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RotoAmerica Top 100 Prospects

2006

by David Regan, Senior Writer

 

Ah, another top 100 list. This year?s list is top heavy in position players (17 of the first 20), and has a heavy Florida influence due to their most recent fire sale. Ten Marlins made the list from Hermida down to Volstad at #10. The Marlins, Dodgers, and Angels appear to have the best systems, particularly with the Braves moving Andy Marte to Boston in the Renteria deal. Brandon Wood was given serious consideration for #1 on this list after hitting 57 HR?s between the regular season, playoffs, and the Arizona Fall League. Has this kid been training with Bonds or what? Some of these guys are going to start from day one in 2006 (i.e. Hermida and Fielder). Others will come up during the year and have huge Francoeur-like impacts on their team?s pennant chase (think Brandon Wood and Lastings Milledge here). It?s a deep list that was both fun and challenging to put together. I?m sure you?ll disagree with some of the ordering and omissions, but that?s what makes it fun. Shoot me an email (vtadave@yahoo.com) and I?ll give you my rationale for what I did. Special thanks to Chuck Richter for his input on this list as well.

 

1. Delmon Young, OF, Tampa Bay ? You probably know all you need to know about this guy. Could have contended for the Southern League triple crown (as a teenager) had he stayed all year. Hopefully the Rays won?t be cheap and keep him in the minors for most of 2006. I?d like to see him in RF on opening day. Give the fans something to get excited about. ETA: April 2006.

 

2. Brandon Wood, SS, LA Angels of Anaheim ? 101 extra-base hits during the regular season, Arizona Fall League record 14 homeruns. I certainly didn?t see this coming. Was tempted to put him #1 but let?s see how he does in the Texas League in 2006 ? unless the Angels jump him right to AAA. ETA: July 2006.

 

3. Jeremy Hermida, OF, Florida ? Capable of .310/.420/.540 type seasons with 25-30 HR and 25-30 SB. Should drive in 100 and walk 100 times. Just an all-around stud. With the Marlins? fire sale complete, he probably opens the year as the cleanup hitter behind Miguel Cabrera although I?d bat him #2. ETA: April 2006.

 

4. Francisco Liriano, LHP, Minnesota ? Stud lefty in the Santana mold. Brings the heat and other filthy pitches. May be the 2nd best pitcher in the organization (including the big league team). Should open the year in the rotation and if he doesn?t then something is seriously wrong in Minnesota. ETA: April 2006

 

5. Howie Kendrick, 2B, LA Angels of Anaheim ? Will make Adam Kennedy expendable soon enough. All Kendrick does is hit .360 at every level and now he has some power as well. In a few years, Kendrick/ Wood may very well be the best MI combo in baseball. ETA: mid-2006

 

6. Chad Billingsley, RHP, LA Dodgers ? Best pitcher in the minors who hasn?t tasted the bigs. Dodgers top prospect will see the show this year. Just a question of when. I?d like to see him compete for a rotation spot out of spring training and new GM Ned Colletti hasn?t exactly ruled that out. ETA: April 2006.

 

7. Lastings Milledge, OF, NY Mets ? Stud 5-tool Carlos Beltran type. Too bad the Mets already have the actual Beltran. I?d be interested to see the Mets deal Beltran for Manny Ramirez. I think I like a CF/RF combo of Milledge/Ramirez more than Beltran/Diaz. ETA: September 2006.

 

8. Prince Fielder, 1B, Milwaukee ? Cecil?s kid is the reason that Lyle Overbay is available to the highest bidder this winter. He?s big league ready and has 40 HR potential with underrated defense. April 2006.

 

9. Stephen Drew, SS, Arizona ? Had a very good Fall League after a lackluster AA performance. Probably starts at AAA. Dbacks likely will sign a veteran SS, but when Drew is ready, he?s the guy. ETA: July 2006.

 

10. Joel Guzman, SS, LA Dodgers ? Dodgers? 6?6? SS could see a position change this year, but there will be room somewhere in a mediocre lineup for the Dodgers? top hitting prospect. .290/.350/.550 or more is his upside. ETA: September 2006.

 

11. Chris Young, OF, Chicago White Sox ? An underrated Mike Cameron-type CF that you don?t hear a whole lot about. He?s a 30/30 type guy who handled the pitcher-friendly Southern League with a .922 OPS at age 21. Might still be a year away. ETA: September 2006

 

12. Justin Verlander, RHP, Detroit ? Bonderman, Verlander, and Zumaya give the Tigers a nice-looking future 1/2/3 and Verlander may be the best of the bunch. Could contend for AL ROY as I think he starts the year in the rotation. ETA: April 2006.

