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January 19, 2012

Future Shock

Indians Top 11 Prospects

by Kevin Goldstein

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Previous Rankings: 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

System in 20 Words or Less: This is the youngest, riskiest, most volatile Top 11 I've ever done.

Five-Star Prospects
1. Francisco Lindor, SS
Three-Star Prospects
2. Dillon Howard, RHP
3. Ronny Rodriguez, SS
4. Austin Adams, RHP
5. Tony Wolters, SS
6. Nick Hagadone, LHP
7. Dorssys Paulino, SS
8. Luigi Rodriguez, OF
Two-Star Prospects
9. Scott Barnes, LHP
10. Robel Garcia, INF
11. Elvis Araujo, LHP

Nine More
12. Jake Cisco, RHP: This 2011 third-round pick has size and stuff, but he’s raw.
13. Zach McAllister, RHP: He has command and fastball movement, but little else. His ceiling is a fifth starter.
14. Felix Sterling, RHP: This young righty has a power arm and big potential, but he needs refinement.
15. Jorge Martinez, SS: He’s yet another teenage Dominican with loud tools. He profiles as a third baseman with power.
16. Chen Lee, RHP: This undersized righty has an electric fastball. He should pitch in big leagues this year, and has a seventh- or eighth-inning ceiling.
17. Levon Washington, OF: He’s still a great athlete, but his swing fell apart in 2011.
18. Jesus Aguilar, 1B: This massive first baseman is a bat-only prospect, but there are questions about what he can do other than hit for power.
19. Chun-Hsui Chen, C: He has impressive offensive skills, but he’s well below average behind the plate.
20. Zack Putnam, RHP: Like Lee, Putnam should reach the big leagues this year, but he profiles as a solid reliever, not an impact one.

1. Francisco Lindor, SS
DOB
: 11/14/93
Height/Weight: 5-11/175
Bats/Throws: S/R
Drafted/Signed: First round, 2011, Monteverde Academy (FL)
2011 Stats: .316/.350/.316 at Low-A (5 G)
Tools Profile: Yes.

Year in Review: The top shortstop in the draft shocked teams in private workouts. He nearly went second overall, but he shocked all by falling into Cleveland's lap with the eighth overall pick.
The Good: Lindor is loaded with tools. He's a switch-hitter with outstanding bat speed. He shocked officials by pounding balls out of Safeco Field, and projects to have as much as average power down the road (15-18 home runs annually). He's a 55-60 runner who should steal a good number of bases, and all of that is wrapped in a package of advanced shortstop skills including impressive range, hands and arm strength, and off-the-charts makeup.
The Bad: Lindor was just 17 when he was drafted. His inexperience shows at times, so he'll have to refine his approach and slow done the game defensively. More than anything, he needs at-bats.
Ephemera: The eighth overall pick in the draft has been used on a shortstop 11 times. Jay Bell (1984) is the only one to play in an All-Star game.
Perfect World Projection: He could be an All-Star shortstop.
Fantasy Impact: It’s probably less than real-world value because of the defense, but he'll still be an early pick as a player with double-digit home runs and stolen bases.
Path to the Big Leagues: Lindor will make his full-season debut at Low-A Lake County.
ETA: 2015

2. Dillon Howard, RHP
DOB
: 7/1/92
Height/Weight: 6-4/210
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Second round, 2011, Searcy HS (AR)
2011 Stats: DNP
Tools Profile: He has a power frame and a strong arm.

Year in Review: Howard, who was considered unsignable by many teams, got a first-round bonus of nearly $2 million as a second-round pick.
The Good: Howard has two plus fastballs: a true heater than can touch the mid-90s, and an 88-91 mph sinker with late, explosive life. His changeup is advanced for his age, and it projects to be plus. He has the ideal power pitcher's body and simple mechanics.
The Bad: Howard's curveball comes and goes, so it needs professional instruction. He had an up-and-down senior season, with fluctuations in velocity and control.
Ephemera: Howard is one of two players ever drafted out of Searcy High, which is located in the small Arkansas town of the same name. A Philadelphia native laid out the original streets of the town, which would be familiar to any Philly native (Arch, Market, Race, Spring, Vine).
Perfect World Projection: He could be a star-level starting pitcher.
Fantasy Impact: Howard's ceiling is significant, but he's far from it.
Path to the Big Leagues: Howard will likely pitch at Low-A Lake County in 2012, but the Indians might hold him back in extended spring training until the Midwest heats up a bit.
ETA: 2015

3. Ronny Rodriguez, SS
DOB
: 4/17/1992
Height/Weight: 6-0/170
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 2010, Dominican Republic
2011 Stats: .246/.274/.449 at Low-A (98 G)
Tools Profile: He’s the rare shortstop with power and speed.

