Continuing our run through the Top 10 Lists for positional prospects, this time we will look at the Right-handed pitchers. We broke the pitchers down into Lefty and Righty, which is only natural. 39 Top RHP prospects graced our Top 100 prospects. Here’s that list followed by the RHP prospects that we think could light it up and hit the top 100 before all is said and done. 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 final preseason Top Position List 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 to the mound and take a look at the Right-handed Pitchers to give you the list and some of the current thoughts.
The Top 10 in the Top 100
4°. Shelby Miller, RHP, Cardinals, 10/10/1990 – The top overall RHP prospect in the game and right there with Moore as the best overall pitcher. Expect Miller to spend another spring with the big league club before some additional minor league seasoning. This future Cardinals ace could see the #4 slot in the Cardinals rotation before the end of the 2012 season. Check out the Prospect Instinct | Shelby Miller for even more detail and video. ETA 2012.
Update Instinct – Not much to change here at the top of the list. Miller is a huge name to watch for 2012 both for prospect hounds and Fantasy Players. He should see time in St. Louis by the end of the year and the only question is he going to get the Wainwright treatment and just work out of the pen down the stretch? Or is he going to take that 5th spot and never look back?
6°. Julio Teheran, RHP, Braves, 1/27/1991 - After the Braves shipped Derek Lowe off to Cleveland, a 2012 rotation spot opened up. Mike Minor deserves the spot for now, but Teheran should unquestionably deserve a midseason call up. Once promoted, Teheran could be here to stay. He already got his feet wet in 2011, so hopefully the nerves are gone. He might get hit a bit hard if he can’t gain a complete feel for his curveball, but I believe he’s ready to be tested by MLB bats. I would, however, like to see more strike outs next year as his K-rate dropped to 7.59 this year. With a few tweaks, especially for his curveball, Teheran could be the Braves’ bonafide ace in the next few years. ETA 2012.
Update Instinct – Teheran would be well served with a full season in Triple-A to refine his pitches and command and continue to mature into his frame. He could have some success at the major league level in 2012 but with his K rate having dropped in 2011 its proof that there are things to work on before he going to be able to keep major league hitters off balance enough to with his secondaries to get his plus fastball to be the dominant pitch it can be.
7°. Trevor Bauer, RHP, Diamondbacks, 1/17/1991 - Trevor Bauer was selected in the 1st round of the 2011 draft by the Dbacks and vaulted straight to the top of the system. At UCLA he struck 203 in only 136 IP and wasted little time getting going in the minors. He struck out 43 in 25.2 innings. He ran into some trouble at Double-A, but it’s of no concern. He might get a shot at the rotation in the Spring, but could use a half season in minors if only to make sure his mechanics are in sync before making his 2012 debut. He could be the future Ace of the staff and has high front end starter stuff and projection. ETA 2012.
Update Instinct – Bauer has the best chance of the Dbacks arms to make a 2012 impact. But some time in Triple-A will be sure to head off the season. Injury or lack of production from the major league rotation could hasten his debut.
8°. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pirates, 11/18/1991 - Taillon and Cole were scored so close by us, and we went back and forth on it, but in the end game we just think that right now, Taillon has more upside. His frame and pitch mix are that of a future ace and if he stays healthy we’re looking at a very special pitcher. His command projects as a notch above Cole’s, while his stuff is on par. He’s going to be a step behind Cole, but should start in the FSL and spend about a half of a season there before moving up to Double-A. The Pirates are not far off from being a serious contender if Taillon stays healthy with Cole. ETA 2014.
Update Instinct – Frame, stuff and opportunity. Taillon has all of them working for him. He also has time on his side and will be allowed the time it takes to develop all aspects of his game.
9°. Dylan Bundy, RHP, Orioles, 11/15/1992 - Bundy throws a mid-90s fastball that touched 97-98 MPH during the instructional league and 100 MPH multiple times in high school. His best offspeed delivery is a hammer of a curveball that is considered a plus out-pitch already. His slider has been graded out above average and his change is projected to be an average pitch as well. On top of the entire arsenal is his above average command, after all, the kid walked just five batters his senior year of high school. Bundy has a huge upside and seems to have the make up to get there. His frame is solid and his mechanics are clean. A high rank for such a young player. We know. ETA 2015.
Update Instinct – This ranking is obviously all about projecting into the future. Pitchers this young have a very wide range of possible futures. Bundy has so much raw talent that its near impossible not to have him in the Top 10. But it is aggressive for ranking sake.
12°. Carlos Martinez, RHP, Cardinals, 9/21/1991 – Not near as refined as Shelby Miller, but his stuff is electric and not something often seen in this game. Martinez will start the 2011 back in the FSL where he’ll continue to work with pitching legend, Dennis Martinez, on his transition from flamethrower to pitcher. Martinez is just a half season away from making another jump in game. Upside is a co-Ace to Miller and the downside is an elite level closer. Check out the Prospect Instinct | Carlos Martinez for more details. ETA 2013.