 

13. Andy LaRoche, 3B, LA Dodgers ? Showed his 30 HR power potential and could fill a gaping hole at 3B left by Adrian Beltre, but may need another half year in the minors. The potential signing (as of the writing of this article) of Bill Mueller may delay his appearance until 2007. ETA: July 2006.

 

14. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C, Atlanta ? Estrada, McCann, and now ?Salty?. This switch-hitter may have the most offensive upside of the bunch. Think .300/.380/.520 type seasons. Could see big league time this year now that Estrada is gone. Just depends on whether McCann stays healthy and productive. ETA: July 2007.

 

15. Billy Butler, 1B, Kansas City ? No much glove, but carries a big stick. Showed he could handle AA pitching?at age 19. Could replace Mike Sweeney if he?s traded or play LF. ETA: September 2006.

 

16. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington ? GM Jim Bowden dumped Castilla on the Padres to make room for their top prospect Zimmerman. He?s got Gold Glove potential and a solid bat, but will he show more than 15 HR power? That?s the only question. ETA: April 2006.

 

17. Kendry Morales, 1B, LA Angels of Anaheim ? Rumored to be part of a deal for Manny Ramirez, but the Angels should be fine either way. He?s got great offensive upside and is potentially the best Cuban hitting prospect ever. Should reach the bigs this year at some point and battle for time at 1B and DH. ETA: July 2006.

 

18. Carlos Quentin, OF, Arizona ? A glut of OF/1B types in Arizona shouldn?t stop his ascent. He?s an on-base, power-hitting machine capable of .290/.380/.550 type seasons as a RF. There might need to be a trade or two to make room for him however. ETA: July 2007.

 

19. Felix Pie, OF, Chicago Cubs ? Was going to see the bigs in 2005 before getting hurt. He?s not quite ready for the CF job and could use more time to develop. Not sure how the Cubs OF picture will shake out, so there?s a chance he is the CF on opening day. ETA: August 2006.

 

20. Conor Jackson, 1B, Arizona ? Probably deserves a shot at the 1B job, but we?ll need to see a trade for that to happen. I?m puzzled at the 2 year Tony Clark deal, so maybe Jackson is used in a trade for a SP (Beane would love his OBP and could deal Zito in a package deal). He?s a future .300/.400/.490 type. ETA: April 2006.

 

21. Nick Markakis, OF, Baltimore ? Finally a home-grown legitimate OF prospect for the Orioles. He could get a shot at taking over RF for Sammy Sosa this year, but likely headed to AAA for a good portion of the year. ETA: September 2006.

 

22. Daric Barton, 1B, Oakland ? An OBP machine with 15-20 HR type power, he?d be a very nice #2 hitter for Oakland, perhaps as early as this year. I?d still give him another year of development and time to build muscle and add power. He?ll be a good one. ETA: September 2006.

 

23. Jon Lester, LHP, Boston ? With the trade of Hanley Ramirez, there?s no question now he?s Boston?s top prospect. This hard-throwing lefty could get a shot at the #5 job at some point this year and the Sox would be wise to pencil him in on a full-time basis in 2007. ETA: July 2006.

 

24. Anthony Reyes, RHP, St. Louis ? Has a chance at the #5 job this spring and the job is probably his if he pitches well in February/March. Has at least the upside of Jason Marquis and maybe more. ETA: April 2006

 

25. Ian Stewart, 3B, Colorado ? One of the few things that Rockies fans have to look forward to. Should finally provide another power bat in the lineup to help out Todd Helton. ETA: April 2007.

 

26. Scott Olsen, LHP, Florida ? Will take his 94 mph fastball and devastating slider right into the rebuilding Marlin rotation this year. Olsen could even open as the #2 starter the way the rotation is shaping up. He?s got great upside, but was slowed a bit in 2005 by a sore elbow. Keep an eye on that. ETA: April 2006.

 

27. Chuck James, LHP, Atlanta ? All he does is post low ERAs and high strikeout totals. So his stuff isn?t overpowering on paper or on the radar gun? Has a shot at competing for the #5 starter job especially if John Thomson isn?t brought back. ETA: April 2006.

