BA Southern League Top 20

toonsterwu
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BA Southern League Top 20

Postby toonsterwu » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:29 pm

Figure we might as well have a separate thread for it. Chat's on-going right now - no Cubs question has come through yet. Sorry about formatting.

Total side note - I completely did not realize that Felix Pena had a very solid campaign (at least, per my expectations). Frankie Montas at 17 seems low.

SOUTHERN LEAGUE TOP 20 PROSPECTS
1. Miguel Sano, 3b, Chattanooga (Twins) 11. Willson Contreras, c/3b, Tennessee (Cubs)
2. Byron Buxton, of, Chattanooga (Twins) 12. Robert Stephenson, rhp, Pensacola (Reds)
3. Orlando Arcia, ss, Biloxi (Brewers) 13. Aaron Blair, rhp, Mobile (Diamondbacks)
4. Kyle Schwarber, c, Tennessee (Cubs) 14. Jorge Polanco, ss/2b, Chattanooga (Twins)
5. Blake Snell, lhp, Montgomery (Rays) 15. Brandon Drury, 2b/3b, Mobile (Diamondbacks)
6. Max Kepler, of/1b, Chattanooga (Twins) 16. Mallex Smith, of, Mississippi (Braves)
7. Jorge Lopez, rhp, Biloxi (Brewers) 17. Frankie Montas, rhp, Birmingham (White Sox)
8. Tim Anderson, ss, Birmingham (White Sox) 18. Jesse Winker, of, Pensacola (Reds)
9. Jose Berrios, rhp, Chattanooga (Twins) 19. Albert Almora, of, Tennessee (Cubs)
10. Cody Reed, lhp, Pensacola (Reds) 20. Tyrell Jenkins, rhp, Mississippi (Braves)

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Re: BA Southern League Top 20

Postby davell » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:58 pm

Roy (Indiana): How Close did Ryan Williams come to making this list?


Matt Eddy: You know, I didn't get much information on him for SL coverage, but subsequent research into Tennessee RHP Ryan Williams reveals that he has excellent control. He's definitely on my radar going forward.


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Re: BA Southern League Top 20

Postby TomtheBombadil » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:04 pm

Roberts Stephenson is one of the handful best pitching prospects in the minors. He's one of the seeming few top, high pedigree guys who survived that [expletive]...elbow ligament purge last year, and his health, durability, and conditioning are top notch to go with premium stuff. Unless I am forgetting someone, don't think so, he's my single favorite RHSP prospect in the minors. Seeing him at 12 is a little wtf for me, but that's why the league lists are meh. I see a bigger Chris Archer once he gets to the majors.

Snell's one of those guys I've been waiting for a breakout for for years. Now that he's had it, I'm into skeptic mode. Still - big, healthy lefty who can hit 96 and has a couple average or maybe a little better offspeeds (really, just the changeup) is a fun prospect to follow. Needs to improve his breaking ball, but his fastball/changeup and durability could make him a 3-4 starter.
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Re: BA Southern League Top 20

Postby TomtheBombadil » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:05 pm

davell wrote:Roy (Indiana): How Close did Ryan Williams come to making this list?


Matt Eddy: You know, I didn't get much information on him for SL coverage, but subsequent research into Tennessee RHP Ryan Williams reveals that he has excellent control. He's definitely on my radar going forward.


Thrill us with knowledge.


A hint that he's probably an org arm who just had a "career year" of sorts, no?

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Re: BA Southern League Top 20

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:11 pm

Williams has a skillset that touches some scouting blind spots, so unless he explicitly asked scouts about him, it's no surprise that people weren't itching to mention him.

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Re: BA Southern League Top 20

Postby davell » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:18 pm

Joe R (Newport News, VA): The player whose absence surprised me the most was Billy McKinney. Has Almora really passed him by?


Matt Eddy: Yes, Almora has passed McKinney, according to sources I contacted for this ranking. Scouts weren't bullish on either, but if neither is a frontline masher, then Almora at least has a carrying tool with his glove. You can read everything I have on Almora in his capsule, but regarding McKinney, a lack of notable power or speed or defensive ability or arm really cuts into his ceiling. His track record for hitting is stronger than Almora's, of course, but scouts noticed poor timing at the plate for McKinney this season. He tended to stride too early and hit without his weight behind him, in the words of one source. This is a correctable problem, of course, but on the merits of 2015, I didn't see a compelling argument in his favor.
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Re: BA Southern League Top 20

Postby davell » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:23 pm

Transmogrified Tiger wrote:Williams has a skillset that touches some scouting blind spots, so unless he explicitly asked scouts about him, it's no surprise that people weren't itching to mention him.


Absolutely. I just wouldn't have bothered answering the initial question that was asked, if that's all I had to give back.
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Re: BA Southern League Top 20

Postby TomtheBombadil » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:56 pm

OTOH, it's 2015 and the Cubs have arguably the most publicized farm system in the sport. How possible is it, really, that the top performing full season pitcher in the system got over looked? I mean if this list is so loaded that Stephenson couldn't make it on until 12, how much room is there really for a college senior draftee without much of a fastball? Hendricks, the guy we like to think Williams will be even though Hendricks is a little bit of an outlier himself, was acknowledged by these league lists despite having skills that we might imagine scouts still underrate.

