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 Post subject: NSBB Top 50 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:56 pm 
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**The NSBB Top 50**

#1: Javier Baez
#2: Jorge Soler
#3: Albert Almora
#4: Arodys Vizcaino
#5: Dan Vogelbach
#6: Brett Jackson
#7: Juan Paniagua
#8: Christian Villanueva
#9: Dillon Maples
#10: Josh Vitters
#11: Pierce Johnson
#12: Junior Lake
#13: Jeimer Candelario
#14: Duane Underwood
#15: Matt Szczur
#16: Arismendy Alcantara
#17: Ronald Torreyes
#18: Marco Hernandez
#19: Gioskar Amaya
#20: Alberto Cabrera
#21: Logan Watkins
#22: Rob Whitenack
#23: Barrett Loux
#24: Ben Wells
#25: Paul Blackburn
#26: Hector Rondon
#27: Starling Peralta
#28: Tony Zych
#29: Jae-Hoon Ha
#30: Trey McNutt
#31: Steve Bruno
#32: Michael Jensen
#33: Trey Martin
#34: Tayler Scott
#35: Jose Arias
#36: Ryan McNeil
#37: Jose Rosario
#38: Shawon Dunston Jr.
#39: Nick Struck
#40: Austin Reed
#41: Reggie Golden
#42: Carlos Penalver
#43: Marcus Hatley
#44: Frandy de la Rosa
#45: Daury Torrez
#46: Kyle Hendricks
#47: Tim Saunders
#48: Willson Contreras
#49: Matt Loosen
#50: Chris Rusin

Their progress can be followed here and here.

** The Process **


I'm going to be taking a different approach to creating the NSBB top 30 prospect list this year. Last year we had a tough time gathering our usual team of experts together to create the list. We may still try to do that this year, but we will also be creating a "community" list. Here are the steps:

  1. Generate a pool of potential players
  2. Create a thread for discussion of the list (probably this one!)
  3. Starting from the #1 spot on down:
    1. After a discussion of the current pick in the thread, post a poll where people get to vote
    2. Each poll will list around 10 players nominated for that slot in the discussion thread
    3. Everyone voting will get to vote for three players for that spot
    4. The poll will remain open for three days
    5. If there is a clear winner at the end of the three days, discussion will move on to the next slot
    6. If there is a close vote, a runoff will be held with a single vote per participant
    7. Once a winner has been determined for that slot, comments about that player will be collected from the discussion thread and posted to the official results thread

To get things kicked off, I'll use the list from Sickels to define the pool of prospects to consider. Please feel free to nominate additional players and start the discussion about the pool of players to consider for the #1 prospect!

Arismendy Alcantara SS
Albert Almora OF
Gioskar Amaya 2B
Jose Arias RHP
Javier Baez SS
Paul Blackburn RHP
Stephen Bruno INF
Alberto Cabrera RHP
Jeimer Candelario 3B
Marcelo Carreno RHP
Jaye Chapman RHP
Shawon Dunston OF
Jae-Hoon Ha OF
Kyle Hendricks RHP
Marco Hernandez SS
Brett Jackson OF
Pierce Johnson RHP
Junior Lake INF
Barret Loux RHP
Dillon Maples RHP
Justin Marra C
Trey Martin OF
Ryan McNeil RHP
Trey McNutt RHP
Juan Paniagua RHP
Starling Peralta RHP
Brooks Raley LHP
Jose Rosario RHP
Tim Saunders INF
Tayler Scott RHP
Jorge Soler OF
Nick Struck RHP
Matt Szczur OF
Ronald Torreyes 2B
Duane Underwood RHP
Christian Villanueva 3B
Josh Vitters 3B
Arodys Vizcaino RHP
Dan Vogelbach 1B
Logan Watkins 2B
Ben Wells RHP
Robert Whitenack RHP
Tony Zych RHP


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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:01 pm 
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Baez.

Next?


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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:03 pm 
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KyleJRM wrote:
Baez.

Next?

It's probably going to be an easy vote, but I think there are at least a few other players worthy of discussion. I'd say the following are at least talking about at this point:

Baez
Almora
Soler
Vizcaino


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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:05 pm 
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Reasons for Baez (over Almora):

Played at higher level so far
More power potential
Infielder

I don't think Soler is refined enough to be #1 at this point and Vizcaino not #1 for injury reasons.

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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:10 pm 
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Baez is the present rightful heir to the #1 crown.


