Sunday, July 31, 2011

Chicago White Sox Mid-Season Top 15 Prospects

This is my Top 15 prospects for the Chicago Cubs here at the halfway point. This list WILL include 2011 draft picks that I think will sign. Stats are as of July 30, 2011.

1. Dayan Viciedo, OF/3B - 374 AB, .307/.365/.500, 16 HR, 65 RBI, 31 BB, 70 K, 2 SB 1 CS (AAA)

Viciedo has shown that he has nothing left to prove in AAA and he is just waiting for an opportunity to open up in the Majors. Will never be even average defensively but will add some much needed offense to the White Sox lineup.

2. Jacob Petricka, RHP - 5-5, 3.38 ERA, 74.2 IP, 73 H, 26 BB, 71 K (SS/A/A+)

The hard throwing righty has made a somewhat surprisingly good transition to the pro level, showing solid control and a power repertoire.

3. Addison Reed, RHP - 2-1, 1.37 ERA, 59 IP, 36 H, 11 BB, 87 K (A/A+/AA/AAA)

Although I would have rather seen him as a starter, Reed has been flat out filthy out of the pen and could definitely help Chicago in September.

4. Trayce Thompson, OF - 375 AB, .232/.330/.445, 17 HR, 62 RBI, 48 BB, 124 K, 5 SB 2 CS (A)

The power numbers are impressive, but the strikeout numbers and his lack of pitch recognition are awful and pitchers will eat him alive at higher levels if he doesn't improve.

5. Zach Stewart, RHP - 5-5, 4.20 ERA, 94.1 IP, 106 H, 27 BB, 74 K (AA)

Stewart hasn't quite lived up to the expectations that his stuff has set for him and I could possibly see a move to the bullpen after coming over in the Jackson/Teahen trade.

6. Tyler Saladino, SS - 263 AB, .240/.337/.487, 15 HR, 39 RBI, 33 BB, 65 K, 5 SB 5 CS (A+)

Saladino has had an up and down year so far but I like his power and I think he could turn it around in August.

7. Jared Mitchell, OF - 377 AB, .239/.317/.419, 9 HR, 48 RBI, 39 BB, 139 K, 8 SB 6 CS (A+)

Mitchell has just about as bad a year as possible for him with the strikeouts and the trouble on the bases. Yet he is still a raw toolsy player and raked in July so there is definitely some signs of encouragement from the 2009 1st-rounder.

8. Keenyn Walker, OF - 66 AB, .318/.432/.455, 0 HR, 9 RBI, 10 BB, 19 K, 12 SB 5 CS (SS/A)

The White Sox first selection this year, Walker is a similar player to Mitchell and is off to a solid start in his professional debut.

9. Jordan Danks, OF - 339 AB, .260/.349/.451, 12 HR, 49 RBI, 43 BB, 98 K, 14 SB 3 CS (AAA)

Danks is starting to look like just a 4th OF, but he is very versatile and should be a Major Leaguer for a long time.

10. Andy Wilkins, 3B/1B - 370 AB, .262/.341/.462, 17 HR, 65 RBI, 45 BB, 69 K, 1 SB 1 CS (A+)

I have always like Wilkins' bat and he has shown a great approach at the plate and good power so far this year. Could really rise up this list with continued production at higher levels in 2012.

11. Brandon Short, OF - 404 AB, .272/.327/.433, 12 HR, 52 RBI, 29 BB, 99 K, 21 SB 5 CS (AA)

It's been a solid year for Short as he has held his own and more at Birmingham, something comparable Sox prospect John Shelby failed to do his time around.

12. Tyler Flowers, C - 222 AB, .261/.390/.500, 15 H, 32 RBI, 39 BB, 84 K, 2 SB 0 CS (AAA)

Flowers is trying to salvage his prospect status after an abysmal 2010 and hit for enough power in Charlotte to get a recent call to the bigs when Ramon Castro went down.

13. Eduardo Escobar, SS - 371 AB, .256/.295/.358, 4 HR, 38 RBI, 21 BB, 74 K, 10 SB 5 CS (AAA)

Escobar continues to flash a plus glove at SS, but his future is as a utility player if that OBP remains at that level.

14. Gregori Infante, RHP - 2-3, 2.08 ERA, 47.2 IP, 42 H, 19 BB, 43 K (AA/AAA)

Another guy who can bolster Chicago's bullpen for a playoff push, Infante was solid in his brief stint in the Majors last September.

