Reviewing the Top 10 Prospect Lists: AL East

This article wraps up a look back at the pre-season Top 10 prospect lists here at FanGraphs. You can read the other reviews: NL West | NL Central | NL East | AL West | AL Central.

Tampa Bay Rays
1. Jeremy Hellickson, RHP
2. Matt Moore, LHP
3. Desmond Jennings, OF
4. Chris Archer, RHP
5. Jake McGee, LHP
6. Josh Sale, OF
7. Alex Colome, RHP
8. Alex Torres, LHP
9. Justin O’Conner, C
10. Hak-Ju Lee, SS

All five analysts (Baseball America, Goldstein, Law, Sickels, and myself) ranked one-through-three absolutely the same. Unfortunately, both BA and Sickels went to print with their lists before the Matt Garza deal occurred, which brought in both Archer and Lee (and others). Both Colome and Torres have had fairly quiet seasons, but they’ve held their own in 2011. Drew Vettleson almost made the 2011 list, but he’ll definitely be there in 2012. Two other 2010 draft picks – Josh Sale and Justin O’Conner – have had slow starts to their pro careers, but they’re still young.

Boston Red Sox
1. Jose Iglesias, SS
2. Drake Britton, LHP
3. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP
4. Josh Reddick, OF
5. Stolmy Pimentel, RHP
6. Felix Doubront, LHP
7. Kolbrin Vitek, 3B
8. Lars Anderson, 1B
9. Oscar Tejeda, SS/2B
10. Ryan Lavarnway, C/1B

I took a bit of heat for ranking the organization so high (11th overall) prior to the 2011 season, especially after the club sent top prospects (Anthony Rizzo, Reymond Fuentes, Casey Kelly) over to San Diego for Adrian Gonzalez. I did, though, explain that they were ranked so high due to impressive depth beyond the Top 10 list. That depth has been on display this season while other Top 10 prospects have wilted (Britton, Pimentel). Only John Sickels and I ranked Lavarnway on Top 10 lists this past off-season with Baseball America, Kevin Goldstein, and Keith Law docking him marks for his perceived inability to catch at the big league level. As he’s shown this season, his bat is probably good enough to be a starting first baseman. Will Middlebrooks was one of a few players (Brandon Workman, Garin Cecchini) who received consideration for the back-end of the list. The athletic third baseman should be near the top for the 2012 list.

New York Yankees
1. Jesus Montero, C/1B
2. Manny Banuelos, LHP
3. Gary Sanchez, C
4. Dellin Betances, RHP
5. Austin Romine, C
6. Hector Noesi, RHP
7. Eduardo Nunez, SS
8. Slade Heathcott, OF
9. Ivan Nova, RHP
10. Brett Marshall, RHP

This list wasn’t as easy to do as you might think. The Yankees organization currently lacks the plethora of high-ceiling talents that it’s boasted in the past – plus Yankees prospects tend to be some of the more overrated (not to say they don’t have great prospects). With that said, there are a lot of interesting names that should help fill out the big league roster for years to come. The organization has some of the best catching depth in the minors… even if you write off Montero as a first baseman or DH. Sanchez has also had his defensive struggles but those can be mostly chalked up to youthful errors. I remain a Romine supporter despite the fact more and more people are jumping off the bandwagon. In the outfield, Heathcott started the year off with a bang but then ran into some trouble and things quieted down for him, but he was recently promoted to high-A ball. I definitely felt some pressure to include Andrew Brackman on the Top 10 list but in hindsight holding to my guns was a smart decision; he’s been pretty bad this season. It helped that it was Reed MacPhail who actually wrote up the Yankees report and he felt the same way about omitting Brackman.

