Fangraphs.com has released their top 10 prospects per organization. I’ve included them below along with my ranking of each prospect in parentheses. Fangraphs is one of my favorite baseball site and in many ways, our lists are very similar. Although, there are a few striking differences.
1. Jordan Lyles, RHP (1); Lyles is the consensus number 1 prospect in Houston’s system no matter who is making the list.
2. Delino DeShields, OF/2B (4); Fangraphs is a bit higher on DeShields Jr. than myself simply because he’s yet to play a full professional season. In any case, the difference between 2nd and 4th is negligible.
3. Tanner Bushue, RHP (5); Again, the difference is pretty much negligible.
4. Jio Mier, SS (3); See Deshields Jr. and Bushue.
5. Mike Kvasnicka, C/OF (22); This is one of the 3 players Fangraphs and I substantially disagreed on. Kvasnicka was taken with a supplemental pick this past summer and played some catcher, thirdbase, and outfield. The Astros are extremely deep behind the plate so Kvasnicka will most see time at the four corners. I decided to err on the side of conservatism as his bat (albeit a small sample) didn’t show much this past summer. Especially for a corner infielder/outfielder. With that said, a prospects first full year of baseball is where they really show their skillset so he could easily be in the top 5 next season.
6. Mike Foltynewicz, RHP (6); Well done, Fangraphs.
7. Jay Austin, OF (7); See Foltynewicz.
8. J.D. Martinez, OF (2); Martinez’ plate discipline, contact rate, and strikezone recognition make him look like an above-average major league hitter. He doesn’t have a lot of speed and is only decent in the field but I see him as a 2006-09 Brad Hawpe in which the Rockies outfielder never had an OPS+ under 120.
9. Vincent Velasquez, RHP (29); Here is my synopsis from when I did my rankings: A 2nd round pick this summer, Velasquez pitched just 29.1 innings due to injury. He posted a fantastic 25 strikeouts to just 5 walks. He has the stuff to be a star but I want to see how he performs in a full season after an injury. Velasquez could make this ranking look way too low in 2011.
10. Jonathan Villar, SS (unranked); This is probably the ranking I’m most off with. Villar hit .225/.294/.372 in his first and only action above the Single-A. It’s a painfully small sample size however with just 129 at-bats over 32 games. The 19-yr old was a part of the Roy Oswalt deal with Philadelphia and has great raw skills. However, his strikeout rate in his first full professional season last year was 30.6% between A and High-A. He also has shown relatively zero power and with a 6’1″, 180 lb frame, he’s probably close to the muscle structure he’ll top out at. Right now, I see him as an athletic shortstop with a chance to hit decent and steal some bases but is still really raw. Leaving him outside my top-40 wamight have been shortsighted but I still wouldn’t put him in the top-25.
I had three prospects in my top ten not seen above as Kvasnicka, Velasquez, and Villar were all ommitted by yours truly. I wanted to review those three briefly to round out the differences between Fangraphs.com and myself. Here are the three with their analysis I originally included with my top-40 prospect list.
8. Jose Perdomo, RHP; As a 19 year old in Rookie-A, Perdomo struck out 69 batters and walked 20 over 11 starts and 59.1 innings. He posted a 1.67 ERA and .98 WHIP. He has amazing stuff and is incredibly hard to hit. If he can build up his endurance and continue to strike batters out, he will only move up this list.
9. Jose Altuve, 2B; I LOVE this guy. I really can’t say that enough. Between Single-A and High-A ball in 2010, Altuve hit .301 with 15 HRs and 42 SBs. He’s only 20 and still a bit raw but has great power and speed potential and has shown great patience at the plate ever since he debuted as a 17 year old. Altuve doesn’t get a lot of attention due to his 5′5″, 148 lb frame but his skills are real and you can’t argue the numbers he’s putting up. I see this guy as an MLB regular.
10. Dallas Keuchel, LHP; Keuchel was Houston’s 7th round selection in 2009 and made it all the way to Double-A in his first full year of pro ball. His stuff isn’t overwhelming with a 6.9 K/9 in 231 minor league innings but he doesn’t walk anybody and controls the strikezone. His large frame, 6′3″, 200 lbs, shows he may be able to build a bit more muscle and add a little power to his repertoire.
As always, it was great work by the minds at Fangraphs.com and I urge all of you to check out their full analysis for each team. Even with a few discrepencies, our lists weren’t too far off. Please let me know below what you think of the rankings!