The Latest Batch of Prospect Breakdowns

Average year and prime year projections for multiple prospects are coming next week. For now, enjoy this latest batch of prospect breakdowns as well as the latest incarnation of THT’s Top 100 Prospect List.

Elvis Andrus / SS / Texas / MLB / 8/26/88 / ETA: 2009 / High: #33 / Low: #44 / This Week: +10
2009 Thoughts:
Andrus’ adjustment to the majors has gone better than expected, and Texas couldn’t be more pleased. One of the bright, up and coming shortstops in the game.
Average Year Projection:
Coming soon.
Prime Year Projection:
Coming soon.
Notes:
7/15/09 – Coming into the year, I wasn’t sure how well Andrus’ bat would play in the majors at such a young age, but the young man has held his own. His base stealing ability has taken center stage earlier than expected as well. There doesn’t seem to be much pop in his bat, but Arlington Park will certainly aid his home run production moving forward. With just a couple years of big league experience, Texas could have a throwback, All-Star caliber shortstop on their hands.

Brett Wallace / 3B / St. Louis / Triple-A / 8/26/86 / ETA: 2010 / High: #38 / Low: #49 / This Week: +10
2009 Thoughts:
Wallace’s bat appears major league ready, and St. Louis might just give the young man the privilege of a September call-up.
Average Year Projection:
Coming soon.
Prime Year Projection:
Coming soon.
Notes:
7/15/09 – Make no mistake, Brett Wallace will be a strong, productive major league hitter; but I wonder about just how much upside he possesses. Either way, Wallace is one of the surest bets in the minors.

Mat Latos / SP / San Diego / Double-A / 12/9/87 / ETA: 2010 / High: #40 / Low: UR / This Week: +24
2009 Thoughts:
Latos, with his immense potential, has torn through his first, true full year of professional action. His dominant 2009 has him knocking on the Padre’s door.
Average Year Projection:
Coming soon.
Prime Year Projection:
Coming soon.
Notes:
7/15/09 – Latos has shown ace qualities for a few years now. His large frame supports his plus stuff perfectly. San Diego has babied him a bit, but they have released the reigns this year; so much in fact that it has been reported that Latos will join the big league Padres upon their return from the All-Star break. The promotion seems a bit silly to me, as I don’t understand the reasoning behind starting his arbitration clock in order to help a last place team. But I am excited for Latos and his potential for dominance in his new stomping grounds, Petco Park.

Alcides Escobar / SS / Milwaukee / Triple-A / 12/16/86 / ETA: 2010 / High: #41 / Low: #65 / This Week: +17
2009 Thoughts:
Milwaukee may have no choice but to call up slick fielding Alcides Escobar, that is if they want to stay in the NL Central race. Escobar’s game may not be all that fantasy relevant initially, but the Brew Crew needs the defensive jolt.
Average Year Projection:
Coming soon.
Prime Year Projection:
Coming soon.
Notes:
7/15/09 – No matter how much people may doubt his bat, Escobar has worked hard to refine his swing, and he will continue to get better. His fantasy potential lies in his future batting average, run scoring, and stolen bases, as power is not a big part of his game. That leaves his real world value, complete with a Gold Glove-caliber glove, much higher than his fantasy value. But his impressive plate adjustments over the last couple of years has me thinking Escobar’s offensive future is a strong one.

Andrew McCutchen / OF / Pittsburgh / MLB / 10/10/86 / ETA: 2009 / High: #42 / Low: #60 / This Week: -2
2009 Thoughts:
Pittsburgh was able to trade away Nate McLouth largely in part because they felt McCutchen was ready to take over in center field. McCutchen has rewarded the Pirates’ confidence with a great first month and a half of play. He is a good #3 outfielder for 2009.
Average Year Projection:
Coming soon.
Prime Year Projection:
Coming soon.
Notes:
7/15/09 – I sometimes forget that McCutchen is still just 22 years old, as he has been on the prospect radar screen for a long time. Since arriving in Pittsburgh on June 5, McCutchen has taken over as the team’s lead-off hitter and has had nothing but success. Expect him to grow in his permanent role as Pittsburgh’s primary playmaker. His long-term fantasy value ultimately lies in his stolen base and power production, which are both up in the air. But all of the tools that made him a first round pick in 2005 are still there.

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Comments

  1. Troy Patterson said...

    I am absolutely confused as well by the Latos callup.  They have rushed several players recently and not paid much attention to arbitration clocks.  I guess this should be looked at as a good thing trying to get these players up and tested, but it has to hurt them long term as they will have to look to trade them sooner before they lose them or have to pay them.

    I think it makes a little sense for a pitcher though.  Most Pitchers take 2-3 years to establish themselves in the majors.  The hitters can contribute on a much faster timeline and perhaps with a good Peavy trade the Padres could contend in the NL West by 2011…maybe.

  2. d. masi said...

    I’ve seen Latos every start in san antonio and corpus christi.  Plus fastball (consistent 92-94 with a top of 96—but the gun in sa is not to be trusted) and it’s heavy.  Breaking ball runs 10-12 miles slower than fastball. (81-83)
    As pitches mount to any particular batter it becomes apparent that he needs another pitch.  Command is not good enough yet to throw the fastball on the hands consistently.  Fouls accumulate and when batter has seen and fouled more than 3 fastballs the breaking ball is obvious.  This kid with a straight change will be a top of the rotation starter.  His limitations right now will give him a little success for a crummy team.  The potential damage could be devastating.
    The kid they need to get to the show is the second baseman Eric Sogard.  Compare to Robby Thompson in the field when he came up some years ago.  Hits to all fields.  LH batter and good bunter. Line drives similar to Chase Headley at this level.  Instincts and baserunning are above average.  Not much of a base stealer.  Exposure to David Eckstein from a Sept call up could only be positive.

  3. Corey said...

    Could someone please write an article on Rick VandenHurk, his impending call-up, and the average-good chance he has a fairly dominant second half?

  4. Corey said...

    I would say they are about even, as Latos getting the earlier call up may be canceled out by Latos getting shut down as Towers (SD GM) continues to state his innings are being strictly monitored.  However, we’ve all seen that these things are completely ignored when a pitcher dominates, even at a very young age (i.e. Doc Gooden, Kerry Wood, Francisco Liriano, etc.).  So I would give the advantage to Latos, as he has already been called up, and I feel there’s a better chance he dominates than Tillman dominates.

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