Toronto Blue Jays
1. Kyle Drabek, RHP
2. Brett Lawrie, 3B
3. J.P. Arencibia, C
4. Deck McGuire, RHP
5. Carlos Perez, C
6. Zach Stewart, RHP
7. Travis d’Arnaud, C
8. Asher Wojciechowski, RHP
9. Aaron Sanchez, RHP
10. Adeiny Hechavarria, SS

It’s been an up-and-down year for many of the prospects on this Top 10 list – just ask Drabek. Say what you will about Arencibia’s meager batting average and low on-base percentage but he is an almost average defensive catcher with the highest isolated slugging percentage (.235) amongst big league catchers. Atlanta’s Brian McCann is second, about 30 points behind the rookie. I ranked Arencibia more aggressively than any other analyst – although he appeared on each list – and I believe he’ll be a solid contributor throughout his career. Staying with backstops, I ranked Perez ahead of d’Arnaud believing he had a higher overall ceiling but perhaps I was wrong. d’Arnaud has looked great in double-A while Perez struggled early on with his offence in the Midwest League. His defense has also been a question mark. The bottom of the Jays prospect list has had a tough year. Hechevarria has a lot of people talking about his Gold Glove caliber defense but there are huge question marks on his bat thanks to his overly aggressive approach. Wojciechowski was considered a bit of a rawer college pitcher and he’s shown that his secondary stuff is lacking. After a nice debut in 2010, Sanchez got off to a slow start in ’11 when he struggled with both his command and control but he’s come on strong late in the minor league season.

Baltimore Orioles
1. Zach Britton, LHP
2. Manny Machado, SS
3. LJ Hoes, 2B
4. Xavier Avery, OF
5. Dan Klein, RHP
6. Jonathan Schoop, SS
7. Ryan Adams, 2B
8. Mychal Givens, SS/2B
9. Wynn Pelzer, RHP
10. Bobby Bundy, RHP

The inclusion of Bundy on this list really makes me happy – as he didn’t appear on any other Top 10 lists. Slowed by injuries earlier in his career, I remained a supporter throughout and am glad to see him really break out in 2011 – just as his younger brother is set to join him in pro ball (save for a last-minute shocker). Overall, this was a pretty weak list and it hasn’t gotten much better as the year has progressed. Both Avery and Hoes have been on a bit of the fast-track and reached double-A in 2011 at the age of 21. Avery has struggled with his ability to get on-base, mainly due to his lack of patience, while Hoes has looked better at the higher level than he did earlier in the season in high-A ball. You cannot fully blame the organization for the lack of development among its prospects; a lot of players fell victim to injuries, including players that made other Top 10 lists like Trent Mummey and Ryan Berry (What, an injured former Rice University pitcher?!).



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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects, depth charts and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.


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RC
Guest
RC
4 years 11 months ago

I think Iglesias as #1 in Boston’s system is absurd. He’s still young, so hes got time to improve, but until he shows any ability to hit, it doesn’t matter how good his defense is.

Nick V
Guest
Nick V
4 years 11 months ago

I tend to agree, he hasn’t really ever shown an ability to hit his level, and yet the Sox kept promoting him. I don’t understand this. It’s not like the groundballs and double plays he’s fielding are any more difficult in the upper levels, so he can further tune and progress his defense in the lower levels. But he can’t hit AAA pitching, there’s really no reason to be up there. .526 OPS in AAA this year, and it’s not like he exactly proved himself at AA last year (.672 OPS). He’s young and has a TON to learn about hitting. He belongs in A ball…

Yirmiyahu
Member
Yirmiyahu
4 years 11 months ago

It’s the Red Sox philosophy. All of their minor league affiliates are the youngest, or nearly the youngest, in their leagues. The idea is that, if a prospect isn’t struggling, he’s probably not learning/adapting/adjusting. In Iglesias’ case, he signed a major league contract, so they’re even a bit more aggressive than usual.

Iglesias’ glove is major league ready, and they wanted to get his bat up to speed as soon as possible. His biggest problem is plate discipline and recognizing breaking pitches. He’s not going to easily learn that in A-ball.

Anyway, he’s been improving his discipline all year, so the placement is working. In his first 19 games at AAA, Iglesias had a 17/2 K/BB, and the result was a .232/.264/.232/.496 line. In his last 19 games, he’s had a 10/6 K/BB, and the result is a .270/.343/.317/.660 line.

Nick V
Guest
Nick V
4 years 11 months ago

I guess using his last 17 games is somewhat useful. He even has an extra base hit in there – one of his five on the season (all doubles). And using perhaps his best 17 game stretch of the season (granted, the most recent) still results in a .660 OPS? When that represents progress, you’re not talking about a guy who belongs at that level.

