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BA's Eastern League Top 20


alexei606

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Arrieta (#17) and Snyder (#20), with Matusz missing by 1 inning. Like that Snyder is now considered to be a "solid defender at 1B. Matusz would have ranked first on the list if he had qualified - so two to one for the Orioles over the Red Sox and would have been three to one. Write-ups on Arrieta and Snyder:

17. Jake Arrieta, rhp, Bowie (Orioles)

Age: 23. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 225. Drafted: Orioles '07 (5).

Arrieta is a step behind Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman among the Orioles' high-ceiling pitchers, and he pulled ahead of Bowie teammate Brandon Erbe with a promotion to Triple-A Norfolk in the second half. Some scouts believe both Arrieta and Erbe will end up in the bullpen, though others believe Arrieta's fastball should be good enough for him to start.

The Orioles worked to shorten Arrieta's stride to give his pitches a better finish and keep him from leaving his fastball up in the zone too often. He responded well and was able to get swings and misses with his fastball, which sat at 93 mph much of the season. His slider gives him a second plus pitch at times, though it's inconsistent, and his changeup has its moments.

While he has big stuff, Arrieta lacks the command to be a front-of-the-rotation starter and profiles more as an innings eater in the No. 3 or 4 slot.

20. Brandon Snyder, 1b, Bowie (Orioles)

Age: 22. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 215. Drafted: Orioles '05 (1).

Snyder has put together a strong professional resume since pushing past shoulder problems that cost him development time and forced him to move down the defensive spectrum, to first base. While he's unlikely to move back to catcher or third base, he's a solid defender at first base and is getting better as he gains more experience at the position.

The son of ex-big league pitcher Brian Snyder, he lacks the typical power of a first baseman but didn't have any problems driving the ball in the EL, slugging a robust .597 before a promotion to Triple-A. He projects to hit 15-20 home runs annually as he continues to figure out which pitches he can drive. An above-average hitter who shows improved plate discipline, he covers the plate well and uses an all-fields approach.

"He's not afraid to go deep in a count, not afraid to take a walk," Bowie manager Brad Komminsk said. "He's got polish and there's no question he can hit, because he can hit quality pitching."

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An innings-eater? Really?

Yeah, I dunno, I think Arrieta is one of those guys thats gonna be hard to guage. I find it interesting seeing BA say he sat at 93 most of the year, while now looking back at 2 differing PITCH FX data sheets, they both say mid 90's, but once again no big deal. Still needs to gain consistency with his changeup and slider.

I am honestly surprised to see no Erbe here. Maybe he missed the IP limit as well? I find it strange because he has the pedigree and stuff and he finally produced the way I had been hoping that he would, and he doesnt get the recognition....

EDIT~ Yes he missed his appearances.

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Yeah, I dunno, I think Arrieta is one of those guys thats gonna be hard to guage. I find it interesting seeing BA say he sat at 93 most of the year, while now looking back at 2 differing PITCH FX data sheets, they both say mid 90's, but once again no big deal. Still needs to gain consistency with his changeup and slider.

I am honestly surprised to see no Erbe here. Maybe he missed the IP limit as well? I find it strange because he has the pedigree and stuff and he finally produced the way I had been hoping that he would, and he doesnt get the recognition....

Nah, Erbe was well over the limit, but you are going to be much higher on him here than the national spotlight, he hasn't gotten to that point yet. Let him come back strong next season and maintain those stats over a whole year healthy and you'll see some recognition.

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Nah, Erbe was well over the limit, but you are going to be much higher on him here than the national spotlight, he hasn't gotten to that point yet. Let him come back strong next season and maintain those stats over a whole year healthy and you'll see some recognition.

I hear you, I guess your right, thinking about how long it took for Snyder to regain the spotlight, which he still is gonna be scored for not having enough power.

I guess I misread the qualifications, it said soemthing about having to have 20 appearances minimum which seems like quite a bit.

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I'm not sure how this doesn't include a discount for each prospect's time in AAA (which was more disappointing).

