Monday, January 10, 2011

2011 Top 20 Outfield Prospects




1. Bryce Harper - Bats: L Throws: R - 6'3" 225 - WAS - 10.16.92. When Tom Verdicci wrote his legendary "Chosen One" article, he opened it with the proclamation, "His name is Bryce Harper. You don't know him, but every big league scouting director does." Oh Verdicci you underestimate the prospect community! We were well aware of Harper, who had just been named Baseball America's High School Player of the Year as a sophomore. Harper's story is truly remarkable and will go down in baseball history regardless of whether he pans out. My prediction for 2011 is that we're going to see a high K%. Very high. The K's will cause a low batting average and he'll begin to press which will lead to more K's. Some people not quite as smart as my readers will start calling him a bust prematurely. His true test will be dealing with adversity for the first time in his life. Regardless of the numbers he will produce in 2011, Harper will likely be #1 on this list again in 2012. He's just that talented.


Year

Class

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2008

FR

HS







11

67




.599



2009

SO

HS


115

76

72

22

9

14

55

36



.626



2010

FR

JUCO

66

228

98

101

23

4

31

98

20

39

43

.443

.526

.987

2010

-

AFL

9

35

6

12

3

2

1

7

1

4

11

.353

.410

.629


2. Mike Trout - Bats: R Throws: R - 6'1" 215 - LAA - 8.7.91. A New Jersey prep product, Trout was selected by the Angles with the second of their two first round picks in 2009. Trout's 2010 season was spectacular as he posted a .918 OPS to go with 56 SB while propelling him into the Minor League Player of the Year discussion. While his legs make him a plus center fielder, his arm is below average so he may be a left fielder by the time he reaches the Major Leagues.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

MW

A-

81

312

76

113

19

7

6

39

45

46

52

.362

.454

.526

2010

CAL

A+

50

196

30

60

9

2

4

19

11

27

33

.306

.388

.434

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

131

508

106

173

28

9

10

58

56

73

85

.341

.428

.490


3. Desmond Jennings - Bats: R Throws: R - 6'2" 200 - TB - 10.30.86. Jennings appeal to me has always been his patient eye coupled with his stolen base ability, as that combination is much more rare in today's game than it should be. Jennings has had a well above average BB% throughout his minor league career while stealing 171 bases in just over 4 seasons. He should spend most of 2011 as Carl Crawford's replacement in left, even if he doesn't make the team out of spring training.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

IL

AAA

109

399

82

111

25

6

3

36

37

47

67

.278

.363

.393

2010

AL

MLB

17

21

5

4

1

1

0

2

2

2

4

.190

.292

.333


4. Domonic Brown - Bats: L Throws: L - 6'5" 200 - PHI - 9.3.87. A 20th round pick out of a Georgia HS in 2006, Brown has climbed the prospect rankings year by year. Now a legitimate 5-tool prospect, he'll be asked to fill Jayson Werth's shoes and contend for Rookie of the Year on a championship caliber team.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

EL

AA

65

236

50

75

16

3

15

47

12

29

51

.318

.391

.602

2010

IL

AAA

28

107

15

37

6

1

5

21

5

8

23

.346

.390

.561

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

93

343

65

112

22

4

20

68

17

37

74

.327

.391

.589

2010

NL

MLB

35

62

8

13

3

0

2

13

2

5

24

.210

.257

.355


5. Aaron Hicks - Bats: B Throws: R - 6'2" 185 - MIN - 10.2.89. Let's face it folks there is a drop off between 4 and 5 but HIcks has legit talent. I've been bullish on him since the 2008 draft when I, like many other prospectors, liked him better as a pitcher. While he hasn't hit for as much power as I feel he's capable of, Hicks walked at an incredible 17% last season and has posted BB/K ratios of .88, .73 and .79 in his three professional seasons. There's a lot to like about that.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

115

423

86

118

86

118

27

6

8

49

21

88

112

.279

.401

.428


6. Brett Jackson - Bats: L Throws: R - 6'2" 210 - CHC - 8.2.88. The Cubs used a 2009 first round pick on Jackson, an athletic outfielder out of Cal. Remember when Cal had a baseball team? If you haven't figured it out, I'm partial to guys who get on base and Jackson does just that. He posted a .395 OBP and used those on base opportunities to steal 30 bags.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

