Part of learning to be a better evaluator and writer is examining your past work for mistakes and successes. Now that the minor league season is essentially over, I am going to be working back through the Top 30 published at the beginning of the season. The goal is to relook at guys in the system and how they have developed as well as look for evaluation trends and keys to things that caused misses along the way, as well as another opportunity to bring up 30+ individual players for discussion. The original post is here http://phuturephillies.com/top-30-prospects/mattwinks-top-30/2013-top-30/
The first group is to focus on the players that didn’t make the list but had enough intrigue to warrant a write up. Not all of the players were big time prospects and few are now, I have also only selected players who provide room for commentary.
Cameron Rupp – He just didn’t have enough upside for me, he just missed the list because of the safety, but he isn’t more than a backup.
I still completely agree with my evaluation here, don’t see anything more than a backup. However when you are talking about backups in the major leagues, there is a whole lot more certainty to a player who just made the majors and a guy who just finished Hi-A. Rupp will be ranked this year, not great but ranked. Given his 2013 season he deserved to have been ranked this past year, even if he doesn’t provide value in statistics, a solid backup catcher has a lot of value and I should have ranked Rupp last year.
Deivi Grullon – Grullon’s plus defensive projection gives me good hope. Huge questions about the hit tools’ future projection dropped him just off the list, in addition to the lack of an elite carrying tool.
Some people pointed out to me at the time that Grullon’s defense was a carrying tool and I ignored them. Here we are 7 months later and I am raving about Grullon’s defensive plus plus defensive projection. The moral of the story here is elite catcher defense is an elite carrying tool, especially if it is shown by a 17 year old in his first professional season.
Brody Colvin – I don’t think Colvin is a starter anymore. He is really going to have to get the mechanics in order to even have a spot in a bullpen.
This wasn’t an unpopular opinion that Colvin was falling apart, but I hopped off the Colvin train in the offseason, and even I didn’t think it would be this bad. He has actually looked decent out of the bullpen in his stints there, so maybe he finds a home there, it is a pity because it looked so good in Lakewood.
Yoel Mecias – Mecias has less stuff than Vargas and a year older, but he has better control profile, he could make the jump to Lakewood to start 2013.
If I had known for sure Mecias was going to Lakewood I would have ranked him, and looked like a genius for two months before the arm blew out. Mecias should start throwing around the time spring training starts and the Phillies will ease him in from there. On his best days Mecias will show a plus fastball and plus to plus plus changeup from the left handed side. The breaking ball is non-existent and the frame needs bulk. It is a profile that could jump back up rankings when he is healthy or end up in the back of the bullpen. Pitchers get hurt and it sucks, you just have to watch and see how they come back.
Anthony Hewitt – Still has insane raw tools and no pitch recognition. No one thought he would reach AA, still could make the bigs somehow.
Hewitt keeps on trudging along and may actually make it to AAA next year. He destroys LHPs, but has no chance against same side pitching. There is massive raw power, plus speed, and a great arm. He might make the majors for a cup of coffee which would be somewhat incredible given his profile.
Tyler Cloyd – The stuff just isn’t good enough to do anything other than pitch innings.
Cloyd somehow has a 3.57 ERA in the majors despite a 4.17 BB/9 and 5.56 K/9. He is getting more swings and misses in the minors with better control, but he is not a guy you like to see in your rotation.
David Buchanan – At best he is a #4 starter, but likely he is a #5 or lower, but he could be ready mid-season and be a long man for the major league club. He has better raw stuff than Cloyd or Hyatt with better groundball tendencies, albeit with much lower strikeout rates
I forgot about this sleeper call and suddenly it came true towards the end of the year. I think Buchanan is more long man than starter, sometimes when you make a good call you have to stick with it. I didn’t so it is difficult to say it was a great call.
Cameron Perkins – He can play all four corners, the bat is good, but he can be a little overaggressive. It isn’t star tools but he could be a regular if everything breaks right.
Perkins has hit much more than I expected, the lack of power is a large concern if he is going to be anything other than a bench bat.
My big take away from looking at this list was evaluating Catchers. I was dead wrong in a couple of cases (which are still to come), but more so I don’t have a good grasp on how to rank them. The position is so much different than any other one on the field and the development is non-linear. A backup catcher can stick around for a long time even without a bat and that is hard to rank.