Prospect Grades Wrapup

First, one guy I missed, then the revisions, and then the overall wrap-up. Thanks for the all the feedback as we progressed through.


De La Cruz, Maximo, RHP (age 22) Grade = C-

De La Cruz, in his age 21 season, didn’t really make much progress at Lakewood, posting a 4.90 ERA in 90 innings pitched. Shuttling between the rotation and bullpen, he allowed 98 hits and 35 walks compared to only 58 strikeouts. His performance was inconsistent, and for someone repeating Low A, I expected more out of him. He still is young, but he’s going to need a breakout performace in 2007 to be considered a decent prospect again.

2007 Outlook: De La Cruz will probably be a full time reliever in the near future, maybe even in 2007, with the shear amount of promising arms the Phillies have in their system. It’s possible he could spend 2007 in Lakewood again, but it’s likely that he’ll be moved to Clearwater.


Carlos Monasterios, from a B to a B-. Slotting him in as a B was maybe a bit optimistic, but I think his control is a plus, even if his other numbers are lagging. He was old for the GCL, but that is offset in him pitching in the US for the first time in 2006.

Will Savage from a B to a B-. Because his role is likely to be as a reliever, and because he was a college pitcher, I decided to bump him down a half grade.

Ronald Hill, from a C to a C-. I bumped him down a half grade due to age.

Tim Kennelley, from a C- to a C. I bumped him up because of his age and because he was learning to catch really for the first time in his career, which probably affected his offensive numbers.

Tim Moss, from a D- to a D. A D will be the lowest grade given, I feel bad for giving him a D-.

Welinson Baez, from a D+ to a C-. Because he is still young, and he does have outstanding tools, I’m willing to cut him some slack, but he definitely needs a big 2007.

Greg Golson, from a D+ to a C-. See above. He did improve slightly when challenged with a promotion to High A, so I’ll give him some slack here. Again, he needs a big 2007 to recover his prospect status.

Derick Griffith, from a D+ to a C-. He regressed in 2006, and is dangling on the edge, but I’ll cut him some slack.

Final Wrapup:

I’ll list the prospects in groups based on grades, but I’ll also rank them within the group. So, all of the A’s will be first, but I’ll rank all of the A’s in order. Remember, though, that all A level prospects are close, all B+ prospects are very close, etc etc. When it came to breaking ties, I considered age/level/performance.

Also, I wanted to make one more comment on these grades. I tried to develop a system for grading guys, and my system was based much more on performance than tools. Tools are very important to me, but when it comes down to it, some guys are “dream athletes” who just never put it together, while other guys always seem to get the job done, even if they are less heralded. So, in doing these grades, my goal was to simply evaluate what a player has done, considering his age and level, and then tinker with his grade based on his tools and adjust it in that manner. It’s not a perfect system, but I’m going to work on it and try to make it that much better by this time next season.


1. Carlos Carrasco, RHP (age 19)
2. Adrian Cardenas, SS (age 19)
3. D’Arby Myers, OF (age 18)


4. Scott Mathieson, RHP (age 22)
5. Josh Outman, LHP (age 22)
6. Edgar Garcia, RHP (age 19)


7. James Happ, LHP (age 24)
8. Joe Bisenius, RHP (age 24)
9. Dan Brauer, LHP (age 23)
10. Ben Pfinsgraff, RHP (age 23)


11. Kyle Kendrick, RHP (age 22)
12. Brad Harman, SS (age 21)
13. Zach Segovia, RHP (age 24)
14. Matt Maloney, LHP (age 22)
15. Brett Harker, RHP (age 22)
16. Scott Mitchinson, RHP (age 22)
17. Drew Carpenter, RHP (age 21)
18. Alex Concepcion, RHP (age 23)
19. Jesus Sanchez, C (age 19)
20. Jarrod Freeman, RHP (age 19)


21. Lou Marson, C (age 20)
22. Kyle Drabek, RHP (age 19)
23. Heitor Correa, RHP (age 17)
24. Michael Bourn, OF (age 24)
25. Pat Overholt, RHP (age 22)
26. Mike Costanzo, 3B (age 23)
27. Will Savage, RHP (age 22)
28. Mike Zagurski, LHP (age 24)
29. Jeremy Slayden, OF (age 24)
30. Carlos Monasterios, RHP (age 21)
31. Darren Byrd, RHP (age 20)
32. Matt Olson, RHP (age 20)
33. Garret Hill, RHP (age 22)
34. Reymond Cruz, RHP (age 23)


35. Jason Jaramillo, C (age 24)
36. Justin Germano, RHP (age 24)
37. Andrew Cruse, RHP (age 22)
38. Sam Walls, RHP (age 23)
39. Jason Donald, SS (age 22)
40. Zach Cline, RHP (age 23)
41. Antonio Bastardo, LHP (age 21)
42. Gus Milner, 1B (age 22)
43. Charlie Yarbrough, 1B (age 22)
44. Jacob Dempsey, OF (age 23)


45. Tim Kennelly, C (age 20)
46. TJ Warren, OF (age 19)
47. Rob Roth, RHP (age 19)
48. Nick Evangelista, RHP (age 24)
49. Darin McDonald, OF (age 19)
50. Michael Dubee, RHP (age 21)
51. Quintin Berry, OF (age 22)
52. Justin Blaine, LHP (age 22)
53. Nate Johnson, RHP (age 24)


54. Greg Golson, OF (age 21)
55. CJ Henry, SS (age 21)
56. Welinson Baez, 3B (age 21)
57. Dominic Brown, OF (age 19)
58. Michael Durant, 1B (age 20)
59. Ronald Hill, RHP (age 24)
60. Derrick Mitchell, SS (age 20)
61. Maximo De La Cruz, RHP (age 21)
62. Derick Griffith, RHP (age 24)


63. Fidel Hernandez, SS (age 20)


64. Tim Moss, 2B (age 25)
65. Jermaine Williams, OF (age 20)

And there you have it folks, my Top 65 list. I’ll do mid-season grades for the kids in full season ball, and then at the end of the year do a recap of the list plus grades for those in short season.

