Just as I have done the past few years, I have uploaded and attached the new Top Prospects Compilation file to this blog posting. It will remain here and be updated as new lists appear across the web. Prospect rankings from Baseball America, BP’s Kevin Goldstein, and MiLB.com are just some of those that you’ll find in the file.
The Excel workbook contains several tabs at the bottom representing each of the league’s divisions as well as a tab for top 100 lists and the top 20 lists from Baseball America.
October 11, 2009
The minor league season is over after a dreadful 1-10 combined playoff record from four White Sox affiliates. With that, it’s time to kick off our season in review coverage with our Postseason Top 25 Prospects. …
October 8, 2009
2. Gordon Beckham, ss, Birmingham (White Sox)
6. Tyler Flowers, c, Birmingham (White Sox)
15. Dan Hudson, rhp, Birmingham (White Sox)
16. Jordan Danks, of, Birmingham (White Sox)
October 6, 2009
14. Jordan Danks, cf, Winston-Salem (White Sox)
20. Brent Morel, 3b, Winston-Salem (White Sox)
October 2, 2009
Kannapolis, the Sox Low-A affiliate, put up a chubby 5.12 ERA in 2007. In 2008, it dropped more than a full point to 4.08. And here in 2009, it dropped 80 more points to 3.24, 2nd best in the South Atlantic League by just .01. They were also 2nd in strikeouts, 2nd in WHIP, and led the league with 15 shutouts. Not surprisingly they finished the season at 82-57, best record in the 16-team league, despite being below the median in most offensive categories. And the pitching staff that achieved this was filled mostly with players drafted or signed since the 2008 June draft, not much more than a year ago. …
8. Jared Mitchell, of, Kannapolis (White Sox)
September 29, 2009
BA’s Bill Mitchell looks on the AIL, which kicked off on Sept. 24:
While instructional league rosters consist primarily of recent draft picks and newly-signed Latin teenagers, the AIL is populated more with players who already have reached high Class A, or advanced college players getting their first taste of pro ball. The teams have earmarked certain players to participate in the league, although rosters are somewhat fluid with players going back and forth from regular instructs as needed. Among the players appearing in the first days of the Advanced league were righthander Brad Boxberger (Reds, supplemental first-round pick in 2009); outfielder Engel Beltre (Rangers); catcher Josh Phegley (White Sox, supplemental first round), infielder Johnny Giavotella (Royals); and outfielder Scott Van Slyke (Dodgers). … By the same token, the pitchers in the Advanced League are aware that they will gain from facing better hitters. “It gives you more feedback because it gives you time to face guys with a little more experience or ability,” said righthander Taylor Thompson, the White Sox’ 44th-round draft pick this year.
Like the other teams, this list is going to be based for the most part off of who had the best seasons in the league. Age will play a small factor, as a guy with a very good season at a younger age may get the spot over a guy with a slightly better season who was a bit older.
Outfield – Justin Green
Green hit .303/.387/.444 for Kannapolis with 17 steals before earning a promotion to the Carolina League.
Relief Pitcher – Dan Remenowsky
Remenowsky had a 1.99 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and a 44.1% strikeout rate to go along with a 6.5% walk rate for Kannapolis.
September 25, 2009
The Mets claimed right-hander Jack Egbert off waivers from the White Sox, according to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post. The 26-year-old only appeared in two games with the White Sox this year and the results weren’t pretty. He allowed one run for every out he recorded, so he has a 27.00 ERA to show for his 2.2 innings pitched.
Egbert pitched better at Triple A Charlotte, where he allowed 132 hits and 33 walks in 108 innings. He struck out 78 and finishes his minor league season with a 5.05 ERA.
Joe LeCates (Easton, MD): Matt, I saw a report the other day identifying some similarities at the plate between Thompson and Mike Stanton. While that is intriguing to say the least, Thompson is obviously much more raw. That being said, how much of a project is he going to be in terms of learning to hit advanced pitching – what is a realistic expectation for his career path?
Matthew Eddy: Trayce Thompson is that rare player who won over league managers despite not really hitting a lick. You can see the potential in his frame and with his bat speed and his grace in the outfield. But in reality, he could be facing another assignment with Bristol next year to iron out his pitch recognition.
Trayce Thompson (Bristol): Remember, Mike Stanton hit .161/.226/.268 in his first pro season.
