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Mario-Rijo
11-30-2008, 08:02 PM
I have wanted to try to get a clearer picture of the consensus top 10-15 prospects. Too me top prospect means the player with the most raw talent + most polish + closest to the majors (legitimately close) + make-up (including injury issues). I will run 4 seperate polls 1 for each of the above areas and ask you to answer them as honestly as possible, in other words keep it strictly on topic.

After I run all 4 polls I will calculate the results too see if they jive with the current top 15 prospects. If anyone has anything to add or questions please do. I do have a question to all of you however should we give any weight to one aspect over another, I don't know that I am for that perse but I think it's a question that needs answering.

This one is raw talent which means who has the most god given talent by birth and so on. I'll list 19 raw talent types and 1 "other" you vote for who you think is the most talented 15 and then rank them accordingly by name in your post. If you do not rank them by name I'll assume you agree with the majority who do. One note I will include Homer Bailey as well as the R.O.Y eligible major leaguers. I think Homer is still a prospect to some degree in most eyes.

Mario-Rijo
11-30-2008, 08:23 PM
***Attention, before you vote the 2nd "Dickerson" is out of order alphabetically, that is supposed to be Carlos Fisher*** So a vote for that Dickerson is a vote for Fisher, unless otherwise noted in your post.

OnBaseMachine
11-30-2008, 08:41 PM
If we're talking about the prospect with the most raw talent, I think that would have to be Yorman Rodriguez. He's a kid described as having plus-plus speed, plus-plus raw power, and plus-plus defensive skills in center field. Kevin Goldstein referred to him as a human tool shed. He's been compared to the likes of Carlos Beltran, Eric Davis, and Cesar Cedeno. He's got an incredibly high ceiling but a low floor at the same time. If we get something in between then he's still a great player.

OnBaseMachine
11-30-2008, 08:44 PM
I misread the original post and only voted once instead of 15 times.

Mario-Rijo
11-30-2008, 09:05 PM
I misread the original post and only voted once instead of 15 times.

Well just as long as you rank your top 15 I can make the proper adjustments later.

I'll rank mine soon.

Mario-Rijo
11-30-2008, 09:18 PM
#1 - Yorman
#2 - Duran
#3 - Stubbs
#4 - Dickerson
#5 - Bailey
#6 - Lotzkar
#7 - Soto
#8 - Alonso
#9 - Frazier
#10 - Francisco
#11 - Valaika
#12 - Sulbaran
#13 - Roenicke
#14 - Mesoraco
#15 - Dorn

HokieRed
11-30-2008, 09:28 PM
Not sure I remember my 15 but this is pretty close: 1. Bailey, 2. Alonso, 3. Duran, 4. Rodriguez, 5. Stubbs, 6. Lotzkar, 7. Soto, 8. Hildenbrandt, 9. Dickerson, 10. Francisco, 11. Frazier, 12. Sulbaran, 13. Valaika, 14. Stewart, 15 Buchholz

RED VAN HOT
11-30-2008, 09:39 PM
I only voted for four in this category because these were the only ones that seemed to define the category for me. If it screws up your accounting, let me know and I will take a stab at ordering the rest.

1. Y Rod - Human tool shed is enough for me
2. Duran - Scooping the field in order to give $2M to a 16 yo. I'm a believer.
3. Stubbs - Great athleticism and attitude. Upside is still there.
4. Buchholz - Unreal college numbers seemed to have transitioned well so far.

dougdirt
11-30-2008, 09:46 PM
I only voted for four in this category because these were the only ones that seemed to define the category for me. If it screws up your accounting, let me know and I will take a stab at ordering the rest.

1. Y Rod - Human tool shed is enough for me
2. Duran - Scooping the field in order to give $2M to a 16 yo. I'm a believer.
3. Stubbs - Great athleticism and attitude. Upside is still there.
4. Buchholz - Unreal college numbers seemed to have transitioned well so far.

Buchholz.... really? The guy wasn't a first round pick, didn't get paid like one and didn't come close to having 'unreal college numbers'.

Mario-Rijo
11-30-2008, 10:21 PM
I only voted for four in this category because these were the only ones that seemed to define the category for me. If it screws up your accounting, let me know and I will take a stab at ordering the rest.

1. Y Rod - Human tool shed is enough for me
2. Duran - Scooping the field in order to give $2M to a 16 yo. I'm a believer.
3. Stubbs - Great athleticism and attitude. Upside is still there.
4. Buchholz - Unreal college numbers seemed to have transitioned well so far.

I would appreciate it if you gave me your top 15 as it will make it easier. It's not a list of who fits the mold and who doesn't but it's to get an idea of who each person thinks is our most talented 15 players. So that we can ultimately come to a conclusion of who the consensus top 15 is.

I should state that since we are looking for the top 15 overall players I didn't include certain players who fit this mold if I didn't feel they could come close to being considered top 15 material. A prime example is Justin Reed who is ultra toolsy but isn't necc. someone who has a legit chance to make this list currently.

