Friday, July 13, 2012

Midseason Prospect Risers

Earlier this month, John Sickels posted his mid-season Top 120 prospect rankings. Tonight I'll look at some of the biggest risers in Sickels' eyes while on Saturday I'll look at those that have fallen.

Jackie Bradley, OF, Red Sox. Now #36. Previously NR
Bradley's draft stock slipped in 2011 due to a wrist injury, but it's starting to look like the Red Sox got a steal here. Bradley has been an on-base machine with great speed in the minors. The power is probably not coming, but as a Roto proposition, the speed/power combination makes Bradley an instant top pick in 2013 farm drafts.

Jose Fernandez RHP, Marlins. #39/NR
Fernandez had all of two professional outings under his belt entering 2011 and numerous questions about his conditioning, but he seems to have dispelled those worries with a dominant run at A ball that led to a midseason Double A promotion. Some prospect watchers are thinking that Fernandez now has ace potential. He's still a long way away (don't bother in non-keeper until at least 2014), but Fernandez should be on your radar in N.L.-only now.

Javier Baez SS/3B, Cubs. #43/#109
Baez was another player with very limited professional experience, and Sickels is understandingly conservative when grading these types of players. So far so good for Baez in A-ball, though the poor BB/AB is a bit of a concern. Baez has definitely played enough that the high ceiling is more than just the opinion of a handful of scouts. Most think if the plate discipline can improve that Baez is legit.

Aaron Sanchez RHP, Blue Jays. #49/NR
Dylan Bundy has received a ton of publicity - and justifiably so - but Sanchez is also 19 years old and also has been dominating A ball. The lack of control is something to watch. Sanchez's walk rates have been high throughout the minors, and he's going to need to improve upon that if he hopes to make a splash. The scouting reports are glowing, though, so Sanchez definitely has a shot long-term.

Oscar Taveras, OF, Cardinals. #9/#62
Taveras was a toolsy player that some thought would struggle due to a poor approach at the plate. He has done anything but this year, slugging nearly 20 HR so far as a 19-year-old kid in AA. Taveras has the potential to be a star, and could wind up as 20-year-old starter in the Cards OF by sometime next year.

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