Tag Archives: Prospects

Prospect Review – Eury Perez


The next prospect up for review is Eury Perez of the Washington Nationals. Wait, were you expecting Bryce Harper as the prospect to write about from that organization? I think he’s been pretty well covered at this point.

The Basics
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
How Acquired: Signed by the Washington Nationals as an International Free Agent.
Age as of 4/1/11: 20

Scouting Reports and Statistics

Age           Tm   Lg Lev   G  R   H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG
20    Hagerstown SALL   A 131 88 131 17  5  3  42 64 13 23 74 .299 .345 .381

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/7/2011.

Prospect Ranks
Hardball Times: #7 (WAS – 2011)
Baseball America: #8 (WAS – 2011)
John Sickels: #9 (WAS – 2011) C+
Baseball Prospectus: #9 (WAS – 2011) 2 star
Top Prospect Alert: #9 (WAS – 2011)

Analysis

Perez was a signee out of the Dominican Republic as a teenager, and made it to his first full-season league in 2010, heading to the Sally League. The biggest skill in his arsenal to this point clearly appears to be his speed, as he stole 64 bases in 131 games there, as well as 21 in 37 Dominican Winter League games. He hit for a nice .299 batting average during the regular season, but there hasn’t really been a lot written about him.

From an MLB.COM chat by Jonathan Mayo, via Federal Baseball:

Eury Perez is one of those guys that’s kind of interesting to see what happens with him cause he can flat-out run. He made his full season debut just this past season and he hit .299, which is fine, but you don’t know how many of those base hits came just because he can flat-out fly. He only slugged .381, but he stole 64 bases which was among the highest in all the minor leagues, and he has kept on doing it in the Dominican. Keep in mind that he’s just 20-years-old so he’s playing against much older and much more advanced competition. Hit .330 in the Dominican and stolen 20 bases, so he’s showing that the speed might be able to play as he moves up the ladder and that’s the case with these guys, you have to see whether he can swing the bat well enough.”

Here’s what Nationals’ Prospects’ had to say about him as well:

Above-average speed coupled with improved basestealing skills led to 64 steals, 41 of which came in the second half. Scouts project him as a plus defender with accurate-but-average arm. Particularly adept at slashing the ball up the middle and protecting with two strikes, and has enough power to get gappers for doubles and triples.

Overall, I really like the numbers out of him last year, and the scouting reports seem to at least think he has a decent shot of continuing to advance.

Outlook

Perez seems likely to be at High-A for the majority of 2011, and I will be interested to see how he handles the higher quality pitching. The name that seems to keep coming up with regard to comparisons is that of Juan Pierre. He looks like he could have similar power and speed skills, which could definitely translate to the Majors.

Prediction for 2011

.280, 55 SB

Expected ETA

He will be 21 for a majority of the 2011 season, and I believe that if he can continue to progress and improve, he would be in the majors around 2013 or 2014. The Nationals do not necessarily need to rush him, but it may be good for him to be pushEd Higher.

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Prospect Review – Jay Austin


The next prospect up for review is Jay Austin of the Houston Astros.

The Basics
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
How Acquired: Drafted by the Houston Astros in the 2nd round of the 2008 amateur draft.
Age as of 4/1/11: 20

Scouting Reports and Statistics

The Baseball Cube

Tm            Lg Lev   G  R   H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG
Lancaster   CALL  A+ 131 83 139 25 13 10  59 54 20 39 126 .261 .314 .414

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/3/2011.
Prospect Ranks
Hardball Times: #10 (HOU – 2011)
John Sickels: #15 (HOU – 2011) C

Analysis

The Astros’ minor league system is really pretty thin at this point. Jordan Lyles was pretty much the consensus #1 prospect on nearly every ranking I read, but I wrote about him last year. Delino DeShields Jr was at #2 on many of the lists, but as a high school draftee I didn’t really want to write about him. A prospect who jumped out at me when I started doing my research was Jay Austin, although I’ll be honest with you, I don’t remember why.

Austin spent his 3rd professional season in Lancaster in the California League, where he posted what at first seemed like some excellent numbers. He had 48 extra base hits and 54 stolen bases, both of which jump out at me. However, once I started looking into Austin a bit more, I’m not liking what I have found.

