Author Topic: Goldstein on top Nationals prospects  (Read 1477 times)

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Goldstein on top Nationals prospects
« Topic Start: November 24, 2010, 09:14:41 AM »
From Kevin Goldstein, Baseball Prospectus

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=12483

Quote
System In 20 Words Or Less: The historic talent in Harper improves an otherwise middle-of-the-road system.

Five-Star Prospects
1. Bryce Harper, OF
2. Derek Norris, C
Four-Star Prospects
3. Danny Espinosa, SS/2B
4. A.J. Cole, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
5. Sammy Solis, LHP
6. Wilson Ramos, C
7. Michael Burgess, OF
8. Robbie Ray, LHP
Two-Star Prospects
9. Eury Perez, OF
10. Tyler Moore, 1B
11. Rick Hague, SS

Nine More:
12. Cole Kimball, RHP: This power arm out of the bullpen was touching 97-98 mph in the Arizona Fall League.
13. J.P. Ramirez, OF: Ramirez has impressive hitting skills, but he needs to improve his power and plate discipline to profile in a corner.
14. Chris Marrero, 1B: Like Ramirez, Marrero can hit, but as a first baseman only, he has to do more than just that.
15. Brad Meyers, RHP: He has a deep arsenal and plus command and control; scouts just wish he threw harder.
16. Jason Martinson, SS: Martinson probably is not a shortstop in the end, but he does have intriguing tools for third or second base.
17. A.J. Morris, RHP: He's a classic sinker/slider type who might work better in a relief role.
18. Brad Pea****, RHP: Pea**** has excellent command, but his fastball is straight and often up in the zone.
19. Paul Demny, RHP: Demny was much improved in a second go-round at Low-A; his sturdy frame offers some projection.
20. Destin Hood, OF: He had no power, speed, or walks in full-season debut, but he has a surprisingly adept bat.

1. Bryce Harper, OF
DOB: 10/16/92
Height/Weight: 6-3/225
Bats/Throws: L/R
Drafted/Signed: First round, 2010, College of Southern Nevada
2010 Stats: Did Not Play (Signed late)
Best/Worst Tool: Power/glove

Year in Review: The most-hyped player in draft history somehow exceeded expectations and signed for just under $10 million as the first overall pick.
The Good: Harper has the potential to be a historic talent. His calling card is his power, which ranks as an easy 80 on the 20-80 scale, with multiple scouts commenting they've never seen in-game power in a player so young before Harper. He's already capable of blasting moonshots and has an excellent sense on when to turn on a ball, while being equally effective in driving balls to the opposite field. The power occasionally overshadows his pure hitting ability, as he has bat speed and hand-eye coordination that is also advanced beyond his years. He's a big athlete with solid average speed and a cannon for an arm that will be a true weapon in right field.
The Bad: Harper's power comes at a cost, as he's an aggressive hitter who takes a healthy cut and could be prone to strikeouts. He commits to balls with a pre-swing hip slide that could leave him susceptible to more advanced breaking balls. Issues with his makeup are well documented; he plays the game with a chip on his shoulder that for many goes well beyond a confident style that would be valued, as he's turned off opponents and teammates with his behavior. He's never struggled in baseball, and for many he simply has some standard growing up to do. He's very big for his age, and there is concern that he could grow into a slow, massive slugger in the mold of Adam Dunn. He's new to the outfield and still working on his jumps and routes.
Ephemera: A total of 42 players have been drafted out of the College of Southern Nevada. Three have reached the big leagues, and none have hit a home run.
Perfect World Projection: Harper has the potential to be a consistent name at the top of the home run leaderboard and a frequent MVP candidate.
Fantasy Impact: Huge.
Path to the Big Leagues: Harper has the ability to move quickly, but it's important to manage expectations, as he just turned 18 years old. His pro debut at Low-A Hagerstown is among the most anticipated in recent memory.
ETA: 2013.

2. Derek Norris, C
DOB: 2/14/89
Height/Weight: 6-0/210
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Fourth round, 2007, Goddard HS (KS)
2010 Stats: .235/.419/.419 at High-A (94 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Power/glove

Year in Review: One of the best offensive catching prospects in the game, Norris struggled with a hand injury, but he still finished second in the Carolina League in OBP despite hitting just .235.
The Good: Finally healthy, Norris hit and hit for power in the Arizona Fall League. He has a short, easy stroke and plenty of power to all fields, but it's his plate discipline that makes him potentially special. He has an uncanny feel for the strike zone and nearly never swings at a bad pitch. He has a plus arm and made great strides in harnessing it during the season by shortening his release and improving his accuracy.
The Bad: Norris needs to improve defensively to stay behind the plate. He's a rough receiver who is often handcuffed by breaking balls, leading to plenty of pitches that are not caught cleanly. He's a power hitter who will always rack up a strikeout rate, and it's unlikely that he'll hit for a high average. He's a below-average runner.
Ephemera: Norris' walk totals became even more inflated with runners in scoring position, as while he hit .300 (24-for-80), his 42 bases on balls in those situations gave him on on-base percentage of .535.
Perfect World Projection: He'll be an offense-oriented catcher, with the kind of OBP and slugging combo rarely seen at the position.
Fantasy Impact: The power will be good, but unless your league counts on-base skills, his real-world value will always be larger.
Path to the Big Leagues: A healthy Norris could return to the big numbers of 2009 at Double-A Harrisburg.
ETA: 2012

3. Danny Espinosa, SS/2B
DOB: 4/25/87
Height/Weight: 6-0/190
Bats/Throws: B/R
Drafted/Signed: Third round, 2008, Long Beach State
2010 Stats: .262/.334/.464 at Double-A (99 G); .295/.349/.463 at Triple-A (24 G); .214/.277/.447 at MLB (28 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Power/hitting for average