This is more or less a trial run for a potentially new way of rating our prospects in the future that I think is more comprehensive. It basically takes some of the bias out of the equation and forces us all to look at all aspects of a player. It's not a finished product but I think it will give us a good model going forward that we can tweak with enough input.

GOYA
11-30-2008, 10:30 PM
I have no opinion. There's no way to tell "God-given talent" because everyone listed has been coached to one degree or another before they became part of the organization.

Mario-Rijo
11-30-2008, 10:32 PM
I have no opinion. There's no way to tell "God-given talent" because everyone listed has been coached to one degree or another before they became part of the organization.

Uh, ok I guess that's your perrogative.

RED VAN HOT
11-30-2008, 10:45 PM
Buchholz.... really? The guy wasn't a first round pick, didn't get paid like one and didn't come close to having 'unreal college numbers'.

Buchholz numbers at Delaware

Age
18 .378/.433/.721/1154
19 .387/.433/.689/1122
20 .319/.401/.515/916

Billings .396/.471/.604/1075

I realize that the Colonial Athletic Association is not top tier college ball. Nevertheless, these numbers seem unreal to me. In his last college year he had fewer AB's. I am guessing that contributed to the fall off in numbers. That, in combination with the CAA pushed him lower in the draft. He played third in college, but was projected to play 2B when drafted. His line at Billings, admittedly a hitter's league, is an early indication that his college success may not be the result of weak competition.

Betterread
11-30-2008, 10:59 PM
I can only vote for one player. So I did. I can't provide a 1-15 hierarchy.

dougdirt
11-30-2008, 11:02 PM
Buchholz numbers at Delaware

Age
18 .378/.433/.721/1154
19 .387/.433/.689/1122
20 .319/.401/.515/916

Billings .396/.471/.604/1075

I realize that the Colonial Athletic Association is not top tier college ball. Nevertheless, these numbers seem unreal to me. In his last college year he had fewer AB's. I am guessing that contributed to the fall off in numbers. That, in combination with the CAA pushed him lower in the draft. He played third in college, but was projected to play 2B when drafted. His line at Billings, admittedly a hitter's league, is an early indication that his college success may not be the result of weak competition.

Many players put up numbers in college that dwarf those, and in premiere conferences.

RedEye
11-30-2008, 11:11 PM
This is very confusing. Sorry if I screwed something up.

Mario-Rijo
11-30-2008, 11:44 PM
This is very confusing. Sorry if I screwed something up.

What's confusing? I realize a I wrote a lot and I'm not always the best communicator on here, so i'll try to re-word it. On this particular poll you are voting for the 15 most talented players in the minors. Talent is a god-given ability, something you either have or don't and if you don't you cannot get. Speed, Arm Strength, Power, Agility etc.

mace
11-30-2008, 11:51 PM
1. Soto
2. Stubbs
3. Y. Rodriguez
4. Francisco
5. Bailey
6. Lotzkar
7. Alonso
8. Duran
9. Cozart
10. Stewart
11. Dickerson
12. Frazier
13. Valaika
14. Sulbaran
15. Roenicke

RedlegJake
12-01-2008, 12:07 AM
Since its strictly about tools alone my list may be controversial

1. Y. Rodriguez - Advertised like a Ferrari, hope he's not a Gremlin
2. Stubbs - Off the chart tools, its his baseball skills that need refining
3. Duran - another hyped hope but supposed to have all around everything
4. Dickerson - like Stubbs he has all the tools, all of them - its skills that hurt
5. Bailey - his arm is gold its the next three polls where he gets lost
6. Roenicke - just pure power arm
7. Soto - IMO, his pure physical talent is more in the middle of this list
8. Lotzkar - just as a pure arm this kid is up there
9. Stewart - solid arm
10. Oliveras - pulled a surprise but this is just about raw tools? Meet this kid
11. Cozart - agile, good tools thin on the power but athletic
12. Frazier - nothing underwhelming toolwise nothing overwhelms you, balanced
13. Francisco - raw power #1 arm also but athleticism is suspect going forward
14. Alonso - more polish and makeup than tools just good enough to make the cut here
15. Watson/Ravin - split here but I'll go with Watson. Power arms -Watson has chance

RED VAN HOT
12-01-2008, 12:24 AM
Many players put up numbers in college that dwarf those, and in premiere conferences.