7 thoughts on “Prospect Grades Wrapup

  1. A monumental effort, James. At one point
    I thought you were a pretty easy grader
    and wished I had a prof like you in
    college. (And everyone passes, no
    failing grades!) On the whole, however, I
    think you did a great job.

    Yet Pfinsgraff in the top 10 seems a bit
    of a stretch to me.

  2. Pfinsgraff is in the top 10 right now, because he succeeded at both levels he pitched at. His numbers across the board were very solid. Now, he’s regarded as having average stuff but being a good competitor/having a good feel for pitching. If that catches up to him at a higher level, it will be reflected in his grade. That’s kind of the way I want to approach this. Likewise, if a guy like Drabek, who is way down the list, dominates at Lakewood this year, he’ll surely shoot up the list and improve his grade.

  3. James I like your grading system because it’s different than most others. You have the capapbility of adjusting the grades as we go along in this here blog format.

    Grading performance over potential while still considering the all important age and level the guy is at seems like a pretty good way to go about it.

    There are many different ways to rate prospects. I like your method. It is informative and logical.

    This season will have a huge effect on many guys. Drabek and Pfinsgraff are two of them. This should be a great baseball year as the big club looks good and there are many interesting, if not great, prospects down on the farm.

  4. James,

    I’m not really anonymous. I forgot to attach my name to the above post. Ooops.

  5. I only recently found this site, through a link from Beerleaguer, so don’t think I’m trying to be a wise guy. I just have a few questions about your evals (which I will preface by saying I have read with great interest and they kick butt).

    How many of these guys have you seen play, and how much of this is based solely on stats, second hand accounts, etc?

    Also since you seem to have a pretty tight handle on this stuff, I would be interested to hear which of these guys you think will have an impact by say 2008, 2009, 2010. It is pretty cool to see that Myers gets and A, and his numbers are good, but lets face it, were talking about a guy that’s probably looking at a 2012 September call up if he manages to stay on track and not get hurt. Maybe a close up on the 23 – 26 year old crowd would be interesting?

    Nice page, thanks for all the work.

  6. How many have I seen play…..hmmm. I’d say 15-20 of the guys on the list I’ve seen in person, maybe more. But, I wasn’t sitting there with a radar gun, so I don’t know what seeing them pitch/hit would do to change my view of them. Statistics, when used properly, are a great measuring tool. I can look at Carlos Carrasco’s numbers and compare them with past players that were his age, pitching in the SAL, and get an idea of what to expect from him. I can also take his 2006 numbers and compare them to others in the SAL, comparing ages/stuff, and go from there.

    The people at Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus, as well as all of the other prospect sites, get their information from scouts who travel around and go to games. The guys who write the prospect Top 10’s at Baseball America get to see games, but they don’t get to see every player they write about, they have to take information from various sources, then look at the numbers, then make a guess. I’ve seen a bunch of these guys play, but I trust their numbers a lot more than I trust my own eyes when it comes to evaluating.

    As for when a player will make an impact, it really depends. A guy like Pat Overholt might have a monster year closing for Reading this year and be an impact guy in September. Dan Brauer might be unhittable this year and be ready to challenge for a rotation spot next year. Or, on the flip side, a guy like Matt Maloney, who had real good numbers in 2006, might completely bomb out at AA this year against better hitters and struggle, and he might not ever make a contribution.

    The purpose of my grades is to evaluate what a player has done so far in his minor league career, and make a guess as to what he can become. The reality is, most prospects never work out, some become role players, and a small handful of them become stars. Carlos Carrasco might be the next Pedro Martinez, or he might never make it past AA. I’m only really judging these players and grading them on what they’ve done. Ben Pfinsgraff, as mentioned above, is a great example. He was a 2006 draftee, and he had a marvelous debut, so his grade is merited, based on that. But, if he struggles in 2007 and gets hit around, it will be reflected in his grade next season.

    As for D’Abry Myers, you’re right, he might flop, and there’s a good chance he will, because most “prospects” do flop. But, the numbers he put up in the GCL were impressive, and were made even more impressive by the fact that he was only 17 years old. As to when he could make an impact, your guess is as good as mine. He’ll spend all of 2007 at Lakewood, at age 18. He’s probably going to spend 1 year at each level through AA, and he might skip AAA. If he does that, he’ll make his big league debut in either late 2009 or 2010. Sure, that’s a long way off, but he’ll be 21, and still real young for the big leagues.

  7. Pretty remarkable that just two of your top 10, three of the 15, and four of the top 20 are position players. The other Phils lists I’ve seen are roughly equivalent, though the specific guys might vary. (They seem to like Bourn more than you do, using different criteria of course.)

    The clear upside as I see it is that the GM has plenty of young pitching “inventory” to trade from; but there’s an even clearer need to really focus on getting some good positional talent in the pipeline this June and perhaps through trades as well.

    Still, given that the whole Phillies lineup is between the ages of 26 and 31, this seemingly weird arrangement does somewhat make sense.

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