New York-Penn League Top 20

Baseball America released its NYP Top 20 list today.  Cesar Hernandez (2B) is 9th, Domingo Santana 12th, and Aaron Altherr 15th.  One manager compares Hernandez to an “Alberto Callaspo / Erick Aybar type”, while the comments on Santana are what you’d expect–he’s still young, needs to improve contact rate, etc.  Comments on Altherr are similar to those in last week’s GCL roundup.

35 thoughts on “New York-Penn League Top 20

  1. I really like these prospects a lot and it will be reflected in my personal top 30 list. Alther reminds me a little of brown as others have said and should start in lakewood and moved quickly. He might be in my top 10! Santana was a disappointment this year but certainly has time on his side and a lot of projection. He will fall out of top 10 that was probably too aggressive on my part last year. Hernandez is our response to who is our next legitimate middle infield prospect. I think he is going to be as good as villar. He is a lock for top 20. All 3 of these guys have potential to be top 5 guys in the system i think.

  2. Hernandez is an interesting prospect. I don’t think he has top 5 potential as I don’t see huge upside for that type of player. But he’s certainly good.

    I find the Erick Aybar/Alberto Callaspo comp interesting. Check out Matt McCarthy’s Odd Man Out. You won’t be disappointed.

  3. I actually can’t squeez Hernandez into my top 30 yet with him sitting at 31 right now but I still have Overbeck and Rizz late in my top 30 along with Collier and I’m not sure about them. Also, I have nowhere else to put this but I just heard that Travis Mattair is back or at least coming back. If true, he’s certainly a kid to root for.

  4. I thought Travis Mattair was enrolled at Boise State and was playing college basketball for them this coming season.

  5. Why no Alvarez? Doesn’t he deserve a spot? What about Pettis? Do they consider him to old for this list?

  6. The Baseball America lists are based as much on age and perceived potential than they are actual performance and stats. That’s why if you look at the list you’ll see players like Domingo Santana for instance who obviously didn’t have anywhere near the season that Alvarez had, but Santana is considered to have much more potential tools at his disposal.

    Alvarez is an OF who doesn’t really have exceptional ‘plus’ tools at the plate. He strikes out a lot, but doesn’t generate power and his speed isn’t likely to translate into high SB totals. The Mets have a prospect Cory Vaughn in the top-5 on that list who’s 21, but it’s because he was just drafted out of college by them and smacked 14 HR’s and tore up the league in his pro debut. So BA will go with an older player if they feel like he has ‘superior tool(s)’ going forward. I guess they didn’t feel that about Alvarez.

    Hernandez is the same age as Alvarez and didn’t have the same offensive season, but he has ‘plus plus’ speed and plays a more important position (2B) and may have been one of the best defensively at second in the league. So he makes the list.

  7. How did Altherr make both lists? Shouldn’t the rankings minimum requirement be at least half a season? Since it appears the scouting community like Altherr I guess that makes his upside projection more legitimate.

  8. In my opinion, Santana took about as big a nose dive as Aumont. Completely outclassed at his promotion level and then not much better when demoted. Santana’s age (and not being a 1st round pick) certainly lower expectations and give more opportunity for growth. I am not disagreeing on his upside (I like Aumont’s potential as well) but the risk of a Hewitt type performance seems equally possible.

  9. I think Altherr made both because in the Baseball America chat following the GCL list from last week they said Kelly Dugan missed being on it by 20 AB’s (he had 60, so would assume that means they needed 80 AB’s) to be considered for a prospect as a hitter in the short-season leagues.

    Altherr had 115 in GCL and 94 in the NY-Penn League so he qualified for their minimum AB’s in both and I guess they consider him with enough potential to warrant being a top-20 prospect among the prospects in both leagues.

  10. Cesar Hernandez will be a guy like Harold Garcia. He’s under the radar but he does things that make him shine. Garcia was a key to Lakewood’s success 2 years ago. He had the long hitting streak at CLW and then was successful at AA until he ran out of gas at the end. Harold Garcia wasn’t in my top 30 last year and yet all I did was talk about him while he was in Lakewood. He’ll definitely be in my top 30 this year. I had Savery as my # 30 last year. I could have done better throwing a dart at a list of Phils prospects. Bam! Oh no, Anthony Hewitt. Not that…

    Hernandez might be #31 on your top 30 but he’ll make you stand up and take notice, just like Garcia.

  11. The announcer at State College was pronouncing it like ” out there”. I think it should be just like it looks.

  12. Hernandez is solidly in my top 30. The guy profiles as a lead-off hitter. He steals bases at a good clip without getting caught much, and we walked as much as he struck out. He also plays a premium possition. BA ranking him 9th in the NYPL would seem to indicate that the scouts who have seen him play are creating some buzz.