I looked at the players in our newly elected top 20 who played in college. I compared their three year college averages with those of Buchholz (.361/.422/.641/1064). Only two met or exceeded his numbers. Frazier (.346/.455/.619/1074) put up about the same line, but went on to hit lower at Billings. Alonso (.347/.465/.658/1133) exceeded Buchholz's numbers. Does that qualify as dwarfing? Two differences stand out. Frazier and Alonso played in major conferences and had strong senior years. Had Buchholz put up a line of .300/.350/.450/800 at Billings I would have concluded that the level of competition had caught up to him. Because he hit .396 and OPS'd 1075, however, I am not convinced that he cannot become a consistent .300 hitter, with some pop, at a skill position at the ML level. That's my reasoning and I'm sticking to it. Barring an injury plagued season, I think we will find out next year.

dougdirt
12-01-2008, 12:31 AM
I looked at the players in our newly elected top 20 who played in college. I compared their three year college averages with those of Buchholz (.361/.422/.641/1064). Only two met or exceeded his numbers. Frazier (.346/.455/.619/1074) put up about the same line, but went on to hit lower at Billings. Alonso (.347/.465/.658/1133) exceeded Buchholz's numbers. Does that qualify as dwarfing? Two differences stand out. Frazier and Alonso played in major conferences and had strong senior years. Had Buchholz put up a line of .300/.350/.450/800 at Billings I would have concluded that the level of competition had caught up to him. Because he hit .396 and OPS'd 1075, however, I am not convinced that he cannot become a consistent .300 hitter, with some pop, at a skill position at the ML level. That's my reasoning and I'm sticking to it. Barring an injury plagued season, I think we will find out next year.

Buchholz played in a non premiere college conference. He was also a 6th round draft pick. While he may wind up being a good pick, he simply isn't the 4th most talented player in our system and probably isn't among the 4 most talented players we drafted this season.

RedlegJake
12-01-2008, 01:05 AM
Buchholz played in a non premiere college conference. He was also a 6th round draft pick. While he may wind up being a good pick, he simply isn't the 4th most talented player in our system and probably isn't among the 4 most talented players we drafted this season.

I agree. Raw talent alone isn't Alex's strong suit. He has some polish, and an age advantage both of which were a big help at Billings. That's why next summer's showing is so crucial to see if he can keep his footing as he plays more advanced players and more guys his age. I'm not knocking his physical tools - they are okay not exceptional. If he succeeds it will be more in the line of excellent baseball skills - pitch recognition, discipline, contact, etc. He can do that and become very good but there will always guys with a lot more pure physical ability. I do think his pick at #6 was a very very good one.

paintmered
12-01-2008, 01:07 AM
***Attention, before you vote the 2nd "Dickerson" is out of order alphabetically, that is supposed to be Carlos Fisher*** So a vote for that Dickerson is a vote for Fisher, unless otherwise noted in your post.

Fixed.

RED VAN HOT
12-01-2008, 02:07 AM
I agree. Raw talent alone isn't Alex's strong suit. He has some polish, and an age advantage both of which were a big help at Billings. That's why next summer's showing is so crucial to see if he can keep his footing as he plays more advanced players and more guys his age. I'm not knocking his physical tools - they are okay not exceptional. If he succeeds it will be more in the line of excellent baseball skills - pitch recognition, discipline, contact, etc. He can do that and become very good but there will always guys with a lot more pure physical ability. I do think his pick at #6 was a very very good one.

I agree to some extent. I have no evidence that he will be anything more than an average fielder. That does limit his upside. On the other hand, hitting a baseball squarely must to some extent be a God given talent. Otherwise, all the athletic toolsy players would learn to do it. I guess there is a little Billy Beane in my picks. BTW, at Billings he was younger than 26 of the 36 listed on the roster. At any rate, I don't want to blunder into the roll of being a Buchholz defender. My first prospect vote for him was at #21.

RedlegJake
12-01-2008, 02:48 AM
I agree to some extent. I have no evidence that he will be anything more than an average fielder. That does limit his upside. On the other hand, hitting a baseball squarely must to some extent be a God given talent. Otherwise, all the athletic toolsy players would learn to do it. I guess there is a little Billy Beane in my picks. BTW, at Billings he was younger than 26 of the 36 listed on the roster. At any rate, I don't want to blunder into the roll of being a Buchholz defender. My first prospect vote for him was at #21.

Yeah hitting to a large extent probably is a god given talent. It's an interesting argument that would make a thread in itself but basically some guys just seem to have a knack for making contact, some don't. I'm not entirely sure it can be totally learned or more guys would eventually learn. Same with discipline and strike recognition. Some guys pick it up right off, others struggle for a long time and gradually improve, some never get it. Assuming that most guys are really trying to learn and get better it seems there must be some correlation between hand-eye and total coordination, maybe speed of neurology or something that's innate. It's not a "tool", though in the sense normally thought of like strength of arm, raw power, foot speed, quickness, leaping ability etc.

RED VAN HOT
12-01-2008, 02:52 AM
I would appreciate it if you gave me your top 15 as it will make it easier. It's not a list of who fits the mold and who doesn't but it's to get an idea of who each person thinks is our most talented 15 players. So that we can ultimately come to a conclusion of who the consensus top 15 is.

OK. Here is the rest of my list of raw talent players.