Update Instinct – Durability will the ultimate determining factor on just how good Martinez will be for St. Louis. He’s still young and growing into his frame. Still learning to harness his premium velocity and bring his body under control. Expect struggles as he matures but when it all comes together its very exciting to watch. Glimpses into what could be a very bright future.
13°. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pirates, 9/8/1990 - Cole is 1a to Taillon’s 1 and as I mentioned should remain just a step ahead on the road to Pittsburgh. Cole has electric stuff and its only a difficulty with repeating his delivery that keeps my reservations of him being a true ace alive. But a high-end #2 starter with high K rates and periods of dominance should be in the future and him becoming the staff ace and usurping Taillon can’t be written off either. He should get a short stint in the FSL to start the season, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see in the Altoona before June. ETA 2013.
Update Instinct – Cole is almost a finished product, but the finishing touches could be very big ones in terms of his long term success. He has the size and stuff to deserve that #1 draft pick title and if he can learn to simply trust his stuff without trying to over pitch or be too fine he’s going to be ready for Pittsburgh. I think the biggest obstacle for Cole at this point, is Cole himself.
15°. Jacob Turner, RHP, Tigers, 5/21/1991 - Has elite make-up at such a young age, something, that in my opinion, isn’t talked about enough concerning him. He throws mid-90s heat with a terrific 12-to-6 curveball along with a change-up. The only question, right now, is when he will arrive to the big leagues to stay. In 2011, he got a taste of the majors with mixed results. Some say the 5th spot in the 2012 is his to lose. The biggest fear is that he hasn’t been given the opportunity to dominate and that can sometimes be a very cerebral part of a true Ace’s development. He’ll be in Detroit in 2012 either way. ETA 2012.
Update Instinct – There are pitchers with more upside than Turner, but he’s knocking on the door and has a deep arsenal. With time he should surpass what Rick Porcello has become, but not what Porcello could have been.
26°. Matt Harvey, RHP, Mets, 3/27/1989 – We had the chance to see and meet Harvey during early FSL action and he hit every point we made of him in our 2011 Top 100. We probably had him higher than anyone else and that probably won’t change this season. His command and mound presence are impressive as well as a full pitch mix of FB, SL, CB and CU. He’s not far off and could be a front of the rotation starter with a mid-rotation floor. ETA 2012.
Update Instinct – With a whole lot going for him including an array of above average pitches, an organization that has nothing but a spot waiting for him regardless of how long it takes him to develop and the time to get there, Harvey has all the making of a major league starter.
27°. Taijuan Walker, RHP, Mariners, 10/13/1992 - When he was drafted Taijuan Walker was known as a hard throwing but very raw talent. He certainly can bring the heat throwing in the mid-nineties with his fastball. He spent 2011 with class A Clinton for the Mariners. He was able to garner 113k’s in 96 innings of work while only allowing 39 bb’s. He still has to improve on his secondary pitches and needs to prove that he can continue this kind of performance as he moves up to higher levels. He has the most talent in the M’s pitching ranks, but is not near as advanced as Hultzen or Paxton at this point. ETA 2015.
Update Instinct – The more I look at his arsenal and watch video of Walker the more I see the upside being reached. That upside is elite level. But he’s still a couple of years away and even once he reaches Seattle, I wouldn’t expect him to hit it with all guns blazing. There is something special here and he’s already overtaken Paxton in my opinion as the #2 in this organizations minor league depth chart and will be sitting at #1 when 2013 rolls around.
The Rest of the Top 100
28°. Trevor May, RHP, Phillies, 9/23/1989 - I think at this point, Trevor May has the upside of a #2 starter if his pitches all max out, leaving him with two plus pitches in his fastball and curveball and an above average changeup. It’s more likely that he slots in as a #3 starter with high K rates. He’s a pitcher that I really like at this point and I stick with my 2011 preseason determination that he was the best in this system and is now one of the premier RHP prospects in the game. ETA 2013.
Update Instinct – Not much to change here, he proved he was a strikeout pitcher in 2011. Now in 2012 he just needs to mature and learn how to battle through tough at bats. You can’t teach his natural ability, but he can continue to learn the nuances of being a professional starter. Expect that to happen in 2012.
29°. Archie Bradley, RHP, Diamondbacks, 8/10/1992 - Bradley has a high enough ceiling where he would place #1 in some organizations. A high 90s fastball and near plus curveball as a teenager. He has plenty of work to do in order to become a complete pitcher but his pitches and frame make him a very high ceiling prospect. At 19 years old, for all of the 2012 season, and combined with the pitching depth in this organization, there won’t be any reason to rush him. Expect him to start the 2012 season with the Low-A Yakima Bears of the Northwest League. How fast he moves will be dependent upon how mature his approach to the game is. The tools are there. ETA 2015.
