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Wednesday, March 17, 2004
top 50 prospects
many are called. few are chosen:

1. alexis rios, 23, cf, blue jays

he hits, hits, runs, fields, and throws. what else do you want? he turns it on in june, makes the jays by the end of the year, and starts in 2005. next to vernon wells. (bp 15 ag 17 ba 6)

2. prince fielder, 20, 1b-l, brewers

he hits, hits, hits, hits, and hits. gonna make poppa proud. (bp 4 ag 10 ba 10)

3. scott kazmir, 20, lefty, mets

must get a handle on control, but he's got the stuff. (bp 12 ag 8)

4. rickie weeks, 22, 2b, brewers

does everything, and does it well. (bp 9 ag 3 ba 5)

5. cole hamels, 21, lefty, phillies

destroyed the sally league. not stopping there. (bp 21 ag 7)

6. guillermo quiroz, 23, c, blue jays

things are looking good for the jays. this kid crushes the ball. (bp 17 ag 27)

7. jeff mathis, 21, c, angels

young and strong. hits it hard. (bp 18 ag 9)

8. casey kotchman, 21, 1b-l, angels

great talent. will progress quickly. (bp 14 ag 14)

9. jeremy reed, 23, of-l, white sox

contact, speed, power. cup of coffee this year, job in the show by the end of 2005. unfortunately, his team will suck. (bp 2 ag 4)

10. ryan wagner, 22, p, reds

set the ncaa record for strikeouts per nine last year. also struck out 25 major-leaguers (21.2 ip). (bp 16 ag 21)

11. david wright, 22, 3b, mets

he'll take his time, but he'll kill the ball along the way. (bp 5 ag 16)

12. jj hardy, 22, ss, brewers

triple happiness for the brew crew. good contact, decent power. ready in 2005. (bp 20 ag 29)

13. edwin jackson, 21, p, dodgers

throws hard. needs more control. everybody loves him. (bp 6 ag 11 ba 4)

14. grady sizemore, 22, of-l, indians

all the tools. believe in the indians. (bp 24 ag 22 ba 9)

15. dioner navarro, 20, c-s, yankees

the yankees have a prospect? you're damn right they do. (bp 30 ag 18)

16. kevin youkilis, 25, 3b, red sox

obp is still the most important thing in the game. (bp hm ag 40)

17. david dejesus, 25, cf-l, royals

injury in 2001 slowed his progress. patience, contact, power, speed. ready for the majors. (bp 26 ag 38)

18. joe mauer, 21, c-l, twins

he's got everything except power, which he's got time to develop. should have a long career. (bp 1 ag 1 ba 1)

19. delmon young, 19, of, devil rays

gotta put him somewhere. (bp 31 ag 30 ba 3)

20. greg miller, 20, lefty, dodgers

it's a hunch, but i think his shoulder surgery will turn out fine. he has what the kids call stuff. (bp 33 ba 8)

21. justin morneau, 23, 1b-l, twins

had some contact problems last year, but he'll work it out. (bp 11 ag 12)

22. andy marte, 21, 3b, braves

he'll have growing pains, but i think he'll make it. (bp 3 ag 5)

23. clint nageotte, 24, p, mariners

he's big and strong. he's got it goin on. yo clint, you're dead wrong. (bp 38 ag 39)

24. bj upton, 20, ss, devil rays

like mauer, an easy guy to overrate. he plays good defense, runs fast, and has potential with both contact and power. but he's got work to do. (bp 8 ag 2 ba 2)

25. bobby jenks, 23, p, angels

wild and crazy. should make a good reliever. (bp 45)

26. dustin mcgowan, 22, p, blue jays

in 2003, he allowed 1 hr in 75.2 ip in dunedin, then 1 hr in 76.2 ip in new haven. and he struck out 138 people. (bp 23 ag 26)

27. felix hernandez, 18, p, mariners

struck out 73 in 55 innings in the northwest league. (ag 25)

28. jesse crain, 23, p, twins

no home runs allowed in 111.2 professional innings. also 143 strikeouts. (ag 34)