  13. 15 of the NYP Top 20 from five years ago have made the majors including Clay Buchholz, Gaby Sanchez, and Jacoby Ellsbury. But even if it was only four of twenty–should there be a different topic of discussion during the minor league offseason on a minor league blog? Little slow for news these days…

  14. Four minor league guys vs. four free agents is a lot of money. Plus system guys perform or go back.

  15. That would be 4 FA’s vs. 20 minor league guys since we know that all 4 FA’s will make it to the majors, correct? I agree that the minor leaguers are still cheaper but then again, is giving $1M to Anthony Hewitt cheaper than signing Ross Gload for $1M? Just saying!!!

  16. Alan I’m not really sure what you meant by you don’t see huge upside for that kind of player. From memory i think he is ahead of h garcia at around the same level and age and I kind of like garcia.

  17. Sorry that would be hernandez for others reading and wanting to have to go back. I just think there is a lot to get excited about in his game and age.

  18. I was wrong, I just went back to look at hernandez vs. garcia and being at the same level of development and hernandez is well over a year and a half younger in NYP then garcia was in the GCL. The next year however garcia moved to lakewood and we know what he did this year. excellent years for both and both may have a MLB future, garcia just seems more likely to be role player but more likely to make it while hernandez is less likely because of proximity to the majors.

  19. By upside I mean his profile looks like someone on the level of Luis Castillo or Delino Deshields. Valuable player but not someone you view as a superstar. I guess Willie Randolph was the same type of player as well but that’s a stretch. Don’t get me wrong though, I like Hernandez as a prospect.

  20. Gotcha Alan, I thought you meant he probably had little chance of making it but you meant superstar potential. I actually like those comps as delino was a minor star at one point. Of course his ability to swipe 50-60 bags didn’t hurt. I don’t think hernandez has the ability to steal that many but maybe 30 with a better BA. L. castillo was a star with Fla. and was a force behind pierre for a few years. Willie was a guy who didn’t impress you with his #’s but had a good all around game. So I would take him becoming any one of those guys. He might wind up being comparable to whatever cardenas becomes minus a little power and with a little more speed. Does anyone know anything about his glove?

  21. Cesar’s defense looks comparable to Utley’s in the NY Penn league. Although Chase was 1 year older.

    Cesar had 7 errors, in 321 chances, spanning 65 games. He was part of 40 DPs. Fielding % .978; range factor 4.83

    Chase had 3 Errors, in 179 chances, over 34 games. He was part of 21 DPs; fielding % .983; range factor 5.18.

  22. SALLY Top 20 is always really difficult to crack because the league is always loaded. You have to figure that Singleton and Cosart are locks, Colvin is a very, very strong possibility and guys like Sebastian Valle and Jiwan James have a shot. I don’t know how they will approach Trevor May.

  23. I saw one prospect blog that did a top 40 on the Sally League. They put six Phillies in the top 20 including Singleton, Cosart, James, Valle, Colvin and Castro. I’d rate Colvin above the hitters in that group (except Singleton) and I’d probably put May above them as well. I also note Villar in their top 20 as well. It’s a useful list if nothing else for fleshing out the non-Phillies under consideration.

    I can’t wait for BA’s list.

  24. I have Cesar Hernandez right around #20 on my list. Not sure how 30 guys could be considered better than him, especially if you have Altherr, Dugan and/or Alvarez in the top 20-25. He is in their neighborhood.
    Also, if Cesar Hernandez’s upside is Louis Castillo, then he should be a top 10 prospect. Castillo was an allstar caliber major league player for a long period.

  25. ** 15 of the NYP Top 20 from five years ago have made the majors including Clay Buchholz, Gaby Sanchez, and Jacoby Ellsbury. **

    That’s a lot. Every few years or so, I go through old Prospect Handbooks to see how prospects were league rated at the end of seasons. My answer of 4 was a guesstimate. But the 2005 draft was one of the best I’ve ever seen in my mind. The Phils had no pick that year but imagine Clay Buchholz (a supplemental) in our rotation.

  26. It’s absolutely an anomaly–most of the league Top 20s from five years ago have about 4-8 who have made the majors. I agree, though, with going back through the old handbooks–the Top 30s they do make for great debate or at least provide more detail on guys, but as an actual “ranking” tool–well, it’s sort of like People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People.

  27. someone really made a comment about Santana bottoming out, and being the next Hewitt? Anything is possible, and maybe he won’t make it, but that is completely losing perspective on his age. Most kids his age are gearing up for their senior year of HS, not facing guys with a good 3 or 4 more years of experience. You want your favorite HS qb, playing right now against Alabama’s defense? He is going to get a ton of coaching by the time he is 21, and the one thing that can’t be coached, his physical make up, is already a plus!

  28. From today’s Inquirer:

    Steve Roadcap will not return as the manager at double-A Reading but will remain in the Phillies’ organization as a manager at the single-A level, according to a baseball source.

    The Reading Phillies went 69-72 in Roadcap’s second season as manager. The Phillies previously announced that Dave Huppert would not return at the manager at triple-A Lehigh Valley. One of the two openings could go to Mark Parent, who managed single-A Lakewood to the South Atlantic League title this season.

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