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  1. Donovan Tate has certainly fallen, not even listed in the top 15?

    Comment by JT Grace — January 19, 2012 @ 11:49 am

  2. Great list Marc. Amazing what a few key trades can do for a system.

    Alberth Martinez is an interesting choice for Sleeper Alert. Depth in the system may actually force him into starting his season back in the Northwest League which wouldn’t be the worst thing for him. As you mentioned, Martinez’s approach needs a lot of work.

    Comment by Jeff — January 19, 2012 @ 11:53 am

  3. It’s also worth noting that, as a converted shortstop, Kelly can provide significant plus value with his glove. Pitcher fielding isn’t a huge consideration, but it’s part of run prevention nevertheless.

    Comment by Ian R. — January 19, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

  4. Saying Jaff Decker is too short for 1st base at 5’10″ is a weird comment to me, since Prince Fielder is only 5’11″ and less athletic han Decker. Definitely shorter than a team would prefer, but if he can’t play left and he can mash (an entirely different problem from his height), I find it difficult to believe the fact that he isn’t a couple inches taller would deprive him of 1st base role.

    Comment by mymrbig — January 19, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

  5. Everyone is sort of in “wait and see” mode with Tate. When he is on the field, he hits well. Especially for someone who has lost so much development time to injury. It’s pretty easy to see him put himself back on the map in 2012 if he stays on the field.

    Comment by Nolan — January 19, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

  6. It’s too bad we can’t give our power hitting prospects a chance to shine. The reasoning behind keeping the fences back is idiotic. I’m tired of the “he has a chance to pitch well in Petco.” So does the opposing pitcher! Projecting a power position at 15-20 homers says nothing for the future. We can get Scott Hairston to do that.

    Comment by Jake F — January 19, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

  7. I just can’t get as excited as Austin Hedges as some people are. I think this system is way too deep to rank a glove first/glove only catcher with zero pro data in the top 5. I understand that his glove will likely get him to the majors, but what if the bat never develops? How valuable is Jeff Mathis?

    Comment by Nolan — January 19, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

  8. I’m kind of surprised at the lack of love for Edinson Rincon on lists this offseason. He may be limited to corner OF or even 1B, but the bat looks pretty legitimate at this point. Was he close for you Marc?

    Comment by JH — January 19, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

  9. More than anything, I want them to adjust the RF fences. Petco is tough on righties, but it’s absolute murder on lefties.

    And not all “15-20 home run” guys are created equal.

    Comment by Nolan — January 19, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

  10. Where would Andrew Cashner rank if he still had his prospect status?

    Comment by willl — January 19, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

  11. What was the rationale behind Kelly over Erlin? Erlin had all around substantially better numbers to Kelly at the same level (AA) all while being a whole year younger.

    Perhaps its pedantic arguing over one spot, but given the juxtaposition, it seems an obvious choice to favor Erlin over Kelly. Marc even conceded Erlin might have a slightly higher upside.

    Comment by willl — January 19, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

  12. He was probably in the 16-20 range. Nice offensive improvement but it was done in the Cal League… and it was only over half a season. Because he’s all bat and likely a big league corner outfielder, I’m playing it cautious with him this season.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — January 19, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

  13. Honestly, they were ranked one point apart…Kelly got the nod because of more athleticism and a little better delivery, as well as pedigree. You could flip and flop and I wouldn’t argue one bit.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — January 19, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

  14. I would probably have had Cashner after Spangenberg. I really like Andrew but I think the injury tips the scale in favor of a career in the ‘pen, which hurts his value a bit. Good stuff though and should definitely be a high-leverage reliever who could really dominate in SD.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — January 19, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

  15. I just read through the past articles on Casey Kelly, and I’ve never really understood or agreed with all of the buzz. Other than being a 2-way player, I’m wondering what all the hub-bub about him really was? He was BOS’s #1 prospect in 2010.

    1. Doesn’t strike out a lot of batters, while playing a position where strikeout rates for young pitchers might be the most important thing.

    2. above average to excellent control.

