Archive for February, 2012
21) Travis D’Arnaud- TOR, C- One of the main pieces in the Roy Halladay/Cliff Lee blockbuster trade who was sent from the Phillies to the Jays. D’Arnaud is arguably the best hitting prospect in the entire minors. While being solid behind the plate, D’Arnaud’s upside comes with his terrific bat. He has demonstrated the ability to hit for a high average with plus power and good on-base skills. He is projected to eventually have 25-30 home run power in the majors and will begin 2012 in AAA. But JP Arencibia’s job probably isn’t safe for this year. Expect D’Arnaud to reach Toronto this season and eventually take over the full time catching job.
22) Hak-Ju Lee- TB, SS- Lee now seems to be the shortstop of the future in Tampa after coming over in the Matt Garza deal. Lee brings a lot to the table for a middle infielder with good speed and defense, a strong arm, the ability to hit for a high average, and good on-base skills. Lee has displayed all of his tools in Double-A last season at the young age of 20 and is poised to make it to the majors some time next year. Despite a lack of power, Lee has the tools to make him a future All-Star shortstop with a combination of offensive and defensive production.
23) Martin Perez- TEX, SP- Perez has been on the prospect radar for a while now but it is still surprising to note that the lefty is only 20 years old. He was able to reach Triple-A at such a young age but his pure stuff and results have not yet leveled out. Perez has a low to mid-90′s fastball with a great change-up and an average curveball. To take the next step and jump into the majors, Perez needs to harness the control of his pitches. He has the stuff to be a top of the rotation starter but may be closer to a 3 than to an ace, which he was originally projected. Perez is still extremely young so there is plenty of time for adjustments and growth.
24) Carlos Martinez- STL, SP- No player shot up prospect rankings quicker than Martinez last season after displaying tremendous raw stuff. He is capable of hitting 100 MPH on his fastball and sits in the mid-90′s as a starter. Along with his explosive fastball, Martinez throws a plus change-up and a slower curveball with sharp break that could be a devastating pitch. The 20 year old still has some adjustments to make as he seemed to meet his match in High-A ball last season. He is a smaller build and throws right handed but still will remain a starter. He won’t be reaching the majors any time soon but there is no rush with Martinez.
25) Manny Banuelos- NYY, SP- Banuelos now seems to be the only future starter left out of the “Killer B’s” in New York. He will turn 21 in March and has already reached Triple-A. Banuelos carries huge expectations on his shoulders and seemed to struggle a bit after last seasons promotion. The lefty has a fastball that sits in the low 90′s with a terrific, deceptive change-up and an average curveball, but his main problem seems to be control for now. He is going to get his fair share of strikeouts but the Yankees should not rush Banuelos into the rotation right away in 2012, as they already have 6 capable starters competing for 5 spots. He still projects to be a number 2 starter as he continues to develop.
26) Miguel Sano- MIN, 3B- Sano is one of the most young and exciting prospects in the entire minors. At only 18 years old, Sano is already a massive (in a good way) 225+ pounds. He currently is at the hot corner and is still very athletic for his size with a good arm. He may eventually out grow the position but his bat will play anywhere. He has terrific bat speed and will be a solid contact hitter with potential 30+ home run power in the future. He is still so young and far off from the majors to expect any sort of impact in the next year or two, but he is certainly a player on the rise who could come close to the top of a prospect list in the next few years. Get excited Twins fans.
27) Zack Wheeler- NYM, SP- The single best thing that happened to the Mets in 2011 was the acquisition of Wheeler in the Carlos Beltran trade. Wheeler sits in the mid 90′s, touching 97 with a knee-buckling curveball that can be his strikeout pitch along with an average change-up that still needs a bit of work. Wheeler will need to demonstrate better control and more durability before he reaches the majors but he already projects to be a top of the rotation starter anyway. The righty is only 21 and will be extremely scrutinized this year in the minors. But Met fans should get excited because Wheeler looks to be the real deal so far in his young career.
28) Tyler Skaggs- ARI, SP- Another terrific pitching prospect for the D’Backs, Skaggs is a deceptive strikeout machine. He has an average fastball that sits between 90-92 MPH, but still seems to look faster than it actually is. Skaggs also has two great off-speed pitches in a plus curveball and now suddenly plus change-up, both able to strike batters out. At only 20, Skaggs will fill out a bit more to his already 6’4” frame. He had a promising year in High-A and Double-A for Arizona in 2011 and has already demonstrated that he can more than handle his current level. He looks to have the make-up of being a top of the rotation starter in the future, which could make Arizona very scary, very soon. However, Arizona will most likely be more aggressive with Trevor Bauer than with Skaggs in promotion for 2012.
29) Jarrod Parker- OAK, SP- The former top pitching prospect in Arizona is now the top prospect in Oakland for the lowly Athletics. Parker has made a full recovery from Tommy John surgery and is poised to make an impact this year in the majors. His fastball sits in the mid to low-90′s along with a two-seamer, and solid slider and change-up. Oakland’s Coliseum is going to help Parker in 2012 and allow him to be more confident and challenge hitters without the worry of being burned too badly. The Athletic’s new rebuilding project starts with Parker, in hopes that he turns into a top of the rotation starter, probably more of 2 than a 1 though.
30) Archie Bradley- ARI, SP- The D’Backs keep churning up great pitching prospects and you can add Bradley to the list after being drafted #7 overall in last years amateur draft. Bradley has a big build coming out of high school, listed as 6’4” and 225 pounds. With a mid-90′s fastball and one of the best curveball’s in the entire draft class, Bradley already has 2 pitches that are plus, despite being so young. He will have to further develop another off-speed pitch (presumably his change-up) if he is going to be a top of the rotation starter in the future. But there is plenty of time for the 19 year old as Arizona seems to be pretty set with its rotation in the next year or two (Skaggs, Bauer, Kennedy, Hudson). No rush here.