31°. Jarrod Parker, RHP, Athletics, 11/24/1988 - He has a mid-90s fastball and, before the surgery, his command graded out as above average. Even though his fastball is plus, his slider grades out as even better. His changeup is close to a plus pitch as well. Only his command is holding him back from making the jump to the next level. He’ll be two years removed from TJ in 2012. Expect his arrival in Oakland in 2012 to be permanent situation as he makes the Diamondbacks regret the trade all by himself. ETA 2012.
Update Instinct – Parker has been at the elite level of this list for 3 years running. He’s a starter to target for Fantasy Baseball purposes in 2012 and beyond.
36°. Zack Wheeler, RHP, Mets, 5/30/1990 - Ah yes, the debate. Polish vs Upside. You really can’t lose either way. What a problem to have for Mets’ fans. It’s true, guys like Tom Seaver, Doc Gooden, and Jerry Koosman were all original Mets. Fortunately for Wheeler, Mets’ fans, like most fans, are a fickle bunch. David Cone, Ron Darling, and Al Leiter all started their careers elsewhere, but they were loved winners in New York. You can check out the Prospect Instinct | Zack Wheeler article. ETA 2014.
43°. Trevor Rosenthal, RHP, Cardinals, 5/29/1990 - Rosenthal made the the biggest jump inside the Cards system in 2011. He sat just outside the Top 15 last season and is now viewed as one of the top arms in all of the minor leagues. Rosenthal has a mid 90s fastball and touches 97. He uses a mid 80s slider as a put away pitch, but it was his change up that made the biggest strides in 2011. Rosenthal has the 3 pitch mix to be a mid rotation starter and could be as much as a #2. He should move to the FSL sometime in 2012 where he’ll work with Carlos Martinez and coach Dennis Martinez. I can see him moving station to station towards St. Louis. This ranking will be viewed by many as overly aggressive, however we think he’s an exciting player and stand behind it. ETA 2014.
Update Instinct – Not changing our opinion here. I’m going to need to be proven wrong. The season is right around the corner.
44°. Tyrell Jenkins, RHP, Cardinals, 7/20/1992 - Jenkins is the youngest of the four possible high end starters in the system. He should turn an already above average fastball into a plus pitch. His secondaries are still a work in progress, but he’s so young that it’s far from a concern. They both flash potential and some tweaks to his mechanics point to above average command as well. He has #2 upside depending on how far along his changeup advances. He should see the Midwest league in 2012. ETA 2015.
Update Instinct – A fourth very exciting young starter for the Cardinals. The chances of all four of them reaching their ultimate ceiling is obviously quite a long shot, but Cardinals fans should be very exited to have the depth with these guys spread through out the system. Shelby in 2012, Martinez in 2013, Rosenthal in 2014 and then Jenkins in 2015. That’s a lot of depth and would put the Cards brass in the drivers seat with spendable funds for the rest of the roster.
45°. Jose Campos, RHP, Yankees, 7/27/1992 - I would expect him to wind up starting the season in High A ball in 2012. If he can maintain consistency of his FB and slider while developing his curveball, Campos will become a well-known elite level prospect. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees exhibit patience with their new toy and take their time with a potential number 1 or 2 starter. I look for big things from the young pitcher and advise you not to be late to the jump on the Campos bandwagon. ETA 2015.
Update Instinct – No word on if Campos will make his FSL debut this year. This ranking is based pre-trade, so there is no “Yankees Bias” influencing this ranking. If Campos wasn’t known before 2012, he certainly will be now.
51°. Matt Barnes, RHP, Red Sox, 6/17/1990 - As one of our Twitter followers, we should probably say something glowing about Barnes. However, his arm makes that easy. Barnes is so very much a Red Sox type of pick. He’s a former college starter with a high floor with and enough upside to be a frontline starter. It will be exciting to see his debut in 2012, as the Red Sox’s farm has not seen such a talented pitcher since graduating Clay Buchholz. He throws 3 pitches for outs and this may be a very conservative rank for him and he could move upward fast. ETA 2013.
Update Instinct – Industry wide, this is a an aggressive ranking for Barnes. We think there are clearly key points being missed by the “Industry Names” that will be brought to light in 2012 with Barnes debut. 2013 might be aggressive and we’re recalculating that with a more probable 2014 full time debut in Boston.
52°. Randall Delgado, RHP, Braves, 2/9/1990 - In 2011, he made his MLB debut and started seven games. While Delgado had a 2.83 ERA in those seven starts, his 5.14 FIP and .220 BABIP indicate that he was very lucky and unable to sustain a sub-3.00 ERA just yet. Randall Delgado throws a plus fastball with movement in the low 90’s, which he’s been known to hit 96 mph. His curveball and changeup flash plus potential from game to game, but are not consistently at that level yet. He’s going to get a chance to be in the rotation, but really could use some more time at AAA in 2012. ETA 2012.
