Continuing our run through the Top 10 Lists for prospects and we find ourselves here with the 2B. It leads off with a rumored position switch with Rosario and includes some high probability 2B in Wong and Spangenberg. After that the position really thins on surefire major league talent. But there are some players here who change the public opinion in 2012. So once again, let’s take a step back and take a broad look at the minor leagues as we go position by position and bring to you the Top Position Lists with some additional players and information.
Because as we said, we’ll be analyzing the Baseball Instinct 360° not only full circle, but 365 days a year. The deeper we get into the video and our customized Instinctools Stat System the more the view changes from the top.
So let’s get into the catchers position and give you the list and some of the current thoughts.
In the Top 100
23°. Eddie Rosario, OF/2B, Twins, 9/28/1991 – Rosario had an impressive debut in 2010 as an 18-year-old in the Gulf Coast League. He hit .294 with 5 HRs and 22 SB in 194 at bats in 2010. He followed up that impressive season by displaying an awesome power/speed combination in the Appalachian League by posting a triple slash of .337/.397/.670. It was one of, if not the, best minor league performances in 2011. He still has to prove he do it against advanced pitchers and the FSL will be his first true test. He may start 2011 in Fort Myers. ETA 2014.
Update Instinct – Rumor still has it that, Rosario, an OF in 2011 will be making a transition to 2B. I guess the Twins think that Levi Michael will stick at SS or that they already have their SS in Brian Dozier. Either way, Rosario, seems to be in line for a shot at being a 2B. If this pans out, you have one the top bats as far as potential goes, taking on a premium position. It’s not an easy transition, and Levi Michael will be in line to slip right into the 2B of the future role if Rosario falters defensively.
53°. Kolten Wong, 2B, Cardinals, 10/10/1990 – Wong has a high baseball IQ which we like to call baseball instinct, oddly enough. He’ll be a solid defender at 2B and has more than enough arm to handle the position. He projects as a .300+ hitter and should develop 10-15 HR power. While he isn’t fast, he is a good base runner and could steal 20 annually.It shouldn’t take long for him to make the move all the way to St. Louis. Possibly very soon. ETA 2013.
Update Instinct – If you are going to take Rosario out of the Top 2B equation, then you are left with Wong as the only Top 100 2B and the top overall at the position. With a very advanced hit tool, we’ll know soon enough just how fast he’ll ascend to St. Louis.
The Best of the Rest of the Top 10
126°. Taylor Lindsey, 2B, Angels, 12/2/1991 – Lindsey was The Angels first round pick of 2010. In an online fan chat with AngelsWin.com, former Angels Scouting Director Eddie Bane said, “Lindsey was the best pure hitter we had in Arizona. He is not bothered by velocity and always has his hands in the right place to hit. Premium kid and premium bat.” After his Arizona Fall League showing Lindsey was named the Pioneer League MVP his 2011 season. His stats with the Orem Owlz was .362 AVE, 9 HR, 46 RBI in 63 games. ETA 2015.
Update Instinct – Lindsey is higher on our list than in most places. He didn’t make the Top 100, but we still see his elite hand-eye coordination as a legit tool and believe that as he moves through the system his hitting mechanics will become cleaner and he’ll mature as a hitter. That will leave hitting ability in the major league regular level. How much power he develops will depend on how much physical maturity he has left. He’s already 195 lbs and on a 6′ frame that doesn’t leave a lot of room. But he’s still young, I don’t see him being a big mover up from here before the end of the year because we’re already floating him on the helium.
167°. Cory Spangenberg, 2B, Padres, 3/16/1991 – He shows good on base skills with a combined .316 batting average and .419 OBP in 275 ab’s across 2 levels of ball in 2011. Coupled with 25 stolen bases in that same time frame, the on-base skills translate into an excellent table-setting type player. Obviously, this sample size is small and Spangenberg has a ways to go to reach the majors, but it is very impressive how he adjusted so quickly to professional ball. ETA 2014.
Update Instinct – Spangenberg has a right to the #2 over 2B spot and I wouldn’t argue with anyone if they said so. I’m wide open at this point to moving him up the list and expect that happen relatively soon. For the float that we put on Lindsey, we may have held Spangenberg down too much. He’s a borderline Top 100 and I expect his hit tool and speed to translate in his first full season this year. He’s a name that has a very high probability of being inside the 2013 Top 100.