As for “recognizing breaking pitches” being his biggest problem…isn’t that basically the case for almost every prospect? Also, isn’t lack of power a problem? I really don’t see a single thing about his offensive game that is AAA ready. I’m not convinced he’s A+ ready with the bat. I don’t think that the rationalizations I’ve heard for putting him at AAA right now make any more sense for him than they would for any other prospect. He’s 21 years old, let him develop…

Nick V
Guest
Nick V
4 years 11 months ago

Sorry, I see you said 19 and not 17 games. All still applies…

Yirmiyahu
Member
Yirmiyahu
4 years 11 months ago

Look, no matter what level he was at, if Iglesias had a .700+ OPS, the Sox would promote him. That’s how they work. They don’t view a prospect struggling as a bad thing.

You said, “I don’t think that the rationalizations I’ve heard for putting him at AAA right now make any more sense for him than they would for any other prospect.” First of all, to a large degree, it’s not that Iglesias is unique, it’s that the Red Sox push all of their top prospects like this. Last year their top prospect, 20-year-old Casey Kelly, had a 5.31 ERA in AA, and everyone was complaining in the same way you are right now.

The Red Sox have a unique philosophy, and it’s succeeded in the past. Iglesias is being pushed even more than usual because he’s on an MLB deal and his glove is MLB-ready. Simple as that.

Nick V
Guest
Nick V
4 years 11 months ago

I have no problem with pushing prospects aggressively. I understand the Sox’ approach to player development. It’s my opinion that Iglesias would be over his head in AA as well. I’m a big Sox fan and have a lot of respect for the player development system, but I’m not going to appeal to their authority in a “If the Red Sox do it, it’s the best thing to do” kind of way.

But if you’re referring to their past successes, I mean, Pedroia, Lowrie, Youkilis, Ellsbury, Lester, Papelbon…all these guys showed success at a level before they were promoted. None of them was promoted recklessly. Christ, Iglesias was promoted to the MAJORS this year.

Do you think that Casey Kelly, after last year, would have been promoted to AAA if he were still in the system? Do Brentz and Middlebrooks and every other top prospect in the system clearly belong in AAA? Or are they fine where they are because the they’re the Red Sox and they know what they’re doing?

Al Skorupa
Member
4 years 11 months ago

@Yirmiyahu – Agree with all of this, and would add that as a Cuban free swinger, the Sox likely felt it was especially important to put Iglesias at a level where he couldn’t succeed despite his bad habits.

Nick V
Guest
Nick V
4 years 11 months ago

Just as an update, since we were using the oh-so-useful “Last 19 Games” sample, in his last 19 games he’s got a .218/.306/.255/.561 line. He has 6 walks in that span though, so he’ll be ready for the majors in no time…

Randy
Guest
Randy
4 years 11 months ago

The rankings are from the offseason and he showed progress in that regard last year before the drop off this year.

Nick V
Guest
Nick V
4 years 11 months ago

Well I would have complained about ranking him this high, but I am aware that these aren’t updates (just reviews). A lot of people had him this high going into this year. My problem is that he’s pretty clearly being mishandled…

TylerTheCreator
Guest
TylerTheCreator
4 years 11 months ago

“My problem is that he’s pretty clearly being mishandled…”

This isn’t true…I mean I guess it’s debatable, but it certainly isn’t cut and dry. Iglesias did hit last year, and he showed real progress in the AFL. His AAA spot seemed aggresive but not absurd. I don’t see how sending him down to A ball is going to do anything for him. It’s not like he needs to “gain confidence”, he needs to face advanced pitching and make adjustments. If he can’t make those adjustments, he won’t be a MLB player, simple as that. Sending him down to A ball to pad his stats isn’t doing anything for his development…I’d say the Red Sox player development system works about as well as any team in baseball so that old “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” applies.

Nick V
Guest
Nick V
4 years 11 months ago

This is another, “if the sox do it, it’s good” defense. I don’t necessarily advocate sending him to A ball, although I do think that that’s where any other player with his offensive skill set would be. I don’t understand how this “he needs to struggle” thing applies to Iglesias but not to other prospects. As you pointed out, the Sox’ philosophy has worked in the past, but it seems obvious to me that the decision to promote a .672 OPS from AA to AAA, resulting in a .526 OPS this year was clearly a wrong decision.

Maybe he learned everything he could have learned in AA. But extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence…

gabriel
Guest
gabriel
4 years 11 months ago

What I found perplexing was that Iglesias was ranked, here and elsewhere, so much higher than Hechavarria, especially given how similar they are. Both are great defensive shortstops, both struggle with the bat, but at least Hech has some extra-base ability.