5. Alonso - Somewhere between Casey and Pujols
6. Francisco
7. Frazier
8. Soto
9. Cozart - His power numbers provide hope he is not on the Janish path.
10. Watson - High upside/High bust potential
11. Mesoraco
12. Stewart - Has he shown the plus plus slider BA said he has?
13. Lotzkar - Slow progression please
14. Sulbaran - Purely on the basis of the things we all have read
15. Misael DeJesus - A Billy Beane pick. Stats indicate a strong arm

There is no doubt that Bailey has God given talents, and he is still young. His loss of velocity, however, raises doubts for me. If Roenicke has the sharp breaking slider BA describe in the 2006 draft, then he deserves to be on the list.

Mario-Rijo
12-01-2008, 09:55 AM
Fixed.

Thanks paint.

Mario-Rijo
12-01-2008, 10:05 AM
Yeah hitting to a large extent probably is a god given talent. It's an interesting argument that would make a thread in itself but basically some guys just seem to have a knack for making contact, some don't. I'm not entirely sure it can be totally learned or more guys would eventually learn. Same with discipline and strike recognition. Some guys pick it up right off, others struggle for a long time and gradually improve, some never get it. Assuming that most guys are really trying to learn and get better it seems there must be some correlation between hand-eye and total coordination, maybe speed of neurology or something that's innate. It's not a "tool", though in the sense normally thought of like strength of arm, raw power, foot speed, quickness, leaping ability etc.

Good post. And on the last part I do happen to think of it as a tool myself at least to some extent. So I certainly used it as a deciding factor in who to include and not in my rankings. But I happen to think that their are easily more overall talented types than Bucholz.

camisadelgolf
12-01-2008, 10:10 AM
I left off Bailey because he's not a rookie, but I would have voted him otherwise. I apologize for skewing the data.

The four people I voted for who weren't on the list were:
B.J. Szymanski
Justin Reed
Josh Ravin
Ismael Guillon

Mario-Rijo
12-01-2008, 10:12 AM
Since its strictly about tools alone my list may be controversial

1. Y. Rodriguez - Advertised like a Ferrari, hope he's not a Gremlin
2. Stubbs - Off the chart tools, its his baseball skills that need refining
3. Duran - another hyped hope but supposed to have all around everything
4. Dickerson - like Stubbs he has all the tools, all of them - its skills that hurt
5. Bailey - his arm is gold its the next three polls where he gets lost
6. Roenicke - just pure power arm
7. Soto - IMO, his pure physical talent is more in the middle of this list
8. Lotzkar - just as a pure arm this kid is up there
9. Stewart - solid arm
10. Oliveras - pulled a surprise but this is just about raw tools? Meet this kid
11. Cozart - agile, good tools thin on the power but athletic
12. Frazier - nothing underwhelming toolwise nothing overwhelms you, balanced
13. Francisco - raw power #1 arm also but athleticism is suspect going forward
14. Alonso - more polish and makeup than tools just good enough to make the cut here
15. Watson/Ravin - split here but I'll go with Watson. Power arms -Watson has chance

Nice list and you get the idea very well. Oliveras is a guy I admittedly don't know a whole lot about yet, for whatever reason I have missed much conversation on him. I guess a few of the Billings guys escaped my focus but arguably that is where a lot of the toolsier types are. Sappelt, Puckett, Means etc.

dougdirt
12-01-2008, 01:52 PM
There is no doubt that Bailey has God given talents, and he is still young. His loss of velocity, however, raises doubts for me. If Roenicke has the sharp breaking slider BA describe in the 2006 draft, then he deserves to be on the list.

Bailey didn't lose velocity, he has his 4 seam fastball taken away from him for most of the year.

Mario-Rijo
12-01-2008, 01:57 PM
Bailey didn't lose velocity, he has his 4 seam fastball taken away from him for most of the year.

Which makes a lot of sense and is something they should have done long ago. Why so many are not buying that is beyond me.

GOYA
12-01-2008, 03:18 PM
For what it's worth, I saw Homer hit 97mph several times during the 2008 season. It is definitely not there consistently, but it's there. He's more often around 92-94 with his fastball.

Superdude
12-01-2008, 05:23 PM
Bailey didn't lose velocity, he has his 4 seam fastball taken away from him for most of the year.

This may be a dumb comment, but why? I definitely didn't see him benefiting from a little extra movement last year when he was getting beat all over the place with a K rate under 5. Why would he ditch a 95MPH fastball?

Mario-Rijo
12-01-2008, 05:34 PM
This may be a dumb comment, but why? I definitely didn't see him benefiting from a little extra movement last year when he was getting beat all over the place with a K rate under 5. Why would he ditch a 95MPH fastball?

Because when he was allowed to use it as HE saw fit he abused the privilege and didn't develop his other pitches because of it. And it wasn't a permanent move, just one to get him working those pitches then he can start throwing it again. At least that's my take.

dougdirt
12-01-2008, 05:34 PM
This may be a dumb comment, but why? I definitely didn't see him benefiting from a little extra movement last year when he was getting beat all over the place with a K rate under 5. Why would he ditch a 95MPH fastball?