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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:12 pm 
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As a resident "non expert," it's hard to imagine #1 not being one of the big 3.

As far as pure offensive upside, Soler seems to have it. However, Baez and Almora seem to be more complete players, and their positions add value.

The only possible dark horse as far as #1 goes could be Vizcaino. When it comes to pure upside, he likely tops any pitcher in our entire organization.

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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:13 pm 
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Javier Baez


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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:20 pm 
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1.Baez 2.Soler 3.Almora 4.Vizcaino

Baez is the clear number one, not even an argument. I think Soler has a higher ceiling than Almora but Almora has a higher floor than Soler so that's why I give the edge to Soler as I value ceiling over floor when two guys are about the same distance away from MLB even though Soler is playing at a higher level already. Spots 5-20 probably has about 30 +/- candidates to fill those 15 spots.

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Last edited by Cubswin11 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:25 pm 
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i feel like if all goes well, Almora becomes Randy Winn and Soler becomes Brian Jordan

i prefer Soler

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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:32 pm 
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Voting will take place in a separate thread! :)

Baez Info:

Fangraphs Page

Baseball-Reference Page

MiLB Page

First Inning Page

AFL Stats

This is Baez' first full season in the minors. In 2011, he got 18 PA after signing in late August.

The former #6 draft choice started the season in extended spring training. After a promotion to Peoria in May, Baez more than showed he belonged in full season ball. He destroyed the Midwest league upon his arrival in Peoria to the tune of a .987 OPS.

He did show some cracks in his game, though. He has a very aggressive approach to the game that led to only a 3.8% walk rate and rubbed a number of opponents the wrong way. After a late promotion to Daytona, he appeared to struggle a bit with the more advanced pitching. However, most of the difference in production can be explained due to a .390 vs .200 BABIP and park/league factors hurting the power production.

The Cubs were confident enough in Baez to send him to the AFL as a 19 year old. His performance there was again hurt by a lack of patience and poor luck. His 3.39% walk rate was in line with his Peoria performance. Facing more advanced pitching did not hurt his contact rate, either, as he struck out in 23.7% of his PA (between his Peoria and Daytona rates). He also showed fantastic power in the league against advanced pitching with four home runs in only 59 PA.


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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:34 pm 
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sneakypower wrote:
i feel like if all goes well, Almora becomes Randy Winn and Soler becomes Brian Jordan

i prefer Soler

What other comps to people feel are most appropriate for "the big three"?


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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:42 pm 
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sneakypower wrote:
i feel like if all goes well, Almora becomes Randy Winn and Soler becomes Brian Jordan

i prefer Soler


For #2 or did you list only those two because you think Baez is behind both?

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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:54 pm 
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Tim wrote:
sneakypower wrote:
i feel like if all goes well, Almora becomes Randy Winn and Soler becomes Brian Jordan

i prefer Soler

What other comps to people feel are most appropriate for "the big three"?

My comps are based on the ceilings I can see each reaching, not what I expect

Soler=Jermaine Dye

Baez=Migue Tejada (with maybe slightly higher BA, slightly higher K% and slightly lower BB%)

Almora=Johnny Damon but with much better defense (I do like the Winn comp, but think Almora has potential to have a little better BB% and SLG% so that's why I picked Damon)

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Last edited by Cubswin11 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:58 pm 
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yeah, i was going to say Tejada or Adrian Beltre upside for Baez, and #1 in the system

worst-case scenario: Khalil Greene

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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:03 pm 
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I've been toying with the idea of a Steve Finley comp for Almora. Great contact hitter, should be decent but not top-line power in his prime. Doesn't have great speed, but is considered a very good defender. Similar build.

I'm just not sure if Almora will ever walk at that rate after getting off to a 2BB/174PA start to his career. Also, the stats don't really back up the "very good defender" part for Finley.


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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:05 pm 
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sneakypower wrote:
yeah, i was going to say Tejada or Adrian Beltre upside for Baez, and #1 in the system

worst-case scenario: Khalil Greene

As much as I'd love for the Sheffield comps to come true for Baez, I just don't see it anywhere but in the power department. For his career, Sheff was 13.5% BB and only 10.7% K. I don't think Baez will sniff either of those numbers.


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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:08 pm 
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Tim wrote:
I've been toying with the idea of a Steve Finley comp for Almora. Great contact hitter, should be decent but not top-line power in his prime. Doesn't have great speed, but is considered a very good defender. Similar build.

