , 2B/SS , CHA

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What others are saying…

Here at Diamond Futures’ we are fairly proud of the results that were achieved, when it came to putting together our 2010 Prospect eGuide. For the last couple of weeks we have been telling you about/sharing the content from the eGuide. Today, however, with the last installment of our Top 300 Prospects series now available on the site, we thought instead of us telling you about the book, that we would share with you what others around the web are saying about our product. So we have included a few of the comments that we have found in a quick search:


from SethSpeaks.net -

"Finally, last night in my e-mail inbox, I received the electronic version of the Diamond Futures 2010 Prospect eGuide. I saw the Twins prospect rankings for their site, and enjoyed it. On the site, I saw that they had a 300 page e-book available, so I thought I would get that. The authors have been doing this for a long time. They look at some different categories. They grade players too. And in the guide, they rank their Top 500 prospects in baseball. "

http://talkintwinsbb.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/snow-day/


from GiantDealings -

"Any blog or website can put out a rankings list, but few have the resources to back one up with player commentary. This is a great read for any Giants fan interested in more information on the organization’s top prospects."

http://www.giantdealings.com/2010/01/27/giants-farm-system-ranked-no-9-by-diamond-futures/


from The Crawfish Boxes -

"Diamond Futures, a fantastic, fantastic (did I mention fantastic) amateur/minor league baseball blog, was gracious enough to forward me a free copy of their 2010 Prospect Guide, which is as comprehensive and well written as any such guide I've ever read."

http://www.crawfishboxes.com/2010/2/21/1318614/tcb-recommendations-and-the-astros


And then today, The Crawfish Boxes did a more thorough review:

http://www.crawfishboxes.com/2010/2/24/1320725/more-astros-prospect-rankings-with

They capture the essence of what we are trying to do perhaps even better than we have. Excerpts can't do it justice, so I suggest reading the entire review.


from RockiesCast -

"I freely admit that I’m terrible at getting good, in-depth info on prospects. Luckily, we recently got a hot tip via e-mail about a blog committed to the art of scouting baseball prospects: Diamond Futures. This week, they did their analysis of the prospects in the Rockies’ system. Take a look: it’s some pretty interesting stuff."

http://www.rockiescast.com/


If you haven’t purchased your copy yet, you can find all of the details here: http://baseballnumbers-diamondfutures.blogspot.com/2010/02/gain-fantasy-league-advantage.html

2010 Diamond Futures Top 300 Prospects (#50 - #1)

Stephen Strasburg is this year's runner-up




It’s been a little over a week since we began this series, and finally we are at the cream of the crop—Minor League baseball’s best prospects. While there may be a few surprises here, and a few names that you might not recognize as well as some others, all of these player’s are here because what they have done thus far in their professional career, gives us every reason to believe in their future success. So without delaying any longer, here is the remainder of the list:

2010 Top 300 Prospects

50) Mier, Jiovanni , HOU - SS
49) Crow, Aaron , KCR - R
48) Liddi, Alex , SEA - 3B
47) Crosby, Casey , DET - L
46) Martinez, Fernando , NYM - RF
45) Scheppers, Tanner , TEX - R
44) Vitters, Josh , CHN - 3B
43) Trout, Mike , LAA - CF
42) Withrow, Chris , LAD - R
41) Gibson, Kyle , MIN - R
40) Rondon, Hector , CLE - R
39) Taylor, Michael , OAK - LF
38) Moore, Matthew , TBR - L
37) Carter, Chris , OAK - 1B
36) Friedrich, Christian , COL - L
35) Mejia, Jenrry , NYM - R
34) Turner, Jacob , DET - R
33) Norris, Derek , WSN - C
32) Alonso, Yonder , CIN - 1B
31) Freeman, Freddie , ATL - 1B
30) Green, Grant , OAK - SS
29) Escobar, Alcides , MIL - SS
28) Montgomery, Michael , KCR - L
27) Kelly, Casey , BOS - R
26) Drabek, Kyle , TOR - R
25) Chisenhall, Lonnie , CLE - 3B
24) Wallace, Brett , TOR - 3B
23) Brown, Domonic , PHI - RF
22) Westmoreland, Ryan , BOS - CF
21) Bumgarner, Madison , SFG - L
20) Chapman, Alrodis , CIN - L
19) Matzek , Tyler , COL - L
18) Morrison, Logan , FLA - 1B
17) Parker, Jarrod , ARZ - R
16) Castro, Starlin , CHN - SS
15) Hicks, Aaron , MIN - CF
14) Hellickson, Jeremy , TBR - R
13) Perez, Martin , TEX - L
12) Ackley, Dustin , SEA - CF
11) Smoak, Justin , TEX - 1B
10) Feliz, Neftali , TEX - R
9) Matusz, Brian , BAL - L
8) Santana, Carlos , CLE - C
7) Stanton, Mike , FLA - RF
6) Montero, Jesus , NYY - C
5) Jennings, Desmond , TBR - CF
4) Posey, Buster , SFG - C
3) Alvarez, Pedro , PIT - 3B
2) Strasburg, Stephen , WSN - R
1) Heyward, Jason , ATL – RF