The most glaring problem that stands out to me is his plate discipline. Austin has never really shown a particularly good ability to take a walk, and his numbers really fell off in 2010. He has drawn a total of 89 walks in 287 games, and has struck out 274 times, including a ridiculous 126 times in 2010. These numbers might actually be reasonable if Austin were a power hitter, and you were going to get 30-40 home run potential to go with it. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Austin hit 10 home runs last year, and with half of his games at Lancaster, his numbers should be better. The park factor for Lancaster home runs last year was 1.39, and 1.22 as a weighted 3-year average. Basically, the park is good for about 20% more home runs than the league average. While this number would balance out over the span of the season, I’m not sold his home run total will improve much, or necessarily even hold. This is especially damning to me when I look at his 2009 homeruns (1), and the park factors for his home stadium of Lexington (1.13 for both numbers). Now, he can definitely be developing power, but his skill set doesn’t really profile as that being very likely.

Austin’s calling card is definitely his speed, as he stole 54 bases last year in 74 attempts. Here’s what David Coleman over at Crawfish Boxes had to say about him last year:

More and more, Austin profiles very similarly to Michael Bourn. While Bourn walked more at the lower levels of the minor leagues, Austin has more power. Bourn has him beat in stolen base percentage, but Austin is younger than Bourn was at this level. Bourn skipped High A ball completely, advancing to Double-A in his Age 22 season but suffered through his worst minor league campaign that year. Austin is young and in an advanced league, yet has shown no real dips in his averages from past seasons.

 

Outlook

Based on the things I’ve been reading, Austin seems like he still has some potential, but he’s definitely going to have his work cut out for him. He will be 20 years old this season, and needs to make significant strides in terms of plate discipline to continue his advancement.

Prediction for 2011

.260/.300/.390, 7 HR, 45 SB (AA)

Expected ETA

Based on his progress, I think we could see Austin in the Majors by 2013. This seems like a big leap of faith at the moment though, as he will need to continue to perform and improve on his skill set while doing so. I’m not sold he’s going to make it at all though.

Prospect Review – Nick Castellanos


The next prospect up for review is Nick Castellanos of the Detroit Tigers

The Basics
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
How Acquired: Drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the first round (44th overall) of the 2010 amateur draft.
Age as of 4/1/11: 19

Scouting Reports and Statistics

The Baseball Cube

Year     Lg Lev G R H 2B RBI SB BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
2010   GULF  Rk 7 5 8  2   3  0  4  5 .333 .414 .417 .830

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/2/2011.

Prospect Ranks
Hardball Times: #3 (DET – 2011)
Deep Leagues: #111 (Overall –  2011), #5 (3B – 2011)
Bullpen Banter: #5 (3B – 2011)
MLB.COM: #10 (3B – 2011)
Baseball America: #2 (DET – 2011)
John Sickels: #2 (PHI – 2011) B
Baseball Prospectus: #2 (DET – 2011) 4 star
Scouting Book: #8 (3B – 2011), #75 (Overall – 2011)
Top Prospect Alert: #2 (DET – 2011)

Analysis

Castellanos was drafted out of high school by the Tigers in the supplemental first round of the 2010 draft. He agreed to a contract right at the signing deadline in August, and received a $3.45 million signing bonus. He’s another player who didn’t get into very many games during the 2010 season due to signing late, but he did manage to get 8 hits, including 2 doubles, in his 7 games in Rookie ball. The scouting reports about Castellanos rave about his potential to be an excellent player.

From Andy Seiler’s draft report:

Castellanos is as good as you’re going to get for a smooth power-hitter this year. He features one of the prettiest swings from the right side of the plate, and it projects for plus power and plus hitting. He also features average speed, sometimes better, depending on the day you see him. He should stick as a fringe-average runner in the long run once he fills out. Defense is the questionable side of his game. He features an above-average arm that should be just fine for third, but he has a slow release and fringe-average lateral range at times, along with below-average instincts off the bat. He has the raw tools to be a solid third baseman, but there’s some question about his ability to adjust there, as some think he’ll be a liability.