176°. Delino Deshields, 2B, Astros, 8/16/1992 – DeShields needs to cut down on the k’s having been punched out 118 times. If he can cut down on the strikeouts there is reason to believe he can become a big-time top of the order hitter. He is quite young at only 19 years old, so he definitely has time to develop. Astros need to be patient with DeShields and let him refine his contact skills and strike zone management. With his blood lines and raw tools there is reason to believe there is a bright future ahead for this young prospect. ETA 2015.
Update Instinct - This is a player that could sky-rocket or plummet in the 2012 season. So we’ll be watching closely to see if all of the talent that he has translates and too what level he learns to use his elite speed. Sometimes these truly elite speedsters take longer to develop their game. Sometimes, it never happens. While we considered DeShields a total over draft, that part is history and the Astros will give him all of the time he needs to develop.
197°. Reese Havens, 2B, Mets 10/20/1986 – He has 792 at bats….over 4 years. He’s probably going to get a look this spring, and “if” he can stay healthy, may make the club in one capacity or another since the Mets didn’t resign Reyes and didn’t address their glaring short comings in the middle infield. Still, I’d prefer to see him back at AA to establish himself as reliable and then make the transition to the majors later in the 2012 season. He’s a major league regular when he’s healthy and should be with the Mets to stay in 2012. ETA 2012.
Update Instinct – If he can only stay healthy. Havens will man 2B for the Mets in a drastic rebuilding phase. While he could use some additional minor league time, I think Havens is going to be one of those players that the Mets will have to just get to the majors and hope that the elite training staff can keep his body working for a full season and let his talents come to the surface through the longer learning curve
247°. Scooter Gennett, 2B, Brewers 5/1/1990 – 9 HR, 20 Doubles and 6 Triples in Florida State League in 2011. He’s hit at every level and appears to be the kind of player that is going to excel to the competition despite not having the natural gifts that others possess. Expect to see Scooter Gennett in Double-A this year but if he continues his speedy progression could see a promotion to Triple-A by the end of the season. More than likely he will be molded into a lead-off hitter that has speed but his stolen bases have come more by smart running than pure speed. ETA 2013.
Update Instinct – Gennett is going to be limited on the upside by the same ability that makes him a good bet to make it Milwaukee. He gets it done despite many above average tools. His one tool is his bat and it’s going to need to be his calling card if he develops into an average 2B. While he brings two years of success into 2012, he still has a decent line of development left on the defensive side before he’s ready. While the Brewers are seeking a top of the order hitter, Gennett, will most likely end up a lower half hitter due to a lack of game power.
253°. Ryan Brett, 2B, Rays, 10/9/1991 (TB) – Drafted in the 3rd round, 98th overall by the Rays in 2010, Ryan Brett started off professional career on the right foot hitting .300/.370/.471.Ryan Brett is a prospect, but don’t throw out the Dustin Pedroia comps because of his height. He’s several years off from reaching the majors, and although he does have promise, he currently projects to be an average second basemen. Whether he becomes more, depends on if he can maintain and improve his numbers during the 2012 season. ETA 2016.
Update Instinct – Brett has some major defensive refinement needs but swings it from the right side with a hit tool that projects out very well. He has a short stroke that is conducive to contact and should develop average power. But this is a player that could very volatile with his spot in the 360°.
276°. Noah Perio, 2B, Marlins 11/14/1991 - Perio shows some extra base speed, good athleticism, and a line drive swing, but not too much power yet. In 488 at bats in the Sally League, he k’d only 64 times but walked just 19 times, so while doesn’t strikeout a lot, he doesn’t score enough free passes either. A sharp defender, he will need to improve his on-base skills in order to avoid a utility role in the bigs. ETA 2015.
Update Instinct – As a HS football player first in Texas, Perio, is getting his first taste of true baseball development. He has the tools to become an average defender at the highest level but will likely need additional time for that side of his game. While he has speed, it’s not going to put him at the top of the order. So, how much power he develops as he fills out will determine if he’s a starting 2B or finds himself in that utility role.