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Diamond Futures’ Retrospective: Our 2001 Top 100

Josh Beckett began a two year run atop the list in 2001




A number of you have inquired recently as to where you can find our previous Top Prospect Lists. Since our early lists were developed for a site that has changed ownership and management a couple of times over the last few years (www.topprospectalert.com ) and, to the best of my knowledge removed their archives from the beginning of the decade a couple years ago, and a site that no longer exists, we don’t have convenient links to point you toward. We did post our very first Top 100 list, from February of 2000, back in October (http://baseballnumbers-diamondfutures.blogspot.com/2009/10/diamond-futures-retrospective-2000-top.html), but, at least to my knowledge, the electronic links to the early lists have long since faded away. So, since there appears to be an interest, we will begin posting our previous lists, a couple per week, between now and the start of the season.

We actually began developing prospect lists in 1998-1999, where we identified the top prospects for each league. In 2000, we began doing a Top 100 list, and the following year expanded the list to 300 prospects. Today, we will look back at our 2001 list. While we are extremely proud of our 2001 list, mainly because we recognized the potential of Jimmy Rollins and Albert Pujols before most anyone, hopefully you will see that as the years have moved on, we have actually gotten better—as we have discovered better ways to value players that have minimal professional playing time. Additionally, while we are confident that our methods stack up favorably against any others available—we aren’t perfect, and sometimes our ‘misses’ can be more fun than our ‘hits’. Some of the significant misses from our 2001 list include: Ryan Anderson - #4; Antonio Perez - #12; Hee Choi - #21; injured pitchers Bobby Bradley-#22 and Chin-hui Tsao-#24; two of our perennial favorites, Jerome Williams-#26 and Chris Snelling-#28; and the ‘Nuke LaLossh’ of his day..Nick Neugebauer-#33. In addition to Rollins and Pujols, some of our better calls included: Jack Cust-#18; Francisco Rodriguez-#27; Jake Peavy - #30; John Garland - #45; Carlos Zambrano - #51; Brandon Phillips - #53; Adam Wainwright - #57; John Lackey - #69; and a relatively unknown Canadian, Justin Morneau - #84. The complete list is posted below:


Diamond Futures’ 2001 Top 100 Prospects

1 ) Beckett , Josh , RHP , FLA
2 ) Burroughs , Sean , 3B , SDP
3 ) Hamilton , Josh , OF , TBR
4 ) Anderson , Ryan , LHP , SEA
5 ) Patterson , Corey , OF , CHN
6 ) Rollins , Jimmy , SS , PHI
7 ) Sabathia , C.C. , LHP , CLE
8 ) Johnson , Nick , 1B , NYY
9 ) Pujols , Albert , 3B , STL
10 ) Suzuki , Ichiro , OF , SEA
11 ) Pena , Carlos , 1B , TEX
12 ) Perez , Antonio , SS , SEA
13 ) Sheets , Ben , RHP , MIL
14 ) Dunn , Adam , OF , CIN
15 ) Wells , Vernon , OF , TOR
16 ) Oswalt , Roy , RHP , HOU
17 ) Giles , Marcus , 2B , ATL
18 ) Cust , Jack , OF , ARZ
19 ) Soriano , Alfonso , SS/2B , NYY
20 ) Blalock , Hank , 3B , TEX
21 ) Choi , Hee , 1B , CHN
22 ) Bradley , Bobby , RHP , PIT
23 ) Rauch , Jon , RHP , CHA
24 ) Tsao , Chin-hui , RHP , COL
25 ) Kearns , Austin , OF , CIN
26 ) Williams , Jerome , RHP , SFG
27 ) Rodriguez , Francisco , RHP , ANA
28 ) Snelling , Chris , OF , SEA
29 ) Jiminez , D'Angelo , SS/2B , NYY
30 ) Peavy , Jacob , RHP , SDP
31 ) Cruz , Juan , RHP , CHN
32 ) Smith , Bud , LHP , STL
33 ) Neugebauer , Nick , RHP , MIL
34 ) Rivas , Luis , 2B , MIN
35 ) House , J.R. , C , PIT
36 ) Johnson , Adam , RHP , MIN
37 ) Mench , Kevin , OF , TEX
38 ) Chen , Chin-Feng , OF , LAD
39 ) Henson , Drew , 3B , CIN
40 ) Borchard , Joe , OF , CHA
41 ) Cuddyer , Mike , 3B , MIN
42 ) Redding , Tim , RHP , HOU
43 ) Betemit , Wilson , SS , ATL
44 ) Brown , Dee , OF , KCR
45 ) Garland , Jon , RHP , CHA
46 ) Escobar , Alex , OF , NYM
47 ) George , Chris , LHP , KCR
48 ) Crawford , Carl , OF , TBR
49 ) Myers , Brett , RHP , PHI
50 ) Restovich , Mike , OF , MIN
51 ) Zambrano , Carlos , RHP , CHN
52 ) Huff , Aubrey , 3B , TBR
53 ) Phillips , Brandon , SS , MTL
54 ) Uribe , Juan , SS , COL
55 ) Gonzalez , Adrian , 1B , FLA
56 ) Pineiro , Joel , RHP , SEA
57 ) Wainwright , Adam , RHP , ATL
58 ) Belisle , Matt , RHP , ATL
59 ) Ainsworth , Kurt , RHP , SFG
60 ) Gobble , Jimmy , LHP , KCR
61 ) Bridges , Donnie , RHP , MTL
62 ) Nunez , Abraham , SS , FLA
63 ) Crede , Joe , 3B , CHA
64 ) Wilkerson , Brad , OF , MTL
65 ) Lopez , Felipe , SS , TOR
66 ) Cole , Brian , OF , NYM
67 ) Colome , Jesus , RHP , TBR
68 ) Ortiz , Jose , 2B/SS , OAK
69 ) Lackey , John , RHP , ANA
70 ) Baez , Danny , RHP , CLE
71 ) Ludwick , Ryan , OF , OAK
72 ) Jennings , Jason , RHP , COL
73 ) Prokopec , Luke , RHP , LAD
74 ) Blanco , Tony , 3B , BOS
75 ) Santiago , Ramon , SS , DET
76 ) Izturis , Cesar , SS , TOR
77 ) Christensen , Ben , RHP , CHN
78 ) Strange , Pat , RHP , NYM
79 ) Infante , Omar , SS , DET
80 ) Cornejo , Nate , RHP , DET
81 ) Cedeno , Jovanny , RHP , TEX
82 ) Tankersley , Dennis , RHP , SDP
83 ) Hill , Bobby , SS/2B , CHN
84 ) Morneau , Justin , 1B/C , MIN
85 ) Abernathy , Brent , 2B , TBR
86 ) Werth , Jayson , C , BAL
87 ) Hernandez , Carlos , LHP , HOU
88 ) Buehrle , Mark , LHP , CHA
89 ) Cabrera , Miguel , SS , FLA
90 ) Montanez , Luis , SS , CHN
91 ) Torcato , Tony , 3B , SFG
92 ) Hinske , Eric , 3B , CHN
93 ) Lawrence , Brian , RHP , SDP
94 ) Hart , Jason , 1B , OAK
95 ) Bradley , Milton , OF , MTL
96 ) Torres , Joe , LHP , ANA
97 ) Inge , Brandon , C , DET
98 ) Rodriguez , Wilfredo , LHP , HOU
99 ) Utley , Chase , 2B , PHI
100 ) Stephens , John , RHP , BAL

Monday, February 22, 2010

2010 Diamond Futures Top 300 Prospects (#100 - #51)

Juan Francisco should be belting homers in Cincinatti in 2010



With the fifth installment in the series, we are just about finished counting down the Top 300. Why do we do the top 300? Our research has shown that few significant Major League players, were never considered among the Top 300 prospects in baseball (you’ll get more on this when we publish our Prospect Value study in a couple of week), and we would rather not miss anyone. So over the course of the next week or so, you can find out who we consider this year’s Top 300 prospects, as we count them down all the way to #1.