From Baseball Beginnings’ Pre-Draft Scouting Report:

With great hands and an what other players describe as an effortless swing, Castellanos shows the ability to let pitches get deep before going to center and right-center field with power. Defensively, he shows enough balance and athleticism to give him a chance to develop at third as a pro. Arm strength and running are adequate but do not project to be below-average.

Castellanos appears to be another steal for the Tigers at this draft spot, as he had been committed to the University of Miami, and received the 5th highest bonus in the 2010 draft despite being drafted 44th overall. He sounds like he is going to be an excellent hitter, with the potential to be at least solid at 3B in the majors. He is still very young (just 19 to start 2011), but the Tigers have been known to move prospects through their system very quickly. I want to see a full season of stats out of him, but I like what I’ve been reading to this point.

Outlook

I honestly would be shocked if the Tigers moved him too fast, but I could see him start 2011 in Low-A. He has only played 7 games as a professional to this point, and will probably need a decent amount of time at that level before moving to either a High-A or AA affiliate.

Prediction for 2011

.275, 12HR, 65 RBI (Low-A)

Expected ETA

His path of progression seems like he will spend 2011 in Low-A, with 2012 having the possibility of a split between High-A and AA. Based on that progression, I think we could see Castellanos in Detroit in either 2014 or 2015. He’ll be just 23 years old in 2015, and could be there a long time potentially.

Prospect Review – Drake Britton


The next prospect up for review is Drake Britton of the Boston Red Sox.

The Basics
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
How Acquired: Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 23rd round of the 2007 amateur draft.
Age as of 4/1/11: 21

Scouting Reports and Statistics

The Baseball Cube

Lg     Lev W L  ERA   IP  H ER HR BB SO  WHIP
SALL     A 2 3 2.97 75.2 69 25  5 23 78 1.216

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/1/2011.

Prospect Ranks
Deep Leagues: #141 (Overall –  2011), #58 (SP – 2011)
Baseball America: #3 (BOS – 2011)
Keith Law: #90 (Overall – 2011)
John Sickels: #2 (BOS – 2011) B
Scouting Book: #20 (LHP – 2011), #124 (Overall – 2011)
Top Prospect Alert: #6 (BOS – 2011)

Analysis

Britton was drafted out of high school in the 23rd round by the Red Sox in 2007, but only really made his full season debut in 2010. He posted an excellent set of stats, going 2-3 with a 2.97 ERA and 78 strikeouts to 23 walks in just under 76 innings pitched for the Red Sox’ Sally League affiliate.

He stood out to me when I was first looking at which prospects to review because John Sickels had ranked him as the 2nd best prospect in the system after the Adrian Gonzalez trade. The part that was interesting to me was the fact that he was not particularly well ranked by many of the other major websites out there.

According to SoxProspects.com, Britton missed the majority of 2009 while he recovered from Tommy John surgery, and was limited in 2010 by the Sox as a result of this as well.

Not surprisingly, there’s not been a whole lot written about Britton since his surgery. But here’s what Mike Newman of Scouting the Sally had to write about him:

In the Sally, multiple scouts reported his being between 91-95 MPH with one stating he’d rather have Britton in his organization than Colorado Rockies uber-prospect Tyler Matzek.

Here’s some of what Keith Law had to say about it in his Top 100 profile of Britton:

He’s aggressive and will throw strikes, if not always the quality strikes he needs, and his arm works well. He threw only about 90 to 95 innings in 2010, including work in spring training, so he’ll remain on a fairly low innings cap in 2011 and is probably a good three years out, with the chance that he’s a Jon Lester Lite down the road.

Outlook

Overall, he seems like a very high upside prospect given where he’s at currently. The Red Sox system has been effectively cut off at the top with the trade of Adrian Gonzalez to the Padres, but Britton looks like he could make the next jump in 2011.

Prediction for 2011

7 wins, 110 innings pitched, 3.50 ERA, 100 strikeouts, 30 walks (High-A)

Expected ETA

2014 seems most likely for an appearance in the bigs, but based on the fact that he will need to build up endurance in addition to progressing up the levels, he seems more likely to be in a permanent role in 2015.

