A lot of these guys are inter-changeable. For instance, when you have 6 or so guys who all project as decent-but-not-great relievers, trying to rank them quickly approaches the ‘splitting hairs’ territory. However, I pressed on the split even the thinnest of hairs. Also, I ranked many of the 2010 draftees a little lower than where I expect their performance simply because I want to see more out of them. As an example, Roberto Pena is ranked 34th but if someone ranked him 25th going into this season I wouldn’t argue at all. Please feel free to leave any and all thoughts and opinions.
A quick Key: LYR=Last Year’s Rank, NR=Not Ranked, Draftee=Taken in 2010 Draft, age for 2011 season in parenthesis.
42 is a random number but it’s the amount I thought needed included. 40 wasn’t enough and apparently too many began right at 43. So here it goes…
42. Thomas Shirley, LHP, LYR: Draftee (22): In an under-the-radar move, Houston picked the 6’5″ lefty in the 9th round. In just 17 Low-A innings, Shirley struck out 28 batters, walked 10, allowed just 9 hits, and didn’t let any balls leave the park. It’s too small a sample size to put him in the top 40 but it was impressive enough and I love his projectable frame so I wanted to mention him. Shirley’s a good breakout candidate for 2011 and could end up a huge steal of the draft.
41. Jonathan Mejia , 3B, LYR: NR (18): Mejia will most likely find a home at the hot corner and has unbelievable raw talent. He sputtered a bit in 2010 but was just 17 and making the move from SS/2B. Mejia has a great chance to move way up this list in 2011.
40.Brad Dydalewicz, LHP, LYR: 19th (21): It’s hard to say what wrong in 2010 for Dydalewicz but it went wrong in a big way. His BB/9 (6.5) was greater than his K/9 (5.8). Absolutely unacceptable. He makes the list here purely for his once projectable stuff but he has to show a lot in 2011 to get back in the organizations good-graces.
39. Kyle Greenwalt, RHP, LYR: Not Ranked (22): An uninteresting prospect without a real swing-and-miss pitch but with a shot at becoming an innings eater.
38. Daniel Meszaros, RHP, LYR: NR (25): A relief prospect with an impressive Double-A stat line. He’ll have to have a good season in Triple-A this year to make it to Houston late in the summer but he does have a chance of being a major league reliever.
37. Henry Villar, RHP, LYR: NR (24): Had a strong season in the SALL in 2009 but not a great 2010 in Corpus Christi. Basically Meszaros with better stuff and control, Villar still has a chance of starting but will most likely be a middle-reliever if he makes it to Houston.
36. Collin DeLome, OF, LYR: 16 (25): He’s a guy you’d call ‘toolsy’ and his ‘tools’ are all that put him on this list. I’m not high on his chances of every being effective in the bigs. He’s got great power but doesn’t seem to have any idea how to use it effectively.
35. Dan Adamson, OF, LYR: Draftee (23): Adamson has a ton of raw power but needs to improve his plate discipline. He’ll start the year at Single-A.
34. Roberto Pena, C, LYR: Draftee (19): The youngest catcher in a group of extremely talented young catchers, Pena didn’t wow-you in his introductory summer of American pro ball but has the raw skills to be the best of the bunch.
33. Albert Cartwright, 2B, LYR: NR (23): Had a strong 2010 at Single-A before a promotion to Corpus Christi but I’m not sure his power or speed will ever translate to the big leagues. Also strikeouts a bit too much but if he can stick at 2B could be a good utility guy.
32. Kody Hinze, 1B, LYR: NR (23): Showed good pop this year in Lexington and has a decent bat but probably won’t hit enough to be a major league first baseman. He could become a good corner infield/situational hitter.
31. Polin Trinidad, LHP, LYR: 15 (25): If he works out his control he could be a pro lefty/long reliever but that is probably his ceiling.