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OnBaseMachine
07-04-2009, 01:18 PM
MIDSEASON MINOR LEAGUE ALL-STAR TEAM

Chris Heisey

While injuries ravaged Double-A Carolina, Heisey kept showing all five tools and earned a promotion to Triple-A. Not bad for a 17th-round pick.

MIDSEASON MINOR LEAGUE ALL-SURPRISE TEAM

Chris Heisey

The only player to appear on both these lists, Heisey's all-around abilities have propelled him to the cusp of the big leagues.

Zach Stewart

Stewart has rocketed from high Class A to Triple-A all in on half of a season. After working out of the bullpen last year in his pro debut, Stewart has gone back to starting and succeeded thanks to a hard, sinking fastball that induces groundballs by the bushel.

Travis Wood

The third Red on the All-Surprise team, Wood has been the ace of Double-A Carolina's pitching staff, leading the Mudcats in both innings and strikeouts.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/prospect-bulletin/2009/268482.html

reds1869
07-05-2009, 04:45 PM
What would I do without BA? I get giddy every time it shows up in my mailbox and spend a ridiculous amount of time on the website.

The most recent issue gives Heisey a lot of love. It's very exciting to watch him developing into something most people never thought he would.

SoTxRedsFan
07-05-2009, 06:14 PM
Do you guys think all 3 of them (Heisey, Stewart, Wood) all crack the top 100 lists next offseason?

dougdirt
07-05-2009, 06:38 PM
Do you guys think all 3 of them (Heisey, Stewart, Wood) all crack the top 100 lists next offseason?

In my mind, only Stewart has a chance.

Redmachine2003
07-06-2009, 12:44 PM
In my mind, only Stewart has a chance.

If Heisey keeps his current pace it will be hard to keep him off that list.

dougdirt
07-06-2009, 12:54 PM
If Heisey keeps his current pace it will be hard to keep him off that list.

Not really. He is 24, will have just half a season in AA and doesn't have any plus tools. Guys like that don't make Top 100 lists all that often.

Scrap Irony
07-06-2009, 02:16 PM
And this would be the reason I suppose I have a really hard time respecting BA or any other talent evaluator. Heisey has done nothing but produce. As for no plus tools:

Arm Strength
Defensively, he's had 18 and 20 assists in the two years he's played full seasons.

Speed
Heisey has 79 stolen bases against only 14 caught stealing. That's in roughly 400 minor league games. This year he's improved enough that he's looking at around 30 SBs for a minor league season. That should equal out to 35-40 at the major league level.

Power
Lifetime 460+ slugging, with a 568 number this year. And that's just filling out, as he's shown doubles power throughout his career so far.

Batting Eye/ Average
Lifetime BA over 300 with a 70 percentage point jump on top of that in OBP. Too, he's really hard to K, an indicator he has bat on ball skills in the upper percentile of minor league hitters. In fact, he K's about as often as he BB's. In today's game, that's phenomenal.

The other tool-- the glove-- has been positive his entire career. While he's not Stubbs in CF, he's in that group just below. And that ain't bad, folks.

And it's not like he's old. He has a pretty decent shot of playing September ball in Cincinnati, assuming both Louisville and the Reds are out of their pennant races. Even if he doesn't do that, he's still got his whole age 25 year to play major league ball.

Talent evaluators continually undervalue Heisey's brand of production in favor of possibilities. And I have no idea why, aside from a blind grasping at that "next big thing".

It's sad that Juan Duran has a much better shot at landing on a Top 100 list than does Chris Heisey.

Cedric
07-06-2009, 03:02 PM
I don't see much wrong with touting Duran over Chris. Most scouts see Heisey as a productive 4th outfielder with a somewhat low ceiling. I wonder if he is another Denorfia, but hope he is another grinder like big Paul.

Scouting services have to look at ceiling and then project. I can envision Juan Duran as a POSSIBLE superstar because of his ceiling. Can't do the same with Heisey.

dougdirt
07-06-2009, 03:02 PM
And this would be the reason I suppose I have a really hard time respecting BA or any other talent evaluator. Heisey has done nothing but produce.
Baseball America doesn't rate tools. They aren't scouts. They are journalists who talk to scouts to get their information.