FSL

A+

67

263

56

83

19

8

6

38

12

43

63

.316

.420

.517

2010

SO

AA

61

228

47

63

13

6

6

28

18

30

63

.276

.366

.465

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

128

491

103

146

32

14

12

66

30

73

126

.297

.395

.493


7. Nick Weglarz - Bats: L Throws: L - 6'3 240 - CLE - 12.16.87. It's tough for me to look at Nick Weglarz and not think of Adam Dunn. He's big, he's powerful to all fields and he takes a ton of walks. A native Canadian, he's an Olympic and WBC veteran.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

EL

AA

37

137

21

39

10

0

7

27

1

22

26

.285

.387

.511

2010

IL

AAA

50

175

30

50

17

1

6

20

2

28

43

.286

.392

.497

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

87

313

51

89

27

1

13

47

3

50

69

.285

.390

.503


8. Trayvon Robinson - Bats: B Throws: R - 5'11" 195 - LAD - 9.1.87. An intercity Los Angeles product, Robinson was a 10th round pick in 2005. Robinson is a switch hitter who hits for average well against righties (.291) and lefties (.319).


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

SO

AA

120

434

80

130

23

5

9

57

38

73

125

.300

.404

.438


9. Engel Beltre - Bats: L Throws: L - 6'2" 180 - TEX - 11.1.89. Beltre displayed 5 tool ability in his second go around in High A Bakersfield in 2010. While he's a plus runner, his 9 caught stealings demonstrate a needs to learn the nuances of base running.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

CAL

A+

68

263

38

87

11

4

5

35

10

11

34

.331

.376

.460

2010

TL

AA

47

181

14

46

4

4

1

14

8

10

24

.254

.301

.337

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

115

444

52

133

15

8

6

49

18

21

58

.300

.346

.410


10. Jaff Decker - Bats: L Throws: L - 5'10" 190 - SD - 2.23.90. Power and plate discipline are the calling cards of this oddly shaped and even more oddly spelled prospect. While Decker draws his Matt Stairs comparisons primarily for his body type, like Stairs he walks at a high rate (13.5%) and also strikes out at an equally high rate (27.6%).


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

CAL

A+

79

290

53

76

14

2

17

58

5

47

80

.262

.374

.500


11. Yorman Rodriguez - Bats: R Throws: R - 6'3" 180 - CIN - 8.15.92. Signed as a 16 year old out of Venezuela, Rodriguez has 5 tool ability. Thankfully walking isn't an official tool, as his 8 BB in 171 AB's equal a meager 4.3 BB%. He'll join 2B Billy Hamilton on a prospect laden Low A Dayton team, where I'll be able to get a look at him in person.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

PIO

Rk

43

171

25

58

8

3

2

39

12

8

30

.339

.361

.456


12. Anthony Gose - Bats: L Throws: L - 6'1" 190 - TOR - 8.10.90. Gose was part of a talented group of California prep outfielders in the 2008 draft that included Minnesota's Aaron Hicks. He led the minor leagues with 76 SB in 2009 but this past season he stole just 45 while being caught an alarming 32 times. Any Sabermetrician, and I'm not claiming to be one, will tell you that the value of a stolen base just isn't enough to risk when you're thrown out nearly half the time. Gose was selected by the Phillies in the 2nd round in 2008 before being dealt to Houston in exchange for Roy Oswalt. Houston quickly traded him to the Blue Jays for fellow 2008 draftee, Arizona State's 3B/1B Brett Wallace.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

FSL

A+

103

418

67

110

17

11

4

21

36

32

103

.263

.325

.385

2010

FSL

A+

27

94

21

24

3

2

3

6

9

13

29

.255

.360

.426

2010

TOT

2Tms

130

512

88

134

20

13

7

27

45

45

132

.262

.332

.393


13. Jared Mitchell - Bats: L Throws: L - 6'0" 205 - CWS - 10.13.88. Even if Jared Mitchell doesn't make it to the Major Leagues, he's already a pretty accomplished young man. Mitchell was a wide receiver on the 2007 LSU national championship team, the College World Series MVP on the 2009 national champion baseball team and a first round pick that same year. Mitchell missed all of 2010 because of a torn tendon in his ankle and his ultimate potential is directly tied to whether or not he can regain his athleticism. Mitchell is patient almost to a fault, often making it difficult for me to discern whether he is truly being patient or just not recognizing pitches in the strike zone.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2009

