My 2011 Top 30 Prospect List: Mid-season stock update

Busy times here at the site, but now with the draft over and on the back burner until mid August, I thought it would be good to look at my top 30 list and see how my rankings look, and also how my view of players may have been altered since I prepared the rankings in mid-December. This is a quick snapshot, and just my brief thoughts in passing, it is not a re-ranking of my top 30 or anything substantial like that. I’m going to simply categorize all 30 guys as follows:

stock up – the prospect has shown improvements that make me think I will be upgrading his standing after the season
stock down – the inverse of above
no change – nothing to change my opinion of the player

Do not try and infer a new top 10 or top 20 or top 30 from my comments. Again, these are brief snippets and takes on our guys right now. When I put together my top 30 this winter, it will require a lot more in depth review. This is just a quick update.

Quick note: I had started writing this last week, but then waited to publish, and forgot to do it, so some of the stats may be outdated. I’m sorry!

CLICK TO ENLARGE, AS ALWAYS

A few guys not on the 30:

Zach Collier, OF – Stock up. Very impressive so far, I’ve raved about him on twitter a number of times. Probable top 10-15 guy at this point.
Freddy Galvis, SS – Stock up. I have no clue where this power came from. Definitely back on the radar.
Cody Overbeck, 3B/1B/OF – Stock up. He’s probably in the 21-30 range right now, power is an asset, his defense/overall approach probably isn’t.

65 thoughts on “My 2011 Top 30 Prospect List: Mid-season stock update

  1. I think it’s time that Derrick Mitchell is given consideration. 24 years old, good enough in the field to play CF, batting .284 with 11 HR and third in the league in RBI. What do you think?

    1. I actually agree that Mitchell is being overlooked a bit. Unfortunately for him, there are a few who post here who have poisened his well a bit with some over the top comments.

      He certainly merits as much consideration as guys like Rizzotti, Overbeck, etc. who are also a bit old for their level. Biggest knock I have on him is that he strikes out a bit too much and doesn’t walk enough for a speed guy with average power.

      1. It’s not even the strikeouts, his percentage is passable for someone who has pretty good power (20% strikeout rate). He REALLY needs to learn how to take walks though, especially because his speed, while good, doesn’t seem to be great.

    2. Hope to get to Reading to see Derrick play a game or two next week. Mitch is hitting .348 with a .947 OPS so far in June. With the Eastern League just about at the half way point in the season he needs to hit around .317 in the second half to hit .300 for the year. That should merit an Arizona Fall League invite and a 40 man roster spot for 2012.

  2. Apologies if this has been discussed, as I don’t get a chance to get here every day I may have missed this. But it seems topical to this thread. I just saw the Anthony Hewitt has made the South Atlantic League All-Star roster. I have no idea of their rules that may say “must have so many people from each team” but if it’s like MLB (needing one player) Jim Murphy has the Lakewood slot covered. SO – is there somehting we’re all missing in his year so far. I mean comparatively he’s obviously been better, and I am forever hopeful on him, but an all-star? Really surprised me. Reason to be excited, or is the rule that you have to have X players from each team and he has the best of the worst?

    As mentioned, not killing the kid, always hopeful he puts it together. Just really surprised when I saw this.

    And BTW – he’s also in the Home Run contest with Murphy and Bryce Harper.

    1. Yes, sort of baffling, really. Maybe it’s the sort of thing where the Lakewood manager gets to choose the roster, because they won the league last year, and he wants to reward Hewitt for his improved attitude or comparative strides or something? But hard to figure regardless.

    2. There is no rule in the South Atlantic League that says each team must be represented. There is no reason why there ever should be as most teams have good players at that level. Even if there was Lakewood has 5 on all-star team: Murphy, Hewitt, and the pitchers- Buchanan, Claypool and Lisalverto Bonilla. Hewitt is on because he is one of the better players in the league. You also factor in OF play, OF assists, Stolen bases, and the hitting is not that bad as per league standards, despite the complaints of those who are still mad that their edicts of who to draft in 2008 somehow were not followed by baseball professionals.

    3. Well, if they throw him only fastballs in the Derby, he could very well win it. He does have tremendous power when he actually connects afterall.

