In recent years AAA has been a league light on prospects, but in 2013 it had some real star power roll through it in Wil Myers, Xander Bogaerts, Gerrit Cole, Chris Archer, Nick Castellanos, and Danny Salazar. Even so the back end of the list tends to be littered with fringe prospects. Another thing to keep in mind, that while these are mostly pure prospects lists only scouting from their time in the IL was used, and the amount of time spent in the league can skew the rankings a little bit. This years list went 16 strong to Trevor Bauer with the last four Darin Ruf, Carlos Sanchez, Kevin Pillar, and Joey Terdoslavich profiling more as second division regulars or bench players.
Cody Asche receives high praise for his hit tool and fast assent through the minors. Scouts worry about the defense which is average with a solid arm, good hands, and improved footwork. He is an average runner at this time but he has good instincts. He really struggled against same side pitching in AAA and it is a concern moving forward. Overall scouts like the makeup and work ethic and he could play a bit above the tool profile.
Darin Ruf didn’t show too much of his plus power in AAA this year, though he certainly showed off after making the majors. Ruf has real issues against breaking balls and any pitches on the outer half of the plate. In the field his slow first step, poor speed, and poor release of throws makes him a liability in the OF. The power is real but he will need to make serious improvements to have a continued major league future.
SteveB (Philly): Did Cesar Hernandez get any consideration? He played fairly well when he got his September call-up. Thanks for the chats - as always!
John Manuel: You’re welcome. I really like Cesar Hernandez and was stunned the Phillies used him in CF after his callup. I guess with Utley still healthy, Hernandez had to go somewhere. I like Hernandez more than Sanchez personally, I believe more in his bat, but Sanchez does have the added value of playing SS. Hernandez is who he is offensively; he makes contact, draws a few walks, brings an above-average batting average but doesn’t offer a lot of power. He’s a classic two-hole hitter, but it seems like that classic role has rightfully fallen out of favor. I think he’s a very useful utility guy on a championship roster and potentially a first-division regular at 2B with the right mix of players around him. Right now for Philly, the utility role fits better, as long as Utley still closely resembles Utley. I don’t think he’s better than Ben Revere in CF either but it’s probably closer than you’d think.