These two dominated at AA.

I sense some problems.

Yes, it certainly appears that BA is determining which players it considers the best prospects based on their full season's performance (and scouting reports) and then going back and rating them as the top prospects in whatever leagues they played in. Look at how many guys are appearing in the top 20 in multiple leagues - Kelly, Freeman, Heyward, Alvarez, Stanton, Montero, Davis, Drabek... Some of these guys are no brainers, of course, but it stretches credulity to think that, say, Casey Kelly showed enough in 8 starts in the Carolina League for observers who knew nothing else about him to rate him the sixth best prospect in the league.

Which is probably not a bad thing - they shouldn't wilfully discard pertinent information when they're trying to determine who has the best shot of making it to the big leagues. So, yes, their performance in Norfolk must have raised or reinforced doubts about Snyder and Arrieta.

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Yes, it certainly appears that BA is determining which players it considers the best prospects based on their full season's performance (and scouting reports) and then going back and rating them as the top prospects in whatever leagues they played in. Look at how many guys are appearing in the top 20 in multiple leagues - Kelly, Freeman, Heyward, Alvarez, Stanton, Montero, Davis, Drabek... Some of these guys are no brainers, of course, but it stretches credulity to think that, say, Casey Kelly showed enough in 8 starts in the Carolina League for observers who knew nothing else about him to rate him the sixth best prospect in the league.

Which is probably not a bad thing - they shouldn't wilfully discard pertinent information when they're trying to determine who has the best shot of making it to the big leagues. So, yes, their performance in Norfolk must have raised or reinforced doubts about Snyder and Arrieta.

I agree, but dont like it. Both of these guys should be toward the top based off of how they performed in the EL, but their performances in AAA hurt them...somehow....

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It's a little disappointing for BA to have put JA on the Honorable Mention side of the top prospects in all of baseball a couple months ago, but just inside his League Top 20.

Frankly, the lack of support for Snyder torching AA is also disappointing. Still, three Os between the AA lists with Matusz having barely missed qualifying. Not bad - that's even a better showing then the "franchise that shall not be named". Cue Roch.

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I agree, but dont like it. Both of these guys should be toward the top based off of how they performed in the EL, but their performances in AAA hurt them...somehow....

It's tough. I mean, they can't ignore the information. It appears to me, however, that the amount they discounted JA and BS was a bit harsh. They go light on the "unknown" in those who haven't progressed, but then come down hard on those aggressively promoted who struggled a bit.

Rock, hard place. Etc. Snyder more than anyone deserved to be higher on the AA list, I think. Not sure how you discount an age-appropriate 1.050 OPS.

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It's a little disappointing for BA to have put JA on the Honorable Mention side of the top prospects in all of baseball a couple months ago, but just inside his League Top 20.

Frankly, the lack of support for Snyder torching AA is also disappointing. Still, three Os between the AA lists with Matusz having barely missed qualifying. Not bad - that's even a better showing then the "franchise that shall not be named". Cue Roch.

I know that I mentioned that in the OP, but, to be fair, many posters, IIRC, aknowledged that the Orioles should do better in the upper MiLs due to Boston graduating so many of their top prospects. That is why it is important that some players from '06, '07 and '08 have break-out seasons and that the '09 draft is the re-stocking the system, which is what Boston has shown that they do so well with how many prospects on this lists in the lower minors.

Agree about Snyder, but, this is by far the most up beat post from BA since Snyder's debut and being picked the Appy League's top prospect. It is also the first time that they had something positive to say about his defense.

I also think the Arrieta is being under rated, that said, BA did mention about the mechanical tweak and his "big stuff". Command (not control, thank god!) is still an issue - along with consistency with his secondary pitches. Jake is a bull dog and shows that he is willing to learn - I believe that he will fix these issues next year.