Of course if you want the Top 500, or just can’t wait until we count them all the way down, you can always order the Prospect eGuide, and get your copy of the complete list (plus much more) delivered to your in-box the same day. You’ll find complete details here: http://baseballnumbers-diamondfutures.blogspot.com/2010/02/2010-diamond-futures-prospect-eguide-is.html.



2010 Top 300 Prospects


100) Hosmer, Eric , KCR - 1B
99) Arrieta, Jake , BAL - R
98) Ynoa, Michael , OAK - R
97) Melville, Timothy , KCR - R
96) Arguelles, Noel , KCR - L
95) Anderson, Lars , BOS - 1B
94) Britton, Zachary , BAL - L
93) Reckling, Trevor , LAA - L
92) Jackson, Austin , DET - CF
91) White, Alex , CLE - R
90) Viciedo, Dayan , CHA - 3B
89) Lyles, Jordan , HOU - R
88) Darnell, James , SDP - 3B
87) Sanchez, Tony , PIT - C
86) Chacin, Jhoulys , COL - R
85) Banuelos, Manuel , NYY - L
84) Ramos, Wilson , MIN - C
83) Mitchell, Jared , CHA - CF
82) Beckham, Tim , TBR - SS
81) Jackson, Brett , CHN - CF
80) Colome, Alexander , TBR - R
79) Hudson, Daniel , CHA - R
78) Francisco, Juan , CIN - 3B
77) Wheeler, Zack , SFG - R
76) Sano, Miguel , MIN - 3B
75) Conger, Hank , LAA - C
74) Flores, Wilmer , NYM - SS
73) Miller, Shelby , STL - R
72) Leake, Mike , CIN - R
71) Duffy, Danny , KCR - L
70) Gordon, Dee , LAD - SS
69) Castro, Simon , SDP - R
68) Revere, Ben , MIN - CF
67) Vizcaino, Arodys , ATL - R
66) Kalish, Ryan , BOS - LF
65) Teheran, Julio , ATL - R
64) Myers, Wil , KCR - C
63) Dominguez, Matt , FLA - 3B
62) Davis, Wade , TBR - R
61) Garcia, Jaime , STL - L
60) Moustakas, Mike , KCR - 3B
59) Bell, Josh , BAL - 3B
58) Alderson, Tim , PIT - R
57) Decker, Jaff , SDP - LF
56) Tabata, Jose , PIT - CF
55) Tate, Donavan , SDP - CF
54) Storen, Drew , WSN - RP
53) Castro, Jason , HOU - C
52) Borchering, Bobby , ARZ - 3B
51) Lawrie, Brett , MIL - 2B

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Strasburg or Heyward: The Battle for #1



It has been quite a while, especially since we incorporated college data into our model, since choosing the overall top prospect has been such a difficult choice for us. Using a statistical model, usually provides a relatively clear choice—even if it sometimes isn’t the conventional one. However, in evaluating Stephen Strasburg, it became clear, to us, as to some of the limits of our data modeling techniques.

Our system is actually a fairly simple concept. You examine a player in critical areas (statistical as well as phenotypic), locate the most similar players from our vast database then determine how the comparison group performed over their careers. While we can run into some difficulties with extremely precocious players, this usually doesn’t impact the battle for the top spot, because you usually have a track record that provides a fair group of comparable players to model against. Take a player like Jason Heyward for instance, developing our typical 90 player comp list was relatively easy, and the top twenty comps were very strong for him. But what happens when you have a player that there has never been another one like him? That essentially is the challenge that we face this year with Stephen Strasburg.

Ignoring the statistical side of things for the moment, Strasburg entered the 2009 collegiate season as the top rated player in the draft. The previous summer he had already become the top pitcher on a national team that featured two very successful rookie pitchers from the 2009 Major League season and had beaten out a pitcher who was an early first round pick in the previous draft, who also is a current top ten prospect. Without question, in the spring of 2009, Strasburg was clearly the best amateur pitcher in the game. So what did he do? He went out in the 2009 collegiate season and posted what is arguably either the #1 or #2 best season, by a college pitcher, in the last 40 years. He was the #1 prospect on Draft Day. He was the first overall selection. And he signed for the most bonus money ever given to a draft pick. He is arguably (it’s actually a rather easy argument to make) the best pitcher ever drafted. Because he signed late, we have no performance data on him. So how do we find comps on him?

