hbd.top.40.prospects.volume.2

Back by popular demand, I’ve updated my Hardball Dynasty top 40 prospects list. Of course, nobody has been demanding this. I suppose you can say it is about as popular as another blog where someone writes about his Dungeon and Dragons experiences. Nonetheless, I wanted to come up with the list. You can click on the player and see his current ratings plus a little about him. I also get to see his “projected ratings” but you aren’t able to see those because only people in our league are able to see them. I’ve signed a handful of international free agents and had two drafts since I last came up with one of these prospect lists. Sorry if this isn’t the most interesting blog fodder for some of you. Way to go out with a bang on the weekend Brent…

40) Benji Valentine – C – 23 – AAA – Valentine kills lefties and is a slightly above average defensive catcher. He’s got great contact numbers, average power numbers, and he’s not completely lead-footed. He’s #3 on my franchise catcher list, so he’s a major leaguer in the next two years if one of my guys in the majors gets injured for an extended period of time.

Since last time – -9

39) Matt Everett – 1B – 24 – AA – Another guy who’s stuck at a bad position. He can’t lit righties, but he’s got solid contact and power numbers. I’ve got three more years of him, so maybe he’ll develop.

Since last time – N/A (not rated)

38) Troy Moore – LF – 23 – LoA
leadoff guy, but he’s only got average speed. He should hit for average, okay power (15 homers, maybe), and he’s got a tick above average speed. He’s a god awful fielder, though.

Since last time – N/A (not rated)

37) Gus Weiss – RF – 24 – AA – He’s tumbled a bit, but it’s not because of his on the field performance. Again, if he was faster, he’d project as a quality leadoff guy, but he’s only got average speed. He’s a guy that’ll help my AA and AAA teams for quite a few years, though.

Since last time – -12

36) Mickey Banks – LF – 25 – AAA – He got called up for a cup of coffee last year when I had some injuries. I think he could be a quality leadoff guy in the majors if I had an injury, but I don’t think he’s going to standout quite enough to earn a slot in the future starting lineup.

Since last time – -13

35) Erik Crosby – P – 20 – LoA – He’s gonna be able to get righties out, but he’s got no shot of getting out major league lefties which makes him probably a AAAA-type guy. He’ll dominate the minors for the next five years, though, which should be fun to watch.

Since last time – N/A (drafted in Season 3)

34) Pat Fordyce – LF – 25 – AAA – Again, if he was a middle infielder, he’d be 20 spots higher on the list. He’s gonna be able to hit at the major league level although I kind of doubt that he’d stand out. He’ll probably be lost after next season when he becomes a sixth-year minor league free agent.

Since last time – -6

33) Terry Ruth – 1B – 20 – LoA – With his offensive potential, he would be a sure pick to make the majors if it wasn’t for his position. He might be a good backup hitter on the bench someday and he’s young enough that he’s still going to make strides. I traded an absolutely schmoe to get him, so anything I get out of him is just gravy.

Since last time – N/A (not rated last time)

32) Ross Lowery – P – 20 – LoA – Another guy that could potentiallly find a way onto my ML squad, but he’s never going to be a shutdown kind of reliever. Quality guy that should dominate the minors.

Since last time – N/A (drafted in Season 3)

31) Paul Bonilla – P – 18 – Rookie – He’s in kind of a tough spot. If a guy of his projected caliber were in my ML bullpen right now, he’d be weak. Of course, I’ve drafted too many bullpen guys and he’s probably going to be left out. I might be able to trade him, though, as most teams aren’t placing much value in relief prospects.

Since last time – N/A (drafted in Season 4)

30) Miguel Gutierrez – 1B – 20 – HiA – He’s a tough one to figure out. His contract number is low, but his power and batter’s eye might be good enough to make up for it. If he makes the majors, he might be a .250 or .260 hitter with anywhere from 30-50 home runs. He also might only be a .200 hitter which is just too low for my liking.

Since last time – N/A (drafted in Season 3)

29) Alex Bell – P – 21 – AAA – I’m cooling way down on Alex Bell. He just kills in the minors with three full and one partial season under his belt, he’s got a career ERA of 3.09 in 480 innnings. He’s 43-15 with opponenets batting just .222 against him. He’s got a killer Jeff Kent mustache. I just don’t think he has what it takes to be a starter. He might be a Matt Guerrier type reliever for me. I’m guessing he’ll make the bigs at some point in his career.

Since last time – -8font>

28) Todd Shumpert – CF – 24 – ML – Shumpert’s been fine in his first major league season. He’s looking like he can slot himself in as a quality backup outfielder, but he’s just not solid enough to pencil him in as a future major league starter.

Since last time – -12

27) Augie Root – P – 22 – AAA – He’s a former first round pick that I traded for. His numbers aren’t impressive, but he’s improving and his ratings indicate he’s going to be an above average major league reliever (that is, if he’s better than my other major league STUDS coming behind him!)

