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I will be looking at the top two prospects from each team.  I will do six different blogs, one for each division.  To qualify as a prospect, you must have less than 100 career at-bats or less than 40 career innings pitched.

 

1B Lars Anderson, A+ Lancaster JetHawks

MLB Affiliate: Boston Red Sox

Lars Anderson is a 20-year old first basemen who is at High A ball in just his second year of minor league baseball.  He hit .288 when he started last season out in Low A but went up to High A and hit .343 for the short remainder of the season.  Anderson is the best power hitting and contact hitting prospect in the Boston Red Sox's farm system and has the talent to hit around .300 with around 35 home runs in the major leagues yearly.  In 765 career minor league at-bats, Anderson is hitting .299 with 21 home runs and 199 runs batted in.  One problem is his strikeouts though - he struck out 121 times i nunder 500 at-bats in his first year in Low A baseball and he will be facing even tougher pitching in the major leagues.  It may take a few years for Anderson to get rid of this problem and mature a little bit so look for Anderson being in the major leagues by 2010, he may not be in a Red Sox uniform by then . . .

 

RHP Michael Bowden, AA Portland Sea Dogs

MLB Affiliate: Boston Red Sox

Michael Bowden has already gotten up to Double A baseball at 21-years old.  He has a career minor league record of 18-10 but that record could be much better if he had more run support.  After all, Bowden's 3.19 career ERA speaks for itself.  He has a really nice strikeout-to-base on balls ratio and over four years, that ratio is up to 348/99.  348 strikeouts in four minor league seasons is pretty good considering that pitchers only get around 20-25 starts a year.  Bowden didn't even play that much in his first two years at RK and Low A so 348 is an impressive  number.  I can see Bowden making it to "The Show" during this season if somebody gets injured but he may start his career as a middle reliever.  Bowden has good stamina but Boston alreay has their rottation oif the future set - Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Justin Masterson.  Perhaps Michael Bowden will be on a different club by the start of next season, Boston would be happy to use him as trade bait for some offensive help.

 

OF Austin Jackson, AA Trenton Thunder

MLB Affiliate: New York Yankees

This was another feel good story of the 2005 MLB amatuer draft.  Jackson passed up a scholarship at Georgia Tech to play basketball and signed with the New York Yankees instead.  He worked his way alll the way up to Triple A last year as a 20-year old but New York wanted more time for him to develope so he is down to Double A this year.  Jackson is a very good fielder and has a .282 average in about 1,500 minor league at-bats.  He has 169 stolen bases and 94 stolen bases.  Usually, from an eighth round pick, you don't get much, maybe a lifetime .270 or .260 hitter.  With Jackson, it could be a different story.  Jackson could get called up to the Yankees as soon as 2009 and could start as soon as 2010.

 

RHP David Robertson, MLB New York Yankees

MLB Affiliate: New York Yankees

Robertson was just recently called up to the New York Yankees after a very successful two seasons in the minor leagues.  Robertson has never started a game in the minors or the majors due to below average stamina but he could be a great relief pitcher and will probably turn into a closer because of his pure talent.  Robertson has a 3.00 ERA with five strikeouts in six innings with the Yankees so far this season and in the minors, he was 11-3 with a 1.12 ERA with a WHIP of under 1.00.  He had 187 strikeouts in 136 innings down there which is very good.  Robertson will probably end the season in a New York Yankees uniform and the 23-year old righty could be a star closer one day - he'll just have to get traded or wait til Mo Rivera gets retired first.

 

SS Tim Beckham, RK Princeton Devil Rays

MLB Affiliate: Tampa Bay Rays

Pretty much everyone knows who Tim Beckham is, the first overrall pick in the 2008 MLB amatuer draft.  As an 18-year old, it may be a while before Beckham is MLB ready but for the time being, he can still show off his skills in the minor leagues.  Beckham has only six hits in 26 at-bats but it may take time for him to get used to this, he does have six runs though, very good.  Beckham hit .512 in high school with six home runs and 36 runs batted in.  Beckham won't be MLB ready until maybe 2010 or 2011 but he could make a short visit to the major leagues as soon as 2009.  You see this a lot, 19 or 20-year olds making short stints in the major leagues but then falter and get sent back down.  Beckham has the talent to play well as a 19-year old.  With little competition at shortstop in the farm system, all looks good for Beckham.  I don't agree on taking him first overrall but he will be good.

