Results tagged ‘ jason heyward ’

So, what did everyone think?

Now that the show is a part of broadcasting history, tell me what you thought. I see some things on Twitter and some stuff in comments and I’ll try to respond to some things over time (there might be a chat in the works for later on, but we’ll see), but I need more validation from folks. So leave some comments here to make me feel better.

You can check out my breakdown of the Top 50 list. You can check out the complete list, all with cool video. You can email in your own Top 10 list (not just bloggers here, but fans, too, should chime in). You can even watch the entire show if you need to catch it again or (gasp) missed it the first time.

Things to address:

1. Heyward vs. Strasburg at the top: Did you think Stras should’ve been No. 1. I think an argument could be made for either, but I see a lot of support for Heyward out there (though in early fan voting, noted above, Stras was getting a bunch of No. 1 votes). It’ll be interesting to see what some of the other experts have to say out there.

2. Jesus Montero: This seems to be the one getting people the most riled up. I knew it was coming. Good split in the comments on the story about where he is. I could see him moving up some, but it’s the defense that kept him lower in some scouts’ minds. Thoughts on Montero are welcome here.

3. Aroldis Chapman. For the record, if you didn’t watch the show when I explained it. When I finalized the list, he hadn’t yet signed and I don’t consider players who aren’t yet with an MLB organization. If I did, I’d have to start considering amateur talent from college or high school ranks before they even are drafted and that’s not something I’ll do.

3. The obvious who is/isn’t on the list — who do you think should’ve made it, who you think shouldn’t have been on there at all. And remember, this is a prospect list, not a good players in the Minors list. There’s a difference.

4. What did you think of the shirt? Wish you could’ve seen all of the tie. Had purple in it, which made the shirt work even better. I think I pulled it off. Did you?

Believe it or not, I did not get to everyone who had graciously sent in guest prospect rankings. So I’ll keep them going the next couple days. Tonight, before I sign off and get some rest, I give you the Top 20 from Seth Stohs. You can catch his work on SethSpeaks.net and follow him on Twitter @SethTweets. Guy knows a ton about the Twins farm system. You can find out just how much if you go to his site (or straight to this link) and pre-order his Twins 2010 Prospect Handbook.

Anyway, looks like Seth knows a thing or two about prospects in all organizations. Some interesting names on his list.

1.) Jason Heyward – OF – Atlanta Braves
2.) Brian Matusz – LHP – Baltimore
Orioles
3.) Stephen Strasburg – RHP – Washington Nationals
4.) Aroldis
Chapman – LHP – Cincinnati Reds
5.) Jesus Montero – C – New York
Yankees
6.) Jeremy Hellickson – RHP – Tampa Bay Rays
7.) Buster Posey – C
– San Francisco Giants
8.) Carlos Santana – C – Cleveland Indians
9.)
Madison Bumgarner – RHP – San Francisco Giants
10.) Pedro Alvarez – 3B -
Pittsburgh Pirates
11.) Neftali Feliz – RHP – Texas Rangers
12.)
Dustin Ackley – 2B – Seattle Mariners
13.) Domonic Brown – OF – Philadelphia
Phillies
14.) Aaron Hicks – OF – Minnesota Twins
15.) Justin Smoak – 1B
– Texas Rangers
16.) Starlin Castro – SS – Chicago Cubs
17.) Mike Stanton
– OF – Florida Marlins
18.) Derek Norris – C – Washington Nationals
19.)
Jaff Decker – OF – San Diego Padres
20.) Josh Bell – 3B – Baltimore
Orioles

Top 50 Preview: Guest rankings No.5

I might have to double up tomorrow to get all these in.

At any rate, here’s the latest guest ranker. It comes from an old friend on the Minor League journey I’ve taken the past few years… and he was kind enough to provide some text for me to throw in here:

The Hot Corner is in it’s third season covering the Texas League. The
weekly show can be found on every clubs website as well as the league site
and on Tuesday’s on your home milb.com. The big news this year is that The Hot
Corner takes to the airwaves broadcasting on radio stations around the Texas
League every Sunday one hour before each team’s pre-game show.
He can be followed at @daveabarr  (website and new twitter address coming
soon). Now here’s his list
1) Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta Braves
2) Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Washington Nationals
3) Brian Matusz, LHP, Baltimore Orioles
4) Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants
5) Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates
6) Neftali Feliz, RHP, Teas Rangers
7) Carlos Santana, C, Cleveland Indians
8) Justin Smoak, 1B, Texas Rangers
9) Jesus Montero, C, New York Yankees
10) Desmond Jennings, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
11) Mike Stanton, OF, Florida Marlins
12) Madison Bumgarner, LHP, San Francisco Giants
13) Dustin Ackley, OF, Seattle Mariners 
14) Dominic Brown, OF, Philadelphia Phillies
15) Alcides Escobar, SS, Milwaukee Brewers
16) Chris Carter, 1B, Oakland A’s
17) Christian Friedrich, LHP, Colorado Rockies
18) Casey Kelly, RHP, Boston Red Sox
19) Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
20) Martin Perez, LHP, Texas Rangers

Another vote for Heyward at the top. When this is done, I’ll combine all the guest rankings into a master list to provide some consensus among all who have sent them in. And don’t forget, the big Top 50 Show is on the MLB Network on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET. Don’t believe me? Well, check out the official release on the show!