Year in Review: This young shortstop impressed more with his tools than his performance at Low-A.
The Good: Rodriguez has all the tools scouts look for. He has above-average raw power, is a plus runner, and has one of the strongest arms in the system. He's capable of flashy plays at shortstop. While his numbers don't stand out, he had an impressive performance for a player who had never played an organized game until 2011.
The Bad: Rodriguez's game is a bit of a mess. He swings at far too many bad pitches and needs to learn how to work the count. He has the speed to steal bases, but is still learning how to read pitches. His footwork is sloppy, and his throws are inaccurate.
Ephemera: Rodriguez hit everywhere in the 2011 Lake County lineup other than first and third. He was at his best in the five-hole, with a .310/.351/.535 line in 18 games.
Perfect World Projection: Rodriguez has the tools to be a star; he has the distinct possibility of either turning into a Jose Valentin type, or never getting out of the minors.
Fantasy Impact: It could be huge or nonexistent.
Path to the Big Leagues: Rodriguez would arguably be best served by returning to Low-A, but the presence of Lindor will force a promotion to the Carolina League in 2012.
ETA: 2015

4. Austin Adams, RHP
DOB
: 8/19/86
Height/Weight: 5-11/185
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Fifth round, 2009, Faulkner University
2011 Stats: 3.77 ERA (136-147-63-131) at Double-A (26 G)
Tools Profile: He’s the hardest-throwing pitcher in the system.

Year in Review: This converted infielder more than held his own in his first taste of the upper levels.
The Good: Adams has shocking velocity for his size; he sits at 93-98 mph with a fastball that lit up the third digit on the gun several times last year. His slider has improved to the point where it can miss some bats, and his clean arm action allows him to pitch deep into games.
The Bad: Adams is still far from being a guaranteed starter. His size will always be a concern, as will his changeup, which, while improving, still lacks deception and movement. He can fall in love with his velocity, which costs him command.
Ephemera: Faulkner University, an NAIA school located in Montgomery, has seen six players drafted. Adams is the highest-drafted pitcher, and none of the hurlers have reached the big leagues.
Perfect World Projection: He could be a mid-rotation starter, or a dominant bullpen arm.
Fantasy Impact: It is role-dependent.
Path to the Big Leagues: Adams will remain a starter until he proves he can't or a need arises in Cleveland. He'll begin the year at Triple-A Columbus, but he should reach the big leagues at some point.
ETA: Late 2012

5. Tony Wolters, SS
DOB
: 6/9/92
Height/Weight: 5-10/165
Bats/Throws: L/R
Drafted/Signed: Third round, 2010, Rancho Buena Vista HS (CA)
2011 Stats: .292/.385/.363 at Low-A (69 G)
Tools Profile: He’s solid across the board and has an impressive bat.

Year in Review: This 2010 third-round pick broke a bone in his hand during spring training, but he impressed New York-Penn League scouts.
The Good: Wolters can do a little bit of everything. He has an advanced approach for his age, plenty of bat speed, and projects to hit for a high average with a good on-base percentage as well. His average speed plays up due to his instincts, and he’s a steady shortstop with a plus arm.
The Bad: Wolters is on the small side and will likely never have more than gap power. His speed limits his range a bit at shortstop.
Ephemera: Wolters was at his best in his first at-bat of the game; he hit .331/.507/.525 in those plate appearances.
Perfect World Projection: He could be an everyday up-the-middle player who can hit at the top of the order.
Fantasy Impact: He’ll bring a good average, on-base skills, and a handful of stolen bases, but find your power elsewhere.
Path to the Big Leagues: With so many young, pure shortstops in the system, Wolters might have to move to second base sooner than the Indians would like. Wolters, along with Lindor, could be part of one of the best middle-infield combos in the low minors at Low-A Lake County.
ETA: 2015

6. Nick Hagadone, LHP
DOB: 1/1/86
Height/Weight: 6-5/230
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Signed: First round, 2007, University of Washington
2011 Stats: 1.59 ERA (22.2-14-7-24) at Double-A (12 G); 3.35 ERA (48.1-42-15-53) at Triple-A (34 G); 4.09 ERA (11-4-6-11) in MLB (9 G)
Tools Profile: He has a late inning-worthy fastball/slider combination.