15. Andre Rienzo, RHP - 3-4, 3.89 ERA, 88 IP, 89 H, 53 BB, 87 K (A+)

A sleeper pick for many at the beginning of the season, Rienzo has been solid at Winston-Salem showing good strikeout numbers, but a lack of control is keeping him from a higher spot on this list.


Kevan Smith, C - 108 AB, .370/.465/.676, 7 HR, 32 RBI, 16 BB, 15 K, 1 SB 2 CS (RK)

The Sox 7th-round pick in 2011 out of Pittsburgh, Smith is an athletic catcher who played quarterback in college as well. Also has displayed solid power and could be the answer behind the plate Chicago has so desperately been looking for.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chicago Cubs Mid-Season Top 15 Prospects

This is my Top 15 prospects for the Chicago Cubs here at the halfway point. This list WILL include 2011 draft picks that I think will sign. Stats are as of July 29, 2011.

1. Matt Szczur, OF - 337 AB, .306/.354/.436, 7 HR, 33 RBI, 24 BB, 37 K, 20 SB 5 CS (A/A+)

A top level athlete and a gamer on the field, if Szczur can improve his power numbers he can become a real impact star rather than a top-of-the-lineup centerfielder.

2. Brett Jackson, OF - 301 AB, .252/.365/.445, 12 HR, 37 RBI, 53 BB, 96 K, 17 SB 7 CS (AA/AAA)

Hasn't been at his best all year but still a great power/speed combo and hasn't been anywhere near as disappointing as the other prospects in this system.

3. Javier Baez, 3B - 83 AB, .771 AVG, 46 R, 64 H, 20 2B, 6 3B, 22 HR, 52 RBI, 28 SB (HS)

Will take a lot of time to make his way through the minors but has great bat speed and plus power potential along with the athleticism to play above-average defense at third.

4. Josh Vitters, 3B - 323 AB, .279/.316/.449, 11 HR, 50 RBI, 13 BB, 37 K, 4 SB 6 CS (AA)

I still believe Vitters can make it as a solid everyday 3B and although it will take still more patience from Cubs fans, he could easily be worth the wait.

5. Trey McNutt, RHP - 1-4, 4.82 ERA, 56 IP, 70 H, 23 BB, 34 K (AA)

An injury riddled season has set McNutt back a little, but I think we can give him a mulligan for this year.

6. Junior Lake, SS - 338 AB, .275/.305/.426, 9 HR, 42 RBI, 12 BB, 83 K, 29 SB 6 CS (A+/AA)

Lake has been a very nice surprise, starting to tap into his raw power potential and utilizing his speed on the bases. Now he needs to work on his plate discipline and cut down on those strikeouts.

7. Wellington Castillo, C - 239 AB, .301/.367/.552, 16 HR, 42 RBI, 24 BB, 57 K, 0 SB 0 CS (AA/AAA)

Currently on the disabled list, Castillo was having an excellent year at the plate and earned a brief stint in the big leagues. Could push the Cubs to move Geovanny Soto at some point.

8. D.J. LeMahieu, 2B - 289 AB, .343/.371/.450, 3 HR, 36 RBI, 14 BB, 31 K, 6 SB 5 CS (AA/AAA)

Not a very exciting player who is struggling to find a defensive home, but has the best hit tool in the system and he turned that into a promotion to Chicago.

9. Dan Vogelbach, 1B - 85 AB, .459 AVG, 40 R, 39 H, 6 2B, 4 3B, 17 HR, 50 RBI, 5 SB (HS)

Although he has worked hard to lose some pounds, Vogelbach is a LARGE kid but he also hits the ball with unmatched authority for a high schooler.

10. Aaron Kurcz, RHP - 5-4, 3.39 ERA, 66.1 IP, 60 H, 31 BB, 71 K (A+)

A little surprisingly, Kurcz was moved to the bullpen and has the stuff to succeed in that role.

11. Chris Carpenter, RHP - 3-3, 5.31 ERA, 39 IP, 38 H, 24 BB, 31 K (AA/AAA)

Pitched well in a few appearances in the big leagues and has all the stuff to be a great asset in the bullpen and if he figures out his command, can close ML games as well.

12. Reggie Golden, OF - 122 AB, .238/.350/.352, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 20 BB, 40 K, 5 SB 1 CS (SS)

One of the rawest players in the 2010 draft, Golden shows good speed and on-base tools, but really needs to work on those strikeouts.