    3. GB pitcher whose GB rates have declined with each promotion.

    Combine the lower K rate with the GB rate and he will always be a pitcher that gives up a lot of hits. More BIP and GB have a higher BABIP than FB.

    As he’s moved up, the K rate has dropped, the walk rate has increased, and the hr rate has stayed about the same … all this while averaging just a tad over 5 IP per start. So, he’s getting through the lineup twice with change.

    Things like “potential plus curveball” and “developing changeup” could also read as “average deuce” and “no changeup”.

    Just another reminder for us to temper excitement over what guys do in A-ball.

    I agree that #3 SP is his ceiling, and I’m not ridiculing you (marc) at all. I just didn’t agree with all the buzz about Casey Kelly.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 19, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

  16. Prince Fielder is a 5′ 10″ 1st basemen, although comparing Prince to Decker is like comparing Nixon to Washington.

    Comment by Waluigi — January 19, 2012 @ 4:28 pm

  17. The depth, but lack of a super highly rated prospect makes the top of this system really interesting. Baseball Prospectus did their ranking before Alonso and Grandal were acquired (and before Rizzo was traded away) and had the top 9 prospects as 4-star players. John Sickels did his post trades had the top 7 as B+ with 8 and 9 as borderline B+.

    Comment by Drakos — January 19, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

  18. Boston and New York prospects always strike me as overrated. I don’t know if it’s because of the east coast bias, if it’s because if they do hold onto a prospect instead of blocking them with a FA signing the logic is that they must be good, whatever it is, they always seem overrated. Joba was supposed to be Clemens and Hughes was supposed to be Pettite. Those are more fans talking though.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — January 19, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

  19. Thanks for the list Marc. Out of curiosity, where would you rank Adys Portillo? I know his numbers have been atrocious since receiving a sizable bonus as an intnl FA, but does his stuff and/or projectability still warrant serious prospect consideration, or has his star faded that substantially?

    Comment by hadman — January 19, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

  20. How does Trot Nixon and LeVon Washington compare?

    Comment by The Expert — January 19, 2012 @ 6:14 pm

  21. There have been reports that his bat is better than expected. Scouts raved about him and Joe Ross when they saw them in the Arizona instructional league in September.

    Comment by Tony — January 19, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

  22. Circle… I think part of it also was that Kelly was one of the top prospects (if not the top prospect) in what was a VERY thin system at the time (back in 2009)

    When you see and hear about a guy being an organizations top prospect, I don’t think people factor in that someone has to be #1 in each organization and that doesn’t mean ace or superstar.

    I also think a lot of it was the “young for his age” and “new to pitching” so the assumption was there was more upside than a “normal” pitching prospect (which I think is a flawed way to view things)

    Comment by Tom — January 20, 2012 @ 2:42 am

  23. Circle, not sure what your looking at to see Kelly’s GB% diminishing with each promotion, but per statcorner:

    ’09 A: 54.1%
    ’09 A+:50.4%
    ’10 AA: 45.2%
    ’11 AA: 53.5%

    His 2011 rate compared to major league qualifying starters would have ranked 12th out of about 100.

    He saw sizeable improvement in what opponents hit off him during his two tours at AA.

    2010 – .307/.365/.487 (384 AB) FIP: 4.09
    2011 – .278/.334/.392 (550 AB) FIP: 3.59

    People act like he made no improvement based soley on his K% dropping from 19% to 17.1%. Definitely not a future ace, but a career like Jon Garland or Derek Lowe could be in the cards.

    Comment by Amish_Willy — January 20, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

  24. i just moved into the Fort Wayne area and will definitely be going to some TinCaps games. What are some of the players on this list that I can expect to see this year?

    Comment by josh — January 20, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

  25. Austin Hedges, Joe Ross and Alberth Martinez have the best chances, from this list, of appearing in Fort Wayne.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — January 21, 2012 @ 10:00 am

  26. I’ve ranked Portillo fairly high in the past based on his potential… He falls a fair bit this year because of depth… He’d probably be in the 20-25 range.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — January 21, 2012 @ 10:01 am

  27. I’ve seen Jonathan Galvez as high as #58 on an overall top-100. Probably an absurd ranking but I don’t see this guy on any Padres top-15 lists. Were his numbers a total fluke last year or is there some upside here?

