More from the MLBA… Batting Prospects

First, a little explanation about the system they use for grading prospects. It’s two parts, a number grade and then a letter grade. The number grade is the ceiling, the letter grade is the potential for reaching that ceiling.

10 = Hall of Famer A = 90% Probability
9 = Elite Player B = 70% Probability
8 = Solid Regular C = 50% Probability
7= Average Regular D = 30% Probability
6= Platoon Player E = 10% Probability

As you might imagine, that leads to some “fuzziness” — Michael Burgess has a higher ceiling, but Danny Espinosa has a better chance of maximizing his talent, so who’s the better prospect? Personally, I think that depends on the organization. For Washington, there needs to be more A’s and B’s because the depth at many positions is quite shallow (e.g. 3B, 1B, C).

Without further ado, here’s the grade. In itals, my impressions, if I’ve seen them

Derek Norris, 9D (21) – C/1B
Solid hitter, but I’m not sold on his defense, though I’ve only seen him a couple of time in Hagerstown

Chris Marrero, 9D (21) – 1B/DH
Will the power come back? A butcher on defense.

Michael Burgess, 9E (21) – OF
Monster power, but strikeouts have to come down for him to move up. Very good RF arm

Ian Desmond, 8C (24) – MI
He’s learned to hit since I saw him in ’06-’07, but still has a penchant for making routine plays difficult

Danny Espinosa, 8B (23) – SS
MLB-ready defense. Terrific batter’s eye. Power breakout in ’09, if legit, could get him to Washington by year’s end

Eury Perez, 8C (20) – OF

Justin Maxwell, 8C (26) – OF
As stated previously, Maxwell is a 4th OF in my opinion

Jeff Kobernus, 8D (21) – 2B

Destin Hood, 8D (20) – OF

Adrian Nieto, 8E (20) – C

J.P. Ramirez, 7D (20) – OF

Greg Veloz, 7D (22) – 2B/3B
Unimpressive in 19 games last Aug./Sep. after pickup from Mets

Bill Rhinehart, 7E (25) – 1B/DH
Late bloomer, fan favorite, but the power shown in Hagerstown in ’08 has been spotty at Harrisburg

Mike Daniel, 6B (25) – OF
Average power, above-average speed & defense, will draw the walk but not hit for average

Leonard Davis, 6B (26) – UT
Mistake hitter that can be neutralized by LHPs. Best positions are 3B and RF but can play LF and 2B


About the only notable hitting prospects that I’ve seen that I would have liked to have seen graded are Stephen King and Sean Rooney, perhaps even Edgardo Baez. King and Baez may never play again for Washington; I’m presuming Washington is not allowed to release players until after their suspension. Rooney, though, I would have thought merited some inclusion by virtue of his presence in the Arizona Fall League.

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9 Responses to More from the MLBA… Batting Prospects

  1. Chaz says:

    I have noticed a recurring theme in your posts, a bashing of Stephen King and I was just wondering, are holding a personal grudge against him?

  2. suedinem says:

    Not at all, Chaz, though it probably appears that way when you don’t read very carefully. I have made great pains to point out that I think he’s a talented ballplayer, which is precisely why I wanted to see how he ranked this year as opposed to last year (a 7D, same as in 2008).

  3. Bob_in_Manassas says:

    No love for guys like Tyler Moore, Brett Newsome, or Steve Lombardozzi? Shame on the authors.

  4. suedinem says:

    Bob – I’m looking at my three copies of the MLBA and it appears that they have a set format of 15/15 for each team. Brian at NFA didn’t put Newsome in his Top 20, and had Moore at #17, Lombardozzi at #12, so it’s not as bad as it might seem on first glance (I may have seen Lombardozzi at the same times as I saw Norris but he wasn’t on my radar at the time).

    On the brighter side, it’s nice to see that they didn’t list a player like Devan Ivany in ’08 (@26 y.o. and a 5B) as being one the Top 15 bats?!

  5. Chaz says:

    Well it seems that in your recent posts you have given him backhanded compliments.

  6. Catocony says:

    Steven King wasn’t suspended, Stephen Englund was. Englund is the washout from that draft who couldn’t hit and they tried to convert him to a pitcher. King was the one drafted a few rounds behind Englund who batted a whopping .222 for the P-Nats last year.

  7. VAnatsfan says:

    King was also suspended

  8. Mark L says:

    You’re right, Sue, about Rhineheart being a fan favorite. Let’s hope his struggles in AA are behind him, sometimes the light goes on the second year.
    You have to think Marrero is trade bait at this point, because the Nats don’t have a DH position for him and they’re looking to extend Dunn’s contract.

  9. suedinem says:

    Mark L. – Agreed on Marrero. And I personally don’t have a problem with that, but I’d like to see that opposite-field power come back soon so the Nats can get some real return on these ratings.

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