  3. I realize this may just be a definition of terms issue, but if I was doing the list I definitely would have marked Singleton’s stock as “down.” He certainly has the same upside potential, which I remain excited about, but in addition to hitting for less average and power, he seems to have flubbed the position change. Realize both that and the falloff in batting numbers may be due to the injury, but if this is just a snapshot of where things stand with half the season in, it seems like he’s definitely failed to meet my expectations. But maybe my expectations were different than yours, and unrealistic, so I’m not questioning your “no change,” and I’m also not saying he won’t bounce back. The continued plate discipline would seem to suggest that he should, and he’s young, etc. But I feel like if I was reshuffling the list at this point–and I know you said that’s not the point of the exercise–I would probably jump Cosart past him, and maybe May, because they’ve really shined.

    1. I agree that his stock is down. For the first two months of his minor league career (May and June 2010), his OPS were 1.200 and .991. Since then (7/2010 through 6/2011), his OPS has averaged about .720. As more data like this rolls in, we need to readjust our forecasts.

      I still think he is one of the top prospects in our system. He’s young relative to league, and even though his OPS has tailed off his OBP has averaged about .370 even excluding his excellent first two months in the minors. So still lots to be interested in / excited about. But I have to rate him lower now than I did at the beginning of the season.

      1. I know he only turned 18 last season but 2010 was not the start of his minor league career. He was drafted and signed in 2009 as a 17 year old and played 31 games in the Gulf Coast League posting an .835 OPS

  4. Curious on the opinion of Savery. I would not put him in the Top30 and he is older and coming back to earth. But he is a special case. For this season I looked for him to re-learn hitting for a full season and would have kept him in A+ at 1B/DH for the most part. If he made it through okay then look to move him to RF in Reading with possible move to AAA if he continued to progress. The high BA has dropped but his BB rate has gone up.

    Other guy I would like to know more about is Edgar Duran. It seems he is just okay, certainly not the prospect that Villar was.

    1. I think Buchanan should get some props, he is having a great first half…

      FYI…In case you have not seen it I posted on the 2011 Draft page… I believe Larry Greene has signed. Let me know what you think after you read the article…

  5. I like the update but it would be nice to see a midseason top 10 for the org.

    On a non top 10 note – any others think David Buchanan is a top 20 guy next spring?

    1. There was a nice little article on him in today’s Inquirer. Only bad part is their pitching coach compares him to KK.

  6. I just want to qualify Brown’s current numbers by noting that his BABIP in the majors this year is a meager .213. I couldn’t get a number for his sacrifice flies, so I gave him one sacrifice fly based on my subjective observation. Nobody should sleep on this kid, he’s due for a big-time regression. When I watch the games, I see a guy who could have a lot more hits than he does judging by the quality of contact he is making.

  7. P.S. another thing that jumps out for Brown is an outstanding 10/13 walk/strikeout ratio. This in 91 AB’s.

    1. So far Brown makes contact and has a good eye. When watching a game I don’t cringe when he is up like I would for Howard, Ibanez, or Francisco with 2 strikes. Just wait till his 2nd time around the league he could get even better.

  8. Could the Phillies be looking to Cody Asche to eventaully replace Chase Utley at 2nd base? He is starting at 2nd base for the Crosscutters it appears.

    1. It is just one game…I think you will see players at Williamsport and GCL playing several different positions just to see what they can do. Martinez played 3b tonight. Would not be shocked to see him play some SS. Dugan has played the outfield and I’m sure he will get some time at first base.

  9. I think Galvis is a top 10 prospect at this point, with the chance to finish the season in the top 5 or so depending on whether or not he can finish the season like he has been playing. He easily can play another year in AA. If he can increase is OBP a little bit, he has the chance to be a 15 HR 20SB guy in AA next year

    Pros: Plus glove, 21 years old in AA, 7 HR, 11 doubles, and a 727 OPS.

    Cons: 8 SB, 7 CS (he was 15/4 last year, so this is a little odd), 17/39 BB/K ratio

    1. Was at the game at Reading today and I have to say that Galvis was faster than I’d expected. With the right coaching he could end up being a decent basestealer.