Matthew Eddy: This isn’t a question, but it is an appropriate place to wrap things up. It’s important at this level not to get to swept up in a player’s performance, great or poor. For the young first-year players, especially, they have so much development left in front of them that what they do over the course of their first 60-70 pro games is insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
Six-foot-4 and a bit soft-bodied, Holmberg has room to grow stronger and improve upon his present high-80s velocity. He sits at 86-88 mph and touches 90 from a straight overhand delivery, which aids him in getting good plane to the plate. Quick hand speed enables Holmberg to spin quality 12-to-6 curveballs with above-average break and depth. He mixes in a plus changeup and throws an occasional slider. His secondary stuff and precocious feel for locating his pitches and for changing speeds marks him as a future mid-rotation candidate, particularly if he adds a few ticks to his fastball.
Rodriguez features a plus-plus fastball during most outings, topping out at 97 mph and sitting at 95 with late movement. The pitch features incredible plane by virtue of his 6-foot-5 height, and Appy Leaguers struggled to lift the pitch, going homerless during his 27 innings. He throws a changeup with above-average arm speed that neutralizes righthanders. Despite his arm strength, Rodriguez still walks too many batters to rank as a surefire relief prospect, though his control improved as the season progressed. He also doesn’t have a usable breaking ball at this point, as his slider doesn’t consistently show enough tilt to be graded even as fringe-average.
For the full reports on all 20 prospects go to the link.
September 22, 2009
His fastball can get up to 90 m.p.h., but sits more in the 88-89 range, and has a lot of sink. Lefties have struggled with his frisbee slider, but it will likely need improvement if he is going to project as more than a righty specialist. …
September 17, 2009
With Hawaii Winter Baseball no longer an option to send young Minor Leaguers this fall and a proposed “Junior Arizona Fall League” likely a year away, a group of farm directors took matters into their hands to provide a good development opportunity for their players. Eight teams with facilities located largely in the West Valley of Phoenix have come together to form an unofficial co-op league to give some of their players an additional chance to compete. It’s so informal, it doesn’t really have an accepted name, with some calling it the “Advanced Instructional League,” others calling it the “Arizona Parallel League.” … In general, here’s how it works. Games will take place in four complexes where instructional league play was already occurring: Surprise, Peoria and the two new facilities in Glendale and Goodyear. In each case, two teams share the complex and will feed players into a shared team. In Surprise, the Royals and Rangers are partners; in Peoria, it’s the Padres and Mariners; Cincinnati and Cleveland share the Goodyear team, with the Dodgers and White Sox over in Glendale. Each organization will provide 10 players each to the roster, which can be fluid and will likely change frequently. …
September 10, 2009
Attached is the current fruit of a long-term project I’ve been working on. Namely, a large reference of minor-league-to-major league translations (zMLE or ZiPS MLE). We get back into the late 70s here as going back to then, there’s always some source that has the statistics required. Once we get earlier, there are some years that have BB and SO data, generally the most important missing data, but it’s extremely spotty and sometimes, not even whole years are filled. Some day, I’ll have these going back for as long as there was minor league baseball as SABR’s database project proceeds.So, what value do these have? For me, two things stand out as the most important. First, having these either reminds us or introduces us to fine players that never got a shot in the majors. We live in a time when Japan is a real alternative option for Ken Phelpsers like Greg LaRocca to have lucrative careers playing baseball and when increased understanding of the usefulness of minor league statistics in the mainstream has resulted in fewer guys getting completely overlooked.
Second, more information helps us increase our knowledge of how players age and develop. For systems that look at comparable players, it’s quite useful to have more 18-21 year-olds that aren’t stars to help us crack, from a statistics standpoint, who will develop and who will not. …
THT: from the Appalachian and Pioneer League awards:
Hitter of the Year
Brady Shoemaker / OF / Chicago White Sox
Nobody stood head and shoulders above anyone else this year in the Appy League. But Chicago’s new 19th round pick posted a .351 batting average and 1.011 OPS while displaying his power hitting prowess with 21 doubles and nine home runs in just 205 at-bats.
Outfield – Brady Shoemaker
Shoemaker impressed all year with a .351/.426/.585 line with 21 doubles and 9 HR’s. The White Sox prospect spent most of his time playing left field for Bristol.