56°. Dellin Betances, RHP, Yankees, 3/23/1988 - In 2011, Dellin had a 3.42 ERA in 105 innings at Double-A Trenton with a 25% K rate. The K rate was down from 2010, but still excellent. He’s still working out command issues which hinge more on his big frame and cleaning up the mechanics than anything else. So often you hear “there’s more moving parts” with big guys like this. And that’s just not a physical possibility. Same moving parts. He just needs to learn to use his longer legs and arms to his benefit. Full stride, get closer to the plate, use the plus stuff. He’ll see the Bronx in 2012 again probably around midseason. ETA 2012.
Update Instinct – We might be looking at a preseason drop in the ranking for Betances. Not because his stuff has changed, but after further review there are some weaknesses in command that will need to be addressed and now there is no clear path to the majors for 2012 outside of the bullpen. He should see an entire season in Triple-A and could very well see an eventual move to the pen if the command isn’t rectified. There are also mechanical issues that should be addressed this season.
59°. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Braves, 9/13/1990 – Vizcaino dominated every stop between HiA-Lynchburg and AAA-Gwinnett in 2011. In August, Vizcaino found himself in the majors as part of the Braves’ bullpen in order to give him some MLB experience, preserve his arm and prepare him for the Braves’ “playoff run”. He has a plus fastball and plus curveball. The Braves may decide to keep him the bullpen for the 2012 season rather than send him back to AAA to start, we will see. ETA NOW.
62°. A. J. Cole, RHP, Athletics, 1/5/1992 - The 2010 4th round pick of the Nationals went 4-7 with a 4.04 ERA, a 10.92 K/9 and a 2.43 BB/9 ratio in 89 innings over 20 games with Single-A Hagerstown of the SAL at age 19. He was traded this off season in a deal that brought SP Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals. He has a good fastball and curveball. If he can develop his changeup he could be a solid #2 in his prime, otherwise you’re looking at a middle of the rotation type guy. ETA 2014.
64°. Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, Rays, 12/1/1992 - We had Taylor Guerrieri ranked #8 in our 2011 MLB Draft preview and our views haven’t changed on him. We still believe that Guerrieri was one of the steals of the 2011 draft and we certainly have high expectations for him. He just turned 19 and with more consistency, Guerrieri might be able to add more zip on his fastball, pushing it into the upper 90’s. Along with further development of his 88-90mph cutter and/or changeup will help raise Guerrieri’s profile even higher next year. ETA 2016.
66°. Jeurys Familia, RHP, Mets, 10/10/1989 – We had Familia at #89 in our 2011 Top 100. I’m pretty sure we’re the only ones who were ahead of the curve on him. He proved worthy and has moved up even further. A move to the bullpen would be a waste of his ability. A plus to plus plus FB and hard slider give him the two pitches to be lights out in the pen, but a 2011 advancement of his CU give him SP upside. A little more time to refine the command and he has mid-rotation upside. Very little downside with this kid. ETA 2013.
71°. Chad Bettis, RHP, Rockies, 4/26/1989 - Bettis will most certainly start the 2012 season in Double-A. It will be interesting to see if he can keep on missing bats while limiting the free passes as consistently as he has to this point. He has the kind of stuff that allows him to make mistakes up in the zone and not pay for it too much, but I think he’ll need to raise that 46% groundball rate and keep the ball out of the bleachers more to find similar success at higher levels. Mid-rotation starter or a closer. 2012 will probably let us know. ETA 2013.
72°. Zach Lee, RHP, Dodgers, 9/13/1991 - Lee is just one season into his career but the future looks bright for him. If he’s able to make his curveball a more consistent pitch he is going to have 3 average to plus offerings. That alone puts him as a pretty solid bet to find his way into the middle of the Dodgers rotation. If his fastball upticks and his command continues in the same direction he will have a plus fastball and plus command. That will allow him to be a solid #2 starter that can work 200+ innings a season. His K rates will probably only be slightly above average, but enough to make him very effective because of his command. ETA 2014.
Update Instinct – Could be a mover and shaker into the top 50 overall by midseason.
75°. Nestor Molina, RHP, White Sox, 1/9/1989 - Molina’s best pitch is a 91-93 mph fastball that he commands very well. With just 16 walks in 130.1 innings in 2011 he’s a pitcher who hits his spots and doesn’t beat himself. He works fastballs low and outside painting the black and uses a sinker to get ground balls and a slider as an out pitch. His 4 seam is an average pitch with plus command, but the sinker is a plus pitch with movement and command. He slid right into the top of the White Sox SP prospect ranks. While he isn’t an Ace type, his pitch mix and command make him a nice bet to fill out the #4 spot in a rotation. His frame is a little small, so workhorse #3 is unlikely, but sometimes pitchers are just better than their peripherals. Molina is one of those guys. ETA 2013.