Year in Review: He was part of the Victor Martinez deal in 2009. Hagadone had his second straight healthy season and missed bats during his brief big-league debut.
The Good: Hagadone is an intimidating presence on the mound who attacks hitters with a mid- to upper-90s fastball that misses bats. His slider gives him a second plus power offering. He's made strides in his command and control, to the point they project as average.
The Bad: Hagadone has a Tommy John surgery in his past, and there is still considerable effort in his delivery. He had trouble falling behind in the count in the big leagues, and needs to throw more strikes with his slider as opposed to using it solely as a chase pitch. He's 26 years old, so there is little projection left.
Ephemera: More than 50 pitchers have been selected out of the University of Washington. Yes, they've combined for only 85 wins in the majors, and Tim Lincecum accounts for more than 80 percent of them.
Perfect World Projection: He’ll be a set-up man with some chance to close.
Fantasy Impact: It’ll be minimal, unless he's getting saves.
Path to the Big Leagues: Hagadone will compete for a big-league bullpen role in spring training.
ETA: 2012

7. Dorssys Paulino, SS
DOB: 11/21/94
Height/Weight: 6-0/175
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 2011, Dominican Republic
2011 Stats: DNP
Tools Profile: He has an outstanding hit tool, but he’s probably not a shortstop long-term.

Year in Review: Paulino was one of the top players in the Dominican, and signed in July to a $1.1 million bonus.
The Good: Paulino's bat was among the most impressive on the international market last summer. He has fantastic bat speed, an excellent feel for contact, and enough strength to project for average power once he fills out. He's an above-average runner, and his arm is plus.
The Bad: In a system filled with impressive young shortstops, Paulino is behind them defensively. He's fast but not quick, and his instincts are below average. However, he could be an above-average second baseman, and might have the bat for third base.
Ephemera: The first internet radio broadcast, which took place at the University of North Carolina, occurred four days before Paulino was born.
Perfect World Projection: He’d be a star infielder.
Fantasy Impact: He's eons away from the majors, so there’s no real feel for what he is.
Path to the Big Leagues: Paulino will make his debut in the complex league this summer.
ETA: 2016

8. Luigi Rodriguez, OF
DOB
: 11/13/92
Height/Weight: 5-11/160
Bats/Throws: S/R
Drafted/Signed: 2010, Dominican Republic
2011 Stats: .379/.408/.579 at Rookie (25 G); .250/.320/.311 at Low-A (34 G)
Tools Profile: He has a leadoff profile. Rodriguez has speed and the ability to play center field.

Year in Review: This 18-year-old Dominican dominated the complex league and held his own at Low-A.
The Good: Rodriguez brings plenty of excitement to the game. He's one of the fastest players in the system, and was moved to center field in 2011. He showed a good feel for the position and a solid arm. He has a very good approach for such a young and inexperienced player, and has a quick line-drive bat.
The Bad: Rodriguez has a slight build and does not project to add much power to his game. He's fast, but he’s still learning how to steal bases; he gets poor jumps. He projects to be a plus center fielder, but for now his routes and jumps need considerable work.
Ephemera: In 50 Arizona League at-bats with the bases empty, Rodriguez did not have a home run, nor a single walk. All three of his home runs and all five of his walks came among his 45 at-bats with runners on.
Perfect World Projection: He could be an old-school leadoff man and center fielder.
Fantasy Impact: He’ll have a high average and plenty of stolen bases.
Path to the Big Leagues: Rodriguez will spend the year at Low-A Lake County, which has the potential to be the most intriguing team in the Midwest League.
ETA: 2015

9. Scott Barnes, LHP
DOB
: 11/5/87
Height/Weight: 6-4/185
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Signed: Eighth round, 2008, St. John’s University
2011 Stats: 1.64 ERA (11-5-2-17) at Double-A (2 G); 3.68 ERA (88-80-34-90) at Triple-A (16 G)
Tools Profile: He has a solid three-pitch mix from the left side.