Prospect Review – Jameson Taillon


The next prospect up for review is Jameson Taillon of the Pittsburgh Pirates

The Basics
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
How Acquired: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1st round (#2 overall) in the 2010 amateur draft
Age as of 4/1/11: 19

Prospect Ranks
Hardball Times: #1 (PIT – 2011)
Deep Leagues: #17 (Overall –  2011), #9 (SP – 2011)
Project Prospect: #10 (Overall – 2011)
Bullpen Banter: #9 (SP – 2011)
MLB.COM: #18 (Overall – 2011)
Baseball America: #1 (PIT – 2011)
John Sickels: #1 (PIT – 2011) B+
Scouting Book: #11 (RHP – 2011), #43 (Overall – 2011)
Top Prospect Alert: #1 (PIT – 2011)

Analysis

You know, after trying to write up a couple of high school players last year, I told myself then that I wasn’t going to write any up this year because it’s too hard to find information. But when you’re dealing with the 2nd pick in the draft last year, information isn’t nearly as hard to come by.

Continue reading

Prospect Review – Zack Cox


The next prospect up for review is Zack Cox of the St. Louis Cardinals

The Basics
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
How Acquired: Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1st round (25th pick) of the 2010 amateur draft.
Age as of 4/1/11: 21

Scouting Reports and Statistics
The Baseball Cube

Prospect Ranks
Hardball Times: #2 (STL – 2011)
Deep Leagues: #54 (Overall –  2011), #4 (3B – 2011)
Bullpen Banter: #6 (3B – 2011)
MLB.COM: #8 (3B – 2011)
Baseball America: #2 (STL – 2011)
John Sickels: #3 (STL – 2011) B-
Scouting Book: #7 (3B – 2011), #73 (Overall – 2011)
Top Prospect Alert: #2 (STL – 2011)

Analysis

Cox was the top draft pick for the Cardinals in 2010 out of the University of Arkansas. He finished off an excellent sophomore season there with a .429/.507/.609 line with 9 home runs, 48 runs batted in, and 11 stolen bases.

He signed for a $3.2 million bonus, more than the two picks before and after him combined ($2.8 M total). The contract also included being placed on the 40 man roster. However, he only appeared in 4 games with the Rookie League affiliate for the Cardinals in 2010.

I like the plate discipline he showed in college (34 walks against 37 strikeouts in his sophomore season), but the concern that keeps coming up in the scouting reports I am reading is whether or not his bat will play enough to stay at third base.

From Baseball Beginning’s scouting report on Cox:

While I agree he’s a solid draft pick, I don’t see him as a premium pick. Here’s why. If he’s going to stay at third base as a major leaguer and be a standout player, he’ll need power. There are no signs in this video that Cox is tailored for lifting the ball. He’s armsy and likes extension, but he doesn’t drive the ball. He makes contact, but not with what I would term hard contact.

From Project Prospect’s pre-draft scouting report:

Make no mistake about it, the Arkansas third baseman is a talented player. Cox has shown the ability to hit for solid power and make contact. Unfortunately, he hasn’t shown the ability to do them at the same time.

I think that at this point, Cox is a player to follow, as he could very well advance through the system quickly due to being on the 40 man roster. I will be very interested to see where he plays in 2011.

Outlook

I think Cox’s outlook will vary widely depending on where he starts 2011. I think that by the end of the season, he will most likely be in AA, but I’m not sure that he’ll be there before the beginning of August.

Prediction for 2011

.280/.340/.430, 10 HR, 75 RBI, 10 SB (Split between A and AA)

Expected ETA

2012 mid season seems likely to me. This assumes he finishes 2011 at AA.

Prospect Review – Robert Erlin


The next prospect up for review is Robert Erlin, pitcher for the Texas Rangers.

The Basics
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
How Acquired: Drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 3rd round of the 2009 amateur draft.
Age as of 4/1/11: 20

Scouting Reports and Statistics
The Baseball Cube

Year   Lev W L  ERA  G GS GF    IP ER HR BB  SO  WHIP
2010     A 6 3 2.12 28 17  2 114.2 27  9 17 125 0.924

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/28/2011.
 

