Monday, September 7, 2009

Organizational Rankings - Durham Radicals

1. Alan Henley (Age - 19; Level - Majors; Position - SP) Henley, a lefty, has been rushed to the Majors in what is potentially a development-threatening move. Of course it could pay off, but Henley clearly isn't ready for the Majors at this point after sporting just a 4.10 ERA in Rookie ball as an 18-year old. Henley will sit atop a very deep pitching organization until it is known that he has no ability to be a ML starter. He will struggle to make it past 80-90 pitches consistently, but his stuff is good enough that he may be able to make it to the 6th or 7th giving his team a chance in every game. Henley features an elite slider and good sinker and has very good control with elite velocity. He keeps the ball on the ground very well and projects as almost impossible for lefties to hit while being almost as tough on righties. Grade: A (so long as he remains a starter)

2. Torey Ontiveros (Age - 20; Level - Majors; Position - SP) Ontiveros projects as a very good major league pitcher, but the concern is the same as it for Henley. He has played just one in year in Rookie ball and one in AA and is now being thrust into the ML spotlight with very little experience despite his loads of talent. Ontiveros has great control and velocity and projects as very difficult on righties while featuring a plus plus fastball. He also keeps the ball on the ground very well. Grade: A

3. Donaldo Cordero (Age - 20; Level - AAA; Position - 2B) Cordero profiles as both an above average fielder and hitter. He is very consistent, hits for above average power, especially from the 2B spot and has a good eye. He hits both RHP and LHP well, has a career minor league OPS of .895, and is coming off of a 23 HR/104 RBI season. He has a very good glove with range and an arm to match and could really play anywhere on the field. Grade: B+

4. Posiedon Cameron (Age - 19; Level - Majors; Position - SP) Add Cameron to the list of guys clearly not ready for the Majors but who are being initiated by fire. This strategy of having all top-tier prospects up before they are ready is potentially rewarding, but incredibly risky. Cameron profiles as a potential middle-of-the-rotation starter, and maybe a little better if he can keep his walks low. He has below average control, but a very good arm with a very good sinker. Because of the sinker, he keeps the ball down well and is very tough on righties. Grade: B

5. Carlos Felix (Age - 23; Level - Majors; Position - SP) Carlos Felix profiles as a back end power/control pitcher with medicore to below average stuff. He put up a 3.71 ERA in his first professional season last year, and keeps the ball down well, but is just mediocre at getting righties out. Grade: B-

6. Tomas Batista (Age - 19; Level - AAA; Position - RP) Batista is a future ML reliever with elite control, a very good sinker, and the ability to keep the ball on the ground very well. He is particularly tough on righties, but also above average against lefties and could be a future ML closer. Grade: B-

7. Octavio Gonzales (Age - 24; Level - AAA; Position - SP) Gonzales projects as a control pitcher with great command who is fairly tough against righties. He has a career 3.95 minor league ERA with around a 3:1 strikeout:walk ratio and a 2.5:1 IP:BB ratio. He has a great slider, very good curveball, and ML-caliber fastball. Overall, he could be a back-end starter or good long reliever. Grade: C+

8. David Barrios (Age - 21; Level - AAA; Position - CF) Barrios is a slap hitter with exceptional speed and range in CF. He should be able to steal 40-50 bases and he has a good enough eye to enable him to get on base. He is a decent contact hitter, but it's questionable whether his lack of slugging will allow his bat to play, even in CF. If it does, he could be a legitimate starting option in CF, or at least a 4th OF/PR option. Grade: C

9. Welington Henriquez (Age - 21; Level - Majors; Position - RF) Henriquez projects as a better hitter than Barrios, but he plays a non-premium position and his defense isn't on the same level, although it could play in RF. He has a better, above average eye and significantly more power, and hits righties well. He is coming off of by far his best season in the minors (likely because he started as an 18-year old in AA), and he had a .320/.389/.507. Grade: C

10. Adam Becker (Age - 25; Level - AAA; Position - 1B) Becker profiles as an average hitter with medium power, but an very good eye. He has good speed for a 1B, and a decent glove, and is likely a backup 1B/PH at ML level. Grade: D+

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