Year in Review: This southpaw was on the verge of the big leagues before he injured his knee.
The Good: Barnes throws strikes with three pitches. His fastball sits in the low 90s and has a bit of natural movement. His best secondary offering is a slider that is average to a tick above. He has confidence to use his average changeup at any point in the count. Everything about his game plays up due to his command, his left-handedness, and some deception in his delivery.
The Bad: Very little about Barnes is overwhelming. While his arsenal is deep and doesn’t have a weakness, he also lacks a true go-to plus offering that will consistently miss big-league bats. He doesn't have much projection, and multiple scouts think he's already maxed out.
Ephemera: Barnes was a third-round pick in 2005 by the Nationals out of Cathedral High in Springfield, Massachusetts. The only other player ever drafted out of that school is fellow lefty Chris Capuano.
Perfect World Projection: He could be a solid fourth starter.
Fantasy Impact: Middling.
Path to the Big Leagues: Barnes spent the offseason recovering from knee surgery, but he should be ready on Opening Day. He'll begin the year back at Columbus, but should see the big leagues at some point during the season.
ETA: 2012

10. Robel Garcia, INF
DOB
: 3/28/93
Height/Weight: 6-0/168
Bats/Throws: S/R
Drafted/Signed: 2010, Dominican Republic
2011 Stats: .284/.371/.544 at Rookie (45 G)
Tools Profile: His bat stands out, but his other tools are solid.

Year in Review: Garcia is yet another impressive young infielder who put up big numbers in the complex league.
The Good: Indians officials see Garcia as an under-the-radar player among their bounty of youthful infielders. He has a mature approach at the plate, and a high-leverage swing that gives him the potential for 50/55-grade power down the road. He's an average runner once he gets going, and has a plus arm.
The Bad: Garcia lacks the athleticism to be a big-league shortstop. It depends on how he develops, but he should work well at second or third. He can get power-conscious at times, as opposed to focusing on hard contact, which leads to too many strikeouts.
Ephemera: Garcia was born is Las Matas de Farfan, a city of less than 40,000 people just east of the country’s border with Haiti, that has already produced five big-leaguers.
Perfect World Projection: He could be an offense-oriented infielder.
Fantasy Impact: He's a long way from the big leagues, but he could turn into an infielder with a lot of offense.
Path to the Big Leagues: Garcia's full-season debut will probably have to wait, as he's expected to play in the New York-Penn League this summer.
ETA: 2016

11. Elvis Araujo, LHP
DOB
: 7/15/91
Height/Weight: 6-6/215
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Signed: 2007, Venezuela
2011 Stats: 2.86 ERA (63-54-18-58) at Rookie (13 G); 8.10 ERA (6.2-11-7-5) at Low-A (2 G)
Tools Profile: He’s a physical lefty with power stuff.

Year in Review: The Indians have long been excited about Araujo's potential, and he was finally healthy enough to show why.
The Good: It's easy to get excited about Araujo. He's massive, left-handed, and consistently throws in the low- to mid-90s with a fastball that features plenty of downward plane. He'll flash a plus slider, and generally throws strikes.
The Bad: Araujo has taken extra time to get his career going, as he's already had a Tommy John surgery, and there is still a lot of sloppiness in his delivery. He has a tendency to overthrow his slider, which causes it to flatten out, and his changeup still needs plenty of refinement.
Ephemera: Left-handers facing Araujo in the Arizona League went 11-for-73 with four walks, good for a .195 on-base percentage.
Perfect World Projection: He could be an above-average starting pitcher or late-inning reliever.
Fantasy Impact: It’s significant, but nowhere close to a sure thing.
Path to the Big Leagues: Araujo will compete for a Low-A job in 2012, but his workload will be closely monitored.
ETA: 2015

The Sleeper: Right-handed reliever Tyler Sturdevant, a 27th-round pick in 2009, gets up to 94 mph with his fastball, has a true out pitch with a nasty cutter, and could reach the big leagues in 2012.

Top 10 Talents 25 and Under (born 4/1/86 or later)
1. Jason Kipnis, 2B
2. Carlos Santana, C
3. Francisco Lindor, SS
4. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
5. Michael Brantley, OF
6. Dillon Howard, RHP
7. Ronny Rodriguez, SS
8. Lou Marson, C
9. Jeanmar Gomez, RHP
10. Austin Adams, RHP

This list, as well as the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, explains why the Cleveland list is so young. Kipnis slugged over .500 in his brief big-league debut, and should turn into Chase Utley lite. Santana has struggled to hit for average in the big leagues, but his secondary skills are outstanding. Why isn't he the long-term answer at first base, considering his injury history and sub-standard defense? Chisenhall was rushed to the big leagues but held his own. A more patient approach would lead to better results, as he made plenty of loud contact. Brantley has yet to live up to expectations, but scouts still see him as eventually fitting at the top of a lineup. Marson is an athletic catcher who will always provide above-average defense, and hopefully enough on-base skills to play every day but in the bottom of the batting order. Gomez has been inconsistent, and might work best in a Ramiro Mendoza swingman type of role.

