On Sunday, I took a look at the players from AL East organizations that were snubbed from this year’s S2S Top 100. Today, let’s take a look at the notable AL Central omissions.
Top 100 Prospects: RHP Jacob Turner (#6)
3B Nick Castellanos–Probably one of the more notable omissions from the list. Don’t get me wrong, I like Castellanos, I think he’s the #2 prospect in the system behind Turner, and I could see him as a very good major league third baseman. Right now, though, he doesn’t seem to have any skills “nailed down.” Yeah, he hit .312 this year, but he struck out 23.1% of the time, and there’s no way he’s sustaining .402 BABIPs. Yes, he has power potential, and he hit 36 doubles, but he sent just seven balls over the fence in 135 games. No, he’s not a butcher at third, but he’s just as likely to have to move off the position as he is to become a bigtime defender there. There’s considerable upside here, but he has a long way to go to reach it. An 100-150 guy for me.
LHP Alex Burgos–Burgos had a big year in Low-A which caught my eye, but nobody thinks he’s a top 100 guy, and I considered him for about ten seconds.
RHP Josue Carreno–Similar to Burgos. More people should look this guy up, though–he’s a solid prospect that you never hear about.
Top 100 Prospects: SS Francisco Lindor (#98)
RHP Felix Sterling–Sterling ranked on my list last year, when I went too crazy with super-young rookie ball guys who put up good numbers. He advanced to Low-A at age 18 and was passable, but inconsistent. A really intriguing young pitcher, and probably a top 200 prospect for me, but too raw to be comfortable with on a top 100 list.
2B Eddie Rosario–In 2010, this guy would’ve probably ranked in the top third of my list. But I’ve revised the way I look at things since, and it’s tough to go crazy about a guy who crushes the hitter-friendly Appalachian League. That said, Rosario was originally on the back end of my list, but got pushed out by Mike Trout and a couple of others when it became apparent they weren’t going to lose their prospect eligibility. A potentially special player, but we haven’t seen his defense at second base yet, nor have we seen him hit in a reasonable environment. A good followup year in the Midwest League will certainly elevate him.
OF Joe Benson–Repeating Double-A as a 23-year-old, Benson improved his approach, and he remains an exciting defender with good power. But, he was repeating Double-A as a 23-year-old, and he wasn’t so dominant as to override that to the point where he’d be a top 100 guy. I see him as more of a solid starter than a true impact guy.
OF Oswaldo Arcia–Arcia’s a good reason why it would be premature to elevate Rosario in the upper echelon of prospects. I had Arcia there last year, after he hit .375/.424/.672 in Elizabethton, but his poor approach hurt him once he got to High-A Fort Myers. He’s not an athletic guy, so he’s going to have to slug. He may have the bat to succeed in the big leagues, and he just turns 21 in May, but he badly needs to improve his plate discipline.
OF Aaron Hicks–Sigh. I have yet to get on the Hicks bandwagon. I begrudginly put him 66th last year, since it seemed he was making some progress, but he slid back in a major way in High-A. He’s still young, and I can still see him as a starter in center field, but at this point, he’s not particularly likely to do much more than Ben Revere.
RHP Kyle Gibson–Tough to know what to do with this guy because of the injury. I left him off, but I could understand someone still liking him enough to slot him around where I slotted John Lamb (#90).
Top 100 Prospects: RHP Nestor Molina (#44)
RHP Addison Reed–I agree with those who say Reed is the best relief prospect in the game. But that puts his maximum possible WAR/season at, what, 2.0?
SS Tyler Saladino–I really like this guy. He’s a legitimate middle infielder who slugged over .500 in the Carolina League in his first full season; those players don’t grow on trees. But he’s a bit short on the tools side, and he needs to continue mashing in Double-A, a la Dozier, to be in the back-25 mix.
(no notable snubs)