77°. Allen Webster, RHP, Dodgers, 2/10/1990 - He’s still working the kinks out of switching from a position player to a pitcher, but he’s been remarkable so far. With 2 plus pitches and the development of one of his other pitches into a third average pitch he could have a ceiling as a number 2 starter. Of course, continued increase of velocity will help make that a reality, but if he peaks out at 94-95 mph he’s still got a good shot at being a quality 3 or 4 in the majors. There’s no reason to believe he won’t get a cup of coffee with the big club in the fall. ETA 2012.
79°. Jose Fernandez, RHP, Marlins, 7/31/1992 - Despite the talk of not having the body to be a starter, he’s definitely got the make up and the arsenal of pitches for it. I believe his floor is that of a lock-down 8th inning type, with stud closer stuff. I’m willing to bet though that his ceiling is at least a solid #2 in the majors. Very anxious to see him work a full season and since he’s a year old for a typical high schooler, look for the Marlins to be aggressive with him. ETA 2015.
Update Instinct – Aggressive ranking for a player so young with such little experience. Yes, we know. He’ll justify the ranking inside of 18 months. Although a sharp move up the ranking into 2013 is unlikely, this ranking is based on where we think he will be.
88°. Luis Heredia, RHP, Pirates, 8/10/1994 - The Pirates are taking it slow with their young prospect. At his age it makes sense to let him develop and get his stamina up before rushing him too far up the minor league chain. He has 3 above average offerings with his fastball touching 95 and a curve and change up that are actually plus, but only in small stints. His command is still an issue and he’s still growing. There’s a lot of development here and the Pirates will give him all the time he needs. He should start in extended Spring Training before seeing some additional time in the GCL and State College Short Season. ETA 2016.
91°. Casey Kelly, RHP, Padres, 10/4/1989 - Acquired as a centerpiece of the Adrian Gonzalez trade prior to the 2011 season, Casey Kelly is trying to validate the Padres decision to trade-off an elite player such as A-Gon. Unfortunately, the early promise of his first couple of years in pro ball has diminished somewhat. His K and BB rates were simply outstanding during his 2009 season in Single A ball, but both of those rates have been going the wrong way in 2010 and 2011. Our scouting reports, Prospect Instinct|Casey Kelly indicates that he has good command of his fastball and changeup, but is erratic with his curve. ETA 2013.
92°. Brad Peacock, RHP, Athletics 2/2/1988 - Part of the Gio Gonzalez to Washington deal, Peacock possess a solid three pitch repertoire that includes a 90-95 mph fastball, curveball, and a change up. His change up is a work in progress and he needs to make it more consistent. His fastball command could also be better. He should be given every chance to be in the A’s rotation right out of spring training. I can’t stress enough the development of that change-up. It will be the difference between a quality back-end rotation guy or a bullpen reliever. ETA NOW.
93°. Tyler Thornburg, RHP, Brewers, 9/29/1988 - Tyler Thornburg was a beast in Low Single-A (7-0, 1.57 ERA, 76 K’s in 12 starts). As a result, the Brew Crew bumped him to High Single-A (3-6, 3.57 ERA, 84 K’s in 12 Starts) against slightly better hitters. While he may get a look at joining the bullpen in spring training, he sees himself more as a consistent, reliable starting pitcher. His velocity is typically in the mid 90′s but he can on occasion hit 98-99. Tyler has a deceptive over-the-top delivery and has good control of his pitches. There’s a good chance that Thornburg eventually ends up as a shut down RP. He’s ready now and the Brewers may not want to wait for the SP version to be fully refined. ETA 2013.
94°. Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Royals, 3/27/1990 - Odorizzi’s five pitch mix (fastball, slider, cutter, curve and change up) is the deepest in the system, but he’ll need to concentrate and refine all of his offspeed offerings. He’ll also need to stay on top of his fastball to reach a #2-#3 ceiling. Look for Jake to start the season at AA where he’ll need to work on keeping the ball down. We liked Odorizzi a ton heading into the 2011 season, seeing him as a potential #3 starter and he did not disappoint. There is still some additional velocity in his frame and if that happens, he should reach that ceiling. ETA 2014.
95°. Drew Hutchison, RHP, Blue Jays, 8/22/1990 - Despite a lanky frame at 6ft2 165lbs, it is unlikely that Hutchison will pick up much more velocity. There’s just not much projectability left in his body. He pitches in the low 90s and can touch the mid 90s at times, with good command and movement. A plus CU and an average breaking pitch give him the full arsenal. Hutchison is good enough to pitch in the big leagues right now. His ceiling is probably a solid #3, but he’s close to a finished product. The rest of the system is talented, but raw. ETA 2013.
96°. Parker Bridwell, RHP, Orioles, 8/2/1991 - Bridwell has the pitch mix, frame and velocity that makes it clear how good he might be one day. With just 75 innings pitched this season, there is still plenty of development time before he’s ready to step into a major league rotation for 200 innings. There is still room for Bridwell to fill out, especially in that lower half that should help him build a stronger base and add some additional velocity without undue stress on the shoulder. He’s big enough to handle the workload and as long as his changeup comes along, his sinking fastball and slider are good enough to rack up strikeouts. He has a high-end #2 starter upside, but is at least 2 years away. ETA 2014.
