Results tagged ‘ Top 50 prospects ’

Bernadina goes deep! Chiefs win it in bottom of 9th. More on tap…

Lehigh Valley had taken a 7-6 lead in the top of the ninth, but Roger Bernadina hit one out in the bottom of the frame to tie it back up. Pete Orr drove in Kevin Mench to win it for Syracuse and pick up the first walk-off of the Minor League season.

This game will eventually come to an end, so I’m sure you’re wondering where else to turn for MiLB entertainment tonight. You really can’t go wrong, but I have to say the matchup of the day has to be…

Durham at Nofolk

Not only is this game on MiLB Gameday Audio, it’s got a great pitching matchup. You’ve got No. 20 prospect Jeremy Hellickson for Durham against fine  young right-hander (and one-time top prospect)  Chris Tillman. That game starts at 7:15 p.m.

There are some other fantastic International League games. How about:

  • No. 8 Pedro Alvarez and No. 11 Carlos Santana in the same game? Indianapolis at Columbus starts at 7:05 p.m. and you can watch it if you get MiLB.TV (which you should).
  • Buffalo at Scranton, 7 p.m. It’s also on MiLB.TV, where you can watch No. 19 Jesus Montero swing the stick.
  • Louisville at Toledo. That game’s on right now. No “huge” names today, but still, minors on TV, folks.

Speaking of pitching (I did up above, stay with me), how about this sampling for fine 2010 debuts (all times ET):

  • No. 17 Kyle Drabek making his Jays debut for Double-A New Hampshire at New Britain. Start time is 6:05 p.m. and can be heard on Gameday Audio
  • No. 42 Jacob Turner, a 2009 first-rounder, makes his professional debut for the Tigers with West Michigan in Lake County. 6:30 start time.
  • No. 41 Aaron Crow, also a 2009 first-rounder, makes his official debut for the Royals in Double-A as NW Arkansas hosts San Antonio. 7 p.m. on Gameday Audio
  • No. 34 Julio Teheran hits full-season ball and starts for Rome in the South Atlantic League in Kannapolis. 7 p.m. Gameday Audio
  • No. 43 Mike Montgomery starts for Wilmington in the Carolina League in Myrtle Beach. Added bonus: Alex Gordon rehab assignment. 7 p.m. start time. Gameday Audio
  • Finally (for now), when Tulsa hosts Corpus Christi at 8 p.m., No. 23 Christrian Friedrich will be on the hill. Gameday Audio

This, of course, doesn’t cover the half of it. So check back here frequently for updates.

If you see anything going on, pass it along in comments or email me at Even better, if you’re at or going to a Minor League opener today, let me know, take pictures and pass them along. I’ll post them here as the night goes on.

Responding to the responses

Hey there everyone —

I just wanted to take a few minutes and get to some of the great comments people left over the past few days on various posts.

First and foremost, thanks for the kind words of support. They are truly appreciated. For the record, though, I am not the one who does the weekly roundup of Minors promotions. That is done extremely well by my colleague Ben Hill. Be sure to check his blog out at Ben’s Biz Blog. It’s a good read, I promise.

There were some interesting comments about Mike Stanton left by a couple of people. mike_stanton.JPGBothvoiced concerns about Stanton’s strikeout rate. There seems to be a worry about Stanton being a power-only guy, a guy who can’t hit for average at all, but is all-or-nothing. Yes, he strikes out quite a bit, though his K rate did go down a touch in 2009. But I think people are getting too worried about his inability to hit. Not that batting average is a great barometer, but he did hit .293 in 2008 and was hitting .294 in Jupiter before he got promoted to Double-A as a teenager. Are you really going to use that to judge whether he can hit, the fact that he hit .231 in the Southern League at age 19? I wouldn’t.

Take a look at some other indexes before you decide he can’t hit. How about the fact that his line-drive rate was almost identical between Class A Advanced Jupiter (18.4 pct) and Double-A Jacksonville (18.7). According to, Stanton had isolated power numbers that really set him apart: .318 in 2008, .283 in Jupiter and even his .224 while he “struggled” in Double-A was not bad. ISO, in a nutshell, measures a player’s ability to hit for extra bases.

I, for one, think he’s going to hit for enough average. That being said, I don’t really care what his average is if he’s making enough contact to tap into that power and he’s hitting 40+ homers and well over 100 RBIs annually. I’ll give you an example of another player, now in the big leagues, and how he performed in the minors:

First-full season: .280 AVG, 145 K
Second full season: .304 AVG, 151 K
Third full season: .291, 166 K

Yes, the average is a touch higher than what Stanton has done, but not by that much, considering all the variables that go into batting average. And there were great concerns about this hitter’s ability to make enough contact at the big-league level to get to his prodigous power. There was so much worry that he got stuck for a bit in the Minors before finally getting a shot.

