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View Full Version : Jay Bruce vs. Cameron Maybin (by John Sickels)



dougdirt
02-26-2007, 02:04 PM
John Sickels did a "Prospect Smackdown" on the two prospects for his website, www.minorleagueball.com (http://www.minorleagueball.com), and here is how it went.


Prospect Smackdown: Cameron Maybin vs. Jay Bruce

Background and Intangibles
Maybin: Maybin was the 10th overall pick in the 2005 draft, picked out of high school in Asheville, North Carolina by the Tigers. Many teams rated him as a Top Five talent, but concerns about his bonus demands knocked him back to 10th. The Tigers signed him for $2.65 million. Well-known as an amateur, Maybin has seen nothing but success as a pro. Although he was busted for underage alcohol possession last summer, but his work ethic and overall makeup are rated very highly by the Tigers.
Bruce: Bruce was drafted in the first round in 2005, 12th overall, out of high school in Beaumont, Texas. Like Maybin, he was well-known and well-regarded as an amateur, and rated one of the best young hitters available in the '05 draft class. Signed for $1.8 million, he also rates very highly in the work ethic and intangible departments.
Advantage: Maybin was a bit more highly-regarded as an amateur, but not enough to make a real difference. I don't think the booze possession thing is something to worry about, not unless it recurs. This looks even to me.

Physicality, Health, and Tools
Maybin: Maybin is 6-4, 205 pounds, a righty hitter and thrower, born April 4, 1987. All of his tools are rated above average or better: power, speed, arm strength, overall athleticism; he has everything you want. Maybin has more speed than Bruce, and while his power potential is likely as great, it is not as well developed at this point. He'll likely maintain his speed longer. Nagging hamstring and finger injuries have bothered him at times, but it hasn't been anything major or worrying in the long run.
Bruce: Bruce is 6-2, 205 pounds, a lefty hitter and thrower, born April 3, 1987. All of his tools are rated above average or better: power, speed, range, arm strength, overall athleticism, he has everything you want in an outfielder. He has less pure speed than Maybin, but a touch more power. A sore quad muscle cost him playing time last year, but overall he's been quite healthy.
Advantage: Very very close, with Maybin probably having a slight edge in the long run. He'll keep his speed longer, and while he doesn't have as much current power, most scouts think he'll equal Bruce in that department with more experience. Both of them are Five Tool guys overall.

Performance and Polish
Maybin: Maybin hit .304/.387/.457 in the Midwest League, posting a +22 percent OPS and a +53 percent SEC. The only negative in his numbers is a high strikeout rate, 116 in 101 games, but the Tigers don't seem to think this is a long-term problem, and he did draw 50 walks in 385 at-bats. Some people have been concerned about Maybin's ground ball ratio, but I'm not convinced this will be a long-term problem. We'll see. Maybin was supposed to be somewhat raw coming into pro ball, but showed more polished than expected last year.
Bruce: Bruce hit .291/.355/.516 in the Midwest League, posting a +26 percent OPS and a +58 percent SEC. His strikeout rate was not as high as Maybin's, but he didn't walk as often. Overall his production was slightly better, in the same league and at the same age. He's considered a bit more polished than Maybin overall.
Advantage: Slight edge for Bruce here.

Projection
Maybin: Maybin projects as a potential Gold Glove outfielder with power and speed, perhaps similar to Jermaine Dye with more speed, or Torii Hunter with a higher batting average.
Bruce: Bruce projects as an All-Star outfielder with plus power, though not as much speed as Maybin, perhaps similar to Larry Walker or Jim Edmonds.
Advantage: Considering that they were born within 24 hours of each other, there's no age/projection edge here. It depends on what flavor of player you like, I suppose.

Summary
I'd rate them even in background/intangibles, Maybin a very slight edge in tools, Bruce a slight edge in current performance and polish, and even (if different) in projection.
Overall I rated Bruce a bit higher in the book (9th overall compared to 16th), but both got Grade A- ratings, and this smackdown shows just how close it really is.

Pretty good run down of both prospects in my opinion.