Update Instinct – An aggressive ranking to be certain. Bridwell is on the radar for everyone and there is a solid chance he takes strides in 2012 that put him on the national radar as an elite SP prospect. Although that’s already what he is.
97°. Keyvius Sampson, RHP, Padres, 1/6/1991 – There are still concerns about Sampson’s durability after a shoulder injury that cost him all but 43 innings in 2010. This past season, he came back with a monster 12-3 mark, 2.90 ERA, an eye popping 10.91 K/9 and a respectable 3.74 BB/9 rate over 118 innings in the Midwest League as a 20-year-old. He has 3 out pitches and if he can tighten his command, he will be devastating at Petco. ETA 2015.
98°. Liam Hendriks, RHP, Twins, 2/10/1989 - Hendriks mixes up 4 pitches – a 90-91 mph fastball, a curve, a slider, and a change-up and he does it with excellent control. Hendriks is probably ready for a starting job now at the back-end of the Twins rotation and should get a shot in spring training. It’s not out of the question that he could head back to AAA to start the season. While I doubt that he will end up in the bullpen initially, his future could very well be now. If he can turn a few of those fly balls into ground outs, he could turn into an inning eating #4 starter and at very least a solid arm out of the pen. ETA 2012.
99°. Dillon Howard, RHP, Indians, 7/1/1992 - With Howard’s projectable frame and high power stuff, we just can’t wait to see him in action and dive into some stats for you. Unfortunately, he hasn’t thrown a pro pitch yet. Let’s just say, he has all the skills of a front of the rotation starter. Lake County would be a reasonable place for him to start next year, but he may get his feet wet in Short Season ball first. We could of easily went with Francisco Lindor here, but with the depletion of the Indians system we went with the player we felt had the higher upside. ETA 2015.
The Best of the Rest
120°. Robert Stephenson, RHP, Reds 2/24/93 - He was the 27th pick in the 1st round of the 2011 draft and many felt that he should have gone much higher. It is easy to see why, with an arsenal that includes a mid-90’s fastball and good curveball. Stephenson has a good, projectable frame and is around the strike zone most of the time. He needs to work on his third offering (which is a changeup) and overall command of his pitches within the strike zone. He has the stuff to be a front-end starter. ETA 2015.
124°. Michael Fulmer, RHP, Mets, 3/15/1993 - Projecting guys like Fulmer can be tricky business. He’s got the polish and the make-up to be a good #3 starter with the upside of a #2 if the Mets can clean up his mechanics a little. He might even add a little more velocity although his body type doesn’t leave room for growth. His floor is probably lock-down 8th inning guy, which theres nothing wrong with that either. Look for him to start 2012 where he left off, in the GCL or get the jump to Brooklyn. ETA 2016.
128°. Stetson Allie, RHP, Pirates, 3/13/1991 - We had no qualms about making Allie a closer straight out of the draft in 2010, and even then we had him high on our draft boards because his fastball is electric and his attitude is bulldog. His mechanics can become a nightmare at times but eventually should be brought under control. Once that happens he has the stuff to be untouchable in short stints. Normally naming somoene a closer so early is because they are failing as a starter, but in Allie’s case it’s just who he is. He’ll head back to Short Season unless he shows exceptional command in Spring Training. ETA 2014.
131°. Mason Hope, RHP, Marlins 6/27/1992 - Hope was a Broken Arrow High School teammate of 2011 Diamondbacks’ pick Archie Bradley. Hope, himself should have gone in the second round, so what a tremendous pick for the Marlins. He should hit the South Atlantic League in 2012 and we will get to see what he’s really got to offer. He’s got the potential to be special pitcher, with a solid #3 being a realistic projection right now. Keep an eye on this pitcher. ETA 2015.
132°. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Blue Jays, 8/29/1992 - First round supplementary pick in 2010, Synderggard is yet another one of the many talented Blue Jays prospects who status soared in 2011. Synderggard has a power pitcher’s frame, and mindset. He has advanced command of a fastball for his age that sits at 92-94mph, touching 97mph. His curveball is promising, while his changeup needs more work. He performed well in 2011, starting in rookie ball and finishing in Low-A. He’s looking like he could have front-line starter stuff. We really want to see what he does at higher levels. Brandon says to temper your expectations for now, but I say get excited about the possibilities now. ETA 2015.
Update Instinct – Could sky rocket up this list in 2012.
135°. Dillon Maples, RHP, Cubs, 5/9/1992 - Maples has 2 pitches that project as plus offerings, but his mechanics need to be ironed out if he’s going to have the type of command a true frontline starter needs. His current mechanics are short and stiff which could add undue stress to his shoulder and that’s a big red flag in my book. He’ll need a few years to develop his changeup and command, but has the upside of a true #1 and the Cubs did very well in signing him away from Carolina. ETA 2016.
