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BP's Kevin Goldstein: Red Sox Top 11 Prospects


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#1 Hairps

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 12:07 PM

Five-Star Prospects
1. Lars Anderson, 1B
2. Michael Bowden RHP
Four-Star Prospects
3. Josh Reddick, RF
4. Daniel Bard, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
5. Ryan Westmoreland, CF
6. Casey Kelly, RHP/SS
7. Michael Almanzar, 3B
8. Nick Hagadone, LHP
9. Junichi Tazawa, RHP
10. Bryan Price, RHP
11. Ryan Kalish, CF

Just Missed: Derek Gibson, SS; Yamaico Navarro, SS; Stoley Pimentel, RHP


http://www.baseballp...?articleid=8444

Edited by Hairps, 28 January 2009 - 12:09 PM.


#2 NYCSox


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Posted 28 January 2009 - 12:18 PM

I'm more than a little surprised (make that stunned) that Bowden got a five star rating, especially when his upside (according to Goldstein) is a very good #3 starter.

#3 Seabass177


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Posted 28 January 2009 - 12:24 PM

This feels like a very consensus type of list from KG, aside from Bowden as a five star prospect. I agree with NYCSox that he doesn't seem to merit that label, but I think KG is a bit more willing to go to five stars than Sickels is willing to go with a grade of A or A-.

That glut of three star prospects (which probably runs four or five deeper than the top 11) is where the real value of this system lies. The Sox' depth rivals that of any other organization in baseball.

#4 philly sox fan


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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:03 PM

This feels like a very consensus type of list from KG, aside from Bowden as a five star prospect. I agree with NYCSox that he doesn't seem to merit that label, but I think KG is a bit more willing to go to five stars than Sickels is willing to go with a grade of A or A-.


Well they have different standards. I think Sickels gives out something like 25 A/A- and Goldstein's 5 star ranking is just supposed to signify candidate for the top 50.

I assume Sickels gave Bowden a B+? Both might very well slot him in the same spot of their overall rankings.

The Westmorland report seem noticably more glowing than what I remember of the BA report, but that could just be writing as much as anything else.

The rest seemed about what you'd expect - a whole lot of 3 star guys with negligible track records.

#5 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:06 PM

In his write up of Lars:

Perfect World Projection: He'll be a number three hitter on a championship-level team.
Glass Half Empty: He's going to mash, he's going to get on base, and he's going to have power—the question is just how much he'll do each of these things. It seems that a low-end projection would still make Anderson a .275/.360/.500 type.


It's really nice to see a low end projection of .275/.360/.500 here. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Lars does in Portland and hopefully Pawtucket this year.

#6 Jack Sox

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:15 PM

The Bowden ranking is both surprising and well deserved, IMO. Bowden may not light up any radar guns - like Bard (though he does throw pretty damn hard) - but there's little doubt in my mind he'll be an above average starter in the major leagues. Not exactly sure why the Rangers don't believe he'd give them a very good value for Salty, but that's another story for another place.

#7 mabrowndog


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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:35 PM

In his write up of Lars:
It's really nice to see a low end projection of .275/.360/.500 here. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Lars does in Portland and hopefully Pawtucket this year.

Agreed. Having watched a wretched parade of "Red Sox' Next Big Thing" first base prospects fail miserably over the past 35 years, Boston is long overdue for a success story at the position. Cecil Cooper and Mo Vaughn remain the only bright spots in a garbage dump that's included Jack "Home Run" Baker, Otis Foster, Reggie Whittemore, Pat Dodson, Sam Horn, Carlos Quintana, Alan Zinter, Brian Daubach, Morgan Burkhart, Dernell Stenson, and Carlos Pena (who never really got the chance here).

Edited by mabrowndog, 28 January 2009 - 01:49 PM.


#8 foulkehampshire


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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:39 PM

Not exactly sure why the Rangers don't believe he'd give them a very good value for Salty, but that's another story for another place.


Given Arlington's jet streams and Bowden's flyball tendencies...it might give them apt enough reason to think twice on pulling the trigger.

#9 DosEquisMatsuzaka

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 01:44 PM

Agreed. Having watched a wretched parade of "Red Sox' Next Big Thing" first base prospects fail miserably over the past 35 years, Boston is long overdue for a success story at the position. Cecil Cooper and Mo Vaughn remain the only bright spots in a garbage dump that's included Jack "Home Run" Baker, Otis Foster, Reggie Whittemore, Pat Dodson, Sam Horn, Carlos Quintana, Alan Zinter, Brian Daubach, Morgan Burkhart, Dernell Stenson, and Carlos Pena.

IIRC the Q was fine until the car accident.

