Baseball America’s Top 10 for 2009

As I mentioned yesterday, Baseball America just came out with their top 10 prospects for the Nationals. Before I get into that, included in their top prospects list is a fun little list they call the projected 2012 lineup. I projected a 2013 lineup a short time ago, I am not sure why I’m a year ahead, plus a month ahead with my projections, but I digress. My projections actually match up very closely with theirs:

ba-prospects-2012

As you can see there are only 3 differences. For my reasons on each guy, go check out my original post. At first glance, I’d say I am closer to being correct on the SS than Baseball America. I’d be shocked if Guzman is still here in 3 or 4 years. But weirder things have happened. In fact, the case could be made that weirder things have happened WITH GUZMAN. Like his recent offensive surge. As for the Starting Pitcher slot, I agree with them, I’d list Olsen over McGeary at this point as well – I had just made my list the day before the trade to acquire Olsen. Meanwhile, at closer, I’m not convinced that Mock is a closer, and I tried to find a substitute. But they probably have as good or a better chance to be right than me.

On to the Top 10 guys

Their ranking is no secret, you can find it here without having to pay for the list of names (but not their descriptions).

top-10-2009

They ranked Jordan Zimmerman as they #1 prospect in the organization, and they seem impressed. He’s got 4 good pitches, including a nice fastball that can reach 95, and think he can be a #2 starter on a good team.

The next three guys were considered great prospects coming into last season, and all had unspectacular 2008s. BA is more bullish on Detwiler than I might have thought, since he had a bad 2008. But they point out that the beginning was bad, his second half was much better, and he still has tremendous upside (there’s that word).  Inconsistancy with mechanics seem to be the problem, but that can be worked on. Meanwhile, Marrero broke his leg, tore ligaments in his ankle and lost his puppy last year. But he can hit, he drives the ball, and the think he will hit in higher levels. With Burgess, it’s the same old story. He swings and misses alot, but when he hits it, he crushes it. He overswings but is working on that, so if he continues to improve this and stays in shape, they say “he profiles as a power-hitting right fielder in a big league lineup.” That’s right field, a position that only takes offensive players.

As for McGeary, they like him, and compare him to Andy Pettitte. But he’s the one who’s splitting time by going to Stanford so his development will be slow. Derek Norris was drafted in 2007 and can hit, especially for a catcher. The problem is people aren’t sure if he can be a catcher, which means if he moves to another position like first base, his bat doesn’t look so impressive (at least it isn’t a guarantee that it will be good for his position).

Destin Hood was the highest guy they took last year that actually signed with the team. He’s got a chance to be an impressive hitter but he’s got a long way to go still. The second catcher on the list, Aaron Neito, was drafted last year as well. They compare him to Jorge Posada, which is pretty special, but he too is a long way away.

One of the biggest surprises on the list was Ramirez, who was drafted in the 15th round last season. He is a stuck-at-LF hitter who may not have a great deal of power but still could develop into a great hitter down the road thanks to his ability to hit line drives. He’s already listed as the farm system’s best hitter for average. Rounding out the list is Smiley Gonzalez, the slick fielding SS who many, including me and BA, think will eventually move to 2B.

By the way, the did list my SS pick – Danny Espinosa – as the best fielding infielder in the organization.

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One Response to Baseball America’s Top 10 for 2009

  1. Eric says:

    I agree that McGeary’s development will be slowed vs playing pro ball full time, but I’m curious if his development will be faster or slower than if he was playing college ball?

    After 3 years of splitting time will he be closer to MLB ready than if he hadn’t signed and attended Stanford on his scholarship?

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