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Benihana
05-24-2012, 02:25 PM
25. Billy Hamilton, SS, Cincinnati Reds (age 21)
Current level: High Class A (Bakersfield)
Preseason ranking: 64

There's a lot of skepticism out there about where Hamilton's ultimate ceiling lies; he's an 80 runner on the 20-80 scale with 42 steals already this season, and can use his speed to create extra opportunities to reach base, but he lacks power and there's a fair chance he moves either to second or center field. He's an absurd prospect for fantasy players but doesn't look like the kind of player who'll generate four or five wins a year at his peak unless he becomes a plus defender (perhaps in center) and shows he can get strong enough to consistently drive major league pitching.

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The rest of the article is ESPN Insider.

alett12
05-24-2012, 02:39 PM
Law has him at 25 (64 going into the season) while MLB.com has him at 20?

Superdude
05-24-2012, 03:37 PM
Anyone else concerned Hamilton has been caught ten times this year? The breakeven point for steal percentage is what? Roughly 70% depending on the lineup? That's not even counting pick offs, which he seems to get caught up in quite a bit.

I'm still pretty skeptical of Hamilton ever being more than a flashy, fantasy value type player like Law was talking about. Would love to see him shipped out for a power left fielder sometime this summer.

dougdirt
05-24-2012, 03:41 PM
The cutoff point is 74%.

The DARK
05-24-2012, 03:41 PM
I'm not too worried. He's dealing with better defenders at higher levels, and he'll adjust his approach based on how often he gets picked off.

The errors are still something to worry about, but should be taken with a grain of salt as Hamilton hasn't exactly been playing on the kindest of fields, and is playing a position where many errors, especially at lower levels, are commonplace.

Vottomatic
05-24-2012, 08:38 PM
Anyone else concerned Hamilton has been caught ten times this year? The breakeven point for steal percentage is what? Roughly 70% depending on the lineup? That's not even counting pick offs, which he seems to get caught up in quite a bit.

I'm still pretty skeptical of Hamilton ever being more than a flashy, fantasy value type player like Law was talking about. Would love to see him shipped out for a power left fielder sometime this summer.

Chapman and Hamilton for Giancarlo Stanton. Yes!

RedlegJake
05-24-2012, 10:13 PM
Chapman and Hamilton for Giancarlo Stanton. Yes!

LOL. STOP! You're killing me!

dougdirt
05-24-2012, 10:49 PM
LOL. STOP! You're killing me!

I would pull the trigger on that deal so fast I would hurt myself.

Blitz Dorsey
05-25-2012, 10:46 AM
1. Dylan Bundy, RHP, Baltimore Orioles (age 19)
Current level: High Class A (Frederick)
Preseason ranking: 11

The Orioles' bizarre, ultraconservative handling of Bundy aside, he didn't just dominate inferior competition in low Class A, he did it with the stuff and polish that could, in another organization, have had him in the big leagues this year or at the start of 2013. (The club finally promoted him to Frederick on Wednesday after he threw 30 scoreless innings for Delmarva to open the year, with 40 strikeouts and just five hits allowed.)

I don't think it's a stretch to say that a redraft of 2011's tremendous class would have Bundy on top, which would have made him the first prep right-hander to go first overall.


2. Jurickson Profar, SS, Texas Rangers (age 19)
Current level: Double-A (Frisco)
Preseason ranking: 7

It's hard to rank a guy much lower than this when he has front-line tools and has failed to reach base in just two games this year, the last one on April 7. His combination of OBP, speed and defense will push Elvis Andrus out of the way -- talk of moving Profar to accommodate Andrus underestimates just how good Profar is going to be.


3. Manny Machado, SS, Baltimore Orioles (age 19)
Current level: Double-A (Bowie)
Preseason ranking: 4

He still has more offensive upside than Profar given his power potential, but it's not a lock that Machado stays at short (I like his chances to do so), whereas Profar is a no-doubt shortstop. And Machado has been gradually heating up as the season has gone on, if we slice the small sample into tiny ones.


4. Travis d'Arnaud, C, Toronto Blue Jays (age 23)
Current level: Triple-A (Las Vegas)
Preseason ranking: 6

Yes, it's Las Vegas, which is a notorious hitters' park, but he's on a tear right now, hitting .341 with five homers in his last 10 games. The combination of plus defense, power and enough OBP makes him a potential All-Star.


5. Wil Myers, RF/CF/3B, Kansas City Royals (age 21)
Current level: Triple-A (Omaha)
Preseason ranking: 13

I doubt Myers ends up at third base for the Royals, but there's nothing wrong with maintaining his flexibility and possible trade value. He'll hit enough to be an impact guy at any position.


6. Taijuan Walker, RHP, Seattle Mariners (age 19)
Current level: Double-A (Jackson)
Preseason ranking: 24

Still just 19 and holding his own in Double-A (2.06 ERA), although he's not quite as polished as Bundy or Miller. Seattle did the right thing in jumping him past hitter-friendly High Desert in the high Class A California League.


7. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (age 21)
Current level: High Class A (Bradenton)
Preseason ranking: 10

Working primarily off his fastball, Cole is handling high-A hitters without too much trouble, but we won't learn much about how close he is to the majors until he's properly challenged in Double-A.


8. Trevor Bauer, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (age 21)
Current level: Triple-A (Reno)
Preseason ranking: 21

#FreeTrevorBauer.


9. Shelby Miller, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals (age 21)
Current level: Triple-A (Memphis)
Preseason ranking: 5

One comment I've heard on Miller this season is that he might just be bored; he's been solid (outside of a bad outing Monday night in Tucson, another great hitters' park), but not spectacular, and his fastball is down about a full grade, sitting 90-93 mph.


10. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (age 20)
Current level: High Class A (Bradenton)
Preseason ranking: 15

He's gradually stretching out, flashing the plus breaking ball but not showing it consistently yet; he's got the size and velocity to be a top-10 starter in the majors but looks like he's a good three to four years away from approaching his peak.


11. Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota Twins (age 19)
Current level: Low Class A (Beloit)
Preseason ranking: 28

He's cooled off since the scorching early start, and striking out a lot more than you'd like, but he has enormous raw power (.551 slugging this year) and enough ability to hit to see him as a middle-of-the-order bat down the road with a .260-.280 average but 30-40 jacks.


12. Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (age 19)
Current level: Low Class A (South Bend)
Preseason ranking: 19

Doing everything you'd expect of him given his age and experience, but not on the fast track of Bundy, his former Oklahoma prep rival.


13. Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (age 20)
Current level: Double-A (Mobile)
Preseason ranking: 25

Skaggs is closer to the majors than Bradley but has a touch less upside; you can't go wrong choosing either arm. I would have to think Skaggs is next in line for a call after Bauer, and his command and control are actually ahead of Bauer's right now.


14. Bubba Starling, CF, Kansas City Royals (age 19)
Current level: Extended spring training
Preseason ranking: 15

He was the hardest guy to rank on the list, as he still has huge tools but hasn't played yet this spring. It wasn't necessarily a bad decision by the Royals to take him fifth overall last June, but since he's nearly 20 I'd like to see him in games sometime soon.


15. Christian Yelich, OF, Miami Marlins (age 20)
Current level: High Class A (Jupiter)
Preseason ranking: 48

The power so far this year has been a surprise (.551 slugging), but he can really hit -- as in, one of the best pure hit tools in the minors right now. Playing center now but virtually no chance to play there in the majors because of his poor arm.


16. Zack Wheeler, RHP, New York Mets (age 21)
Current level: Double-A (Binghamton)
Preseason ranking: 27

The only thing between him and potential No. 1-starterdom is just throwing more strikes. The raw stuff is there.


17. Francisco Lindor, SS, Cleveland Indians (age 18)
Current level: Low Class A (Kane County)
Preseason ranking: 35

He's rising fast and could be top 10 by the end of the year. Very advanced for his age, more than holding his own in low-A even though he's 15 months younger than Starling.


18. Nick Castellanos, 3B, Detroit Tigers (20)
Current level: High Class A (Lakeland)
Preseason ranking: 37

He's destroying the Florida State League (.411 BA) and getting better as the season goes along; the defense is adequate, slightly awkward at times but good enough that he should stay there long-term. No power yet, but that will come with age and once he gets out of the power-dampening FSL.


19. Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves (age 21)
Current level: Triple-A (Gwinnett)
Preseason ranking: 18

His breaking ball still isn't where it needs to be, and he needs it to improve so hitters can't just try to time the hard but flat fastball -- but he is just 21 in Triple-A with good control, and the velocity is about as easy as it gets.


20. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Chicago Cubs (age 22)
Current level: Triple-A (Iowa)
Preseason ranking: 36

Rizzo is shorter to the ball now and even hitting lefties (.327 BA/.377 OBP/.592 SLG in just 53 PA with 12 strikeouts), as well as providing plus defense at first.


21. Oscar Taveras, RF, St. Louis Cardinals (age 19)
Current level: Double-A (Springfield)
Preseason ranking: 53

His swing is unorthodox -- you might even call it ugly -- but it works, well enough to see the bat profiling in an outfield corner, with an average high enough that the OBP is strong even if he draws only 40-50 walks a year.


22. Danny Hultzen, LHP, Seattle Mariners (age 22)
Current level: Double-A (Jackson)
Preseason ranking: 30

Hultzen is nothing spectacular, but he's very close to major league ready, with a changeup as his best shot for an out pitch and above-average command of all of his pitches.


23. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies (age 21)
Current level: Double-A (Tulsa)
Preseason ranking: 26

Now that the preseason hysteria that had some folks calling for Arenado to get the starting third-base job in Denver has died down, he looks more like the prospect he always was: a high-contact hitter who should hit 20-25 homers at sea level with adequate defense at third.


24. Mason Williams, CF, New York Yankees (age 20)
Current level: Low Class A (Charleston)
Preseason ranking: 34

He's not walking, but he's also making a ton of contact, and he's barely begun to fill out physically. There's a lot of projection involved in this ranking but he's a favorite of many scouts (and of me) because of the substantial upside here.


25. Billy Hamilton, SS, Cincinnati Reds (age 21)
Current level: High Class A (Bakersfield)
Preseason ranking: 64

There's a lot of skepticism out there about where Hamilton's ultimate ceiling lies; he's an 80 runner on the 20-80 scale with 42 steals already this season, and can use his speed to create extra opportunities to reach base, but he lacks power and there's a fair chance he moves either to second or center field. He's an absurd prospect for fantasy players but doesn't look like the kind of player who'll generate four or five wins a year at his peak unless he becomes a plus defender (perhaps in center) and shows he can get strong enough to consistently drive major league pitching.

Here are a handful of prospects to watch for before my midseason update: Jackie Bradley, Jr., CF, Red Sox; Matt Barnes, RHP, Red Sox; Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Astros; Zach Lee, RHP, Dodgers; Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Blue Jays; Austin Hedges, C, Padres; Matt Davidson, 3B, Diamondbacks.

Blitz Dorsey
05-25-2012, 10:46 AM
Actually surprised Law included Hamilton in the top 25. He's never been a Slidin' Billy fan.

RedlegJake
05-26-2012, 03:32 AM
I would pull the trigger on that deal so fast I would hurt myself.

I know - but VM has been making so many Stanton offers lately its making me laugh! It's funny because I think he's about to offer half the farm and I STILL don't think its enough. I'd give anyone on this team short of Votto - and I'd even think long and hard about that straight up.

dougdirt
05-26-2012, 10:32 AM
Actually surprised Law included Hamilton in the top 25. He's never been a Slidin' Billy fan.

Plus, his write up isn't exactly a glowing one you would expect from a Top 25 prospect either.

Blitz Dorsey
05-26-2012, 01:12 PM
Plus, his write up isn't exactly a glowing one you would expect from a Top 25 prospect either.

Seriously, it's almost like he was forced to include him or something. Like "Well, yeah, he'll be a valuable fantasy player ... but blah, blah, blah."

Uh, is he a top-25 prospect or not? If he is, might want to talk more about what he CAN do than what he can't.

I also think Billy will surprise some people when he fills out. We're not talking about some 5-9 or 5-10 speedster. He's a full 6-1. Eventually he will fill out to some extent and will add some pop.

bellhead
05-28-2012, 05:35 PM
Seriously, it's almost like he was forced to include him or something. Like "Well, yeah, he'll be a valuable fantasy player ... but blah, blah, blah."

Uh, is he a top-25 prospect or not? If he is, might want to talk more about what he CAN do than what he can't.

I also think Billy will surprise some people when he fills out. We're not talking about some 5-9 or 5-10 speedster. He's a full 6-1. Eventually he will fill out to some extent and will add some pop.

I am thinking the same thing.. The kid was all set to go play SEC football for gods sake it's not like he isn't going to develope. He just might be one of those players who doesn't add weight until they are 23 or 24. I was the same way went into the Navy at 135 came out 4 years later 139. I was 23 then when I finished at Cincinnati Tech 2 years later I weighed 165lbs.

dougdirt
05-28-2012, 05:51 PM
I am thinking the same thing.. The kid was all set to go play SEC football for gods sake it's not like he isn't going to develope. He just might be one of those players who doesn't add weight until they are 23 or 24. I was the same way went into the Navy at 135 came out 4 years later 139. I was 23 then when I finished at Cincinnati Tech 2 years later I weighed 165lbs.
Pretty small frame. Doubt he adds much weight.

RedlegJake
05-28-2012, 05:54 PM
I am thinking the same thing.. The kid was all set to go play SEC football for gods sake it's not like he isn't going to develope. He just might be one of those players who doesn't add weight until they are 23 or 24. I was the same way went into the Navy at 135 came out 4 years later 139. I was 23 then when I finished at Cincinnati Tech 2 years later I weighed 165lbs.

I weighed 140 lbs @ 6-3 and was skinny as a rail when I joined the Marines at 18. 4 years later I was still only 150. I re-upped and 2 years later I was 175 lbs. All muscle too. Some guys add the muscle mass much later than others. I was a good athlete in HS but was simply so skinny my skill was often blown away by going up against much heavier guys. No matter what I did I couldn't gain weight. At 21 it just seemed that every malt I drank and every weight lifted added a pound of muscle that just a couple years earlier my body simply burned up instead of gaining.