As for no plus tools:
Speed
Heisey has 79 stolen bases against only 14 caught stealing. That's in roughly 400 minor league games. This year he's improved enough that he's looking at around 30 SBs for a minor league season. That should equal out to 35-40 at the major league level.
Smart base runners can steal very well in the minors. Smart base runners with good speed (but not great speed, Heisey doesn't have plus speed, he has above average speed) can really go wild. Heisey seems like a very smart base runner and its reflected in the SB%. I don't think he is more than a 15-20 SB guy in the majors though. Minor League SB numbers don't always translate. Take a look at Chris Dickerson, who is faster than Heisey is to see how well his 30 SB seasons have gone over in the majors.



Power
Lifetime 460+ slugging, with a 568 number this year. And that's just filling out, as he's shown doubles power throughout his career so far.
Its not really filling out. He made an adjustment to his swing in the last 8 months and now is using a lot more of his legs in his swing. Before he was not timing everything well and was more of an arms swinger because his timing was off.



Batting Eye/ Average
Lifetime BA over 300 with a 70 percentage point jump on top of that in OBP. Too, he's really hard to K, an indicator he has bat on ball skills in the upper percentile of minor league hitters. In fact, he K's about as often as he BB's. In today's game, that's phenomenal.
His hitability tool is likely his best one. It has always been good, this year its been much better than in the past. We will see how it goes now that he is in AAA but I just don't know if its a plus tool. Its a strong one.



The other tool-- the glove-- has been positive his entire career. While he's not Stubbs in CF, he's in that group just below. And that ain't bad, folks.
Yeah, but its not a plus tool. Its a good one.



And it's not like he's old. He has a pretty decent shot of playing September ball in Cincinnati, assuming both Louisville and the Reds are out of their pennant races. Even if he doesn't do that, he's still got his whole age 25 year to play major league ball.
He isn't old exactly, but he is a 24 year old who has less than 50 at bats in AAA. Thats old for a legit prospect in this game, at least in terms of making top prospect lists because their career value is going to take a hit some because it likely means they start their MLB career at age 25 at best.



Talent evaluators continually undervalue Heisey's brand of production in favor of possibilities. And I have no idea why, aside from a blind grasping at that "next big thing".

It's sad that Juan Duran has a much better shot at landing on a Top 100 list than does Chris Heisey.

Probably because Heisey has a ceiling of a guy who may be a 2-3 time All Star if everything goes 100% right for him at this point. While guys like Duran have the ceiling to be a whole lot more than that. Sure, chance that he gets there comes into play because Heisey is at AAA right now and is a much safer bet. But the prospecting game is about what you will be, not so much how quickly you can be that.

OnBaseMachine
07-06-2009, 03:04 PM
I don't see much wrong with touting Duran over Chris. Most scouts see Heisey as a productive 4th outfielder with a somewhat low ceiling. I wonder if he is another Denorfia, but hope he is another grinder like big Paul.

Scouting services have to look at ceiling and then project. I can envision Juan Duran as a POSSIBLE superstar because of his ceiling. Can't do the same with Heisey.

Baseball America has recently gone on record as saying they think Heisey could be an above average major leaguer.

lollipopcurve
07-06-2009, 03:10 PM
Baseball America has recently gone on record as saying they think Heisey could be an above average major league center fielder.

He wasn't even a top 20 Reds prospect for BA coming into this year.

Heisey's been undervalued by just about everyone. Let's hope that does not include the Reds. They've got a lot tied up in Stubbs ($$$, scouting and development egos) -- hope it doesn't cloud their judgment.

Cedric
07-06-2009, 03:14 PM
Baseball America has recently gone on record as saying they think Heisey could be an above average major leaguer.

