Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Top 40 List

Overblown? Yup.

Excessive? Sure.

Unnecessary? Weeeeeeelllll....

What's more necessary to this winter of austerity then overdosing ourselves on prospect porn....even if they maybe aren't all actual prospects?

Let me be perfectly clear - no team EVER had 40 legitimate prospects in their system. What this really is could be more accurately described as about 20 "prospects" and another 20 interesting minor leaguers who might become prospects.

(Plus as a bonus I'll throw in another 10 names to know just for the heck of it)

The individual ranking isn't that important so much as the area of the list they are in. As a general rule of thumb, each ranking should be read with an implied +/-2 places.

I normally don't do the backwards list but I think I will this time just for variety's sake.
Each player is listed with his position and age as of May 2010

40. Kyle Ginley (RHP/23) - Would love to see him healthy one year to see if he's got a future;
39. Antonio Jimminez (C/20) - Personally, I'm skeptical the bat will come around;
38. Ryan Schimpf (2B/22) - ceiling is maybe a Ryan Freel, or Craig Counsell type, but a lot more likely a AAA journeyman;
37. Mike McDade (1B/21) - Hard to see someone this size making it but he does have some pop;
36. Yan Gomes (C/22) - Not sure what I think of this guy yet;
35. Ryan Goins (ss/22) - like Schempf and Gomes, it's really a bit early to say;
34. Trystan Magnuson (RP/24) - This is one of those lower ceiling, but more likely to reach it guys;
33. Robert Sobolewski (3B/23) - this is the last year the draft class praise will carry him, time to impress;
32. Kenny Rodriguez (SP/25) - will either move up next year or be dropped altogether;
31. Brian Jeroloman (C/25) - he's not supposed to be a hitter but there is a minimum requirement;

30. Sean Ochinko (C-1B/22) - Impressive start, sample size caution applies, sticking behind the plate would increase his value;
29. Jose Vargas (LHP/19) - A lot of promise, can't wait to see him in full-season ball;
28. KC Hobson (1B/19) - This is one of the players I'll be watching really closely this year;
27. Luis Perez (LHP/25) - I'm a skeptic on this one, but I'll respect the reports of others;
26. Andrew Liebel (RHP/24) - Ditto.
25. Robert Ray (RHP/26) - if his health holds up, a steady unspectacular swing man;
24. John Tolisano (2B/21) - He has his fans, but I think he needs to step up;
23. Kevin Aherns (3B/21) - I hate to rank this guy so low but he's just showing nothing so far;
22. Adam Loewen (OF/26) - I really wanted to put him in the Top 20, I still believe, but others are more certain at this point;
21. Darin Mastorianni (CF/24) - a variation on the Reed Johnson model probably, should be a fan fave if he makes it;

20. Gustavo Perrie (SS/18) - Ranking still mostly based on praise from scouts, but have to respect the upside;

19. Danny Farquhar (RHRP/23) - Can't really ask for much more, but I can't really rank a true reliever much higher than the upper teens either;

18. Tim Collins (LHRP/20) - Ditto. but people will love this guy if he makes it;

17. Scott Campbell (2B/25) - give him a mulligan on 2009, but please lets stop the farce that he's going to be a 3B in the majors;

16. Brad Emaus (2B/24) - I'm a believer in this guy. He's Probably not a future all-star but I think he'll contribute a good bit in the majors;

15. Brian Dopirak (1B-DH/26) - I'm trying to bridge the gap between reading the numbers and the teams apparent lack of faith in him. It's odd that no one with the team gives him the praise he seems to have coming;

14. Robert Bell (RHSP/24) - I have to respect him until he falters;

13. Jake Marisnick (CF/19) - Maybe I'm a sucker but I buy into the "first round talent" praise he received;

12. Tyler Pastornicky (SS/20) - not as high on him as some others are but I can see him riding his skills to the majors;

11. Eric Thames (LF/23) - Can his body hold together? Maybe a Shannon Stewart (or more) if it does;

10. Johermyn Chavez (RF/21) - development is back on track, fairly high ceiling but one of those guys who has maybe less certainty about reaching it;

9. Justin Jackson (SS/21) - call me a fool, I still believe. If he goes in with a healthy body next year and flops then maybe I'll be more skeptical;