Thanks to the folks at Baseball America, we actually have a fairly decent record of the draft for the last thirty years. Do you know how many college pitchers entered the draft as the ‘top- rated player’, and actually were chosen first overall? Three—Andy Benes in 1988, Ben McDonald in 1989 and Paul Wilson in 1994. Three other pre-draft #1s were selected second, but only Mark Prior in 2001 was considered to be a ‘signability’ reason for not going #1. It became obvious to us that, despite having one of the most complete historical records of minor league players available, we needed better information to accurately assess players that have minimal professional track records. This led us to begin a project that you will be hearing more about in the coming months, where we have begun to assemble pre-signing ‘scouting’ information on nearly 12,000 players from a period that covers the last thirty years. We decided to use that information to try to develop our comp list for Strasburg this year.

After we finally felt comfortable on how we were going to approach Strasburg’s evaluation, we set out on our normal processes. As I said, Jason Heyward was rather easy. His top ten comparables look like this:

1) Carlos Gonzalez
2) Troy O’Leary
3) Ryan Klesko
4) Adrian Gonzalez
5) Justin Upton
6) Gary Sheffield
7) Billy Butler
8) Delmon Young
9) Ruben Mateo
10) Lloyd Moseby


When you evaluate Heyward, you get an expected career WAR of 25.2, with a 52% chance of becoming a ‘star’ and an 8% chance of becoming a ‘bust’.

Following our normal processes with Strasburg, we developed a comp list where the top ten names on the list were these:

1) Andy Benes
2) Mark Prior
3) Justin Verlander
4) Paul Wilson
5) Mike Moore
6) Braden Looper
7) Darren Dreifort
8) Paul Shuey
9) Matt Anderson
10) Ben McDonald


Strasburg’s calculated expected career WAR is 16.1, with a 39% chance of becoming a ‘star’, and an 11% chance of becoming a ‘bust’.

Normally, this would be the end of the story. Heyward has the greatest expected career WAR, the greater chance of becoming a ‘star’, and the lower chance of becoming a ‘bust’. However, we noticed an interesting thing about Strasburg’s comparable list. While with a normal player, like say Heyward, you have names like Manny Ramirez, Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones and Miguel Cabrera that fall on various places throughout his list, and there is a fairly even distribution of WAR values throughout the list. However, with Strasburg, the top ten comparables are the highest group of WAR values, higher than the top twenty, which is higher than the top forty, which is higher than the list as a whole. In other words, there is a decreasing level of player the further down you go on the list, meaning that Strasburg is actually sitting at the top of a very short list of comparables and is likely considerably better than his calculated expected career WAR.

The problem that we find, is that since there has never been another pitcher like Strasburg (or at least very few), at this stage of his career, we really don’t mathematically know what to expect from him. Our intuition tells us that, despite the inherent risks with pitchers, while Heyward may be a once in a decade type of prospect, Strasburg is likely a once in a generation, or even once in a lifetime, type of prospect. Our intuition tells us that we should rank Strasburg #1. In the end, we stay true to our models, and Jason Heyward is the Diamond Future’s #1 prospect of 2010.
Tomorrow we resume our countdown of the Top 300 Prospects. Of course if you want the Top 500, or just can’t wait until we count them all the way down, you can always order the Prospect eGuide, and get your copy of the complete list (plus much more) delivered to your in-box the same day.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Gain the Fantasy League Advantage!



Get ahead of your competition in your dynasty league, with the low-down on the best of the Minor League prospects, with the Diamond Futures' 2010 Prospect eGuide. In it you will get a team-by-team look at each organization's prospects, plus much, much, more.


In a nearly 300 page .pdf document, delivered to your 'inbox' you will receive the following:


Minor League Player profiles— nearly 600 in all

Rankings of the Top 50 prospects in each organization

The Diamond Futures' Minor League Top 500 Ranking

Prospect Rankings by Position

Winter Wonders—our recap of notable performances from the Winter Leagues

Diamond Futures’ Preseason 2010 Amateur Draft Top 100

Up-to-date Team rankings reflecting the most current player moves


300 Pages of valuable prospect information for you to use all season long…delivered directly to your InBox (same day) in .pdf format.

You can compare prices for this kind of information elsewhere, but this premier edition is available right now,through us, for only $9.95.