 Summary: This was the most difficult ranking in recent memory, and this system will be a monster next year. Whether by monster I mean strong, intimidating beast, or nightmarishly awful is to be determined.  

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

55 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

CongoHammer

What did scouts think of Lindor? Were they "shocked"? How about "shocked"? Or maybe even "shocked"?

Jan 19, 2012 00:11 AM
rating: 3
 
Lou Proctor
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

I, for one, am shocked about how everything Lindor did or had happened to him was so shocking to everyone. I'm shocked that after all this time people still don't follow the cliched "expect the unexpected" saying.

Jan 19, 2012 00:26 AM
rating: -6
 
MightyMoGreen

He had already committed to Wichita St. but decided to go pro instead after his ... electrifying workouts.

Jan 19, 2012 01:18 AM
rating: 2
 
harderj

Picking up on the theme, here are some musings about some fantasy teams I'd like to see...

A team with Kite Thomas in the outfield behind starter Jimmy Key and relievers Ryan Franklin, Steve Rain, and Ken Cloude...

Alay Soler and Windy McCall, future pitching prospects, throwing to Geo(thermal) Soto in the bullpen under the watchful eye of coach George Gore...

Cole Hamels and Ted Power, but not Chris Short, bringing the heat...

Urban Shocker, p, Mysterious Walker, p, Costen Shockley, 1b, Spook Jacobs, 2b, Holly Hollingshead (, Batman), of...

Bryan Adams sings the two national anthems.

Coached, of course, by Gene Stephenson, with special coach for the bullpen/ball girl, Phil Stephenson.

And finally, the AAA team would be located in a hip and trendy area of Richmond, VA.

Jan 19, 2012 04:19 AM
rating: 9
 
mrdannyg

I don't know if you spent way too much time working on this, or if BP should offer you a job.

Either way, I laughed. Thanks!

Jan 19, 2012 10:18 AM
rating: 0
 
Kevin Jebens

Yeah, I work as a book editor, and it was very hard to read "shock" three times in three lines of text. Great analysis, but man, that distracts and annoys the reader.

Jan 19, 2012 05:13 AM
rating: 0
 
Behemoth

Very hard seems a little excessive. Mildly irritating might be more accurate.

Jan 20, 2012 03:33 AM
rating: 4
 
AJ

Well, this is part of the Future Shock series.

Jan 19, 2012 06:40 AM
rating: 15
 
Brian Kopec

Darn. I was hoping for a baseball discussion in the comments. Maybe next time.

Jan 19, 2012 05:29 AM
rating: 10
 
harderj

Alright, here are a couple baseball related questions to get things going.

How good can Jason Kipnis be (Chase Utley lite)?

I'm asking this from a Strat-O-Matic perspective, primarily, as I think he's borderline first round talent in our draft and I'm drafting late.

Will he get better defensively? Will he hit lefties? Will he run?

Will Lonnie Chisenhall hit enough to be valuable, since he doesn't really walk? Am I right in assuming that Mike Moustakas is a surer bet for a left-handed third baseman?

Is Carlos Santana now the 3rd best catcher in the A.L. behind Mike Napoli and Alex Avila (with VMart's injury)?

Jan 19, 2012 05:43 AM
rating: 0
 
CongoHammer
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Well until a pro comes here to answer, I'll give my plebian take:

1. Kipnis can be very good... but I think he doesn't have as much projection left as many other MI prospects. That being said, He's a good bet for 15-20 HR with a solid average and 10-15 SB, which makes him quite valuable at what he is alreadyy. I'd say in his peak seasons he could put up a .290s average with around 25 HR and 15-20 SB. I never liked calling someone (comp) lite, but I think Jeff Kent is a better comp than Utley.

I wouldn't draft him in the first round, or even second round... guys like Cano, Pedroia and even Zobrist deserve to be ahead of him. But I'd rather have him than guys like Kelly Johnson, Martin Prado, Jemile Weeks, Ackley etc. I don't think his defense will ever be better than average, and right now it's below average. I think he'll run, but not as much as Bill James projects (18 SB with 18 HR). I think he'll always be weaker vs lefties but will improve over time.

Lonnie Prisonhall - He'll hit enough to be their starter, but not really enough to be valuable in fantasy. Moustakas hasn't walked either, but has more power and more potential upside. Prisonhall profiles as a good but not great 15-20 HR bat with a below-average average and low walk rate... Prisonhall could develop more power or discipline, but there's better options out there. He also has makeup concerns, in case you were wondering why I call him that.