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Arrieta (#17) and Snyder (#20), with Matusz missing by 1 inning. Like that Snyder is now considered to be a "solid defender at 1B. Matusz would have ranked first on the list if he had qualified - so two to one for the Orioles over the Red Sox and would have been three to one. Write-ups on Arrieta and Snyder:

I must once again reveal my Red Sox fandom (:)) in pointing out that Boston actually placed two prospects in the EL Top 20 -- Tazawa (7) and Reddick (12), each of whom ranked ahead of Snyder (20) and Arrieta (17).

I agree with Hoosiers that if we include players that don't qualify, BAL would have a better showing... :)

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From chat (http://www.baseballamerica.com/online/chat/?1255099235)

Ben (Leland Grove): Which Orioles 1B is better defensively, in your estimation - Snyder or Waring?

John Manuel: Definitely Snyder, who has more experience at the position. Ranking him was definitely based on believing the feel for hitting will translate into average power. He's kind of a righthanded-hitting Sean Casey.

Peter (NYC): What makes Zach McAllister constantly rank better than Zach Britton and Brandon Erbe of the O's? he does not seem much better than those two but always outranks them?

John Manuel: For some I'm sure he doesn't rank better than those guys. For me, what McAllister did in the EL was superior to what Erbe did. Erbe's ceiling is higher; McAllister is closer to his ceiling and the injury track record with Erbe is a bit troubling. McAllister is a four-pitch, back-of-the-rotation guy who is pretty close to being a No. 4 starter. I also like that he competes well and has success when he doesn't have his best stuff. I think it's kind of obvious that pitchers don't always have their best stuff and have to learn to pitch without it. He's good with plan A, plan B and even sometimes plan C. But again, there's just not a lot of difference between No. 19 or No. 22 or whatever theoretical rank you want to give to Erbe. I can't speak authoritatively on Britton so I'm just leaving him out of the discussion.

Peter (NYC): How close was Brandon Erbe? Did the injury cost him a palce on the list or the control issues?

John Manuel: Erbe was close; probably 21-25 range actually. As I wrote in the Arrieta writeup, some people preferred Erbe. I took Arrieta because of the better fastball velo (Erbe, post-shoulder injury, was more 91-92, where Arrieta was sitting 93 and touching higher), better fastball command and more durable body. Erbe could wind up being better and it wouldn't be a shock; not a big difference there.

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I know that I mentioned that in the OP, but, to be fair, many posters, IIRC, aknowledged that the Orioles should do better in the upper MiLs due to Boston graduating so many of their top prospects. That is why it is important that some players from '06, '07 and '08 have break-out seasons and that the '09 draft is the re-stocking the system, which is what Boston has shown that they do so well with how many prospects on this lists in the lower minors.

Agree about Snyder, but, this is by far the most up beat post from BA since Snyder's debut and being picked the Appy League's top prospect. It is also the first time that they had something positive to say about his defense.

I also think the Arrieta is being under rated, that said, BA did mention about the mechanical tweak and his "big stuff". Command (not control, thank god!) is still an issue - along with consistency with his secondary pitches. Jake is a bull dog and shows that he is willing to learn - I believe that he will fix these issues next year.

Yeah, well the thing with Jake is that hes kinda hard to guage. Part of his calling is his intangibles and that is one thing in baseball that you cannot measure. But aside from that, the fact that he isnt completely developed leaves him (A) a ton of room to improve and (B) with a very high ceiling with the odds against him achieving it. BA, BP, no one honestly knows whats gonna happen with him, if he was developing quicker then hed be rated higher, but no one knows how much further he will get. Between now and next year at this time, it could all come together for Jake, and we may not even know it, but he will remain IMO a wild card until we see him up here and how he does once hes here. He could come up to the majors and have 3 plus pitches with decent command and be a possible TOR starter, or he could come up with still inconsistent secondaries and be a middle rotation guy.

Regardless though, IMO he was shortchanged here, as was Snyder. But I have said all along, I think Jake is gonna come up here and surprise many. I think hes gonna come up and find success much of the way that Jordan Zimmermann did.

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