Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus both released their top 100/101 prospect lists on Wednesday, and they met my expectations in a couple respects. Perhaps the quickest gauge of a website’s sanity is to look for Eloy Jimenez in the top five, and Michael Kopech somewhere around No. 20. Both checked out.
After those two, it’s one battleground after another …
|Eloy Jimenez (3)||Eloy Jimenez (4)|
|Michael Kopech (21)||Nick Madrigal (15)|
|Dylan Cease (38)||Michael Kopech (24)|
|Nick Madrigal (43)||Dylan Cease (26)|
|Luis Robert (76)||Luis Robert (45)|
|Dane Dunning (76)|
… and while you may find yourself more aligned with one column, White Sox fans are at least familiar with the sources of the high and low arguments.
*Cease: He wasn’t even in BA’s Top 100 last year due to Tommy John surgery followed by limited in-game durability. The fact that he went from off the board to No. 38 shows what kind of year he had. BPro was the high site on Cease last year, ranking him 47th, so they had less correcting to do.
*Robert: All the injuries either make it hard to get a good look at him, or trust that good looks will be in abundant supply down the road. Some question his swing, but nobody questions the tools.
*Dunning: He somehow went in two different directions, climbing from 89th to 76th on BPro’s list while falling off the board from No. 82 on BA’s. The elbow injury that truncated his otherwise successful season looms large, especially for those who aren’t floored by his stuff.
Madrigal is the new one, and I’d expect somebody with such an unusual profile to divide the electorate, but I didn’t expect him to make this noteworthy of an entry.
BPro is taking the highly aggressive stance by ranking him ahead of Kopech (and Cease), and that No. 15 spot actually reflects the staff’s attempt to temper its enthusiasm to due to the lack of pro production. Meanwhile, BA’s top 100 list came with a series of articles, one of which focused on Madrigal’s avoidance of the pull field. J.J. Cooper said that only one of Madrigal’s 47 hits ended up in left field last year, and as we saw firsthand with Avisail Garcia, that’s a tough way to make a living.
I saw the article before the top 100, so it surprised me a little that Madrigal was in the top 50 despite that flaw. The rest of his game is sound, and nobody questions his makeup, so he wins some benefit of the doubt for the time being. BPro won last year by going out on a limb for Cease, so maybe Madrigal will get the same bump. We’ll find out which one is weirder starting Saturday, when MLB.com’s list has the opportunity to serve as a tiebreaker.
Madrigal scares me to death. In college he was able to barrel just about everything in terms of pitch location and type of pitch. In the pros he will likely have similar plate coverage and an aggressive approach but that barreling up of the ball and spraying line drives, will become a lot more bad contact. A no pop player who makes way too much bad contact is never gonna live up to the hype many have given him. Really hope he works on being an even more selective hitter as he advances in the system, and heaven forbid learn to pull a ball once in a while.
The huge leg kick that results in 0 pop and 0 pulled balls really worries me. Everybody penciling him to the 2020 lineup and moving Moncada makes me chuckle. He has some really enormous adjustments to make this year if he’s going to be on the 2020 roster, and I just don’t see that happening. At least the glove looks really good though; hopefully that’s 1 thing he won’t need to spend a ton of energy working on getting up to mlb quality.
consider this: with his contact rate if he can even manage an average babip then he is a .290-.300 hitter, and thats without considering factors such as his wrist injury prolly zapped some of his power plus just natural development as he plays more and body continues to mature… his future seems very bright in my opinion
Are you guys kidding me ? White Sox batters struck out nearly 1600 times last year (ranking them worst in AL, I think). Madrigal is EXACTLY the type of player W Sox need. How about let’s see how he develops moving forward before centering on specifics like barrelling up, making adjustments, and never living up to the hype. That’s what his (hopefully) short time in minors will either show or not show. W Sox have Moncada striking out 200+ times…..that’s what should scare you. I’m looking forward to the next wave of prospects like Eloy, Cease, and Madrigal. All have flaws and I realize that ANY prospect might not live up to draft-day expectations, but jeez, to pooh-pooh him at this point of his career is just way too premature.