Top 50 Preview: Guest rankings No. 4

Had I known this would be so popular, I would’ve started this earlier. Live and learn.

Got a few more entries to post here. Tonight’s comes from Daniel Moroz. He runs a blog called Camden Crazies, which I first thought was a site about depressed cities in southern New Jersey. But then I realized it was actually about the Orioles. Check out his site and follow him on Twitter @CamdenCrazies.

Here’s his list, with a nice little editorial note at the top:

01. Jason Heyward (Very easy call over Strasburg – for me, at least)
02.
Stephen Strasburg
03. Desmond Jennings
04. Carlos Santana
05. Mike
Stanton
06. Buster Posey
07. Jesus Montero
08. Pedro Alvarez
09.
Neftali Feliz
10. Justin Smoak
11. Dustin Ackley
12. Brian
Matusz
13. Aroldis Chapman
14. Chris Carter
15. Madison
Bumgarner
16. Martin Perez
17. Wade Davis
18. Jeremy Hellickson
19.
Domonic Brown
20. Fernando Martinez
21. Alcides Escobar
22. Michael
Taylor
23. Brett Wallace
24. Casey Kelly
25. Starlin Castro

Interesting list, as they all have been. I’ve been loving the comments people have been leaving. Keep it up! That’s what this is all about!

Don’t forget, my Top 50 prospect list will be unveiled on the MLB Network on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET. I’ll also be making an appearance on the Hot Stove show tomorrow (Monday) evening to preview Wednesday’s hour-long extravaganza. OK, time to turn in, early flight tomorrow…I’ll be back at some point to post another guest ranking.

Top 50 Preview: Guest Rankings No. 3

Editor’s Note: I originally posted this with Luke’s wrong Top 30. Corrected version is below. Also, be sure to follow him on Twitter @LukeGude

I don’t know if it’s the fun of putting together a top prospect list or the ability to get a free plug, but I’ve been getting more top prospect rankings from people over the last couple of days. Great stuff.

Today, we’ll go to paradise — Prospects Paradise, that is. That’s the site run by Luke Gude, and he’s today’s guest ranker. Let’s take a look at his Top 30, shall we?
1. Jason Heyward
2. Stephen Strasburg
3. Desmond Jennings
4. Brian Matusz
5. Carlos Santana
6. Buster Posey
7. Jesus Montero
8. Justin Smoak
9. Dustin Ackley
10. Pedro Alvarez
11. Neftali Feliz
12. Mike Montgomery
13. Mike Stanton
14. Alcides Escobar
15. Wade Davis
16. Tyler Matzek
17. Michael Taylor
18. Casey Kelly
19. Martin Perez
20. Starlin Castro
21. Yonder Alonso
22. Domonic Brown
23. Brett Wallace
24. Jeremy Hellickson
25. Jaff Decker
26. Aaron Hicks
27. Kyle Drabek
28. Jhoulys Chacin
29. Ryan Westmoreland
30. Fernando Martinez

The commenter who mentioned Decker recently might like this list better… Good stuff. Keep ‘em coming. Just email me with your rankings and I’ll try to get them up before my Top 50 list is revealed on the MLB Network on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET. Be sure to include the link to your site, as well as to a Twitter account if you’ve got one.
I love seeing how many people are out there following prospects and the Minor Leagues. It does the heart good.

One more on Player of the Year

Last one, I promise. But I couldn’t resist based on the comments left here from yesterday’s post. In case you didn’t see it, someone (Christian G., I’m guessing by the username) wrote this:

My reading comprehension skills may have failed me. I was unaware
that your “POY” excluded a players actual prospect status (re:
Clemens). I was also unaware that your “POY” award excluded defensive
contributions (re: Carter vs Jennings, one guy is is destined for 1b/DH
while the other is a plus CF’er.) So if you’re looking for offensive
stats, and prospect status is eliminated, these guys belong in the
conversation:

Mitch Jones
Randy Ruiz
Kyle Russell
Drew Locke

I love it when someone goes to an extreme to make a point. But I’m calling this out for a few reasons, partially because of the absurdity and partially because there’s a valid point in there. Let’s start with the absurd.