Update Instinct – Late round pick. A sleeper in the prospect ranks. But a very high end upside talent here.
139°. Brody Colvin, RHP, Phillies, 8/14/1990 - Colvin battled injuries in 2011, limiting his ability to work at peak velocity and work low in the zone. It hinders his development in a critical season and he’ll need to make up for lost time in 2012. He’ll probably start back in High-A, he still has a nice ceiling as a potential #3 starter and I think there is some consistent 94-95 velocity hiding in the readings ready to show itself in 2012. If that happens his two average secondaries will allow him to reach that #3 ceiling. ETA 2014.
Update Instinct – Bounceback candidate. Would be a top 100 if he hits his stride running where he left off 2011.
162°. Kyle Crick, RHP, Giants, 11/30/1992 - San Francisco seems to do well developing young pitchers, so this would appear to be a good fit. Patience will be needed with this player as he will need to be able to learn how to pitch as opposed to just throw hard. There is high ceiling potential with Crick, but that potential also comes with a high risk that he never reaches that ceiling. This rating is rather aggressive and would be much lower in stronger farm systems. But there is no denying that his potential great. Raw talent demands that he is watched carefully. ETA 2015.
166°. Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Blue Jays, 7/01/1991 - A 2010 1st round pick, Sanchez has had the kid gloves on for his first two seasons and I would expect more of the same in 2012. He should take his low 90s FB, above avg CB and lagging changeup back to the Northwest League after extended spring training. But should see Lansing to close out the year. His high 2011 ERA is more a product of mechanical work and concentrating on his secondaries than a cause for concern. ETA 2015.
178°. Angel Sanchez, RHP, Dodgers, 11/28/1989 - Sanchez will more than likely start the season at single A. Based on his performance however he should progress up the ladder after he develops his curve and gains experience and confidence throwing his changeup. Both look like they could eventually be plus pitches to go along with a 97 mph fastball. Another #2 in the making if everything pans out. ETA 2016.
204°. Roman Mendez, RHP, Rangers, 7/25/1990 - He’s been brought along slowly to this point, but is ready for the kid-gloves to come off after posting a 9-1 win-loss record and a 3.31 ERA in the Sally league during the 2011 season. His arsenal consists of a mid-90’s fastball, a slider that shows plus potential and a developing changeup. That “stuff” was good enough for a sparkly k/bb ratio of 130/45 in 117 innings pitched. He’s still a few years away, but should be ready for the challenge of High-A ball in 2012. ETA 2014.
205°. Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, Blue Jays, 12/21/1988 – Wojo was one of the talented pitchers in the group drafted by the Blue Jays in 2010. He’s a break out candidate in 2012 after finishing off the 2011 season with a 7-2 record, a 3.18 ERA, and a 41/8 K/BB ratio in 56.2 innings over his last 10 appearances in the FSL. He’s heading to AA and is worth watching. He could show up in Toronto at some point in 2012. But if that happens he may eventually be relegated to the bullpen. Another full season in the minors would better allow him to stick mid-rotation. ETA 2013.
241°. Cody Buckel, RHP, Rangers, 6/18/1992 - Buckel was drafted in 2010 in the 2nd round. An undersized righty with a low 90s fastball and a mix of secondaries including a CB, CU and a cutter. He pitches above his age and dominated in 2011. In 23 games he went 8-3 with 120 K and 27 walks in 96.2 IP. Good for a 30.6% K rate and 6.9% walk rate. Remember, this is Low-A and this is an advanced pitcher for his age against hitters who are over-aggressive. But you can’t put his numbers aside. He was dominant and could be something much more soon. He’ll move to advanced-A ball and face better hitters in 2012. He profiles right now as a SP somewhere in the middle of the rotation but could be even more than that. He’s one to watch closely and could have ranked higher, and as this series develops he could certainly climb as fast as anyone on the list. ETA 2015.
244°. Alex Meyer, RHP, Nationals, 1/03/1990 - Meyer works off of a mid 90s fastball that he can push into the upper 90s along with a wipeout knuckle slider. He doesn’t pitch to his 6’9″ frame and pitching small causes him to miss his spots. The Nats have some work to do with him, but with some mechanical tweaks and refinement of the CU he could turn into a workhorse starter in the mid-rotation starter. ETA 2014.
270°. Neil Ramirez, RHP, Rangers, 5/25/1989- The 22-year-old has made it all the way to Triple-A moving over three levels in 2011 compiling a 5-3 record with 119 K and 44 BB over 98 total IP. He missed most of the 2nd half of the season with a shoulder injury, but should be ready to get back on the mound in Spring Training. While 2011 could be considered a breakout, if he reproduces those numbers again he’ll be high on these charts. With his 93-95 FB and power CB he has two pitches for major league success in a bullpen and a developing CU isn’t far behind, giving him a good chance at the major league rotation in 2013 if it’s properly developed. ETA 2013.
