First off, I apologize to all (three) of you who have been patiently waiting for another blog post. I have finally finished up the Top 100, so those will probably be getting posted near-daily for the next few days.
I have decided to go through all 100 of Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects to give my opinion on each and every one of these players. I will try to make at least one off color comment on each player to keep it at least somewhat entertaining. Whenever I talk about what scouts think about a player, I am referring to the excellent work done by Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus for just about everything so big props to him. Today, we hit up prospects 80-71.
80 Mike Moustakas, 3b, Royals – I would put Moustakas at spot 100 or barely missed. He was the second overall pick a few years ago, but the tools have not translated into stats outside of a couple months late in 2008. He’s rough defensively, and he just hasn’t shown an ability to dominate in the minor leagues. Tools can lead guys to stardom, but his two years of disappointing performances makes me feel that a ranking this high is not justified. This is Justified:
79 Tony Sanchez, c, Pirates – I like Sanchez more than this ranking. He was overdrafted at #4 overall, but I think people are underrating him because he was seen as an overdraft. He was a very good college catcher, and he had a very good minor league debut last year. I don’t think this guy is going to be a legendary catcher, but I could see him being a catcher who hits .280 and has 15-20 home runs. That’s a guy who will probably make some All-Star games, and somebody that just about any team would be happy to have behind the plate. There is a 100% chance that some Pirates blog is going to start referring to him as Dirty Sanchez, but until that happens, there's this.
78 Chad James, lhp, Marlins – This seems a little high for James. He was a late riser in last year’s draft, and he already has three pitches that are average or better, including a fastball that gets into the mid 90s. Still, scouts worry about his mechanics as they aren’t that pretty and it leads to problems with his command and control. He’s a guy that probably wouldn’t make it in my Top 100, because he has yet to throw a professional pitch and the scouting reports are good but still leave a few too many question marks for me. Here is a picture of a homosexual Marlins fan for everyone's enjoyment.
77 Fernando Martinez, of, Mets – I’d put Martinez higher as I am one of the few that still has faith that he can reach his potential. I still think he can be a consistent All-Star who slugs over .500 in an outfield corner. He’ll struggle with plate discipline, but he can be an above average corner outfielder who could steal 20 bases and hit 30 home runs. He didn’t turn 21 until after the season last year, and he’s been a top prospect since 1992 (approximately). Although I don’t think he’s going to develop into a superstar, the guy still has every opportunity to become a great pro player.
76 Austin Jackson, of, Tigers – I think this is too high for Jackson. The crazy thing is that his 2009 was nearly identical to his 2008, and he did it at a higher level. Sill, Baseball America decided to drop him about 40 spots, and I don’t think that’s enough. People stop believing in prospects if they don’t play for the Yankees apparently. But this guy hasn’t really shown greatness since 2007 when he crushed the ball the entire season. I think he’s a guy that needs to hit .300 to have a lot of value, because he doesn’t have great plate discipline or power, and he strikes out quite a bit. I don’t think this guy is a Top 100 prospect.
75 Josh Reddick, of, Red Sox – I like Reddick a little more than this as he really hit the ball well at Double-A while showing good plate discipline. He got pressed into major league action and he quite simply wasn’t ready. He lost all his patience and just pressed way too hard when he was up there. I think giving him time to mature his game at Triple-A will be good for him, and he should be ready to compete for a starting job in the Red Sox outfield for 2011. Don't make the mistake of confusing him with Riddick.
74 Brett Jackson, of, Cubs – This is a pretty fair ranking for Jackson, although I could see him a little bit higher. He’s a five tool player who smoked the ball when he made his debut in the lower levels of the Cubs system last year. His ceiling is higher than most of the people around him at this ranking, but he has a big problem with strikeouts, so that is going to be the key to whether he can actually reach his potential. The downside is what Chris B. Young is, the upside is what Chris B. Young was supposed to be.
73 Jiovanni Mier, ss, Astros – I like Mier more than this. He has great defensive potential as he’s able to make some awesome plays, but he also needs to work on his fundamentals as he can mess up on the easy ones. The big thing with him is that his bat was way better than expected in short-season ball last year. He hit .276/.380/.484 which was far better than most were expecting. This is a guy that should be fun to follow when he makes his full season debut this year.
72 Mike Leake, rhp, Reds – This guy is a stat-guru’s wet dream. He actually had a better statistical year than Strasburg, because of his excellent command and ability to fill the strike zone with four different pitches that all rate out as average or better. His stuff isn’t great, but it plays up due to the fact that he has excellent command. It shouldn’t take him much time in the minors to move up, and he definitely has the ability to be like the good version of Kevin Slowey. That’s meant as a compliment, although I’m not sure if it comes across as one.
71 Jhoulys Chacin, rhp, Rockies – Eh. Chacin sounds like he’d be a fireballing Dominican, but he’s not. He’s got four average to above average pitches that he does a good job of mixing in, but he doesn’t have the stuff to overpower hitters. He depends on mixing it up and using good command to get hitters out. That is not going to get me real excited, so I’d probably put him lower. The bad news is that he’s not a top-tier starter in anybody’s imagination, but the good news is there’s a great chance of him being a solid pitcher in a big league rotation.
That's all for now, keep it real.
P.S. I still have no RBI Tournament Recap. It was so long ago that I'm not sure I even remember what happened. I remember something about a clinic and Nolan Ryan throwing the heat, I'll assume I won.