Santana - I think he's better than Avila already, pretty clearly. Avila's power is real but average is a BABIP mirage, where Santana's babip is far too low and his power trumps Avila's. Napoli is his only competition...some say they'd have Santana at #1, but while Napoli's 2011 was fluky, I'd still take him at #1 in leagues that don't count defense. I wouldn't discount Wieters...personally I'd rather have him than Avila, since his upside is still quite high and had a monster second half, where Avila probably had his best season, even if he'll still be a productive regular for a while.

Jan 19, 2012 08:26 AM
rating: -6
 
harderj

Thanks much for your thoughts.

Just to clarify, it's a Strat-O-Matic rookie draft, so all the other "good ones" are taken (and I in fact have Dustin Pedroia and Howie Kendrick).

My projected first round (in which I don't even have a pick) looks like this: Mike Trout, Eric Hosmer, Brett Lawrie, Michael Pineda, Desmond Jennings, Dustin Ackley, Craig Kimbrel, Freddie Freeman, Jesus Montero, maybe Brandon Beachy, and Jason Kipnis.

But you'd put Kipnis above Ackley it sounds like.

I'll be passing on Jemile Weeks, whom Lamanna has #11, but he has Kipnis #12.

Re: Santana, I have him in Strat, where his low babip, unlucky as it might have been, does hurt his on base vs. rhp pretty seriously for 2011. But in my two A.L. only roto leagues where I also have him I think he's pretty clearly one of my five keepers.

Jan 19, 2012 10:30 AM
rating: -2
 
CambTribe

Much as I follow the Indians, I never hear about his "makeup concerns", which leads me to believe that his past indiscretion is... well, a simple indiscretion, and in the past. Probably not much to worry about there.

Unless you just really like using that nickname, which needs work, by the way. Far too easy.

Jan 19, 2012 14:54 PM
rating: 1
 
David Coonce

Lonnie Chisenhall has never been in prison.

No talent evaluator has ever mentioned any "makeup concerns."

Get off it.

Jan 19, 2012 19:42 PM
rating: 2
 
CongoHammer

He may never have been in prison, but I believe one of his college seasons was cut short due to stealing computers.

Feb 08, 2012 01:18 AM
rating: -2
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I think Kipnis can be a star, but there is going to be some challenges for him in 2012. He's no longer a surprise, and he's going to get advanced and he's going to get tested and need to make adjustments, but I believe in the talent. He's going to be an average defender, nothing more. Chisenhall needs to improve his approach in order for the bat to work, they are related issues. Right now he's a good hitter swinging at bad pitches, and you see the results. That said, he's no Moose. Santana is one of the best catchers offensively, but I still think that he's their answer at first base.

Jan 19, 2012 08:31 AM
 
harderj

Thanks for your thoughts, Kevin!

Since my Strat team has Adam Lind, Matt LaPorta, Mat Gamel, Chris Davis, Daric Barton, and Steve Pearce as possible first basemen, maybe Carlos Santana should be *my* team's long-term answer at first as well...

Jan 19, 2012 10:35 AM
rating: -3
 
CambTribe
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

"...there *is* going to be some challenges..."?

Tsk, tsk, Goldstein, real shoddy work. Are we really supposed to be satisfied with all this fantastic content, when your writing is so unforgivably subpar?

Jan 19, 2012 15:21 PM
rating: -5
 
Kampfer

In linguistic term, putting "is" between "there" and a plural noun is correct because it exhibits subject-verb agreement. Talk to a professor in linguistic in your local university for more explanation.

Jan 19, 2012 20:34 PM
rating: 2
 
CambTribe

Huh, no kidding. That's good to know, honestly.

Didn't think I'd learn anything from my horribly failed attempt at irony.

Jan 20, 2012 04:54 AM
rating: 0
 
Ogremace

so a plural subject agrees with is? Shocking.

Jan 20, 2012 13:20 PM
rating: 0
 
CongoHammer

Sorry! I guess that's the consequence of being the first post... I usually talk about the players, I swear!

Jan 19, 2012 08:03 AM
rating: -1
 
cubfan131

Anything on Jason Knapp?

Jan 19, 2012 06:05 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

He's thrown 28.1 innings in the last two years, and he's a raw arm who needs innings. That's not the best of combinations.

Jan 19, 2012 08:32 AM
 
mmontice

Interesting that you think Lindor is that much better than Javier Baez, especially considering neither have really had any professional experience thus far, and were back-to-back picks in a draft. Guess the Indians really lucked out here.

Jan 19, 2012 06:49 AM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I think Lindor is the far superior talent.

