Friday, February 18, 2011

The Most Overrated Prospects In Baseball: Part 1

Through my first year on the blog, what was the one thing that got overwhelmingly negative feedback?  Prospect analysis.  That's why I'm bringing it back this year bitches.  Luckily for the haters, undertaking an endeavor as large as analyzing all 100 of Baseball America's top prospects proved to be way too much work for a repeat performance.  So I figured I'd shorten up my work and give you the ten prospects that I think are overrated and the ten that are underrated.  I'll start with the overrated, because it's fun to depress fans of certain teams and it's so much easier to hate than it is to love (Poetic, I know).

For clarity, I will list their name, position, organization, and the highest ranking I have seen them in a Top 100 list.

10.  Jonathan Singleton - 1B - Phillies - Highest Ranking:  11th
This one could end up making me look like a jackass, I'll admit that.  I don't have a ton of confidence from what I have read from scouting reports, and his numbers were rather impressive.  But this is a gut feeling.  He absolutely crushed the ball the first half of the year in Low-A, but then was pretty awful in the second half.  Most people have said that he just wasn't ready for the grind of a minor league season.  For his sake, I hope that's the case.  But I'm a big believer in that if you are a first base prospect, you need to crush the ball, and never stop crushing the ball, because anybody can play first base, but you really can't play anywhere else.

9.  Mike Minor - SP - Braves - Highest Ranking:  11
Minor was seen as an overdraft when the Braves took him in the top 10 in the draft a couple years ago.  Then he decided to add a few MPH on his pitches, and people got really excited.  For good reason, things that go fast are way cooler than things that go slow.  Plus, he struck out over a batter per inning in the minors, so that's another reason to think he's really groovy.  Shit, I'm starting to like him more and more.  Anyway, his pitches aren't that good, so he's not somebody who should be a top 20 prospect.

8.  Jose Iglesias - SS - Red Sox - Highest Ranking:  29th
It's not so much that I hate Jose Iglesias, it's that I hate the idea of Jose Iglesias.  There is always a Jose Iglesias rated too high on prospect lists.  Before him, it was Alcides Escobar (last year's most overrated prospect), and before that it was Chin-lung Hu.  It goes on and on way back to year 33 when Jesus ranked Judas way too high on his disciple list (To be fair, Judas had character concerns on top of questions about his bat).  They are the guys who are amazing fielders, but can't hit.  People dream, and say if they can just be an average hitter, they'll be a winning player for a team.  But guess what.  It's really tough to hit major league pitching.  These guys with no pop but good control of the strike zone just get overpowered as they move up to higher levels.  If Iglesias reaches his ceiling, he becomes an average hitter and a great defender at shortstop.  What is that worth?  I don't know, and neither does anybody else, because as much progress that has been made in valuing defensive contributions, there's still a lot of question marks.  There is no way this is a Top-50 Prospect.

7.  Matt Dominguez - 3B - Marlins - Highest Ranking:  21st
He is exactly like Jose Iglesias, except he's not a good enough defender to play shorstop, so he's just a really good defensive third baseman, hence way less valuable.  He hits better than a shortstop, but if everything pans out, he'll be an average hitter at a position where you need an above average bat.  Pass.

6.  Aaron Hicks - CF - Twins - Highest Ranking:  10th
I like toolsy prospects, so Hicks is a tough guy to hate on, but it is a necessity.  Everybody's got him fairly high, but I think 10th is absolutely ridiculous.  He still has a ridiculously high ceiling, but he had his second year at Low-A and still didn't come close to dominating the level.  I mean, he was solid, but for a guy that are expecting such big things from, he certainly stand out.  If he actualizes the tools, he could be great, but I don't see that happening, and at best, he's about 50 spots too high.

And that's all for today, but I'll be back next week for 5-1 of the most overrated prospects in the game.


P.S.  This may be old, and Deadspin may have already posted it this week, and Valentine's Day may be over, but Delonte West on love is maybe the greatest thing ever.

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