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 90-81.
90 James Darnell, 3b, Padres – I would put Darnell higher than this as he showed that he could hit the ball very well at both Low and High-A last year. He is athletic for a third basemen, and has all the tools to succeed both at the plate and in the field. The big issue for him so far is his tools in the field have not translated to good fielding. He makes a lot of dumb mistakes and leaves people baffled as he should be much better than he is in the field. Still, the guy has shown a great bat, and as long as he keeps hitting, they’ll deal with the problems in the field. This is one way where baseball and pickup differ, you can hit it without having to be good in the field.
89 Mat Gamel, 3b, Brewers – Gamel is what he is at this point, and I like it a little more than this. He’s one of the oldest people on this list as he turns 25 this year, but I think he was downgraded because he struggled in his time in the majors. Most prospects do struggle with their first go around, so that doesn’t concern me as much. He’s a bad third baseman, so a move to the outfield would greatly help him, hence a change of scenery would greatly help him, because I doubt the Brewers will get rid of Ryan Braun to placate to Gamel. Still, the guy can definitely hit, and he seems like a guy who will get sold on the cheap for relief help. If he can't beat Braun, maybe Braun will hook him up with a server at his new restaurant.
88 Wilmer Flores, ss, Mets – The scouting reports are much higher on this guy than his stats indicate. Yes, it is impressive that he played at Low-A before his 18th birthday, but he wasn’t all that impressive. He’s a guy that won’t be able to stay at shortstop, and that’s another pretty big knock against him. I can’t see putting a guy like this, with no track record of success, in the Top 100, unless he has other worldly potential. The scouting reports are good, but they ain’t that good. I'm just happy that I can claim a new favorite Wilmer.
87 Lars Anderson, 1b, Red Sox – I would put Lars near 60 on my list, and I realize that is ridiculous considering how bad he was last year. His season would have been considered awful for a slick-fielding shortstop, much less a first baseman. But up until last year, he absolutely crushed the ball. Scouting reports from this past year matched his stats, so it was a really awful year. There is nothing saying positive to say about his 2009, but I really do think that with everybody doubting him, he can relax and start hitting the baseball with authority. Or he can basically kiss his baseball career goodbye, no pressure.
86 Austin Romine, c, Yankees – I’m kind of torn on Romine as he has been known to chase way too many breaking balls, but he’s also athletic for a catcher and has all the ability to be a solid defensive catcher that can hit for power. Looking at a lot of the guys around him, I would probably put him below the Top 100 Prospects. He definitely could be in the Top 50 next year with a strong performance, but right now I think this is a case where the Yankee mystique bumps him up 20 spots.
85 Mike Trout, of, Angels – I like Trout more than this as he fell a little in the draft, but dominated when making his debut. He has great speed and the power potential is there where he could hit 25 homeruns a season. He showed an advanced approach last year, and he is a guy to watch this year at Low-A Cedar Rapids. I expect Burlington Bees Broadcaster Nick Devlin to get an exclusive interview with this guy.
84 Hank Conger, c, Angels – This guy ranks #1 on awesomeness. He’ll be a solid offensive catcher who needs to work to get his defense to acceptable, but he’s heading in the right direction. Really, none of that matters. All that matters is this:
83 Adam Moore, c, Mariners – This guy could be a very solid hitter for a great fielding catcher, the problem is that scouting reports don’t reflect him as a great fielding catcher. He will be an above average hitting catcher I think, but below average defensively. I, personally, think I could find 100 prospects that I would rather have over him. This may be the most boring prospect in the Top 100.
82 Jaff Decker, of, Padres – I think this is a fair ranking, and I’m still not sure how to pronounce his name as I have been told that Jaff is pronounced Jeff. I really hope they were just fucking with me. The big problem with him is that he is short and pudgy, and he doesn’t present any defensive value, nor does he project to have any defensive value. Still, his OBP was .442 last year which is ridiculously high. The guy was able to hit well last year, and as long as he keeps getting on base and hitting the ball well, I’m sure they can take a slight defensive hit out in left field.
81 Travis d'Arnaud, c, Blue Jays – This is a fair ranking for d’Arnaud. He wasn’t great at Low-A, but has above average potential both defensively and offensively for a catcher. He could project to be a 20 homerun catcher with good defense, so the ceiling is definitely there for him to be an All-Star, but he’s far away and really has to prove it on the baseball field before deserving a higher ranking.
That's it for now.
P.S. Ricky Stanzi loves America more than I ever thought possible. He's now Americanizing Tyler Sash's dog.