Prospect Ranks
Hardball Times: #4 (TEX – 2011)
Deep Leagues: #93 (Overall –  2011), #41 (SP – 2011)
Baseball America: #4 (TEX – 2011)
John Sickels: #3 (TEX – 2011) B+
Top Prospect Alert: #4 (TEX– 2011)

Analysis

Erlin was drafted out of high school by the Rangers in the 2009 amateur draft, and signed for a bonus of $425K. He did manage to make 3 appearances in the 2009 season, but threw just 4 innings for the Rangers’ Rookie affiliate.  The Rangers moved him to the full-season Sally League for 2010, and he really thrived there. He posted a 2.12 ERA, and 125 strikeouts to just 17 walks in 114 2/3 innings pitched.

Something that I keep finding when I look at scouting reports about Erlin is that his size may not translate well to the Majors.  That said, Mike Newman of Scouting the Sally had this to say in his scouting report on Erlin:

Yes, Erlin is not the ideal size for a pitcher, but I’d argue it works well for him. He’s small and compact which, combined with his athleticism, makes for easily repeatable mechanics. Erlin’s clean arm action and effortless velocity leads me to believe he could gain an additional tick or two on the radar gun as he continues to mature.

I think Erlin is going to be someone to watch as the 2011 season starts up. The Rangers had him start out in relief in 2010, and then transitioned him into starting. Jason Parks over at Baseball Time in Arlington had this to say about Erlin‘s weaknesses:

Lacks elite arsenal and prototypical size for a starter. When he doesn’t stay on top of his FB, the pitch tends to flat-plane and elevate, either catching too much of the upper zone or missing high. CB can get to loopy when it’s soft-tossed, causing a loose rotation and early break. CU is still a developing pitch with some arm speed inconsistencies causing the pitch to float and not tumble. Needs to sharpen his command within the zone

Overall, I always like a pitcher who shows good to excellent command, and 17 walks in 114 innings definitely falls in that range. he was still young, pitching as a 19 year old in the Sally League, and will be interested to see if they move him up to AA to start 2011.

Outlook

Erlin really seems like a boom-or-bust type of prospect – either the Rangers are going to have a solid starting pitcher in the future, or they could end up with a reliever instead. Based on the reports I have read, he seems unlikely to grow into a more prototypical size for a pitcher, but that doesn’t mean he won’t see success anyway. I think the Rangers might be good to challenge Erlin and send him to AA as opposed to the hitters’ paradise that is the High-A California League.

Prediction for 2011

8 wins, 3.65 ERA, 140 strikeouts, 20 walks, 150 innings pitched (AA)

Expected ETA

The Rangers don’t seem to have rushed a lot of their pitchers to the Majors necessarily, but I think that we are most likely to see Erlin in Arlington sometime in 2013. He seems destined (at the moment anyway) to go to either High-A or AA for 2011, with a promotion to AAA for the majority of 2012.

Prospect Review – Kyle Gibson


The next prospect up for review is Kyle Gibson, pitcher for the Minnesota Twins.

The Basics
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
How Acquired: Drafted by the Minnesota Twins with the 22nd pick in the 2009 amateur draft.
Age as of 4/1/11: 23

Scouting Reports and Statistics
The Baseball Cube

Lev   W L  ERA GS   IP  H HR BB SO  WHIP
A+    4 1 1.87  7 43.1 33  2 12 40 1.038
AA    7 5 3.68 16 93.0 91  5 22 77 1.215
AAA   0 0 1.72  3 15.2 12  0  5  9 1.085

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/26/2011.
 

Prospect Ranks
Hardball Times: #1 (MIN – 2011)
Deep Leagues: #30 (Overall –  2011), #14 (SP – 2011)
Bullpen Banter: #16 (SP – 2011)
MLB.COM: #40 (Overall – 2011)
Baseball America: #1 (MIN – 2011)
John Sickels: #1(MIN – 2011) B+
Scouting Book: #7 (RHP – 2011), #24 (Overall – 2011)
Top Prospect Alert: #1 (MIN – 2011)

Analysis

Gibson was drafted by the Twins in the first round of the 2009 draft out of the University of Missouri, and signed for a $1.8 Million signing bonus.  Gibson fell a bit in the draft, as he missed 6 weeks of playing time in his last college season due to a stress fracture in his right forearm. It appears that had he not suffered this injury, he likely would have been a top-10 pick.

He did not make his professional debut until 2010, and started the season with the Twins High-A affiliate in Fort Myers. He advanced quickly, making it all the way up to AAA before the end of the season. During 2010, he posted an 11-6 record with a 2.96 ERA and 126 strikeouts against 39 walks in 152 innings total.