    2. The 17/39 BB/K ratio is a weak point for sure, but improved from prior seasons and not horrible for a SS.

      The last exchange with 3Up on Glavis kind of degenerated when he seemed to feel I was arguing in bad faith. I wasn’t, but I guess I can see how my snarkiness towards some posters (not 3Up) could lead some people to not give me the benefit of the doubt. But I’m increasingly convinced that Galvis is likely to end up a solid regular. I wish Baseball-reference.com’s season finder worked for the minor leagues, so we could do some serious comps on him. But I feel like at this point, given his age/level & performance, he is more likely than not going to exceed the fairly modest hitting standards for a slick fielding SS.

      Another way of looking at this: This season, Elvis Andrus, a guy who has been invoked previously in the Galvis discussion, is batting a modest .283/.327/.355. Yet he is on track (per Fangraphs) for a 5 WAR season (currently 2.3). One of those 5 WAR would be from base running, and Galvis projects more as a decent base runner rather than an exceptional one, but at this point I can easily see Galvis being a 3 WAR player. I still think that a lot of people haven’t fully registered the extent that decreasing offense in the major leagues makes a good field – little hit SS a viable option again.

      And yes, I’m aware that Andrus had a decent season in AA as a 19 year old. Not saying Andrus is a perfect comp, that’s not the point. The point is, you don’t need to hit like Troy Tulowitzki to be a valuable SS these days.

      1. No, I don’t think any of your arguments were in bad faith, just some poorly written and/or poorly read comments.

        I absolutely agree that Galvis has moved onto the radar screen as a prospect with his performance so far in 2011. I’m just not sold yet that he’s moved past being a marginal regular at this point. He OPS so far this year is 130 points above his career numbers which is an amazing jump for a guy with as many at-bats in the minors as he has (even at such a young age). I’m still a bit skeptical and am interested to see if he maintains it for the rest of 2011.

        Hopefully in 2012 he’s ready to move to AAA and does continue to make strides as a hitter.

  10. Most of the disappointments were unproven going into this season. I feel like our top 30 has strengthened, with more legit MLB prospects.

    Hopefully some picks sign soon, so we can see what they can do for a couple months.

  11. Assuming both Greene and Quinn sign, where do they start? Do they go to Williamsport? If so , that outfield would be so intriguing. Greene in LF Kyrell Hudson in center, and Alther in right. Also, does The organization start Quinn playing either second or short, or do they send him right to the outfield?

    1. If signed they would go to the training facility in Clearwater and depending on how they do, would play in GCL games. I was hoping they would sign quickly with Greene in LF and Quinn at 2B (assuming one of the SS also signed in time for GCL but that is unlikely due to their bonus demands). I would expect Dugan or one of the college drafted OF in RF at WPT.

  12. -Doesn’t Mitchell have as many HRs as Rizzotti, at a younger age, at a premium position? (vs none) He has to be a top 30 prospect if he keeps this up. Castro’s power is also impressive.

    -Claypool, Bonilla and Buchanan deserve to be top 30 at this point as well.

    -Julio Rodriguez has a better K rate, WHIP and BAA than Cosart. He’s also shown stamina, throwing a lot of innings. Pettibone has also been avoiding bats and throwing a lot of innings. Both should be solidly in the top 10.

    -Aumont could just crack the top 10, if he keeps his stuff and puts up good numbers in AAA.

    1. Mitchell has a lower OPS and much less of a track record, but I agree that he is a better prospect than Rizzotti at this point. I wish he would go back to stealing a ton of bases like he did last year and maintain that pop he has going. 15/51 BB/K ratio is a little troubling. How is he in the OF?

    1. I have a theory on J-Rod. I think his delivery, especially his front side mechanics, are what contribute to his success. I think what a pitcher does with his glove and front arm can really cause problems for hitters. Its kind of similar to the “hiding the ball” concept to create deception. A great example of this at the major league level is Jair Jurrjens. He was a good prospect, but no one saw him as a potential elite pitcher. You watch him pitch and look at his stuff, and its average, maybe a tick above. His fastball is 89-93, but its straight, and he has a good changeup. But batters don’t make good contact against him, and he consistently outperforms his xFIP. Consistently generating weak contact is a skill pitcher’s have some control over, and if you’re constantly fooled by a pitcher, you’re going to make weak contact. Matt Cain is another guy with a similar situation. His ERA is almost always lower than his xFIP, and people keep expecting him to regress. But his delivery, which has a lot of front side movement, and a slight pause or hitch, appears to throw batters off, and they don’t make consistent contact against him. His home park helps, but I think the deception he creates causes a lot of the swings and misses and weak contact he generates.

