2007 Prospect Rankings: 41-50
Posted by Jason A. Churchill on January 8, 2007
This year, instead of actually trying to rank those talents after the top 20, I decided that grouping them together and letting anyone and everyone debate who belongs where is a much better idea.
In the coming days and weeks, I will release three sets of prospects graded out in a particular rank range, but each will be without a specific ranking.
It’s difficult enough to get the proper opinions on these players, let alone enough of it to combine with my own system to formulate a well thought out, somewhat accurate analysis and ranking within the Seattle Mariners farm system, which is the reason for the change.
I do still believe in the value of ranking the best of the bunch and will rank those in the top 20, but after that it’s just about who has the potential to do what, who can make an impact and what the risks are in each case. Attempting to rank 30 additional minor leaguers that are typically between the ages of 16 and 22 and sometimes have less than a year’s experience in the states, if any at all, is fruitless in my mind.
The top 20, however, will not change from year’s past, except a few new additions to the grading categories and a tinker in the formatting of the analysis.
You’ll still be reading thoughts from scouts, coaches, analysts and managers on all of the top 50, but the bottom 30 will be much more simple, concise and to the point.
The top 20 will be much more inclusive and in-depth and is currently still being finalized, but it too will hopefully read as a more focused, aphoristic dissection of the M’s current farm system.
Nos 41-50There aren’t many true prospects in this group, but I did want to be thorough and mention as many as I could, time and energy permitting.There are a few that I did not mention that could be tossed into this group, most notably the rest of those that signed this past July.Luis Nunez, 2B – Nunez, who just turned 20, will have short leash on his prospect life. At 5-11 and 175 pounds, he’s stuck at second base, where his glove is solid, but unspectacular. He does possess decent plate skills, as his 23-23 K/BB ratio suggests.Nunez bats strictly right-handed and has above-average speed, but needs polish on base-stealing abilities. He swiped 21 bases in 29 attempts in the DSL this past summer. His overall numbers, .326/.406/.411, aren’t anything to write home about, but Nunez is a decent enough table-setter to keep an eye on as he breaks into the U.S. in 2007.
He’ll need to get stronger physically and show he can hit the gaps – 13 extra-base hits in 221 PAs isn’t going to translate well against the superior pitching he’ll see in the states.
Jason Snyder, RHP – Snyder just needs to stay healthy to give himself a chance. His ceiling is probably as a back-end, spot starter or middle reliever, but a sound right arm has more juice in it than that.
Snyder is now 24 and has very little time to show the organization he can log innings and prove his worth, so look for the Utah native to start hot or fizz out – right out of the organization. I fully expect him to start the year in High Desert, but a strong showing could earn him a spot in AA by mid-season.
Sitting in the 90mph range with his fastball, Snyder looks to set up hitters for his potentially plus curve ball and a change that he is striving to develop into a useful offering. His command is still below average, however, which clouds up the results with his slightly above average stuff.
Welington Dotel, OF – Not a ton to say about Dotel except that he’s a bit fo a free swinger – surprise – and that he won’t don a uniform until June at the earliest after serving out his suspension for testing positive for a banned substance.
Dotel, 21, will have to massively cut into his strikeout rates to remain any sort of a prospect, but his power (7 HR, 23 XBH, .469 SLG @ PEORIA) is intriguing and he can hold down a corner outfield spot. The Dominican has average speed and average to below average tools across the board, but together as a package he’s somewhat interesting.
Fanning 69 times in 229 PAs is unacceptable and he’ll have a tough time in full-season ball without major improvements with his plate discipline.
Israel Nunez, C – Sometimes referred to as Francisco, Israel Nunez is a late-blooming backstop who put up plus offensive numbers in the VSL last summer. The 6-1, 205-pound Mexican-born catcher bats from the right side and hit .324/.420/.414 with 13 walks and just 10 strikeouts in 38 games.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is, he was 20 all season and turned 21 in September. His time is running out and it’s unclear whether he’ll hit the states this upcoming summer or not. The organization likes his physical ability but he hasn’t developed behind the dish as quickly as they would have liked.
Eddy Fernandez, LHP – Another Latin talent putting up good numbers but also running out of time… Fernandez is very intriguing and it’s a bit of a surprise that he didn’t taste the US last season.
At 20, the Dominican native went 8-2 with a 1.06 ERA including three complete games and a shutout. He logged 68 innings, giving up just 46 hits (.193 BAA) fanning 73 and walking just 10.
The club sees him as a reliever long-term, but he does seem to have the arm strength to go 6+, so their crystal ball is based on stuff and ability, not short-term durability.