I am not kidding you. A 5 foot 7 player who weighs 150 lbs dripping wet is likely going to have a hard time consistently making hard contact. Although the sample size is very small, in 150+ minor league at bats Madrigal went homerless, tripleless, and only added 7 doubles. Of his 47 hits only one ball was pulled. These are alarming numbers for a player picked this high.
Strikeouts for the current team members are a separate issue. Really the only guys that matter moving forward for the next window of contention are Moncada and Anderson. Do I think they strike out a too much, sure. However that has nothing to do with a realistic assessment on if Madrigal hits the ball with enough authority regardless of the high contact rate.
Agree with all that, Knoxfire. I was just reading it as condemning Madrigal before we even see how the development proceeds. There’s a ton of negativity on these fan sites and most are warranted. And I believe we should all look at both sides of the coin. But the proof will be in the pudding probably a year from now. We all remember how Gordon Beckham looked pre-MLB – hit to all fields, had a bit of pop, can’t miss, etc – let’s just see how it goes for NM ?
I for sure thought Gordon Beckham was the 2nd coming of Michael Young.
I should also prefix, although my Madrigal evaluation seems dour, my expectations are pretty high of him. If you draft someone that high, I think they should be a solid regular possibly push toward all star level. So keep that in mind when I evaluate him, my standard for a player like him is much higher then guys lower in the prospect rankings.
I put his range of outcomes somewhere in the Mike Caruso-Tony Gwynn band.
I don’t know, I think your range is a little too narrow! I’d put his career hit total somewhere between Tony LaRussa and Derek Jeter.
I always though he’d be more of a power hitter. Somewhere between a Tommie Aaron and Hank Aaron.
pretty sure I saw the Mike Caruso-Tony Gwynn Band at SXSW last year
It’s easy to be negative about prospects since 75% of the top 100 picks don’t become all-stars.
From memory…recent not very tall players include
Yes, the list is hort. I am not expecting Madrigal to hit for power. I am expecting him to hit.
Altuve had 21 homers and 10 triples in his first 4 years with Houston (over 2000 PA). Maybe Madrigal can follow his path.
should I now go over the millions of players that size who dont hit for power or are we just gonna go with exceptions to the rule? The classic well this guy only throws 88 but maddux only threw 88 so he can be an ace logic
Hopeful on Nick, but that doesnt mean we cant look at some obvious flaws in his game.
I mean statistically nobody succeeds at baseball. For every 6’2″ chiseled Adonis 5,000 more 6’2″ chiseled Adonises wash out. That’s why I’m glad the Sox have shifted their draft strategy exclusively to pudgy white guys, hobbits, and ectomorph pitchers.
Just a draft board made up of exclusively 30 year-old Paul Konerko body types, please.
Of guys who have success would you say the vast majority fall between 6′ to 6’3″ thats the point, madrigal physically is a pretty big outlier, again doesnt mean he cant overcome that
Sox have had pretty bad drafts no matter if they are taking white pudgy guys I assume you mean collins and burger, white ripped guys like gavin sheets, gordon beckham, or black pudgy guys like keon barnun , black atheltic guys like kenyan walker, jared mitchell, or courtney hawkins (awesome back flip) so I am not sure what point you are trying to make.
Joe Borchard comes to mind.
Clearly pudgy Hispanic players is the Undiscovered Country for the White Sox scouts.
Yes, agree with this 100%. I really like Madrigal, and think he could be a good major league regular. But physical flaws should not be judged against the top 1% of possible outcomes (i.e. the Altuve’s and Maddux’s), and too often are in baseball.
The point that I was trying to make is that there is hope for him to be more than just a slap hitter. Just because he’s 5’7″, 150 lbs doesn’t mean he can’t tap into his power down the line.
Even with limited power, you can drive the ball for doubles and triples, rather than dumping it over the Second Baseman’s head, Omar style.
Saw a lot of his AB’s at Winston-Salem. Surprisingly soft contact for the #4 pick in the draft. In terms of his development, he needs to do a much better job at working counts and drawing walks. Great instincts in the field and on the bases
Yes, it’d be nice for him to draw walks. But, for a lot of reasons, it’s not important to do that in the low minors.
It’s more important that he shows he can hit pro pitchers, at least until AA.