Jose Iglesias
Guest
Jose Iglesias
4 years 11 months ago

I have impressive bat speed. When I get my timing down pat, my slugging percentage will rise and most of you will look stupid when you underrated me. I’m the second coming of Ozzie Smith, according to the Boston Hype Machine.

Yardisiak
Guest
Yardisiak
4 years 11 months ago

Yankees lack the plethora of high ceiling talent they have had in the past? What past have they had more prospects with the ceilings of Betances, banuelos, Montero, Sanchez, and Heathcott? Even when Joba abd Hughes were prospect they didn’t have the hitting prospects to go with them.

Everett
Guest
Everett
4 years 11 months ago

YOUR COMPLIMENTS WERENT COMPLIMENTY ENOUGH FOR ME GO YANKS

Jerome S.
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

While I tend to agree that Yankees fans as a group can be quite selfish, Yardisiak has a good point. I’m young, but I don’t ever recall a past where the Yankees had this many high-ceiling prospects. Montero might be a fantastic, Piazza-like catcher. Betance’s ceiling is Verlander. Banuelos also projects to be an ace. Sanchez seems a lot like Montero, but maybe better at catching, and Heathcott has shown great ability with all five tools*.
I mean really, the Yankees system has actually been pretty desolate in the past; this is probably the best it’s been since they produced the Core Four.

*It’s really only the best case scenario for any of these prospects. Odds are, only one of them achieves that.

juan pierre's mustache
Guest
juan pierre's mustache
4 years 11 months ago

so, to recap:
montero will be a hall of fame catcher
betance could be the best pitcher in the league
banuelos will be the besterest pitcher in the league
sanchez is like a hall of fame catcher, but with better defense
heathcott is good

(i did see that you noted that these are ceilings. my point is merely that you’re putting the ceiling of the sears tower on a nice town house.)

TylerTheCreator
Guest
TylerTheCreator
4 years 11 months ago

Verlander? Really? Dellin Betances looks like a high impact relief pitcher.

Kyle
Guest
Kyle
4 years 11 months ago

Middlebrooks’ ceiling is A-Rod with Beltre’s defense.
Lavarnway’s ceiling is Mauer with 40 HR power.
Britton’s ceiling is a left handed Halladay.
Ranaudo’s ceiling is a right handed Sabathia.
Tejeda’s ceiling is Nomar’s peak.

This is fun.

RC
Guest
RC
4 years 11 months ago

I’m not sure Montero has a ceiling. Even if he hits like David Ortiz, hes still only a 3WAR player. Thats good, but I wouldn’t call that high ceiling.

Almost all of Montero’s ceiling is based on him being a catcher, and not many people think hes going to stick. Honestly, I’d say the Redsox’s 10, Lavarnway probably has a higher ceiling than Montero. He’s not quite the hitter, but hes much more likely to stick.

RC
Guest
RC
4 years 11 months ago

should be “has a HIGH ceiling”

Yirmiyahu
Member
Yirmiyahu
4 years 11 months ago

Find a scout, or a prospect expert, who thinks Lavarnway will stick at catcher.

BostonFanA
Guest
BostonFanA
4 years 11 months ago

hitting like Ortiz need a year on it, 04-07 Ortiz produced 5-6 WAR playing 10-40 game at 1B? post 08 Ortiz is a 3WAR player.

RC
Guest
RC
4 years 11 months ago

“Find a scout, or a prospect expert, who thinks Lavarnway will stick at catcher.”

“The serious question has always been defense, and while Lavarnway has spent much of his career as a DH, his glove has improved. His arm is average, but a slow release inhibited his throwing early in his career, while poor footwork and lack of mobility rendered him less than reliable as a defender: he coughed up 26 passed balls in just 66 games behind the plate in 2009. However, he cut that down to 11 in 53 defensive games last year, and this year he’s reduced the rate even further to four passed balls and just one error in 32 games behind the plate.

He’s caught a respectable 36% of runners trying to steal on him this year. Red Sox farm director Mike Hazen tells me that Lavarnway has made “very good strides behind the plate with a continuously improving feel working with pitchers and calling games.” Hazen also praises Lavarnway’s continued improvement with receiving and blocking, which clearly shows up in the statistics.