      That’s not to say I’m projecting J-Rod to be as good as those 2 guys. What I’m saying is, not all 90 mph fastballs are created equal. He’s a guy who is going to have to keep proving it at the next level. But so far, he’s done just that. And if it is his mechanics/delivery, then either guys are going to somehow figure it out, or they won’t.

      1. I’ve never seen JRod pitch so I have no reason to agree or disagree with this analysis, but what I love about it is that it goes a layer or two deeper than velocity and statistics. Some on this site get too hung up on statistics and ignore the possibility that intangibles exist and that people grow, learn, and mature. Roy Halladay’s evolution from one day to the next after a mechanical change should be enough proof that we should never assume somebody can’t ever be something he doesn’t currently project to.

        1. My perspective on this is that the numbers guys on the site often tend to be MORE interested in scouting/subjective reports than some (not all) of the numbers adverse guys. For example, the numbers guys are sticking by Singleton more than are some of the less numerically inclined, partly because of the scouting reports on him. I for one also love this kind of analysis & certainly think that it is possibly true in JRod’s case.

          But that said, I hate the word “intangibles.” The advantage that JRod might have in this regard is very tanglible. It isn’t necessarily quantifiable, but that is another matter.

          Of course the other side of this particular coin is people much less knowledgable than PP often cite “intangibles” as a way to justify wishful thinking .. I still remember Happ, who had a divergence between FIP and ERA that was far greater than any of the players mentioned above, with no demonstrated ability in the minors to pitch to a lower ERA than his fundementals suggested. His ERA was clearly at the time unsustainable. And some people who wanted to believe that his ERA was for real were convinced that the numbers crunchers among us where full of crap. But of course we know what happened.

          (One kind of side note on Rodriquez, his K rate isn’t really that bad. His FIP is mediocre more because of a mediocre BB rate. Maybe command is more of an issue for him going forward than stuff?)

  13. I have to say, the performance of our prospects as a whole (especially those in the top 5) has been disappointing. 2 of the 5 get a downgrade in my book with 3 unchanged. Brown – if nothing becuase he’s in MLB… but I could have gone either way here because he hasn’t performed very well. May and cosart have not been stellar but have held their own.

    The only other guy at the top of our board is valle, and many people are knocking his OBP so he’s a wash.

    Not a good year for our system.

    1. Wrong on almost every count.

      Brown has not performed poorly, at all. I won’t even invoke the “adjustment to the major leagues” explanation, because he doesn’t need it. He has been fine, with some bad BIP luck. Period.

      Overall it’s been a fine year for the system. The disappointments are outweighed by the prospects exceeding expectations. Maybe not looking just at the preseason top 30, but considering also prospects who were outside the top 30 – the 3 named above and I can think of a few others – the system is doing just fine.

      Also a factor – one weak point at the beginning of the year was that most of the top prospects hadn’t done anything above lower A. Simply having last year’s A players (mainly the starting pitchers) doing decently (and in come cases more than decently) at A+ raises their stock.

      And finally, while a system isn’t going to rise and fall on it’s relievers, the fact that Stutes has gone from out of the top 30 to major league success, along with other successful minor leaguers who aren’t in the top 30 but are legitimate prospects, is a positive that isn’t fully reflected just looking at the top 30.

      1. I disagree with most of your points. But the single biggest reason is due to point 2 below.

        1. Look, I’m not saying brown won’t be fine, matter fact, there is a lot to like in his major league performance in relation to the future, but in the majors, unlike the minors, it has NOTHING to do with projection and EVERYTHING to do with results…A slash line of .220 .294 .418 does not make him a bigger prospect then he was, (not worse either given it’s his rookie year) it’s just AVERAGE!

        2. As for you saying outside the top 30 has done well, you’re right it has, but who would you rather improve their stock, the top 5 or people outside the top 30? Obviously the top 5 becuase their value was so high before the “uptick” (a 10% improvement on an A grade prospect is much more valuable then a 10% improvement on a D grade prospect”)

        3. Point 3 I semi-agree with, but the biggest jump is to AA (especially for pitchers due to park factor)… if this was from A+ to AA I would give out extra points but A to A+ isn’t as significant to me especially since our A+ fields are extremely benefiical to pitchers.