Joseph
02-26-2007, 02:30 PM
Nice read here. I for one was really hoping Maybin would slide to us at 12 that year because of his admiration of one Griffey Junior, but I've not been the least bit disappointed in Bruce. Maybin looked ok in the futures game last year, and I suspect Bruce will be in it this year and do quite well himself.

bucksfan2
02-26-2007, 03:11 PM
Is Burce's average a little cause for concern? I mean doesn't a player's average decrease in each level he moves up? Dont get me wrong if he puts up those numbers in the bigs he is an all star but I am curious if his average may be a downfall.

dougdirt
02-26-2007, 03:35 PM
Is Burce's average a little cause for concern? I mean doesn't a player's average decrease in each level he moves up? Dont get me wrong if he puts up those numbers in the bigs he is an all star but I am curious if his average may be a downfall.

No, it doesnt. Also, before Jay was hurt toward the end of the season his average was at .312. Then he wenton a skid trying to play with an injury and his average dropped to .291. His average is just fine.

This is from The Baseball Analysts

The following players played as 19 year olds in the MWL.

Trevor Plouffe, Prince Fielder, Steve Moss, Ozzie Chavez, Brad Nelson, Kila Kaaihue, Ruben Gotay, Donnie Murphy, Brandon Wood, Sean Rodriguez, Erick Aybar, Jeff Mathis, Casey Kotchman, Lorvin Louisa, Edwin Encarnacion, William Bergolla, Matt Bush, Luis Cruz, Josh Barfield, Pedro De Los Santos, Robinson Chirinos, Jose Reyes, Ronny Cedeno, Daric Barton, Matt Moses, Carlos Gonzales, Emilio Bonifacio, Jarred Ball, Reid Brignac, Wilkin Ramirez, Brent Clevlen, Scott Moore, Matt Tuiasasopo, Asdrubal Cabrera, Adam Jones, Oswaldo Navarro, Daniel Floud, Luis Oliveros, Joe Mauer, Rudy Guillen, Joaquin Arias, Erold Andrus, Hector Made, Eric Duncan, Estee Harris.

Their average batting line? .265/.334/.391.

Jay put up .291/.355/. 516. He was much better than most, specifically in the power department.

Also, as for the batting average lowering as you move up, thats does not hold water. Sure it happens to some guys, but Jay hit .257 in 2005, then .291 in 2006. Joey Votto hit .302 in 2004, .256 in 2005 and .319 in 2006. Its all about where the player goes, how he progresses and truthfully, at least in the minors, the league one is in.

dougdirt
02-26-2007, 03:43 PM
To go further, here are the batting lines for there guys in their MWL-19 yr old seasons.

Joe Mauer - .302/.393/.392
Prince Fielder - .313/.409/.526
Brandon Wood - .251/.322/.404
Edwin Encarnacion - .282/.338/.458
Jay Bruce - .291/.355/.516

Jay fits in ahead of everyone there except Prince Fielder. I also want to note that Jay posted the highest ISO SLG of all those guys in the MWL.

Shaknb8k
02-26-2007, 07:47 PM
Has anyone bought John Sickels Prospect Book? How does it compare to BA and is it worth buying?

IslandRed
02-27-2007, 03:08 PM
Also, as for the batting average lowering as you move up, thats does not hold water. Sure it happens to some guys, but Jay hit .257 in 2005, then .291 in 2006. Joey Votto hit .302 in 2004, .256 in 2005 and .319 in 2006. Its all about where the player goes, how he progresses and truthfully, at least in the minors, the league one is in.

Good point. Obviously, we'd expect that all things being equal, a player that puts up a certain line in Low-A would see a dip if he were playing in High-A or Double-A at that time. But as long as he's progressing at a proper rate, he can maintain his line or even improve it -- because while he faces a better level of competition at each stop, his own game is also improving.

SoTxRedsFan
02-27-2007, 07:50 PM
My little brother played with Maybin one summer in the Midland Redskins system up in Cincinnati. My bro came back to Texas raving about Cameron. He also played against Bruce in summer leagues over the years here in texas, and says that he thinks Bruce was the better player as an amateur.

BoydsOfSummer
02-27-2007, 07:56 PM
Has anyone bought John Sickels Prospect Book? How does it compare to BA and is it worth buying?

I have it. If you like this stuff you need it. I like it better than BA's, in fact I didn't buy BA's last year and haven't so far this year. Nice blend of stats and scouting analysis.