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What do our top 10 prospects need to do in 2011 to justify their positions?


Frobby

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OK, we are still waiting to see who ranks 1st between Machado and Britton. But Britton presumably won't be on the prospect list next year, so that's not relevant to my question.

The 2010 list is full of guys who have promise, but haven't proven a lot due to injuries, short tenure in the organization, etc. So, what would each of them need to do in 2011 to prove to you that they deserved the ranking Tony gave them this year? Here are my answers:

10. Matt Hobgood -- I need to see him throw 125+ innings to an ERA under 4.00 at Frederick for him to deserve a spot in the top 10. He needs to be in better shape and show a bit more velocity on his fastball. If he accomplishes those things, he may move up higher than no. 10, but if he doesn't, he's out.

9. Ryan Berry -- 130+ innings to an ERA of 3.75 or better at Bowie, maintaining his 8ish K rate and a K/BB of 2.5 or better.

8. Parker Bridwell -- Maybe the hardest guy on the list to assess. Tony thinks he'll start at Delmarva next year. If he does enough next year to deserve a promotion to Frederick for 2012, he'll certainly deserve to remain in the 8th spot or higher. Even if he starts the year at Aberdeen, an ERA below 3.50 might merit the 8th spot.

7. Jonathan Schoop -- An .800 OPS at Delmarva would probably be sufficient, with the BB/K ratio he has shown so far. If he played well enough to be promoted to Frederick during the season, he might deserve a bump up the rankings.

6. Dan Klein -- He needs to be done with A and A+ when the year is over, and look ready to be excellent in AA. 90+ innings total, ERA of 3.00 or so at Frederick, K/9 of about 9 and K/BB of 3.0 or better. (In other words, ratios a little better than Berry's were in 2010.)

5. Xavier Avery -- Spending the whole year in AA is fine, but he needs to get his OPS over .750 and get his K/BB back to a ratio of no worse than 2.5 to 1 and his K rate better than 4 to 1. I think he's a guy who could slip a lot if he can't adjust at this level. Defense needs to keep improving.

4. Mychal Givens -- A little hard to peg since he's the same age as Hoes and Avery but is far less experienced at this point. But, I think he needs to post an OPS over .800 at Frederick and be done with that league by the end of the year. It's OK if he starts the year in Delmarva, but he needs to finish the year being clearly done with A+.

3. L.J. Hoes -- Again, it's fine if he spends the whole year at AA. An .800ish performance there at age 21, with an OBP over .375, would keep him in the top 3 so long as his defense continues to improve. If his power starts to show as Tony projects, he could move up.

1/2. Manny Machado -- I think to deserve the no. 1 spot in 2011 (with Britton gone) he needs to excel at Delmarva and earn a partial season at Frederick, even if only for 4-6 weeks. Yeah he's young, but this is the no. 1 spot we're talking about.

As to Britton, I expect him to do as well or better than last year in AAA and get to Baltimore by no later than July.

So what do you think? Am I expecting too much? Too little?

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Thought I'd bump this now that the Top 10 is done. In the OP I said I thought Machado needed to spend 4-6 weeks in Frederick next year to justify his spot. But after thinking about it, I'd be fine if he spent 2011 at Delmarva, so long as he put up an .800ish OPS and showed good plate discipline. Nick Markakis played a full year at Delmarva at age 20 and hit .299/.370/.471 there. If Machado had a slightly weaker line at age 18 I'd still say he was doing fine.

Thoughts on this and the others?

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Thought I'd bump this now that the Top 10 is done. In the OP I said I thought Machado needed to spend 4-6 weeks in Frederick next year to justify his spot. But after thinking about it, I'd be fine if he spent 2011 at Delmarva, so long as he put up an .800ish OPS and showed good plate discipline. Nick Markakis played a full year at Delmarva at age 20 and hit .299/.370/.471 there. If Machado had a slightly weaker line at age 18 I'd still say he was doing fine.

Thoughts on this and the others?

Interesting exercise, but everytime I try to follow suit and think about what a player needs to do to keep his spot, I just come back to "it depends on what everyone else does, too."

I'd expect whoever BAL grabs at #5 next year to give Machado a run for his money at the #1 spot.

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Not sure why Bridwell or Klein would have to move so fast.

In Bridwell's case, I'm using 2007 Zach Britton as my comp. Britton squeaked in at no. 10 after posting a 3.68 ERA at Aberdeen as a 19-year old. So, for Bridwell to be at no. 8 it seems like he should be able to do at least that well, maybe a little better.

In Klein's case, I'm using 2010 Ryan Berry as my comp. At age 21, Berry got through A and A+ in one year and his combined ERA was 3.22. That performance got him a no. 9 spot. So, Klein should be able to equal or better that to merit the no. 6 spot, although his innings may be more limited because he was used in relief last year. Note that Klein will be 22 next season. He's actually a few days older than Berry.