By now, you may have guessed that the player in question is Ryan Howard, who’s gone on to win the Rookie of the Year, an MVP Award (he’s finished in the top 5 three times) and been chosen to go to the All-Star Game twice. Not bad for a guy who can’t hit.

Now, add in the fact that Stanton can flat out play the outfield, can run, has a strong arm, the whole nine yards, and you can see why people think he’s so special. Maybe he’s not as advanced right now as Jason Heyward. Maybe he won’t ever hit for that kind of average. I’m saying it’s not going to matter.

And don’t get me wrong. I like Logan Morrison a lot (one commenter was making a comparison of their stat lines in Jacksonville together), but keep in mind he’s two years older than Stanton. Trust me, Logan doesn’t need to hit the weight room more than he does already — he’s plenty strong enough and has great bat speed. He might be the better pure hitter. But i we’re looking at everything, from tools to upside, it’s no real contest. Both will be big leaguers — and both could be in Florida together in the near future — but it’s Stanton who has the more exciting ceiling.

Got some good stuff to talk about in the coming days. Later today or tonight (I hope), I’m going to preview some exciting books/guides on prospects that can be found all over the place. If you know of some, email me info and I’ll try to give them a plug.

I’ve got some 2010 Draft stuff to catch up on. That will probably come on Tuesday, with an update on a great Under Armour/Baseball Factory showcase from a couple weeks back to Bryce Harper’s first game to an early look at a top 20 draft prospects. So stay tuned.

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 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
3.) Stephen Strasburg – RHP – Washington Nationals
4.) Aroldis
Chapman – LHP – Cincinnati Reds
5.) Jesus Montero – C – New York
6.) Jeremy Hellickson – RHP – Tampa Bay Rays
7.) Buster Posey – C
– San Francisco Giants
8.) Carlos Santana – C – Cleveland Indians
Madison Bumgarner – RHP – San Francisco Giants
10.) Pedro Alvarez – 3B –
Pittsburgh Pirates
11.) Neftali Feliz – RHP – Texas Rangers
Dustin Ackley – 2B – Seattle Mariners
13.) Domonic Brown – OF – Philadelphia
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
Jaff Decker – OF – San Diego Padres
20.) Josh Bell – 3B – Baltimore

24 hours away

That’s right, folks. We’re just about 24 hours away from the big Top 50 prospects show on the MLB Network (8 p.m. ET, also simulcast on Exciting stuff — I’m at the airport now waiting to fly home to Pittsburgh after what I think (I’ll let you guys be the judge tomorrow) was a very successful taping of the show. I have to say, working with Greg Amsinger and John Hart was a real treat. Hope you guys feel that came off, because I had a blast.

Anyway, got a few more guest rankings to try and get through here. Tonight, we’ll let Dustin Mattison from The Cardinal Nation (and, of course on Twitter @dustin_mattison) give it a whirl. He went 40 deep, for which he gets no extra credit, but I will run all 40. So here goes:

Stephen Strasburg
Jason Heyward
Buster Posey
Brian Matusz
Jesus Montero
Desmond Jennings
Aroldis Chapman
Neftali Feliz
Madison Bumgarner
10.  Carlos Santana
11.  Christian Friedrich
12.  Justin Smoak
13.  Pedro Alvarez
14.  Casey Kelly
15.  Mike Stanton
16.  Michael Taylor
17.  Wade Davis
18.  Dustin Ackley
19.  Aclides Escobar
20.  Brett Wallace
21.  Dominick Brown
22.  Jeremy Hellickson
23.  Jhoulys Chacin
24.  Martin Perez
25.  Kyle Drabek
26.  Fernando Martinez
27.  Chris Carter
28.  Mike Montgomery
29.  Tyler Matzek
30.  Lonnie Chisenhall
31.  Matt Moore
32.  Dan Hudson
33.  Aaron Hicks
34.  Ryan Westmoreland
35.  Todd Frazier
36.  Jenrry Mejia
37.  Brett Lawrie
38.  Starlin Castro
39.  Jarrod Parker
40.  Aaron Crow

A lot of different names in there, which I love. And a vote for Stras atop the list, the first one like that we’ve had here in a while.