From ESPN’s scouting report pre-draft on Gibson:

He’s tall and projectable, already showing a solid-average fastball at 89-93 mph with good downhill plane. His changeup is ahead of his slider, although both project as above-average pitches; he turns the changeup over well and gets good fading action on it, while the slider is less consistent, at times showing good bite and tilt but at others going a little soft. On days when he has the sharp slider, he’ll miss plenty of bats. His command and control have always been above-average.

I like what I am hearing about him overall, as it sounds like he could very well be a solid major league pitcher. Another snippet, from Saberscouting’s report on him from 2008:

Mechanics – Smooth, easy arm action, shouldn’t have serious arm problems. Very little effort. Has a pause in his delivery just before his release, allows his arm to catch up. Drifts out over the rubber, weight leaks forwards, costs him a few ticks of his velocity. Doesn’t drive with his legs, relies on his fast arm. Throws over the top, creating good downward action. No windup.

Overall, it sounds like he will continue to move quickly through the Twins’ system, and could be Minnesota very soon.

Outlook

I have read a few different reports where he is mentioned as a possible #2/#3 starter candidate, and the numbers to this point make me think that is possible. He does well to control his walks compared to his strikeouts, and appears to keep the ball in the park fairly well (7 homers last year in 152 innings). He received an invite to Spring Training from the Twins, and while I don’t think he will make the team out of there, he could be up before the end of the season.

Prediction for 2011

10 wins, 3.50 ERA, 125 strikeouts, 40 walks, 150 innings pitched (AAA)

Expected ETA

A callup in 2011 isn’t out of the question, but if he struggles at AAA I could see him staying there until 2012.

Prospect Review – Nick Franklin


The next prospect up for review is Nick Franklin of the Mariners.

The Basics
Bats: Both
Throws: Right
How Acquired: Drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 1st Round (27th pick) of the 2009 draft.
Age as of 4/1/11: 20

Scouting Reports and Statistics
The Baseball Cube

Tm           Lg Lev   G  R HR RBI SB BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS
Clinton    MIDW   A 129 89 23  65 25 50 123 .281 .351 .485  .837
WestTenn   SOUL  AA   1  3  0   0  0  1   1 .667 .750 .667 1.417

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/22/2011.
Prospect Ranks
Hardball Times: #2 (SEA – 2011)
Deep Leagues: #31 (Overall –  2011), #3 (SS – 2011)
Project Prospect: #3 (2B – 2011)
Bullpen Banter: #3 (SS – 2011)
Baseball America: #3 (SEA – 2011)
John Sickels: #3 (SEA – 2011) B
Baseball Prospectus: #3 (SEA – 2011), 4 star
Scouting Book: #8 (SS – 2011), #86 (Overall – 2011)
Top Prospect Alert: #2 (LAA – 2011)

Analysis

Franklin was drafted out of high school by the Mariners in 2009, and signed for a $1.28 million bonus. He had signed to play baseball at Auburn, but the Mariners were able to pay him enough to make him reconsider. He appeared in 16 games in 2009, but made his full season debut in 2010. He played all but 1 game in 2010 in the Midwest League, with the Mariners’ affiliate in Clinton. Despite being a first round pick, I have to imagine that the Mariners were extremely pleased with his performance there: .281/.351/.485 with 22 doubles, 23 home runs, and 25 stolen bases. Franklin played the entire 2010 season as a teenager (19 years old), and as such posted the 3rd highest home run total in the past decade by a teenager in the Midwest League. The lack of plate discipline (53 walks vs. 132 strikeouts in his career) is a bit concerning, but the walk rate is solid (8.7% in 2010).

From ProBallNW’s scouting report prior to the season:

Franklin is a very balanced player with no outstanding tools or skills and no glaring weaknesses either. While that isn’t sexy, that is certainly valuable. He should hit enough that his ability to start should come down to his defense.  Scouting reports vary (as they often do with defense) but he has good actions and footwork and is at least an average defender going forward.