278°. Tanner Bushue, RHP, Astros, 6/20/1991 - Bushue is still young and projection is still part of his overall prospect profile. He was a Baseball Instinct darling when he was drafted and just hasn’t advanced physically the way we thought he would. He has an excellent pitchers frame and the best curveball in the system. While he commands the pitch with plus command his FB just hasn’t developed into that low 90s area on a consistent enough basis. His mechanics are clean and he’s still young enough to start adding weight and thus some extra velocity. For now he’ll need to become a better pitcher with what he has and will probably blossom when he reaches his mid 20s. Profiles as a mid rotation start if he kicks the velocity up and back end if it doesn’t materialize. ETA 2014.
286°. Matt Lollis, RHP, Padres, 9/11/1990 – Drafted in the 15th round of the 2009 draft, Lollis as a late round pick and is paying nice dividends so far for the Padres. Lollis works in the low 90s from a 3/4 arm slot with 2 breaking pitches. His 21.3% K rate and 8.4% walk rate are both really good rates and he’s put himself near the forefront of the Padres pitching system. He has a huge 6-7/280 frame and should eat up back of the rotation innings with his low 90s FB and spike CB. ETA 2014.
288°. Zack Von Rosenberg, RHP, Pirates, 9/24/1990 – Von Rosenberg has been in the system a long time and the wait for a breakout has caused him to slip down many ranking systems. His overall 5.73 ERA wasn’t pretty, but underlying in the there was a 21.3% K rate with a stellar 4.3% walk rate. His FIP was more than a run better than that ERA at 4.47 as well. The kid has a great frame at 6’5″and 205 lbs and no longer will have the spotlight on him to be a future rotation leader. With Taillon and Cole ahead of him, he can relax and trust his now low 90s FB and 11-5 CB. His CU will need to make strides but I look forward to seeing him in the FSL in 2012. ETA 2014.
289°. Jason Adam, RHP, Royals, 8/4/1991 –Adam is a Kansas product and 5th round steal for the Royals. He has a workhorse frame, mid 90s FB and future plus CB. His changeup took some strides in 2011, but work on refining his mechanics may have superceded the use of the changeup. Over 104.1 Midwest League innings he struck out 76 and walked 25 while posting a 4.23 ERA. More concentration on the secondaries in 2012 and then the gloves could come off in 2013. Still enough development needed to keep him out of the upper level of the system, but the ceiling is high if things break right. Potential mid-rotation starter. ETA 2015.
292°. Bryan Brickhouse, RHP, Royals, 6/6/1992 – Brickhouse is a less touted name for Royals fans to get excited about. He throws a mid 90s FB with more velocity in the cards as he fills out his frame. His spike curve is probably his best pitch although not his best commanded. He hasn’t needed a changeup while blowing away High School hitters at national power The Woodlands in Texas. He has a long way to go but profiles as a mid-rotation starter or power RP. The Royals will obviosuly give him all the time he needs to prove himself as a SP.ETA 2015.
294°. Michael Ynoa, RHP, A’s, 9/24/1991 – When do you write off one of the biggest prospect names of the past? Well, Ynoa signed in 2008. So far, zero production. But the 6’7″ Ynoa has flashed the mid 90s fastball in brief stints. He’s now healthy from the 2010 TJ surgery. So 2012 will be the season that he makes good or goes off to the Island of Misfit toys. Albeit, as the richest toy there. He’ll be 21 this year so we could see a full work load once the SS starts and a possible bump to Low-A if he sees any semblance of success. ETA 2015.
344°. Jeff Ames, RHP Rays 1/31/1991 – Ames was a 1st round supplemental pick, throws a mid 90s FB with big life to it. It projects as a plus pitch. His secondaries keep from higher levels of this list though. His CB has below average break and can get flat with a changeup that doesn’t mimic his FB arm speed. The Rays move pitcher development slowly. So he has time to refine the pitch mix. High upside and should have a bullpen floor. ETA 2015.
348°. Yordano Ventura, RHP Royals 6/3/1991 - Major league fastball sitting mid 90s and touching 100. His secondaries are starting to make strides, but still a ways off. He gets strikeouts , 88 in 84 IP in 2011, by overpowering hitters. In time, his secondaries could allow that K rate to rise and turn the strikeouts into a lower ERA. Good chance at least to make the major league pen in time. ETA 2014.
358°. Mike Kelly, RHP Padres 9/6/1992 – The Boynton Beach, Florida product is 6’5″ and 210 with a low 90s fastball and average curveball/change-up combo. There are mechanical corrections that need to be made, but more velocity is still hidden there. Mid 90s is expected with growth along with better command as the 2011 draft pick settles into his frame. ETA 2015.
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