I am cautiously optimistic about Lars but my fear is an Andy Marte like flameout.

Edited by DosEquisMatsuzaka, 28 January 2009 - 01:46 PM.


#10 Foulkey Reese


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Posted 28 January 2009 - 02:01 PM

IIRC the Q was fine until the car accident.

I am cautiously optimistic about Lars but my fear is an Andy Marte like flameout.

Any particular reason? Or just the usual prospect skepticism?

#11 amarshal2

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 02:06 PM

Having watched a wretched parade of "Red Sox' Next Big Thing" first base prospects fail miserably over the past 35 years, Boston is long overdue for a success story at the position.


I think you have to count Kevin Youkilis as a 1B prospect and a success. He's certainly more of a Boston prospect than Carlos Pena and a few others ever were.

#12 TheYaz67

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 02:20 PM

I think you have to count Kevin Youkilis as a 1B prospect and a success. He's certainly more of a Boston prospect than Carlos Pena and a few others ever were.


Well, except that he came up as a 3rd baseman and will likely return there when Lars comes up, but that is splitting hairs - he does have pop, and that's what we haven't developed well.

Not exactly sure why the Rangers don't believe he'd give them a very good value for Salty, but that's another story for another place.


For a point of reference, how many 4 and 5 star rated pitching prospects do the Rangers have? Because if the answer is "none or one", then it is indeed a head scratcher....

#13 amarshal2

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 02:25 PM

Well, except that he came up as a 3rd baseman and will likely return there when Lars comes up, but that is splitting hairs - he does have pop, and that's what we haven't developed well


I know that. But the Dauber came over from FLA when he was 27 and past "prospect" status and Pena was signed to a minor league deal after logging over 1,500 MLB AB's. Those guys were no more 1B prospects than Kevin Youkilis was considering he was drafted by the Sox, developed by the Sox, and went on to be a MVP candidate at 1B for the Sox. I don't know all the other names as well, but I'm sure few of them were 5 star prospects at age 20

For a point of reference, how many 4 and 5 star rated pitching prospects do the Rangers have? Because if the answer is "none or one", then it is indeed a head scratcher....


They have the best farm system in baseball by a mile.

Edited by amarshal2, 28 January 2009 - 02:33 PM.


#14 DosEquisMatsuzaka

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 02:29 PM

Any particular reason? Or just the usual prospect skepticism?

Just the usual prospect skepticism. I think his plate discipline coupled with his power to date bodes well but we have all seen the Dernell Stensons of the world stumble and when was the last time a top power hitting prospect came out of the Boston farm system? Youks has developed into a power hitter but that took until age 30 so I would love to see a top masher rake at fenway through his prime.

#15 Quintanariffic

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 07:22 PM

Just the usual prospect skepticism. I think his plate discipline coupled with his power to date bodes well but we have all seen the Dernell Stensons of the world stumble and when was the last time a top power hitting prospect came out of the Boston farm system?

Sincerely,

Hanley Ramirez

#16 John DiFool

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 07:28 PM

Umm nobody remembers a certain 1B named Mo Vaughn?

My biggest worry about Lars are the strikeouts-43 in 133 AA at-bats, tho that will likely go down at the same time his BABIP goes down.

#17 JB H

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 07:36 PM

The idea that Lars Anderson's "low-end" projection is .275/.360/.500 is absurd. Goldstein seems to have lots of contacts that he can get info from, but he's spectacularly bad at synthesizing the information he collects.

#18 philly sox fan


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Posted 28 January 2009 - 08:42 PM

What, you think the 15th highest SLG in the league is a bit much for a player's downside?

#19 someoneanywhere

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 08:57 PM

The idea that Lars Anderson's "low-end" projection is .275/.360/.500 is absurd. Goldstein seems to have lots of contacts that he can get info from, but he's spectacularly bad at synthesizing the information he collects.


Well, geez, you go any lower than that and you really wouldn't be talking about a Number 1 prospect, would you? You might not even be taking an everyday major-league first baseman, at least not for the Boston Red Sox.

Goldstein is actually quite good, in my opinion. He seems -- over the internet, anyway -- to have a bit of arrogance about him, but he's far, far from being "spectacularly bad." I have seen a lot of these guys several times, some of them a couple of dozen times, and his take on them is more or less on the money. I wouldn't call Bard's sinker a bowling ball -- that seems a tad much -- but it is a welcome correction to the opinion, often expressed on this board by people who have never seen him, that Bard gets no movement. You see Kalish and you know what Goldstein means by a dirt dog. The take on Alamanzar is dead on, as is the report on Reddick.