OK, gotta make a run to the smoothy stand before I board the plane. Random celebrity sighting here at Newark Airport: Former US Senator and NBA Hall of Famer Bill Bradley.

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 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)
Stephen Strasburg
03. Desmond Jennings
04. Carlos Santana
05. Mike
06. Buster Posey
07. Jesus Montero
08. Pedro Alvarez
Neftali Feliz
10. Justin Smoak
11. Dustin Ackley
12. Brian
13. Aroldis Chapman
14. Chris Carter
15. Madison
16. Martin Perez
17. Wade Davis
18. Jeremy Hellickson
Domonic Brown
20. Fernando Martinez
21. Alcides Escobar
22. Michael
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.

Top 50 Preview: Guest rankings No. 2

Well, we kicked things recently by running Mike Newman’s Top 30 from Scouting the Sally.

Now it’s time for Round 2. This Top 20 Prospects list comes courtesy of Jordan Tuwiner over at (Follow him on Twitter @Orioleprospects). That sure is a fun site these days with all the work they’ve done in that system in the past few years.

Anyway, on to Jordan’s list:

  1. Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Washington Nationals 

  2. Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta Braves
  3. Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants
  4. Brian Matusz, LHP, Baltimore Orioles
  5. Desmond Jennins, OF, Tampa Bay Rays
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates
  7. Mike Stanton, OF, Florida Marlins
  8. Carlos Santana, C, Cleveland Indians
  9. Neftali Feliz, RHP, Texas Rangers
  10. Dustin Ackley, OF, Seattle Mariners
  11. Martin Perez, LHP, Texas Rangers
  12. Jesus Montero, C, New York Yankees
  13. Chris Carter, 1B/DH, Oakland Athletics
  14. Justin Smoak, 1B, Texas Rangers
  15. Dominic Brown, OF, Philadelphia Phillies 
  16. Madison Bumgarner, RHP, San Francisco Giants
  17. Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
  18. Christian Friedrich, LHP, Colorado Rockies
  19. Michael Taylor, OF, Oakland Athletics
  20. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves

Pretty good list, no? Nice to see the differing opinions, with Jordan putting Stras No. 1 and Mike having Heyward in the top spot. That’s what makes this such an interesting exercise.

I’ve got one more guest rankings to post, either this weekend or on Monday. But there’s time yet for you to email me your list if you want me to throw it up there before the big Top 50 show on the MLB Network on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.

Top 50 Preview: Guest rankings No. 1

About a week ago, I urged folks to send in their own thoughts on who the top prospects in baseball are as we head toward the 2010 season. If you had a website or blog or some such venue that you use to wax eloquent about baseball and/or the Minor Leagues, I said I’d be happy to provide a free plug and link. (I’m still accepting lists if people are interested. All you have to do is email it to me.)

With my Top 50 list set to be unveiled on Wednesday evening (MLB Network, 8 p.m. ET, then on right after the show airs), it’s time to let some other folks shine for a little bit. First up, Mike Newman.

Mike runs a terrific site called Scouting the Sally. On it, he provides reports aplenty, with video and analysis, of all the great prospects who troll the South Atlantic League (He can also be followed on Twitter @ScoutingtheSAL). For our purposes here, he branched out and gave his self-described high-ceiling, big tools bias a go on putting together a Top 30. Here it is:

RE: Top 30 Prospects1. Jason Heyward
2. Stephen Strasburg
3. Desmond Jennings
4. Jesus Montero
5. Mike Stanton
6. Neftali Feliz
7. Carlos Santana
8. Brian Matusz
9. Buster Posey
10. Justin Smoak
11. Pedro Alvarez
12. Dustin Ackley
13. Madison Bumgarner
14. Martin
15. Alcides Escobar
16. Fernando Martinez
17. Aroldis Chapman
18. Domonic Brown
19. Wade Davis
20. Casey Kelly
21. Jeremy Hellickson
22. Chris
23. Ryan Westmoreland
24. Brett Wallace
25. Hector Rondon
26. Dan Hudson
27. Jhoulys Chacin
28. Kyle Drabek
29. Logan Morrison
30. Matt Moore

So, what do you guys think? Leave comments here or go tell Mike directly. I’m sure he’d love to hear from you. I’m not going to say too much because I don’t want to give away too much about what my list will look like on Wednesday (don’t you love how I build the suspense?). I will say that when he told me he was a big raw tools type, I did expect to see more of that type on this list. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty solid. Just not exactly what I thought.

I should have another list to post on Friday or so.

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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