He didn't ditch it, the Reds took it from him. The idea was to get him to use his other pitches more and learn to rely on something other than his #1. By the end of the season the development of his slider was showing huge strides. I think in the end its going to look like a good decision for his future.

Mario-Rijo
12-01-2008, 05:37 PM
He didn't ditch it, the Reds took it from him. The idea was to get him to use his other pitches more and learn to rely on something other than his #1. By the end of the season the development of his slider was showing huge strides. I think in the end its going to look like a good decision for his future.

How's his change-up coming, any indication it's useable at the major league level yet?

dougdirt
12-01-2008, 05:48 PM
How's his change-up coming, any indication it's useable at the major league level yet?

It flashes itself as a better than average pitch, but still inconsistent.

Mario-Rijo
12-01-2008, 05:52 PM
It flashes itself as a better than average pitch, but still inconsistent.

Thanks. Maybe if he is steady with that slider and his change up comes around early next season he will be "ready as he ever will be" and can take that #5 spot if no one has pinned it down. If he can then come in under 5.00 era for half a season in the bigs I would consider that a massive hurdle cleared.

RED VAN HOT
12-01-2008, 10:18 PM
He didn't ditch it, the Reds took it from him. The idea was to get him to use his other pitches more and learn to rely on something other than his #1. By the end of the season the development of his slider was showing huge strides. I think in the end its going to look like a good decision for his future.

That's useful and encouraging info that I missed last summer. What had stuck in my head were reports of how scouts were shocked at his loss of velocity. Is doing this a normal practice or is Homer more difficult to coach?

Mario-Rijo
12-01-2008, 10:37 PM
That's useful and encouraging info that I missed last summer. What had stuck in my head were reports of how scouts were shocked at his loss of velocity. Is doing this a normal practice or is Homer more difficult to coach?

It's not abnormal to take a pitch from a player for some time, although I would assume it's commonly done sooner than AAA/MLB.

paintmered
12-02-2008, 12:13 AM
Question: Does Homer still have an option remaining?

OnBaseMachine
12-02-2008, 12:15 AM
Question: Does Homer still have an option remaining?

Yeah, he's got one option remaining.

tripleaaaron
12-02-2008, 01:21 AM
1. Y Rodriguez

tripleaaaron
12-02-2008, 01:24 AM
1. Rodriguez
2. Duran
3. Bailey
4. Soto
5. Alonso
6. Stubbs
7. Lotzkar
8. Dickerson
9. Francisco
10. Watson
11. Stewart
12. Roenicke
13. Frazier
14. Cozart
15. Buck

Mario-Rijo
12-02-2008, 01:30 AM
Yeah, he's got one option remaining.

What's up OBM, no list?

OnBaseMachine
12-02-2008, 01:31 AM
I'll make mine in a little while.

Mario-Rijo
12-02-2008, 01:39 AM
I'll make mine in a little while.

Ok I will put up the next poll sometime tonight or when I get up (I sleep late people). I think Polish will be the next list.

OnBaseMachine
12-02-2008, 02:00 AM
1. Yorman Rodriguez
2. Juan Duran
3. Homer Bailey
4. Neftali Soto
5. Drew Stubbs

I had too much trouble trying to figure out a top 15 so I just did a top five.

RedlegJake
12-02-2008, 08:34 AM
Ok I will put up the next poll sometime tonight or when I get up (I sleep late people). I think Polish will be the next list.

Polish? We have 15 players from Poland?

RED VAN HOT
12-02-2008, 09:26 AM
It's not abnormal to take a pitch from a player for some time, although I would assume it's commonly done sooner than AAA/MLB.

Thanks. It does make sense at Rookie league level, or on occasion a little higher.

flash
12-02-2008, 09:30 AM
Notable omissions to the list

Ryan Hannigan- Know he is a confirmed starter now, but Dickerson has as much Major league experience and Bailey has more.

Justin Turner- confirmed .300 hitter

Sean Henry

Robert Manuel- Lights out relief pitcher.

Adam Rosales

Just what is considered raw talent?

RED VAN HOT
12-02-2008, 09:37 AM
If it is not too late.....Considering that Homer's arm is sound and that he can still throw up to 97, and that he is progressing with at least two other pitches, I would like to insert him in my list at 6 and move everyone down one. That would mean dropping MIsael DeJesus from my list. I only included him because I figured that if anyone had God given talent it would be someone name DeJesus.

thanks for your indulgence

Mario-Rijo
12-02-2008, 02:16 PM
Notable omissions to the list

Ryan Hannigan- Know he is a confirmed starter now, but Dickerson has as much Major league experience and Bailey has more.

Justin Turner- confirmed .300 hitter

Sean Henry

Robert Manuel- Lights out relief pitcher.

Adam Rosales

Just what is considered raw talent?

The list has an "other" spot for guys like this. I have explained raw talent several times in this thread. Just peruse and you should find it. Although I should add Henry is a fairly toolsy type of kid and maybe that's a more glaring omission in my mind.