Although Lavarnway will never win gold gloves, if he maintains his current progress he can be at least adequate defensively, while providing considerable power on the offensive side. We should see him in Fenway later this year, and he could take a larger role on the major league roster in 2012.

– Sikels.

Not a great review, but a whole lot better than anything I’ve seen on Montero.

Nerd
Guest
Nerd
4 years 11 months ago

Love these updates and the analysis provided, but I have a question regarding the methodology. Do you actively scout prospects yourself? Do you have professional scouts on speed-dial to get their first-hand opinions? Or do you mine stats?

tdotsports1
Member
4 years 11 months ago

Kyle Drabek is not a better prospect than Brett Lawrie. I do not believe Drabek has that big of a future, he is a poor man’s Shaun Marcum for me with a bigger fastball. Lawrie as an everyday player appears to be a star in the making.

Arencibia was ranked too high for the fact that it looks like the Jays are very high on Travis D’Arnaud and will likely take over for JP at some point in the future. IF JP isn’t a catcher his value is highly nullified, a poor man’s Mike Napoli.

theformat
Guest
theformat
4 years 11 months ago

Marcum and Drabek are completely different pitchers. Power vs control. I would agree if you said Litsch was a poor man’s Marcum.

Arencibia is putting up stellar numbers in the 9 hole from a catcher who is a rookie. I would take JP at 400k over 6 mill Napoli any day of the week. You are right about him being a poor man’s Napoli, but he is a rookie. Who knows if D’Arnaud will be a Jay in a few years, but one thing is for sure, JP is playing quite well.

And what makes you think Lawrie is a star, while Drabek does not have a big future? Just because you saw Drabek for half a season doesn’t mean that that will be the pitcher he becomes. And just because someone says Lawrie is a big prospect doesn’t mean he will pan out.

tdotsports1
Member
4 years 11 months ago

Minor league numbers more than anything. Drabek’s shrinking K-rate and just overall lacklustre numbers (when compared to other “top pitching prospects”) in the minors thus far. Do we just totally forget what he has done this season in the majors AND minors?

Lawrie has raked everywhere and even with the offensive enviroment he is in he has shown an ability to make adjustments when asked, especially in relation to plate discipline.

tdotsports1
Member
4 years 11 months ago

*meaning offensive environment not withstanding, as we all know Vegas and that league in general inflates run production

glen
Guest
glen
4 years 11 months ago

tdotsports1 is kind of the a poor man’s Telo

tdotsports1
Member
4 years 11 months ago

So close to an awesome burn Glen, but your POOR grammar (the a poor man’s Telo?) blew it.

That’s a shame…

eric
Guest
eric
4 years 11 months ago

we love grammar nazis on this site

theformat
Guest
theformat
4 years 11 months ago

If you are going to judge a prospect by one year, his first in the majors and and the rest in the minors (where they asked him to make several changes) then I don’t know if I can reason with you.

tdotsports1
Member
4 years 11 months ago

When did I judge on one season? You are putting words in my mouth, dumb ones. I think Drabek is a fine prospect but nothing special, you asked why, I said minor league number(s). I made mention of his poor 2011 as an additional factor, not the only reason.

A k/9 under 8.0 in the minors for a “top” prospect is suspect for me. I think he’s been overhyped and overrated, just an opinion.

Hope I’m wrong.

tdotsports1
Member
4 years 11 months ago

2009 – 96 IPs (AA) – 7.1 K/9, 3.83 FIP
2010 – 162 IPs (AA) – 7.3 K/9, 3.87 FIP
2011 – 43.2 IPs (AAA) – 5.9 K/9, 5.38 FIP
+ some pretty terrible MLB numbers (6.44 BB/9 – higher than his K/9!)

Are you really going to argue that is promising progression?

eric
Guest
eric
4 years 11 months ago

you don’t sound like you hope you’re wrong. In fact, sounds to me like you hope drabek just crashes and burns, just so you can go “in your face” to everyone else.

just my 2 cents.

theformat
Guest
theformat
4 years 11 months ago

You agreed when you said Vegas was a hitter park, right? So when a hitter does better, what does a pitcher do? That’s right boys and girls, worse! And like I already said, they asked him to make changes, like giving up his cutter and focusing on his other pitches. Analysis take a little more than a copy-paste from baseball reference.

