It’s prospect season! That’s the time of year between the end of the winter meetings and when pitchers and catchers report dedicated to organization ranking lists and Top 100’s. It’s down time for everyone but the nerdiest of fans. We at The Point of Pittsburgh decided to join the fun. Where most lists stop at ten or thirty, we’re going all the way up to forty making ours the nerdiest list around.
Each of us completed our individual lists and then aggregated them into a complete list. Today, we’ll look at 31-40. For the most part, we’re just sorting laundry at this point, but there’s always a chance one of these guys could break out from this tier and vault up the list next year.
Age in parentheses is as of July 1st, 2015. We also projected the level the player may play the majority of 2015’s season.
#40 Gift Ngoepe (25), 2B/SS, AA/AAA
Michael Bradley – There isn ?t a SS in the system with a better glove. He also has power, patience and 10-15 SB speed. He is regarded as one of the best athletes in the system and had a missed year physically and mentally due to his mother dying in ?13. Ranked higher than some higher ceiling guys.
Steve DiMiceli – Gift has had a long time in the system to develop but it’s worth noting how raw he was when he was signed. There is enough power and glove to think he still has a chance to break out.
#39 Tito Polo (20), OF, short-season
Steve – I normally have the sense to stay away from players who do well in rookie ball, but Polo had a combination of pop and contact that has me a little interested.
#38 Jin de Jhang (22), C, A+/AA
Michael – Due to McGuire being in Bradenton and Diaz bumping up, Jhang might move to Altoona making him one of the youngest players in AA. Jhang has good receiving skills and throws out a lot of runners. He also hits RHPs will and rarely strikes out. He ?ll be a backup ML catcher someday.
Steve – Jhang really struggled with the stick following an aggressive promotion to Bradenton for the entire season. Despite the weak overall numbers, he maintained decent plate discipline. He could be one to watch if the power he flashed in short season returns.
#37 Michael de la Cruz (18), OF, Rookie/Short-season
Michael – There are two things that can help your more than others in making it two the show: patience and playing plus defense at a scarce position. De La Cruz does both. He was really young for his mainland debut and has the pedigree to be, at worst, Robbie Grossman.
Steve – de la Cruz had a very difficult stateside debut after walking his way off the island as a seventeen year old. He’ll need to show more skills than the ability to work counts to stay on this list.
#36 John Sever (21), LHP, Low A
Kevin Creagh – This is my sleeper pick to breakout in 2015 after his incredibly loud debut in 2014 with 63 K in 40 IP. Hope he goes to High A, but probably will be in Low A
Steve – Sever dominated the Appy league as an overaged college player. He doesn ?t have great stuff but it will serve for a projectable lefty just getting his pro career started. Could project to the pen, but you take whatever you can get from the 20th round
#35. Wyatt Mathisen (21), 3B, High A
Michael – 3B, athletic, young for his level and can crush LHPs. I ?ll take that. Has some upside defensively.
Kevin –Converted catcher, but bat doesn’t seem like it will play at 3B
Steve – I was high on Mathieson when he was drafted, but I ?m considerably less so now that he ?s moved off catcher. His bat rebounded in 2014, but he still has a long way to go to make it play at 3rd. Improving plate discipline could be a good sign.
#34 Barrett Barnes (23), OF/DL, High A
Steve – I ?m giving him one more year to get healthy and prove or disprove himself in games not on the DL.
#33 Gage Hinsz (19), RHP, Short-season
Steve – People are excited about him and why not? He was second or third round talent in the eleventh and they found a way to sign him
Michael – High pedigree arm with front end potential. Barring injuries he could go the route of Nick Kingham or Bryan Morris. Of course, he could be Zack Von Rosenberg.
#32 Jordan Luplow (21), OF, Low A
Kevin –Probably a little bit of ‘shiny new toy’ with this ranking, but the 3rd round pick had a solid debut
Steve – Luplow showed strong gap power and excellent plate discipline at Fresno St. and it mostly carried over to his debut in Jamestown. He ?ll need to get better overall with the stick, though, to have a chance given that he ?s a corner outfielder.
#31 Kevin Krause (22), C, Low A
Kevin (still Creagh, not a player self assessment) – Krause had a surprise debut season in 2014. Due to depth in system, wouldn’t surprise to see him move out from behind plate
Michael – Could have big power
Steve – Krause showed impressive combination of plate discipline and power in his pro debut. And he catches, too.
Tomorrow — #30 to #21 prospects