Mario-Rijo
12-02-2008, 02:48 PM
Polish? We have 15 players from Poland?

I guess I meant polish(ed). :D

Mario-Rijo
12-02-2008, 02:56 PM
I think I will wait until later tonight or even tomorrow before I add the next poll, just to give it a bit of a gap between this and the prospect poll(s).

dougdirt
12-02-2008, 02:59 PM
Its interesting that Andrew Means, Scott Carroll and Justin Reed haven't really talked about, yet Means plays football in the Big 10, Carroll played college football and Reed turned down a scholarship to an SEC school for football.... Those guys are some serious athletes.

Orenda
12-02-2008, 03:21 PM
Yeah, Means was playing wideout in a spread offense at IU while I was up there. I never saw him play baseball but he was a decent 3rd WR in college.

Bip Roberts
12-02-2008, 03:25 PM
Reed is also a pretty good boxer

Mario-Rijo
12-02-2008, 03:38 PM
Its interesting that Andrew Means, Scott Carroll and Justin Reed haven't really talked about, yet Means plays football in the Big 10, Carroll played college football and Reed turned down a scholarship to an SEC school for football.... Those guys are some serious athletes.

I mentioned Means and Reed as guys who should have been considered more along with Sappelt and maybe even Puckett. Fortunately this is more of a trial run and only to figure our top 15 overall prospects. If and when I undertake this again next off-season we should have a better grasp on it and be able to do more prospects. I would also probably hold the poll open longer so as to get a truer set of #'s.

redsof72
12-02-2008, 05:13 PM
I only saw the Dayton team this season, but if you want to talk strictly tools, without a doubt, the top guy on the club was Justin Reed. Unfortunately, those tools did not translate into production at the plate. Reed, I believe, once rushed for 400 yards in a high school football game. He made some catches in center field this season that I still can't believe. He has home run power. But his inability to recognize the breaking ball is something that will be tough for him to overcome (137 Ks in 410 ABs).

flash
12-02-2008, 07:07 PM
I have to admit I don't see these guys at all. So as far as assessing raw talent I really can't bring anything to the discussion.

What I do look at very closely is statistics. When a minor league ballplayer hits .300 at various levels as he climbs through the organization I believe he is destined for the big leagues. I also look at errors especially for the infielders.

I don't believe a ballplayer can fake a .300 average. In order to hit .300 you have to hit the ball. It is very rare for a player to hit .300 and get a lot of walks besides.

Although walks put potential runs on the bases, it is hitting that actually brings them in.

I also look at errors. Arm strenth is important, but it is more important for an infielder to be accurate with his throws. Okay so he may not throw the guy out, but the ball doesn't end up in the dugout or seats. (I would say that most errors are the results of bad throws than dropped balls.)

RED VAN HOT
12-02-2008, 11:27 PM
I have to admit I don't see these guys at all. So as far as assessing raw talent I really can't bring anything to the discussion.

What I do look at very closely is statistics. When a minor league ballplayer hits .300 at various levels as he climbs through the organization I believe he is destined for the big leagues. I also look at errors especially for the infielders.

I don't believe a ballplayer can fake a .300 average. In order to hit .300 you have to hit the ball. It is very rare for a player to hit .300 and get a lot of walks besides.

Although walks put potential runs on the bases, it is hitting that actually brings them in.

I also look at errors. Arm strenth is important, but it is more important for an infielder to be accurate with his throws. Okay so he may not throw the guy out, but the ball doesn't end up in the dugout or seats. (I would say that most errors are the results of bad throws than dropped balls.)

I am with you, flash. I too am forced to rely primarily on statistics. I was looking not only at athleticism, but also some indication that it would translate to the kind of baseball skills that would provide a high ceiling. Of the two, however, I considered a demonstrated superior baseball skill more important.

I also considered Means, Ravin, and Reed. Ravin, though said to have one of the best arms in the system, has shown little improvement in three seasons. I have no idea of the likelihood of a player suddenly finding it, but I suspect it is a long shot. IIRC, Sandy Koufax struggled with control for years before putting it all together.

Redsof72 summed up Reed nicely. Means is a more difficult call because of the small sample size at Billings. Had he put up Indiana numbers, I would have included him.

OnBaseMachine
12-03-2008, 02:25 AM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Junior Arias yet. I know we only have limited info on him so far, but he's been described as being great athlete. He's supposedly a slick fielding shortstop with solid potential with the bat. I'll be keeping a close eye on him in the GCL next season.

flash
12-03-2008, 08:53 AM
I must admit catchers and pitchers throw my system out of whack. Pitchers have to face a steep learning curve. There are some who do confound all probability. There are the Nolans', Brownings' and Valenzuelas' that come out of nowhere to have great rookie seasons, and the the Seavers' that are great from the start. Usually a pitcher gets banged around at first though.

