Baseball America Eastern League: Ranking Jeurys Familia ahead of Matt Harvey

Baseball America named Jeurys Familia as the #13 prospect in the Eastern League for 2011.

John Manuel explained the ranking:

Familia toned down his delivery from his phrenetic motion he showed prior to 2011, and that allowed him to throw more quality strikes with one of the EL’s most explosive fastballs. His loose, whippy arm helps him sit at 92-96 mph with hard life down in the zone.

His curveball has improved, and while it has slurvy shape, it has late break at times and gives him another swing-and-miss pitch. His changeup is too firm but is a decent third pitch that plays up thanks to his premium fastball. His youth and inexperience show up most with his erratic defense and difficulties holding runners.


In his chat, he also explained why Matt Harvey did not make the Eastern League Top 20:

Harvey did pitch enough to qualify, and he’s in that 21-25 group. The guys I talked to who saw him in the EL thought his stuff was inconsistent and his inexperience showed a bit in terms of setting up hitters and pitch sequence, but he didn’t miss by much. On a top 100, I’d imagine he’d go ahead of Kyle McPherson, for example. In McPherson’s favor, he has a better changeup and actually threw a bit harder than Harvey, but he’s also older. McPherson was better in the league, that swayed me to give him the 20th spot. People in the league definitely liked Familia better because of his loose arm and better fastball. But Harvey’s upside remains very high.


Kyle McPherson, a Pirates’ RHP was the #20 prospect in the League.  I’m confused again about what these League rankings mean if Harvey would outrank McPherson on a Top 100, but not in the Eastern League rankings.  The League rankings mix overall prospect status with performance in the league in a way that seems to be applied differently by different writers.

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