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Baseball-Intellect’s Top-100 Prospects of 2010

April 27, 2010 BY ALEX EISENBERG 8 Comments

Before I begin, let me tell you how I came about these rankings. These rankings I tried to base off my thoughts prior to the start of the 2010 season. So any player’s performance to start the season I tried to put in the back of my mind. I tried to stay true to a player’s grade and team ranking. There are a couple exceptions, however.

Two players, Nick Hagadone and Neftali Feliz, I projected to be starters early in the off-season. As Spring Training arrived, I started to become more convinced they would end up in the bullpen. As a result, I moved up Lonnie Chisenhall ahead of Hagadone and Justin Smoak and Martin Perez ahead of Feliz. The last exception was Trevor Reckling. It was a change I wanted to make for a while, but never found time to actually go through with it. Reckling, the more I looked at his numbers, worried me and I wanted to move Hank Conger ahead of him. Nevertheless, for those three players, they are ranked in the proper places for somebody with their letter grade.

I’ve excluded two players from the list entirely that had the letter grade to be ranked: Danny Duff of the Kansas City Royals because of his decision to leave baseball and Jared Mitchell because of an injury that will force him to miss the entire season.

I’ve also left notes for a few of the players, especially ones that have gotten off noteworthy starts this season. At the bottom of the article, there is a list of prospects that just missed the cut and some names with the potential to be on next year’s list. I also break down the top 100 prospects by team.

So with all that being said, here are your top 100 prospects for the 2010 season:

1. Jason Heyward | Atlanta Braves (1) | RF | Grade – A


Heyward and Strasburg are basically interchangeable, but I’m going with the safety of an everyday position player over the risk of a pitcher


2. Stephen Strasburg | Washington Nationals (1) | RHP | Grade – A


3. Buster Posey | San Francisco Giants (1) | C | Grade – A


Defense gives Posey the edge over Santana…


4. Carlos Santana | Cleveland Indians (1) | C | Grade – A


Offensively, Santana grades out a little better than Posey because of better power potential


5. Brian Matusz | Baltimore Orioles (1) | LHP | Grade – A-


6. Mike Stanton | Florida Marlins (1) | OF | Grade – A-


7. Jesus Montero | New York Yankees (1) | C/1b/DH | Grade – A-


8. Aroldis Chapman | Cincinnati Reds (1) | LHP | Grade – A-


Command is really the only question mark…


9. Martin Perez | Texas Rangers (1) | LHP | Grade – A-


10. Justin Smoak | Texas Rangers (2) | 1b | Grade – A-


Proving last year’s oblique injury is well behind him…


11. Pedro Alvarez | Pittsburgh Pirates (1) | 3b/1b | Grade – A-


12. Desmond Jennings | Tampa Bay Rays (1) | CF | Grade – A-


Carl Crawford’s future replacement…


13. Domonic Brown | Philadelphia Phillies (1) | RF | Grade – A-


14. Wade Davis | Tampa Bay Rays (2) | RHP | Grade – A-


Nice start to the season, but his command has been shaky…


15. Neftali Feliz | Texas Rangers (3) | RHP | Grade – A-


I’m just getting the overall sense that he’s going to remain in the bullpen…I could be wrong though


16. Jeremy Hellickson | Tampa Bay Rays (3) | RHP | Grade – A-/B+


17. Dustin Ackley | Seattle Mariners (1) | CF/2b | Grade – A-/B+


Off to a really slow start…strike zone judgement has been excellent, but just isn’t getting results at the moment


18. Starlin Castro | Chicago Cubs (1) | SS | Grade – B+


Off to a tremendous start…


19. Julio Teheran | Atlanta Braves (2) | RHP | Grade – B+


20. Jacob Turner | Detroit Tigers (1) | RHP | Grade – B+


This has to be a concern…hopefully it turns out there is nothing structurally wrong with his arm (H/T to Bless You Boys)


21. Jarrod Parker | Arizona Diamondbacks (1) | RHP | Grade – B+


Would have been given an A- grade and ranked in the 7 – 10 range had he not just undergone Tommy John surgery