I think catchers may face the same learning curve to a certain extent. Bench, great as he was threw a few balls into center field in his initial battles with Lou Brock. But there doesn't seem to be a good place to get minor league stats on that. Even if you could, they might be skewed because you don't know if the minor league pitchers have a clue about holding runners on.

redsof72
12-03-2008, 10:28 AM
Ravin has gotten some mentions here and continues to get attention once in a while because of reports from a couple of years ago that he hit 100 a few times. Whether it is because he is taking something off his fastball to try to get it in the zone or for some other reason, he no longer throws at a velocity that would grab anyone's attention. He is generally in the 90-91 range with horrendous command. The hardest throwers on the Dayton team were Stewart, Arias, Valiquette, and Young and all threw quite a bit harder than he did. Also, Parch and Lotzkar would pop a 95 once in a while despite generally being in the 90 range. And even Klinker, not a guy with a reputation as a hard thrower, would top out in the 92-93 range if I remember correctly. Jeffords also could do that. Ravin, unfortunately, would rank at the bottom in terms of make-up and maturity. Maybe the light will come on for him but he is far from the profile of having some blazing fastball that he just needs to learn to control.

camisadelgolf
12-03-2008, 11:56 AM
Ravin has gotten some mentions here and continues to get attention once in a while because of reports from a couple of years ago that he hit 100 a few times. Whether it is because he is taking something off his fastball to try to get it in the zone or for some other reason, he no longer throws at a velocity that would grab anyone's attention. He is generally in the 90-91 range with horrendous command. The hardest throwers on the Dayton team were Stewart, Arias, Valiquette, and Young and all threw quite a bit harder than he did. Also, Parch and Lotzkar would pop a 95 once in a while despite generally being in the 90 range. And even Klinker, not a guy with a reputation as a hard thrower, would top out in the 92-93 range if I remember correctly. Jeffords also could do that. Ravin, unfortunately, would rank at the bottom in terms of make-up and maturity. Maybe the light will come on for him but he is far from the profile of having some blazing fastball that he just needs to learn to control.

Thank you for the info, as always. We really appreciate it. And that's good to know about Ravin. I put him on my list based on those reports. I'm surprised that you didn't mention Jeffords as one of the flame-throwers. Does he just not throw hard enough? I ask because I've seen a report or two that claims he throws in the mid-90s.

mace
12-03-2008, 12:02 PM
The hardest throwers on the Dayton team were Stewart, Arias, Valiquette, and Young and all threw quite a bit harder than he did.

redsof72, can you enlighten us a bit further on Valiquette? He seems sort of a mystery man. I know he was drafted young and throws pretty hard, but his numbers have been generally uninspiring. Is he much of a prospect?

(btw, redsof72 is one of my favorite posters. The man definitely seems to know what of he speaks.)

OnBaseMachine
12-03-2008, 12:08 PM
(btw, redsof72 is one of my favorite posters. The man definitely seems to know what of he speaks.)

Mine too. He's very informative. I wish he would post more...

redsof72
12-03-2008, 12:50 PM
Thanks. One thing I do not do is comment on any player that I have not seen personally, so that cuts down on the number of posts.

Jeffords had a pretty good year and he has a chance. He has a good fastball, though not in the mid-90s. The only guy on that club that consistently was in the mid-90s was Zach Stewart. He tried to work on developing a breaking ball last season with Doug Bair and seemed to make some progress. He is worth keeping an eye on.

Valiquette has one of the better arms in the organization, especially for a lefty. I would say he is a textbook example of why you don't try to advance a guy too fast through the system. They had him in Dayton as an eighteen year old and they have bounced him around like a rubber ball. In his four years, he has never spent a season with one club where he could have some success and gain some confidence. The big thing he has to overcome is just massive inconsistency. He went to Sarasota last year and had a 2.43 ERA in mid-August and then had three bad games and finished at 3.92. You take away his two worst appearances of the 31 he made and his ERA there would have been 2.19 for a 21 year old in a high-A league. I would like to see him go to Sarasota in 2009 and spend the whole year there and see what he can do. This is a very quiet kid who was pitching in a foreign country in front of 8,000 fans a night as an 18 year old and didn't really speak the language well and struggled and it took a toll on him when he should have been playing in the GCL against other 18 year olds.

dougdirt
12-03-2008, 12:52 PM
redsof72, can you enlighten us a bit further on Valiquette? He seems sort of a mystery man. I know he was drafted young and throws pretty hard, but his numbers have been generally uninspiring. Is he much of a prospect?


Valiquette is certainly a prospect. He is a 21 year old lefty who can throw 93-95 consistently. His offspeed stuff still needs work, but it is dramatically improved over just the last year. He still has a ways to go, but he certainly is someone you shouldn't brush off and not keep an eye on.

Mario-Rijo
12-04-2008, 03:21 AM
Thanks. One thing I do not do is comment on any player that I have not seen personally, so that cuts down on the number of posts.

Jeffords had a pretty good year and he has a chance. He has a good fastball, though not in the mid-90s. The only guy on that club that consistently was in the mid-90s was Zach Stewart. He tried to work on developing a breaking ball last season with Doug Bair and seemed to make some progress. He is worth keeping an eye on.

