Saturday, January 8, 2011

2011 Top 10 Shortstop Prospects


Manny Machado
Manny MachadoPhoto by Ren Dittfield


The position of shortstop in professional baseball has become a virtual melting pot and this list captures a sample of that international diversity. We have five players born in the continental United States, one from Puerto Rico, one from Japan, a Venezuelan, a Cuban and another from Curacao.


1. Manny Machado - Bats: R Throws: R - 6'3" 185 - BAL - 7.6.92. The third overall selection in the 2010 draft, Machado draws comparisons to Alex Rodriguez for body type and offensive potential but more accurately because, like Rodriguez, Machado was a Miami area prep superstar. Machado, a High School All American hit .639 with 27 2B and 12 HR in 2010 and gave up a scholarship to Florida International to sign with the Orioles for $5.25 MM at the deadline.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

GLF

Rk

2

7

1

1

0

0

1

2

0

0

1

.143

.143

.571

2010

NYP

A-

7

29

2

10

1

1

0

3

0

3

2

.345

.406

.448

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

9

36

3

11

1

1

1

5

0

3

3

.306

.356

.472


2. Grant Green - Bats: R Throws: R - 6'3" 180 - OAK - 9.27.87. The 13th overall pick in the 2009 draft out of USC, Green debuted at #5 on this list last year then proceeded to tear up the California League. While Green's season was no doubt a success, it left me with plenty of questions. His K% was a high but not alarming 21.4% but coupled with his below average 6.3 BB% we are left with a piss poor 0.32 BB/K%. You might be able to get away with that in the free swinging hitters paradise of the Cal League but it may lead to a regression next year in the Texas League. Defensively, Green committed a league high 37 errors.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

CAL

A+

131

548

107

174

39

6

20

87

9

38

117

.318

.363

.520


3. Jose Iglesias - Bats: R Throws: R - 5'11" 175 - BOS - 1.5.90. Iglesias could step into Fenway Park right now and wow spectators with his phenomenal glove work. The Cuban defector spent his first year in professional in the AA Eastern League where mangers voted him the league's best defensive shortstop. Like many Latin American prospects, Iglesias doesn't take enough walks. If he can be more patient in AAA Pawtucket he should finish 2011 in Boston.

Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

NYP

A-

12

40

8

14

2

2

0

7

2

7

8

.350

.458

.500

2010

EL

AA

57

221

29

63

19

3

0

13

5

8

49

.285

.315

.357

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

70

281

37

77

12

5

0

20

7

15

57

.295

.339

.379


4. Nick Franklin - Bats: B Throws: R - 6'1" 170 - SEA - 3.2.91. I regarded Franklin as the 3rd best prep shortstop in the 2009 draft behind Houston's Gio Mier and Baltimore's Mychal Givens, and both Mier and Givens made my list last year while Franklin was snubbed. I clearly picked the wrong horse as Franklin tore up the Midwest League and was named to Baseball America's Minor League All-Star Team.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

MWL

A-

129

513

89

144

22

7

23

65

25

50

123

.281

.351

.485

2010

SO

AA

1

3

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

.667

.750

.667

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

130

516

92

146

22

7

23

65

25

51

124

.283

.354

.485


5. Jurickson Profar - Bats: B Throws: R - 5'11" 165 - TEX - 2.20.93. If you are a little league baseball fan or just a channel surfing pedophile, you might remember Profar from the 2004 Little League World Series where his Curacao squadron took home the championship. A former pitcher, Profar has the arm strength and athleticism to be a plus defender at short, and he walks at an above average rate (9.7%) so I like his chances to become an MLB regular.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

TEX

A-

63

252

42

63

19

0

4

23

8

28

46

.250

.323

.373


6. Devaris Gordon - Bats: L Throws: R - 5'11" 150 - LAD - 4.22.88. Dee ranked #6 on this list last year and responded by having a solid year in AA. If you recall (and I'm sure you do), I predicted that because of Gordon's unusually high BABIP in 2008 (.368) and 2009 (.355), he'd likely see a dip in numbers in 2010. As predicted, his "slash" line did decrease from .301/.362/.394 in '09 to .276/.331/.353 in '10. While we're at it, his SB's went from 73 to 53 and he committed a career high 37 SB. It's not all bad. Southern League managers voted Gordon the Best Baserunner, Fastest Baserunner and the league's Most Exciting Player.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

SO

AA

133

555

86

154

17

10

2

39

53

40

89

.277

.332

.355


7. Christian Colon - Bats: R Throws: R - 6'1" 180 - KC - 5.14.89. Although he was a clear cut top half of the first round pick, it was a little bit of a surprise to see the Royals use the 4th overall pick on Colon. The Cal State Fullerton product has limited tools and may be best suited for second base. That position move may happen sooner rather than later now that the Royals have acquired Alcides Escobar.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

CAR

A+

60

245

38

68

12

2

3

30

2

13

33

.278

.326

.380


8. Wilmer Flores - Bats: R Throws: R - 6'3" 175 - NYM - 8.6.91. Signed out of Venezuela in 2007, Flores has been on the prospect radar longer than most 19 year olds. Flores was always projected to have plus power but I was a doubter as he slugged just .332 in 2009. Now that he's posted a 36 2B, 84 RBI season I guess I'm back on board.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

SAL

A-

66

277

30

77

18

2

7

44

2

23

37

.278

.342

.433

2010

FSL

A+

67

277

32

83

18

1

4

40

2

9

40

.300

.324

.415

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

133

554

62

160

36

3

11

84

4

32

84

.289

.333

.424


9. Danny Espinosa - Bats: B Throws: R - 6'0" 190 - WAS - 4.25.87. Nothing about Espinosa really stands out to me, but that's not a bad thing as he does everything just fine. He did produce 28 HR and 25 SB between his minor and major league stops in 2010. That should be enough to give him a leg up on the second base job in Washington this season.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

EL

AA

99

386

66

101

16

4

18

54

20

33

94

.262

.334

.464

2010

IL

AAA

24

95

14

28

2

1

4

15

5

8

22

.295

.349

.463

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

123

481

80

129

18

5

22

69

25

41

116

.268

.337

.464

2010

NL

MLB

28

103

16

22

4

1

6

15

0

2

9

.214

.277

.447


10. Tsuyoshi Nishioka - Bats: B Throws: R. - 5'11" 175 - MIN - 7.27.84. Sure Nichioka will likely play second base for the Twins as some question whether Nishioka has the arm strength to be an MLB shortstop. Alexi Casilla may start the season at short, but the lack of potency in his bat may send him back to a more property suited utility role causing Nishioka to get some reps at shortstop.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2007

JPL

NPBL

130

494

76

148

31

3

3

40

27

50

73

.300

.366

.393

2008

JPL

NPBL

116

473

78

142

26

6

13

49

18

36

68

.300

.357

.463

2009

JPL

NPBL

120

454

70

118

24

5

14

41

26

67

76

.260

.360

.427

2010

JPL

NPBL

144

596

121

206

32

8

11

59

33

79

?

.346

.423

.482

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