And for my money, he is exactly correct in assessing the overall state of the system. It's built around high risk, but high ceiling talent, and it could regress badly if the development side fails.

Edited by someoneanywhere, 28 January 2009 - 08:58 PM.


#20 JB H

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 09:09 PM

I would agree that he's good at describing baseball players.

#21 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 28 January 2009 - 10:04 PM

They have the best farm system in baseball by a mile.


To further this point:

1. Texas Rangers: The Rangers have far and away the best farm system in the game right now, with impact prospects, lots of depth (particularly in very young pitching) and plenty of prospects close enough to the majors to help the big league club in 2009 and 2010.


That's Keith Law's write up of the Texas farm system from a few weeks ago. They can afford to miss out on Michael Bowden. The above quote is part of the free section of that article, so I don't feel bad posting it. The rest of his write up can be found here.

#22 Eric Van


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Posted 29 January 2009 - 06:22 PM

Agreed. Having watched a wretched parade of "Red Sox' Next Big Thing" first base prospects fail miserably over the past 35 years, Boston is long overdue for a success story at the position. Cecil Cooper and Mo Vaughn remain the only bright spots in a garbage dump that's included Jack "Home Run" Baker, Otis Foster, Reggie Whittemore, Pat Dodson, Sam Horn, Carlos Quintana, Alan Zinter, Brian Daubach, Morgan Burkhart, Dernell Stenson, and Carlos Pena (who never really got the chance here).

Well, one of those things is not like the others -- the 27 y/o ml FA who put up a .294 / .360 / .562 (127 OPS+) rookie season, and after a tough sophomore season had two more years with OPS+ of 122 and 111. Daubach was a great pickup: a guy acquired at no cost who made MLB minimum, etc., but gave league-average production. He greatly exceeded expectations, while most of these guys (as was your point) did the opposite.

Of that list, the only guys who were hyped 1B prospects were Foster, Horn, and Stenson. Quintana was an OF in the minors, Baker and Dodson borderline prpspects who put up good numbers, Zinter a failed would-be Daubach, and Burkhart an indie league likely PED freak.

"Reggie Whittemore" is not ringing a bell -- do you mean Reggie Jefferson?

#23 OCD SS


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Posted 29 January 2009 - 09:44 PM

For a point of reference, how many 4 and 5 star rated pitching prospects do the Rangers have? Because if the answer is "none or one", then it is indeed a head scratcher....


As a further point of reference, I asked the BA guys where they would rank Bowden and Bard in Texas's rankings and the answer was 8th and 12th, respectively.

#24 amarshal2

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 10:32 PM

As a further point of reference, I asked the BA guys where they would rank Bowden and Bard in Texas's rankings and the answer was 8th and 12th, respectively.


I like Engel Beltre and I'm not bitter about his success but there's no way I take him over Bowden or Reddick. And I'm not even a Bowden guy.

Edited by amarshal2, 29 January 2009 - 10:35 PM.


#25 OCD SS


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Posted 29 January 2009 - 11:03 PM

Actually, I think I misremembered their answer: they'd be after Texas's 8th (Main) and 12th prospects. It was a chat question, though..

#26 cannonball 1729

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 01:13 AM

"Reggie Whittemore" is not ringing a bell -- do you mean Reggie Jefferson?

Reggie Whittemore apparently works for RBI baseball now.

Reggie led Bristol in all three triple crown categories in 1982, and he led the 1983 Pawsox in HR and RBI. He tailed off significantly in AAA in 1984 (8 home runs in 107 games with a .241/.360/.368 line) and was then traded to the Twins in 1985.

Edited by cannonball 1729, 30 January 2009 - 01:13 AM.


#27 judyb

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 04:55 PM

As a further point of reference, I asked the BA guys where they would rank Bowden and Bard in Texas's rankings and the answer was 8th and 12th, respectively.

Can barely crack their top 10 prospects list, but I bet he'd have little problem making their starting rotation.

#28 TomRicardo


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Posted 30 January 2009 - 05:08 PM

Can barely crack their top 10 prospects list, but I bet he'd have little problem making their starting rotation.


Well when Kason Gabbard is in the middle of your rotation...

#29 Jebuddhallah

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 11:18 AM

Can barely crack their top 10 prospects list, but I bet he'd have little problem making their starting rotation.


He'd definitely make the rotation this year, but he's likely to be lapped by the rest of their system two years down the road. Texas has done an excellent job of retooling their farm system.

#30 maufman


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Posted 31 January 2009 - 11:20 AM

This list is much more reassuring than BA's. I like seeing several of the young guys rated ahead of Hagadone, who imo has to be considered a big question mark until he can prove his health and continued effectiveness.