All those players are thicker and stronger than Madrigal. He may not have the build to really put on more good weight. We’ll see.
This is a concern I’ve seen before. It’s not just a matter of his height, it’s his frame. He just doesn’t project to be able to add much power, at least not in a manner that wouldn’t have a deleterious effect on his strongest aspects (defense, baserunning). Guys always surprise, and he looks like an MLB talent regardless, but an Altuve-type outcome seems highly implausible.
No they are not. This is an organization that has consistently drafted athletes and claimed to be able to teach them baseball. One thing the organization has consistently failed at is teaching players command of the strike zone and the high strikeout rates of the current team members are reflective of that failure. (One of the things that will be missed with Narvaez gone.) Now that the team has shifted draft gears of late and taking low-ceiling, high-floor players the development contrast will be interesting to see.
I’d also not worry about lack of pull hits at this point, especially without accompanying stats about ground outs to the pull side and the full spray chart (which won’t be much with 150 at bats); switching to wood bats can be a big adjustment. If he’s going up the middle, that tells you a lot more than a Texas Leaguer to the opposite side.
@zerobs It’s in the article.
To me, that looks like he pulled some ground ball singles through the hole on the left side. The double to left-center is also a pulled ball. All the singles to center, while not pulled balls, are pretty close. So, he is using the right side a lot, but he did not get only one hit by pulling the ball.
@Yolmer's gatorade Pulling the ball in the air is what’s meant when talking about pulling the ball. Bad hitters roll over pitches, good ones elevate them. There are some players who get by/thrive with opposite-field flies (Joe Mauer), but it’s a severe limitation in most cases. Avi Garcia and Jordan Danks come to mind.
Not all ground balls to the left side are batters rolling over on pitches. Madrigal is not going to be a launch angle darling, at least not at first, but if he is hitting the ball hard and barreling up pitches, I think he’ll have success even if his spray chart is not typical.
Re; Avi and Danks: the difference with those guys versus opposite field hitters like Mauer or David Ortiz is that they struck out a heck of a lot more than they walked. Madrigal isn’t having a strikeout problem.
I don’t know how he is being pitched. But I am guessing pitchers are taking advantage of his free swinger approach and not giving him much he can pull. But as he learns to become more selective, he should not only draw more walks but see more pitches he can pull.
The warning track seems far, far away.
“Command of the strike zone” is one problem. But they also just generally struggle to make any kind of contact at all.
It’s not a good combination.
Nick Madrigal had a very long season in 2018. Suffering the broken wrist, rehab, came back, helped win a National Title for Oregon State, and making his way to Winston-Salem is a lot to handle.
Entering his first professional offseason and getting to participate in Spring Training I think will help him focus on how to generate power. I wrote a lot of words (even included video) in ways that Madrigal can tap into more power.
Like with everything in baseball life, it takes time.
Honestly, even if he becomes something of a Juan Pierre-type slap hitter, if he can combine that approach with plus defense at second base and be efficient on the bases, that’s a pretty solid major league contributor in the offing.
Thing is, a lot of people think he’s an exceptional talent. They thought so before the draft. They still think so after a half season of pro ball.
Maybe let’s not rush to judgment.
Yeah sorry, but I’ve got a lot more confidence in the guy who put up 2 WAR in his rookie season than a slap hitting little guy. I’m not saying Madrigal can’t make it, just that he’s got a pretty major flaw that is going to take a ton of work. It’s not just his MILB numbers that worry me. It’s the lack of power in college, and the inability to pull the ball. Meanwhile, I’m really not worried about Moncada at all. Too pooh-pooh HIM at this point of his career is just nonsensical.
This comment from @denbum is spot on.
It would really be great to see at least one or two hitters in our lineup who are consistently just trying to get on base and make something happen…. instead of striking out, popping it up, or hitting into the shift — when going the opposite way would result in a sure base hit.
I am just sick to death of seeing that….particularly out of our left handed hitters.
Rod Carew and Tony Gwinn were not considered home run hitters, but those guys would bat .450 against these crazy defenses!
It can’t always be about home runs and launch angles. We need hitters who can recognize and respond to game situations and be willing to take what the defense is giving them.