 

28. Andy Marte, 3B, Boston ? Seems to have a clear path to the Sox 3B job now that he?s out of Atlanta. He?s got nice upside, although I?m not sure he?s a Miguel Cabrera like some scouts seem to think. Rumors of possible elbow problems cropped up around the time of the trade, so keep an eye on that. ETA: April 2006.

 

29. Hanley Ramirez, SS, Florida ? Could hand him the SS job now that payroll is slashed and Alex Gonzalez isn?t coming back. Robert Andino fell out of favor in the organization, so the job could be his to lose this spring. He?s not ready, but that may not matter in Florida. ETA: April 2006.

 

30. Russell Martin, C, LA Dodgers ? Had a breakout 2005 and now ranks just behind Saltalamacchia on the catching prospects pecking order. Scouts universally like him better than current Dodger starter Dioner Navarro and think he has 15 HR, .400 OBP upside with solid catching skills. Likely starts in AAA, but will see the majors sometime this year. ETA: August 2006.

 

31. Joel Zumaya, RHP, Detroit ? This fire-baller reportedly hit 100 on the gun this year a couple times. The Tigers envision a power trio of Bonderman, Verlander, and Zumaya leading them to an AL Central title sometime soon. He?s got #1 starter upside and just needs to stay healthy and focus on improving his secondary offerings. ETA: July 2006.

 

32. Alex Gordon, 3B/OF, Kansas City ? Gordon put up an .863 OPS in the AFL after signing late and along with Billy Butler, he gives Royals fans hope for the future. I think a corner OF spot is his for the taking this spring. ETA: April 2006.

 

33. Anibal Sanchez, RHP, Florida ? Could conceivably step right into the rotation to start the year. It?s not like he?s competing against a bunch of established starters. Marlins like his stuff and poise and think he has the upside of a #2. Time will tell. ETA: April 2006

 

34. Matt Kemp, OF, LA Dodgers ? One of the fastest-rising prospects in baseball, Kemp gained noticed for his great athleticism and toolsy type ability and is just starting to put things together after putting up a 1.020 OPS and hitting .383 in the AFL. This coming off a breakout season in pitcher-friendly Vero Beach (A+ AFL). AA is the true test though and that will come this year. ETA: September 2007.

 

35. Justin Huber, 1B, Kansas City ? Ready to take over 1B as soon as Mike Sweeney is traded. Huber is ready for the majors and could see time at DH and 1B this year. He?s got the power and plate discipline to be a solid #2 or #3 hitter for the Royals this year. ETA: April 2006.

 

36. Yusmeiro Petit, RHP, Florida ? Came over in the deal for Carlos Delgado. Petit has #4 type stuff, but so far he?s had #1 type results. Deceptiveness will get tested at the big league level this year, but his minor league track record is very very good. ETA: April 2006.

 

37. Brian Anderson, OF, Chicago White Sox ? With Rowand gone in the Thome deal, it would appear that CF is Anderson?s for the taking. Don?t be surprised if a veteran is brought in to compete, but I think the job is his. Ideal #2 hitter who gets on base and has some pop. ETA: April 2006.

 

38. Jeff Clement, C, Seattle ? The Johjima signing muddies up Clement?s future in Seattle, but he wasn?t likely to be ready until sometime in 2007 anyway. He?s be a power-hitting catcher for some team by 2008. These position battles have a way of working themselves out. ETA: September 2007.

 

39. Erick Aybar, SS, LA Angels of Anaheim ? Overshadowed by Wood and Kendrick, Aybar nonetheless stole 49 bags this year in AA while posting a .350 OBP. He could stand to improve his walk rate, but he rarely swings and misses. Could be a dynamite leadoff guy with a few more walks or at worst, a solid #2. ETA: September 2006.

 

40. Jeff Mathis, C, LA Angels of Anaheim ? Looking like the Angels? starting catcher this year, as Molina appears set to depart via free agency. Mathis will need a couple years before hitting his stride, but a .270/.340/.430 season is likely in 2006. ETA: April 2006.

 

41. Jeremy Sowers, LHP, Cleveland ? I admit I thought he was a lefty Jeremy Guthrie. Sowers is far better and looks like the Indians? #2 or 3 starter of the future. Was their minor league pitcher of the year and is ready to contribute sometime this year. Has Mark Mulder type upside. ETA: July 2006.

