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A Man crush On Will Middlebrooks

Ben Carsley October 22, 2012 6:08PM EST
With the MLB and Minor League seasons in the rearview mirror, it’s time to reevaluate my preseason prospect rankings.

Will Middlebrooks is unlikely to threaten for a .300 average again, but his 25-homer power is real. Photo by Keith Allison.

It’s always difficult to find a balance between upside and probability when grading prospects, so looking back on my methods and examining what to adjust heading forward is always a useful task. For readers, these will serve as a one-stop shop to catch up on how all of 2012’s prominent prospects performed and how their stock has been affected.

This is not a re-ranking of these prospects, nor is it a new prospect list. It’s simply a review of how I ranked the players before the season began along with some analysis of what went right, what went wrong and everything in between.

In our fourth installment, let’s review my preseason third base rankings and see who lived up to the hype, who disappointed and who’s in good shape going forward. We’ll also give you an early look at some new names who should be relevant in 2013 and beyond.

(PPR = Preseason Position Ranking, Pre/Mid = Preseason/Midseason Top 100 Ranking, NR = Not rated, G = Graduated to MLB. Starred* players are no longer prospect eligible.)


On The Upswing

PPR Player, Tm



3. Miguel Sano, MIN Not going to be a high AVG guy, but best shot for 40-plus homers in minors


4. Will Middlebrooks, BOS* My mancrush is full blown –.275-25-90 will be in his reach on a regular basis


5. Nick Castellanos, DET Crushed High-A, got crushed in Double-A, permanent move to OF will hurt his value


6. Mike Olt, TEX His defense is wasted at 1B, but that’s where he’ll play with Adrian Beltre at 3B


7. Jedd Gyorko, SD Padres will either try him at 2B or trade Chase Headley – either way, he’s ready


10. Javier Baez, CHC I underrated him – decent chance to begin  MLB career at SS, flying through MiLB



Staying Static

PPR Player, Tm



2. Nolan Arenado, COL Expectations were too high, but still a disappointing year – will see MLB in 2013


8. Matt Davidson, ARI Not a huge believer in the hit tool, but can stick at 3B and has 25-homer pop


12. Josh Vitters, CHC Helped his stock in AAA, then looked completely overmatched in 109 MLB PA



Swaying Backwards

PPR Player, Tm



1. Anthony Rendon, WAS Saw fewer than 200 PA in 2012 – might move to 1B, stock down significantly


9. Zack Cox, MIA Disappointing year – not the advanced hitter we thought he was post-college


11. Taylor Green, MIL* Didn’t show the same type of power this season as he did in 2011 – likely 4A player


13. Dante Bichette Jr., NYY Overhyped thanks to last name and organization – not a Top 200 prospect


14. Cheslor Cuthbert, KC An unimpressive campaign in High-A, but repeating the level at 20 isn’t unheard of


15. Alex Liddi, SEA* Disappearing power and the emergence of Kyle Seager make him an afterthought



New Names To Consider: Cody Asche (PHI), Garin Cecchini (BOS), Kaleb Cowart (LAA), Maikel Franco (PHI), Joey Gallo (TEX), Travis Harrison (MIN), Miles Head (OAK), Luis Jimenez (LAA) Stephen Piscotty (STL), Francisco Ramirez (SEA), Daniel Robertson (OAK), Corey Seager (LAD), Richie Shaffer (TB), Matt Skole (WAS), Christian Villanueva (CHC)



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