Valiquette has one of the better arms in the organization, especially for a lefty. I would say he is a textbook example of why you don't try to advance a guy too fast through the system. They had him in Dayton as an eighteen year old and they have bounced him around like a rubber ball. In his four years, he has never spent a season with one club where he could have some success and gain some confidence. The big thing he has to overcome is just massive inconsistency. He went to Sarasota last year and had a 2.43 ERA in mid-August and then had three bad games and finished at 3.92. You take away his two worst appearances of the 31 he made and his ERA there would have been 2.19 for a 21 year old in a high-A league. I would like to see him go to Sarasota in 2009 and spend the whole year there and see what he can do. This is a very quiet kid who was pitching in a foreign country in front of 8,000 fans a night as an 18 year old and didn't really speak the language well and struggled and it took a toll on him when he should have been playing in the GCL against other 18 year olds.

Thanks for the info, especially on Valiquette. Mace had it right he was a bit of a mystery. And since you are offering info what about my favorite arm down there Horst? What's he throw and what's your take on him? Unfortunately I didn't get to see many Dayton games this past season and none of Horsts.

redsof72
12-04-2008, 10:16 AM
I really like Horst. He is a big lefty with an average fastball of 89-90. His best pitch, by far, is his change-up, which is such a good pitch that even the better Midwest League hitters looked silly against it. Like most pitchers who rely on a change-up, he is more effective against hitters from the opposite side of the plate (more effective against right-handers). His change-up is not as effective against lefties. Right-handed batters hit .185 against him and lefties hit .247. For that reason, he has been working on a breaking ball to use against left-handers and if that becomes a good pitch, look out.

For whatever reason, it took the Reds a while to warm up to Horst. They finally put him in the starting rotation three months into the season, almost out of necessity when Josh Ravin got hurt, and Horst was dominant. He went 5-0, 1.64 as a starter in 10 starts. Here is a stat I really like: when the going got tough, Horst was too much for opposing hitters. With runners in scoring position and two outs (moments when games are decided), they combined to hit .146 against Horst for the season, and had only one extra base hit against him all year in those situations.

Near the end of the season, when the Reds announced their invitations to instructional league, Horst somehow was not on the list. However, Walt Jockety attended the Dragons first playoff game, and Horst was absolutely brilliant, giving up no runs and three hits over 6.2 innings before he hit his pitch limit, and got a tremendous standing ovation from the 7,500 fans when he left the game, which was one of the most memorable moments of the year, because everyone in the house was standing. According to media reports, Jockety immediately informed others that it might be a good idea that they go ahead and add Horst to the instructional league list, and based on that game in front of the GM, he got invited.

The only knock against Horst is that when he moves up, hitters might start laying off that change-up, and his fastball is just average. It is possible, as big as he is, that he might add a mile or two to the fastball. Horst is a good guy and works hard and it has been an uphill climb for him but he has met every challenge so far.

Mario-Rijo
12-04-2008, 05:03 PM
I really like Horst. He is a big lefty with an average fastball of 89-90. His best pitch, by far, is his change-up, which is such a good pitch that even the better Midwest League hitters looked silly against it. Like most pitchers who rely on a change-up, he is more effective against hitters from the opposite side of the plate (more effective against right-handers). His change-up is not as effective against lefties. Right-handed batters hit .185 against him and lefties hit .247. For that reason, he has been working on a breaking ball to use against left-handers and if that becomes a good pitch, look out.

For whatever reason, it took the Reds a while to warm up to Horst. They finally put him in the starting rotation three months into the season, almost out of necessity when Josh Ravin got hurt, and Horst was dominant. He went 5-0, 1.64 as a starter in 10 starts. Here is a stat I really like: when the going got tough, Horst was too much for opposing hitters. With runners in scoring position and two outs (moments when games are decided), they combined to hit .146 against Horst for the season, and had only one extra base hit against him all year in those situations.

Near the end of the season, when the Reds announced their invitations to instructional league, Horst somehow was not on the list. However, Walt Jockety attended the Dragons first playoff game, and Horst was absolutely brilliant, giving up no runs and three hits over 6.2 innings before he hit his pitch limit, and got a tremendous standing ovation from the 7,500 fans when he left the game, which was one of the most memorable moments of the year, because everyone in the house was standing. According to media reports, Jockety immediately informed others that it might be a good idea that they go ahead and add Horst to the instructional league list, and based on that game in front of the GM, he got invited.

The only knock against Horst is that when he moves up, hitters might start laying off that change-up, and his fastball is just average. It is possible, as big as he is, that he might add a mile or two to the fastball. Horst is a good guy and works hard and it has been an uphill climb for him but he has met every challenge so far.

Thanks for the info. He definitely dominated that league and yes I hope we see him add 2-3 MPH and solid breaking pitch if so he is a solid mid to back of the rotation option.