 

42. Thomas Diamond, RHP, Texas ? Rumored in several trade talks, the Rangers would do well to keep him around. #2 starter upside and he?s a polished college product nearly ready to contribute. Could open the year in the rotation, or more likely as a mid-season call up. ETA: July 2006.

 

43. Josh Barfield, 2B, San Diego ? Appears that Mark Loretta will be traded, possibly for David Wells. That makes Barfield the #1 candidate to take over 2B. He?s an offensive 2B, capable of .270-15-65 in his rookie year. ETA: April 2006.

 

44. Edison Volquez, RHP, Texas ? Some like him more than Diamond, but the ?DVD? trio are all pretty close in ability. Volquez may have the most upside, but he?s not quite as polished as Diamond. He?s the first to the majors though, so he?s probably a leading candidate for an open rotation slot. ETA: April 2006.

 

45. Carlos Gonzales, OF, Arizona ? A bit further from the majors, Gonzales nonetheless has tremendous upside. He?s a rare commodity among International signees as he not only has power potential, but he shows the ability to take a walk as well. At least 2-3 years from the majors though, but he could be top 10 on this list next year with his talent. ETA: July 2008.

 

46. John Danks, LHP, Texas ? Was headed to Florida in a Beckett/Lowell deal before that fell through. It?s probably a good thing that it did for Texas, as I would attempt to build around the young arms instead of dealing them away. Danks has #2/3 type upside. ETA: August 2006.

 

47. Javier Herrera, OF, Oakland ? Based on tools alone, he?s a top 10 talent. 30/30 type player with a great RF arm. He?s still a couple years away at least, and he has the steroid suspension hanging over him. Great upside. ETA: July 2008.

 

48. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Boston ? Probably deserves to start as the Sox 2B, but look for a veteran to be signed to compete with him. Has Bill Mueller type offensive upside: .290/.390/.450. Scrappy player along the lines of David Eckstein. ETA: April 2006.

 

49. Andre Ethier, OF, Oakland ? Finally showed some power potential this year to go with his .317 AVG and .384 OBP. Average OF with little speed, he?ll need to hit 25 HR to be a decent regular. I like his skills in the 2-hole. Could get a chance at an OF job this spring, but I?m thinking AAA is in his future to start. ETA: August 2006.

 

50. Scott Elbert, LHP, LA Dodgers ? Has taken over the ?best LHP in the system? label from the oft-injured Greg Miller. Elbert had a breakout year in 2005 and should reach AA by year?s end. He?s got #2 type upside. ETA: September 2007.

 

51. Homer Bailey, SP, Cincinnati ? He?s the Reds? top prospect and their best hope in years for a homegrown top-shelf starting pitcher. Hopefully he can avoid the fate of Ty Howington and other pitching busts. ETA: July 2007.

 

52. Neil Walker, C, Pittsburgh ? Rumors of a possible move to 3B could hurt his prospect value significantly, as he?d be an average offensive 3B at best. For now though he sticks at catcher, depending on the development of Ryan Doumit. ETA: September 2007.

 

53. Eddy Martinez-Esteve, OF, San Francisco ? Finally, a top-shelf hitting prospect for the Giants. Esteve is an excellent combination of raw power and plate discipline. Had a .427 OBP this year. Despite never having played above High A, he could be ready for the show sometime in 2007. May even have the enviable task of replacing Barry Bonds in LF by then. No pressure there. ETA: July 2007.

 

54. Michael Aubrey, 1B, Cleveland ? Has had some issues with muscle strains the last couple years, so his goal in 2006 will be to put in a healthy full year. When he?s going well, he?s a solid combination of gap power and plate discipline a la Mark Grace. In 164 minor league games, Aubrey has a .314 avg and 24 HR?s. Solid glove who could move Hafner to full-time DH sometime in 2007. ETA: July 2007.

 

55. Adam Jones, OF, Seattle ? Blocked by Yuniesky Betancourt at SS, the Mariners moved him to CF where his athleticism has shown. Could be a 20/20 type in time although he may need another year and a half in the minors to learn the position and refine his plate discipline. ETA: August 2007.

 

56. Josh Johnson, RHP, Florida ? Part of a great group of up and coming young arms in Florida, Johnson probably gets the least recognition. He?s a big kid at 6?7? and he seems to be getting better each year. Probably starts off in AAA and sees time at some point this year in Florida. ETA: July 2006.