DHolc
Guest
DHolc
4 years 11 months ago

It makes me sad for the state of humanity that every time Marc publishes a review of his previous prospect lists, that so few seem to understand what the word “REVIEW” means.

Peter
Guest
Peter
4 years 11 months ago

I think Nova should be a little higher than #9 for the yanks.. better than hellickson when it comes to WAR, xFIP, FIP and roughly the same K/9 for example.. He has been performing well all year in the AL East and is 10-4 (I know kind of a meaningless stat). I just think 9th in the prospect list seems low not that he’s a superstar.

SC2GG
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

Oh my God, look at the post right above this by DHolc.
GBAH.

Jerome S.
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

But Nova’s basically achieved his ceiling this year (hard to envision him being better than this) whereas the other guys likely will outperform him very quickly.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
4 years 11 months ago

even in review, I still find it hard to swallow that Anthony Gose, a FSL all-star at age 19 last year, didn’t manage to crack your Jays’ top-10 coming into this season.

In fact, I have a hard time seeing how he wasn’t able to crack the top-5 coming into this year – putting Perez in there ahead of him, when they were the same age but Gose was performing well 2 full levels ahead of Perez, and when Gose not only played a premium defensive position like Perez, but also projected as a premium defender at that position unlike Perez….well, i just didn’t get it then, and I still don’t.

tdotsports1
Member
4 years 11 months ago

a lot of the sites are split on his hit tool but agreed he should be on the list regardless.

SC2GG
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

He will be next year, along with Drew.

Jon Heyman
Guest
Jon Heyman
4 years 11 months ago

Maybe because Gose can’t hit? lol @ “FSL All-Star”. Are you also one of those people who thinks an organization’s farm system should be judged on their teams’ Win-Loss records?

lolololool
Guest
lolololool
4 years 11 months ago

Gose has hit pretty decently for a 20 year old in AA… especially given that he doesn’t have to rake to have positive WAR value given his D.

If he can get on base at around a .330 clip, he will steal a crapload of bags, and play excellent D in CF… seems like he is destined to become the next Bourjous at least.

ddriver80
Guest
ddriver80
4 years 11 months ago

Agreed, strong armed CF who takes great routes to the ball.

AA New Hampshire has some great defensive prospects between Hechavarria, Gose, d’Arnaud, McDade

everdiso
Member
everdiso
4 years 11 months ago

Gose has most certainly hit well the past two seasons, especially when you account for him being amongst the very youngest players in his league both years.

His AA numbers so far this year are quite comparable to the likes of Adam Jones, B.J.Upton, and Carl Crawford at the same point.

AA

A.Jones (19-19): 257pa, 22bb/48k, 9/13sb, .298/.365/.461/.825
B.Upton (18-19): 247pa, 30bb/53k, 5/9sb, .301/.391/.426/.817
A.Gose (20-20): 463pa, 52bb/114k, 50/65sb, .258/.356/.406/.762
C.Crawford (19-19): 585pa, 36bb/90k, 36/56sb, .274/.323/.352/.675

James
Guest
James
4 years 11 months ago

Tons of guys have put up similar stats and aren’t nearly as good, some not even decent major leaguers. Heck guess whose stats these were in AA:

22 yrs old: 464 PA, 38bb/76k, 55/66sb, .335/.402/.386/.788

If you guessed the immortal Willy Taveras you would be correct. There’s a lot more to a prospect than just comparing who hit like them at the same level. In fact, I don’t even think you should compare players base on minor league numbers because all of them had flaws at AA that they overcame to become stars. Gose needs to hit for more contact or he will flame out. That’s why he was left off the list.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
4 years 11 months ago

there’s a fairly massive difference between doing it at 20 and at 22. that’s the entire point.

If Gose is still putting up these same numbers in AA 2 years from now, then obviously it is nowhere near as impressive.

I’m sure you can come up with plenty of examples of 22 year olds putting up as good or better numbers as Gose is in AA. It’s finding 20 year olds doing the same thing which is much harder.

A 20 year old who recently put up similar numbers in AA as Gose, for example, is Brett Lawrie, with a .285/.346/.449/.795 line.

