Im not trying to act like Im down on Estevez. Im not at all. At the same time though, Im not going to believe that this kid has major league ability until he shows it. Im hopeful he does, but just because he's a National, Im not going to get all hot and bothered by the kid. Im not one to judge solely by stats, but the kid has a 6 ERA at the level that Ray had a damn good season at last year, at a younger age. There simply is no argument to place him above Ray at this point.
As for Ray, I dont think he has front line potential or anything of the sort. I actually think he's somewhat similar to Estevez, in that they seem to have polished secondary pitches, are a bit advanced for their age in terms of poise, and have frames that need to be filled out. Their ability to fill out those frames and add velocity is what will ultimately determine future success. But, Ray is left handed, was a tad younger at a comparable level(Hagerstown) and had a lot more success there.
I think the simple fact that EVERYONE has Ray ranked considerably higher than Estevez among rank in our system pretty much tells you where he stands in comparison to Estevez. He's the better prospect.
Estevez may prove to be better and have a bigger impact at the big league level. At this point, there isn't anything to suggest thats the case though. Everyone ranks Ray higher, Ray is a step higher in the system, and Ray had more success at the level Estevez is still at.
As for guys like Karns and Smoker ... they project as relievers at the big league level, but they have a power arsenal. They have mid to high 90's fastballs and a breaking pitch that can be tough to hit when its on. Certainly, relievers have lower ceilings than starters. But impact relievers have more value than fringe starters. While both of these guys have a long way to go to be big leaguers, their stuff says they'll get a taste of the bigs at some point.
I can understand an argument against those two, and a couple others. I just dont think there is any way to justify Estevez as a top 5 arm in our organization at this point. When I talk about legitimate prospect ... You either have the stuff or the clear cut success. Estevez hasn't had either yet. I know he is very young, but not every kid younger than 21 is a legitimate prospect. Especially righty's that top out at 92. I know he's got potential, so he's someone to keep watching. He's just not there yet.