22. Christian Friedrich | Colorado Rockies (1) | LHP | Grade – B+


23. Tyler Matzek | Colorado Rockies (2) | LHP | Grade – B+


24. Aaron Hicks | Minnesota Twins (1) | CF | Grade – B+


25. Casey Kelly | Boston Red Sox (1) | RHP | Grade – B+


26. Jenrry Mejia | New York Mets (1) | RHP | Grade – B+


Mets are using him out of relief, but I’m pretty sure it’s a temporary thing and they’ll eventually move him to the starting rotation


27. Lonnie Chisenhall | Cleveland Indians (2) | 3b | Grade – B+


28. Casey Crosby | Detroit Tigers (2) | LHP | Grade – B+


Elbow injury has sidelined him so far this season, which is concerning considering he’s a Tommy John survivor. Tiger fans must be frustrated that both their elite pitching prospects are dealing with arm-related injuries at the moment


29. Chris Carter | Oakland Athletics (1) | 1b | Grade – B+


30. Wil Myers | Kansas City Royals (1) | C | Grade – B+


31. Ryan Westmoreland | Boston Red Sox (2) | CF | Grade – B+


Would have ranked in the 20 – 25 range had he not undergone brain surgery recently


32. Derek Norris | Washington Nationals (2) | C | Grade – B+


A little worried about his hamate/wrist injuries, but he’s an excellent offensive catcher if he can stay at the position


33. Jaff Decker | San Diego Padres (1) | OF | Grade – B+


34. Kyle Drabek | Toronto Blue Jays (1) | RHP | Grade – B+


35. Michael Montgomery | Kansas City Royals (2) | LHP | Grade – B+


Will be one of baseball’s best pitching prospects by the end of the year, if he isn’t already now


36. Brett Lawrie | Milwaukee Brewers (1) | 2b | Grade – B+


37. Simon Castro | San Diego Padres (2) | RHP | Grade – B+


38. Mike Trout | Los Angeles Angels (1) | CF | Grade – B+


39. Chris Withrow | Los Angeles Dodgers (1) | RHP | Grade – B+


Battling major command problems at the moment…


40. James Darnell | San Diego Padres (3) | 3b | Grade – B+


41. Fernando Martinez | New York Mets (2) | OF | Grade – B+


42. Nick Hagadone | Cleveland Indians (3) | LHP | Grade – B+


Graded him down a little after I became more convinced the Indians would pitch him out of the bullpen.


43. Josh Bell | Baltimore Orioles (2) | 3b | Grade – B+/B


44. Shelby Miller | St. Louis Cardinals (1) | RHP | Grade – B+/B


45. Dee Gordon | Los Angeles Dodgers (2) | SS | Grade – B+/B


46. Kyle Gibson | Minnesota Twins (2) | RHP | Grade – B/B+


47. Aaron Crow | Kansas City Royals (3) | RHP | Grade – B/B+


I’m worried about his poor start to the season…


48. Michael Taylor | Oakland Athletics (2) | OF | Grade – B/B+


49. Arodys Vizcaino | Atlanta Braves (3) | RHP | Grade – B


Thought I actually graded him a touch higher when I went back to get his grade…I think he’ll move up in next year’s list


50. Logan Morrison | Florida Marlins (2) | 1b | Grade – B


Probably would have graded Morrison a bit higher after further reflection…


51. Wilmer Flores | New York Mets (3) | SS/3b/1b | Grade – B


52. Brett Wallace | Toronto Blue Jays (2) | 3b/1b | Grade – B


53. Tyler Flowers | Chicago White Sox (1) | C | Grade – B


54. Tony Sanchez | Pittsburgh Pirates (2) | C | Grade – B


Proving last year was no fluke…


55. Donavan Tate | San Diego Padres (4) | CF | Grade – B


56. Matt Moore | Tampa Bay Rays (4) | LHP | Grade – B


57. Ike Davis | New York Mets (4) | 1b | Grade – B


58. Alex Colome | Tampa Bay Rays (5) | RHP | Grade – B


59. Freddie Freeman | Atlanta Braves (4) | 1b | Grade – B


60. Zack Britton | Baltimore Orioles (3) | LHP | Grade – B


61. Ethan Martin | Los Angeles Dodgers (3) | RHP | Grade – B


62. Jiovanni Mier | Houston Astros (1) | SS | Grade – B


63. Madison Bumgarner | San Francisco Giants (2) | LHP | Grade – B


Has the potential to move back up next year’s list, but stuff/dominance needs to return


