The BA Prospect Handbook, Part Two

Picking up where we left off, here are nos. 16 through 30 for the 2012 BA Prospect Handbook…

16. Tyler Moore, 1B
17. Robbie Ray, LHP
18. Kylin Turnbull, LHP
19. Zach Walters, SS
20. Jeff Kobernus, 2B
21. Matt Skole, 3B
22. Eury Perez, CF
23. Danny Rosenbaum, LHP
24. Sandy Leon, C
25. Jason Martinson, SS
26. Cole Kimball, RHP
27. David Freitas, C
28. Adrian Sanchez, 2B
29. Paul Demny, RHP
30. Kevin Keyes, OF

Of the 26 (minus the four traded), 14 are holdovers — Harper, Solis, Lombardozzi, Hood, Marrero, Taylor, Hague, Moore, Ray, Kobernus, Perez, Rosenbaum, Martinson, Kimball, and Sanchez — leaving us with 12 newcomers. Let’s take a look at how they were acquired:

2011 Draft — Rendon, Goodwin, Meyer, Purke, Turnbull, Skole

2011 Acquisition — Walters

2010 Draft — Freitas, Keyes

2008 Draft — Demny

2007 IFA — Leon

2006 Draft — Kimball

It would be nice to know who was the 32nd, 33rd, 34th, and 35th picks were (the “bonus” pick, a.k.a. #31 was Taylor Jordan), but we can probably surmise that at least three of those four are from the past two drafts. As mentioned previously, I still believe the time has come to start diversifying the portfolio and try to sign more HS and JuCo guys. Easy for me to say, I know, but when I go through the player reports and and see the bulge of 22-24 year-olds, it worries me.

As we did a year ago, let’s look at BA’s pie-in-the-sky 2015 Washington Lineup (edited to account for the GG trade, with Solis slotted in because he was the next rated pitcher after Purke):

C – Wilson Ramos
1B – Michael Morse
2B – Anthony Rendon
SS – Danny Espinosa
3B – Ryan Zimmerman
LF – Jayson Werth
CF – Brian Goodwin
RF – Bryce Harper
#1P – Stephen Strasburg
#2P – Jordan Zimmermann
#3P – Brad Peacock Gio Gonzalez
#4P – A.J. Cole Matt Purke
#5P – Matt Purke Sammy Solis
CL – Drew Storen

Let’s face it: The reason why these projected lineups are so famously wrong is that they build them from the pieces on hand that year. And it presumes that every prospect will work out. Hence, pie-in-the-sky, i.e. if everything falls into place.

This I can only fault them for so much; the fantasy baseball market demands this kind of projection, and you gotta do what pays the bills. I think of this as the equivalent to the advertorial “Business Review” articles I had to write for the newspapers back in the day.

Like I wrote last year, BA is a lot like the U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” list: you can complain about it, you can make fun of it, but you cannot ignore it. Not yet, at least.

Have at it in the comments. The Sickels e-book is coming soon!

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.

17 thoughts on “The BA Prospect Handbook, Part Two”

  1. I wonder if the new CBA will result in only the premium HS guys getting drafted/signed. With restrictions on how much the Nationals can pay a draft pick, it’s going to be more difficult to buy players out of college scholarships when drafted in later rounds

    I do believe an unintended consequence of these new rules is going to be an increased focus on JuCo guys. Non-premium HS guys can use the JuCo ranks to enter drafts for two or three years in hopes of maximizing their bonus

    1. I have to wonder if down the line if there’s a ripple effect in the college ranks, too. In other words, the guy that loses out to the HS guy that enters college instead… does he still walk on, does he go to a lower division, does he go to a JuCo, etc., etc.? I also wonder if this might temporarily result in more OGs while teams sort this out.

  2. It is fun to go back to the old books to see the prjected lineups. The 2009 book had this lineup for 2012:
    C Jesus Flores
    1b Chris Marrero
    2b Esmailyn Gonzalez (!!)
    3b Ryan Zimmerman
    SS Cristian Guzman (oy!)
    LF Elijah Dukes
    CF Lastings Milledge
    RF Michael Burgess
    P1 Jordan Zimmermann
    P2 Ross Detwiler
    P3 Scott Olsen
    P4 Collin Balester
    P5 John Lannan
    Closer Garrett Mock

    Thank goodness it didn’t turn out that way. I feel that this year’s has a much better chance of being right in 2015, considering the extended contracts, but who knows what trades and disappointing prospects can do.


  3. Well, there is a 32nd man, and I’ve never heard of him — from subscriber content at BA:

    Dan Cortes, rhp, Nationals

    Born: March 4, 1987. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-6. Wt.: 215. Drafted: HS—Pomona, Calif., 2005 (7th round). Signed by: Dan Ontiveros (White Sox).

