KLaw’s top 100 prospects

How many teams are at their payroll limit?
The RAB Radio Show - January 22, 2009, Episode 10

We touched on this a little bit last night, but Keith Law’s top 100 prospect list is officially posted over at the Worldwide Leader. Austin Jackson comes in at number 46, as he notes that Jackson’s athleticism hasn’t translated into baseball skills just yet. Jesus Montero and Andrew Brackman come in at numbers 83 and 95, respectively. Both have the standard complaints – Montero probably can’t catch, we have to see how Brackman comes back from TJ. Dellin Betances cracked Law’s list of ten prospects that narrowly missed the top 100. Prospects 1-25 are free, but the rest are stuck behind the iron curtain of Insider. Law’s chatting at 1pm, so if you have any questions for him make sure you check it out.

How many teams are at their payroll limit?
The RAB Radio Show - January 22, 2009, Episode 10
  • Chris

    I noticed that only 4 of his top 25 prospects had played at AAA or the majors last year. Not sure if this is a reflection of the general talent level of the high minors, but it does seem that his list is skewed much more towards high upside guys even if they’re very far from the majors.

    • A.D.

      True, but Wallace, Smoke, and Posey are all college bats that will move quickly, and where they ended the season isn’t 100% indicator of where they could/should be. Can probably toss Wieters in that group too

  • A.D.

    Ahh the Dodgers, turning # 13 prospect in the game + a pitcher into Casey Blake

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Ned Coletti = GM of the year

  • http://www.blueseatblogs.com Dave

    I have Insider, want me to post 26-100?

    • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

      No, you can’t do that; but e-mailing it to me would be all sorts of awesome.

      • A.D.

        haha…I just want to know where Schafer came in

        • Yankee1010

          He’s 67th.

          • A.D.

            thanks

      • steve (different one)

        what if he splits it into 3 different threads, would that make it ok?

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          What if we posted it in some kind of secret code?

          #52: Bichael Mowden, RHP, Roston Bed Sox

          • Mike Pop

            Who is that guy?

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              (wink)

              • Mike Pop

                They’ll never know!!!!

        • A.D.

          or if its split into separate postings by different people for each player

  • steve (different one)

    ****sarcasm alert*******

    Keith Law’s top 97 prospects plus 3 surefire busts

    ****sarcasm alert*******

    • pat

      hopefully ECWUTD

  • THU

    Where was Villa? If Montero ws 83rd, I’d have a hard time accepting Villa even making the list.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I’m having a hard time accepting Michael Bowden, a guy Law says has “average stuff” but “doesn’t have ceiling” and “gives up a lot of fly balls and could easily be homer-prone in the big leagues” and “doesn’t look like more than a future fourth starter” is the 52nd best prospect in his list, a full 31 spots better than Jesus Montero.

      I don’t care if 4 years from now, Jesus Montero is a catcher, a first baseman, a left fielder, or a designated hitter. His bat will play anywhere; Law admitted as much himself. There’s no way a 19-year stuf old future heart of the order hitter is less valuable or good or noteworthy or _______ than Michael Freaking Bowden, a guy who’s probably equivalent to Bad Aaron Heilman. No amount of “defensive positional uncertainty” makes Bowden better than Montero.

      Boo.

      • AndrewYF

        Did you complain when Ian Kennedy was ranked ahead of Lars Anderson last year?

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          No, but if somebody had, I would have likely agreed with their viewpoint. Anderson is a beast; Kennedy was a solid prospect but never a future ace.

          However, I think most everyone would agree that pre-2008 Ian Kennedy was a much better prospect than pre-2009 Michael Bowden. Kennedy’s track record and stuff/command were all much better than anything Bowden has shown. Not a horrible comp, but a 2008 ranking of Kennedy over Anderson is a slightly more justifiable position than a 2009 ranking of Bowden over Montero.

          • A.D.

            There are some real Alvarez defenders in the chat.

          • Chris

            I could see Montero catching every day for the Yankees in a few years and KLaw would still argue that he can’t be a catcher.

      • pat

        gurble gurble too big to be da catcha gurble gurble- keith law in a pool of toxic sludge

      • steve (different one)

        i agree with everything you are saying, but Montero is far enough away that i don’t have a huge problem with him getting dinged for that.

        the Yanks’ system fell back, but at the same time, this wasn’t the worst timing for that to occur as there happened to be a very strong FA market where the Yankees cleaned up.