And on the subject of Moncada’s 217 K, at least he walked once in a while. Daniel Palka struck out FIVE TIMES as often as he walked, and would have struck out as often or more as Moncada in a comparable number of at bats. (Palka 153/30 in 449 PA. Moncada 217/67 in 650 PA)
But somehow Palka remains the darling of some folks. I guess 27 HR on an otherwise boring team will have that effect. But the point remains, we can’t win without some decent on base skills.
if you look at his minor career he always bats like .270 ish 330 ish obp and then moves up and struggles for a half-1 year then finally adjusts and gets back to the .2709/.330 guy at that new lvl so i still have hope that he can make some adjustments this year to improve (if he gets enough opportunity that is)
Madrigal broke his wrist last Spring. It effected his at bats, and I think he said as much. He should be 100% this spring. Let’s see what a new year brings. The folks at Fangraphs love him.
Certainly a fair point.
Everyone loves him. FG had him at #19 in their midseason update and MLBPipeline had him at #49 in their end of season update.
If the low-guys on him are still putting him in the top 50, that’s really high praise.
And that’s an injury that’s well known to often linger all season as far as sapping power. He’s not going to be a basher or anything but I’d be pretty surprised if he’s not making harder contact this year to the gaps. And with the MLB Happy Fun Ball, who knows what his power will look like in the majors.
Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.
Programming Note: Jim Callis of MLB.com will be on Monday’s podcast.
Has the interview already been recorded, or is it not too late to ask ridiculous questions about Harold Diaz and Amado Nunez?
If Jim has opinions on whether Nunez can stick at 2B, and if Diaz is anything, I’d be delighted to hear them. (I figure you’ll discuss the Top 100 but can’t resist the deeper Callis cuts.)
I have to disagree with a lot of the other commenters, but I wasn’t really sure where to inject this in the other comment thread.
Madrigal could never change the profile he has and still be a top of the order guy. If he’s not striking out, he will get on base. If you put balls in play in 90% of your at bats, the hits will come. Avi never did that so although I see the comparison about always trying to inside-out the ball, that’s just about all that’s similar.
If the power never develops, there are plenty of other guys who profile as thumpers to hit behind him. That and the plus defense should make him a valuable regular.
Hey, Placido Polanco got two Hall of Fame votes.
Agree with you. Andrelton Simmons was putting up 3 WAR seasons with Slugging Percentages under .400.
AJ Pollock signs with the Dodgers
Nightengale put it at $50m/4yrs guaranteed with lots of bells and whistles.
that seems very reasonable, he fits the dodgers well, that team could be scary good this year
So it’s down to the Phillies and Sox for both Harper and Machado? It sure seems that way. Jerry should just sign them both!
For a team that was going to spend “stupid money”, the Phillies are sure being quiet. They met with Harper 12 days ago, and still no mention of a contract offer.
No time for sportswriters to mention it when they’re too busy spitballing perceived scenarios in which Harper can sign with the Cubs.
At this point, I kinda see Harper going back to the Nats.
Most people are saying the Nats interest has cooled. They won’t be giving him the record breaking contract he was seeking.
Nobody’s giving him that.
You’d think the Phillies would, but I’m not sure what they are doing right now.
yea the phillies have rounded out their roster with a lot of above average players but they seemingly have lost some juice on throwing huge coin at harper or machado….now watch they land one of thoese two guys and still find some way to bring in dk or kimbrel
Yeah. I was dreading the scenario where the Sox were slow-walking negotiations because no one else was forcing their hand, and the Phillies just came in and dropped the cash hammer. But either they’re slow walking it, too (in which case AAAAAHHHHHHHSOMEBODYDOSOMETHINGPLEAAAAASSSSSE), or they’re not as serious about spending “stupid money” as we assumed.
I’m guessing the sox still have the highest offer on the table for Machado. He’s going to have to take it eventually.
If the Sox have the highest offer for Machado now, they’re not going to sign him later.
Someone on Twitter pointed out that the Nationals are butting up against the threshold, and an even semi plausible Harper contract would blow them up, in terms of tax rates. I don’t know if that’s true, but I don’t think they were looking at a lot of payroll space to begin with, and after signing Corbin, things are pretty tight.
