Monday, August 8, 2011

Top Prospects - San Diego Through Washington

San Diego Padres
Five Star: SP Phillip Lowery
Four Star: SP Ken Smith
Three Star: CF Phil Gonzales
Two Star: SS Wes Sheehan, RF Jesus Bennett
One Star: C Tim Rhodes, 1B Iago Blue, SS Bernard Townsend, SP Louie Campbell, SP Humberto Pujols, SP Pete Gil, RP Butch Black, RP Lorenzo Mondesi
Top STUD: Phillip Lowery - It's no surprise that Lowery is the class of the Padres farm system.  He's a dominating #1 starter who should have a tremendous time pitching in San Diego in a season or two.
Farm Grade: A-,The Padres have a nice and well rounded minor league system with a few elite talents and lots of ML quality players behind them.

San Francisco Giants

Five Star: None
Four Star: RF P.J. Cheney
Three Star: LF Pete Thurman,
Two Star: 2B Ivan Tejera,
One Star: 1B Asdrubal Aquino, 2B Magglio Acosta, SS Iago Dixon, CF Will Valentine, RF Felix Boone, RP John Harper.
Top STUD: P.J. Cheney - Cheney is an OBP RF with an elite defensive skillset for the position.  The only thing keeping him from being a 5 star player is his lack of power, but everything else says ML starter.
Farm Grade: B-,The Giants have some nice position players but don't have much in the way of pitching in the minors, and the overall depth is only average at best.

Seattle Mariners

Five Star: None
Four Star: SP Fritz Gray
Three Star: LF Cliff Drew, RF Rich Coco
Two Star: None
One Star: 1B Joaquin Hernandez, SS Omar Carrasco, RP Artie Blackburn
Top STUD: Fritz Gray - Gray is a top notch control pitcher with high heat and great splits.  His pitch selection is above average, and he has the tools to be a #1/#2 starter in the majors depending on the situation.
Farm Grade: C-, The Mariners have three very nice prospects, but not much else in their minors. 

St. Louis Cardinals

Five Star: None
Four Star: SP Johan Springer, SP Corey Griffin,
Three Star: 2B Bucky Stults
Two Star: 1B Claudio Gray, 3B Roy Ojala, SP Brook Douglass, SP Ron Garcia, SP Phillip Worthington, RP Earl King
One Star:  SP Mark Prince, SP Juan Velazquez, RP Bud Lackey
Top STUD: Corey Griffin - This could have easily been Johan Springer, who is a virtual carbon copy of Griffin, but Griffin is a lefty, so he gets the edge.  Definite top of the rotation starter.
Farm Grade: A-, The Cards don't have a lot in the way of position players in their minors, but their pitching depth is just ridiculous, enough to fill out two rotations in the majors.

Tampa Bay Rays

Five Star: None
Four Star: 1B Sam Presley
Three Star: LF Miguel Pineiro
Two Star: None
One Star: 2B Cleatus Silvestri, 3B Jayson Cowgill, CF Grant McDonald, RP Darryl Hampton
Top STUD: Sam Presley - Presley is everything you could want in an everyday 1B, a huge bat, and well, a huge bat. 
Farm Grade: C-, Presley and Pineiro are keepers, but there is virtually nothing in the way of pitching in the Rays minors, and not much depth elsewhere besides.

Texas Rangers

Five Star: None
Four Star: SP Willie Parrott
Three Star: SS Andy Hume, RP Ronald Roosevelt
Two Star: 2B Brian Kim
One Star: 3B Pascual Jimenez, CF Ira Ramsay, SP Steven Harper, RP Bernie Rivers
Top STUD: Willie Parrott - Parrot is a five pitch workhorse SP with top splits vs. righties.  His control is a little weak to be a 5 star prospect, but he is a definite top of the line SP.
Farm Grade: C, The Rangers farm system has some good talent, but outside of Parrott none of it is truly top flight.  Hume shows an amazing glove however and has great potential.  The rest of the minors are kind of thin and filled with role players.

Toronto Blue JaysFive Star: None
Four Star: None
Three Star: J.J. Hegan
Two Star: SS George Wright, RP Yusmeiro Sosa
One Star: 1B Patrick McNamara, 2B Brace Thomas, SS Walt Hudson, CF Guy Phillips
Top STUD: J.J. Hegan - Hegan is a mid rotation starter who keeps the ball down.  He has above average splits, three good pitches, but does have control issues. 
Farm Grade: D, Hegan has ML starter potential, but the rest of the Blue Jays minors are filled with players who are best suited to be role players off the bench. 

Washington D.C. Nationals

Five Star: None
Four Star: SP Raymond Small
Three Star: None
Two Star: RP Julio Franco
One Star: C Wayne Kipnis, 1B Einar Panaigua, SS Midre James, SS Ugueth Cordero, LF Felix Ming, Louie Camacho, SP P.T. Reynoso
Top STUD: Raymond Small - Small essentially is the Nats farm system at the moment, a five quality pitch SP with above average splits and solid control. 
Farm Grade: D-, If it weren't for Small this would have been an F, as there is little to nothing in the Nationals minor leagues.

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