I'm just not sure if Almora will ever walk at that rate after getting off to a 2BB/174PA start to his career. Also, the stats don't really back up the "very good defender" part for Finley.

When I was looking at OF over the last 20ish years Finley is a guy who stood out to me as well as a good comp for Almora outside of the defense like you mentioned. Some sort of Winn/Finley/Damon combination might be the best way to try and comp him right now.

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Last edited by Cubswin11 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:41 pm 
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After the draft I made a Brady Anderson minus the 50 HR season aberration. I like the Dye comp for Soler. But I think he could be better.

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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:48 pm 
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Slide Castro Slide wrote:
As a resident "non expert," it's hard to imagine #1 not being one of the big 3.

As far as pure offensive upside, Soler seems to have it. However, Baez and Almora seem to be more complete players, and their positions add value.

The only possible dark horse as far as #1 goes could be Vizcaino. When it comes to pure upside, he likely tops any pitcher in our entire organization.


I'm still not sure why Soler is ahead of Baez on pure offensive upside. Bat speed and power potential for Baez is off the charts.

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Anyhow, my arguments for the top 3, depending on how fast you guys move -

1. Javier Baez - Can I buy an argument for Almora? Yes. Arguably a safer prospect in some respects. But Baez has a far higher offensive ceiling and he showed better than expected ability at short. I mean, Baez's offensive ceiling is ridiculous if it he reaches it. Legitimate elite middle of the order type bat. Does he have flaws, offensively and defensively? Defensively, he might outgrow short in time, but until then, his ability at short is a plus over the other two. Offensively, he's aggressive to say the least. That said, when you add in that he produced in full-season and Almora hasn't gotten there yet, I would have Baez, on a Sickels scale, as a A-, with Almora more of a B+, and I think at his young age, you can hope that he improves his deficiencies.

2. Albert Almora - You know, it was a toss-up for me for awhile, but with the reports trickling out about holes in Soler's swings, the fact that Almora plays CF and has good offensive upside got the nod.

Soler got the third spot. I'm not sure, in my mind, that anyone is close to Soler. Vizcaino's injury history makes it tough, Vogelbach's position makes it tough, Brett's K's ... go on down the line. I think that's the cutoff on the top tier.


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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:04 pm 
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I like Soler more than Almora. To me, his physical tools are better. And he put up better numbers playing at a higher level most of the time. Granted, he's 2 full years older than Almora, but he really started to rake toward the end of the season.

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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:32 pm 
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I wonder how our perceptions would be different if Vizcaino had come up through the system. He's been very good, and he lost a season and just turned 22 two weeks ago.

Baez has to be #1, but if Vizcaino is healthy and you like him as a future SP, I think he's #2 for me. I'd go Baez, Vizcaino, Soler, Almora.


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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:52 pm 
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Transmogrified Tiger wrote:
I wonder how our perceptions would be different if Vizcaino had come up through the system. He's been very good, and he lost a season and just turned 22 two weeks ago.

Baez has to be #1, but if Vizcaino is healthy and you like him as a future SP, I think he's #2 for me. I'd go Baez, Vizcaino, Soler, Almora.


Very much agree. And I'm a big buyer on Law's theory that the TJS is the answer to his past injury problems (and that he is a starter).

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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:56 pm 
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Transmogrified Tiger wrote:
I wonder how our perceptions would be different if Vizcaino had come up through the system. He's been very good, and he lost a season and just turned 22 two weeks ago.

Baez has to be #1, but if Vizcaino is healthy and you like him as a future SP, I think he's #2 for me. I'd go Baez, Vizcaino, Soler, Almora.


I love Vizacaino (was largely derided on another site a few years back for preferring him to Teheran) ... but the injury history (first tore the ligament in 2010, IIRC), plus coming off TJ ... it's a bit of a concern. But ... if one feels comfortable enough about his health history (based off the assumption that TJ cleared up any significant issues that might have lingered), then okay, I can buy him at 2.


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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:35 pm 
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I could see if he lost the year a couple years ago, but this was last year. We don't know how he's going to come back from it yet and there was always questions with him staying in the rotation.

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 Post subject: Re: NSBB Top 30 Prospects
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:55 pm 
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I don't like Vizcaino's future as a SP. I like his future as a RP a lot, though, so I don't think that matters much.

Baez/Almora/Soler/Vizcaino for me, though I could easily be persuaded to flop the last two.

I'd say there's a 25% chance that this time next year Almora is No. 1, and there's a 25% chance that Baez is top-5 in all of baseball.


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