I would love if Chris turns out to be a truly positive VORP player. I just don't know if his skills project to long term MLB success. Right now I would hitch my wagon to Stubbs if I was the Reds. High ceiling and perfect CF for GABP. In my opinion having a Torri Hunter/Mike Cameron roaming CF is something this organization has missed since ED. Hopefully Stubbs hits enough to be our dominant CF.

bucksfan2
07-06-2009, 03:22 PM
Baseball America doesn't rate tools. They aren't scouts. They are journalists who talk to scouts to get their information.

Smart base runners can steal very well in the minors. Smart base runners with good speed (but not great speed, Heisey doesn't have plus speed, he has above average speed) can really go wild. Heisey seems like a very smart base runner and its reflected in the SB%. I don't think he is more than a 15-20 SB guy in the majors though. Minor League SB numbers don't always translate. Take a look at Chris Dickerson, who is faster than Heisey is to see how well his 30 SB seasons have gone over in the majors.

Its not really filling out. He made an adjustment to his swing in the last 8 months and now is using a lot more of his legs in his swing. Before he was not timing everything well and was more of an arms swinger because his timing was off.

His hitability tool is likely his best one. It has always been good, this year its been much better than in the past. We will see how it goes now that he is in AAA but I just don't know if its a plus tool. Its a strong one.

Yeah, but its not a plus tool. Its a good one.

He isn't old exactly, but he is a 24 year old who has less than 50 at bats in AAA. Thats old for a legit prospect in this game, at least in terms of making top prospect lists because their career value is going to take a hit some because it likely means they start their MLB career at age 25 at best.

Probably because Heisey has a ceiling of a guy who may be a 2-3 time All Star if everything goes 100% right for him at this point. While guys like Duran have the ceiling to be a whole lot more than that. Sure, chance that he gets there comes into play because Heisey is at AAA right now and is a much safer bet. But the prospecting game is about what you will be, not so much how quickly you can be that.

Nice insight Doug but wasn't Joey Votto at the peak of his rankings around 50?

I think too many times scouts and prospect rankings go overboard on tools and don't put enough emphasis on being a baseball player. Its not just the tools a player has but how well those tools translate to the baseball diamond that determine how good a player will be.

Benihana
07-06-2009, 03:23 PM
I would love if Chris turns out to be a truly positive VORP player. I just don't know if his skills project to long term MLB success. Right now I would hitch my wagon to Stubbs if I was the Reds. High ceiling and perfect CF for GABP. In my opinion having a Torri Hunter/Mike Cameron roaming CF is something this organization has missed since ED. Hopefully Stubbs hits enough to be our dominant CF.

I would bet against Stubbs being able to put up Hunter/Cameron type numbers, particularly in the power department.

OnBaseMachine
07-06-2009, 03:24 PM
There are a ton of major leaguers who lack great tools. Dustin Pedroia, Shane Victorino, Mark DeRosa, just to name a few. Very few people thought Pedroia was a major league regular, let alone a MVP. Look at our very own Joey Votto. He was viewed by many as a horrible defensive first baseman with an average bat but through hard work he has developed into a solid defender and a great hitter. I love tools as much as the next guy but players with average tools + hard work can be stars too.

Cedric
07-06-2009, 03:24 PM
I would bet against Stubbs being able to put up Hunter/Cameron type numbers, particularly in the power department.

Of course. I should have been more clear. I meant that Stubbs could change the game strictly with his defense. Wasn't comparing their offense. Heisey doesn't have that ability, IMO.

SoTxRedsFan
07-06-2009, 03:26 PM
Nice insight Doug but wasn't Joey Votto at the peak of his rankings around 50?

I think too many times scouts and prospect rankings go overboard on tools and don't put enough emphasis on being a baseball player. Its not just the tools a player has but how well those tools translate to the baseball diamond that determine how good a player will be.

All Doug is doing is saying that he doesn't think Heisey makes top 100 lists based on what the scouting services usually look at, not if he thinks he'll be successful in the majors.