 

57. James Loney, 1B, LA Dodgers ? Stock rose back up a bit this year after a strong finish in AA and a power-packed performance in the AFL. With DePodesta no longer the Dodgers GM, Choi could be out and Loney in, possibly this year. Look for the Dodgers to stick him in AAA to start the year with a mid-season callup. ETA: July 2006.

 

58. Mark Pawalek, LHP, Chicago Cubs ? Cubs 2005 1st rounder is also their best pitching prospect now. Can already hit 95 as a teenager and it?s likely he has more room to grow. Could be a #3 behind Prior and Zambrano some day with his great stuff. ETA: September 2008.

 

59. Adam Miller, RHP, Cleveland ? Before going out with an elbow injury, Miller was probably a top 15 prospect in all of baseball. He?ll have to prove he?s 100% this year. If he is, I could see him in the majors come September (or sooner). He?s got #1 starter stuff, including an upper 90s fastball. ETA: September 2007.

 

60. Ricky Nolasco, RHP, Florida ? Aggressive with very good stuff, Nolasco was the best pitcher acquired in the Pierre deal with the Cubs (Pinto also). He?s already conquered AA, which for Florida means he?s got a rotation slot available for the taking this spring. Probably spends half a year in AAA before he?s brought up though. ETA: July 2006.

 

61. Nolan Reimold, OF, Baltimore ? Another great-looking young Oriole position player (after Markakis) who the team hopes will lead to at least a decent farm system in the near future. Reimold has huge offensive upside. Think .300/.400/580. Big at 6?4?, he can go to all fields and as a bonus, he showed CF ability. ETA: September 2008.

 

62. Ryan Braun, 3B, Milwaukee ? The Brewers are dreaming of an all-homegrown infield and Braun could be the final piece to go with Fielder, Weeks, and Hardy. He?s got plus power and speed and is an adequate defender with some room for improvement there. Should rocket to the majors within the next couple years. ETA: September 2007.

 

63. Shane Lindsay, RHP, Colorado ? Rockie fireballer can bring the heat up to 97 and has a devastating knuckle-curve. Struck out an amazing 14.4 per 9 IP this year in short-season ball, but will need to prove himself at higher levels in order to rocket up this list. Could be a nice compliment to Jeff Francis in three years or so. ETA: April 2009.

 

64. Anthony Lerew, RHP, Atlanta ? The Braves just keep cranking out the pitchers don?t they? Lerew got a brief major league trial as a reliever this year, but won?t necessarily stay in that role long-term. Would have to beat out either Kyle Davies or Chuck James for a rotation spot this year, which doesn?t seem likely. ETA: July 2006.

 

65. Renyel Pinto, LHP, Florida ? His erratic arm in AAA got him demoted to AA where he flourished. He?s got great stuff from the left side and just needs to command it better. He?ll get a chance to do so sometime this year in Florida if he fares well in AAA. ETA: August 2006.

 

66. Elvis Andrus, SS, Atlanta ? Very good tools and results for a guy who?s just 17. Should add power as he fills out and it?s encouraging to see that he already has a good eye at the plate. Very good range and arm. Superstar potential with a few years of development. ETA: August 2009.

 

67. Jason Hirsch, RHP, Houston ? His 6?8?, 250 lb. frame suggests #1 starter potential and this year, his stuff finally caught up to that potential. Fastball sits in the low 90s, but if he reaches back, he can touch 95. Gained consistency with his slider and change this year, leading to his being Texas League pitcher of the year. Could open the year in the Astros rotation, although he?ll have some competition. ETA: August 2006.

 

68. Ian Kinsler, 2B, Texas ? Profiles as a Marcus Giles type 2B. Has 20/20 ability and should hit for around a .280 average or higher. With the trade of Soriano, the job could be his with a solid spring. ETA: April 2006.

 

69. Eric Hurley, RHP, Texas ? Fastball in the 90s, hard slider, and change. Hurley gets overlooked by the Rangers ?other? pitching prospects, the ?DVD? trio but he?s no slouch after leading the Midwest League in K?s. For an organization like Texas that is always looking for pitching, they?d do well to hold onto the guys they have in the minors. Soon they?ll be paying dividends. ETA: September 2007.

 

70. Dustin Nippert, RHP, Arizona ? Pretty impressive to go through Tommy John surgery and a year later win the Southern League ERA title (in a league full of top hitting prospects). That?s what Nippert did. Struggled with his command in a rocky 15 inning major league stint in 2005 and probably needs another few months of minor league work before he goes into the rotation. Dbacks best pitching prospect. ETA: July 2006.