13. Ryan Flaherty, 3B - 354, .288/.365/.497, 15 HR, 70 RBI, 44 BB, 71 K, 4 SB 6 CS (AA/AAA)

I'm not sure what the future will hold for Flaherty and I would love to see him make it as a 2B, but he still has work to do to make it to the Majors.

14. Ben Wells, RHP - 2-2, 4.54 ERA, 41.2 IP, 44 H, 14 BB, 30 K (SS)

A nice mid-round pick from the 2010 draft, Wells hasn't been overly impressive but I still like his 3-pitch repertoire as an 18-year old.

15. Robert Whitenack, RHP - 7-0, 1.93 ERA, 60.2 IP, 43 H, 14 BB, 47 K (A+/AA)

Was pitching like a top prospect at the beginning of the year showing a great sinker/slider combo, but has fallen victim to TJ surgery. Unfortunate injury for a guy who could have seen a call-up in September.


Evan Crawford, OF - 342 AB, .330/.390/.430, 1 HR, 44 RBI, 21 BB, 71 K, 26 SB 5 CS (A+)

Came over from the Giants in the Fontenot trade, Crawford has quick wrists and plus-plus speed in the outfield. If he can improve his approach at the plate he could see time in the bigs and make an impact as a 4th OF.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A's Sign Sonny Gray

The Oakland A's have signed first-round pick Sonny Gray, a right-hander out of Vanderbilt, for a bonus of $1.54 million. Gray's bonus just barely exceeds MLB's recommended bonus of $1.422 million for the No. 28 pick.

Gray is only listed at 5'11", but throws his fastball in the mid 90's and dominated college hitters for three years at the head of the Vanderbilt rotation. Oakland has decided to push Gray quickly through the minors and is planning on sending him to Double-A Midland next week.

Diamondbacks Sign Trevor Bauer

The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a major league contract with UCLA right-hander Trevor Bauer. Details of the contract weren't announced and the recommended bonus for the No. 3 pick is $3 million. It has been reported that the D'Backs will send him to High Class-A Visalia.

Bauer led the NCAA in strikeouts for the second straight year and anchored a UCLA rotation that included No. 1 pick Gerrit Cole. He also won the Golden Spikes award as the best player in college baseball.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Boston Red Sox Mid-Season Top 15 Prospects

This is my Top 15 prospects for the Boston Red Sox here at the halfway point. This list WILL include 2011 draft picks that I think will sign. Stats are as of July 18, 2011.

1. Will Middlebrooks, 3B - 273 AB, .315/.361/.546, 14 HR, 58 RBI, 19 BB, 65 K, 6 SB 0 CS (AA)

Middlebrooks is starting to put everything together and was rewarded with a trip to the Futures Game. One of the best fielding 3B in the minors, the bat is catching up as he is beginning to tap into that power potential.

2. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP - 5-5, 3.89 ERA, 90.1 IP, 77 H, 26 BB, 81 K (A/A+)

Fully recovered from the elbow injury that plagued his junior year at LSU, Ranaudo is showing the frontline starter form that initially had him as the top pitcher going into the 2010 Draft. He could fight for a spot in Boston's rotation as early as next year, though I think patience can only help his development.

3. Blake Swihart, C - 99 AB, .545 AVG, 54 R, 54 H, 17 2B, 5 3B, 5 HR, 41 RBI, 19 SB (HS)

One of my favorite players in the draft he is one of the tougher signs although I think Boston's deep pockets make it happen. Very athletic behind the plate with the potential to be a plus hitter with above-average power.

4. Matt Barnes, RHP - 11-5, 1.93 ERA, 121 IP, 79 H, 33 BB, 117 K (College)

Barnes throws his fastball in the mid 90's and even still has a little projection left. He has good command of a plus curve and a solid change and just needs to be more consistent with his secondary offerings.

5. Bryce Brentz, OF - 288 AB, .326/.381/.622, 20 HR, 61 RBI, 25 BB, 65 K, 3 SB 3 CS (A/A+)

Many people were skeptical about how Brentz would produce at the professional level. It is safe to say that he has silenced his doubters by hitting for average and power while keeping his strikeouts at bay.

6. Brandon Jacobs, OF - 310 AB, .323/.403/.529, 13 HR, 56 RBI, 34 BB, 84 K, 22 SB 7 CS (A)

Jacobs has turned his raw tools into production in just his second full year showing an impressive power/speed combo. The strikeouts are slightly concerning, but not so much if he continues to put up these numbers.