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Re: BA Southern League Top 20

Postby Duke Silver » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:01 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:OTOH, it's 2015 and the Cubs have arguably the most publicized farm system in the sport. How possible is it, really, that the top performing full season pitcher in the system got over looked? I mean if this list is so loaded that Stephenson couldn't make it on until 12, how much room is there really for a college senior draftee without much of a fastball? Hendricks, the guy we like to think Williams will be even though Hendricks is a little bit of an outlier himself, was acknowledged by these league lists despite having skills that we might imagine scouts still underrate.


Hendricks also had a full season at high-A before moving up to AA. There was plenty to look at before he got to this level, unlike Williams. I agree, he probably wasn't overlooked, in the sense that the list is really strong and it would be impossibly difficult for Williams to make it. But, he basically admitted that he knew nothing about Williams, anyway.

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Re: BA Southern League Top 20

Postby Transmogrified Tiger » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:02 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:Hendricks, the guy we like to think Williams will be even though Hendricks is a little bit of an outlier himself, was acknowledged by these league lists despite having skills that we might imagine scouts still underrate.


Is this true? I'm not a BA subscriber so I can't be certain, but it doesn't look like Hendricks didn't show up in a post-season Top 20 until the PCL list after he had several good starts in MLB.

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Re: BA Southern League Top 20

Postby davell » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:07 pm

Hendricks was basically a top 20ish guy in the Rangers system at the time we acquired him.
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Re: BA Southern League Top 20

Postby TomtheBombadil » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:07 pm

Transmogrified Tiger wrote:
TomtheBombadil wrote:Hendricks, the guy we like to think Williams will be even though Hendricks is a little bit of an outlier himself, was acknowledged by these league lists despite having skills that we might imagine scouts still underrate.


Is this true? I'm not a BA subscriber so I can't be certain, but it doesn't look like Hendricks didn't show up in a post-season Top 20 until the PCL list after he had several good starts in MLB.


He made the NWL Top 20 in 2011.

http://www.lonestarball.com/2012/7/31/3 ... hicago-for

http://www.baseballamerica.com/statisti ... ards/33555

As you can see - he also got acknowledged for having the best changeup in the Texas League for 2012.

So when looking that up...There's a Sickels piece that claims Hendricks hit 94 in college and initially in the pros. I *do* think that Hendricks has a little extra in him with age and strength, similar to how Shields picked up a tick as he bulked up naturally over time. Hendricks has a really strong delivery - one of the better ones. Williams does not look so smooth on the mound. I do not remember Williams showing that kind of velocity, 94, in either college or the pros. I strongly suspect that Eddy didn't know who Williams was simply because the scouts and whoever else that help come up with this list just weren't impressed.

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Re: BA Southern League Top 20

Postby craig » Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:30 am

Thanks for list. That's a very, very strong league. Heh heh, when Schwarber is #4, and justifiably so, it speaks to that. BA gives "ranking" to it's league lists; Southern was 5-star, Midwest was 2-star, for example. Twins with four top-ten guys there, pretty nice.

As I mentioned in other thread, I'm surprised/pleased that in such a deep list, Almora was able to make it at all. The comment about him having a "carrying tool" is well taken; he doesn't have to hit a lot to become a long-term major-leaguer. Defense and contact can keep you around.

We know McKinney isn't power or speed or cannon or defense. If he's going to have a carrying tool, the tool that needs to carry him will obviously need to be hit bat. So some scouting concerns about his bat are concerning. But, given the depth/quality/talent in that league, not surprising that a contact-hitting LFer who hit a good but not-amazing .285/.766 didn't make it. Next year is another year.

McKinney has been moved very rapidly, playing AA season at age 20. But, I wonder if the Cubs won't take it reasonably slow with him from this point. With Schwarber/Soler/Coghlan, plus Bryant, LF/RF should be well stocked for the short term. So I would expect McKinney to start again at Tenn next spring, and rejoin the championship Myrtle guys. McKinney will obviously need to hit >.300 or bump up his HR's somewhat.

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Re: BA Southern League Top 20

Postby craig » Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:47 am

Totally not surprised that williams got negligible attention. In a large, 5-star league, why would managers even be talking about a part-year control pitcher? 2.76 ERA, he was nice performance-wise, but that's not super-amazing, or ballpark to Kyle Hendricks who was 1.85 ERA at same level/age, and that wasn't even enough to get on the list.

If a Cub pitcher was to get consideration, I expect Pierce Johnson would have gotten more.

My friend is friend with one of Cubs top pitching scouts. He claims that Williams can get it up to 94-95, but usually runs 91-93. (I think he's a bit of a fast-gun velocity-inflater...) But, it's not like Williams doesn't have anything to work with. If he's got five pitches and can command all of them variably well, that's not bad. In a world where the Cubs traded for Dan Haren, an anti-awful back-end guy on a team with lots of offense and a strong bullpen can help. Not expecting Williams to ever do much for us, but you never know.

Thing with Hendricks is that the change is/was SO good. It helps to have one plus-plus pitch, one put-away pitch, one pitch that hitters fear. I don't think Williams has any individual pitch that is really good.

One other note on BA lists: BA guys invest a lot of time on draft. So if there was a pre-draft guy who scouts thought might project into something, I think then that name is already in BA's head. If the guy then emerges in the minors, he's already in memory bank. Or if he's been in a league list or team list a previous season, the BA writers will all be familiar.


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