Since last time – N/A (traded for in Season 3)

26) Freddie Brow – P – 21 – AA – He’s been a tough pitcher for me. His numbers are okay, but not great. At the age of 21, he’s already close to maxing out his potential. He’s got a career 2.65 minor league ERA, though, and he’s having the best season of his your career.

Since last time – +4

25) Shawn Corey – P – 18 – LoA – I’m a little disappointed in this pick. I wanted to get a starting pitcher with my first pick in the Season 4 draft. I picked up Corey, but I think I reached a bit. He’s got the potential to have great control, 2 lights out pitches, and excellent strikeout potential. He’s got a long way to go, though. I’m going slow with him expecting him to either repeat at LoA or bounce up to HiA next year.

Since last time – N/A (drafted in season 4)

24) Brian Darnell – LF – 22 – Rookie – He’s got very similar numbers to Quinton Richardson with more speed. He looks like he’s going to be able to play every defensive position other than catcher, shortstop, and centerfield. He’s crushing rookie league pitching right now and will probably will skip a level going straight to HiA next year.

Since last time – N/A (drafted in season 4)

23) Victor Perez – RF – 23 – AAA – He’s ready for the majors right now. He’s going to struggle against lefties, but he can rake against righties. His power numbers are “meh” but he’s going to hit for contact and he’s blazing fast.

Since last time – N/A (international free agent in season 3)

22) Quinton Richardson – LF – 24 – ML – He’s passed Thom Titan as my #2 guy off the bench. I wish I could find him more playing time. As a rookie, he hit .300/.343/.490 with 12 homers in 337 at bats. Not bad although I think he played a little above his potential last year. This year, he’s struggling a bit.

Since last time – -2

21) Fernando Posada – RF – 20 – AA – I wish Posada played a different position. If he was a shortstop or second baseman, he’d be near the top of this list. As it is, though, I can’t afford to have a guy without much power in a corner outfield spot. He’s going to be able to hit for a very solid average (this season, he’s hitting .343/.435/.552 with 15 homers and 26 doubles). If he was a blazing fast guy, I’d have him penciled in as my future leadoff guy. He’ll make the bigs… I’m just not sure that he’ll be an everyday starter.

Since last time – -9

20) Achilles Saunders – RF – 18 – Unsigned – He wants a 2.7 million dollar bonus (which I’ve offered, but he’s still undecided because he has a D1 college basketball scholarship. His projected numbers are similar to Harry Velazaquez with more power and a little less skill against right handed pitching. He also would be the slowest player on my team and a liability in the outfield, but he looks like he’s going to be able to rake at the plate.

Since last time – N/A (drafted season 4)

19) Sun-Woo Abe – P – 19 – HiA – Abe’s got the potential to move up this list quite a bit. He’s still a few years away and probably won’t be ready for the majors until around season 8. In his first major league season, he’s been lights on in High A with a 1.93 ERA with 12 saves in 12 save opportunities. The bad news is one out of every four hits he’s given up has been hit out of the ballpark. The good news is that he’s only given up 11 hits (3 for homers).

Since last time – N/A (drafted in season 3)

18) Sidney Martin – C – 19 – HiA – If Martin was full-time player, he’d be number one on this list. His durability is incredibly low meaning he’ll only be able to play once every 3-4 games. Still, he’s got potential to be the top contact plus power guy in the league. Plus, I like the possibility of being able to DH him every game in the playoffs.

Since last time – N/A (traded for in season 4)

17) Joaquin Park – P – 19 – LoA – Park just isn’t getting it done right now. He’s got a 7.71 ERA in just 22 minor league games. He’s got the potential to have lights out stuff and possibly be as good as any reliever on this list.

Since last time – N/A (international free agent in season 4)

16) Placido Martin – P – 18 – Rookie – Phenomenal control and he’s gonna be tough on righties. Unfortunately, as you can see by this list, I have just a ton of quality bullpen prospects and I’m not quite sure where these middle of the barrell caliber guys are going to wind up.

Since last time – N/A (drafted in Season 4)

15) Vicente Aquino – P – 19 – Rookie – He’s going to be a solid Closer or Setup A guy. He’s got 2 solid pitchers and three so-so pitchers. I wish he was a little more durable and he’s going to have some health issues over his career, but he’s got a chance to be a top quality ML reliever.

Since last time – N/A (drafted in Season 4)

14) Roy Peters – P – 19 – AA – I really like this guy (especially because he’s a black guy from Enderlin, North Dakota). He’s another guy that I’m convinced could compete at the major league level right now. I’m giving him a little time but he might need to be called on late next year or in Season 6.

