Top 15 Prospects Lists… Another Teaser

Earlier this week we published our first Top 15 prospects list teaser with player profiles on Washington Nationals’ Matt Skole, Los Angeles Angels’ Chevez Clarke, and San Francisco Giants’ Jesus Galindo. Today you receive another three prospect reports on some players that I really like – and feel could be valuable big league players – but they fell short of their teams’ Top 15 prospects lists.

We’re also offering a challenge today. Below, you’ll find a direct quote from a professional scout that I talked with about an Arizona Diamondbacks Top 15 prospect. The first person to correctly identify that prospect will win bragging rights.

Scout Quote: “[Player X] was a polished high school hitter. He had power to all fields, but had the advanced look of a hitter. Since he signed, he has not disappointed in his production in the minor leagues. He is continuing to improve in all aspects and his make up is second to none.”

Let’s hear your guesses!

And now onto the prospect profiles…

  • Minnesota Twins: Brian Dozier, INF
    BORN: May 15, 1987
    EXPERIENCE: 3 seasons (Reached AA in ’11)
    ACQUIRED: 2009 8th round (U of Southern Mississippi)
    2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Off the list

    SCOUTING REPORT: Dozier doesn’t have any one standout tool or skill but if you talk prospects with people in and around the Twins organization his name comes up again and again. He does a little bit of everything with the bat. Defensively, Dozier doesn’t have the best range at shortstop but he has good hands and when he gets to the ball he makes the play. He can also man both second and third base competently.

    YEAR IN REVIEW: The infielder made short work of his 2011 opening assigning to high-A and was promoted to double-A after just 49 games. At the senior level he hit .318/.384/.502 in 311 at-bats. On the downside, he benefited from a BABIP of .357. Dozier showed some pop with an ISO rate of .183 and he struck out just 13% of the time. On the season, he nabbed 24 bases and hit 12 triples, but his speed is just average; he’s a smart base runner.

    YEAR AHEAD: Dozier has a lot of supporters in the organization and he’s a cheap asset with the ability to play multiple roles on a big league ball club. His lack of arm strength will keep him from playing every day on the left side of the infield, but he could start to shed the ‘future utility player’ label with a strong showing in triple-A. Truth be told, he might be ready for the Majors already but the club may not want him to spend the ’12 season riding the pine.

    CAREER OUTLOOK: If Dozier’s power increase in 2011 was for real he could eventually see time as an everyday second baseman. The job is by no means locked up in Minnesota so look for Dozier to receive a strong look in spring training, as he’s likely to be added to the 40-man roster in November to protect him against the Rule 5 draft. I wouldn’t be shocked if Dozier ended up accumulating more career WAR than the higher-profile Trevor Plouffe or Chris Parmelee.

  • Arizona Diamondbacks: Adam Eaton, OF
    BORN: Dec. 6, 1988
    EXPERIENCE: 2 seasons (AA)
    ACQUIRED: 2010 19th round (U Miami, Ohio)
    2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Off the list

    SCOUTING REPORT: I have to be honest and admit that Eaton is one of my favorite prospects in all of baseball. With that said, he’s more of a fourth outfielder or platoon player. He’s an undersized hitter that understands his strengths and isn’t afraid to do the little things – like getting plunked or giving himself up – to impact the game for his team. Eaton has above-average speed that he uses well both on the bases and in the outfield. His power output is below average but he does showcase some gap power to all fields.

    YEAR IN REVIEW: Eaton split the 2011 season almost evenly between high-A and double-A. After his promotion, he hit .302/.409/.429 in 212 at-bats. He does a nice job of getting on base anyway that he can (11.8 BB%, 9 HBP). His power has dipped with each move up the chain, from .190 to .160 to .127 ISO. Eaton stole 34 bases between high-A and double-A in 2011. He also performed quite well in the Arizona Fall League after the minor league season ended.

    YEAR AHEAD: The sparkplug has yet to hit below .300 in a season but he’s always maintained high BABIP rates – which is less concerning for a player with his speed. He should open 2012 in triple-A but doesn’t have much else to prove at the minor league level, other than better numbers against southpaws (.263 average vs .337 against RHPs). Eaton is a superior prospect to Collin Cowgill and may even be a better player than current left fielder Gerardo Parra.

    CAREER OUTLOOK: Eaton will endeavor to become to second big league player named ‘Adam Eaton‘ and it could happen as early as mid-2012 depending on the health of Arizona’s Major League outfield. He’ll probably never be a star but he could carve out a prolonged career as a role player.

  • Baltimore Orioles: Greg Miclat, INF
    BORN: July 23, 1987
    EXPERIENCE: 4 season (AA)
    ACQUIRED: 2008 5th round (U of Virginia)
    2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Off

    SCOUTING REPORT: Miclat is your typical utility-player-in-training. He has experience at both second base and shortstop and really should spend some time at the hot corner or even left field in 2012 to help pad his resume. His arm is a little short to play everyday on the left side of the infield. Offensively, he lacks pop and is more of a slap/spray hitter, who uses his slightly-above-average speed to his advantage.

    YEAR IN REVIEW: After spending much of his career at shortstop, Miclat spent the majority of 2011 at second base and he showed some rough edges (18 errors). He struck out too much (19%) for a guy with no power (.067) but also took more than his fair share of walks (11%). He took excellent advantage of his solid speed and base running instincts by nabbing 50 bases in 53 tries.

    YEAR AHEAD: Baltimore has a lot of work to do to improve the on-field product at the big league level. The organization could save some coin by giving a bench role to Miclat. If by some reason his addition to the 40-man roster gets lost in the front office shuffle this off-season, expect him to be grabbed by another organization that falls in love with his versatility and hustle. At worst, Miclat should expect to spend time in triple-A while awaiting an inevitable injury to a middle infielder.

    CAREER OUTLOOK: Like the other two players profiled in this post, Miclat is probably a long-term role player but his skills would be undeniably useful to a big league club. If the infielder can get a little stronger and improve his gap power, he’ll be that much more valuable to his future big league employer.




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    Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospect analysis. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

    14 Responses to “Top 15 Prospects Lists… Another Teaser”

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    1. CreativeMace says:

      Is Player X = Bobby Borchering?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    2. Brad Johnson says:

      I legitimately have no good guesses for your challenge, that doesn’t seem to describe any DBacks prospect I know. Of course, I don’t follow the D-Backs system closely which probably explains that.

      Chris Owings is my shot in the dark guess.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    3. ctsc says:

      If its not those two then Matt Davidson?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    4. Luke says:

      Colin Cowgill

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    5. Choo says:

      David Nick?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    6. Andrew says:

      I would think it HAS to be Matt Davidson. Davidson’s consistently hit well at all levels where Borchering has had his ups and downs.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    7. Marc Hulet says:

      We have a winner! ctsc! It is Matt Davidson.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    8. SouthPawRyno says:

      How does AJ Pollock compare to his fellow prospect Adam Eaton?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    9. Dan says:

      Better defender in CF (everyday-caliber), better hitter for contact, less walk/HBP-prone, better base-stealer, similar power. Pollock significantly better.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

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