Cedric
07-06-2009, 03:26 PM
There are a ton of major leaguers who lack great tools. Dustin Pedroia, Shane Victorino, Mark DeRosa, just to name a few. Very few people thought Pedroia was a major league regular, let alone a MVP. Look at our very own Joey Votto. He was viewed by many as a horrible defensive first baseman with an average bat but through hard work he has developed into a solid defender and a great hitter. I love tools as much as the next guy but players with average tools + hard work can be stars too.

Votto was a first round pick with huge upside. Of course some players are overlooked because of size (Pedroia) but mostly the Major leagues are littered with players with the same skill set. Stubbs has explosive athleticism and that tool alone can change a team. I don't know if Heisey can hit enough to outweight that. Just my opinion.

mace
07-06-2009, 03:28 PM
Most scouts see Heisey as a productive 4th outfielder with a somewhat low ceiling.



If you wish to judge entirely by what the scouts think . . . did the scouts think Heisey would be a virtual Triple-Crown winner this year in AA?

There seems to be a gaping hole between what Heisey can do and what the scouts think he can do.

OnBaseMachine
07-06-2009, 03:29 PM
I've seen Heisey play a couple times this year and both times I've been very impressed with him. He may not have five explosive tools but all of his tools are solid. He possesses very good plate discipline and average or better power. I don't think it's a stretch to project him as an .800+ OPS center fielder with above average defense.

Cedric
07-06-2009, 03:31 PM
I've seen Heisey play a couple times this year and both times I've been very impressed with him. He may not have five explosive tools but all of his tools are solid. He possesses very good plate discipline and average or better power. I don't think it's a stretch to project him as an .800+ OPS center fielder with above average defense.

Then you are looking at an all star. At this time I would say that's a stretch for someone that has played half a season above the A+ level. I'm by no means saying he can't do it. I am just stating why I can see the scouts POV on players like Chris.

Cedric
07-06-2009, 03:34 PM
If you wish to judge entirely by what the scouts think . . . did the scouts think Heisey would be a virtual Triple-Crown winner this year in AA?

There seems to be a gaping hole between what Heisey can do and what the scouts think he can do.

Well of course. Chris is killing the ball right now. It's the job of scouts though to bridge the gap between minor league and major leagues. If Chris continues hitting like this then they will have to reevaluate their stance.

Benihana
07-06-2009, 03:36 PM
I am on record saying I doubt Heisey will ever be anything more than a 4th OF (last summer.)
I am also on record saying that I think now would be the perfect time to sell high & trade Heisey (this month.)

However, even a skeptic such as myself cannot question the accomplishments that Heisey has made this year, and acknowledge how surprised I (along with everyone else) am at what he has done in this half-season. Like it or not, right now he belongs on any minor league Top 100 list.

(And I had no love for Chris Denorfia, either.)

Cedric
07-06-2009, 03:38 PM
I am on record saying I doubt Heisey will ever be anything more than a 4th OF (last summer.)
I am also on record saying that I think now would be the perfect time to sell high & trade Heisey (this month.)

However, even a skeptic such as myself cannot question the accomplishments that Heisey has made this year, and acknowledge how surprised I (along with everyone else) am at what he has done in this half-season. Like it or not, right now he belongs in the BA Top 100.

(And I had no love for Chris Denorfia, either.)

Agree completely. Hopefully Heisey continues to rake and the Reds can cash in on his value either in GABP or through a trade. I can understand the hesitancy from BA. So many "overachievers" labels get attached and players have to fight against that. But in the end the only thing that matters is Jocketty and his staff seem to love Chris. Can't blame them at this point.

dougdirt
07-06-2009, 04:59 PM
Nice insight Doug but wasn't Joey Votto at the peak of his rankings around 50?

I think too many times scouts and prospect rankings go overboard on tools and don't put enough emphasis on being a baseball player. Its not just the tools a player has but how well those tools translate to the baseball diamond that determine how good a player will be.

