Top MLB Prospects in 2011, 51-75
Here is Baseball Instinct’s 2011 Top Prospects List continued with 51-75 featuring Trayvon Robinson and heading down to Trevor May. I’m going to continue the process with 76-100 in the next few days and then we’ll take a tour around the leagues for prospects to be watching on the rise in 2011.
51. Trayvon Robinson OF LAD – Switch hitter with plus speed and a chance at average power. He’s an all around player and has a good chance at seeing time in LA in 2011. Possible 20/20 seasons in his future and could steal 30 a few times early in his career.
52. Yonder Alonso 1B CIN – It seems like Yonder has been on this forever. He’s knocking on the door as his power comes back from the broken hamate bone a couple of years ago. He’s going to be a good defensive 1B but just can’t hack it elsewhere although the Reds are going to try and pass him in the OF. He’s blocked in Cincy so a trade will come around the deadline if the Reds are in it and Votto is healthy.
53. Kyle Gibson SP MIN – Gibson is ready for a test in the majors and has little to prove at Triple A any longer. He’s not going to be a typical Ace but does have the 3 pitch arsenal to be a #3 starter or push for the 2nd slot in the rotation because he’s so solid on the mound with his command. Low 90s FB with a good slider and change.
54. Yasmani Grandal C CIN – Grandal hit at The U in Miami and has continued that in his first season. He’s going hit for average power and has an average bat with above average tools defensively. The Reds have some real depth at catcher but Grandal is probably the best defensively.
55. Drew Pomeranz SP CLE – Pomeranz is the big lefty workhorse ala Andy Pettitte. He has a plus FB for a lefty and a plus knucklecurve that is a strikeout pitch. He still needs to iron out his delivery and with that should come better command. His change up projects to be average and will give him the 3rd pitch to stay in the rotation as a midline starter.
56. Tyler Skaggs SP ARI – Just 19 right now, Skaggs has the projection that could take this current potential number 3 lefty into true frontline starter territory. He’s tall with room to fill out and take his low 90s FB into the mid 90s and compliment an average CB and changeup that’s coming up around average.
57. Danny Duffy SP KC – Duffy walked away from baseball last season, but came back with a renewed love of the game. He’s another lefty and has low 90s heat with the ability to take it mid 90s in shorter stints. His changeup is actually his best pitch and is a put away pitch a notch below a Cole Hamels. He also uses a CB that is not quite average and is probably better suited with a hard slider. He’ll make an excellent closer but the Royals will push him in the rotation and he may work well at the back end.
58. Gary Sanchez C NYY – Very young and mostly projection. He still has a lot to learn behind the plate but has the tools to be at least above average behind the dish. His bat is already showing enough to be special and he’s flashing advanced power for a teen. He’s far off but could be a special bat/defense combo behind the plate. ETA: 2014.
59. Brandon Beachy SP ATL – Beachy is not flashy and does nothing that screams ace type. But he does do a lot of things right and he puts out the attitude that he belongs on the mound. Low 90s FB can get up to 94-95, a sharp curve and an average CU work well with his ability to pound the zone on the outside and not give into hitters strengths. He’s smart and good bet to succeed in the rotation as a 4-5.
60. Anthony Ranaudo SP BOS – The steal of the Sox draft, Ranaudo is a big righty with a plus FB that works low to mid 90s with excellent movement and command. He works both sides of the plate and has a plus curveball that he compliments with an average changeup. Due to some injuries he’ll need to time to enter into workhorse mode and build innings, but the Red Sox can give him that time.
61. Dellin Betances SP NYY – Betances fell off of a lot of lists last year due to injury, but the big righty came back to prove his tools pre-injury were in fact legit. His mechanics are lacking in my opinion but he’s still using two plus pitches in his downhill mid 90s fastball and a spike curveball that might be a plus plus pitch in time. His changeup is behind due to his lack of development time but is good enough for him to stay in the rotation. #3 and if they can get him to develop better leg extention in his delivery an uptick in velocity gives him #2 starter upside.
62.Zach Lee SP LAD – Lee was considered a tough sign and I projected him to go the Dodgers because of their financial troubles. If he didn’t sign no big deal. This was a steal by the Dodgers. His fastball is plus in the low to mid 90s and he has additional projection with it. His changeup flashes plus as well and his athleticism is well above average. If he can polish his curveball over the next couple of years he could be a solid #2 starter.
63. Danny Espinosa 2B/SS WAS – Above average power and speed up the middle is always a premium in fantasy baseball and Espinosa is just that type of player. He could be a 20/20 MI and has the arm and glove to even stick at SS long term. He’ll probably be the Nats 2011 2B across from Ian Desmond and stick with them for the long run.
