Thursday, July 29, 2010
Trending Prospects: Seven up and seven downPosted by Matt Hagen at 1:05am
A massive Top-100 update is in the works. I'm now mainly waiting for the 2010 draft class to get signed so the update can be all-encompassing. Some slight information tweaking is also underway to try to get you the most important, bottom-line details as simply as possible.
For now, please enjoy a sneak peek at player movement for 14 top prospects.
Seven trending upward:
J.P. Arencibia has put his awful 2009 behind him with an incredible batting average for his skill level and an improved, but always impressive, power display. He will always strike out too much, and the batting average won't entirely translate, but if Toronto eventually entrusts him with the full-time catching gig, he should be a pertinent power threat for a long time.
Danny Duffy has decided to return to baseball after some time away. He was entrenched in the Top 100 beforehand, and his initial return performances have been promising.
Nick Franklin was never projected to hit for better-than-average power when entering the 2009 draft. But he has made adjustments to his swing and is scorching the ball in his first full season. His contact rate, plate discipline, and defense in the middle infield are right in line for a teenager in Single-A ball as well.
Austin Jackson will come back to reality. I think. I have been a notorious Jackson detractor for years now, but the young man continues to find ways to generate base hits in the majors. His walk rate is poor, but there is some home run power that has yet to surface. He has been a useful big leaguer thus far at the age of 23, and there is some upside left. He deserves the respect.
John Lamb has quietly been one of the best A-ball pitchers of 2010, and he deserves a spot in everyone's Top 100. He has always had great upside, and he is putting the whole package together this year. He combines three at least average offerings with his excellent command.
Jake McGee is looking more and more like another Tommy John surgery success story. It took him a while to shake the rust off, but the 2010 scouting reports suggest that he hasn't lost anything from his velocity or repertoire. The big question holding him back from his pre-surgery glory days is his endurance, but he is fighting his way back to prominence.
Wil Myers brought immense upside into 2010, but I was patient enough to wait and see. I have waited and I have now seen what he offers. Myers has quickly earned his spot among some of the top catching prospects in baseball.
Tim Alderson has always held a soft spot in my heart, but since the 2009 trade bringing him to the Pirate organization his velocity has dipped to the point where he's having a difficult time touching 90 and his command has disappeared. We've all seen success in the past, but he has been passed up.
Casey Crosby has upside and will remain on my watch list, but he can't shake the injury bug at this point, which is even more disheartening when it's his throwing elbow that's always in question.
Aaron Crow his disappointed on many levels this year. The biggest question when he was drafted was his command, which may turn into a chronic issue. Some guys just can't figure out the importance of consistence in pitching. Crow is far too hittable and is getting lost in the shuffle right now.
Brandon Erbe had an 0-10 International League record. The record isn't everything in pitching, but it does make his faults stand out more. His command has been a year-to-year problem that may never get solved.
Matthew Hobgood has workable tools and irrefutable upside, but he is simply unimpressive from every angle at this point. Every video I have seen this year has been "meh," his season stat line is pedestrian, his lack of command is worrisome, and his velocity has not improved from high school.
Andrew Lambo has been riding on the upside train for long enough. His home run power potential is his greatest tool, but has been dormant since 2008. Compounding the matter, his contact rate and plate discipline are not improving.
Lance Lynn has the makeup and stuff of a mid-rotation mainstay. But that's as good as he will possibly get, and his Triple-A results point to a work in progress.