2010 Diamond Futures' Top 300 (#150 - #101)

Brandon Allen just missed the Top 100




Part Four of our Top 300 list, takes us all the way down to number 100. Why do we do the top 300? Our research has shown that few significant Major League players, were never considered among the Top 300 prospects in baseball (you’ll get more on this when we publish our Prospect Value study in a couple of week), and we would rather not miss anyone. So over the course of the next week or so, you can find out who we consider this year’s Top 300 prospects, as we count them down all the way to #1.

Of course if you want the Top 500, or just can’t wait until we count them all the way down, you can always order the Prospect eGuide, and get your copy of the complete list (plus much more) delivered to your in-box the same day. You’ll find complete details here: http://baseballnumbers-diamondfutures.blogspot.com/2010/02/2010-diamond-futures-prospect-eguide-is.html.


2010 Top 300 Prospects

150) Gose, Anthony , PHI - CF
149) Rincon, Edinson , SDP - 3B
148) Stassi, Max , OAK - C
147) Morales, Angel , MIN - CF
146) Cumberland, Drew , SDP - SS
145) d'Arnaud, Travis , TOR - C
144) Triunfel, Carlos , SEA - SS
143) Pineda, Michael , SEA - R
142) Desmond, Ian , WSN - SS
141) Marrero, Chris , WSN - 1B
140) Lindblom, Josh , LAD - RP
139) Rodriguez, Rafael , SFG - RF
138) Jackson, Jay , CHN - R
137) Burgess, Michael , WSN - RF
136) Rizzo, Anthony , BOS - 1B
135) Profar, Jurickson , TEX - SS
134) DeJesus, Ivan , LAD - SS
133) Kipnis, Jason , CLE - 2B
132) Burke, Kyler , CHN - RF
131) Minor, Mike , ATL - L
130) Miller, Aaron , LAD - L
129) Bethancourt, Christian , ATL - C
128) Lobstein, Kyle , TBR - L
127) Font, Wilmer , TEX - R
126) Kiker, Kasey , TEX - L
125) Salcedo, Adrian , MIN - R
124) Weglarz, Nick , CLE - LF
123) Gillies, Tyson , PHI - CF
122) Jones, Daryl , STL - LF
121) Saunders, Michael , SEA - LF
120) Tazawa, Junichi , BOS - R
119) Martin, Ethan , LAD - R
118) James, Chad , FLA - L
117) Elbert, Scott , LAD - L
116) Main, Michael , TEX - R
115) Reddick, Josh , BOS - CF
114) Brignac, Reid , TBR - SS
113) Iglesias, Jose , BOS - SS
112) McAllister, Zach , NYY - R
111) Lee, Hak-Ju , CHN - SS
110) Gibson, Derrik , BOS - 2B
109) Brantley, Michael , CLE - CF
108) Romine, Austin , NYY - C
107) Walden, Jordan , LAA - R
106) Frazier, Todd , CIN - LF
105) Delgado, Randall , ATL - R
104) Cashner, Andrew , CHN - R
103) Wheeler, Tim , COL - CF
102) Neal, Thomas , SFG - LF
101) Allen, Brandon , ARZ - 1B

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Diamond Futures’ Pre-Season College Top 25

The Texas Longhorns appear poised to finish one game further in 2010




The college baseball season kicks into high gear this weekend, and with it comes our Pre-Season Rankings. Beginning in March, our top 25 will become a regular weekly feature all the way through the College World Series.


1) Texas -
While catcher Cameron Rupp will key the offense, this is a pitching dominated team. Sensational 2009 frosh, Taylor Jungmann will head a talented rotation that also features likely first round pick Brandon Workman. They have the talent, the experience and the coaching, and are favorites to avenge last season’s runner-up finish.

2) Louisiana State
While they graduated a number of key pieces from last year’s Championship Team, the Tigers remain an experienced bunch with a nice balance between offense and pitching/defense. Micah Gibbs, Blake Dean and Leon Landry will provide the offensive punch, while Anthony Ranaudo, the best junior pitcher in the country heads the rotation.

3) Virginia
Led by junior Jarrett Parker, the Cavaliers return every one of their position players from a team that finished 2009 with a 49-15 record. Sophomore Danny Hultzen who finished 9-1 with a 2.17 ERA heads the rotation.

4) Cal State Fullerton
The Titans return one of the best rotations in the college game, with junior Danny Renken as the Friday night starter. Offensively, they were hit hard by departures, but return Gary Brown and Chris Colon, two of the most exciting offensive players in the nation.