Obviously I know that the rankings aren't determined by statistics alone. But I still like to see my top prospects actually performing.

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IMO, several best case scenarios above.

Not sure why Bridwell or Klein would have to move so fast.

I have little doubt Klein will generate positive results. Next year is about building innings for him, IMO.

I think Frobby's benchmark for Klein is realistic and fair.

Klein is where he is because he's a relatively advanced pitcher with good command of four solid pitches, at least one of which is supposed to be "plus." If that doesn't get him through High A in good shape while building innings, something's wrong.

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I think Frobby's benchmark for Klein is realistic and fair.

Klein is where he is because he's a relatively advanced pitcher with good command of four solid pitches, at least one of which is supposed to be "plus." If that doesn't get him through High A in good shape while building innings, something's wrong.

I'd be shocked if Klein doesn't prove too talented for A-Adv. ball by mid-season. His stuff isn't electric, but it is really good, even with the inconsistencies, and his approach to pitching is highly impressive. The only real question I have is how he will hold-up if asked to go 4-5 innings a game. I've never seen him have to utilize his stuff two or three. But, his apparent understanding of the craft leads me to believe he'll adjust well to setting-up hitters over multiple at bats.

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In Bridwell's case, I'm using 2007 Zach Britton as my comp. Britton squeaked in at no. 10 after posting a 3.68 ERA at Aberdeen as a 19-year old. So, for Bridwell to be at no. 8 it seems like he should be able to do at least that well, maybe a little better.

Obviously I know that the rankings aren't determined by statistics alone. But I still like to see my top prospects actually performing.

I think Britton is a good comp for Bridwell in that both were drafted more on projection than draft day skills, but it's not a good comp if you expect Bridwell to perform at DelMarva when Britton was at Aberdeen in his first year.

Like many HSers, Bridwell is about projection. Reaching one's projection can take several years so I put less influence on stats than many here - especially in the first year - and I think overall ratings here are too much influenced by the most recent year's stats. For example, Avery was absolutely skewered here last year.

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In Klein's case, I'm using 2010 Ryan Berry as my comp. At age 21, Berry got through A and A+ in one year and his combined ERA was 3.22. That performance got him a no. 9 spot. So, Klein should be able to equal or better that to merit the no. 6 spot, although his innings may be more limited because he was used in relief last year. Note that Klein will be 22 next season. He's actually a few days older than Berry.

I do not believe I made my point well. I believe Klein could move very fast. I just do not believe it necessary for Klein to move as fast as originally posted to justify his top 10 ranking.

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OK, we are still waiting to see who ranks 1st between Machado and Britton. But Britton presumably won't be on the prospect list next year, so that's not relevant to my question.

The 2010 list is full of guys who have promise, but haven't proven a lot due to injuries, short tenure in the organization, etc. So, what would each of them need to do in 2011 to prove to you that they deserved the ranking Tony gave them this year? Here are my answers:

10. Matt Hobgood -- I need to see him throw 125+ innings to an ERA under 4.00 at Frederick for him to deserve a spot in the top 10. He needs to be in better shape and show a bit more velocity on his fastball. If he accomplishes those things, he may move up higher than no. 10, but if he doesn't, he's out.

8. Parker Bridwell -- Maybe the hardest guy on the list to assess. Tony thinks he'll start at Delmarva next year. If he does enough next year to deserve a promotion to Frederick for 2012, he'll certainly deserve to remain in the 8th spot or higher. Even if he starts the year at Aberdeen, an ERA below 3.50 might merit the 8th spot.

7. Jonathan Schoop -- An .800 OPS at Delmarva would probably be sufficient, with the BB/K ratio he has shown so far. If he played well enough to be promoted to Frederick during the season, he might deserve a bump up the rankings.

4. Mychal Givens -- A little hard to peg since he's the same age as Hoes and Avery but is far less experienced at this point. But, I think he needs to post an OPS over .800 at Frederick and be done with that league by the end of the year. It's OK if he starts the year in Delmarva, but he needs to finish the year being clearly done with A+.

I thought about this some more and decided I can answer the question as relates to players who Tony has higher than I would have. That would be the above players.

10. Hobgood -- Show up in much better shape and stay healthy throughout the year without significant fall-off in stuff towards the end. At this point, I don't care so much about the stuff. I would look to see that he gets that the life of a pro athlete requires conditioning and lots of off-season prep to stay strong through the regular season. 2012 I'll worry about stuff and results -- let's see a kid who is ready to be a pro.

8. Bridwell -- Not overly concerned with the stats, but I'd love to either see for myself or see sources like BA corrroberate Tony's report on Bridwell's velocity in the fall and the current state of his secondaries. I was pretty shocked at Tony's write-up from a "now" standpoint, as he essentially addressed my "things to look for" list for Bridwell around draft time. If he is already seeing the velo spike and has truly improved his secondaries that much, he deserves a top 10 to me.