279°. Levi Michael, 2B, Twins, 2/9/1991 – North Carolina Tar Heel, Michael was drafted in the first round at #30 by the Twins. Drafted as a SS he’ll likely be a 2B professionally. If Michael can hit like he did in college, he has a chance to move up the organization ladder quickly. Brian Dozier is the only thing standing in his way for the starting shortstop job. If he can’t stick at SS, he’s going to have to hit the cover off the ball to keep out Rosario. ETA 2015.
Update Instinct – He’s going to get a shot at SS and will be pressed there if, and only if, Eddie Rosario can pick up 2B. If not, and the most likely of outcomes, has Levi Michael as the future 2B for the Twins.
The Best of the Rest
290°. Ronald Torreyes, 2B, Cubs, 9/02/1992 –He hit .370 in 2010 and followed up with a .356 in 2011. No debating his ability to hit at a high level. But he is just 5’8″ and 145 lbs, so the ceiling is going to have to be a questionable one. With that said, .356 9 doubles, 5 triples, 3 HR and 12 SB in 278 AB with just 19 strikeouts. He’s also a great glove man with a gold glove caliber defensive ability. He’ll be able to shift between 3B, SS and 2B with 2B being the best fit for him. A future utility IF with the ability to hit enough to see significant ABs. ETA 2015.
291°. Alexi Amarista, 2B, Angels, 4/06/1989 – A small MI and above average defender at 2B, Amarista, has over-achieved since being signed in 2007. But you can’t deny his ability to hit and despite just average speed, ability to run the bases. He profiles as a utility IF and probably won’t find a full-time gig especially in Angels territory. His arm isn’t big enough to play a lot of SS and doesn’t have the power to play at 3B. With Kendrick ahead of him he may find a spot on the bench late in 2012 much like he did in 2011. ETA 2012.
301°. Henry Rodriguez, 2B, Reds, 2/9/1990 – Rodriguez does a little bit of everything with his small 150lbs frame. He hits for a little power with 36 doubles and 13 HR, steals some bases with 30 this season and plays a solid 2B with the ability to handle SS and 3B if needed. While he doesn’t scream star, he has a bright future as a utility IF. He has a hand eye coordination that can’t be taught so the .320 AVg in 2011 is a legit number although expecting that type of hitting at the MLB level might be stretching his ability, it may not be completely out of the question in a platoon against righties.ETA 2013.
307°. Steve Lombardozzi, 2B, Nationals, 9/20/1988 – Lombardozzi finds himself successful enough to make the Nats out of Spring Training, but nowhere to play. He’s a hard-nosed player, swings it from both sides with excellent bat control and can steal bases. His .309 AVG over two levels with 25 doubles, 9 triples, 8 HR and 30 SB show his overall game. Throw in a professional ability to play 2B and he should have a solid major league career, even if it is a utility IF. ETA Now.
318°. Sean Coyle, 2B, Red Sox, 1/17/1992 – When drafted, Coyle had a top end contact rate type bat. That didn’t play up in 2011 though with a .247 AVG 110 K in just 384 AB. That’s good for 23.6%, not a rate a 5’8″ MI can keep on their resume. The power is there though and 27 doubles, 7 triples and 14 HR tossed in with 20 SB is quite impressive. The 12.9% walk rate is elite. A lot of good with some things to really work on. Could break out in 2012 and it wouldn’t surprise me. ETA 2015.
343°. Tyler Bortnick, 2B Rays 7/3/1987 – Bortnick doesn’t get looks in many prospect lists, but the MI does a lot of things right that are tough to totally ignore. Since being drafted in 2009 he’s done nothing but hit at a high level and steal bases. In 2011 he went .306/.428/.432 and stole 43 bags. Sure the power isn’t there, but 34 doubles, 7 triples and 4 HR in the FSL. He has UTL IF written all over him. ETA 2013.
353°. Tommy La Stella, 2B Braves 1/31/1989 – 8th round pick in 2011, La Stella will have a tough time sticking at 2B, but if he can he profiles very well as a bat first player with above average power from the left side. A short stint in the Sally saw him with 13 doubles, 5 triples and 9 HR in 232 AB while hitting .328/.401/.543 with a .215 IsoP and a 26/28 bb/k rate. ETA 2014.
360°. Vince Belnome, 2B Padres 3/11/1988 – Drafted late in 2009, Belnome has hit at every stop despite some injury shortened seasons. He improved over his Cal League numbers with a .333/.432/.603 powered by 19 doubles and 17 HR in just 267 AB in 2011. He’s a passable 2B and can play some 3B. Borderline starter/ Utility INF. If he can stay healthy ETA 2013.