        4. Our RP’s have done great, i agree, and have saved the major league team some for sure losses. (and inevitably money in the next few years as well) I just don’t consider them a large portion of rating a “system” being that they’re relievers.

        1. On 3 – your key point of disagreement – I guess that’s where we differ most. I don’t really necessarily NEED to see improvement in the top 5; they are already great prospects, unless one of them took a SERIOUS dive (and none did), then I’m not concerned. Brown is IN the majors now, May & Cosart, while not significantly improving their stock, are better prospects merely by virtue of continued success at a higher level, and Singleton, despite some mild concern, is still a top 50 prospect in all of baseball. All these guys, even Colvin, are still great prospects.

          OTOH, I’m thrilled that there are IMO more people in the system now that are “real” prospects for more than backup roles.

        2. “A slash line of .220 .294 .418 does not make him a bigger prospect then he was, (not worse either given it’s his rookie year)”

          So what you’re saying is that his stock as a prospect has not gone down because of his lack of performance in the bigs.

          There is a difference between disappointing results and prospect status.

  14. As for Galvis, I have no idea what to tell you. This season has come out of nowhere. He showed no real signs of this last year, he’s hitting for power, something he’s never done, and actually making decent contact. I actually had gotten a report in spring training that said with his increased size, his range might be in question, which was his calling card before, but I haven’t received any recent updates on his defensive play.

    This is what makes the prospect game so difficult. He took a huge step forward in like 6 months time, one that no one really saw coming. Just as Mike Stutes suddenly learned to throw the ball over the plate at a high rate.

    1. He went from super skinny toothpick to more of a Jimmy Rollins type build. Hopefully it only minimally affects his range and the power stays. He sure smells like a real prospect all of a sudden. 20 lbs of muscle for a kid his size is a huge maturation.

      1. I’m starting to buy in… (can’t believe i’m saying that)… (LarryM I’m sure you’ll appreicate hearing that)… He went from not being in my top 30 to 15 now with the potential to move up to 10 if he finishes the year with 14 or so HR’s and the same average.

      1. Does anybody know if Galvis is still switch-hitting? I remember reading rumblings of him giving that up due to lack of success from one of the sides. Just curious.

  15. Appreciate the midseason review.
    I was certainly hoping the Top4 were going to dominate their level and that has not happened. No reason to drop them on the Phillies ranking list, but nationally I would not be surprised if they fell out of the Top100.

    Brown is not the ‘savior’ nor should he be expected to be. He has shown patience and flashes power and speed. He should only get better but is likely going to be inconsistent in the majors. I thought he was brought up a bit early but see no reason to send him back down.

    Cosart, Colvin, May have been okay but Rodriguez and Pettibone are outpitching them in results. I was hoping May specifically would have a huge breakout deserving to move up to AA.

    Singleton was hurt but has regressed from my projection of his developing power and reasonable LF. Valle hitting well but the approach needs to improve. Key for him is improving as a C first. Both are young and should be in the Top5. Hopefully they talk hitting, what a great player would Valle’s power and Singleton’s approach be?

    Santana has similar stats as Hewitt but is 4 years younger! I had major questions about him and the BB/KK calling card is moving the wrong direction. Still on the radar with him is Hernandez who starter terrible but has improved recently. I still do not see the superstar potential in either one yet.

    Schreve, Rupp, and Altherr dropping way off this list. Schreve is done and will be org filler now. Rupp has not competition and hopefully can be a decent bench C in the minors. Altherr is too early to give up on but like Castro he seems to have no great tool and may just be an average type player. Fact that Garner did not start the opener for WPT is red flag for me. He may need some development but time is not on his side.

    The Lee Three are quite intriguing to me. When acquired I was hoping the following:
    Gillies would be AA CF in 2010, AAA CF in 2011, Platoon LF in 2012, and Vic replacement in 2013.
    Ramirez would be AA starter in 2010, AA/AAA starter in 2011, 6th starter AAA (Happ/Worley) in 2012, which might mean he spent more than half the year in the majors in 2012.
    Aumont AA closer in 2010, AAA closer with Sep callup in 2011, Lidge replacement in 2012.
    All of them are quite behind that overly optimistic view but it is interesting that all these positions look to be major gaps in 2012. Phillies need a LF for Ibanez and backup for Vic in 2012. If Worley takes over for Oswalt then Hyatt or Ramirez are the best AAA starters. Madson and Lidge are both FA with no good options at closer.