Votto peaked at like 20-25. Votto had a much higher ceiling than a guy like Heisey does though. Heisey has defense on him, but thats really it and thats only because of the position that he plays. For their positions Votto projected to have a better bat for a 1B than Heisey has for a CF. Votto also got to the Majors at an age where Heisey was just getting a late season taste at AA.

dougdirt
07-06-2009, 05:00 PM
There are a ton of major leaguers who lack great tools. Dustin Pedroia, Shane Victorino, Mark DeRosa, just to name a few. Very few people thought Pedroia was a major league regular, let alone a MVP. Look at our very own Joey Votto. He was viewed by many as a horrible defensive first baseman with an average bat but through hard work he has developed into a solid defender and a great hitter. I love tools as much as the next guy but players with average tools + hard work can be stars too.

Votto was viewed as a guy with an average to slightly above average bat for a first baseman. Meaning he was still viewed as a guy who was an .850 OPS bat. Some may have missed on that, but they still pegged him as a legit major league bat with some impact.

dougdirt
07-06-2009, 05:02 PM
If you wish to judge entirely by what the scouts think . . . did the scouts think Heisey would be a virtual Triple-Crown winner this year in AA?

There seems to be a gaping hole between what Heisey can do and what the scouts think he can do.

Scouts don't care what numbers 24 year olds put up in AA because to be honest, it often doesn't mean much. It means a guy is a tad old for the level and should hit well. Not as well as Heisey did, but its not like he did it as a 21 or 22 year old.

Scrap Irony
07-06-2009, 05:32 PM
Then the scouts you refer to are wrong, doug. I remember the Votto talk. He was considered barely adequate at 1B. He had a slow bat, they said, and was very poor defensively. Pedroia was old for his level, too short, lacking in too many tools also.

If this is what the scouts you talk to say, you need to find better scouts.

krm1580
07-06-2009, 05:39 PM
I am on record saying I doubt Heisey will ever be anything more than a 4th OF (last summer.)
I am also on record saying that I think now would be the perfect time to sell high & trade Heisey (this month.)

However, even a skeptic such as myself cannot question the accomplishments that Heisey has made this year, and acknowledge how surprised I (along with everyone else) am at what he has done in this half-season. Like it or not, right now he belongs on any minor league Top 100 list.

(And I had no love for Chris Denorfia, either.)

Most of these Top prospect lists are derived from a loosely defined set of criteria that are somewhat akin to the growth chart for a newborn baby.

They take a prospect and based on age and tools they assign in their mind what a prospects potential ceiling is. From that point they evaluate how the production falls in line with their projected development curve.

So if you take a guy like Yorman Rodriguez, he is assigned a very high ceiling based on his age and tools. They figure as a 16 year old in Rookie ball he should produce X numbers. If he far exceeds that suddenly he blows up as a prospect and ends up in all of these lists because the belief is he will continue to exceed his projected growth curve and possibly exceed the initially assigned ceiling. It does not take into account that he is still far away from the majors and a lot could go wrong or he could flatline in development.

The flip side of that is a guy like Heisey is older and does not have the exceptional tools is going to be given a much lower ceiling and therefore a lower standard growth curve. In order for him to end up on lists is is going to regularly exceed the curve he was expected to be on and he will still be capped by what they consider his potential due to his age.

The reality is that players rarely follow a standard curve. The standard mean of all players might fall in line but player to player it can be all over the map. The fact is there are always going to be players whose production far exceeds the sum of their tools like a Dustin Pedroia and their are always going to be elite athletes that disappoint as baseball players like Corey Patterson.

The moral of the story is don't get to amped up over these list, realistically they don't mean anything.

As far as Chris Heisey major league upside goes, here is a name for you, right hand hitting Shane Victorino.

Benihana
07-06-2009, 05:47 PM
Most of these Top prospect lists are derived from a loosely defined set of criteria that are somewhat akin to the growth chart for a newborn baby.

They take a prospect and based on age and tools they assign in their mind what a prospects potential ceiling is. From that point they evaluate how the production falls in line with their projected development curve.

So if you take a guy like Yorman Rodriguez, he is assigned a very high ceiling based on his age and tools. They figure as a 16 year old in Rookie ball he should produce X numbers. If he far exceeds that suddenly he blows up as a prospect and ends up in all of these lists because the belief is he will continue to exceed his projected growth curve and possibly exceed the initially assigned ceiling. It does not take into account that he is still far away from the majors and a lot could go wrong or he could flatline in development.