64. Jordan Lyles | Houston Astros (2) | RHP | Grade – B


65. Jake Arrieta | Baltimore Orioles (4) | RHP | Grade – B


With Chris Tillman and Brad Bergensen struggling, a rotation spot might be there for the taking for Arrieta


66. Jhoulys Chacin | Colorado Rockies (3) | RHP | Grade – B


67. Zach Wheeler | San Francisco Giants (3) | RHP | Grade – B


Not at quite the same level of the other elite prep pitching prospects from the 2009 draft, but still an excellent prospect


68. Wilson Ramos | Minnesota Twins (3) | C | Grade – B


69. Mike Moustakas | Kansas City Royals (4) | 3b | Grade – B


70. Chad James | Florida Marlins (3) | LHP | Grade – B


71. Reid Brignac | Tampa Bay Rays (6) | SS | Grade – B


Nice start to the season in a utility role for the Rays


72. Hank Conger | Los Angeles Angels (3) | Grade – B


73. Grant Green | Oakland Athletics (4) | SS | Grade – B


He’s doing fine for now, but he has some red flags that I worry about…


74. Jaime Garcia | St. Louis Cardinals (2) | LHP | Grade – B


75. Yonder Alonso | Cincinnati Reds (2) | 1b/LF | Grade – B


Reds are using Alonso in left field, which I can understand since they don’t want to ask the established player (Joey Votto) to move off first base for a rookie. However, Votto is the better athlete and would be much better in left field than Alonso would


76. Josh Reddick | Boston Red Sox (3) | OF | Grade – B


I thought he’d come out this season raking, but he’s really struggled early on


77. Jose Tabata | Pittsburgh Pirates (3) | OF | Grade – B


Hitting for average, but would like to see more power…


78. Todd Frazier | Cincinnati Reds (3) | 2b/3b/LF | Grade – B


Off to a slow start…


79. Mike Leake | Cincinnati Reds (4) | RHP | Grade – B


Everybody knew it wouldn’t take long for Leake to reach the Majors, but I don’t think anybody expected him not to have to throw a minor league pitch


80. Zach Stewart | Toronto Blue Jays (3) | RHP | Grade – B


81. Tanner Scheppers | Texas Rangers (4) | RHP | Grade – B


Imagine Feliz and Scheppers at the back end of that bullpen…


82. Eric Hosmer | Kansas City Royals (5) | 1b | Grade – B


Killing the ball in Wilmington…tells you how important eye site truly is as Hosmer underwent lasik eye surgery last year. Will probably rocket up this list by the end of the year…


83. Hak-Ju Lee | Chicago Cubs (2) | SS | Grade – B


84. Drew Storen | Washington Nationals (3) | RHP | Grade – B


85. Brett Jackson | Chicago Cubs (3) | CF | Grade – B


86. Josh Vitters | Chicago Cubs (4) | 3b | Grade – B


87. Dan Hudson | Chicago White Sox (2) | RHP | Grade – B


88. Miguel Sano | Minnesota Twins (4) | 3b | Grade – B


89. Hector Rondon | Cleveland Indians (4) | RHP | Grade – B


Off to a slow start…needs to get that home run rate under control


90. Thomas Neal | San Francisco Giants (4) | LF | Grade – B


91. Craig Kimbrel | Atlanta Braves (5) | RHP | Grade – B


92. Matt Sweeney | Tampa Bay Rays (7) | 1b/3b | Grade – B


93. Trevor Reckling | Los Angeles Angels (3) | LHP | Grade – B


94. Tim Melville | Kansas City Royals (6) | RHP | Grade – B


Scuffling early in the season…of the Royals’ big pitching prospects, Melville carries the most risk


95. Phillippe Aumont | Philadelphia Phillies (2) | RHP | Grade – B


He’s starting for now, but I fully expect him to still end up in relief


96. Alex Avila | Detroit Tigers (3) | C | Grade – B


97. Wilin Rosario | Colorado Rockies (4) | C | Grade – B/B-


98. Jemile Weeks | Oakland Athletics (4) | 2b | Grade – B/B-


99. Logan Forsythe | San Diego Padres (5) | 3b/2b | Grade – B/B-


100. Austin Jackson | Detroit Tigers (4) | CF | Grade – B/B-


A mixed bag to start the season…overall numbers look nice, but you can see he’s hitting around .500 on balls in play and he’s striking out way too much

