Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Non-Prospect Prospects to Watch Part 1

Since everybody and their dog has come out with a top prospect list, I thought I might as well chime in too. But I'm not going to go with the obvious. Yeah, Jarred Cosart is a stud. Jonathan Singleton is the second coming of Ryan Howard. Yada Yada. Let's look instead at a few non-prospects who have the potential to become prospects in time. We'll look at position players this week and pitchers next week.

C ERNESTO GENOVES
This 20-year old from Venezuela played in Greeneville in 2011 and really made great strides at the plate. His batting average of .280 only went up a couple of points from his prior season, but his slugging percentage went from .333 with the GCL in 2010 to .464 with Greeneville in 2011. According to Seedlings to Stars, Genoves "makes solid contact" with a "decent approach and some gap power." He faded toward the end of the season and he strikes out more than I would like to see with 29 strikeouts to 12 walks over 38 games, but there are also some good signs within his splits as he hit .313 with runners on and .302 with RISP in 2011.

His defense is coming along as well. His caught stealing percentage went from 22% in 2010 to 31% in 2011 and his fielding percentage as a catcher went from .972 with 5 errors in 2010 to .984 with 4 errors in 2011. He had 9 passed balls, but Steve with Appy Astros indicated that Genoves made progress behind the plate throughout the season. Early in the season he tended to reach for balls with his glove instead of moving his body, but Steve indicated that Genoves definitely showed improvement in that area.

Over the winter, Genoves played in the Venezuelan winter league with the Liga Paralela, Venezuela's minor league system, hitting .299/.400/.478/.878 in 22 games. I look forward to seeing what he can do in 2012.

OF TEOSCAR HERNANDEZ
It is really difficult to get much information on the prospects in the DSL, but just looking at Hernandez' stats is more than enough to get me excited about this kid.

He's listed as 6'2" 180 and will be 19 years old for the entire 2012 season. He was named MVP for the DSL team in 2011 for good reason. He hit .274/.360/.487/.847, led the team in doubles, triples and home runs and was tied for the lead in RBI's. In addition he had 16 stolen bases and 7 outfield assists to go with 5 errors over 62 games. Can you say 5-tool player? The potential is there. The right-handed hitter will need to hit better than .143 against lefties, as he did in 2011, but I'm very excited by his upside.

I asked Jeff Luhnow about this player as he was heading to the Dominican Republic last week. I received the following response, "Hernandez is a definite prospect from what I saw today." I would love to see Hernandez get brought up to the GCL this season to see what he can do.

3B MATT DUFFY
A 20th round pick in 2011, I hadn't heard much, if anything, about Duffy. Then I wrote his birthday profile a few weeks back and I got really excited looking at his numbers. His batting line was good at .298/.370./.417/.787 with 20 doubles, one triple and two home runs, but it was his consistency that struck me. He was incredibly consistent against lefties and against righties, throughout the season, road and home, day games and night games - he just kept hitting. And he was even better in the clutch, batting .342 with runners on and .352 with RISP. So, I kept looking and I found things like this assessment from The Baseball Draft Report:
"I have an irrational like of Tennessee 3B Matt Duffy (Round 20) that I can only attempt to explain in terms of relevant baseball skills by talking about his excellent defense at third and patient approach at the plate."
and this from TCVFan's Blog:
"This dude can flat out hit. He’s got a calm, level swing and he’ll use all parts of the field, with signs of power to both gaps. When he gets full extension on the ball it travels a long way. I don’t know if he’s got a swing conducive to becoming a home run hitter, but he’s got potential to be a really solid doubles guy. It feels as though he’s got a strong grasp of the strikezone, and he rarely chases bad pitches."
The reports of his defense were conflicting though. And seeing that he had 12 errors in 63 games gave me pause. But when I looked further, it appears that he had 11 errors in his 1st 31 games and 1 in his final 32 games. And TCVFan had this to say:
"Early on he wasn’t trusting his arm and rushed throws, pulling Zach off the base a lot. Everyone in the infield took about three weeks to settle in and know that they’re good enough to take their time and make accurate throws."
The only knocks I could find on him were somewhat limited range at third and lack of speed on the base paths. But if he can turn his doubles power into home run power, speed may not be that important. And with our lack of depth at third, I'll be keeping a close eye on Mr. Duffy to see how he develops.

HONORABLE MENTION

OF EMILIO KING
  • Why he could have made the list - a .293/.332./.439/.772 batting line with 24 doubles, a triple and 9 home runs and reports that he has an absolute cannon for an arm
  • Why he didn't make the list - 81 SO to 13 BB
SS JUAN SANTANA
  • Why he could have made the list - a .274/.350/.363/.713 batting line with 28BB:22SO at 16 years old
  • Why he didn't make the list - 28 errors and the fact that he just turned 17 in August
OF WALLACE GONZALEZ
  • Why he could have made the list - Buzz. Baseball America thought he was the Astros best late signing and from The Baseball Draft Report: 
"Wallace Gonzalez has tools you’d never expect to see out of guy a few pounds short of Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. His raw power, plus arm, and great athleticism are major strong points."
  • Why he didn't make the list - Results. 18 games isn't a big enough sample size for an 18-year old kid.

1 comment:

  1. After seeing King play a number of times in 2011, I have to say I think he could at least be a strong 4th outfielder if he can get those SO under control. He's quite a hitter, to be sure, and that arm is definitely a plus tool.

    ReplyDelete