Jan 19, 2012 08:32 AM
 
APV2600

Aside from unhealthy, any report on the current status of Nick Weglarz?

Jan 19, 2012 06:59 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Bat-only prospect who stopped hitting last year. He could bounce back, but bat-only guys who don't hit are nothing.

Jan 19, 2012 08:33 AM
 
APV2600

Also, any potential in converted pitcher>outfielder Carlos Moncrief?

Jan 19, 2012 07:00 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

The athleticism is certainly intriguing, as he nearly went 20/20 in the Midwest League last year with a good number of walks and a really good arm (no surprise), but the hit tool is still in the development stages as he strikes out a TON. He was almost the sleeper.

Jan 19, 2012 08:35 AM
 
APV2600

Thanks

Jan 19, 2012 08:37 AM
rating: 0
 
timber

Is anyone else surprised to see Kipnis ahead of Santana, given the fawning all over Santana since he arrived in the majors? I'm not sure I've seen Kipnis so highly regarded anywhere else.

Jan 19, 2012 08:26 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

I've always been on the Kipnis train. He was No. 28 on my Top 101 last year, which I think was higher than most.

Jan 19, 2012 08:36 AM
 
bkirkman

I was surprised by that, too, but I think it really points to the fact that KG believes Santana is destined for 1B long-term.

Jan 20, 2012 08:29 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

As for the triple shock, that's on me. These are written in fits. You talk to someone, you make sentences out of it, you talk to someone else, you make some more and change other, then you assemble it all together. Editors should have caught it, I should have caught it, and the onus is on me to read better for flow. I'll wear it. These are a ton of work, and I hope the info is good enough to overcome that.

Jan 19, 2012 08:28 AM
 
bobbygrace

> I hope the info is good enough to overcome that.

It is.

Jan 19, 2012 09:12 AM
rating: 18
 
MightyMoGreen

Totally worth it, and watching you do all alone what Baseball America does with a team of writers is always fun. When you both start posting top 10 / 11's at about the same pace and they slowly start pulling away it always reminds me of racing trains as a kid. If you start when they're just pulling out, you can keep up for a while, but that train just keeps on rolling.

Even though I goofed on you as well (not a shocker) I at least tried to keep that word out of my post. You never want to post something Cyrano would sneer at.

Jan 19, 2012 15:41 PM
rating: 4
 
cooper7d7

In the Top 10 Under 25 list, does the inclusion of "Three Star Prospects" mean anything or was it just a copy&paste mistake?

5. Michael Brantley, OF
Three-Star Prospects
6. Dillon Howard, RHP
7. Ronny Rodriguez, SS

Jan 19, 2012 08:50 AM
rating: 0
 
jfranco77

Hagadone, Lee, Adams, Barnes, Sturdevant... is it normal for a club to have 5 guys who are expected to pitch in the majors? I know their MLB bullpen is a bit shaky (Perez, Perez, Pestano, Sipp, and who knows after that) but that seems very high.

Jan 19, 2012 10:20 AM
rating: -2
 
CambTribe

Don't forget Joe Smith. He and Pestano may have been Cleveland's best two relievers last year. Really, there are fewer question marks there than with the rotation and lineup. Anyhow, most any major league bullpen could be considered shaky, by virtue of being full of nothing but relievers.

Jan 19, 2012 15:41 PM
rating: 2
 
harderj

Shhh...

;-)

The relatively anonymous Joe Smith has an amazing reversed-righty 2011 Strat-O-Matic card that will likely be available in most drafts.

I have him as the third best right-handed reliever (in our rookie and free agent draft), after Craig Kimbrel and Kenley Jansen, and on a par with Eduardo Sanchez (but with twice as many innings).

But Smith would be ahead of guys like Jason Motte, Jordan Walden, Javy Guerra, Greg Holland, Steve Cishek, Edward Mujica, Mark Melancon, Vinnie Pestano (trouble against lefties), and Al Albuquerque (hurt) on strictly 2011 value.

Good call.

Jan 20, 2012 03:01 AM
rating: -2
 
mtgannon

How would you compare Kipnis to Ackley from a fantasy perspective and a real world perspective? My take is that Ackley will probably be better from an OBP perspective and they should be similar in SBs, but Kipnis may hit a few more HRs, drive in a few more runs and score a few more runs playing on a better offense?

Jan 19, 2012 10:33 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

Sounds about right to me. I'd give Ackley a SB edge as well.