JUST MISSING THE CUT (in no particular order)

Tim Beckham | SS | Tampa Bay Rays
Jon Niese | LHP | New York Mets
Alex White | RHP | Cleveland Indians
Aaron Miller | LHP | Los Angeles Dodgers
Eric Arnett | RHP | Milwaukee Brewers
Chad Jenkins | RHP | Toronto Blue Jays
Travis d’Arnaud | C | Toronto Blue Jays
Jay Jackson | RHP | Chicago Cubs
Chris Heisey | OF | Cincinnati Reds
Jon Lucroy | C | Milwaukee Brewers
Jason Castro | C | Houston Astros
Danny Espinosa | SS | Washington Nationals
Josh Lindblom | RHP | Los Angeles Dodgers
Andy Oliver | LHP | Detroit Tigers
Jason Knapp | RHP | Cleveland Indians
Garrett Richards | RHP | Los Angeles Angels

SOME NAMES YOU MIGHT SEE ON NEXT YEAR’S LIST (in no particular order)

Christian Bethancourt | C | Atlanta Braves
Randall Delgado | RHP | Atlanta Braves
Jose Ramirez | RHP | New York Yankees
Austin Romine | C | New York Yankees
Wilking Rodriguez | RHP | Tampa Bay Rays
Jarred Cosart | RHP | Philadelphia Phillies
Domingo Santana | RF | Philadelphia Phillies
Trayce Thompson | OF | Chicago White Sox
Daniel Fields | SS/CF | Detroit Tigers
Tanner Bushue | RHP | Houston Astros
John Lamb | LHP | Kansas City Royals
Noel Arguelles | LHP | Kansas City Royals
Jake Odorizzi | RHP | Milwaukee Brewers
Angel Morales | CF | Minnesota Twins
Starling Marte | CF | Pittsburgh Pirates
Eduardo Sanchez | RHP | St. Louis Cardinals
Max Stassi | C | Oakland Athletics
Tyler Skaggs | LHP | Los Angeles Angels
Fabio Martinez-Mesa | RHP | Los Angeles Angels
Peter Bourjos | CF | Los Angeles Angels
Nick Franklin | SS | Seattle Mariners
Marc Krauss | LF/1b | Arizona Diamondbacks
Tim Wheeler | CF | Colorado Rockies
Garrett Gould | RHP | Los Angeles Dodgers
Allen Webster | RHP | Los Angeles Dodgers
Wilmer Font | RHP | Texas Rangers
Everett Williams | OF | San Diego Padres
Jonathan Galvez | SS/2b | San Diego Padres
Edinson Rincon | 3b | San Diego Padres
Keyvius Sampson | RHP | San Diego Padres
Tommy Joseph | C | San Francisco Giants
Rafael Rodriguez | RF | San Francisco Giants

TOP-100 PROSPECTS BY TEAM

AL East

BALTIMORE Orioles (4) – 5, 44, 60, 65

BOSTON Red Sox (3) – 25, 33, 76

NEW YORK Yankees (1) – 7

TAMPA BAY Rays (7) – 12, 14, 16, 56, 58, 71, 92

TORONTO Blue Jays (3) – 36, 53, 80

AL Central

CHICAGO White Sox (2) – 53, 87

CLEVELAND Indians (4) – 4, 27, 43, 89

DETROIT Tigers (4) – 20, 28, 96, 100

KANSAS CITY Royals (6) – 31, 32, 48, 69, 82, 94

MINNESOTA Twins (4) – 24, 47, 68, 88

AL West

LOS ANGELES Angels (3) – 39, 72, 93

OAKLAND Athletics (4) – 30, 49, 73, 98

SEATTLE Mariners (1) – 17

TEXAS Rangers (4) – 9, 10, 15, 81

NL East

ATLANTA Braves (5) – 1, 19, 50, 59, 91

FLORIDA Marlins (3) – 6, 51, 70

NEW YORK Mets (4) – 26, 42, 52, 57

PHILADELPHIA Phillies (2) – 13, 95

WASHINGTON Nationals (3) – 2, 34, 84

NL Central

CHICAGO Cubs (4) – 18, 83, 85, 86

CINCINNATI Reds (4) – 8, 75, 78, 79

HOUSTON Astros (2) – 62, 64

MILWAUKEE Brewers (1) – 37

PITTSBURGH Pirates (3) – 11, 54, 77

ST. LOUIS Cardinals (2) – 45, 74

NL West

ARIZONA Diamonbacks (1) – 21

COLORADO Rockies (4) – 22, 23, 66, 97

LOS ANGELES Dodgers (3) – 40, 46, 61

SAN DIEGO Padres (5) – 35, 38, 41, 55, 99

SAN FRANCISCO Giants (4) – 3, 63, 67, 90

8 Comments »

  • Kevin said:

    Great list. I was wondering if players like Drew Cumberland, Robert Stock and Derrik Gibson have chances to take huge jumps into the top 100?

    Ryan Kalish dropping as a prospect?

    Thank you!

    Kevin

  • Alex Eisenberg (author) said:

    All three could end up in next year’s top-100 though I wouldn’t project them too. Of the three, Cumberland is probably the most likely to get on that list next year since he’s the best player at the moment even though his upside isn’t the highest. Stock is still a big wild card as I don’t have a great feel for him as a player yet and I need to see more power out of Gibson.

    I don’t see Kalish dropping as a prospect…I expect him to up his letter grade for next year’s Red Sox list.

  • Ramiro said:

    Cool list, you should do some research on Brandon Belt from the San Jose Giants for next years list, really solid hitter, reminds me of Joey Votto. Tell me what you think about him. Thanks and great list!

  • Alex Eisenberg (author) said:

    Belt was my 17th rated prospect in the Giants farm system and I gave him a C+ grade. Here is what I said in his little write-up:

    Intriguing first base prospect…didn’t have an outstanding year at Texas, but he’s tall and lean with some projection remaining and he’s not a stiff — he’s actually a good athlete…walked more than he struck out in his sophomore season, so there is some potential here, a sleeper

    So I think he’s a guy to watch. He’s a college-age prospect, so he’s doing what he’s supposed to do in the California League and the real challenge will come when he faces better pitching. He’s a first baseman, so he really has to hit well to make an impact.

  • Holgash said:

    How about the start to the Triple-A season that Arrieta has had? And Tillman threw a no-hitter the other night? If they continue to pitch this well maybe Hernandez and Bergesen will be moved to the bullpen, so that these two can get some experience in the ML rotation?

  • Alex Eisenberg (author) said:

    Holgash, you are a lot more optimistic about the O’s right now than I am…we’ve got some nice young arms, but so many holes to fill. I do think Hernandez would best be used out of the bullpen and if Bergesen can’t turn it around, the bullpen may be the way to go with him as well.

  • Holgash said:

    Haha. Believe me I’m not that optimistic about them right now but you have to find the positives. I hope Roberts can find a way to get healthy for next year (there’s no way for us to compete this year so if he needs the year off that’s fine), I hope Pie can stay healthy when he gets back and prove to us that he’s an everyday outfielder. Then in the offseason, MacPhail needs to go get a nice 1B, LF/DH, and upgrade our SS offensively. If he can do those things, then I’ll be a little excited about next year. What’s going on with Reimold and Jones? I feel like Jones is just pressing and his plate discipline is worse than normal (it’s below average to start), he’s not hitting the ball where it’s pitched and instead he’s trying to pull homers to left field all the time. I’m not sure what’s up with Reimold, is he still hurt? If those two can turn it around, that should bode well for next year. Right now, though, we’re in 1st place for the Anthony Rendon sweepstakes, how good do you think he will be?

  • Alex Eisenberg (author) said:

    Jones discipline/pitch recognition is just a mess right now…very disheartening to be honest. And I’m not sure what’s up with Reimold either…I don’t think he’s hurt.

    I’m still not disappointed with the rebuilding of this organization, but there needs to be a way to pick up the pace and keep up with the big boys of the division without having to take on bloated and overpaid free agents. There has to be a much more serious investment into Latin America and the draft. Take the money you signed Garrett Atkins with and invest it into player development. Nobody is going to miss Atkins in Baltimore.

    I haven’t scouted Rendon much, but all reports suggest he’s an elite prospect…I really don’t think we’re the worst team in baseball so I doubt we’ll get a chance to draft him though. That said, it’s expected to be an extremely deep draft next year, so we’ll get somebody good.