7. Schoop -- I think your baseline is a solid one. He screams tweener to me at this point, so seeing either development in the bat or increased reason to believe he has a chance at SS/2B are big. It seems like a prospective ranking (which I guess all "prospect" rankings are, but I hope my meaning is somewhat clear :)). I think your target would give ample comfort that there is some bat here, and justify his ranking above five or six other guys that could probably have an equally strong claim.

4. Givens -- posted my concerns with Givens enough already. I think your projection target is solid. I'd add that I think there needs to be some pretty glowing reports on his improvement in the infield, as I have a hard time seeing the slow-footed Givens bringing defensive value to the OF corners. I also think his arm action would need to LOTS of sailing and tailing balls when covering the ground from LF/RF to the infield. Clean-up the defense and show that the bat has a chance to be for real. #4 is ahead of the "lumped spot" where I think 8-10 guys can all be shifted around. His ranking here is a big vote of confidence and I think indicates that the production should be there right away for MG.

EDIT -- One more. Britton needs to walk into the Hall of Fame -- then I'll agree with Tony that he's a top prospect ;) Just kidding Tony.

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I think Britton is a good comp for Bridwell in that both were drafted more on projection than draft day skills, but it's not a good comp if you expect Bridwell to perform at DelMarva when Britton was at Aberdeen in his first year.

Like many HSers, Bridwell is about projection. Reaching one's projection can take several years so I put less influence on stats than many here - especially in the first year - and I think overall ratings here are too much influenced by the most recent year's stats. For example, Avery was absolutely skewered here last year.

What I said was:

Tony thinks he'll start at Delmarva next year. If he does enough next year to deserve a promotion to Frederick for 2012, he'll certainly deserve to remain in the 8th spot or higher. Even if he starts the year at Aberdeen, an ERA below 3.50 might merit the 8th spot.

So no, I don't feel he needs to be at Delmarva to justify the 8th spot. I was just noting that Tony thinks he may start at Delmarva. If he does, and performs well enough to be promoted to Frederick, I'd think he moves up from 8th in 2011.

Your criticism about ranking being too influenced by the most recent year's stats is probably fair, but in my case, all I have to go on are stats and what other people tell me. I don't watch these guys play and I don't have scouting skills, so I go with what I can. Besides, generally speaking, the real prospects put up solid numbers. I can't think of many Orioles prospects in the last 10 year who amounted to anything after struggling in the lower minors, even in the first year or two. Britton struggled in 30 innings at Bluefield but was excellent after that.

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I'd be shocked if Klein doesn't prove too talented for A-Adv. ball by mid-season.

If he does prove that, then I think he'll be ranked a lot higher than 6th a year from now. With Britton graduated, I'd expect to see Klein in the top 3 if he makes his way to AA during 2011 and holds his own there.

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If he does prove that, then I think he'll be ranked a lot higher than 6th a year from now. With Britton graduated, I'd expect to see Klein in the top 3 if he makes his way to AA during 2011 and holds his own there.

If I had to look into a crystal ball, my guess is it would show the 2011 top draft pick and Machado at 1/2. There should be a talent available in the 2nd Round worthy of the #3 spot, considering what is now in BAL's system. But considering players only in the system right now, I think Klein becomes #3 simply by Britton moving out: Machado/Hoes/Klein. Fortunately, the '11 draft should bolster the top of this system, because as much as I like Hoes and Kline, that's not a top 3 I'd be bragging about compared to what some other orgs are throwing up there.

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If I had to look into a crystal ball, my guess is it would show the 2011 top draft pick and Machado at 1/2. There should be a talent available in the 2nd Round worthy of the #3 spot, considering what is now in BAL's system. But considering players only in the system right now, I think Klein becomes #3 simply by Britton moving out: Machado/Hoes/Klein. Fortunately, the '11 draft should bolster the top of this system, because as much as I like Hoes and Kline, that's not a top 3 I'd be bragging about compared to what some other orgs are throwing up there.

Yeah, I kind of forgot about the '11 draft. Our no. 1 pick should be a shoe-in to slot somewhere in our top 3, and probably our top 2. As to the 2nd-rounder, to me that's going to depend on what the prospects already in the system do next year.

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If I had to look into a crystal ball, my guess is it would show the 2011 top draft pick and Machado at 1/2. There should be a talent available in the 2nd Round worthy of the #3 spot, considering what is now in BAL's system. But considering players only in the system right now, I think Klein becomes #3 simply by Britton moving out: Machado/Hoes/Klein. Fortunately, the '11 draft should bolster the top of this system, because as much as I like Hoes and Kline, that's not a top 3 I'd be bragging about compared to what some other orgs are throwing up there.

Of course you are assuming we don't waste our 2nd rounder on Derrek Lee or Victor Martinez.

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