7. Jose Iglesias, SS - 229 AB, .227/.275/.245, 0 HR, 17 RBI, 12 BB, 33 K, 6 SB 3 CS (AAA)

Normally hitters struggling as much as Iglesias is don't rank this high on prospect lists. But he is stupid good with the glove at short and he is only 21 years old so he has time to figure things out at the plate.

8. Ryan Lavarnway, C - 333 AB, .318/.392/.595, 25 HR, 69 RBI, 39 BB, 73 K, 0 SB 1 CS (AA/AAA)

The opposite of Iglesias, Lavarnway has mashed at the plate all year and is pushing Boston to get his bat to Fenway. Now the only question left is can he provide adequate defense behind the dish or will he simply be relegated to DH.

9. Alex Wilson, RHP - 8-4, 2.87 ERA, 97.1 IP, 85 H, 34 BB, 86 K (AA)

Although his future is most likely in the back of the Sox bullpen, Wilson has been extremely good starting for Portland and they might as well continue to throw him out there every fifth day while its working.

10. Kyle Weiland, RHP - 8-6, 3.00 ERA, 93 IP, 69 H, 37 BB, 99 K (AAA)

Currently the number 5 starter for Boston due to injuries, Weiland has looked a little overmatched in his first two starts. Regardless he earned the call up after a filthy first half in Pawtucket only giving 69 hits in 93 innings.

11. Garin Cecchini, 3B - 107 AB, .271/.361/.467, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 14 BB, 19 K, 12 SB 2 CS (SS)

Very possibly the best pure hitter in the system, Boston is going to take it slow with Cecchini after an ACL injury lost him his senior season. Could move up this list quickly with a big second half.

12. Xander Bogaerts, SS - 113 AB, .230/.313/.460, 6 HR, 16 RBI, 13 BB, 31 K, 1 SB 1 CS (A)

Perhaps the most exciting player in the system Bogaerts reminds some of former Boston farmhand Hanley Ramirez. He certainly is showing the power and his athleticism could keep him at short in the long run.

13. Chih-Hsien Chang, OF - 285 AB, .330/.387/.642, 16 HR, 69 RBI, 21 BB, 56 K, 4 SB 1 CS (AA)

Chang has come out of nowhere to be one of the top hitters in the Eastern League earning a spot in the Futures Game. I want to see if he can sustain this production for the rest of the year and at the next level before I put him any higher.

14. Miles Head, 1B - 338 AB, .317/.384/.562, 17 HR, 63 RBI, 35 BB, 70 K, 4 SB 2 CS (A/A+)

Head has been one of my favorite players in this system this year as he has shown a smooth swing as a 20 year old. Definitely one to watch along with Cecchini for the next couple years, as both are blocked by All-Stars at the ML level.

15. Alex Hassan, OF - 316 AB, .304/.430/.459, 8 HR, 46 RBI, 62 BB, 57 K, 7 SB 2 CS (AA)

Hassan employs a great approach at the plate and has shown a propensity for hitting the ball hard this year. Might profile more as a fourth outfielder, but a good one at that.


Noe Ramirez, RHP - 8-4, 1.69 ERA, 90.2 IP, 56 H, 20 BB, 103 K (College)

Although he could go back to Cal State Fullerton for his senior year, Ramirez has nothing left to prove there. I am higher on him than most and I love his ability to command his three-pitch mix which includes a plus change-up.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Baltimore Orioles Mid-Season Top 15 Prospects

This is my Top 15 prospects for the Baltimore Orioles here at the halfway point. This list WILL include 2011 draft picks that I think will sign. Stats are as of July 17, 2011.

1. Manny Machado, SS - 204 AB, .265/.364/.451, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 32 BB, 37 K, 3 SB 4 CS (A/A+)

It's really like 1A and 1B with Machado and Bundy here but I'll put the shortstop first. Struggled initially upon his promotion to Frederick, but has had a good month of July, including a start in the Futures Game in Arizona.

2. Dylan Bundy, RHP - 11-0, 0.30 ERA, 71 IP, 20 H, 4 BB, 158 K (HS)

4 walks to 158 strikeouts is still mind boggling for me even at the high school level. One of those players who I can't wait to see start playing next year, similar to the anticipation about Machado starting this year.

3. Jonathan Schoop, 3B - 336 AB, .283/.346/.426, 8 HR, 45 RBI, 31 BB, 46 K, 9 SB 4 CS (A/A+)

Schoop earned a spot in the Futures Game after he started to grow into his power potential at Delmarva. He hasn't quite had the same success in High-A but he and Machado are an exciting combo on the left side of the infield.