Since last time – N/A (drafted in Season 3)

13) Houston Morton – SS – 23 – ML – Morton struggled last year batting .242/.299/.311 (Juan Castro numbers). This year, he’s picked it back up hitting .287/.343/.407 with 10 homers through 100 games. There’s a chance that he could be playing a little less next year as either Blanco or Velazquez might be ready to step into the spot defensively which would open up a spot for Fred Callaway to start. He’d be a GREAT backup option that could play every position but catcher.

Since last time – +4

12) Leonardo Stockton – P – 19 – HiA – Stockton could already come up to the ML level and probably be somewhat successful. I’m planning on bringing him up in Season 7. He has the makeup to be a quality closer or Setup A type guy. Expect him in the big league uniform in Season 7.

Since last time – N/A (drafted in Season 3)

11) Matthew Bradshaw – RF – 19 – HiA – He’s going to be a defensively average corner outfielder, but he’s going to hit for average with above average power. I’ve got him slated to make the jump in Season 7.

Since last time – N/A (drafted in Season 3)

10) Marshall Roberts – P – 24 – ML – He’s a very similar pitcher to Benavente with slightly better stamina and control and only two average pitches (and one the sucks). He’s taking his lumps this year, though. After pitcher 229 innings with a 3.69 ERA last year, he’s struggling with a 6.28 ERA in 19 starts so far this year.

Since last time – -4

9) Bonk Root – P – 24 – ML – I’m puzzled about this one. He didn’t make quite the improvements I was hoping he would this year. He’s still solid in every rating aspect, but he just isn’t getting it done on the field right now. In season 2, he had a stellar 3.13 ERA. Season 3 was comparable with a 3.87. He’s just giving up too many hits this year and his 6.19 ERA has suffered.

Since last time – -1

8) Miguel Benavente – P – 24 – ML – His control is somewhat suspect and he could be a little better against righties. He’s lights out against lefties, though, and he’s got a dynamite first pitch. He projects to be a solid #4-5 starter or quality long reliever for possibly the next 10 years. He struggled through a horrendous year last year with his 8.12 ERA in 14 starts before getting shelved to the pen. In season 4, he’s been terrific with a 3.53 ERA.

Since last time – -4

7) Bill Caufield – P – 19 – LoA – Again, due to his age, I’ve got Caulfield on the slow track to the majors. I think he develop into a solid #4-5 starter, though. He’s an extreme groudball pitcher who will have two solid pitches and one questionable one. He probably won’t see the bigs until at least season 8, though.

Since last time – N/A (traded for in Season 4)

6) Quinton Dougherty – C – 19 – HiA – Here’s a guy that has the potential to CRUSH the ball. He looks like he might be an adequate enough defender to play major league catcher. I wish he was one more year along as I’ve got a 34-year old catcher who has one year on his contract. He’ll probably be up in the bigs sometime in season 6 or 7.

Since last time – N/A (drafted in Season 3)

5) T.J. Shaw – P – 25 – ML – Unfortunately, Shaw missed a good portion of this season with a rotator cuff injury. He’s been solid in his six starts with a 3.54 ERA, so far. Last year, he finished with a 3.39 ERA in 191-1/3 innings pitched. At the age of 25, he looks to have many solid seasons left in the tank.

Since last time – No change

4) Herman Cox – P – 20 – AAA
The last time I said he could probably become a solid #3 pitcher with no real weakness. About a season and a half later, Cox has developed into a potential #2 pitcher. This season is by far his worst season and he’s only got a 3.92 ERA in 20 AAA starts. I’ve been tempted to bring him up, but I think I’m going to keep him into the minors until at least a quarter of the way through season five.

Since last time – +7

3) Jeff Nixon – P – 19 – HiA – Nixon looks a lot like my ace Miguel Acevedo. He’s going going to have a little bit of control problems, but he looks to be a power pitcher with three average pitches. I’m going to give him some time to develop, but he should be something special.

Since last time – N/A (traded for in Season 4)

2) Harry Velazquez – 3B – 23 – ML – Velazquez has spent four years with my Twinkies. He was my first draft pick and spent his first two years tearing up Rookie and Hi-A. He struggled a bit in his third year in AAA and I was reluctant to call him up. I’m glad I did, though, because he’s been the third best hitter on my team. I can’t help but think he’s a lock for Rookie of the Year with 24 homers and 84 RBIs while batting .322/.381.605 through about 100 games.

Since last time – No change

1) Vic Blanco – LF – 21 – LF – He missed most of season 3 with hamstring and shoulder troubles. If he can stay injury free (big IF), he’s going to absolutely tear up the league. The bad news is that in his rookie season, he’s only batting .217. His 22 homers and 16 doubles are very promising. I’m very confident that he’ll bring the average up by the end of the season. He’s going to hit in the high 200’s in the future and he’s going to hit 40-50 homers consistently. Of course, all of this is if he stays healthy.

Since last time – No change

If you’re out on your bike tonight, do wear white,
-B-

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