The flip side of that is a guy like Heisey is older and does not have the exceptional tools is going to be given a much lower ceiling and therefore a lower standard growth curve. In order for him to end up on lists is is going to regularly exceed the curve he was expected to be on and he will still be capped by what they consider his potential due to his age.

The reality is that players rarely follow a standard curve. The standard mean of all players might fall in line but player to player it can be all over the map. The fact is there are always going to be players whose production far exceeds the sum of their tools like a Dustin Pedroia and their are always going to be elite athletes that disappoint as baseball players like Corey Patterson.

The moral of the story is don't get to amped up over these list, realistically they don't mean anything.

As far as Chris Heisey major league upside goes, here is a name for you, right hand hitting Shane Victorino.

Good post, agree completely.

dougdirt
07-06-2009, 06:30 PM
Then the scouts you refer to are wrong, doug. I remember the Votto talk. He was considered barely adequate at 1B. He had a slow bat, they said, and was very poor defensively. Pedroia was old for his level, too short, lacking in too many tools also.

If this is what the scouts you talk to say, you need to find better scouts.

I think you listened to too many bad reports. BA and BP never once had anything about a 'slow bat'. The only place I remember hearing anything about a slow bat and Joey Votto was on Lance McAllister's show where a 'scout' told him.

As for Pedroia.... he was viewed as an average second baseman and he wasn't old for his level. He debuted in the majors at age 22. I am pretty curious where the power went. 50+ doubles and 17 HR in 2008 in 726 PA. 2007 and 2009 combined he has over 900 PA, 11 HR and 63 doubles. Maybe they were right and he just had a crazy unusual year last season?

Scrap Irony
07-06-2009, 09:17 PM
A BA article said he had a slow bat during his Futures Game appearance. They also said he'd be less than average around the bag and an average first baseman at best.

BA continually gets these guys wrong. It's their Achilles' heel.

dougdirt
07-06-2009, 09:38 PM
A BA article said he had a slow bat during his Futures Game appearance. They also said he'd be less than average around the bag and an average first baseman at best.

BA continually gets these guys wrong. It's their Achilles' heel.

Baseball America doesn't scout. They aren't scouts. They are journalist who get information from scouts. And when you take a scouting report from 1 game, it certainly can be misinformed with something like bat speed, that can indeed be slower some days than others.

And really, Votto at first base had some pretty glaring weaknesses when he was first coming up. To his credit he certainly fixed them.

Kingspoint
07-07-2009, 04:37 PM
Give me a guy who can make adjustments over anyone else.

Benihana
07-07-2009, 04:42 PM
After watching his performance this year, Heisey got named by BA to the Futures Game.
Assuming he keeps this up, I'd be surprised if he's not named by BA to their Top 100 list.

OnBaseMachine
07-09-2009, 12:21 PM
Baseball America released their midseason top 25 prospect list today and had Yonder Alonso as the 15th best prospect in baseball. Zach Stewart received votes to be in the top 25.

Edit - They made a mistake. Stewart narrowly missed out on the next 25.

From J.J. Cooper: Nice catch. The subscriber story was posted to the RSS feed a little too early as the last minute touches were being put onto the next 25. Stewart was on an earlier version of the next 25, but was just edged out in the final version that’s also going into the magazine.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=5456#more-5456

Kingspoint
07-09-2009, 06:42 PM
Baseball America released their midseason top 25 prospect list today and had Yonder Alonso as the 15th best prospect in baseball. Zach Stewart received votes to be in the top 25.

Edit - They made a mistake. Stewart narrowly missed out on the next 25.

From J.J. Cooper: Nice catch. The subscriber story was posted to the RSS feed a little too early as the last minute touches were being put onto the next 25. Stewart was on an earlier version of the next 25, but was just edged out in the final version thatís also going into the magazine.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=5456#more-5456

Alonso's "60 PA's" don't seem to effect what they think of him.