I'll be a skeptic on Bard until he proves he can get big-league hitters out. Too many minor-league relievers never amount to anything.

#31 OCD SS


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Posted 31 January 2009 - 11:43 PM

He'd definitely make the rotation this year, but he's likely to be lapped by the rest of their system two years down the road. Texas has done an excellent job of retooling their farm system.


Well, only if their system remains impervious to attrition, which is probably not likely.

#32 Plympton91


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Posted 05 February 2009 - 10:57 PM

Just the usual prospect skepticism. I think his plate discipline coupled with his power to date bodes well but we have all seen the Dernell Stensons of the world stumble and when was the last time a top power hitting prospect came out of the Boston farm system? Youks has developed into a power hitter but that took until age 30 so I would love to see a top masher rake at fenway through his prime.


Let's not speak so ill of the dead. Dernell Stenson was a raw multisport athlete who was rushed to AAA even though there were rumors of a somewhat questionable work ethic. Just as he was cut down at age 25, he seemed to have maybe been ready to put some things together after the trade to Cincy gave him a fresh start. Too bad we'll never know.

#33 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 22 February 2009 - 11:41 PM

I thought about starting a new topic for this, but figured this not being a Yankees board, and this not being major league Yankees material, this was as good a place as any. Especially since it's likely going to lead to some comparisons with Boston's top 11 anyway.

BP's Yankees Top 11:

http://www.baseballp...?articleid=8536

Five-Star Prospects
1. Jesus Montero, C
2. Austin Jackson, CF
Three-Star Prospects
3. Dellin Betances, RHP
4. Austin Romine, C
5. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP
6. Andrew Brackman, RHP
7. Jeremy Bleich, LHP
8. Alfredo Aceves, RHP
9. Zach McAllister, RHP
10. Phil Coke, LHP
11. Mark Melancon, RHP

Just Missed: Brad Suttle, 3B; Kelvin De Leon, RF; Wilkins De La Rosa, LHP

Ranking Challenges: It's a very tough system to rank from top to bottom. Montero comes with positional questions, Brackman has a high ceiling combined with a plethora of negatives, and there are a lot of young, high-ceiling prospects and older, low-ceiling types.



#34 LondonSox


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Posted 23 February 2009 - 10:53 AM

I thought about starting a new topic for this, but figured this not being a Yankees board, and this not being major league Yankees material, this was as good a place as any. Especially since it's likely going to lead to some comparisons with Boston's top 11 anyway.

BP's Yankees Top 11:

http://www.baseballp...?articleid=8536


I'm quite surprised by both 5 star rating, most people I've read say Jackson is a likely to be a solid player and a decent CF but nothing like a Star, and Montero is according to every scout I've read not a catcher, and is he really 5 star without a defensive position? Maybe he's that good.
I would have called them both 4 stars myself, and Brackman only a 3 star surprises me the other way.
I know he's not thrown in the pros really yet but his upside while a long way away and really hindered by having a major league contract (WTF were they doing there!!!) is very high.
In fairness he mentions two of those three points, but still. One low ceiling 5 start and one without a position and nothing else until 3 star ouch

#35 diehard24

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 11:13 AM

I'm quite surprised by both 5 star rating, most people I've read say Jackson is a likely to be a solid player and a decent CF but nothing like a Star, and Montero is according to every scout I've read not a catcher, and is he really 5 star without a defensive position? Maybe he's that good.
I would have called them both 4 stars myself, and Brackman only a 3 star surprises me the other way.
I know he's not thrown in the pros really yet but his upside while a long way away and really hindered by having a major league contract (WTF were they doing there!!!) is very high.
In fairness he mentions two of those three points, but still. One low ceiling 5 start and one without a position and nothing else until 3 star ouch


Interesting, hadn't thought about the fact that Montero and Jackson were 5-star, just that they were clearly separated from the rest of the pack.

What did strike me was that Goldstein has Montero ahead of Jackson, which sounds right given everything written about these guys. Montero's power is sure to come, but last year he showed a tremendous amount of hitting aptitude as an 18 year old. I wonder if the flux around his position has muted his potential at the plate a bit. Perhaps he projects to be just as bad defensively at 1B? That bat looks like it's going to play very big.

Brackman was a real surprise, but not after reading Goldstein's explanation. When it comes down to it, he's 23 and hasn't pitched an inning during the regular season. And even if healthy, he's got control issues he'll need to harness, and he wasn't exactly dominating in college. Huge potential, for sure, but he's got a lot to overcome to get there.

