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FanGraphs Prospect Stock Watch – 07/06/12

Tyler Anderson, LHP, Colorado Rockies
Current Level: A
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 8th
Current Value: Down

The 20th overall selection of the 2011 draft, Anderson was known as a fairly polished college pitcher who had a modest ceiling but was expected to move quickly through the system and offer Colorado big league help in short order. The organization kept Anderson out of game action after he signed late in 2011 and then assigned him to A-ball to begin 2012 when he missed the start of the season due to injury. After 11 starts the southpaw is still in low-A ball and his numbers have been modest. He’s shown excellent control with just 17 walks in 64.1 innings (2.15 BB/9) but he’s struck out just 37 batters (5.06 K/9). Anderson, 22, looks like a back-of-the-rotation starter unless he makes some unexpected adjustments.

Cito Culver, SS, New York Yankees
Current Level: A
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: NR
Current Value: Penny stock

The organization made Culver its first pick of the 2010 draft with the 32nd overall selection and it left draft analysts scratching their heads at the time of the pick and not much else has changed since that time. A solid athlete, Culver has struggled to translate his raw abilities into baseball skills. He’s currently hitting just .208 with a wRC+ of 75 in A-ball. Just 19, though, the infielder has time to tightened up his pitch recognition and polish his offensive game. Even if Culver ends up washing out the club could still end up with a very successful draft haul from 2010 thanks to the additions of prospects such as Mason Williams (4th round), Ben Gamel (10th), and Tyler Austin (13th).

Niko Goodrum, SS, Minnesota Twins
Current Level: R+
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: Sleeper
Current Value: Underrated

Minnesota is known for being cautious with its prospects and Goodrum has been no exception. He was held back in extended spring training in 2012 and is playing his third year in short-season ball, as well as his second back in the advanced rookie Appalachian League. The 20 year old is off to an outstanding starting. In his first 14 games he has a .308 average with 12 of his 17 hits going for extra hits (four doubles, six triples and two homers). Goodrum also has more walks than strikeouts (14-11). He’s a ways away from realizing his potential but the shortstop has intriguing potential and it might be time to challenge him.

Ryan Lavarnway, C, Boston Red Sox
Current Level: AAA
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 8th
Current Value: Holding Steady

After a breakout 2011 season Lavarnway looked like he was ready to establish himself as a big league hitter. With the 2012 return of DH David Ortiz, though, Lavarnway was banished back to triple-A where he’s continued to rake. The offensive-minded catcher has seen his power output dip a bit this year but he’s still hitting for average and he’s trimmed his strikeout rate. Lavarnway will turn 25 later this year so his age is starting to become an issue and he basically has little left to prove in the minors (He’ll never be a great defensive catcher). The club needs to find a big league role for him in 2013 or trade him before his value starts to depreciate.

Jake Marisnick, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
Current Level: AA
2012 Top 15 Prospects Ranking: 7th
Current Value: Increasing

The Jays organization is known for its outstanding young pitching talent, as well as a few key offensive prospects in triple-A but Marisnick entered 2012 as one of the best athletes in the low minors. He posted a 160 wRC+ in low-A ball last year and moved up to high-A ball to begin this year. The outfielder was promoted to double-A on Thursday. His numbers from A-ball do not look flashy but the Florida State League is a pitcher’s league and he actually posted a well-above-average 127 wRC+. Marisnick as the potential to hit for both power and average while also providing some speed (He stole 37 bases in ’11). The promotion of Marisnick comes at an unusual time and is often done at the minor league all-star break by the Jays so you have to wonder if he’s being showcased for a possible trade at the deadline.