 

71. Wes Bankston, 1B, Tampa Bay ? Vastly underrated prospect. Bankston has been slowed by injuries in his brief career, but he shows very good power potential and is a patient hitter. Still a little raw defensively after moving in from the OF, but he?s looking like the Rays? 1B of the future. Not much competition for that role. ETA: September 2006.

 

72. Hayden Penn, RHP, Baltimore ? Rough year with a rocky majors league debut and trade rumors circling around him for a good part of the summer. He stayed in Baltimore eventually, and showed improvement to close out the year. Probably needs at least a half year in AAA to refine his command and tighten up his pitches, but there could be a need for him in the rotation. It?s not like the O?s are loaded with starting pitchers. ETA: July 2006.

 

73. Eric Duncan, 3B, NYY ? Topped off his year with a great Arizona Fall League in which he led the league in slugging (higher than Brandon Wood even). Was young for AA, so don?t worry about the stats. I?d think he?s start back there and move to AAA once he shows he can handle AA pitching. Will be great trade bait come July. ETA: September 2006.

 

74. Gio Gonzalez, LHP, Philadelphia ? Came over in the heist pulled by Pat Gillick (a.k.a the Thome deal). Gio immediately becomes the system?s #2 pitching prospect behind Cole Hamels. Solid combination of stuff and projectability. He?s only 19 and already has a plus curve. Should see the majors by age 21. ETA: August 2007.

 

75. Ben Johnson, OF, San Diego ? The Padres say that Dave Roberts is their LF this year, but Johnson has far more upside and with the fragileness of Roberts, I suspect he?ll see 400+ at-bats this year. He?s got good raw power and solid plate discipline, so it would appear a no-brainer to give him a chance to compete for a job. ETA: April 2006.

 

76. Cesar Carrillo, LHP, San Diego ? Polished college lefty who?s just about ready for the majors despite just being drafted in 2005. He throws in the low 90s, touching 95 and has solid secondary pitches. Could be given a chance at the #5 job this spring considering the state of the Padres rotation (it?s not good outside of Peavy and Eaton who is being shopped). ETA: July 2006.

 

77. Marcus Sanders, SS, San Francisco ? Sanders is a young potential leadoff guy for the Giants. Profiles as a high OBP stolen-base machine capable of batting atop an order. Needs to improve defensively and prove he can hit at the upper levels before he shoots up this list. ETA: April 2008.

 

78. Philip Hughes, RHP, NYY ? Best Yankee pitching prospect they?ve had in a while. He?s got great stuff, command, and feel for the game. The type of guy that can handle the NY pressure and media. Future #2 type starter at least. ETA: July 2007.

 

79. Josh Willingham, C, Florida ? Might finally get his shot with Paul LoDuca now gone. The job seems to be his for the taking if he can show solid defense and beat out whatever bums the Marlins invite to camp to compete with him. Could move to 1B as well with Mike Jacobs catching perhaps. ETA: April 2006.

 

80. Michael Bourn, OF, Philadelphia ? Appears to be the Phillies leadoff man and CF of the future. Shows solid on-base skills and has the speed to steal 40+ bases annually. He?ll battle Greg Golson for the job some time, but Bourn is more advanced and has a bit more pop at this point. ETA: April 2007.

 

81. Greg Golsen, OF, Philadelphia ? About as fast as Bourn and according to more scouts, he has a bit more upside. Not nearly as advanced though, the toolsy Golsen is at least 2-3 years from the majors. ETA: July 2008.

 

82. Stephen Head, 1B, Cleveland ? Shredded SS league pitching before stalling a bit in A ball. Head looks like one of the 2005 draft?s best bargains and best hitters. The Indians sure know how to fine first basemen. ETA: September 2007.

 

83. Rich Hill, LHP, Chicago Cubs ? Strikeout artist who got a taste of the big leagues this year. Cubs aren?t sure whether they want him as a #5 starter (or higher in the future) or lefty reliever. If he?s a reliever, he could start the year in the Cubs pen. I don?t see room in their rotation unless he has a dominant spring. ETA: April 2006.

 

84. Brandon Snyder, C, Baltimore ? Just a teenager, but doing everything he can to be labeled as the O?s catcher of the future. He can hit with the best of them and just needs to refine his defensive skills. The O?s look they finally made a decent selection in the first round in 2005. ETA: August 2008.