Now, I’ll admit I purposefully put Koby Clemens on the “candidate” list in the hopes of getting a response. As I’ve said, I can be fairly confident in telling you he won’t be the Player of the Year. Yes, he played in Lancaster. Yes, he played in the California League. Yes his K/BB rate is a little concerning. But to compare a 22-year-old to Mitch Jones (31 in AAA, hit .297/.400/.651) or Randy Ruiz (hit .320/.351/.531 at age 31 in AAA) in terms of non-prospectness is just silly. I’m not saying Clemens is a big prospect now; all I’m claiming is that it’s now worth watching to see what he does next year. It’s also worth mentioning that it was Clemens’ first try at that level, as opposed to the 30-somethings above who have spent multiple years in Triple-A.

Kyle Russell’s numbers don’t even come close to Clemens’s, I don’t think. And since he’s actually older than Clemens and played a level lower, he shouldn’t even been mentioned. Hurts your argument. Locke’s numbers are indeed pretty good (.323/.389/.531). At 25 in Double-A, he’s not a prospect, but he’s a better example for you to use in your debating the issue. Still, he’s 3 years older than Clemens.

OK, enough on Clemens. He’s just an interesting side discussion when you really think about it. I think the better point made by the commenter is about how defense should figure into any discussion about Player of the Year talk, whether you’re thinking prospect or not.

I’ll be the first to admit that discussions we have about this do lean heavily toward offensive performance. Much of that is out of necessity. It’s a lot easier to look at a player’s numbers at the plate on paper than evaluate defense. We don’t get to see most of these guys with any consistency, so any look at defense would have to rely on what others see. Thanks to another commenter to including a link to ProjectProspect’s scouting report on Chris Carter. They do good work over there.

Keep in mind, though, that that report is just one scout’s perspective. And if I’ve learned anything, it’s that two scouts can see the same player and see different things. Yes, he still strikes out a bit. But his K rate went down and his BB rate went up this year, all while he moved up a level and faced presumably better pitching overall. I’ve had people tell me that he’s made many more adjustments than people thought he could and he has the chance to be more than just a three true outcome kind of guy.

The report also only touches briefly on his defense, saying he’ll be limited to 1B/DH, as the first commenter believed as well. That very well may be true. But I have to throw out there that there are those who felt he looked fairly comfortable in a corner outfield spot. He’s never going to be a gold glover, but I wouldn’t peg him as a liability just yet.

Defensive stats in the Minors aren’t all that available, so I can only throw out what I can find. Range Factor for a first baseman isn’t all that telling, but I’ll use it as one example. There were 24 first basemen (thanks to our stats guru Cory Schwartz for the info) who played 100 games or more at the position at one level. Carter’s 9.65 RF in Double-A put him 13th. Not great, but not terrible. Firmly middle of the road (In 7 Triple-A games at first, he had a 10.16 RF — meaningless stat for you). His RF for the season was 9.68, keeping him in that same overall place.

Some claim that assists are a better indicator for a first baseman’s range. Carter doesn’t fare as well there. His assists per game ratio in Double-A was 21st among those 24 first basemen. Obviously, this isn’t weighting anything toward league or level or if a player’s pitching staff was more groundball or flyball oriented, so take it for what it’s worth.

Then there’s Jennings, a “plus CFer,” according to our commenter. Jennings played 113 total games across two levels in center field. There were a total of 31 players who played 100 games or more at that position in 2009. Again using the less than perfect range factor, Jennings’s 2.83 combined puts him 7th. Now, obviously, a center fielder ranking that highly gives more value to a team than a 1B, especially one who’s middle of the road. So score one for Mr. commenter. (By the way, it might make a good case for Jason Heyward, who — without doing the math — seemed to do well at all three outfield positions in 2009).

But here’s the thing, and the question I throw to you. What does all of this mean? Is Range Factor a worthwhile enough index to measure a Minor Leaguer? I like the idea of including defense in this discussion, I’m just not sure how to do it since we don’t have the same kind of data we’ve grown to trust more on the hitting side.

Of course, as I’m looking at our Awards page from last year, I’m remembering (or being reminded) that we call the award Best Overall Hitter. So for the purposes of deciding that, this long, drawn out blog post is moot. But for us and this debate, we can consider it.

So comment away if you’d like. Tomorrow I’ll get to pitchers, I promise and we can come back to this conversation if necessary.

Player of the Year Reaction

Before I get to the best choices for Minor League Pitcher of the Year tomorrow, I want to take a second to respond to the comments for my Player of the Year post. First, what’s with both commenters starting with “Uhh?” Is it so hard to gather your thoughts that you have to use a filler while writing. Come on people!