Possible Future Position Changes
10°. Jurickson Profar, SS, Rangers, 2/20/1993 – I’m of the mindset that Profar will replace Ian Kinsler in a few years at 2B and that will give the Rangers a potent double play combo up the middle. Profar should be a .285+ hitter with 20+ HR power and 20+ SB speed. His frame is currently so underdeveloped that it’s a difficult proposition to say what his ultimate upside is. But one of the largest pluses for Profar is his approach to the game. It’s a characteristic that has me comfortable saying that he’ll be a high floor player. He’s one of the few 18-year-old players that is almost a surefire major leaguer at least a utility player and with the ceiling of an All-Star. ETA 2014.
Update Instinct – Someone is going to have to move to 2B. And either Andrus moves over as he ages and Profar takes over as the SS or Profar just becomes a 2B soon and replaces Kinsler. I think Profar’s 2012 season will have a heavy weighting on if the Rangers extend out on Kinsler and let him cash in. Profar could also end up in the OF, which would be a waste of his defensive ability, but also make a place for him in Texas.
18°. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Nationals, 6/12/1990 – Rendon has had some injury troubles the past couple of years, but his medicals have come back clean. But there is still concern over his 2011 performance. When healthy, he’s a game changer with the bat and the glove in the Longoria mold. He’ll hit for above average power with an above average hit tool and handle the hot corner at an All Star level. Now, is he healthy and will the power translate to wood? We think so. ETA 2013.
Update Instinct – Rendon is all sorts of blocked in Washington and it won’t take long for him to be ready if he is in fact healthy. At 3B, there is the Nationals first face of the franchise in Ryan Zimmerman. And while Zimmerman is now over-shadowed by Strasburg, he is still a well respected member of the team by the fan base. At 2B the team has Danny Espinosa, and he has no intention of handing his spot over. So there is no rush to get Rendon to the bigs, but I don’t see him taking long to force the issue. Again, if healthy.
140°. Jedd Gyorko, 3B, Padres, 9/23/1988 – The biggest question with Gyorko is how much power does his bat have. Since he lacks premium defensive value and is below average in speed and base running, his bat (and more particularly) his power needs to carry him. In 2011 Gyorko has 74 rbi’s and 18 hr’s in 340 ab’s, but the California league is notorious for inflating power numbers. When Gyorko was promoted to AA his numbers regressed to 40 rbi and 7 hr in 236 abs. He is expected start at AA in 2012 and he will have to prove whether his bat has the power needed to succeed at Double AA level. Come to think of it, he will have to prove that at every level he goes, just like he has always done. ETA 2013.
Update Instinct – Gyorko projects out with less power than a typical 3B, but he has the best glove in the system to handle the position. He’s going to be blocked at 2B by Spangenberg and we think he’s already blocked at 3B by James Darnell. But our take on Darnell doesn’t match the industry opinion. So we’ll need to see if Darnell hits our projections as a solid 3B defender before Gyorko is forced to make a switch someplace.
The 2011 Draftee to Watch in 2012
Juan Perez, 2B Reds, 11/1/1991 – A 26th round pick, Perez hit .316/.393/.488, which included HR-4/3B-7/2B-11/RBI-32/R-42/SB-15, and a 38/25 K/BB rate in 215 at bats over 33 games with the Arizona League Reds and 19 games for the Rookie League Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer League. Perez was drafted as a Shortstop out of the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California, but was converted right away to Second Base, giving him a greater potential for rapid advancement. He seems like an ideal fit to start the 2012 season off with the Single-A Dayton Dragons of the Midwest League.
Stick with Baseball Instinct and we’ll keep you a step ahead of the game. Check back soon for more Prospect coverage. While you’re here, check out our Baseball Instinct 360° – it’s our top 360 prospects for 2012. Also check out a friend of ours for all of your fantasy sports needs. Fantasy Rundown is updated religiously and is truly an awesome resource. Thanks for checking Baseball Instinct. We’re working hard to bring you the best of the minor leagues and make the site the best experience it can be, so don’t hesitate to tell us what you would like to read about. Email us now at firstname.lastname@example.org.