Thursday, February 04, 2010
Top 10 prospects for 2010: Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco GiantsPosted by Matt Hagen at 6:10am
Los Angeles Dodgers
1. Andrew Lambo / OF / Am I crazy for liking Lambo as much as I do? Most scouts seem to be very down on him due to his mildly disappointing 2009. Sure, his power and plate discipline didn't take the step forward that I was hoping for, but I'm still a believer that his ability to make contact is good enough for the majors right now. And I'm still a believer that his power potential could result in a 30-home-run prime. He is young enough to pull it off.
2. Chris Withrow / SP / Withrow has overcome some early-career injury concerns to become L.A.'s best pitching prospect. His curveball has the makings of an out pitch, and the natural movement on his fastball is enviable. With some work on his command and change-up, he could become a No. 2 starter.
3. Ethan Martin / SP/RP / Martin has the same fastball/curveball combination that Withrow possesses, but Martin brings more pure velocity to the ballpark. Holding him back, though, is his inconsistent command and questionable endurance. The upside is immense, however.
4. Dee Gordon / SS / In my opinion, Gordon gets too much hype. His speed is game-changing, despite his lack of current baserunning instincts, and his defense will be an asset going forward, but his bat doesn't do much for me. His swing is inconsistent and I don't see home run power developing. But he is still raw, and the fact that he put up the numbers that he did in 2009 based on athleticism and tools alone is incredible.
5. Aaron Miller / SP / I was not a fan of L.A.'s selection of Miller in the 2009 draft, mainly due to the fact that he was soon to be 22 years old and just beginning to figure out how to pitch. But his initial numbers have shown much more polish than I was expecting, and his fastball/slider combination has turned heads.
6. Scott Elbert / SP/RP / Elbert has had a couple of opportunities to carve out a place in L.A.'s bullpen, but I think his future still lies in the rotation. He may never have anything more than average command of his fastball/curveball combination, but I still feel that he has the arm and work ethic necessary to be a middle-of-the-rotation stalwart sometime soon.
7. Josh Lindblom / RP/SP / Lindblom doesn't have the projected out pitch needed to be a closer or top-of-the-rotation starter. But he does have a solid repertoire that is highlighted by his above-average fastball. The question is, will he earn his living as a starter or setup man?
8. Garrett Gould / SP / Gould has good projection in his right arm with a low-90s fastball and a potentially devastating curveball. His mechanics, command, and change-up need some real work, but he has lots of time to straighten everything out.
9. Allen Webster / SP / With some hard work, Webster solidified his delivery and improved his command immensely in 2009. He has an impressive three pitches for a kid just one year removed from high school. Having never pitched beyond rookie ball, he has much to prove.
10. Ivan DeJesus / 2B/SS / DeJesus suffered a lost 2009 season due to a broken leg. His best offensive skills are his plate discipline and contact ability. He has no power to speak of, but he is a solid defender at either shortstop or second base and could have a long career as a pesky hitter who is difficult to strike out and keep off base.
San Francisco Giants
1. Madison Bumgarner / SP / The low strikeout rate in the Eastern League and over-publicized drop in velocity are somewhat concerning, but, beyond that, what more could you ask for in a 20year-old pitcher? His 10 innings of major league work showed that he will not be intimidated at the next level.
2. Buster Posey / C / Posey is a strong all-around catcher with sky-high potential, as his contact skills and power could spell an All-Star future. Bengie Molina could keep him from a deserved full-time catching gig, however.
3. Zack Wheeler / SP / Wheeler sports a low-90s fastball with great movement and has a great shot at increasing his velocity to the mid-90s consistently. His curveball has all the makings of an out pitch, even though his change-up has a long way to go. His command and delivery need some work, but San Francisco has a potential ace on its hands.
4. Thomas Joseph / C/1B / Joseph has some serious raw power, but the inconsistency and holes in his swing leave much to be desired. He may be a true boom-or-bust type, because if his bat can develop fully and he is able to stick at catcher, the Giants may have a star on their hands.
5. Thomas Neal / OF / Neal clobbered California League pitching in 2009, and then proved that his breakout season may not have been a Cal League apparition with a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League. His plate discipline and contact ability continue to get better, but I want to see how much power he shows in the Eastern League in 2010. Power is ultimately the name of the game for a corner outfielder.
6. Rafael Rodriguez / OF / You can't expect much more from a 17-year-old than what Rodriguez showed in 2009. He displayed strong contact skills and plenty of raw tools. I'm excited to see if he gets to play full-season ball from the outset in 2010.
7. Nick Noonan / 2B / Noonan didn't have the breakout that many were expecting, causing him to drop off the radar screens of many scouts. As he's just 20 years old, I'm giving him more time. With a good combination of skills, he has a chance to be an above-average second baseman.
8. Dan Runzler / RP / No relief prospect was more impressive in 2009 than Runzler. His command still comes and goes at times, but his fastball/curveball combination is built for high-leverage innings.
9. Ehire Adrianza / SS / Adrianza is talented young prospect with the tools to stick at shortstop and impressive plate discipline and contact skills for a player of his age. His questionable power potential is holding him back a bit, however.
10. Brandon Crawford / SS / Roger Kieschnick was a tough player to leave out, but Crawford's position gave him the edge. His glove looks average but workable at shortstop, meaning his bat could become above average for his position. He has above-average power potential, but he needs to work on being more patient and cleaning up the holes in his swing.