Author Topic: Baseball Prospectus' Top 10  (Read 860 times)

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Offline tomterp

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Baseball Prospectus' Top 10
« Topic Start: March 30, 2013, 10:12:48 AM »
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=20009

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The Top Ten

    3B Anthony Rendon
    RHP Lucas Giolito
    OF Brian Goodwin
    RHP A.J. Cole
    RHP Nate Karns
    RHP Christian Garcia
    IF Matt Skole
    LHP Matt Purke
    LHP Sammy Solis
    OF Eury Perez

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Top 10 Talents 25 And Under (born 4/1/87 or later)

    Bryce Harper, OF
    Stephen Strasburg, RHP
    Anthony Rendon, 3B
    Drew Storen, RHP
    Lucas Giolito, RHP
    Wilson Ramos, C
    Danny Espinosa, 2B
    Brian Goodwin, OF
    A.J. Cole, RHP
    Nathan Karns, RHP

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Prospects on the Rise:

1. OF Brandon Miller:  He’s behind the curve as a prospect, turning 23 in October and yet to experience a full-season level, but Miller has legit power potential, and that’s easy to sell. The hit tool is fringy, and the defensive profile will be in a corner, but the power has a chance to play. Assuming the bat clicks, Miller could take a quick ride and has a chance to emerge as a power-first corner type at the highest level.

2. OF Michael Taylor: Toolsy and frustrating, Taylor fell short of expectations in the Carolina League in 2012, producing a less-than-robust .680 OPS. While it’s a tough league to hit in, Taylor lost his way at the plate, taking himself out of at-bats and swinging over anything soft. A return trip to the circuit could do the young outfielder some good, as the tools are there for future impact, if he can slowly start to put it all together.

3. OF Estarlin Martinez: A converted infielder, Martinez has legit power in his bat and a swing that might just let it play. After showing off his offensive chops in the New York-Penn League, the 21-year-old Dominican will look to take another step forward in full-season ball, where his stock could either soar with a strong performance or sink if the bat fails to adjust to the competition.

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Factors on the Farm (Prospects likely to contribute at the ML level in 2013

1. IF Zach Walters: Like most players put into the utility infielder box, the overall skill set just isn’t very sexy. But Walters has more in the tank than some observers give him credit for, and he could develop into a valuable player at the highest level. While not flashy with the leather, Walters can make the plays he can make, with a very strong arm and good overall fundamentals. The stick isn’t anything special either, but he can drive a baseball if you make a mistake, and several scouts mentioned the bat as having some life.

2. C Sandy Leon: Backup catchers never get the glory, but when you can bring above-average catch-and-throw skills to the table along with a competent bat, you are going to get some love. He’s not first up in the backup queue, but strong Triple-A campaign could force his name into the mix, where his strong arm and sound approach could add value when called upon.

3. 1B Chris Marrero: Remember this guy? Once a top prospect in the system, Marrero never developed into the monster many observers saw in his amateur days. A torn hamstring before the 2012 season didn’t help matters, and after a disappointing season, he’s back in Triple-A looking to thump his way back into the conversation. He has an uphill battle and the bat will need to show serious life to force the issue, but a healthy and hungry Marrero just might get the chance should an opportunity present itself.

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Although Washington’s farm system lacks depth behind the elite talents at the top, no team in baseball can top their under-25 one-two punch. Even that may be an understatement, as Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg are two of the game’s rapidly emerging superstars.

Harper, the reigning National League Rookie of the Year, will play the entire 2013 campaign at age 20. His gargantuan raw power and plus-plus arm from the outfield have been well documented over the years. Harper flashed an impressive feel for hitting with the ability to make late-season adjustments down the stretch last season. Meanwhile, a healthy Strasburg is a true ace. Armed with three wipeout pitches, the 24-year-old righty attacks hitters with a fastball that averages 96 mph, a power curveball, and a diving changeup.

Harper’s narrow edge over Strasburg is all about personal preference, and it leads to an intriguing debate. Just for kicks, a handful of scouts and front office personnel were asked, “If you were starting a team, in a vacuum that excludes contract status, would you choose Harper or Strasburg?” The answers were split about evenly. In the end, the rankings of these two are subjective. The important aspect is that both are already well above average major leaguers, and there’s no reason to believe they’re done improving.

High-ceilinged righty Lucas Giolito could zoom up this list if he makes a full recovery from Tommy John surgery and performs as expected. Having thrown just two professional innings, the 18-year-old Giolito slots behind 25-year-old reliever Drew Storen this year. Storen is one of the game’s better young bullpen arms. He’s had success in each of his three major-league seasons and even logged 43 saves for an 80-win Nationals team in 2011. After missing a chunk of last season to elbow surgery (bone chips), he quickly regained his mid-90s velocity and plus slider while pitching in a setup role. Washington’s offseason signing of Rafael Soriano may keep Storen in the seventh or eighth inning for the time being, but there’s no reason to believe his performance will dip.