 

85. Miguel Montero, C, Arizona ? With the Dbacks just trading for Johnny Estrada, that clouds Montero?s future a bit after his huge breakout year that saw him put up a .944 OPS between A+ and AA. More work on his defense would help, but he could be ready to push Estrada by mid-year 2007. ETA: July 2007.

 

86. Elijah Dukes, OF, Tampa Bay ? The minor league version of Milton Bradley, Dukes avoided choking any relatives this year and had a solid season in AA. He?s a 5-tool talent who can hit for power and average and could factor into the OF situation sometime in 2007. ETA: September 2006.

 

87. Cameron Maybin, OF, Detroit ? May have the most upside of anyone in the 2005 draft outside of Justin Upton. Great combination of tools and raw athleticism. Will probably need three full years before he?s ready, but the Tigers did well with this pick. ETA: April 2009.

 

88. George Kottaras, C, San Diego ? Now that Ramon Hernandez wasn?t signed long-term, that bodes well for Kottaras? future in San Diego. A good year in 2006 could make him the favorite in 2007 to land the starting role. He?s got a nice bat for a catcher and handles a staff well. ETA: July 2007.

 

89. David Purcey, LHP, Toronto ? Polished college lefty with good stuff, Purcey could compete for the first mid-season call-up, especially with Zach Jackson now in Milwaukee. He?s got #3 type stuff. ETA: July 2006.

 

90. Andrew McCutcheon, OF, Pittsburgh ? Well put-together with Sheffield-like bat speed, McCutcheon has tremendous upside. He?s not just about raw ability though. He walked 29 times to just 158 at-bats while stealing 13 bases. That ability translates to future leadoff hitter, something the Pirates are sorely lacking. He?s a few years away though. ETA: September 2008.

 

91. Blake DeWitt, 3B, LAD ? The potential move to 2B should serve to boost his stock. Sweet lefty swing generates good bat speed and power. He?s athletic and fared well in 31 at-bats at the high A level to end 2005, hitting .419. Will return to the Florida State League and probably play 2B with LaRoche, Aybar, and potentially Guzman in front of him on the 3B depth chart. ETA: September 2008.

 

92. Carlos Gomez, OF, NYM ? Stole 64 bases this year, but will need to improve his OBP a bit in order to be a future leadoff hitter for a contending team. Mets love his athleticism and speed, but he?s at least 3 years away most likely. ETA: April 2009.

 

93. Eric Patterson, 2B, Chicago Cubs ? Similar skills to his brother, but appears to have more patience at the plate. I?m very anxious to see how he does in AA this year, as he should have been promoted much quicker from the Low A Midwest League last year. ETA: September 2006.

 

94. Chris Volstad, RHP, Florida ? A rarity: polished High School pitcher. Was hitting 94 at age 18 and has polished secondary pitches. I can see him moving rapidly, especially as he adds muscle and velocity to his developing body. ETA: September 2007.

 

95. Fernando Nieve, RHP, Houston ? Reaches the mid 90s on the gun and handled AAA quite well as a 22 year-old. Needs to work on his change to make it at the next level, but could compete for the #5 job this spring with Ezequiel Astacio. ETA: April 2006.

 

96. Jon Broxton, RHP, LA Dodgers ? Starter or reliever? That?s the question. Dials it up to the upper 90s as a reliever and struck out Albert Pujols twice in a brief MLB stint. Can get a bit wild at times. Dodgers love the arm and are pretty much decided on him as a future power setup guy / closer. ETA: April 2006.

 

97. Jay Bruce, OF, Cincinnati ? Switch-hitting first round pick Bruce has a great-looking swing and natural raw power. Profiles well as a power-hitting RF, but is several years away. By that time, they?ll be an opening due to the latest Griffey injury. ETA: April 2009.

 

98. Colby Rasmus, OF, STL ? Toolsy young OF struggled with the K?s this year (73 in just over 200 at-bats), but he shows the ability to take a walk as well, along with a sweet swing, above average arm, and 30 HR potential. Sounds like a mini-Hermida.

 

99. Angel Guzman, RHP, Chicago Cubs ? Has pitched just 66 innings since 2003 shoulder surgery, but recent results are encouraging. Reportedly hitting the mid 90s in the Arizona Fall League while striking out 28 in 30 2/3 IP. Cubs have to be encouraged he?s healthy now finally. Barring any setbacks, he?ll debut sometime this summer. #2 starter upside. ETA: July 2006.

