Continued from Part 1: The Top Ten…
11. Brian Goodwin, CF, Washington – Goodwin was one of Washington’s last chances to splurge in the draft with the new draft spending rules now in place. He hasn’t made his pro debut yet, but he’s a potential five tool player in center with plus or better speed and a good arm. His great bat speed will allow him to hit for a solid average and become an above average home run hitter. Even though he was a college bat, Goodwin is expected to start 2012 in low-A.
12. Brandon Nimmo, OF, New York – Wyoming isn’t exactly a hotbed for baseball, but that didn’t stop Nimmo from being selected 13th overall in the 2011 draft. He’s not as raw as one might expect of someone who didn’t play high school baseball. He’s a really good contact hitter but doesn’t generate much loft in his swing as of now. He could always add strength to his frame to improve power. He’s really athletic and should cover plenty of ground in center at Citi Field. Nimmo could start 2012 in low-A.
13. Jesse Biddle, LHSP, Philadelphia – If Biddle cleans up his command, he should become an above average starting pitcher. He’ll need to pump up his fastball velocity a little more again too. Biddle should start 2012 in high-A.
14. Alex Meyer, RHP, Washington – Meyer’s stuff is as good as anyone’s, but his basketball body (6’9, 220) works against him. He frequently has mechanical issues like a lot of tall pitchers, and it took a few seasons at Kentucky to get his BB/9 down to 4.10, and he still needs to get better. His fastball has touched 100 in the past, but if he can’t develop his changeup more and harness his fastball and slider, his future may be in the bullpen. Like Goodwin, Meyer was a college player but is still a bit raw. He could start in low-A.
15. Sebastian Valle, C, Philadelphia – Valle is pretty toolsy as far as catchers go, and behind the plate they’re starting to come through in the games. He should be a good defensive catcher, and if he develops better pitch selection, he could hit for some really good power. Valle should start 2012 in AA.
16. Matt Purke, LHP, Washington – Purke could have been a top five pick in the 2011 draft, but a shoulder injury and deteriorated stuff really damaged his stock. The Nationals paid him a hefty sum hoping he can get it back, but it’s far from a guarantee. If he’s ever healthy again, he’ll have a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus slider. He could start in high-A, but it’s possible he joins fellow 2011 draftees Goodwin and Meyer in low-A.
17. Jeurys Familia, RHP, New York – Familia had a breakout season in his second stint in the Florida State League where he was quickly promoted after six dominant starts. His fastball has mid 90’s velocity and movement, but his secondary pitches still need a lot of work. He may not throw enough strikes to remain in the rotation. Familia should start 2012 in AAA.
18. Jonathan Pettibone, RHSP, Philadelphia – Pettibone might not have the great stuff as some of the other pitchers on the list, but he makes up for it with really good command and a feel for pitching. He does have the stuff to improve his strikeout rate, and that’ll make it more likely for him to reach his ceiling as a #3 starter. Pettibone should start 2012 in AA.
19. Phillippe Aumont, RHRP, Philadelphia – I flipped Aumont and Pettibone from my previous rankings because I felt like it. Because of injuries and command issues, there’s still some risk that could keep him from reaching his potential. He should make his debut at some point in 2012. Aumont should start 2012 in AAA.
20. Marcell Ozuna, RF, Miami – Ozuna is like Anthony Hewitt had his tools translated to baseball better. Ozuna has hit over 20 home runs in consecutive seasons, very impressive considering he only played in 74 games in 2010. He strikes out a lot and still has to improve pitch recognition, but he’s managed to hit in the .260’s in his career. He has a great arm and is a solid athlete. Ozuna should start 2012 in high-A.
21. Jose Fernandez, RHSP, Miami – This Cuban refugee played high school baseball in Florida. He has a big frame and the velocity to show for it. He has a deep arsenal with three developing secondary pitches. He’ll have to improve his command, but his athleticism should allow him to overcome any mechanical difficulties. Fernandez could start 2012 in low-A.
22. Freddy Galvis, SS, Philadelphia – Galvis will return to AAA to build on the improvements he made last season. If he continues to hit well, there shouldn’t be anything that stops him from being a quality shortstop. Whether or not that’s with the Phillies is the only question. Galvis should start 2012 in AAA.
23. J.T. Realmuto, C, Miami – Realmuto has a nice all-around set of skills. He has a great arm behind the plate and better athleticism than most catchers, and that should translate to improved receiving ability behind the plate. He needs to improve his pitch selection, but he could be a solid contact and power hitter. Realmuto should start 2012 in high-A.
24. Jennry Mejia, RHP, New York -Although Mejia doesn’t qualify for Rookie of the Year anymore, he still qualifies for prospect lists. He got a long taste in the majors as the Mets bungled his development, and Tommy John surgery in 2011 set him back even more. His mid 90’s fastball has nice movement, and his changeup is good too. If he develops his curveball, he could be a starter, but it’s possible that with his injuries and command troubles he moves to the bullpen. It’s not out of the question that Mejia starts 2012 in extended spring training to continue to rehab.
25. Cesar Puello, RF, New York – Puello is yet another young, toolsy Mets prospect. Those guys haven’t been panning out for them lately though. He has nice bat speed that should generate a good batting average and some power, and he has the arm to play right field. That power isn’t there yet though, and if his plate approach doesn’t improve, he might not be able to realize his potential. Puello should start 2012 in AA.
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Scott Grauer writes for PSC and Bus Leagues Baseball – check him out! Scott also regularly updated the PSC 2011 Minor League Thread with player stats, game results, and more, and will be doing the same for the PSC 2012 Minor League Thread as well…