Mid-Season Prospect Rankings: Up The Middle
Posted by Jason A. Churchill on July 6, 2006
Moving on to the middle of the diamond defensively, the depth in the infield is gone with Adam Jones moving to the outfield, Matt Tuiasosopo sliding over to third and Asdrubal Cabrera scooping up grounders in Triple-A Buffalo for the Cleveland Indians.
There is overall depth, however, especially if Greg Halman can stick in center. Most scouts see him as a corner outfielder but the M’s don’t see any reason why he can’t play center in the long run and will leave him in center until he proves otherwise. His bat has a lot of pop in it and if he does have to move to right field, he’ll have the offense to play there everyday.
Jones is on his way to being pretty damned good, led by his power bat, which is far ahead of schedule. If you haven’t been to Cheney Stadium to see the 20-year-old cover a 90-mph fastball and send it screaming out of the yard, you’re missing out.
Behind the plate the big question is whether Jeff Clement can catch in the show. In the dozen games I have seen him defensively, I’d have to conclude that he can, provided he gets the proper time in which to fully develop with the tools of ignorance draped over his back.
Clement’s bat is not in question, and it may be strong enough for the club to pull Clement from his catching duties in order to speed up his timetable. He’s got the sweetest swing from a catcher this side of Joe Mauer and may top out in the 25 home run range.
Rob Johnson is improving every day and his offense is included in that statement. He’ll need more seasoning, of course, but he’s light years better with the bat today than he was in April.
|1||Yung Chi Chen||R/R||5-11||175||23||Solid all-around skills. Future Utility man.|
|2||Oswaldo Navarro||R/R||6-0||160||21||Defensive wiz needs more offense to ascend.|
|3||Michael Garciaparra||R/R||6-1||175||23||Displaying solid plate skills that could lead to reserve role.|
|4||Jeffrey Dominguez||S/R||6-1||165||19||Similar to Navarro without defensive polish.|
|5||Luis Valbuena||L/R||5-10||175||20||Best bat in bunch, but least likely to defend.|
|1||Jeff Clement||L/R||6-1||215||22||50-50 to catch – 25HR bat a can’t miss.|
|2||Rob Johnson||R/R||6-1||200||23||Athletic backstop improving daily on both sides.|
|3||Guillermo Quiroz||R/R||6-1||210||24||Should be in bigs over Rivera – better everything.|
|4||Jair Fernandez||R/R||6-1||175||19||Projectable, athletic and hard working. Sounds good.|
|5||Luis Oliveros||R/R||6-2||200||22||Organizational catcher. Ceiling as backup.|
|1||Adam Jones||R/R||6-2||205||20||Could become plus bat AND plus glove. Needs another year.|
|2||Greg Halman||R/R||6-3||215||18||May not stick defensively. Limitless potential overall.|