Some Catch-Up, and Pre-draft Top 30 Prospects June 4, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in 2008 MLB Draft, Top 30 Prospects.
Hey all–I’ve been really busy the last phew weeks, but as of Thursday I will be back to daily blogging (yay!) until my vacation. For now, before the draft tomorrow I just wanted to post some things.
On John Sickels’s blog, Minor League Ball, Keith Collins and I represented the Yankees on the mock draft. Our picks 1st, 1st supplemental, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th round picks are linked. Analysis from Mike A. of RAB and Eric Schultz of Pending Pinstripes can be found here and here. I’ll explain the picks on Thursday, and compare them with the real draft.
Now on to more in-depth stuff. Before the draft, I’d like to put up the top organizational prospects with their prospect grades. Please not Joba Chamberlain will not be ranked because he has 50 major league IP. A reminder on grades: Grades are an overall measure of everything–tools, youth, ceiling, likeliness to reach ceiling, projectability, and health. So some guys you may like may not receive a particularly high grade only because they are too raw or too far away.
- Jesus Montero, C, A: I don’t think there’s much dispute here. He’s cooled off a bit since his torrid start but he’ been hitting doubles everywhere, and has mixed a solid amount of home runs. As he grows look for some of those doubles to go over the fence. Grade: A-/A
- Austin Jackson, OF, AA: He’s been heating up recently, with two 7-RBI games in a week at one point. He continues to flash the five tools, and he should be a very good Major Leaguer. Grade: B+/A-
- Mark Melancon, RHR, AA: Seems like the rust of TJ rehab has worn away. His fastball is in the mid-90s and his curveball is just nasty. He’s the future closer and I just can’t wait to have him up here for this year. Grade: B+/A-
- Zach McAllister, RHS, A+: Lights-out start to the year at Charleston, earning a promotion to Tampa. He is learning to hone his stuff, and would make a solid #2/#3 guy in the majors. Grade: B+
- Dellin Betances, RHS, A: I don’t think there’s much to the shoulder injury. He’s pitched the most innings he’s ever had this year, and this may just be a way to control the innings on the year, similar to Phil Hughes’s “shoulder injury” in 2006. There’s a lot to love, and he can be an ace with his stuff if he could control it. Grade: B+
- Alan Horne, RHS, AAA: He hasn’t pitched much this year due to injury, but he was lights out in spring training and in his first start (or was it two?) before the injury. He should prove enough to contribute to the big league club soon. Grade: B+
- J.B. Cox, RHR, AAA: Like Melancon, the TJ rust has also worn off. He’s getting more groundballs than ever, but he’s not striking out enough people (12 in 23IP). Despite the AAA stats saying otherwise, he isn’t MLB ready until he gets his K’s roughly up to what they were before (60 in 77IP) in 2006. Grade: B
- Andrew Brackman, RHP, 60-day DL: He won’t pitch this year, but his ceiling and stuff are so tantalizing that he is definitely a Top 10 guy. Grade: B
- Ross Ohlendorf, RHR, MLB: His stats aren’t pretty, but he’s been criminally misused by Joe Girardi. He’s a 1-inning set-up man, and when he gets to that, he should excel. Grade: B
- Dan McCutchen, RHS, AAA: If he would’ve kept up his AA performance at AAA, then he would be higher. He has great stuff and all, but you have to wonder if his AAA struggles are foreboding of something. Grade: B
- David Robertson, RHR, AAA: He’s had a phenomenal year at both AA and AAA, using that sick curveball and good fastball. But he needs to cut down on the walks. Grade: B-/B
- Jose Tabata, OF, AA: I’ve soured on this guy a lot. He has shown no power, the plate discipline isn’t there, and he isn’t even making solid contact. He doesn’t have beyond next year to turn things around, and I’m not as sure anymore if he will. Grade: B-/B
- Humberto Sanchez, RHR, 60-day DL: I can’t wait forever for this guy. He should be starting rehab this month, and could be in the majors by next year. He has great stuff, but he actually needs to get on the mound. Grade: B-/B
- Brett Gardner, OF, AAA: He’s finally showing power at AAA with which he keeps pitchers honest. He’s still doing his trademark thing–stealing bases and extending hits–and is a solid catalyst for the Scranton lineup. I’m increasingly inclined to think that he can be a capable Major League starter in the OF. Grade: B-/B
- Abe Almonte, OF, A: At 19, he is flashing his five-tool skill set, and once he breaks out (he’s doing a real nice job already), people will realize his All-Star potential. Grade: B-