  16. Aumont is a 22 year old in Triple A. He’s not behind- Seattle rushed him. He was extremely raw.

  17. Some prospects (no particular order) who have done well this yr and improved their stock:
    Stutes and Worley of course with the big team..Dom Brown (expected him at big league level
    Schwimer has done real well with ERA under 2…ready for the bigs
    DeFratus keeps improving…rough AAA debut but should get opportunity in 2012
    Aumont…good job by Phils to move back to pen..like DeFratus should get look in 2012 or 2013
    Overbeck…still has awhile to go..but power numbers have been impressive
    Galvis…average and power is up and not really losing much in the field
    Mitchell…should be on 40 man next year,,good mix of average..speed..power
    Pettibone…finally getting respect…might get first call to Reading
    Rodriguez…8-4 first half of the year
    Cosart and May – have been where I thought
    Valle – hitting for average…still young no need to rush him…especially with Chooch
    Collier – nice comeback yr – could steal 40 bases
    Buchanan – nobody thought he would be this good

    1. Drew Carpenter has been outstanding. I’ll bet he mastered a splitter or other trick pitch.

  18. The biggest “Stock Up” player for me is Michael Stutes, though he’ll graduate out of the prospect list anyway. Freddy Galvis is the biggest one who’ll be in next year’s class. I am very happy that I argued for him in the top 30 this past offseason.

    As far as stock down, it’s Gillies. I can’t take a position player seriously as a top 10 prospect when he can’t get on the field. Especially when his game is speed based. JC Ramirez is my other stock down player based on my own observations.

  19. The bullpen prospects we had going into the season have been ridiculously successful. I could not imagine a better case scenario for Stutes, DeFratus, Bastardo, Schwimer, and Aumont. And even Carpenter has turned himself into a potential bullpen option if not a top prospect at this point.

  20. So here is a question. Of the non-pitchers, who has a shot at being more than a back-up? Exclude 2010 and 2011 draftees. I say:

    Singleton
    Valle
    Galvis
    Sanatana
    Collier
    C. Hernandez

    Maybe Gillies. That’s about it, with maybe one of the toolsie guys having an outside chance, and maybe one of the older guys having a shot with a non-contender.

    And who has dropped the most, at least among the non-pitchers? IMO Altherr.

    1. And can I make it clear that the exclusion of Mitchell from this list does not mean I don’t like him? I just think his ceiling is likely a back up, though every day he seems more likely to hit that ceiling. Heck, I wouldn’t be shocked if he ended up in that role as soon as next season.

  21. Great emails by all. I still think there are no real position players close after Brown – meaning 2 full years or 3. The bullpen growth is very impressive but let’s remember it took Stutes and Bastardo, in particular ,a long time to develop. My take on the group in AAA and AA are they are not close yet but are definitely improving enough for some appearances in Sept – namely Schwimer and maybe Defratus – but I do not think they will be as effective as Stutes yet. Aumont has been much better but still needs to get the butterflies out and that will be 1.5 years at least and another full year at AAA. As for the draft, I was happy to see team draft more position players – middle field players because there is age and holes. Hopefully one of the many drafted shortstops will become a prospect. Lastly on Singleton, Keith Law of ESPN ( his rep seems both good and sometimes marginal) still believes Singleton deserves a low 20 to under 20 ranking – last I saw. Any comments on Law and his rankings ? He also feels Cosart can be best minor league pitcher this year and end in top 10 ?????

    1. Bastardo took a long time to get healthy more than anything. He could have easily been in the Majors as a reliever 2 seasons ago had he not had health issues and had they not wanted to try him as a starter.

      I disagree on Aumont being 1.5 years away…he’ll be up NLT next Spring most likely.

      On Singleton and Cosart, I completely agree with KLaw.

      Its funny…when KLaw is harsh towards our guys, we say he hates the Phillies…when he’s super positive on them, we think he’s crazy.

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