    Comment by Seth Beno — January 22, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

  28. People are unsure about where he plays. He has strong wrists and a good approach at the plate, so the numbers in Elsinore weren’t simply a Cal League mirage (especially at age 20 until just last week). He could certainly be a 15HR/30 SB guy. But the club’s far from sold on getting him to stick at 2B.
    Should be interesting to watch the playing time split between Galvez, Valdez and Cumberland up the middle in San Antonio this year.

    Comment by David — January 22, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

  29. Hey Marc great article. Where do you see Jace Peterson in all this? I know he is a young guy, but what’s his long term potential look like?

    Same question about Galvez… some lists have him high while others do not have him listed. I’m thinking this is because Spangenberg is rated higher as a 2B than he is… Looking at depth, I could see Galvez being a long term corner OF solution (eventually).

    Comment by jonnymac317 — January 23, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

  30. Marc, what are your thoughts on me?

    Comment by James Needy — January 30, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

  31. I would have placed lefty starter Juan Oramas in the top ten. He has three pitches he can put anywhere in the zone, challenges hitters and misses bats, and has a bulldog presence on the mound. His body doesn’t “project” but neither did Fernando Valenzuela’s either, and Juan reminds me of Fernando A LOT. In fact, I’m thinking of trademarking “Juan-O-Mania”. He’s only a year away, so it won’t be long to wait…

    Comment by Larry Faria — January 30, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

  32. Rymer Liriano was awesome to see last year. I doubt he stays there though.

    Comment by David — February 7, 2012 @ 2:44 am

  33. Its amazing and more than a little disconcerting that every time I see one of these lists, the guys that are coming into the Padres organization are listed above the guys that are already there.

    Goes to show how little most of the so called prospect experts have actually SEEN the Padres prospects play.

    Rymer Liriano is a true 5 tool player. At 20 yrs old he is far and away the most promising prospect in the Padres organization and has the skills & attitude to be a perennial All Star.

    Alonso has a decent cup of coffee in one of the best hitters parks in baseball after being above average, but not great in the minors and suddenly he is the best prospect in the Padres organization? Give me a break. He isn’t even a better prospect than Rizzo and is much older older. At 25 Alonso can barely be considered a prospect at all. I would put him 7th or 8th in the organization.

    And Casey Kelly at 6th? WOW. Have you seen him pitch? He is a ground ball machine, hits mid 90′s and his stuff is improving. Have to have him 2nd or 3rd.

    Grandal is close to ML ready right now. He shot up the Reds system even though he was blocked. He is a very selective hitter who also exhibits good power. A rare combination and even rarer at catcher. If Hundley is hurt, he will likely step in right away.

    Jedd Gyorko is the best pure hitter in the organization and would sit 4th on my list. The only question mark here is fielding and he has been at least average in the minors to date. AAA in 2012 will give us a much better idea of the type of player he will become. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a call up to play 3rd if Headley is hurt again in 2012 ahead of Darnell and Forsythe.

    After that you have to make a choice of whether you grade more on potential or demonstrated skills. Joe Ross or Keyvius Sampson at 5 & 6.

    Then comes the main piece the Padres got in return from Texas in the Adams trade, Robbie Erlin. He grades out as a middle of the rotation starter at the major league level and should be ML ready mid-2012.

    Comment by Websoulsurfer — February 27, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

  34. You saved me from having to post the same thing. Oramas has been young for his level at every stop and has excelled. His career by age is a Fernando clone from the Mexican League MVP at 19 to the California League at 20 to the Texas League at 21. Stats and age and league were all very similar. Also similar was that no one rated them high. If he continues to follow Fernando, he should see the big leagues this year and excel there too. That may be a stretch but I would not be surprised as much as others.

    Comment by Aztecbill — March 13, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

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