64. Jurickson Profar SS TEX – Profar is a young SS with the projectable power and frame to be a corner OF in the future. But right now he’s proving that he has the chops to stick at SS. As an 18 year old in full season ball he shows a true 5 tool set and should be able to stick at SS long term with above average power. He’s a long way off but has immense talent and the Rangers weren’t afraid to push Elvus Andrus so Profar could move fast.
65. Carlos Martinez SP STL – Martinez has a true 80 set fastball that he can ride into the high 90s with good movement. He’s only 19 but has shown the ability to work in a potential plus changeup with a sharp curveball. He hasn’t even seen full season ball yet, but the Cards will be tempted to push him to the FSL by midseason and he could be just one step behind Shelby Miller on the minor league depth chart. His small frame will need time to develop and fill out. If he does there is upper rotation material here. If not, his fastball is so good that a power reliever could be his floor even this early.
66. Allen Webster SP LAD – Webster has the makings of a solid MLB rotation mainstay. He’s still growing into his frame and as he does he’s adding to his velocity. An average changeup and potential average curveball give him the three pitch mix he needs. He has solid mechanics that allow him to repeat his delivery and keep the ball down in the zone. He’s a couple of years away but should continue to add to the K numbers as he matures and has a pretty high floor.
67. Zack Wheeler SP SF – Top 100 last season before having what proved to be a learning curve. He flashed the dominance expected but his lack of command in the zone led to short outings and more walks than one would like to see. With his power stuff he just needs to learn to trust his strengths and realize how difficult it is to actually hit a high 90s fastball. His secondaries are still a work in progress but he showed improvement as the season went on. A jump in both command and his CU/CB combo would see him rocket up the charts. Special tool set.
68. Jonathan Singleton 1B PHI – After a blistering start to 2010, Singleton came back down to earth in the second half. While his first half power display erased doubts about translating his raw power into game power he still needs to learn how to control the strikezone. His balance at the plate is very good and he should be able to grow as a hitter and become an average power threat. My biggest concern is his lack of a path to the majors. He’ll need to prove he can handle an OF corner and then keep on hitting at a high level. He’ll hit, but can he find a home in the OF.
69. Nick Franklin SS SEA – Franklin has a big swing to go along with his above average speed. He has good power but will need to tame his strikeouts if he’s going to get the most out of his speed. Though even if he doesn’t become more of a hitter his power is legit and he will fill out more and keep a lot of that power. A legit 20/20 type middle infielder. Might need to move off of SS in time due to his arm. There a big pluses and some negatives to this skill set.
70. Garin Cecchini 3B BOS – Cecchini is another steal for the Red Sox from the 2010 draft. Cecchini could very well be the best pure hitter in the Sox system and would have been passable at SS. They moved him to 3B and the only question at this point is if he’ll have enough power to be a star at the position. The defense and bat are plus tools.
71. Delino DeShields Jr. 2B HOU – DeShields, Jr. is another prospect with elite speed and a slight frame. But he projects to add weight and has the raw power that projects to keep pitchers honest. His speed still needs to translate but he has the baseball bloodline that says he’ll be an elite threat much like his father. If he can stick at 2B and develops even close to his full potential he’ll be an All-Star type.
72. Charlie Blackmon OF COL – A compact frame and compact hitting mechanics come together for Blackmon into a solid corner OF. He has enough bat against both lefties and righties to keep from being a platoon OF and the speed to give him some nice upside. His average power translates well into games and his speed and instincts make him a threat on that base paths. With a little more Triple A seasoning and an opening in Colorado he could turn into a 20/20 player with additional upside.
73. Grant Green SS OAK – Green is a bat first SS by all accounts. There isn’t much doubt that he’ll hit at the next level but staying at SS is going to be a very tough road. Chances are good that he slides over to 2B in time. He has 20/10 skills and the transition to 2B shouldn’t be difficult and will suit his arm better.
74. Jake Marisnick OF TOR – True 5 tool outfielder has shown flashes of brilliance early in his career but is still a way off of reaching his potential. If he can become a true hitter by becoming a student than he has the tools to turn in 30/30 seasons could even handle CF although a move to RF is probable based on his size.
75. Trevor May SP PHI – May had what some consider to be a season to forget in 2010, but I disagree. I think the lessons learned by being demoted to Low A have given May the chance to make his mechanics more fundamentally sound. Even while struggling in the FSL he struck out 90 in 70 innings and then dominated in Low A. With a low to mid 90s fastball and a curveball in the 70s he has two plus pitches could add a changeup that should be average. We’re talking a high K rate pitcher in time with mid rotation stuff.
The next installment of 76-100 will be up shortly.