Re: Who Is RedsZone's #10 Prospect?
You guys really think Valakia has more pop in his bat than Loo? I still think Loo has a lot of projection, and room to grow.
I like Valaika too guys, but most everything I read on the guy says he wont stick at SS, which in my mind, seriously decreases his value. I don't know that he'd hit enough for 3rd base, but he would make a nice 2b prospect. In any case, Loo seems like a pretty sure bet to be a guy who man's the hot corner, with above average offensive potential, and at the very least average defense.
Valaika isn't super big - 6'0 and 195.. about my size. He def. has a good track record with team USA. I defenitely like his makeup, as he came back and worked seriosly hard to get in shape after a bad injury to the knee. He has quick hands, but IMO, just average power. His hands are good on D and Offense, but he lacks range, which IMO limits his value. If he can't stick at SS, then his value decreases considerably in my eyes. He's barely an average runner. And again, most things I read about him point to being a utility infielder - even MLB.com's draft day scouting report states "utility infielder". I personally think he can be better than that, but...
When you look at Milton Loo, on the other hand - although he's not much bigger, he seemingly offers more projection. He is a 5 tool talent, thats for sure.. I think he has a lot more raw or untapped power than he's shown thus far, and I think at the very min. his power will be on par with Valaika. Hitting is def. his best tool, but he's a great athlete, and I think he could play SS if the Reds wanted him too. He's got good range, above average arm, and solid actions. He seems like a team leader to me too, which is a plus for his makeup in my eyes. He's also a plus runner, as was mentioned.
I dont know, he just seems to have more of the total package to me.
In regards to how I evaluate prospects - I focus a lot on projectability, ceiling, tools, etc. Actual performance is secondary IMO, when talking about prospects. They need to perform eventually, but I wont sour on a guy simply becuase he had a rough debut(cough.. stubbs... cough) or a year spent learning/growing(see homer bailey in 2005 when everyone wrote him off.... man i can remember doug and I getting into some intense discussions defending him as a prospect around here..).
I also look at makeup of a prospect, as I think this is a highly undervalued and underrated - or overlooked - "tool" of a prospect. I tend to think less of prospects like Delmon Young or Elijah Dukes due to their makeup issues, and I think a guys work ethic and desire is a serious attribute that needs to be weighed when evaluating a prospect. This is one factor I like a lot about Valaika.
I think Valaika deserves to be in the top 10 of this list.. I just dont agree that he should be before Loo. He didn't do anything spectacular IMO, just what he should have done as a college player facing rookie level pitching. If he does it at High A, my hopes will raise. If he does it at AA, then I'll truely be impressed. Until then, I temper my enthusiasm for him, and don't put a lot of weight in his stats, as nice as they are. Anyone remember how big the hype was surrounding Adam Rosales around here? I fear Valakia could be getting the same type of hype. Rosales simply did what he was supposed to do when he was "the next big thing" - some on here rated him above homer bailey on their charts...
I dunno.. its interesting discussion, and thanks for the insight on how you guys judge the talent.. I appreciate it, brings a new perspective to how I look at things.
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