Jan 19, 2012 10:54 AM
 
dgard03

Kevin, Thanks for the list. I, as well, am a big believer in Lindor. Could he be a Profar type guy? That is kind of what I imagine if everything goes right this year in Low A.

Jan 19, 2012 12:39 PM
rating: 0
 
CambTribe

From what I've read about the two, sounds like Lindor might have a marginally higher ceiling, based on the tools. Of course, Profar already has the performance to back it up, and his legendary makeup probably trumps Lindor's merely off-the-charts makeup.

Between those two and Machado, it seems that, in three years or so, we could see the most exciting trio of young shortstops since the Jeter/Garciaparra/Tejada heyday.

Yay/nay, KG?

Jan 19, 2012 15:16 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

That's the thing about Profar, he's so good right NOW at such a young age. Gotta give him the edge.

Jan 19, 2012 17:04 PM
 
huztler

I don't have any evidence for this claim but... no chance. That would be the first time that the top 3 SS in the low minors/HS all panned out and reached their theoretical ceilings. There is a better chance that none of them ever make a single all-star game. Top shortstop prospects don't usually pan out or are moved off the position. See Alicedes Escobar, Tim Beckham, Mike Moustakas, Brandon Wood, Justin Upton, Joel Guzman, Jose Reyes, Wilson Betemit, BJ Upton, and the legendary Antonio Perez... plus other gems such as Reid Brignac, Gordon Beckham, Chris Nelson, Matt Bush and Angel Berroa. There is one star SS in that group but mostly busts and center fielders. That was literally the top SS for the past 10 years.

In my opinion the 3 you are referring to don't have near the ceiling that many of the aforementioned busts did. Those 3 fit much more into the Elvis Andrus mold than an offensive force at the position.

Jan 19, 2012 17:37 PM
rating: 0
 
Asinwreck

How many of these guys can shave?

Jan 19, 2012 18:40 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Kevin Goldstein
BP staff

It's a great question. We discussed the logic behind this list briefly on the new podcast and will do so more next week. I almost considered writing a separate piece about the making of this list, but I talk better than I write.

Jan 19, 2012 20:25 PM
 
Behemoth

The impression I get is that this is actually a reasonably well run system, which had the top-end cut off it due to the Ubaldo trade, and a number of graduations. They seem to be going the right way about rebuilding it, with a pretty good 2011 draft, and a lot of high-upside international guys. Fair?

Jan 20, 2012 03:38 AM
rating: 1
 
apbadogs

Thanks much for your thoughts.

Just to clarify, it's a Strat-O-Matic rookie draft, so all the other "good ones" are taken (and I in fact have Dustin Pedroia and Howie Kendrick).

My projected first round (in which I don't even have a pick) looks like this: Mike Trout, Eric Hosmer, Brett Lawrie, Michael Pineda, Desmond Jennings, Dustin Ackley, Craig Kimbrel, Freddie Freeman, Jesus Montero, maybe Brandon Beachy, and Jason Kipnis.

But you'd put Kipnis above Ackley it sounds like.

I'll be passing on Jemile Weeks, whom Lamanna has #11, but he has Kipnis #12.
*****
We just started our league draft (APBA Baseball for Windows)...pretty knowledgeable bunch...Hosmer went 1st, Kipnis, Matt Moore, Moustakas, Ackley, Weeks, Pineda, Lawrie were all gone by my pick at #9...I took Chisenhall to fill a need, hopefully he'll pan out. I really wanted Ackley or Kipnis though...

Jan 20, 2012 04:23 AM
rating: -1
 
harderj

Thanks for this. Always helpful to hear how other leagues pan out.

Did Trout not go high?

Moore doesn't have a Strat card, so he's not eligible in our draft. Plus, lefties get hammered, relatively speaking, in an 11-team league, so they tend to go lower.

Jan 20, 2012 14:11 PM
rating: -3
 
apbadogs

Yes...forgot him...think 3rd.

Jan 20, 2012 15:18 PM
rating: -1
 
shastings77

Thanks for writing this piece. You mentioned in the beginning of the article that this is the youngest and riskiest group of prospects from any franchise. Is it also unusual to have that many among the top prospects focused on one position? Especially with regards to shortstop? 4 of top 8 and 5 of top 15 prospects being shortstops just seems odd.

Jan 21, 2012 13:10 PM
rating: 0
 
Behemoth

I think that's exactly what you would expect, because the guys in a system like this are often too young to have ha dto move off short. In a year or two, you may have a couple of shortstops, a second baseman, a third baseman and a bust, instead of five shortstops.

Jan 22, 2012 13:56 PM
rating: 1
 
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