4. Dan Klein, RHP - 3-1, 1.11 ERA, 32.1 IP, 23 H, 6 BB, 37 K (A+/AA)

I was hoping the O's would try Klein as a starter as he throws 4 solid pitches but he has clearly been effective out of the pen this year. Could see the Majors by September, definitely by next year.

5. Bobby Bundy, RHP - 8-5, 3.31 ERA, 98 IP, 94 H, 29 BB, 82 K (A+)

The older brother of 2011 1st-round pick Dylan, Bobby is coming into his own with a four-pitch mix including a solid sinker. Orioles fans can only hope that the Bundy Brothers push each other through the minors and into a struggling ML rotation.

6. Jason Esposito, 3B - 268 AB, .340/.403/.530, 9 HR, 59 RBI, 17 BB, 45 K, 15 SB 10 CS (College)

Esposito entered his junior season as a possible first-round pick but dropped after moving off shortstop. A solid power/speed combo could be a steal at pick number 64.

7. Oliver Drake, RHP - 9-4, 2.90 ERA, 111.2 IP, 96 H, 27 BB, 95 K (A+/AA)

Drake has been a pleasant surprise for the Orioles this year, using a low to mid 90's fastball and a decent slider with plus command to get hitters out. 

8. Trent Mummey, OF - 113 AB, .292/.373/.478, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 16 BB, 19 K, 19 SB 3 CS (A/A+)

Mummey had an excellent start to the season but unfortunately his season was cut short in early June with an injury. He is an exciting player to watch when healthy with plus speed and surprising pop.

9. L.J. Hoes, 2B/OF - 328 AB, .271/.326/.345, 3 HR, 41 RBI, 25 BB, 54 K, 13 SB 6 CS (A+/AA)

Hoes has had a very average season and it is hard to tell what to make of it. Still has the upside of a ML starter but he will need to improve his play to fulfill that potential.

10. Xavier Avery, OF - 369 AB, .263/.314/.347, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 24 BB, 106 K, 26 SB 11 CS (AA)

While Avery has shown off his speed and hit for a decent average, he has had a hard time getting on base and is striking out way too much. Unless he shows a better approach at the plate he will have a hard time utilizing all his tools.

11. Wynn Pelzer, RHP - 4-6, 4.10 ERA, 68 IP, 68 H, 40 BB, 60 K (AA)

Pelzer's has taken his power fastball/slider combo to the bullpen in Bowie and is putting up much better numbers than he was as a starter.

12. Tyler Townsend, OF - 245 AB, .318/.355/.588, 13 HR, 50 RBI, 9 BB, 63 SO, 2 SB 2 CS (A+)

Townsend has been ripping the cover off the ball and could move up this list significantly if he continues his success in the second half. Needs to improve BB/K ratio however.

13. Parker Bridwell, RHP - 2-3, 5.29 ERA, 32.1 IP, 36 H, 12 BB, 41 K (SS)

A big, athletic starter Bridwell has been hit hard but is striking hitters out and is one to watch for the second half of the season at Aberdeen.

14. Nick Delmonico, 3B - 92 AB, .413 AVG, 53 R, 38 H, 10 2B, 9 HR, 35 RBI, 23 SB

Drafted as a 3B after playing C in high school, Delmonico is very polished for a prep player but doesn't have a tremendously high ceiling. Shouldn't be too tough of a sign.

15. Matt Angle, OF - 323 AB, .266/.334/.337, 4 HR, 29 RBI, 32 BB, 64 K, 20 SB 2 CS (AAA)

A speed demon who has worked hard to make it through the minors, Angle got a well deserved call up to the Majors this week and could be a useful 4th outfielder for a ML club.


Jake Cowan, RHP - 0-3, 3.98 ERA, 31.2 IP, 29 H, 12 BB, 32 K (SS)

A projectable righty with plus secondary offerings, Cowan earned a six-figure bonus out of San Jacinto JC in Texas. He needs to improve his approach on the mound and sharpen his command to fulfill his frontline starter potential. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Atlanta Braves Mid-Season Top 15 Prospects

This is my Top 15 prospects for the Atlanta Braves here at the halfway point. This list WILL include 2011 draft picks that I think will sign. Stats are as of July 16, 2011.

1. Julio Teheran, RHP - 9-1, 1.79 ERA, 95.2 IP, 72 H, 25 BB, 81 K (AAA)

There is no doubting Teheran is one of the Top 5 prospects in baseball as he is dominating AAA hitters at the age of 20. He has lightning in his arm and reminds many people of Pedro Martinez. He had a brief stint with Atlanta and will be up there to stay as soon as a spot opens up.

2. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP - 4-5, 3.21 ERA, 87 IP, 71 H, 25 BB, 90 K (A+/AA)

Staying on the field has been the only problem for Vizcaino over his career and he is showing what he can do now that he is healthy this year. Displaying his mid 90's fastball and hammer curve, Vizcaino put up great numbers at Lynchburg and is continuing his success in AA.

3. Randall Delgado, RHP - 5-4, 3.54 ERA, 101.2 IP, 99 H, 38 BB, 98 K (AA)

Delgado has always been overshadowed a little by Teheran, and while he hasn't been quite as successful this year, he did earn a spot start for Atlanta when Tommy Hanson went down. If there is a spot open in the talented Atlanta rotation Delgado could fill it sometime in 2012.

4. Sean Gilmartin, LHP - 12-2, 2.09 ERA, 120.1 IP, 92 H, 21 BB, 130 K (College)

Recently signed for a $1.13 million bonus, Gilmartin should move quickly through the system and there is speculation that his drafting has made Mike Minor a trade chip. While I don't necessarily agree with that Gilmartin is as good a bet to reach his potential of a #3 starter as there was in the 2011 Draft.

5. Edward Salcedo, 3B - 336 AB, .277/.347/.461, 10 HR, 44 RBI, 30 BB, 70 K, 14 SB 8 CS (A)

Given the highest international bonus in Atlanta history, Salcedo is living up to expectations by showing off his plus power and hitting ability. He has had problems on defense with a position change from SS to 3B but has all the tools to succeed there. Definitely a guy to watch in the next few years.

6. Christian Bethancourt, C - 280 AB, .289/.307/.400, 4 HR, 37 RBI, 9 BB, 37 K, 6 SB 5 CS (A/A+)

Although Bethancourt's shine has been dimmed by attitude problems, there is no denying his potential behind the plate. He still has a lot of work to do but he already shuts down opposing running games and could be the eventual replacement to Brian McCann.

7. Tyler Pastornicky, SS - 351 AB, .296/.341/.413, 6 HR, 36 RBI, 23 BB, 34 K, 20 SB 8 CS (AA)

I tend to favor shortstops more than other positions and it is possible that is why Pastornicky is this high. Regardless he has had a solid year at Mississippi showing decent pop and speed while maintaining his status as Atlanta's SS of the future.

8. Carlos Perez, LHP - 4-7, 5.04 ERA, 94.2 IP, 108 H, 40 BB, 87 K (A)

A polished lefty who is praised for his work ethic as a 19-year old, Perez is much better than his numbers indicate this year. He continues to progress with his low to mid 90's heater and promising secondary pitches.

9. Brett Oberholtzer, LHP - 6-9, 3.98 ERA, 108.2 IP, 104 H, 35 BB, 83 K (AA)

Oberholtzer continues to display his workhorse ability at Mississippi while showing plus command of all three of his pitches. It will be tough for him to crack an ever talented Atlanta pitching staff but he has the makings of a ML starter somewhere.

10. J.J. Hoover, RHP - 2-6, 3.25 ERA, 83 IP, 70 H, 30 BB, 81 K (AA/AAA)

Recently moved to the bullpen at Mississippi, Hoover has succeeded in the role so far in 10 appearances. He is primed to help Atlanta at a playoff run in September and could pitch himself into a permanent role in the Majors.

11. Zeke Spruill, RHP - 7-8, 3.06 ERA, 123.2 IP, 101 H, 21 BB, 91 K (A+)

Spruill has bounced back from a tumultuous 2010 to establish himself as an pitch-to-contact, innings-eating starter. He has an impressive 4 complete games and could see a promotion during the second-half.

12. Matt Lipka, SS/OF - 355 AB, .234/.288/.279, 1 HR, 24 RBI, 25 BB, 51 K, 16 SB 9 CS (A)

Lipka has struggled to live up to expectations this year as frighteningly none of his triple-slash numbers reach .300. However the tools are still there and he only turned 19 in April so he has plenty of time to turn things around.

13. Paul Clemens, RHP - 6-5, 3.90 ERA, 94.2 IP, 92 H, 38 BB, 80 K (AA)

Speaking of turning things around, Clemens has shown the consistency that he previously lacked this year, although he is showing signs of wearing down recently. Having already thrown more innings than ever before his innings should be monitored as the year continues.

