I'll be honest, I'm too lazy to write anything after three nights in Vegas, so I should probably post these damn prospect reviews eventually. Today, I'll finally post 40-31.
40 Aaron Crow, rhp, Royals – I like Crow a little bit more than this ranking as the guy was an absolute stud in college, and has top of the rotation potential. The big questions surrounding Crow are the fact that he basically took a year off after not coming to terms on a contract with the Nationals and he hasn’t shown much in his changeup. I think both could be solved this year as I think he will regain his dominant slider after his year off, and I think he can at least develop a serviceable changeup. There’s not much of a track record to go off of, but I’m anxiously awaiting his 2010 debut.
39 Mike Montgomery, lhp, Royals – This seems like a pretty reasonable spot for Montgomery, although I might go a little lower. He was very good at both A-levels last year, where he showed a good fastball and flashed good secondary pitches. I still feel that his ceiling is only that of a #2 starter, and with so much work still to do, I think there are other prospects ranked lower that I am much more excited about. He’s a good prospect, but I don’t think he’s a great prospect.
38 Derek Norris, c, Nationals – I would put Norris higher than this as the guy can flat out hit with an OBP over .400 and slugging over .500 at Low-A last year. If he can do anything close to that when he moves up the ladder, he’ll be a huge asset at catcher for the Nationals. The big problem is he’s new to catching and he’s bad in just about every area of catching. Due to his defensive problems, he’ll probably be taken one level at a time, but nobody’s talking about a necessary position change for him, so he should be a very good hitting catcher, just not for a few years.
37 Josh Bell, 3b, Orioles – I think this is just about right as a ranking for Bell. He has really gotten better and better each year as his tools have turned into real baseball skills. The biggest strides he made were defensively where he now looks like he can stay at third base as opposed to moving to first. He absolutely crushed the ball after his trade to Baltimore last year, and if he can keep that up, he should take over the third base job sometime this year. Although he’s not Longoria, Wright, or Zimmerman, he is a very good third base prospect that will be an asset in the majors.
36 Jarrod Parker, rhp, Diamondbacks – This is too high for Parker. He should probably be 20-30 spots lower. Last year he did very well at Double-A, showcasing a great fastball and slider as well as an average changeup. But he wasn’t completely dominant, and he had Tommy John surgery in October meaning he’ll miss all of the 2010 season. If he was great at Double-A, I could understand this, but he was only very good, so I think he should be knocked down quite a bit. Also, the crazy thing is that on the prospects for the 2011 season, he will be much lower because of the fact that he didn’t pitch at all in 2010. I don’t know why they wouldn’t just mark him down now, and keep him in the general area for the next season.
35 Matt Moore, lhp, Rays – This is a guy that I feel is ranked pretty accurately. He struck out 176 batters in 123 innings in Low-A last year which is the definition of domination. The big problem is he also walked 70 guys which is bad news for him. Another bad sign is a soft body and a delivery that takes a lot of effort. Still, that many strikeouts is a great sign for somebody’s future, and he has plenty of time to harness his stuff before he makes it to the majors.
34 Wade Davis, rhp, Rays – Wade Davis is pretty damn good, and although I have loved this guy for years, I think this is a pretty fair spot for him. He’s got a great fastball and curveball combination, but his changeup is below average. Because of that, people aren’t sure if he’ll be able to stay as a starter, or if he’ll have to change to a dominant reliever. He was solid late in the season for the Rays, but with the depth the Rays have with starters, I think he most likely will have to settle for being a dominant reliever. Still, that’s a nice thing to have around.
33 Christian Friedrich, lhp, Rockies – I’d probably make Friedrich top 20, because he owned everybody last year at two levels of A-Ball. He’s a guy with a big fastball and a monster curve, and a changeup that is average. If he can gain a little more consistency with his command and stay healthy, the sky is the limit for him. The Rockies have made a commitment to making their pitching and defense better, and it’s not inconceivable that in a few years they will be more known for preventing runs than scoring runs.
32 Freddie Freeman, 1b, Braves – This is way too high for Freddie Freeman. I think the guy’s potential peaks at John Olerud who was a really good player, but that’s if everything goes right for him. I don’t see him developing that much power, so he’ll be dependent on average and drawing walks. At first base, that’s not enough to be considered the number 32 prospect in baseball.
31 Lonnie Chisenhall, 3b, Indians – I think this might be a little high for Chisenhall as the stats don’t quite match up to some of the favorable scouting reports that he’s received. He hit very well at High-A, but imploded when he was promoted to Double-A. I can understand that it may have been a small sample size (24 games), but great hitters don’t hit under .200 at any level for any real length of time. This guy could definitely be up this high or higher next year, but I don’t think he’s proven himself enough to warrant his current ranking.
And so goes another blogpost that nobody is going to read. Have a great Monday.