Yes, that is true. I doubt that their $300 million offer is on the table anymore. They have significantly added to their team since that offer was made.
Are we 100% sure this eliminates the Dodgers for Harper? The Pollock deal isn’t exactly payroll wrecking and they could still be looking for another OF, especially if they trade Pederson.
It’s not out of the question. Without making any other moves, this puts them ~$7m under the LT threshold and with ~4 OF (Pollock, Joc, Bellinger and Verdugo).
That being said, they’ve shown plenty of willingness to exceed the LT before and adding even a $30m contract would hardly be punishing (less than $5m).
Plus, we’ve already heard buzz that they’re looking to move Joc, which would free up an OF spot and ~$5m.
This doesn’t count them out, but it does make them less likely to sign him.
They now have 7 outfielders/1b: Muncy, Bellinger, Taylor, Verdugo, Hernandez, Pederson, Pollock. 8 if you count Toles. Even if they trade Pederson, they still have a surplus. Plus their three middle of the order bats are lefthanded (Muncy, Bellinger, Seager). For all the money they spend, the Dodgers have never given out a $100 million contract to another team’s free agent. I highly doubt they are in on Harper.
Coming from LA – next move is trading for JT Realmuto.
Wasn’t there a leaked prospectus the Dodgers sent their minority investors earlier this offseason, where they basically committed to working within luxury tax for the next few seasons? Maybe that was just a rumor.
one of those left handed outfielders will go. If not Pederson, then Toles or Verdugo. I love any of them.
I think the Sox will wait to see if they get Harper or Machado before adding an outfielder. They won’t add an outfielder if they get Harper. But I can see them getting Pederson if they add Machado.
I’d take any one of Toles, Verdugo or Pederson, though Verdugo will cost too much.
A sincere question: why is it taking so long for Harper/Machado to sign? I get other FA holding out until they sign, but those 2 run the market. If some team (like, say, the Cubs) has asked for patience to free payroll space, sure. But that seems unlikely, and even so – how long does that take? Maybe Harper/Machado are trying to wait each other out, but that seems silly.
So if I’m Machado’s agent, why not send this out to all 30 teams: “Manny is signing on February 1st. Teams have until January 28 to get me their best offers. He is considering taking a shorter deal (1-3 years), so we encourage all interested parties to submit.” The interest in shorter deals is a tactic to get the White Sox and Phils to pony up, but maybe he really is interested. On the 29th, contact all the lesser offers and say: “the best offer is this. Can you beat it?” Try to create a bidding war. If you cant, take the best offer.
I’m assuming this is a bad idea or more agents would do it. But I’m so curious as to what factors could hold these signings up. Surely teams have roughly made up their minds how much each player is worth to them? Can anyone help me out here?
Because there’s no market. It’s better for them to wait and hope that one develops than take a bad offer because it’s the only one. The bad offer will still be there in 2 weeks.
It’s taking so long because they haven’t received the offer they want. From what we can tell, that seems to be because teams are making lowball offers due to a suspicious lack of competition rather than the agents overvaluing the players compared to a fair market.
The answer to the rest is that we don’t know what tactics and strategies they’re deploying behind closed doors.
Any of the rumors of what is being offered is just speculation on our part. I seriously doubt that the 7/$175M from the Sox is the highest offer out there for Manny. What I don’t understand is why these guys aren’t getting the big offers. Have the metrics used by teams changed that much since the days of the Pulojs/Cano/Cabrera etc signings? It doesn’t make sense that there are no $250M + offers for Machado- a 26-year old legitimate star. I can’t believe the owners are colluding again. That would certainly lead to a strike in a few years. It’s all really puzzling.
I don’t think it’s colluding as much as it is a league-wide philosophy that fielding a competitive team is not required or necessary to turn a profit. The recent Royals/Astros/Cubs examples of “Suck hard for years so we can draft a strong team” has resulted in much more fan acceptance of being intentionally noncompetitive, so with no dip in profits and no blowback from fans, there’s really no pressure on the owners to spend any money.
That is certainly part of it, but the surprising thing is the lack of involvement from the big boys- Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, Red Sox, Giants, and others. The old days of George Steinbrenner trying to buy a championship are over. Is it the luxury tax, or is it just more fiscal responsibility from the owners that is keeping those teams on the sidelines?