14. Nick Ahmed, SS - 87 AB, .253/.350/.356, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 13 BB, 22 K, 6 SB 3 CS (RK)

Atlanta's 2nd-round choice this year, Ahmed has had a solid start to his professional career and could move quickly through the system either at SS or 2B.

15. Mycal Jones, OF - 193 AB, .223/.349/.347, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 35 BB, 42 K, 3 SB 4 CS (AA)

Jones just beat out Andrelton Simmons for the last spot simply because he is at a higher level and it has been tough to gauge what kind of year he has had. His stats haven't been good but the potential is still there and I believe Jones deserves the benefit of the doubt for now.


Andy Otero, LHP - 0-1, 8.18 ERA, 11 IP, 14 H, 1 BB, 14 K (RK)

I was very intrigued two years ago by Otero when he put up insane DSL numbers and was perplexed when he didn't throw a pitch last year. After apparently having surgery on his elbow he has come back this year and gotten hit hard in the GCL. However the walk/strikeout numbers are reminiscent of what they were in 2009 and he still has a killer curveball to work with.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Arizona Diamondbacks Mid-Season Top 15 Prospects

This is my Top 15 prospects for the Arizona Diamondbacks here at the halfway point. This list WILL include 2011 draft picks that I think will sign. Stats are as of July 15, 2011.

1. Trevor Bauer, RHP - 13-2, 1.25 ERA, 136.2 IP, 73 H, 36 BB, 203 K (College)

The 2011 Golden Spikes award winner as the top collegiate player put up some gaudy stats this spring and shouldn't need too much work in the minors. I don't think he will be as instantaneously successful as Tim Lincecum was in the majors but the comparisons are fair. He should lead what looks to be a very talented pitching staff in a couple years for Arizona.

2. Jarrod Parker, RHP - 8-6, 4.22 ERA, 81 IP, 69 H, 40 BB, 69 K (AA)

Ignore the high walk totals. Some struggles should be expected after Tommy John surgery and Parker had a rough month of April. Yet he still has some of the most electrifying stuff in the minors and has dominated so far in July. At his best him and Bauer are interchangeable at the top spot on this list and D'Backs fans should expect Parker in Arizona at some point next year.

3. Tyler Skaggs, LHP - 5-6, 3.44 ERA, 104.2 IP, 89 H, 36 BB, 131 K (A+/AA)

I contemplated putting Skaggs at #2 as he has been absolutely filthy this year leading to a start at Chase Field in the Futures Game. His curveball is a true plus pitch and coupled with his aggressive presence and good command have propelled Skaggs to AA in his second full season. If he keeps this up he could join Parker in the Arizona rotation in 2012.

4. Archie Bradley, RHP - 12-1, 0.29 ERA, 71.1 IP, 33 H, 11 BB, 137 K (HS)

Big, athletic high school pitchers who throw in the high 90's and have a hammer curve are a rare commodity and the Diamondbacks are fortunate Bradley lasted to them. Now it is just a matter of getting the stud on the field, though it will take several millions of dollars to sway the righty from playing baseball and football for Oklahoma. As good a #4 prospects as is in any system in baseball.

5. Andrew Chafin, LHP - 9-1, 2.02 ERA, 89 IP, 59 H, 23 BB, 105 K (College)

Arizona's third pick in the 2011 Draft has had a phenomenal year after missing all of 2010 with Tommy John surgery. He has the potential to be a frontline starter with a fastball that tops out in the mid 90's and a strong slider. The supplemental pick is currently pitching in the Cape Cod League.

6. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B - 322 AB, .307/.430/.627, 27 HR, 82 RBI, 67 BB, 78 K, 7 SB 3 CS (AA)

Scouts have doubted Goldschmidt's ability ever since he was drafted in the 8th round out of Texas State. I still believe he will be a below-average defensive first baseman. But he has been one of the top hitters in the minors the past two years and was rewarded with a start in the Futures Game. Until he stops hitting you can't argue that Paul Goldschmidt isn't one of the best 1B prospects in baseball.

7. Matthew Davidson, 3B - 360 AB, .281/.347/.447, 10 HR, 70 RBI, 33 BB, 96 K, 0 SB 1 CS (A+)

The supplemental round pick in 2009 has been having a solid year and leads Visalia with 70 RBI. The low walk and high strikeout total are a little discouraging but Davidson is progressing nicely and is still ahead of fellow 2009 first-rounder Bobby Borchering on the 3B depth chart.