 

100. Eric Campbell, 3B, Atlanta ? Great first full year for the Braves. Hit 18 HR and stole 15 bags in just 66 games. Solid plate discipline and power potential, he makes up for the loss of Andy Marte in the Renteria deal. ETA: July 2008.

 

 

 

Just missed the cut: Alberto Callaspo, 2B/SS, LA Angels of Anaheim; Joaquin Arias, SS, Texas; Denard Span, OF, Minnesota; Troy Patton, LHP, Houston; Joe Saunders, LHP, LAA; Kevin Mellilo, 2B, OAK; Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP, COL;; Matt Tuiasosopo, SS, SEA; Stephen Head, 1B, CLE; Brandon Jones, OF, ATL; Guillermo Quiroz, C, TOR; Zach Jackson, LHP, TOR; Sean Gallagher, CHC; Travis Buck, OF, OAK; Cliff Pennington, SS, OAK; Nick Adenhart, LHP, LAA; Sean Marshall, LHP, CHC; Ryan Garko, C/1B, Cleveland; Kurt Suzuki, C, OAK; Matt Harrison, LHP, Atlanta; Adam Wainwright, RHP, St. Louis; Franklin Gutierrez, OF, CLE; Gabe Gross, OF, TOR; Clint Everts, RHP, WAS; Angel Guzman, RHP, CHC; Glen Perkins, RHP, MIN; Bryan Bullington, SP, Pittsburgh; Matt Moses, 3B, Minnesota; Ronny Cedeno, SS, Chicago Cubs, Charlie Fermaint, OF, Milwaukee; Chris Lambert, RHP, STL; Chuck Tiffany, LHP, LA Dodgers -

 

 

 

 

 

I would say its pretty good when we have 10 prospects ranked in the top 100.

3)Jeremy Hermida

26)Scott Olsen

29)Hanley Ramirez

33)Anibal Sanchez

36)Yusmeiro Petit

56)Josh Johnson

60)Ricky Nolasco

65)Renyel Pinto

79)Josh Williangham

94)Chris Voldstad

 

and we also have guys like Ryan Tucker, Sean West, Aaron Thompsom, Jeff Allison, J.T Restko, Kyle Winters, Jacob Marceux, Jose Garcia, Travis Bowyer, Gaby Hernandez, Gaby Sanchez, Kris Harvey, Robert Andino and Taylor Tankersley who are all top prospect they can have break out years in 2006. Just imagine how good it will if we would have offered arbitration to Todd Jones(safe bet) and Juan Encarnacion(if Jacque Jones got offered arbi so should he). We would have had 3 more picks in the top 3 rounds in the 2006 draft.

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41. Jeremy Sowers, LHP, Cleveland ? I admit I thought he was a lefty Jeremy Guthrie. Sowers is far better and looks like the Indians? #2 or 3 starter of the future. Was their minor league pitcher of the year and is ready to contribute sometime this year. Has Mark Mulder type upside. ETA: July 2006.

 

I saw this kid pitch in Akron, and was at the game when he had a perfect game through 7, that kid is a stud, the three times i went and got to see him I didnt see a man get passed 2nd on him, i'm keeping an eye on this kid

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I know it's just one man's opinion, but there are 3 short-stops ranked higher than Hanley, talk about a seriously falling stock.

 

 

 

 

Well...

 

Drew was just drafted and made is pro debut last year, we know what he will do ultimately.

 

Brandon Wood absolutely blew up.

 

Joel Guzman is probably moving to third base this year.

 

Hanley Ramirez is still very high up on the list and I dont really think his stock overall has really diminished, he just has not absolutely exploded on the scene like others. I'm not overly worried about him dropping the spots he has on this list of overall prospects.

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"79. Josh Willingham, C, Florida ? Might finally get his shot with Paul LoDuca now gone. The job seems to be his for the taking if he can show solid defense and beat out whatever bums the Marlins invite to camp to compete with him. Could move to 1B as well with Mike Jacobs catching perhaps. ETA: April 2006."

 

:lol :lol :lol

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LHP Renyel Pinto (Marlins) rung up 6 batters in 6 shutout innings of 2-hit ball to collect his 1st win of the VWL season, Pinto had been horrific before this stellar outing. He entered the contest allowing 8 runs in just one inning of work. His ERA is down to 10.29 now. The key for Pinto is always walks. He issued just 2 free passes yesterday after handing out 8 in one inning prior.

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