SAL

A-

34

115

13

34

12

2

0

10

5

23

40

.296

.417

.435


14. Michael Choice - Bats: R Throws: R - 6'0" 215 - OAK - 11.10.89. Choice rode his DI leading 76 walks to a .568 OBP as a junior at Texas-Arlington. Oakland may be going back to it's Moneyball routes as they made the on base machine the 10th overall pick in 2010. I'm projecting power and patience on his way to a monster season in the hitters paradise that is the High A California League.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

ARI

Rk

3

7

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

2

.000

.222

.000

2010

NW

Rk

27

102

20

29

10

2

7

26

6

15

43

.284

.388

.627

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

30

109

21

29

10

2

7

26

6

17

45

.266

.377

.587


15. Xavier Avery - Bats: L Throws: L - 5'11" 180 - BAL - 1.1.90. Avery was part of what is looking like a very promising 2008 Baltimore draft class that included future ace Brian Matusz (1st) and my #8 2B, L.J. Hoes (3rd). Like Hoes, he's developing rather quickly for a prep draftee and could make an appearance in Baltimore by late 2012.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

CA

A+

109

447

73

125

25

6

4

48

28

42

96

.280

.349

.389

2010

EL

AA

27

107

10

25

6

0

3

18

10

7

34

.234

.288

.374

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

136

554

83

150

31

6

7

66

38

49

130

.271

.337

.386


16. Cesar Puello - Bats: R Throws: R - 6'2" 195 - NYM - 4.1.91. While I was never officially on the Fernando Martinez bandwagon am officially off and onto Cesar Puello's "C-Train". Did I just make that up? It's certainly no more ridiculous than "F-Mart"! While F-Mart is young enough to turn it around, Puello is young enough that he hasn't disappointed Mets fans yet. A .292/.375/.359 line is impressive for a teenager in the Low A Sally League.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

SAL

A-

109

404

80

118

22

1

1

34

45

32

82

.292

.375

.359


17. Ben Revere - Bats: L Throws: R - 5'9" 175 - MIN - 5.3.88. In 2007 the Twins shocked the prospecting community when they used a first round pick on the undersized Kentucky prep standout and signed him quickly for just $750,000. A great contact hitter, Revere has hit at least .305 in each of his professional seasons and has never had a K% over 11.4%.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

EL

AA

94

361

44

110

10

4

1

23

36

32

41

.305

.371

.363

2010

AL

MLB

13

28

1

5

0

0

0

2

0

2

5

.179

.233

.179


18. Reymond Fuentes - Bats: L Throws: L - 6'0" 160 - SD - 2.12.91. Boston made the Puerto Rican born Fuentes a first round pick in 2009 and then recently traded him to San Diego with RHP Casey Kelly and 1B Anthony Rizzo for Adrian Gonzalez. Defensively, Fuentes shines in centerfield but a poor arm could force a future move to left field.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

SAL

A-

104

374

59

101

15

5

5

41

42

25

87

.270

.328

.377


19. Christian Yelich - Bats: L Throws: R - 6'4" 190 - FLA - 12.5.91. A first baseman at Westlake Village HS (CA), Yelich will begin his professional career in the outfield. Yelich was regarded as one of the more advanced prep bats in the 2010 draft.


Year

LG

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

GCL

Rk

6

24

3

9

1

1

0

3

1

2

7

.375

.423

.500

2010

SAL

A-

6

23

2

8

2

0

0

2

0

1

6

.348

.375

.435

2010

TOT

2 Lgs

12

47

5

17

3

1

0

5

1

3

13

.362

.400

.468


20. Kyle Parker - Bats: R Throws: R - 6'0" 200 - COL - 9.30.89. While college athletics has seen many two sport stars, Parker became the first player in collegiate history to throw for 20 TD's and hit 20 HR. As the 26th overall pick in the 2010 draft, Parker signed at the deadline yet still returned to Clemson for one more season on the gridiron. Now that football is behind him he'll begin his professional baseball career in 2011 where he's expected to hit for power.


Year

Class

Level

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

SB

BB

K

AVE

OBP

SLG

2010

JR

NCAA

67

247

85

85

15

1

20

64

4

56

60

.344

.478

.656



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