5) UC Irvine
The Anteaters are one of the more experienced teams in the Nation, as they return seven offensive starters and their rotation will be headed by returning seniors Dan Bibona and Christian Bergman. This is a team that entered the CWS in 2009 as the #6 overall seed, and there is no reason to think they shouldn’t be even better this year.

6) Rice
The Owls, led by super-soph Anthony Rendon and junior shortstop Ricky Hague, will put up a ton of runs this season…The question is whether they will be able to hold their opponents to less, as only one starter returns with an ERA less than 6.00.

7) Florida State -
The Seminoles are the poster child for the ‘team’ concept, as they have a lot of returning depth but few stars, Sophomore Sean Gilmartin is the Friday night starter and he should match up well with most anyone.

8) Georgia Tech -
The offense, led by junior Derek Dietrich and senior Tony Plagman, will lead the team, but Friday night starter Deck McGuire is one of the best in the country and closer Kevin Jacob looks to have taken major steps forward over the summer.

9) Florida
Matt den Dekker will provide the veteran leadership on offense, and sophomore Preston Tucker is a potential first round pick in 2011, but their pitching staff lacks experience and will likely feature an all-sophomore weekend rotation, which may get them in trouble in the SEC.

10) Arizona State -
The Sun Devils will be young on offense, as they lost their top two players Jason Kipnis and Carlos Ramirez to the draft. Their leadership will be missed as they will start five sophomores and a freshman. The same goes for the pitching, as Mike Leake will be hard to replace. Josh Spence returns, but this is a traditionally power house program that is entering the year with major uncertainties.

11) Texas Christian
The Horned-Frogs will start three freshman and two sophomores on offense, and their staff ace is likely to be freshman Matt Purke. So needless to say, while they may be a talented group, they will be inexperienced.

12) Miami
The offense will have a lot of questions heading into the season, as the Hurricanes feature five new starters, including three freshman. Yasmani Grandal keys the attack and is looking to shore up his draft stock that has become shaky. The rotation has plenty of uncertainties of its own, as Eric Erickson returns from Tommy John surgery while Chris Hernanedez looks to rebound from disappointing sophomore season.

13) Coastal Carolina
Few teams will be faster than the speedy Chanticleers, led by junior CF, Rico Noel. However, the fate of the team likely resides in the arms of Cody Wheeler and Anthony Meo.


14) Oregon State
The Beavers could be a National powerhouse if they only had a moderate amount of offense, but as it currently looks, this is a team that will rely on its pitching and defense. Sophomore Sam Gaviglio, who went 10-1, 2.73, will likely be the Friday night starter, but juniors Tyler Waldron, Greg Peavey and Tanner Robles provide significant rotation depth. Junior Kevin Rhoderick could be one of the most potent closers in the country.

15) Clemson
First baseman Ben Paulsen is now with the Rockies, and he is replaced by freshman Richie Shaffer…but that is the only offensive departure from the 2009 squad. The pitching is another matter, as outside of junior Casey Harman, it is an experienced bunch.

16) Arkansas
Zack Cox and Andy Wilkins key an offensive attack that doesn’t have but one other hitter that posted an average above .265 in 2009. On the other side, Dallas Keuchel is now in the Minor Leagues, leaving a rotation that has talent, but is relatively unproven. Sophomore Drew Smyly and/or junior Brett Eibner need to step up.

17) North Carolina
The Tar heels offense lost one of the best players in school history when Dustin Ackley was drafted by the Mariners, and enter 2009 with five new starters—none of which were with the program in 2009. This will increase the focus on junior Matt Harvey, who was disappointing last season, but has the raw ‘stuff’ to be one of the best Friday starters in the Nation.

18) Louisville
Senior Andrew Clark and junior Phil Wunderlich form a potent 1-2 punch in the middle of the lineup, but they rotation lacks a true ace. If someone steps up to claim the Friday night role, the Cardinals could be dangerous.

19) East Carolina
Cape Cod League MVP keys an unproven offensive attack, and the Pirates have a solid rotation, but lack star material. They will be tough in Conference USA, but may not have enough to compete with the better teams from the top cpnferences.

20) San Diego
The Toreros are a team that is dominated by a deep and talented rotation that features Friday night starter, senior, A.J. Griffin, and two potential first round picks in juniors Kyle Blair and Sammy Solis. Blair is coming off of a solid summer on the cape, and this could be one of the best weekend rotations in the country.

21) Mississippi
The Rebels’ offense lacks true ‘star’ players, but it has the potential to be a devastating unit. Drew Pomeranz, a likely early first round pick in June, keys the rotation, but there is little quality behind him. This could make for a number of slugfests in 2010.