Prospect Insider had this to say about him, and it makes me very excited to see what he can do next:

Yep, a 49-year-old home run record may go down to a “pip-squeak of a physical specimen,” as one scout put it jokingly, but that’s the biggest reason Franklin is a legit bg-league prospect; He’s smart, works hard, understands the game and brings all the leadership skills and intangibles to the ballpark every single day. He’s methodical in his work and appears to be a bit of a perfectionist, holding himself to a very high standard.

Overall, I think he’s going to be one of those prospects who is going to be a very solid player, and where the tools and build may fall slightly short of some of the other top prospects out there, but it sounds like he has the mental makeup to work through them and excel.

Outlook

It sounds like Franklin could very well start the season at AA in 2011, and could very well be moving quickly up the chain. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of consensus about whether or not he can stay at shortstop, but it seems that regardless he should be in the middle of the infield.

Prediction for 2011

.285/.345/.475, 21 HR, 15 SB

Expected ETA

2012 seems pretty likely for Franklin. The Mariners don’t really have a lot going on at the Major League level at either the shortstop or second base, and a strong performance by him could lend itself to a call up in 2011 at some point.

Prospect Review – Jean Segura


The Basics
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
How Acquired: International Free Agent Signee by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim out of the Dominican Republic
Age as of 4/1/11: 21

Scouting Reports and Statistics
The Baseball Cube

Tm               Lg Lev   G  R HR RBI SB BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG
Cedar Rapids   MIDW   A 130 89 10  79 50 45 72 .313 .365 .464

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/18/2011.
Prospect Ranks
Hardball Times: #4 (LAA – 2011)
Deep Leagues: #70 (Overall-  2011), #6 (2B – 2011)
Bullpen Banter: #5 (2B – 2011)
Baseball America: #3 (LAA – 2011)
John Sickels: #3 (LAA – 2011) B
Baseball Prospectus: #2 (LAA – 2011), 5 star
Scouting Book: #2 (2B – 2011), #55 (Overall – 2011)
Top Prospect Alert: #3 (LAA – 2011)

Analysis

Segura was signed by the Angels out of the Dominican Republic, and really rocketed up the prospect charts in 2010. 2010 was his first full length season, and really shined, posting a .313/.365/.464 line with 46 extra base hits, 79 runs batted in, 89 runs scored, and 50 stolen bases. His plate discipline was solid, as he posted a 7.7% walk rate and a 14% strikeout rate. Not amazing numbers, but definitely solid, especially for a 20 year old in the Midwest League.

Here’s what Keith Law had to say about Segura prior to the start of the 2010 season:

Segura has outstanding bat control and a good line-drive swing path, but his back side collapses completely and he gets on top of a lot of balls he should be driving to the outfield. He’s an above-average runner but is still a poor defender at second, and he’s had some trouble staying on the field, but assuming he gets a full season in this year and the Angels can work on keeping him upright through his swing, he has the potential to at least hit for high batting averages as he moves up the ladder.

The impression I have been getting from some of the other scouting reports is that Segura may actually be able to move to shortstop, and thrive there as well. Either way, if he can stay at a middle infield position, his bat could be one of the best at the position by the time it reaches the Majors.

The speed he showed at Low A is very, very nice, but I will be interested to see if he can repeat that performance at the next level. He saw a spike in his stolen base opportunity % from 31% in 2009 to 36% in 2010, but was still down from his first professional season where he had 44%.

2010 was also the first season Segura was able to stay healthy the whole way through, as he had suffered injuries in both 2008 and 2009. I imagine he’s going to start the season in 2011 at either a High-A affiliate or possibly even in AA. Either of which could still have him as one of the younger players in the league.

Outlook

Segura looks to me like he has the potential to be a very, very good player for the Angels. That said, he has shown flashes in 3 previous seasons, but really put it together last year. I want to see how he performs in 2011, as he could very well vault into the top 25 of prospects in the league with another strong performance. He appears to have solid power potential, as well as excellent speed. If he can keep up the performance he showed in low-A, he could be a very special player.

Prediction for 2011

 .285/.340/.430, 8 HR, 35 SB (A+)

Expected ETA

I imagine that if he continues at the current rate, he will end 2011 in AA, and could see a call up to the Majors by the end of 2012. 2013 seems a lot more likely, and the fact that is the Angels does give me a slight pause as they have been known to not play prospects when they are necessarily ready.