8. Carlos Perez (C/19) - difficult to evaluate at such a low level but I'll buy in for now;

7. David Cooper (1B-DH/23) - more a function of the shallow pool of premium guys in the system than anything else that he's this high. I think this system has a good pool of moderate talent but few studs. That leaves a guy like Cooper higher than he'd be in many systems;

6. Brad Mills (LHSP/25) - Another guy who gets a pass on 2009, this is a big season for him to succeed at the higher levels;

5. JP Arencibia (C/24) - The team is still quite high on him, and the more sophisticated stats are kinder to him than the simple ones are in evaluating his 2009 - but he HAS to figure out how to get a walk once in a while;

4. Mosies Seirra (RF/21) - the early word is that BA thought he was "a long way from being the Jays best prospect" but I, and a lot of others, don't understand why he shouldn't be near the top;

3. Chad Jenkins (RHSP/22) - it is my custom to default the top draft pick into the top 10 prospects, but quite apart from that, I like what I hear about Jenkins;

2. Zach Stewart (RHSP/23) - Only reservation I have is the small remaining doubt about whether he'll be a reliever (or more specifically, a reliever who doesn't close). As a starter or a top-shelf closer, he could arguably be #1;

1. Henderson Alverez (RHSP/20) - there's some risk in ranking the guy who's further away at the very top but his ratios REALLY impresses me.

I bolded the age on those players 21 and under because a player that young highly ranked is usually a potentially special guy, and one that young that's of a lower rank perhaps deserves a bit more patience than his older peers.

Here's another 10 players that might sneak onto the list next year: Chuck Huggins, Daniel Webb, Balbino Fyenmayor, Egan Smith, Joel Cerrano, Deviy Estrada, Reider Gonzalez, Jon Talley, Marcus Brisker, Kenny Wilson.

Since the Jays are supposedly looking ahead to contending in a few years, I'll steal a gmmick from BA and guess at what the 2013 team might look like (assuming no acquisitions which is a silly assumption):

C - Arencibia, 1B - Lind, 2B - Emaus, SS - Jackson (rookie), 3B - Hill, LF - Wells, CF - Marisnick (rookie), RF - Seirra, DH - Snider

SP - Romero/Jenkins/Zep/Cecil/Alverez (rookie)
(basically, five guys who are all about the same quality at this point, which is to say roughly average #2 or very good #3 quality - Kind of like the Rays current group)

CP - Stewart (good enough to start but no room)
Bullpen - Roenicke, Carlson, Ray, Mills, Bell, Farquhar

Of course, that doesn't count whoever we get for Halladay or in any other trade, or any impressive fast mover we might draft next year.

So, there ya go. I understand why our system is not highly rated, because there's not that much that grades out as premium at the moment. But there are some interesting players here too, in my opinion.

4 comments:

Gil Fisher said...

Total wiff on 19 LHP Carlos Pina?

I think Goins and Schimpf are much too low.

I don't know about 19 year old Egan Smith's stuff, but his stats are lights out. ERA, GB%, BB%, K%. Has to be top 30 on stats/age alone.

But it's an excellent effort overall. I tend to agree at the top.

Gil Fisher said...

Nestor Molina looks good too.

The Southpaw said...

I just have so little frame of reference on the very low level very young that I'm cautious. Including Vargas was a stretch for me.

Let them do anything impressive at Auburn (at least) in a large sample and I'll be better advised.

At first glance though, I'd like more K's out of Pina but Molina seems solid.

Smith is on the "honorable mention" list. There were some of the college draftees who did really well in the GCL that I hesitated on because they were old for the league - Shawn Grffith in particular caught my eye. But a 22 year old reliever dominating the GCL? If he starts next year it will give a better read.

There were at least three other DSL pitchers that might have gotten a mention. But I have the impression the pitchers are ahead of the hitters in the DSL.

On Goins and Schempf, I just want one full season to get a read on them. There are, by my count, 6 or 7 guys on the list they could easily have been in front of - everyone from 25 to 40 is pretty close in my mind and the order there is pretty flexible.

But I don't think I'd have put either in the top 25 yet.

I'm trying to formulate some idea for next year that's not a standard numbered ranking and also not a rip-off of a Sickels type letter grading system.

Anonymous said...

Will,
you must learn to spell Kevin Ahrens' last name. I feel this long-running oversight may be what is holding him back.