        2009 will be a big year for the Yankee farm system. another big year from Montero and he’s going to rocket up this list. same with the pitchers in Tampa.

        it’s never good to take a step backwards, but if it was going to happen, the yankees could afford it this year as they didn’t need to rely on a lot of trades to reshape their roster.

        signing 2 FA pitchers gave all of their pitching in the minors another year to develop.

        it would be nice if they had a better internal CF option, but that’s really their only true “hole”. they have plenty of bullpen options and some options for the back of their rotation.

        • jsbrendog

          true hole: positional player talent 2b, ss, 3b.

          • steve (different one)

            i’m just talking about holes on the 2009 big league roster.

            my point was about buying time for the guys in the lower levels of the minors.

            the Yanks are pretty set at those spots for 2009-2010….

    • Zack

      “Chris (Ames, IA): How is Villanola fifty spots ahead of Jesus Montero? Montero is still at catcher and out hit Villanola by a large margin.
      Keith Law: (1:35 PM ET ) I don’t think Montero stays at catcher. Villalona has an enormous upside as a power hitter. “

      • A.D.

        Thats a Joe Morgan-eque comment

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Angel Villalona = consistently consistent

          • jsbrendog

            because he exhibits such concetration

  • tripp

    Where do the Angels get all of their catching prospects?

    Mathis, Napoli, this guy that just missed out on the top 100…

  • Spencer

    Look who came in at #32, which would have put him atop the Yankees’ prospect list…Jose “I ain’t gonna play today” Tabata.
    That’s because, after doggin’ it last year in the Yanks farm system, he actually did decide to play for the Pirates. He’s a head case, but the kid has tons of talent.
    Another reason to get the most out of Xavier Nady.

    • steve (different one)

      yes, but Law also had him in his top 10 last year (maybe top 20, i can’t remember exactly).

      Law loves the guy, but other prospect lists wouldn’t rank him as highly.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        2008 Jose Tabata was #21. 9 slot drop.

    • usty

      Ugh…from KLaw too… “he hit .348/.402/.562 with 11 extra-base hits (he had just 12 in four months with the Yankees) and eight stolen bases in just 22 games. ” and “he’s indicated to Pirates’ brass that he realizes he needs to grow up.”

      • A.D.

        yeah the issue is a bit chicken or the egg, if he wasn’t traded would he have “realized he needed to grow up” and thus gotten in gear…who knows

  • huuz

    i’m not holding my breath on tabata developing his talent in order to become a big-leaguer…

    that was a fantastic trade.

    • huuz

      i should qualify that by saying “an above average big-leaguer”

      • Mike Pop

        It’s too early to judge that. I don’t mind the deal but I did not like to sell low on Tabata.

  • Spencer

    By the way, this is my favorite exchange from the Keith Law cha, so far:

    Chris (NJ): I am personally offended at how you ranked a prospect from my favorite team, even though I do not know said prospect, nor have I ever seen him play. In my opinion you only have your job because, like your employers, you have an unholy bias towards my favorite team’s rival. Also, you’re short.

    Keith Law: You’re right. I am short.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      He is short. That caught me off guard.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

          My sports-hating friend has a baseball cap with the words “Local Team” printed on it. He wears it with pride.

  • Tom Gaffney

    I always find it weird that Montero is the same age, in the same league, at more of a premium position yet, and put up even better numbers than Heyward, yet Heyward is so much better a prospect. Yes, you have to take some points off for not knowing whether Montero can master the position, but come on. They should be close.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      You take some points off Montero for the positional uncertainty, but you add a lot of points for Heyward for being plus at CF and plus-plus for RF. ANd Montero’s number’s weren’t “better”, just equal. Montero wOBA’d .389, Heyward .393.

      I’ll agree that Montero’s probably too low and Villalona is too high, but I have no beef with Heyward being top-5.

      • Tom Gaffney

        He’s not a plus at center, he’s a minus. Even K-Law, who worships him, says, “Atlanta has moved him from center to right field; he has a plus arm and above-average range now that he’s out of the middle of the field.”

  • JimmieFox

    Can someone please give me info on Chris Tillman and Jarrod Parker?

    Thanks

  • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    Mike A. making a funny in the KLaw chat. Nice work.

    • A.D.

      didn’t catch that one when it first happened.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Someone left that in a comment in the open thread last night. Give them the credit, I just brought it to a greater audience.

  • steve (different one)

    Law on Brackman:

    He was listed at 7’0″ on his Cape roster, but I think he’s actually 6’10”. Not that this matters. He’s really tall. 91-97 mph fastball, can add and subtract a little with it, good knuckle-curve with depth, command has always been an issue, delivery is good for his size but his size will always make it hard to keep the delivery together. Upside is enormous, #1 starter.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Too bad he’s too tall to remain a pitcher. We’ll have to move him to DH.

      • Mike Pop

        Too tall to be a DH. We will have to move him to Bust.

  • mo

    I never realized Klaw was such a jerk until this chat… i MUST know who made the
    “Chris (NJ): I am personally offended at how you ranked a prospect from my favorite team, even though I do not know said prospect, nor have I ever seen him play. In my opinion you only have your job because, like your employers, you have an unholy bias towards my favorite team’s rival. Also, you’re short.

    Keith Law: You’re right. I am short.”
    joke… CHRIS REVEAL YOURSELF! you get major props

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Wait, how does that make him a jerk? Chris was obviously joking, and KLaw sounds like he went along with the joke (to a degree).

      You lost me.

      • steve (different one)

        i think those were 2 separate thoughts.

        i am OK with KLaw, but he made more than one comment in that chat that could be considered “jerky”

        • Mike Pop

          He’s a little snarky, huh?

          • rbizzler

            The snark is part of his charm. He also has little tolerance for what he perceives as ignorance. I am sure gets a ton of idiots posting questions, especially after ESPN just put up both his prospect and organization rankings.

            • Mike Pop

              Oh agreed, I find it funny. He obviously knows more than any of the posters on this topic. He has a right to be.

    • jsbrendog

      and this makes law a jerk how?

  • steve (different one)

    for example:

    Nick (Milwaukee): Brewers with (paraphrased) “no star power beyond Jeffress”? Ummm Jeffress isnt even listed amongst your pitchers, but Gamel is the 6th best 3B and Escobar is a future gold glove, and 5th best, SS. I dont get it.

    Keith Law: (2:04 PM ET ) Keep thinking. It’s not that hard.

    Jason (Pitt): If you are proven wrong about Alvarez vs. Smoak, Hosmer, etc… will you write a column, or at least publicly admit to it? Seems only fair….

    Keith Law: (2:09 PM ET ) Oh, look, a dumb idea found a new friend. Why would I write an entire column about that?

    etc.

    • Mike Pop

      Haha

    • sabernar

      Not sure if you’ve noticed, but a lot of sportwriters (and bloggers) are snarky and sometimes downright a$$h0les to their readers. It’s nothing new, and KLaw isn’t the first and he won’t be the last. PeteAbe is also quite snarky, and sometimes mean, to his readers on his blog. It’s certainly a turnoff, but just as long as more and more people read them and follow their blogs, they have no reason to stop.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Also, I’ve never done a live chat, but with several thousand questions flying at you and little time to think before it’s time to answer the next one, I’d imagine I’d be pretty snarky and short with questions that are fairly ignorant or smell of personal attacks. It’s not like he’s insulting everyone; he’s being short with people who are being a little short with him as well.

        • steve (different one)

          true.

          of course, he also selects the questions he wants to answer.

          he could, you know, just ignore the stupid questions.

          hey, as a fellow snarker myself, i enjoy it. i’m just saying that i understand the complaint.

  • http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/group.php?gid=43434432275 Ace

    Anyone know where he had Mat Gamel on that list?

  • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

    “Rory(Sacramento): What do you make of Dellin Betances’ improvement in control over the last two months of the season?

    SportsNation Keith Law: I’m not a huge fan of first/second half splits in the minors because the caliber of player you’re facing changes – the typical minor league will lose its best players to promotions as the year goes on. That said, I have to think Betances’ drop in walk rate is more than a sample-size or competition issue. It is substantial.”

    He took the long way, but got it right.