I think the other big thing is all the sabermetric data available means teams are valuing players similarly now. Therefore no bidding wars are taking place because all the teams value these players the same.
Teams shouldn’t value players the same because there are still meaningful differences in market and competitiveness.
I think the irony is the big boys will always have money to spend and will always find players to take it. Instead of signing one player to a long-term mega deal, they can maintain their flexibility and sign a series of players to shorter deals, each player more precisely fitting their needs at the moment.
That doesn’t rule out collusion.
Teams at the top all treating the soft cap as a hard cap is suspicious.
It’s suspicious that revenue benificiaries, who have a contractual obligation to reinvest those monies rather than pocket them, aren’t spending.
It’s suspicious that mid-market teams, including ones in the middle or on the verge of their competitive windows, aren’t spending.
It’s a sports league not a hedgefund. And there is money in winning championships.
All very good points. I just can’t believe that the owners would be stupid enough to see collusion as an option after the fiasco in the 80s. I’ve almost always sided with owners in the labor disputes of the last 50 years, but it’s hard to take their side now. Last year had record revenues and decreased payrolls. And you’re absolutely right- this isn’t a hedgefund. I would think that the prospect of winning would cause them to invest more heavily. But then, I’m not a billionaire, so I don’t know how they think.
I’d also add that they face a tragedy of the commons/seed corn problem. If too many teams maximize profit at the expense of competitiveness, the league runs the risk of being too unwatchable. That would hurt value and profit for everyone, though more likely for the newer owners who paid a premium for the teams in the first place.
Owners who paid a pittance decades ago could still reap a windfall when they sell so long as the bubble deflates rather than bursts.
It doesn’t rule it out, but whether we like it or not a decreasing percentage of teams’ revenue comes from activities associated with putting a winning product on the field.
Except for the fact that while teams don’t benefit directly, those revenue sources are still tied to the league as a whole being watchable.
The rumors of what’s being offered aren’t speculation on our part. They’re information deliberately fed to reporters. The speculation is why those are the numbers rather than the 10+ yrs, $300m+ we expected for Machado.
The fact that he hasn’t signed lends credence to the rumors regardless of the specific numbers. In previous offseasons when teams were willing to bid against each other and pay market value things moved faster.
Were teams really willing to bid against each other or was it mostly new ownerships trying to make a splash? The most recent ownership change was the Marlins (and I wouldn’t rule them out). Most recent ownership change prior to that was the Dodgers 7 years ago. (I’m skipping over ownership changes by deaths, maybe I shouldn’t.) By contrast, the White Sox and Phillies are the two longest-tenured ownerships.
The Marlins made a splash by *checks notes* unloading some of their talent at a discount.
Ricketts leaned out the Cubs like a finance firm after buying the team. and has probably spent more money lobbying the city and fighting his neighbors, redeveloping the area around the park, and running ads against Tom Tunney than on player contracts. But they have spent some money in free agency.
The Dodgers are really the odd man out of that trio. Last year was their first below $200m in payroll since 2012.
There have been some weird Dodgers rumors out there about having to cut salary over the past few years. It seems pretty crazy, but I don’t know how leveraged ownership is.
I think this really just states my question but in a different way: why is there an expectation (or a hope?) that those offers will come?
I think you’re right that there’s some closed doors strategies/tactics. But it’s difficult to see what of those could really have an effect on this market.
The Sox and Phillies don’t seem to be threatening to pull their offers. Until they do or missed Spring Training reps become much more likely, there’s no pressure to sign. Which gives the players some leverage to try and build a better market by waiting. As long as no other teams are in a rush, the Sox and Phillies can also wait.
Though I think it would be better for other players. A guy like Moustakas, for example, was probably waiting to see what would happen with Machado. Now he may feel he just should take an available offer and get it done. Isn’t Keuchel still out there as well? There are probably some pitchers who have been waiting that out.
All I can say is this:
1) Teams would rather get the player signed early so they can promote it for months rather than weeks.
2) The sooner you make your best offer the more time the agent will spend trying to get the other 29 teams to beat it.
3) There winds up being all kinds of game theory going on.