8. David Holmberg, LHP - 9-3, 2.58 ERA, 101.1 IP, 83 H, 19 BB, 99 K (A/A+)

Acquired from the White Sox for Edwin Jackson, the 19-year old is putting together a phenomenal year earning a promotion to Visalia. Not a hard thrower by any means, he has superb command and control and he does a good job of keeping hitters off balance with his secondary pitches.

9. Bobby Borchering, 3B - 355 AB, .265/.320/.465, 16 HR, 63 RBI, 27 BB, 108 K, 2 SB 1 CS (A+)

The switch-hitting 2009 first-rounder hasn't quite lived up to expectations although he is starting to show what kind of power he has in Visalia. As with Davidson the walk/strikeout ratio is frightening as is his defensive ability.

10. Anthony Meo, RHP - 10-3, 2.16 ERA, 108.1 IP, 91 H, 31 BB, 115 K (College)

The physical right-hander from Coastal Carolina has a power fastball/slider combo that baffled college hitters. With a below-average change-up I think Meo would be better off working out of the bullpen where he could be a shutdown closer.

11. A.J. Pollock, OF - 381 AB, .307/.358/.438, 5 HR, 54 RBI, 30 BB, 69 K, 22 SB 5 CS (AA)

He doesn't have a single outstanding tool but he does everything well and has been consistently good for Mobile. At the very least is a fourth outfielder but could be more if he continues to get the most out of his abilities.

12. Adam Eaton, OF - 298 AB, .329/.448/.487, 7 HR, 51 RBI, 46 BB, 53 K, 25 SB 10 CS (A+/AA)

A similar player to Pollock, Eaton has done nothing but succeed as a pro by being better than the sum of his parts. He just continues to hit and has showed good pop and above-average speed, earning a promotion to Mobile.

13. Patrick Corbin, LHP - 7-5, 3.87, 107 IP, 104 H, 21 BB, 97 K (AA)

The 21-year old lefty has shown advanced command of three solid pitches this year in a successful season at Mobile. He is fulfilling his potential as a #3 or 4 starter.

14. Chris Owings, SS - 336 AB, .253/.285/.393, 7 HR, 31 RBI, 11 BB, 87 K, 7 SB 4 CS (A+)

Owings has had an up and down season at Visalia showing above-average pop for a shortstop but with a terrible OBP and striking out too much. It remains to be seen whether he can be an above-average ML shortstop or just a middling minor leaguer.

15. Colin Cowgill, OF - 350 AB, .354/.430/.557, 12 HR, 59 RBI, 46 BB, 54 K, 26 SB 3 CS (AAA)

Tough to crack a ML outfield that has Justin Upton and Chris Young in it but Cowgill is making it hard for Arizona to ignore him. In the same mold as Pollock and Eaton, he is putting together his second consecutive successful year and should make at least a solid fourth outfielder.


Matt Jensen, 2B - 8 AB, .375/.444/.375, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 SB 0 CS (RK)

Although he struggled this spring with Cal Poly, Jensen was highly regarded out of high school and could turn into a strong offensive-minded 2B if he fulfills his potential.

Braves Sign Sean Gilmartin

The Atlanta Braves have signed their first-round selection, left-handed pitcher Sean Gilmartin. He received the slot recommended bonus of $1.13 million as the number 28 pick.

A crafty lefty from Florida State, Gilmartin throws his fastball in the low 90's with good movement and has solid secondary offerings. The 21-year old struck 130 batters and only walked 21 in 120.1 innings as a junior this spring.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lucas Giolito Draft Profile

Name: Lucas Giolito
Position: Right-Handed Pitcher
Year: Junior
School: Harvard-Westlake HS (CA)
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Height/Weight: 6'7"/ 225
D.O.B.: 07/14/1994
College Commitment: UCLA

Scouting Report: At 6'7" Lucas Giolito has projectability written all over him. When you see that he already reaches 96 MPH with his fastball and has room to add on 25-30 pounds to his frame, you understand why he is considered one of the top prep prospects for the 2012 Draft. Giolito has a smooth delivery and has taken great strides in repeating it. He also features a power 12-6 curveball that has plus potential and an improving change that features depth and could also be a plus pitch. His command could use some work and he could incorporate his lower half more to help maintain his mechanics. He threw a no-hitter in the spring and it will be interesting to see how he fares with Team USA 18U squad in the fall. No 2012 prep pitcher has more upside than Lucas Giolito and he is definitely one of the top follows over the next year.

Future Grades: