Happy Friday. I don’t have a lot of time today, so only two writeups but we’re in the lower levels now, so most writeups will be shorter, because there’s less of a history to discuss. After I finish the rest of the grades, I’ll be posting a summary of all the grades based on position, and I’ll open it up to final suggestions and tweaks. I’m also working on a prediction equation to try and come up with more exact predictions to replace the lame guesses I made in my Top 10 Prospects writeup. But, here are today’s entries.
Milner, Gus, OF (age 22) Grade = C+
Milner, a 14th round pick in 2006, had a decent campaign at Batavia, posting a .725 OPS, which isn’t great, but was still about 24% above league average, all things considered. Milner despite being HUGE, (6’5, 240 lbs), played CF in college, and apparently played it well, which means that when he moves, he might move to RF, not automatically to 1B. Milner is a great athlete with great size, but based on his offensive numbers, is far from a finished product. He did log 6 triples in 70 games, but only stole 4 bases in 7 attempts. I like the upside on Milner, but he was 22 and will be 23 in 2007, so he needs to have a big year at Lakewood, along the lines of Jeremy Slayden’s 2006, in order for him to improve his grade.
Ceiling: Who knows, at this point. With his frame and athletic ability, he could be a Vlad Guerrero type, or he could be a complete dud. Until he has at least one full season of pro ball, it’s impossible to know.
Floor: Like most toolsy guys, his floor is really low.
Conclusion: If you love tools, you probably think Milner has a good chance. If you like numbers, well, he was old for the league, but was still above average. If Milner remains in RF, the offensive requirements are a tick lower than at 1B. Again, he needs to have a big year at Lakewood because of his age.
Berry, Quintin, OF (age 22) Grade = C
All things considered, Berry is probably a better prospect than Milner, but because his performance was so much worse at Batavia, I gave him a half grade lower than Milner. Berry was taken by the Phillies in the 5th round of the 2006 draft, adding to the many OF the Phillies took in the first 15 rounds. Berry was a very well thought of talent entering his sophomore year at San Diego State before being forced to have labrum surgery, which greatly impacted his development. He has great physical tools, and studied under one of the greatest hitters in history, San Diego State coach Tony Gwynn, but he didn’t apply those tools, maybe because he still isn’t healthy. Berry’s speed is his single best asset at this point, as he stole 19 of 23 bases at Batavia. If he indeed 100% recovered now, he might surprise some non-believers at Lakewood in 2007. He’ll probably open in RF if D’Arby Myers makes the Lakewood squad.
Ceiling: A baseball player who can run, hit and catch. Specific, huh?
Floor: See Milner, Gus.
Conclusion: As with all toolsy outfielders, temper expectations. One half season doesn’t tell us much about a player, especially a season in which he was recovering from major surgery. Chances are, had he not hurt his shoulder, he’d have gone in the 2nd or 3rd round, so the Phillies may have gotten a steal here, if he does pan out.
6 thoughts on “Prospect Grades: Milner and Berry”
I think it is actually a good think to take flyers on some of these toolsy OF, when you are spending 4th round and later picks. Really, if a guy had great performance to go with some projectable tools, he is long gone by the 4th round. Far better to take riskier guys with high ceilings than safe bets who will never be better than good minor leaguers. We used to have a farm filled with those safe, not really projectable college guys.
I was disappointed that they picked Berry so high, but there does seem to have been something there in the past to suggest he might be a better hitter then he looks like.
As for Milner, I agree, a good late round pick- but his size is puzzling- is he a John Kruk like pudgey athlete? (i know- ‘I ain’t an athlete’) Because among his scouting report, power isn’t really something people talk about- not like Charlie Yarborough. Which I think also means that if they let him play a season in centerfield he’ll get worn out by midseason. So, I guess its up to him what kind of shape he puts himself in.
If Myers makes Lakewood, would Milner play RF and Berry LF? I’d imagine that Berry’s arm isn’t that great after labrum surgery.
That’s my guess, or Dempsey in LF and Berry DH’ing?
I think the minors are for player development, not trying to win. Berry may have defensive deficiencies today, but he is not going to improve by being a DH. I am strongly opposed, especially in an organization with as little minor league position prospect talent as we have, to 1)using even chance prospects as DH and 2)playing the guys out of role to try to score more runs (as in managers looking for power from Bourn, rather than letting him develop leadoff skills. Even if he is one of best hitters on team, his major league role is as high obp leadoff batter, and that is what minors should groom him for. Rollins was used too much as a minor league power hitter, somewhat to his detriment. I think he would still have the power we see, but might have learned more patient, obp skills).
The only way I would have Berry DH is if his arm still isn’t strong enough to play the field.
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