I’m actually surprised they’re in such lockstep on Cease. I expected him to have more differing opinions. Though I seem to recall the guys at FG being kind of lower on him, so I’m guessing they’ll throw a curveball in there on him.
Not surprised at the differing opinions on Dunning. He’s probably consensus top 100 without the injury, but with it he’s more of an unknown until we know he’s healthy.
In terms of omissions, I’m a little surprised Basabe and/or Adolfo didn’t make an appearance on either list. Though I suspect we’ll probably see at least one of them pop up on the FG or MLB updated lists (I think they were both on FG’s midseason list).
Fangraphs’ THE BOARD currently has Basabe at 84 and Adolfo at 88, although those haven’t been updated in a while. Cease, as you point out, is ranked 96 there, just one spot ahead of Dunning.
I have not said it till now, but of all the highly touted outfielders in the system, Basabe has that AAAA look to me. He’s streaky. I saw him twice in Birmingham in August and…. I hoped to see more.
A 21-year old managing not to be completely overmatched in AA playing in an offense-suppressing park is absolutely something to be optimistic about, I’d think. I’d think the consistency would come as part of his natural development. Heck, this time last year some people (including myself) were preparing for when we’d have to write Basabe off.
ill admit that i feel like of all our outfield guys basabe feels like the one least likely to reach his ceiling but you never know he is still pretty young… i just always saw him more as nice 4th outfielder
i wouldnt be surprised to see adolfo hit top 100 maybe at the midseason reranking if he proves his arms healthy and continues to hit, national media seems to always include him when talking about white sox system even tho hes never ranked so he obviously is getting the attention
It amazes me that Adolfo gets so much love while Basabe is viewed with such skepticism. They’re almost exactly the same age, yet Basabe has advanced a level beyond Adolfo. When they were in W-S together in 2018, Basabe posted an OPS 40 points higher, yet people crowed about what a great season Adolfo had with the bat while viewing Basabe’s so-so showing in Birmingham as a red flag. Basabe struck out at a lower rate, drew walks at a higher rate, and competently played a far more valuable defensive position while having the sort of healthy season that still eludes Adolfo. He’s making a believer out of me.
Adolfo’s got the power potential for people to dream about. Basabe’s route to making a living on the diamond isn’t as flashy or loud.
Plus the best arm in the system. For myself, I love the way he glides around the outfield. He could be a great one.
Is that greater than, less than, or equal to 15 minutes in the cage?
Man, there are some great discussions on this site today! Reading them is always fun, but the comments on this article seemed especially well-considered. So I will risk adding a couple of thoughts.
Those experts who don’t think much of Dane Dunning because he isn’t a hard thrower are guys who obviously never saw Mark Buehrle pitch, to say nothing of Jamie Moyer, who pitched successfully for 25 years in the major leagues. However, that injury, and what I perceived to be the secrecy surrounding it, are a genuine concern. I don’t know about anybody else here, but if I had a “must win” game, I would want Buehrle to pitch it.
Second, I appreciate the discussion about Nick Madrigal. In my opinion, we don’t need Madrigal to be a home run hitter, we need him to be a solid top of order hitter who can put the ball in play, advance runners, and contribute solid, smart defense. Home runs are great, but I don’t think massive home runs typically win close games. (Admittedly, I say this without concrete evidence.)
Mr Margalus: Thank you so much for the Sox Machine and the work you put into it. I hope this criticism is constructive. Everyday you present topics for discussion, such as this one on Madrigal….but everyday the comments morph into Machado/Harper contact offers or unrelated trade rumors (Joc P)….is there a courteous way to remind all posters to stay on topic? I truly enjoyed the Madrigal discussions, and it’s valid to bring in related comments – for instance how Machado may change the infield makeup and where Madrigal/Moncada will slot in if Manny signs. But it’s getting a bit old to see speculations on Machado/Harper contract offers in just about every thread. Again, please take this constructively as it’s only my opinion…..
@denbum I’d consider that the fault of the offseason, not the site. The Machado signing looms over decision they’ve made this winter and can make from here. In every winter before the last two, this would’ve been sealed in mid-December. As it stands, we’re all kinda held hostage.
Thanks for replying.