Now, on to the content. First of all, I want to remind everyone that when we hand out our awards, it’s for “Player of the Year” and not necessarily “Prospect of the Year.” Yes, age at a level and upside sometimes does figure into the discussion, but unlike other places (and this is not meant as a condemnation of them at all, just point out that we do things a bit differently here), prospect status isn’t the be-all end all.

So, you won’t get an argument from me that Jason Heyward is the best prospect in the game right now. In fact, he was atop the list we posted in July. And don’t get me wrong, he had an outstanding season, even getting up to Triple-A and playing most of the year at age 19. But, if looking at best player, does his .323, 17 HR, 63 RBIs to go along with a .408 OBP and .555 SLG. Yes, he missed some time, but I have to say just from a numbers perspective (and remember, this is my opinion and not the site’s — that discussion has yet to take place), he’s not the PLAYER of the year.

You can ridicule Clemens being on the list of candidates all you want. Yes, he was in Lancaster and the California League. I’m pretty sure that will mean he won’t get the award. That being said, I don’t care what level you’re in, when you finish fourth in average, 1st in RBIs and in the top three of a few other offensive categories, you need at least to be mentioned. And he’s still only 22, so it’s not like he’s old for the level. Sure, he needs to prove he can do it at higher levels, but for this topic, he belongs in the conversation.

Let’s compare 2 players, looking at stats and levels and not where they are on that overall leaderboard or among their respective league leaders

Player A:  22 years old, played in Double-A Texas League and Triple-A PCL
Double-A: .337, 24 HR, 101 RBI, 13 SB, .435 OBP, .576 SLG, 1.011 OPS in 490 AB
Triple-A: .259, 4 HR, 14 RBI, .293 OBP, .519 SLG, .812 OPS in 54 AB
Totals: .329, 28 HR, 115 RBI, 13 SB, .422 OBP, .570 SLG, .992 OPS

Player B: 22 years old, layed in Double-A Southern League and Triple-A IL
Double-A: .316, 8 HR, 45 RBI, 37 SB, .395 OBP, .486 SLG, .881 OPS in 383 AB
Triple-A: .325, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 15 SB, .419 OBP, .491 SLG, .910 OPS in 114 AB
Totals: .318, 11 HR, 62 RBI, 52 SB, .401 OBP, .487 SLG, .888 OPS in 497 AB

OK, what’s your take here? Here’s what I see. While it’s obvious we’re looking at two different kinds of players here, Player A beats Player B in every category other than stolen bases. Player B did have more success upon his promotion to Triple-A, though I’d maintain Player A’s sample size at that level is too small and it could be noted that Player A homered four times in seven playoff games in the PCL.

Player A is Chris Carter. Player B is Desmond Jennings, the pick by one of the commenters. Again, I love Jennings and think he’s a tremendous prospect. But to me, Carter wins that argument hands down.

Keep the comments coming. It makes for a fun debate.

Scouting the Top 50: The big finale

At long last, the final four Top 50 scouting reports. Hope you’ve enjoyed them. Stay tuned for some draft stuff in the coming week, particularly regarding the the Urban Youth Academy Showcase that they squeezed in around some rain in LA on Sunday. But more on that later. Now on to those final reports…

4. Rick Porcello, RHP, Tigers
rick_porcello.jpgSeen: April (Florida State League)

Fastball: 88-95 mph
Curveball: 78-80 mph
Changeup: 77-81 mph

Very advanced feel for pitching, polished on the mound. Excellent command of sinking fastball that darts, uses both halves of plate. A little quick with delivery, release point on curve was inconsistent, doesn’t throw consistent strikes. Does spin it well. Shows plus change at times. Secondary stuff will get there to make him a No. 1 or 2 starter, but shouldn’t be rushed.

3. Jason Heyward, OF, Braves
jason_heyward.jpgSeen: June (South Atlantic League)

Hits ball hard to all fields with short, easy stroke. Can go with pitch. Sometimes can look bad an unorthodox, other times looks better than most at plate. Small dive-in on approach leads to hole inside, but adjusts, can open and turn to get hands in. Makes things look easy in right field.

2. Matt Wieters, C, Orioles
matt_wieters.jpgSeen: November (Arizona Fall League)

Expect above-average to plus power. Swing is better from left side. Shows more power right-handed. Terrific eye at plate, will take a walk, doesn’t strike out much. Low-key demeanor, does job quietly, doesn’t waste energy. Plus throwing arm, receiving skills overall not as strong. Easy to see him as a Major League regular.

1. David Price, LHP, Rays
david_price.jpgSeen: July (Southern League)

Fastball: 92-95 mph
Slider: 81-85 mph
Changeup: 84-86 mph

Lanky frame. Loose arm action, small recoil on finish. Works fast, can throw strikes with all three pitches. Sinker/slider approach, relies on slider too much. Can move fastball with sink and tail in and out. Slider is short and hard, occasional bite, Sink on changeup as well.

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