 

LHP David Price, AA Montgomery Biscuits

MLB Affiliate: Tampa Bay Rays

David Price is pitching in his first full minor league season this year after fighting off injuries earlier.  Price has done excellent so far, going 6-0 in eight games in the A+ and AA leagues.  Price has a wicked 1.74 ERA and has more strikeouts than innings pitched.  Price is 22-years old and the way he has pitched so far in Double A, it looks like he could be in the major leagues by 2009 or 2010.  Price has a tall frame at 6'6" and 225 pounds and being tall usually is an advantage as a pitcher - just ask Randy Johnson.  Tampa Bay already has a very young, talented rotation of Scott Kazmir, Scott Sheilds, Matt Garza, Edwin Jackson and Andy Sonnastine but Tampa Bay would be happy to move one of these pitchers down to Triple A just to make room for David Price over the next few years.  On SI photos, one person named Price as a Top 10 prospect in the major leagues, I forgot his name though.

 

3B Nolan Reimold, AA Bowie Baysox

MLB Affiliate: Baltimore Orioles

At 24-years old, you would have thought that Reimold would have already been past Double A baseball.  Just because he is in AA, doesn't mean he doesn't have talent.  Reimold has 60 home runs in just over 1,200 career minor league at-bats and is hitting .276 during that time as well.  Reimold has a slugging percentage of .503 and when he eventually gets to "The Show" he could annually hit 40 home runs a year, maybe even crack 50.  Reimold is Baltimore's best power hitting prospect and he already has 15 home runs and 44 runs batted in in 314 at-bats.  He also has 52 runs.  His defense is above average - I don't really know why he isn't at Triple A or even at Baltimore right now . . . Reimold has the talent, the stats, the hype - it's just a matter of when - or where - he gets called up to "The Show."

 

RHP Radhames Liz, AAA Norfolk Tides

MLB Affiliate: Baltimore Orioles

Here is another somewhat older prospect.  Liz is 25-years old but still with the Triple A Norfolk Tides and the way he is pitching so far this year, it may be a while longer before he advances through the ranks any further.  The Orioles don't really have a great farm system so this is the best they got (I would have used Brian Matusz if he actually played a minor league game).  Liz wasn't that bad before this year, he went 18-11 with an ERA of around 3.00.  He also had about 100 more strikeouts than innings pitched.  This year . . . he is 1-5 so far with a 4.05 ERA along with more innings pitched than strikeouts.  Liz may be doing bad but if he got a little more run support, he may have been able to win a few more games.  Once he gets comfortable with the Tides and starts doing well with them, he could move on to a struggling Baltimore rotation.

 

OF Travis Snider, AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats

MLB Affiliate: Toronto Blue Jays

Travis Snider is without a doubt, the Blue Jays' best prospect in their farm system and he could also grow up to be a perenial All-Star.  Snider, a 20-year old, already has 42 career minor league home runs in under 1,000 at-bats.  Snider's power will probably be much better than that when he gets up to "The Show."  Snider also has 186 at-bats.  Out of all of the hitters I have mentioned so far, Snider will probably become the best.  He has a career minor league average of .303 and a slugging percentage of .516.  He also strikes out only about 25% of the time which isn't bad for a 20-year old.  Toronto will likely want to take their time with Snyder as he could be the next big thing coming out of their farm system since Alex Rios or Roy Halladay but he could still be up in the major leagues by 2010 and maybe even make a short stint up there next year.  It wouldn't surprise me if he had the type of year than Ryan Braun had in 2007 - all he has to do now is actually do it.

 

LHP Brett Cecil, AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats

MLB Affiliate: Toronto Blue Jays

Brett Cecil, at 21-years of age, has had a solid minor league career so far and has always been consistent and pitched well when he had to.  He has a 2.08 ERA and 121 strikeouts in two seasons of 112.2 innings pitched.  Along with all of this, he has a record of . . . 4-1 in 30 starts.  This number wouldn't look bad if he was a relief pitcher but he isn't a relief pitcher, he has started all but one game out of 31 and has a 2.08 ERA but he is only 4-1.  Well, when you are on a team as lousy as the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, you aren't going to get much run support and Cecil has payed the price.  Still, Toronto management sees talent - he had an ERA of under 2.00 before he moved up to Double A and still has an ERA under 3.00 over there.  With all of this, Cecil could find a fulltime home in the majors in around 2010.  He does have the talent to win 15 games - just not on the Fisher Cats.

 

 

 

 

 

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