Washington Nationals: Top 10 Prospects
1. Bryce Harper / OF / It was great to see Harper put together a strong nine games in the tough environment of the Arizona Fall League. His skill set matches the hype, and Harper could be headed toward greatness.
2. Danny Espinosa / 2B/SS / Espinosa put together a promising major-league stint late in 2010, where he showed the glove, plate approach, and home run power necessary to be a true asset as a middle infielder.
3. Derek Norris / C / Norris looks like he will do okay behind the plate and still has the potential to excel offensively. There is no doubting his home run power and patience at the dish, although the strikeout rate will need to be reduced dramatically if he is going to come anywhere close to his all-star potential.
4. A.J. Cole / SP / Cole had a first-round grade in my book, but he fell due to signability concerns. Washington ponied up the dough for this projectable and athletic right hander. Despite the hype his slider gets, it is inconsistent, meaning he is a true work in progress, but he has a reputation for being a hard worker.
5. Wilson Ramos / C / Ramos is an asset defensively. He has some power to work with and makes good contact, but his walk rate will need to improve before he is considered an asset offensively. He is still young and has room to improve across the board.
6. J.P. Ramirez / OF / Ramirez has a good looking swing, yet was never projected to hit for the kind of power he showed in 2010. His walk rate needs to come around if he is going to excel at higher levels, but a rising star could be in the works. He is one to watch closely.
7. Eury Perez / OF / At one point Perez showed some power potential. Now, not so much. But he brings excitement to the ballpark with his speed. His contact rate is nice, but he won’t make it far if he doesn’t get on base more.
8. Sammy Solis / SP / Solis has poise and lively movement behind his three-pitch mix, but nothing stands out about anything he throws, meaning his ceiling is limited.
9. Michael Burgess / OF / Burgess has exciting power and does a solid job of taking walks. There is still concern he will hack his way to obscurity, but don’t discount a 22-year old with downright dangerous power.
10. Chris Marrero / 1B / I have a soft spot for Destin Hood, but Marrero remains relevant. The projection never seems to change for Marrero. He is a solid minor-league hitter who should be able to hit a bit in the majors. But as it stands now he is a first baseman who you are always looking to replace. But, dare I say, but there is still more projection in him.
Washington Nationals: Top 10 Players Under Age 26 (as of 4/1/11)
1. Bryce Harper / OF
2. Stephen Strasburg / SP
3. Danny Espinosa / 2B/SS
4. Derek Norris / C
5. Jordan Zimmermann / SP
6. Drew Storen / RP
7. Ross Detwiler / SP
8. Ian Desmond / SS
9. A.J. Cole / SP
10. Wilson Ramos / C
Milwaukee Brewers: Top 10 Prospects
1. Mark Rogers / SP/RP / The top of Milwaukee’s system has been decimated by trades, yet they are still left with a clear cut No. 1 prospect, though he may not fit into any Top-100. Rogers is another year removed from his shoulder issues, is posting good numbers—aside from his walk rate—and has elite smoke on his fastball.
2. Caleb Gindl / OF / His home run power took a step backward, but the rest of his game stayed in line with what scouts have come to expect out of Gindl. Yet it remains to be seen if his home run power will ever progress against the level of pitching he is currently facing. For a corner outfielder it could mean life or death.
3. Kyle Heckathorn / SP / His strikeout rate isn’t ideal yet, but Heckathorn has a three-pitch mix, topped off by a plus change-up, that is flying under the radar. He is a breakout candidate in 2011.
4. Wily Peralta / SP / Peralta fits the mold of big-time velocity but displays little in terms of secondary stuff. His strikeout rate took a nose dive this year, but the rest of his primary numbers kept up the pace. His improved groundball rate was the big factor. Now we need to see if he can put the whole package together in 2011.
5. Cody Scarpetta / SP/RP / Scarpetta is quickly becoming a success story, after once being an 11th-round high school afterthought. His fastball has blossomed in terms of both velocity and command, but his secondary offerings lag behind, and may eventually force a move to the bullpen.
6. Kentrail Davis / OF / Despite suffering through hamstring issues all season, Davis managed to post a stellar year overall, including a good walk rate and plenty of gap power. If he puts his hamstring issue to bed, expect his speed to be an asset; however, just like Gindl, his lack of home run power may diminish his future value.
7. Amaury Rivas / SP / Rivas has an above-average three-pitch mix but shaky command at times. He is characterized as a bulldog on the mound who finds ways to work around his command issues. His age hinders his ranking, but he could soon prove to be an asset in a major-league rotation.
8. Cutter Dykstra / 3B/2B/OF / Many people forgot about Dykstra after a difficult 2009 campaign. He bounced back tremendously in 2010, showing an advanced plate approach, a little bit of power, and some useful speed. He doesn’t have huge upside, but he has the makings of hard nosed ballplayer.
9. Scooter Gennett / 2B / When you look at Gennett, you definitely don’t see a power hitter. Yet in his first full year he hit 39 doubles and nine home runs, and he posted a .309 batting average to top it all off. His tools don’t point to those numbers holding up as he moves forward, but he can’t be ignored either.
10. Logan Schafer / OF / Eric Farris received a look due to his Arizona Fall League performance and Doug Melvin endorsements. Some arms from the 2010 draft deserve attention, too. Milwaukee’s farm system still has depth despite the loss of Brett Lawrie, Jacob Odorizzi, and Jeremy Jeffress. Schafer rounds out the top-10, and fits the mold of fellow farmhands Gindl and Davis offensively, although those two have power upside left.
Milwaukee Brewers: Top 10 Players Under Age 26 (as of 4/1/11)
1. Yovani Gallardo / SP
2. Mat Gamel / OF/3B/1B
3. Jonathan Lucroy / C
4. Mark Rogers / SP/RP
5. Caleb Gindl / OF
6. Kyle Heckathorn / SP
7. Zach Braddock / RP
8. Wily Peralta / SP
9. Carlos Gomez / OF
10. Cody Scarpetta / SP/RP