22) South Carolina
Senior Nick Ebert will provide plenty of firepower for the Gamecock offense, and Sam Dyson returns as the Friday night starter, looking to make amends for a disappointing 2009. If Dyson is able to hold down the front of the rotation, the pitching depth is impressive.


23) Ohio State
The Buckeyes return their top five offensive performers and their entire weekend rotation from a team that won the Big Ten in 2009, making expectations high in Columbus. Alex Wimmers, the junior right-hander, is potential first round material and was absolutely dominant toward the end of the 2009 season.

24) UCLA
The offense is shaky, as senior 1B, Justin Uribe’s .864 is the top returning OPS from 2009. The pitching however is another matter altogether, as sophomore Gerrit Cole is possibly the best pitching prospect in his class and Trevor Bauer and Rob Rasmussen are solid.

25) Georgia
No team on this list has been hit as hard by departures as the Bulldogs have. Their starting nine, in 2010, will consistent of seven sophomores and two freshman. This will put the spotlight on Friday night starter Justin Grimm, a likely first round draft pick in June, and closer, senior AlexMcRee. There isn’t a lot of experience behind Grimm, but there is substantial talent.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2010 Diamond Futures' Top 300 Prospects (#200 - #151)

The Phillies will try Aumont back in the rotation in 2010



We are now half-way through the Top 300 list. Why 300? Our research has shown that few significant Major League players, were never considered among the Top 300 prospects in baseball (you’ll get more on this when we publish our Prospect Value study in a couple of week), and we would rather not miss anyone. So over the course of the next week or so, you can find out who we consider this year’s Top 300 prospects, as we count them down all the way to #1.

Of course if you want the Top 500, or just can’t wait until we count them all the way down, you can always order the Prospect eGuide, and get your copy of the complete list (plus much more) delivered to your in-box the same day. You’ll find complete details here: http://baseballnumbers-diamondfutures.blogspot.com/2010/02/2010-diamond-futures-prospect-eguide-is.html.



2010 Top 300 Prospects

200) Carrasco, Carlos , CLE - R
199) Lin, Che-Hsuan , BOS - CF
198) Forsythe, Logan , SDP - 3B
197) Galvez, Jonathan , SDP - 2B
196) Cardenas, Adrian , OAK - 2B
195) Morban, Julio , SEA - CF
194) Noonan, Nick , SFG - 2B
193) Sizemore, Scott , DET - 2B
192) Runzler, Dan , SFG - RP
191) Oliver, Andrew , DET - L
190) Lamb, John , KCR - L
189) Vinicio, Jose , BOS - SS
188) Rosario, Wilin , COL - C
187) Bourjos, Peter , LAA - CF
186) Flowers, Tyler , CHA - C
185) Brothers, Rex , COL - L
184) Morel, Brent , CHA - 3B
183) Gamel, Mat , MIL - 3B
182) Bowden, Michael , BOS - R
181) Ross, Robert , TEX - L
180) Torres, Alex , TBR - L
179) Davidson, Matt , ARZ - 3B
178) Fuentes, Reymond , BOS - CF
177) Joseph, Tommy , SFG - C
176) d'Arnaud, Chase , PIT - SS
175) Moore, Adam , SEA - C
174) Snyder, Brandon , BAL - 1B
173) Holt, Bradley, NYM - R
172) Stewart, Zachary , TOR - R
171) Heathcott, Slade , NYY - OF
170) Aumont, Phillippe , PHI - RP
169) Hobgood, Matt , BAL - R
168) Jenkins, Chad , TOR - R
167) Grichuk, Randal , LAA - LF
166) Hagadone, Nick , CLE - L
165) Santana, Domingo , PHI - RF
164) De Leon, Kelvin , NYY - RF
163) Pollock, A.J. , ARZ - CF
162) Knapp, Jason , CLE - R
161) Kieschnick, Roger , SFG - RF
160) Valle, Sebastian , PHI - C
159) Sanchez, Gary , NYY - C
158) Davis, Ike , NYM - 1B
157) Heisey, Chris , CIN - CF
156) Ramirez, Max , TEX - C
155) Sweeney, Matthew , TBR - 3B
154) Bailey, Luke , TBR - C
153) Erbe, Brandon , BAL - R
152) Sanchez, Gaby, FLA - 1B
151) May, Trevor , PHI - R