Year in Review: The biggest surprise of 2009 had a 20-20 season at the upper levels of the minors and hit six big-league home runs following a September call-up.
The Good: Espinosa can do a little bit of everything. He works the count well and generates surprising power from a torque-heavy swing that produces power from his explosive core. His average speed plays up due to outstanding baserunning instincts, and he has good defensive fundamentals and a solid arm. He gets the most of his ability with a max-effort, infectious playing style.
The Bad: Espinosa is not especially big or toolsy, so it's hard to see a star-level projection. Espinosa's swing is long, and he can get pull-happy, leading to plenty of questions about his ability to hit for average. His athleticism is a bit short for the left side, but he settled in at second base last year with little adjustments.
Ephemera: Espinosa hit for the cycle in Puerto Rico this winter, going 4-for-4 with three runs and four RBI for Ponce on November 16.
Perfect World Projection: A middle infielder with walks, double-digit power and stolen bases, he'll need them to make up for a sub-par batting average.
Fantasy Impact: It's a mixed bag, as it's hard to find middle infielders with power, but he's going to hurt in other departments.
Path to the Big Leagues: Espinosa enters spring training with the big-league second-base job.
ETA: 2011.

4. A.J. Cole, RHP
DOB: 1/5/92
Height/Weight: 6-4/180
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Fourth round, 2010, Oviedo HS (FL)
2010 Stats: 0.00 ERA (1.0-1-1-1) at Short-season (1 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Velocity/change-up

Year in Review: One of the top high school righties in the draft scuffled at times this spring but didn't change his price tag, leading to a drop to the fourth round but a $2 million bonus nonetheless.
The Good: Cole has good stuff now, but he's absolutely loaded with projection thanks to a broad-shouldered, skinny frame and extremely long levers. He sits in the low 90s now but often gets into the mid-90s, which scouts believe will become more common as he progresses. He throws a power curveball with hard bite that flashes potential. His delivery is clean and simple, and he has a more consistent release point and better command than most tall teenagers.
The Bad: Cole needs to develop a true starter's arsenal. His curveball can get slurvy when he overthrows it, and his change-up is nascent. His gap between what he is now and can be is larger than most million-dollar arms, so he's not expected to move briskly.
Ephemera: Only five pitchers drafted with the 116th overall pick have reached the big leagues, and their combined record is 21-61.
Perfect World Projection: Cole has the ceiling of an impact big-league starter.
Fantasy Impact: It's too far away to worry about.
Path to the Big Leagues: Cole has the ability to earn a full-season assignment in spring training, possibly teaming with Harper at Hagerstown.
ETA: 2014.

5. Sammy Solis, LHP
DOB: 8/10/88
Height/Weight: 6-5/230
Bats/Throws: R/L
Drafted/Signed: Second round, 2010, University of San Diego
2010 Stats: 0.00 ERA (4.0-2-0-3) at Low-A (2 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Command/breaking ball

Year in Review: This massive left-hander proved he was healthy after 2009's back problems and was the draft's first pick on day two.
The Good: In a system filled with polished arms, Solis ranks with any of them. He locates his 88-91 fastball effortlessly within the strike zone and can touch 93 mph when he reaches back for extra. His change-up is a plus pitch that he'll throw at any point in the count, and his command and control are both big-league worthy.
The Bad: Solis' curveball is average at best, and he could use another good secondary pitch because of his lack of velocity. While he held his own in the Arizona Fall League, he didn't miss many bats, and his pitching style has little room for error. For some scouts, his body is more soft than bulky.
Ephemera: Solis' parents bought a 75-acre farm five years ago in South Africa, which they converted into a home for children orphaned by AIDS.
Perfect World Projection: He could be a consistent fourth starter and innings eater.
Fantasy Impact: Limited.
Path to the Big Leagues: Solis has the ability to move quickly. He'll likely begin the 2011 season at High-A Potomac and could reach Harrisburg by the end of his first full season.
ETA: Late 2012.

6. Wilson Ramos, C
DOB: 8/10/87
Height/Weight: 6-0/220
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 2004, Venezuela (Twins)
2010 Stats: .241/.280/.345 at Triple-A with Minnesota (71 G); .316/.341/.494 at Triple-A with Washington (20 G); .296/.321/.407 at MLB with Minnesota (7 G); .269/.296/.404 at MLB with Washington (15 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Arm/plate discipline

Year in Review: Eternally blocked by Joe Mauer in Minnesota, the top catching prospect in the Twins' system got off to a disturbingly slow start at Triple-A before getting dealt to Washington for closer Matt Capps.
The Good: Ramos has the ability to be an impact-level defender. He's an athletic receiver who moves well, has very good blocking skills, and a plus-plus arm that shuts down the running game. He has solid hitting skills with a projection for at least average power as a big-leaguer.
The Bad: Ramos' offensive skills are held back by a swing-at-anything approach that usually leads to bad counts and/or bad contact. Further complicating matters is a power-hungry swing that doesn't fit his potential. His offensive problems are especially visible against right-handers.
Ephemera: During his brief stints in the big leagues, Ramos went 9-for-16 against left-handed pitchers with four doubles.
Perfect World Projection: He's a plus defender behind the plate with solid but unspectacular offense.
Fantasy Impact: Double-digit home runs and a decent batting average provide some value at the position.
Path to the Big Leagues: A healthy Jesus Flores creates a bit of a cloud at catcher, and Ramos might return to Triple-A Syracuse in 2011 simply to get consistent playing time. He'll still get an honest look this spring.
ETA: 2011


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