After Wilson Ramos went down with a season-ending knee injury in May of last season, the Nationals acquired Oakland’s Kurt Suzuki for the stretch drive. With Suzuki still around, the two should split the club’s catching duties this year. Ramos remains Washington’s catcher of the future, however. The 25-year-old Venezuelan broke out when fully healthy in 2011, hitting .267/.334/.445 while handling himself very well behind the dish.

Danny Espinosa, also 25, may not be a star, but he has established himself as a capable everyday second baseman. The Long Beach State product provides a plus glove at second along with the chops to handle shortstop in a pinch. While his massive strikeout rates will always hold him back offensively––he led the NL with 189 punchouts in 2012––the switch-hitter consistently hits lefties well and provides enough overall pop. For this season, it may be important to keep in mind that Espinosa is attempting to play through a torn left rotator cuff. —Jason Cole

A Parting Thought: It’s a gamble to buy low on injured talent in the hopes it rebounds and provides you with a high return, but it takes only one big score to justify the risk, and if the Nationals can hit on a Rendon or a Giolito, or a Purke, they will look very smart for playing the ponies.

Online blue911

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Re: Baseball Prospectus' Top 10
« Reply #1: March 30, 2013, 10:16:48 AM »
BP is free this weekend.

Offline tomterp

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Re: Baseball Prospectus' Top 10
« Reply #2: March 30, 2013, 10:26:49 AM »

Offline Upark25

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Re: Baseball Prospectus' Top 10
« Reply #3: March 31, 2013, 12:37:57 AM »
Great time to be a Nats fan, they are going to be good for a long long time.

Offline d_mc_nabb

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Re: Baseball Prospectus' Top 10
« Reply #4: March 31, 2013, 02:35:13 AM »
And what the list doesn't give you is all the people 27 and younger. Include that and it's terrifying.

Offline comish4lif

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Re: Baseball Prospectus' Top 10
« Reply #5: April 03, 2013, 01:22:33 AM »
Ask and receive (from BP)

Top 10 Talents 25 And Under (born 4/1/87 or later)

Bryce Harper, OF
Stephen Strasburg, RHP
Anthony Rendon, 3B
Drew Storen, RHP
Lucas Giolito, RHP
Wilson Ramos, C
Danny Espinosa, 2B
Brian Goodwin, OF
A.J. Cole, RHP
Nathan Karns, RHP
Although Washington’s farm system lacks depth behind the elite talents at the top, no team in baseball can top their under-25 one-two punch. Even that may be an understatement, as Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg are two of the game’s rapidly emerging superstars.

Harper, the reigning National League Rookie of the Year, will play the entire 2013 campaign at age 20. His gargantuan raw power and plus-plus arm from the outfield have been well documented over the years. Harper flashed an impressive feel for hitting with the ability to make late-season adjustments down the stretch last season. Meanwhile, a healthy Strasburg is a true ace. Armed with three wipeout pitches, the 24-year-old righty attacks hitters with a fastball that averages 96 mph, a power curveball, and a diving changeup.

Harper’s narrow edge over Strasburg is all about personal preference, and it leads to an intriguing debate. Just for kicks, a handful of scouts and front office personnel were asked, “If you were starting a team, in a vacuum that excludes contract status, would you choose Harper or Strasburg?” The answers were split about evenly. In the end, the rankings of these two are subjective. The important aspect is that both are already well above average major leaguers, and there’s no reason to believe they’re done improving.

High-ceilinged righty Lucas Giolito could zoom up this list if he makes a full recovery from Tommy John surgery and performs as expected. Having thrown just two professional innings, the 18-year-old Giolito slots behind 25-year-old reliever Drew Storen this year. Storen is one of the game’s better young bullpen arms. He’s had success in each of his three major-league seasons and even logged 43 saves for an 80-win Nationals team in 2011. After missing a chunk of last season to elbow surgery (bone chips), he quickly regained his mid-90s velocity and plus slider while pitching in a setup role. Washington’s offseason signing of Rafael Soriano may keep Storen in the seventh or eighth inning for the time being, but there’s no reason to believe his performance will dip.

After Wilson Ramos went down with a season-ending knee injury in May of last season, the Nationals acquired Oakland’s Kurt Suzuki for the stretch drive. With Suzuki still around, the two should split the club’s catching duties this year. Ramos remains Washington’s catcher of the future, however. The 25-year-old Venezuelan broke out when fully healthy in 2011, hitting .267/.334/.445 while handling himself very well behind the dish.

Danny Espinosa, also 25, may not be a star, but he has established himself as a capable everyday second baseman. The Long Beach State product provides a plus glove at second along with the chops to handle shortstop in a pinch. While his massive strikeout rates will always hold him back offensively––he led the NL with 189 punchouts in 2012––the switch-hitter consistently hits lefties well and provides enough overall pop. For this season, it may be important to keep in mind that Espinosa is attempting to play through a torn left rotator cuff. —Jason Cole

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Baseball Prospectus' Top 10
« Reply #6: April 03, 2013, 08:09:13 AM »
Doubly good.

Offline Smithian

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Re: Baseball Prospectus' Top 10
« Reply #7: April 07, 2013, 09:10:53 PM »
The Hagersburg Sunators are going to beast.