Well, it’s that time of year. I’ve spent all winter studying the prospects in the Phillies system (sort of), we’ve conducted the Reader Top 30 and given you your say, and now it’s my turn. As I’ve thought about my top 30 for 2012, I’ve gone back and forth quite a bit, an in addition to thinking about the Phillies crop, I’ve also spent plenty of time thinking about prospects in general, philosophies for evaluating prospects, and everything else related to player development. I feel that it might be beneficial to go over some of these things I’ve been thinking about as something of a primer for my Top 30 list. This entry is going to be quite lengthy. I suggest you use the bathroom, grab a cup of your beverage of choice, then settle in and try to dig through it. Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading it, because I always enjoy writing it.
Since I started the site, I’ve always resisted doing a re-ranking of my top 30 prospects mid-season. There are multiple reasons for this. First, when I sit down to do my offseason top 30, I look at a lot of statistics, I do a lot of thinking about which guys should go where, I try and talk to people who know more about prospects than me, and then I put everything together and come up with my best list. I start thinking about it in October, and the list eventually gets submitted in December for the Maple Street Press Phillies Annual. Its a long process, I move guys around constantly, but its a rewarding process. A number of people, people whose opinions I greatly respect, have suggested to me that I should do in-season Top 30 updates. I’ve resisted, but I think that if I do it properly, its something that can be done, and something that hopefully people here enjoy. Check below for the 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!
I went through my Top 30 in great detail, now I’ll answer your questions about my list. Lets start off with 3 questions from Derek:
Do you have any ‘deep sleepers’ for this upcoming year? Guys that aren’t top 30 or even top 40 who you think have a chance of being top 15 next year?
How about the next M. Taylor or J. Singleton, guys that are on the radar, but have huge seasons that move them to the top of the list?
How would you rank Biddle, Cosart, May, and Colvin based on pure stuff?
Jumping from way off the list into the Top 15 could be tough, but the guy I could see making the biggest jump is Brian Pointer. I really like his swing, he has a good blend of power and speed, and he could make a big impact if all goes well. A number of the international signings from the last year, Anderson Gonzalez (SS), Francisco Silva (SS), Franklyn Zavala (LHP), and Miguel Nunez (RHP) could also emerge.
In terms of the “next Michael Taylor” type, I think Gauntlett Eldemire or Cameron Rupp are good candidates to fit this mold. Both are college guys with big tools, and both had disappointing debuts.
In terms of raw stuff, I think you’d have to rank them Cosart > Colvin > Biddle > May.
And then we reached the end of the line. Today is the final installment of my Top 30 prospects for 2011. I hope you enjoyed the new format, breaking things up into 2 weeks worth of discussion. I know that I had a lot more fun writing it this way, as I was able to devote a significant chunk of words and thoughts to each batch of prospects, instead of spending the bulk of my time on the top 10 guys, and then just giving brief overviews of the next 20 guys. Today I’ll cover my last 2 prospects, as well as some thoughts on guys who didn’t make the list. As always, my goal is to outline why I chose the player and then let you decide if you agree or not. So, without further delay, lets finish this.
5 more prospects to go in my 2011 Top 30. Today I’ll hit on numbers 26-28. For Friday I’ll get to #29 and 30 as well as my guys who just missed the list. Then I’ll open the floor for questions in an old fashioned mailbag on Monday. Then the focus shifts to spring training. Check below the fold for more.
Thanks for checking back. The list has generated lots of discussion so far, and I hope it continues going forward. When it was suggested to break up the list in this fashion, I wasn’t sure how it would work, but I found that I’ve spent more time working on the writeups, and in turn, I hope its been better to read more detail and thought on each prospect, especially as we get outside of the top 10 and work further down the list. Lets crank out 20-22 now. Check below
Over half way through the top 30 for 2011, and today we focus on prospects 17-19. I’ll cover 20-22 on Tuesday, 23-25 on Wednesday, 26-28 on Thursday, then 29-30 and the just missed prospects on Friday. After which I’ll open it up for emails and questions about the list, and I’ll post a mailbag next Monday. With that said, lets get to 17-19. Check below the fold..
Thirteen prospects in the books, we’ll cover 3 more today. No clowning around, lets get to it.