The Top 10 Position Players

Last year, I wrote “The people have spoken,” referring to the poll for next steps regarding rankings and watchlists. This year, the sentiment’s the same but this time, it’s a little more literal.

That’s because this year’s list is based on the opinions of those that wrote in to my query for submissions, not just my own. Is it scientific? Hell, no — it’s subjective. But the theory is that a bunch of like-minded seamheads are going to produce a better list than this one did last year.

The methodology is pretty simple: I took the submissions, put ’em in a spreadsheet and then added up the points in reverse (#1 vote = 10 points, #10 vote = 1 point). Top vote getter is #1, second-most is #2, etc. A couple of ballots mixed in pitchers and I tried to count them anyways but that actually produced a couple of ties, so I tossed ’em and that worked to break the ties.

The sample size isn’t terribly big (19) but it was about what I was hoping for (20). So here are the results, in reverse order with points in parentheses. A perfect score was 190 and I’m sure you’ll be *shocked* to learn that it was achieved.

10. Eury Perez (28)
9. Michael Taylor (33)
8. Tyler Moore (56)
7. Chris Marrero (74)
6. Destin Hood (87)
5. Steve Lombardozzi (95)
4. Brian Goodwin (103)
3. Derek Norris (150)
2. Anthony Rendon (152)
1. Bryce Harper (190)

Others receiving votes: Zach Walters, Jeff Kobernus, Rick Hague, Kevin Keyes, Jason Martinson, Jhonatan Solano, Matt Skole, Chris Curran, David Freitas, Corey Brown, Erik Komatsu, Blake Kelso

That’s 22 players receiving votes. You’ll note that I used “position players” instead of “bats” this year in the headline. Some folks took that to mean strictly hitting prowess, even though I tend to use it as a synonym like “arms” for pitchers. But I stuck with bats because I like the picture, opting against a visual pun (this time; I’ve been saving that one since last winter).

I think you can see from this variety of names that some folks are factoring in defense (e.g. Curran) some give props to knocking on the MLB door (Solano) and some give props to raw tools (Keyes). Three players appeared on all ballots: Harper, Rendon, and Norris. Goodwin was left off one; Moore, two; Lombardozzi, Hood, and Marrero: three; Perez, eight; Taylor, ten. The others receiving votes are in order of points, but it wasn’t close: Walters received 15 points.

The two names that missed that kind of surprised me were David Freitas and Rick Hague. Say what you will about his defense, but an .858 OPS over two years might have gotten a little more respect. Conversely, a season-ending shoulder injury didn’t dissuade folks from voting for Hague, even though as the votes for Martinson and Walters attest, he’s no longer the shortstop in waiting that he was this time last year.

Ultimately, like all things hot stove, this is an exercise that mainly serves to pass the time and the winter. But that’s going to stop me from soliciting votes for the pitchers as my next project 😉

Editor’s Note: This was largely written prior to the news that Chris Marrero had torn his hamstring. Clearly this is a blow to both the prospect and the organization. It may also open the door for Tyler Moore. But one has to also wonder if this makes Lombardozzi the trade chip in lieu of Marrero, given the interest in Mark DeRosa.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

18 thoughts on “The Top 10 Position Players”

  1. I’ll admit, this is the first I noticed I was only supposed to be voting for position players on my ballot.
    Flunked the mental acuity test.

  2. I don’t get the uber-prospect status for Lombardozzi. Am I the only one who saw him bat in the majors in September and saw a guy who couldn’t hit anything other than weak ground balls to 2nd base?

    Anothe question i’ve privately wondered; why is there so little love for a guy (Tyler Moore) who just hit 30 homers in the second successive league running? 30 homers in the minors is a feat. Minor league parks run old and big, and they play fewer games. Yet he’s ranked far below a guy who nobody here could pick out of a lineup (Goodwin) and another guy who has toiled for years in the low-As (Hood) with little impression.

    Just a thought. Or two.

    1. Until Eury Perez or Jeff Kobernus learns the strike zone, Lombardozzi remains the system’s best leadoff-type hitter that’s on the immediate horizon. He’s good on defense, despite a mediocre arm… just like his father. His speed is only slightly above average, but his technique is top-notch (Perez would steal 100 with it).

      Moore turns 25 in January and has been dogged by the “too old for the level” accusation for the past two seasons. He doesn’t take many walks and can only outrun catchers and Chris Marrero, who is roughly his analog on defense.

    2. On Moore, the high number of K’s have people wondering if he can translate that success to the majors.

      Lombardozzi isnt at uber-prospect status, hes just a guy that put up good number in AAA, and showed potential after he got his first hit in the majors

      1. “Lombardozzi isnt at uber-prospect status, hes just a guy that put up good number in AAA, …”

        And AA, and high-A previously. The scouts overlook him because he doesn’t stand out, but he’s a really solid ballplayer.

    3. Todd … again must it be repeated?

      Lombardozzi like Espinosa is attempting the Platoon bat. YOU KNOW what that means right? It means it will take a period of adjustment for him in the majors as it has Espinosa. Some here speculated that his ‘technique’ at the plate was so well honed plus the fact that he is more of a contact/slap hitter versus a power hitter … that it wouldn’t take as long … that’s wrong.