Mark
Guest
Mark
4 years 11 months ago

See, I’m kind of torn on Gose. On the one hand, I love the fact he’s walking a lot, and doing a good job getting on base. But I feel like he strikes out way too much for someone who doesn’t hit for that much power (150 ISO). And while BA isn’t the most important stat, he’s basically got a career 260 BA in the minors.

While I wouldn’t normally care about BA, I don’t think it’s a good sign that he’s struggling to hit for such poor contact in the minors. Even guys who struggled to hit for average in the majors, such as Dunn, still hit for solid averages in the minors.

I think Gose has a high ceiling, but until he starts making better contact in the minors I have to think that he’s not that likely to reach it. Of course I recognize he’s 20 in AA, and a 750 OPS out of a CF is pretty solid, but the lack of contact in the minors does seem odd.

I always struggle to evaluate prospects, so while this is my opinion, I’m wondering if you guys think this is fair/unrealistic. I love the walks, but I’m not a huge fan of the overall K:BB. Or the lack of BA, which I interpret as a lack of ability to make good contact.

My expectations for Gose are probably gonna be very low until I see he can improve his contact.

Mookie Wilson
Guest
Mookie Wilson
4 years 11 months ago

Do K’s really matter as much for a player who projects to bat either leadoff or 9th? I would think the BB%, OBP, and SB% would be the main things to consider. Am I wrong?

Mark
Guest
Mark
4 years 11 months ago

I don’t mind K’s so much in the majors but in the minors when players are learning it shows me that a hitter is struggling to make contact. And I would think that guys who don’t hit for that much power shouldn’t be striking out at 22-25% of the time.

If you look at the players who have K% of 25 or higher they either have extremely poor BA, 200+ ISO, or both. So that’s why I thought it was worth bringing up as a concern.

Mookie Wilson
Guest
Mookie Wilson
4 years 11 months ago

Is there a way to look up how many of the strikes against Gose have been taken strikes, as opposed to swinging strikes? Would you feel more comfortable if he was striking out in A-Rod fashion instead of Mark Reynolds Style?

CP3
Guest
CP3
4 years 11 months ago

If I am not mistaken, Heathcott is now out for the rest of the year with a shoulder injury btw. Good prospect, but very injury prone.

TylerTheCreator
Guest
TylerTheCreator
4 years 11 months ago

Troubled guy too. He’s got a lot of Milton Bradley in him.

ddriver80
Guest
ddriver80
4 years 11 months ago

Drew Hutchison better make the list next year.

TtD
Guest
TtD
4 years 11 months ago

The whole Jays list was pretty suspect at the start of the year, favouring hype over actual talent and skillset. Sanchez, Woj, Hech and McGuire were all agressively ranked much higher than they should have been, and even Perez and Drabek were a reach. As is, a lot of those reaches haven’t materialised this year, Sanchez is still a young fireballer with talent but no current control, Woj still lacks any quality beyond his first two pitches, Hech still isn’t hitting though he’s improving slowly. McGuire has been a pleasant surprise to many, and credit where credit is due he’s shown up nicely, but i’d still consider it an aggressive ranking to have him fourth now. Strangely enough, the obvious omissions from this list, Alvarez, Syndergaard, Nicolino, (both who greatly outperformed Sanchez in GCL last year and looked likely to make the jump sooner) Hutchison, all of which were lurking around the 6-12 range pre-season in most lists, have really pushed on this year.

The Jays system as a whole has taken a step forward this year, the gamble rankings on here have taken a step back. While not strictly a correlation, i’d be curious to see if it will have an effect on the way future rankings are approached.

TtD
Guest
TtD
4 years 11 months ago

And should probably add Gose and Marisnick to those that probably should have been top 10 well before the likes of Hech, Woj and Sanchez got consideration. Both had the minors season preceding and upside talent and tools to make a much better case and were ignored due to lack of name value. It was just really an interesting approach to prospect rating that seems to have failed miserably in this case.

prankmunky
Member
prankmunky
4 years 11 months ago

With Zach Stewart being traded to the White Sox, who do you think replaces him as the number 10 prospect for the Jays?

TtD
Guest
TtD
4 years 11 months ago

I’d argue that the entire top 10 will be mixed up.

