WHYGAVS Top Hitting Prospects: July 2010

Between Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata, and Neil Walker graduating to Pittsburgh, Tony Sanchez, Brock Holt, and Starling Marte suffering serious injuries, and Chase D’Arnaud and Gorkys Hernandez getting off to slow starts in Altoona, this list isn’t hugely impressive right now. I don’t think that things are as bad as they might seem, though. The injuries to Sanchez and Marte shouldn’t affect them in the long-term and while missing the development time is rough, I don’t think it’s anything that the two of them can’t make up.

The injury to Holt is a little tougher to swallow since we know less about him. Like Sanchez, he’s a college draftee from the ’09 draft, but as a ninth rounder he’s got a bit more to prove. He was raking in High-A, but like Sanchez it would’ve been nice to see how he handled Double-A so soon after being drafted.

There is good news, though. Marte will be back soon and both D’Arnaud and Gorkys have been tearing the cover off of the ball in Altoona since June started. Beyond them, Jim Negrych has continued his high-OBP act all the way up to Triple-A and Alex Presley has showed up out of oblivion to hit his way to Indianapolis and fringe-prospect status. I don’t think either of those players have futures as every-day players, but they might be utility/bench/fifth outfield type options in the long run.

There are also a few young international guys to watch as the increased world-wide scouting starts to bear some fruit. Exicardo Cayones, an 18-year old Venezuelan outfielder, is making his debut in the states this year with Bradenton (GCL version) and he’s killing the ball so far. Jorge Bishop, a 19-year old Panamanian shortstop, put up good numbers in Venezuela last summer, though he was a bit old, and is in Bradenton as well. They’re both ranked pretty aggressively, if only because there aren’t a whole lot of guys to be excited about once you start getting deeper into this list. There’s also Gift Ngoepe, the 20-year old South African second baseman, who has almost no power at all but is an on base machine (23 walks in 105 PAs) in State College this year.

Anyways, the rankings are below. That’s my least favorite part of doing this kind of thing because so many of these guys have a lot of work to be done. It’s tough to sort out how to rank, say, Cayonez and Presley or Bishop and Negrych because the young guys are much more talented, but the older guys are much closer to the majors. In any case, I’ve done the best I can and if they look funny to you, try and compare like players to like players (Marte, Cayonez, Bishop, Ngoepe, Avila, for example, or D’Arnaud, Holt, Chambers, and Harrison). The actual position on the list is thus a combination of both closeness to the big leagues and ceiling weighed out by me. Part of the reason I’m ranking these guys is to keep track of how said internal metric actually pans out.

For a full write-up, which I think is the most important part, click each player’s name. For the guys that got ranked the last time I did this, I simply appended a July 2010 update so that you can see how my opinion of them has changed so far this year. If an update isn’t marked, this is the first time I’ve ranked that particular player. Also, remember that there are no members of the draft class of 2010 on here; they’ll go into the list for the first time when I do the rankings again when the season ends.

  1. Tony Sanchez
  2. Starling Marte
  3. Chase D’Arnaud
  4. Brock Holt
  5. Gorkys Hernandez
  6. Exicardo Cayonez
  7. Alex Presley
  8. Evan Chambers
  9. Robbie Grossman
  10. Jarek Cunningham
  11. Josh Harrison
  12. Jorge Bishop
  13. Jeremy Farrell
  14. Jordy Mercer
  15. Quincy Latimore
  16. Eric Avila
  17. Jim Negrych
  18. Jonathan Barrios
  19. Calvin Anderson
  20. Brian Friday
  21. Gift Ngoepe

UPDATE: Updated to reflect that I’m an idiot and should look at more than the bottom stat lines; while Jorge Bishop and Gift Ngoepe have both played in FSL Bradenton this year, it was as injury replacements and they’re both generally stationed in Bradenton and State College, respectively. They’ve both been downgraded on the list just a bit and the post and their entries are updated. Thanks to Matt from PLC for pointing out my mistake.

Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.