Fernandez uses a fastball in the 86-89 range, touch 90 or 91 on rare occasions, and is complimented by a solid change and a slider that Fernandez is getting more and more comfortable with as times goes by. If he doesn’t get a shot in Peoria and/or Everett in 2007, he’s probably destined for the scrap heap with the likes of Craig Anderson, Troy Cate, Bobby Livingston, et al.
Miguel Marquez, RHP – Perhaps the first actual prospect in the group, Marquez features a four-seamer in the 88-91 range and split-finger that he’s been known to fall in love with and is still learning to command.The 19-year-old Venezuelan made 12 starts in the VSL last summer, tallying 56 2/3 innings and allowing 49 hits (no home runs). He struck out 53 but issued 29 walks.
His third pitch is a curve ball that’s morphing into a slider, but is still a ways from being useful. Marquez is certain to see time in the US this season, barring the usual concerns with visas and the sort.
His future is probably in a setup role, but he’s young enough to give him a chance to develop that third pitch and clean up his command as a starting pitcher.
Kallian Sams, OF – There’s not much available on Sams, except the M’s claim that he has the “athletic abilities you want in an outfielder, even if they are surrounded by raw baseball skills.”
Sams, 20 and from the Netherlands, is expected to bring his all-around game to Peoria this summer. I was told that he won’t get past the Cal League, so he’s truly one of those wait-and-see athletes who may or may not ever translate their big-time physical tools into baseball success.
Being 20 already doesn’t bode well for him, but at 6-3 and 220 pounds, he isn’t going to fail due to lack of strength.
Anthony Phillips, 2B – Phillips, 16, along with Sams, was just signed this past July and may also see time in Peoria, probably at second base. He’s listed at 5-9, which means he’s probably 5-7 3/4, so we’ll see how that turns out.
He’s said to have quite the swing and plays the game the way former (that hurts to say) M’s prospect Chris Snelling did. That is never a bad thing.
“Anthony showed great athleticism and instincts for the game at a very young age,” Mariners scout Pat Kelly told MLB.com. “His ability to switch hit and sure hands stood out in a youth tournament in Johannesburg, South Africa. He comes from a very athletic family that encourage him to follow his dreams in the hope of one day playing in the Major Leagues.”
Phillips, coincidentally, has been playing in the Major League Baseball Australian Baseball Academy in Queensland, Australia. He’s also been an avid competitor in badminton and rugby. Yes, I said badminton.
Gregorio Rosario, RHP – Rosario is the most projectable pitcher in this group at 6-4, 185 and just 18 years of age. He made 13 starts in the DSL a year ago and piled up 68 1/3 innings allowing 67 hits (2 HR), striking out 62 and issuing 25 walks.
Rosario’s fastball already sits in the 86-88 range with “acceptable” movement. As he matures physically, his velocity could reach into the low-to-mid 90s, setting up his breaking ball, which is an overhand curve.
His command isn’t where it needs to be, but he’s never struggled with it so much that he’ll need to be relegated to the bullpen anytime soon.
Rosario should join Marquez, among others, on Peoria’s staff this summer.
Chia-an Huang, RHP – This one is mystery. Tons of ability, built like a tank, hitting 90-93 as a teenager, but he’s yet to make an impact any level due to off field issues.
Huang can pitch, but it seems he can’t get on the field, or in the country, to use his fastball-slider-forkball combo on bats in the states. Even though he struggled in 32 1/3 innings in 2005, his stuff is much better than he displayed.
If he figures out his personal issues, the 6-2, 215-pound Taiwan native could be fun to watch.
Others: Bruno Mercedes, RHP; Michael Pineda, RHP; Jetsy Extrano, SS; Richard Ortiz, RHP; Nicomedes Gomez, OF; MycQuin Lora; Yovanny Olivero, RHP; Brett Bannister, RHP; Ariel Alcantara, RHP; Tony Bremon, RHP; Terry Serrano, SS; Carlos Ramirez, SS; Cesar Fuentes, SS; Jorge Agudelo, 2B; Ameilis Carvajal, SS; MycQuin Lora, OF; Aaron Thorne, RHP; Cristian Rijo, OF; Edilio Colina, 3B; Rey LeBron, OF; Eduardo Garcia, OF; Alejandro Garcia, OF; Jose Rios, LHP; Michael Saunders, RF; Julio Santiago, LHP; Chris Minaker, RHP; Manelik Pimintel, 1B; Jair Fernandez, C; Kameron Mickolio, RHP.
Thursday: Nos. 31-40, again unranked, but a little more in-depth and with more features such as ‘MLB ETA’ and a new one called ‘PI Prediction’. Nos 21-30 will be on Monday, maybe Saturday if I can get anything done while watching the NFL playoffs.