Your probably looking at something like

1) Lawrie
2) D’Arnaud
3) Alvarez
4) Drabek
5) Gose
6) McGuire
7) Hutchison
8) Marisnick
9) Nicolino
10) Perez??? (still like his upside and he’s adapting now to full season ball)

But the likes of Knecht, Syndergaard, Jiminez, McDade, (Beede, Norris if they sign), maybe even Molina could make a strong arguement for that 10 spot.

SC2GG
Guest
4 years 11 months ago

The Jays system sort of goes slightly above at 1-5 or so, and then there are like 20 more kids in there that all have some case at being in the next group. There are so many high quality players there, it’s why the system is so highly ranked. They need to expand Top 10 :P

Garold
Guest
Garold
4 years 11 months ago

The way Cardona is pitching right now, he might move up the ranks significantly.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
4 years 11 months ago

I’d maybe be even a bit more aggressive with Hutch. I think he might be the #2 pitching prospect in the org right now.

1) Lawrie
2) D’Arnaud
3) Alvarez
4) Hutchison
5) Drabek
6) Gose
7) McGuire
8) Marisnick

With the last 2 spots being dogfight between a number of pitchers (Nicolino, Molina, Carreno, Syndergaard, Beede, Norris), and a number of position players (Sierra, Knecht, Crouse, Jimenez, Perez, Hech).

Not much separating the #9-20 prospects in my mind, really.

Adam Morin
Guest
Adam Morin
4 years 11 months ago

How do you write an article on AL East prospects and not say a word on Brett Lawrie? Did you do any homework?

Ben
Guest
Ben
4 years 11 months ago

Pretty sure the list that he’s reviewing came out before the Lawrie to the Jays trade.

eric
Guest
eric
4 years 11 months ago

did anyone read the first word on the title? holy jesus.

Someone Who Can Read
Guest
Someone Who Can Read
4 years 11 months ago

If you look at the actual list, Brett Lawrie is actually positioned at the #2 spot. However, he wasn’t mentioned in the writeup below the list.

“holy jesus” indeed.

Garold
Guest
Garold
4 years 11 months ago

Yeah, it really seems like to avoid confusion for people who can’t read, Marc should do an update to the rankings instead of a review.

Matt C
Guest
Matt C
4 years 11 months ago

no Bryce Brentz mention?? scouts are raving about him he’ll be #1 or 2 in sox system with middlebrooks next year in my opinion. also hutchison is a stud should be top 5 in jays next year.

AK
Guest
AK
4 years 11 months ago

Thinking O’s next season is…

1. Mnny Machado
2. Dylan Bundy
3. Johnathan Schoop
4. L.J. Hoes
5. Bobby Bundy
6. Xavier Avery
7. Dan Klein
8. Parker Bridwell
9. Tyler Townsend
10. Jason Esposito

Gregory
Guest
Gregory
4 years 11 months ago

Is it “offence” in Canada but still “defense”?

sometimes
Guest
sometimes
4 years 11 months ago

Looks like some solid prognosticating on the Orioles due to the inclusion of Schoop and Bundy. IIRC, Schoop wasn’t on many top 10s either, despite his solid OBP skills. Unless they are traded, I’m sure both will flame out in Norfolk…

everdiso
Member
everdiso
4 years 11 months ago

But Marc, are you really saying Lawrie’s prospect outlook hasn’t changed much from being a solid but not spectacular 20 year old hitter in AA to one of the best hitters in the minor leagues as a 21 year old in AAA?

ddriver80
Guest
ddriver80
4 years 11 months ago

PCL

everdiso
Member
everdiso
4 years 11 months ago

better than anyone else in the PCL.

James
Guest
James
4 years 11 months ago

So what? Does that mean Cody Ransom is better than everyone else not named Lawrie in the PCL.

everdiso
Member
everdiso
4 years 11 months ago

really, you’re bringing up AAAA veterans to discuss the merits of a 21 year old top prospect’s performance?

You dismiss all AAA numbers for prospects because AAA is full of veterans putting up good numbers? really?

ServiteLegend
Guest
ServiteLegend
4 years 11 months ago

Dan Klein should be the best Orioles prospect. He went my f****** high school!

Jacob
Guest
Jacob
4 years 11 months ago

Good to see everyone’s eating out of the palm of Keith Law’s hand regarding Rice University pitchers

mweri145
Guest
mweri145
4 years 11 months ago

LAVARNWAY!

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