It’s time to take a mid-season look back at my Preseason Top 41 Prospects list. THIS IS NOT A RE-RANKING. Instead, this was my take on the system last winter. After I look at the guys in my Top 41, we’ll look at some of the big risers during the 2012 season.
This is a fun series to write as I grade my own work. Some things I got right. Some I got wrong.
Each player’s name should link back to his scouting report from this past winter.
#36 – SS Danny Muno
What I Thought: He could be a hard-hitting utility infielder.
Reality: He hit, mostly played second base, but mixed in a few at third and then was busted for an anabolic steroid. How much extra power did he pick up from the juice?
Stock: Down. It’s not the suspension as much as the missed development time for a 23-year old who should have been pushing for a promotion to double-A by now.
|2011 – NYP||220||78||23||3||2||43||39||0||1||3||.355||.466||.514|
|2012 – FSL||152||43||10||1||5||12||26||0||3||1||.283||.339||.461|
|2011 – NYP||10.5||14.6||16.1||0.7||.425||.159|
|2012 – FSL||9.5||15.5||7.1||3.0||.314||.178|
#37 – RHP Taylor Whitenton
What I Thought: Whitenton’s fastball would play up out of the bullpen and combined with his high, slightly unusual arm slot, he would be would advance through the system as a reliever.
Reality: He’s a reliever, but he’s not advancing and his walk-rate is a career-high. Since June 1, Whitenton has been untouchable: 1.27 ERA, 21.1 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 HB, 12 BB, 27 K. 13.9, but even at his best, he’s still walking 5.1 batters per nine.
#38 – RHP Rafael Montero
What I Thought: I wrote that he “has one of the most explosive arms in the lower levels of the system regularly working in the low-90s, with the ability to throw mid-90s when he airs it out. He has the beginnings of a breaking ball and throws strikes, lots and lots of strikes.”
Reality: Explosive is a little high on his arm, but the strikes part was right. He was regularly 91-91 and could reach back for 94. On the other hand, his command of the pitch was really impressive for a 21-year old. He succeeded in the SAL on his fastball and changeup early, but began using his slider more as his time progressed before his promotion at the All-Star Break. If his slider develops, he could well be a rotation piece.
Stock: Up and Up.
#39 – Cam Maron
What I Thought: Josh Thole Jr. – a catcher with some on-base skills but a short arm.
Reality: Josh Thole Jr. Maron does get extra credit for his ability to speak Spanish and the work he puts in with his pitchers. However, he’s thrown out just three of 46 attempted basestealers a caught stealing rate of 6.5%. That’s problematic.
#40 – Travis Taijeron
What I Thought: I liked the power and patience Taijeron showed in his professional debut in 2011 with the Cyclones. He was ranked here because I felt as though he would have to move off centerfield to left, and was concerned about his strikeouts, and the fact that he would start 2012 as a 23-year old.
Reality: I like the power and patience, but he has moved to leftfield and struck out a lot. As of July 10, his 16 homeruns are tied with Aderlin Rodriguez and Cory Vaughn for the Mets’ organization lead. Mechanically, he works off a very deep load that results in swing with a near arm-bar that concerns scouts who think it will prevent him from hitting for a high enough average to play on the corner.
Stock: Up, but by less than fans assume. A 23-year old in a-ball had better hit enough to earn a promotion, or he’ll be looking at a release relatively soon.
#41 – Joe Tuschak
What I Thought: He was a young speedy outfielder picked in the sixth round in 2001, with a chance to put it together.
Reality: He’s shown more patience and even a little extra-base pop in the first three weeks in the Appalachian League this year.