#36 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 23 February 2009 - 06:00 PM

Brackman was a real surprise, but not after reading Goldstein's explanation. When it comes down to it, he's 23 and hasn't pitched an inning during the regular season. And even if healthy, he's got control issues he'll need to harness, and he wasn't exactly dominating in college. Huge potential, for sure, but he's got a lot to overcome to get there.


Eh, I see Brackman's ranking as being reasoned similarly to Nick Hagadone's. Both guys are college draftees with big upside who've gone under the knife. Obviously there are some big differences between them as pitchers, but after seeing Hagadone rated as a 3 star, I wasn't surprised when Brackman ended up there too.

#37 diehard24

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 04:47 PM

Eh, I see Brackman's ranking as being reasoned similarly to Nick Hagadone's. Both guys are college draftees with big upside who've gone under the knife. Obviously there are some big differences between them as pitchers, but after seeing Hagadone rated as a 3 star, I wasn't surprised when Brackman ended up there too.


That's a very interesting comparison. Both are college arms whose prospect statuses are still largely based on projection, neither pitching very much as of yet. It's interesting to think of them as similarly talented (though different talents) given how they were both perceived to be when drafted. Brackman was considered as boom or bust, Hagadone as somewhat safe, with a fall back as a bullpen arm (could still easily become that). Hagadone's status has definitely elevated since being drafted, based on very few innings and the organizations own evaluations.

edit: my poor grammar gets even worse when i'm sleep deprived and hungover.

Edited by diehard24, 24 February 2009 - 04:49 PM.


#38 wade boggs chicken dinner


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Posted 24 February 2009 - 05:20 PM

Montero's power is sure to come, but last year he showed a tremendous amount of hitting aptitude as an 18 year old.

Wasn't there some question whether Montero was really 16 when he signed? If so, anyone have any thoughts about how much lower would he rate if he was 20 or 21?

#39 LondonSox


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Posted 25 February 2009 - 05:13 AM

Wasn't there some question whether Montero was really 16 when he signed? If so, anyone have any thoughts about how much lower would he rate if he was 20 or 21?


If he was 21, well let's put it this way. Luis Exposito was 21 to start the season in A ball, hit 283/328/508 vs Montero's 326/376/490 (Ie basically the difference is 40 points in BA) but IS considered a catcher. So if they were the same age, given Expo moved to High A and did fine, I think Expo would be a better prospect if Montero was the same age.

So Quite a difference!

#40 billy ashley

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 01:00 PM

If he was 21, well let's put it this way. Luis Exposito was 21 to start the season in A ball, hit 283/328/508 vs Montero's 326/376/490 (Ie basically the difference is 40 points in BA) but IS considered a catcher. So if they were the same age, given Expo moved to High A and did fine, I think Expo would be a better prospect if Montero was the same age.

So Quite a difference!



I'm somewhat nervous about this conversation- due to it not dealing with anything related to the Red Sox top 11- but is their any documentation regarding the question of Moneto's age? I've searched around a bit on google- but only found message board speculation. Certainly, I'd love it to be true- his value would take a nose dive as a result but what is the basis of such claims?

If he was really born in 89, he's a fantastic hitter for his age- if he was born in 87, he's still a decent prospect, but a lot of the hype surrounding him would justifiably fade.

#41 diehard24

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 03:28 PM

I'm somewhat nervous about this conversation- due to it not dealing with anything related to the Red Sox top 11- but is their any documentation regarding the question of Moneto's age? I've searched around a bit on google- but only found message board speculation. Certainly, I'd love it to be true- his value would take a nose dive as a result but what is the basis of such claims?

If he was really born in 89, he's a fantastic hitter for his age- if he was born in 87, he's still a decent prospect, but a lot of the hype surrounding him would justifiably fade.


I still think he's a fantastic hitter even if the rumors were to be confirmed (admittedly, I've never heard them before mention in this thread). If last year was his first after being drafted out of college, high praise would be justifiable, regardless of position. But I'm also not sure how much weight his current position has had on his rankings anyway. I've not seen a write-up since he was signed that considered his future to be at catcher, or at least significantly hedged on him sticking there.

#42 starfailure

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 07:58 AM

A friend of mine pointed me to this blurb on John Sickels' article re: AL East Possible Breakouts/Sleepers. (He only listed five players.)

Stolmy Pimentel, RHP, Boston Red Sox: Perhaps one of the more obvious people, a clear first type, he had a decent year in the New York-Penn League (3.14 ERA, 61/17 K/BB in 63 innings, 51 hits). He already has good command for his age (19), has an excellent changeup, and has enough physical projection to boost his velocity past it's current 88-91 range. A push in dominance due to greater velocity would vault him up the charts, as long as he maintains his command. He could be a Top 50 guy if everything comes together.