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Spring training and the 2010 regular season are right around the corner, which means it's time to take stock of the top potential future stars in the minor leagues.Below are the first 25 players in my rankings of the top 100 prospects in baseball right now, based upon my years of experience in the industry as a scout and talent evaluator.In order to be eligible for the list, the player must be part of a major league organization and still considered a rookie (fewer than 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the major leagues and fewer than 45 days on an active roster, excluding September call-ups).
1. STEPHEN STRASBURG (RHP), NATIONALSAge: 21 | Height: 6-4 | Weight: 2202009 Stats: 4-1 W-L | 4.26 ERA | 12 2/3 IP | 23 SO | 7 BBFinished '09: Phoenix Desert Dogs (Arizona Fall League)Stephen StrasburgThe Skinny: Who else could it be? Despite some early struggles in the Arizona Fall League, Strasburg looked as advertised this fall. He'll bring his 100-mph fastball into big-league camp next month, and looks like a favorite to nab a spot in Washington's rotation. We'll see if he forces the organization's hand or if he needs some seasoning in Triple-A.
35. DEREK NORRIS (C), NATIONALSAge: 20 | Bats: R | Height: 6-0 | Weight: 2102009 Stats: .286 AVG | 23 HR | 84 RBI | .413 OBP | 6 SBFinished '09: Hagerstown (Single-A South Atlantic League)The Skinny: The Nationals' farm system has made tremendous progress in the last year or so and Norris is one of the best examples of that. Norris showed plus power and the ability to handle his catching duties. If he can stick at catcher he's going to be a very valuable commodity, but his bat should be able to play at any position.
63. Chris Marrero (1B) 21 Nationals Harrisburg (Double-A)
79. Drew Storen (RHP) 22 Nationals Harrisburg (Double-A)
I was surprised to see Storen so low.
His ceiling is a closer- that is inherently less valuable that a starter or everyday fielder
He was drafted ML ready. Potential and realization need to balance out.Of course Detwiler was supposed to be drafted MLB ready.
Young relief pitchers are a mystery to baseball execs, so it follows that the rating publications have a difficult time grading them. If Manny Acta was still manager, I'd rate Storen over 1,000 because I could bank on Manny misusing him.
sportsfan882:I was surprised but happy to see Chris Marrero make the list. What are your thoughts on him?
Frankie Piliere: People were quick to jump ship on him when he struggled. Let's not forget this guy can really hit. I think he's gonna hit and hit big in the majors.
Nevybear: Who has more upside, from a fantasy NL only keeper perspective, Brett Lawrie or Derek Norris? Appreciate if you could elaborate, thanks!
Frankie Piliere: That's a good question. I'm really on board with Norris. He can really hit, and his power is going to continue to get bigger. Physically mature guy. It's probably going to depend in terms of fantasy value on whether he can stick at catcher. If he can I definitely take him.
JimmyJimmy:Out of the top ten, who would you place as the top 5 "sure" things?
Frankie Piliere: Well I hate saying sure thing but if I had to choose: Strasburg, Posey, Jennings, Matusz, Hellickson
Sportsfan882:How close was Danny Espinosa to making the cut?
Frankie Piliere: Very close. I really thought he deserved it but he lost out in the numbers game.
I wonder about Marrero's future in the National League.i'm thinking he may end up traded to the AL.
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