29. edwin encarnacion, 21, 3b, reds

has power. working on contact. (bp 34)

30. joel zumaya, 20, p, tigers

172 strikeouts in 127.2 innings. granted, it's low a-ball, but i think it's safe to say he'll be in a major-league bullpen one day. (ag 49)

31. adrian gonzalez, 22, 1b-l, rangers

showed power in 2001--2002; worked on contact in 2003. he's got time to put it together. (bp hm)

32. bobby crosby, 24, ss, a's

defense. speed. power. what's he missing? contact! he'll swing and miss a lot this year. (bp 13 ag 6)

33. jeremy hermida, 20, of-l, marlins

runs real fast. bats left-handed. needs more contact. needs more power. (bp 46)

34. michael aubrey, 22, 1b-l, indians

skipped rookie ball and mashed. regular in 2006. (ag 35)

35. jose lopez, 21, ss, mariners

the rangers are fucked! all three division opponents are better than them for the foreseeable future. this guy has good contact and developing power. he'll be a shortstop or a second baseman or a third baseman or an outfielder. (ag 45)

36. joe blanton, 24, p, a's

knows how to pitch. does he got the stuff? good shot as a reliever. (bp 41 ag 15)

37. chin-hui tsao, 23, p, rockes

i feel for this kid. he's got what it takes, but colorado can kill any pitcher. if he throws strikes and shakes off the dongs, he'll be alright. (bp 27)

38. khalil greene, 25, ss, padres

like crosby, he has trouble with contact, and he's in an extreme pitcher's park. the padres are gonna learn to appreciate ramon vazquez. (bp 28 ag 32)

39. john maine, 23, p, orioles

struck out 108 batters in 76.1 innings last year for the delmarva shorebirds. (ag 24)

40. chad gaudin, 21, p, devil rays

23 strikeouts and 16 walks last year in 40 innings for tampa bay, of the american league. good luck, chad! (bp hm)

41. james loney, 20, of-l, dodgers

he's young. he's got a good shot. (bp 25 ag 37)

42. zack greinke, 21, p, royals

it's great that he's poised. and dedicated to self-improvement. but you gotta have stuff to pitch in the majors. (bp 7 ag 13)

43. david bush, 25, p, blue jays

he has the control. if he continues to limit home runs, and maintains his strikeout rate, he's got a shot. (bp 39 ag 42)

44. adam wainwright, 23, p, cardinals

a wainwright is one who repairs carriages. this one has ok stuff, decent control, and decent home run limitation. if he keeps it together he could be a back-of-the rotation starter one day. (bp 43 ag 31)

45. brendan harris, 24, 2b/3b, cubs

brendan can hit pretty good. with a little more improvement, he'll make it. (bp hm)

46. merkin valdez, 23, p, giants

166 strikeouts in 156 innings for hagerstown last year. keep it up, merkin! (bp hm)

47. jeremy brown, 25, c, a's

the star of the famous moneyball draft, jeremy was everyone's favorite after a .310/.444/.545 performance in visalia. but what they didn't consider was that he struck out 26% of the time. he moved up a level, went .275/.388/.391, and everyone took him off their lists. but his strikeouts decreased to 16%. if he can consolidate his skills, he'll play in oakland.

48. matt riley, 25, p, orioles

an arm injury killed his 2001 season, but he seems to be fully recovered. he has just enough to make it. (bp 29 ag 48)

49. scott hairston, 24, 2b, diamondbacks

he hits the ball hard but with his contact he's a ways away. (bp 44 ag 28)

50. chris snelling, 23, of-l, mariners

our last prospect on the list is a guy who realized his dream only to lose it to a nasty knee injury. he's still young. here's hoping he gets it back. (bp 35)

well, that's it. it gets pretty arbitrary at this point, and you gotta stop somewhere. players who just missed the cut include ervin santana, russ adams, sean burnett, and franklin gutierrez.

now, take this knowledge and destroy your enemies. if one person---just one person---absolutely mercilessly destroys her opponents, then this was all worthwhile.
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