- Jairo Heredia, RHS, A: Boy this Charleston team is stacked. Anyway, Heredia has been very good this season, every bit as has been expected, but went down with an upper body injury earlier this year. He should be a solid mid-rotation starter at least, and there’s a lot to like in his fastball/curve/changeup combo. Keep in mind he’s only 17. Let’s hope it’s not related to his arm. Grade: B-
- Eric Duncan, 1B, AAA: Hopefully the last two hot streaks are a good sign. Duncan’s batting average is higher than it’s been in four years, and he’s showing power like he used to. If he could come back, this would be a great feel-good story. I think this year is his break-out year. Probably playing with a chip on his shoulder after not being protected from the Rule 5 draft. Grade: B-
- Carmen Angelini, SS, A: Angelini hasn’t started the year well, but is picking it up a bit. He has a very high ceiling, and I’m still very high on him and still view him as Jeter’s successor at short (when he’s ready). Grade: B-
- Austin Romine, C, A: The other, less-heralded but solid catcher at Charleston. Romine has cooled off since his torrid start (and since coming back from the DL) but he is doing very well in his own right, particularly considering he is. Grade: B-
- Chris Garcia, RHS, A+: He’s been shaky the last two starts after a stellar debut, but his return from TJ is coming along nicely. He has some of the best stuff in the minors, and he would be a top prospect if only he could stay healthy. Rule 5 eligible this year, so it’s make-or-break for him. Grade: B-
- Bradley Suttle, 3B/DH, A: He seems to have recovered from the winter ball disaster quite nicely. He’s hitting well but has been out of action a lot this season. He’s a solid hitter who projects for average power at least, and he can be a valuable piece in either trade or as a prospect for the organization. Hopefully he finishes the year strong. Grade: C+/B-
- Kevin Whelna, RHP, A+: He’s been doing well since returning from shoulder issues, except for the 5-walk outing recently. If only he could find the plate, he would be a solid, shut-down back-end of the bullpen guy. But, being relatively new to pitching, that may not happen for a while. Grade: C+
- Francisco Cervelli, C, AA: Cervelli would probably be in the big leagues right now out of necessity and not necessarily results. He has things to prove still–whether he can hold up solid stats throughout the season, and if he has any power–but his development has been slowed to a screeching halt by the wrist injury, which has taken forever to heal. The year is likely lost for him in terms of development, but his defensive prowess may be just enough to keep him on the 40-man when he’s Rule 5 eligible. Grade: C+
- Justin Snyder, 2B-SS-OF, A+: Snyder is proving last year was no fluke, hitting for a solid batting average, though taking less walks. He is seemingly always in a hot or cold streak. His inconsistency and scary (in a bad way) glove make him a supersub at best. Grade: C+
- Ryan Pope, RHP, A+: After a promising year last year, this year hasn’t been as kind to Pope. He’s done well but he’s been inconsistent from outing-to-outing. He profiles as a back of the rotation starter, and increasingly looks like a future Carlos Silva. Grade: C+
- Colin Curtis, OF, AA: The least heralded of the AA outfielders, but a solid performer in his own right. He hits for average well and walks enough, but his power is what keeps him back from being a potential ML starter. He will likely make a nice fourth OF, though. Grade: C+
- Jeff Marquez, RHS, AAA: His stocked as dipped pretty badly. He has no command of his pitches, leaving them high in the zone, and he doesn’t have enough stuff period, let alone for doing that. He’s working on a curve and slider, but last year’s smoke and mirrors are finally starting to crack. He can still be a back-end starter or middle reliever, though, but likely somewhere else. Grade: C
- Mike Dunn, LHS, A+: Still relatively new to pitching, he’s building on his low-90’s fastball and curve, but he’s still raw and command is a problem to correct. Grade: C
- Juan Miranda, 1B/DH: It seems as if Miranda is more like the guy at Trenton (4HRs) than the guy at Tampa (9HRs), and at 27 there’s not much hope that he can learn to hit lefties. A recurring shoulder injury has sapped him from his power, and I don’t see how he makes the bigs this year (and if he won’t this year, when?). I don’t think he’ll have a starting role on the ML level, but he might somewhere else. Grade: C
- Kevin DeLeon, OF, GCL: Reports from his signing last year place comps at about a Melky Cabrera skill set. Hopefully he can improve on that, but if not we have ourselves a fringe starter/4th OF. Grade: Inc.