      And if you want to see ground balls watch Werth who was one of the worst league-wide last year and a good indicator of both the slump and the plus-30’s decline.

  3. I’ll bite.
    Here is the list that I submitted.
    Bryce Harper – ‘Nuff said.
    Derek Norris – I’m all in for Derek Norris. I think that he’ll walk and that there’s a position for him on the diamond if he can’t catch. His AFL buoyed my faith in him.
    Anthony Rendon – Trusting the scouting reports since I don’t follow college that closely.
    Steve Lombardozzi – He’s mastered every level so far and I’m not going to get scared by his tough start in DC.
    Brian Goodwin – Again I’m trusting the scouts.
    Destin Hood – Loved his breakout in Potomac.
    Chris Marrero – I’m not a big believer and from here on down it’s kind of meh for me. He did get to DC, though, and he didn’t drown. I’m not punishing him for his injury yet.
    Jeff Kobernus – Love the speed.
    Zach Walters – Rizzo must see something in him to have put him up to the AFL already.
    Tyler Moore – I like Marrero more than Moore because I think that Marrero can make more contact and draw more walks. An all or nothing approach in AA says to me “will struggle to hit MLB breaking stuff”. The power is there so he could make it, however.
    I left off Eury Perez because I was so frustrated by his year and he hasn’t really turned it around in Winter Ball.
    My bias is towards what I’ve followed the past couple of years and who stepped up the past year.

  4. Here is my list

    1. Bryce Harper-Hes Bryce Harper, the only way he could be better is if he was Tim Tebow 😉

    2. Antony Rendon-Trusting the reports that he was the best bat avalible, as I dont follow college in the least

    3. Derek Norris-While his average at AA was conserning, his high OBP and great AFL are enough for me to keep him ahead of the rest

    4. Destin Hood-Anythime you can increase both your power and walk rate from year to year while moving up a level, you deserve to get noticed.

    5. Brian Goodwin-Again trusting the reports on him

    6. Steve Lombardozzi-His ability to play every infield position, and get the bat on the ball have me thinking that he will at least amount to a major league utility player

    7. Tyler Moore-If you can put up the power numbers he did at AA, thats impressive. Its even more impressive whem you put thoes number up in the Eastern League, which is far more a pitching league than the Southern League. His K rate is conserning, but like anyone this far down the list, there will be at least one ?

    8. Eury Perez- While he did not have a good year at A+, he didnt have a bad year. I put him here mostly because of two reasons. He was added to the 40man, and he has been taking walks in the DWL

    9. Michael Taylor-hes the one guy we seem to keep hearing about. I put him here because even though he has a lot of questions, people in the org seem to love him

    10. Chris Marrero-I think his lack of power is a huge problem, the rest of the players behind him just had too many questions for me to rank them ahead of Marrero

  5. As I stated, I didn’t even bother to list Marerro. I thought they would surely flip him during the meetings. I guess I must have had a premonition? I think Tyler Moore is the better first base prospect and he gets to prove it in Syracuse this year. Time is short for the 24 year old.

    I listed Rendon and not Goodwin based on Fangraph’s and others’ analysis of these players. Many do not feel that Goowin is a major league CF. All think Rendon may be the best college player in quite some time. There are too many saying this … so I don’t expect him to spend much time in A ball this year.

  6. Good list overall. The only name I’m a little suprised by is Taylor at #9. Granted, he showed marked improvement in HAG over his limited 2010 numbers in VT. I just didn’t think he’d gain that much traction.

    A side question to Sue_D: Will this be the prospect list for the year, or will you stick your neck out with a final list of your own?

    1. A Top 10 for the pitchers, then a revisit of the Watchlist, just like last year. Sickels, Baseball Prospectus, and Bullpen Banter have yet to release their Top 10/11/15 lists, which I’ll pass along. I’m not big on doing a list that combines both pitchers and position players.

    2. 1. Harper
      2. Norris
      3. Marrero
      4. Lombardozzi
      5. Rendon
      6. Moore
      7. Hood
      8. Walters
      9. Goodwin
      10. Freitas

      Like Soul_D says, too many people that know the college game have raved about Rendon & Goodwin, but I slotted them lower based on their (lack of) professional experience. Marrero was pre-injury, but I listed him that high because I believe he’ll hit at the MLB level and there were occasional signs that the power we saw in ’07 was resurfacing.

  7. The torn hamstring is another tough injury setback for Marrero; Hope he doesn’t rush it trying to get back.

  8. Here was my top-10
    1) Harper
    2) Lombardozzi
    3) Norris
    4) Rendon
    5) Marrero
    6) Hood
    7) Moore
    8) Freitas
    9) Walters
    10) E.Perez – This one was a last second swap for Randolph Oduber that I regretted almost as soon as I hit ‘send’. The promotion to 40-man status clouded my judgement, I fear.

  9. Watching Taylor come up, he is a solid hardworking player he is hitting strong and fielding better than most

Comments are closed.