Orioles Think Tank

Orioles Coverage for the Information Age

Official Top Prospects List Thread

Posted by Mike on April 24, 2006

This is where you can comment on the new Top Prospects page

The rules were simple:

  1. Players were ranked as a reflection of their ceiling and likelihood of reaching it.  In the simplest terms: Who would I rather start an organization with?
  2. Players that have or are about to exhaust their rookie status are not included (ie no Nick Markakis).  This is not a hard and fast rule, so you may find exceptions.  Just so you can sleep at night, Markakis would've ranked #1.
  3. I'll update the list around mid-season and again in the off-season.
  4. This is my list, but I created this thread so that you can feel free to tear into it.  I'll get you started with a few choice topics…

Erbe or Liz?  Penn or Loewen?  Reimold or Snyder?  Who is David Hernandez?  Fiorentino or Majewski?  Any personal favorites?

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11 Responses to “Official Top Prospects List Thread”

  1. Mike said

    I also added a little text box in the upper-right hand corner that will be a means to track notable minor league performances. I’ll try and keep it updated.

  2. Justin said

    I have to admit my ignorance with a lot of guys on this list but I find it interesting nonetheless. Is there a reason you stopped at 32 prospects?

    I’ll be interested to see how Hernandez does now that you’ve pointed him out as one to watch.

  3. bradley said

    nice new feature.

    i think b/w liz, erbe & olson, there’s a lot of reason to be optimistic.

  4. Nate said

    It is weird to me that Reimold is #1 on the list. I’m not saying that isn’t correct, its just that I’ve been exposed to various other OF’s like Majewski and Fiorentino, but have never even really laid eyes on Reimold. From all of the reports I’ve read, the #1 ranking seems warranted, I just find it odd that I am seeing and hearing about the other guys way more often.

  5. Mike said

    Thanks guys-

    Justin-
    I stopped at 32 prospects because I figured no one really cared beyond that. The rankings start to get pretty arbitrary (even more so) after that as well. One might argue that I left a few notable names off or even that I left too many on, but 32 is where I stopped.

    Bradley-
    Liz and Erbe are going to be fun. My only worries are that as an 18 year old pitcher, Erbe has an inherent injury risk- and Liz is said to have "violent" mechanics. Still, those are two very high upsides.

    Nate-
    Settling on Reimold was not an easy decision. I think you could make a case for any of the top four, with Erbe and Liz closing fast (only the threat of injury holds them back). In the end, I didn't think there was a better combination of ceiling and polish than Reimold.

    To break it down a little further, I think #1-4 qualifies as the top tier. Erbe and Liz are in a class of their own (high risk/ high reward). After that, there is some drop-off after #12 and another drop-off after #24.

    Within any of these tiers, I think there is room for debate.

  6. Eddie said

    …this list is just about what I’d expect…putting Reimold up top is an interesting choice…he is the first player we’ve had in a while who truly projects as a big power guy…last year he was hitting 400+ ft. moonshots…I like Pope as an interesting sleeper pick…he is very raw but has every tool already…IMO he needs some time to learn the game before we pay close attention there, statistically speaking…Liz is a great story so far into this young season…but even Maine was able to post stratospheric K/9 before he hit AAA…I’m intrigued to see how his numbers work out as he rises…Loewen has been mixed so far (as usual)…Greal Ks; not so good with walks…The two Brandons (Erbe and Snyder) will hopefully trail each other as they rise…both project to be very special players…I am really cautious and excited about Erbe…JJ is sort of the wallflower of the bunch…all he does is win, win, win and pitch, pitch, pitch…it will be really interesting to see how his stats develop as he hits AAA…

  7. Mike said

    Maine had impressive K rates and was an impressive prospect at the time. Turns out, he was overrated- like most 21 year olds that are expected to become major league regulars. The test for Liz will definintely come at higher levels, but all indications are that his stuff matches the stats- hit touches the mid-to-upper 90’s with his FB and his slider is improving.

    I think part of the reason I like JJ is that he gets little attention. I feel like the organization gets antsy when other people talk about their players (Penn, Fiorentino) and promote them before they’re ready. With JJ, they might be more inclined to let him develop. That’s pure speculation and is not giving the organization much credit, but let’s think about who we’re dealing with here.

  8. Ben said

    The list is a great addition.
    I’m happy the Orioles farm system is finally producing some talent.
    I heard somewhere that Reimold might be seeing time at first base.

  9. Mike said

    Hey Ben-

    I think that you are referring to the BA article where an anonymous AL scout thought he projected as a 1B. If not, disregard this, but that is the first I’ve heard of this. Frankly, most reports I hear are very positive about Reimold’s defense, although most people (O’s included) thought he was stretched to play CF. This year, he’s been playing RF.

  10. Jeremy said

    Mike,
    I like your site…I just stumbled across it while searching for info on Chris Vinyard. Looks like you put a lot of work into this list, and some of the info you managed to collect was impressive (eg the back story on Stadanlick). I’m curious as to where you dug up some of that?

    Obviously there may be a number of changes to the list at mid-season, but the biggest question I have on your preseason list is why Arturo Rivas isn’t included…I realize his stats aren’t all that impressive, but he’s having a solid year in a pitcher’s league. Also, every account I’ve heard from those who have seen him in person is amazement at his tools, particularly his throwing arm. If he gets his well-deserved promotion to Frederick, he should finish the year at 22 in high A, which puts him on a decent track to the bigs. I think he’s a reasonable bet to be at least a 4th or 5th OF in the majors, especially if his extra base power develops into HR power (his ceiling might be Mike Cameron without as many SBs, which isn’t too bad) . I think he should be in your top 20, or at least above some of the guys at the bottom of your list. But that’s my opinion…what’s yours on Rivas?

  11. Mike said

    Hey Jeremy,

    Thanks for the kind words. Re: your question, I get the info from different sources. Like a lot of you guys, I read just about every baseball annual out there. Plus, although it might not be reflected in this list, I go to a bunch of minor league games and talk to players and people in the organization. A recent affiliation (which I will explain soon) has afforded me press credentials, which, in turn, has afforded me much greater access than I've ever had.

    Re: Rivas, that's mostly just an oversight on my part. Later this year, I'll be making a top 50 prospects list and he will certainly be on it. He does not have Cameron-like power, but he has enough versatility to one day be a useful bench player. His K-rate is a little scary in that he'll have to hit at higher levels before it stops being a concern. 

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