    Cortes made Baseball America’s overall Top 100 Prospects list before the 2008 and 2009 seasons, but he has been with three organizations since because he hasn’t been able to throw enough strikes. Originally drafted by the White Sox, he went to the Royals in a 2006 trade for Mike MacDougal. Kansas City sent him to the Mariners in a 2009 deal for Yuniesky Betancourt, and Seattle nontendered him in December 2011. The Nationals signed him to a minor league contract in January. Cortes has a 94-96 mph fastball and below-average control, so hitters have few comfortable at-bats against him. After using a slider in 2010, he relied more on a hard curveball last year. His curve is a swing-and-miss pitch at times, but when he can’t put it in the strike zone, hitters sit on his fastball. Cortes has been criticized in the past for being immature—the Royals traded him after he was arrested for public intoxication and disorderly conduct—but he has grown up since then. Mariners coaches praised his willingness to listen to instruction and his drive in 2011. Washington will give him an opportunity to make its bullpen in spring training.

  4. I just don’t see it in Zach Walters, weren’t his numbers this spring pretty poor as well. I go to several Potomac Nationals games and a couple Harrisburg Games and I just find it hard to understand. Tyler Moore did nothing but hit when he was here in Potomac and I love the way Kobernus plays, yet they rank behind him. Maybe I just saw the “bad days” from Walters or got used to seeing Espinosa, Desmond, and some of the others play SS in years before him, and he just doesn’t measure up to them at the time. To me Walters is #25 at best, and probably not on the list at all. Anyone else have thoughts on him or the list?

    1. I think you mean in the fall, because last spring Walters was an Arizona Diamondback prospect. And it’s a valid point that he may be overrated, but that he went to the AFL and that the Nats aren’t deep in age-appropriate SS candidates (Ortega, Martinson and Hague are all a year older), Walters gets extra consideration.

    2. A SS with some power is always extremely valuable.

      ISO (SLG-AVG) is used to isolate a players power. For example, if you have a really high batting average your SLG will naturally be higher too, and vice versa). Walters has a career ISO of .150.

      That’s not very high for most players (Moore, as you noted, has a career ISO of .217). However, power hitting SS are very rare. For example, in 2011, only 5 MLB SS had ISOs above .150- Tulowitzki, Hardy, Cabrera, Peralta and Reyes. If Walters can stick at SS, and maintain his decent power, he’d be immensely valuable as a major leaguer.

  5. and the 800 lb gorilla in the room

    What loophole is Scott Boras going to exploit the hell out of this year?

  6. I’m befuddled by their rankings of Ray and Freitas. On what planet is Sandy Leon a better prospect than Freitas? Can anyone explain that one to me? Freitas looks like Derek Norris-lite. Leon looks like Wil Nieves-lite.

    Also, Ray put up pretty gaudy numbers. In fact, they were better than former #4, AJ Cole’s, at the same level and age. Compare Solis and Ray, and I’d prefer Ray. Better health history, 3 years younger, but only half a year behind…

      1. I get that, but I would much rather the upside of Freitas than Leon’s upside.

        From what I can gather, Freitas has the potential to be a very good offensive catcher with decent defense. Leon has the potential to be a good defensive catcher with below average offense.

        Guys like Nieves, good defense no bat catchers (like Nieves) are a dime a dozen. But name a catcher who has managed an OBP anywhere close to what Freitas has put up in 2 MILB seasons. That would put him in an elite class with guys like Piazza and Posada.

        I know which type of player I’d prefer. It just confuses me why smart writers/scouts at BA don’t share that opinion.

        1. Aside from Wil Meyers (though he was an awful catcher) and Derek Norris, I can’t. But I think you’re new here — I’m on record as stating that a catcher that can really hit is like a model that can cook. Freitas also has it going for him that he could be switched to 1B, whereas Leon is too slow and too short (that’s a college 5’11”) to play there.

          1. Long time lurker, and I think some of my previous comments got stuck in the spam filter.

            I don’t mean to shoot the messenger. Sorry if I’m coming across that way. I wholeheartedly agree with that analogy, but Freitas is consistently overlooked, when (to me) he looks like he could very easily be mistaken for a real high quality prospect.

            Norris is still a better prospect. Mostly because he’s younger (relative to his level), but looking at other catchers, Freitas is arguably the best in A ball (or even A and A+). I just don’t understand why he’s so frequently overlooked (even Sickels called him a borderline C). Oh well, let’s call him my sleeper pick.

          2. Tomorrow is the hitter’s post, but you can visit the catchers page on the watchlist — I updated it today.

            I don’t do the registration thing. Basically, I have the site set so that first-time commenters are held for moderation. As long as you use the same handle and e-m, once you get approved, your comment will be published ASAP.

            Lately, WordPress has been a little sluggish about notifying me when I have new comments. I have a spam filter plugin that does a pretty good job all in all; good enough that I almost never look in the held comments. But folks can also reach me at the e-mail address that’s on the “About” page. I check it once a day or so.

    1. half of these ppl never played baseball and they dont know what they are talking about…… they are clueless

  7. Always been confused on the reports about Ray.

    From every report you see, they don’t come close to matching the stats he put up. The more reports that came in, the more negative they got.

    I’m a huge fan of Martinson’s so I’m glad he got some shine. Hopefully next year, they’ll be talking about another guy I love in Estevez.

    1. I’ve had my eye on “For The Weekend” for a couple years now. So far, though, no luck in getting the nickname to stick…

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