Ask BA

Now that the 2011 Prospect Handbook is ready to hit the presses at the printer, Ask BA is back and should return to its normal Monday schedule for a while. Our first order of business is to update the 2011 draft order.

Since the last edition of Ask BA on Dec. 13, two Type A free agents (Adrian Beltre, Cliff Lee) and eight Type B free agents (Randy Choate, Jesse Crain, Octavio Dotel, Jose Feliciano, Kevin Gregg, Brad Hawpe, Orlando Hudson, Adam LaRoche) have signed with new teams. The upshot is that the Red Sox now have four of the top 40 picks after losing Beltre and Victor Martinez (and signing Carl Crawford) and the Rays have six choices before the second round. Tampa Bay can pick up another five compensation selections if three relievers (Type A Rafael Soriano and Grant Balfour, Type B Chad Qualls) sign elsewhere.

The 2010 draft featured 18 supplemental first-round picks, while the 2011 draft already has 24 and could have as many as 31.

Below is the updated draft order, as well as the list of the seven remaining potential compensation free agents:

First Round
1. Pirates
2. Mariners
3. Diamondbacks
4. Orioles
5. Royals
6. Nationals
7. Diamondbacks (for failure to sign 2010 first-rounder Barret Loux)
8. Indians
9. Cubs
10. Padres (for failure to sign 2010 first-rounder Karsten Whitson)
11. Astros
12. Brewers
13. Mets
14. Marlins
15. Brewers (for failure to sign 2010 first-rounder Dylan Covey)
16. Dodgers
17. Angels
18. Athletics
19. Red Sox (from Tigers for Victor Martinez, Type A)
20. Rockies
21. Blue Jays
22. Cardinals
23. Nationals (from White Sox for Adam Dunn, Type A)
24. Rays (from Red Sox for Carl Crawford, Type A)
25. Padres
26. Red Sox (from Rangers for Adrian Beltre, Type A)
27. Reds
28. Braves
29. Giants
30. Twins
31. Yankees
32. Rays
33. Rangers (from Phillies for Cliff Lee, Type A)
Supplemental First Round
34. Nationals (Dunn)
35. Blue Jays (for Scott Downs, Type A, to Angels)
36. Red Sox (Martinez)
37. Rangers (Lee)
38. Rays (Crawford)
39. Phillies (for Jayson Werth, Type A, to Nationals)
40. Red Sox (Beltre)
41. Diamondbacks (for Adam LaRoche, Type B, to Nationals)
42. Mets (for Pedro Feliciano, Type B, to Yankees)
43. Rockies (for Octavio Dotel, Type B, to Blue Jays)
44. Blue Jays (for John Buck, Type B, to Marlins)
45. White Sox (for J.J. Putz, Type B, to Diamondbacks)
46. Padres (for Jon Garland, Type B, to Dodgers)
47. Giants (for Juan Uribe, Type B, to Dodgers)
48. Twins (for Orlando Hudson, Type B, to Padres)
49. Yankees (for Javier Vazquez, Type B, to Marlins)
50. Rays (for Joaquin Benoit, Type B, to Tigers)
51. Blue Jays (for Miguel Olivo, Type B, to Mariners)
52. Padres (for Yorvit Torrealba, Type B, to Rangers)
53. Twins (for Jesse Crain, Type B, to White Sox)
54. Rays (for Randy Choate, Type B, to Marlins)
55. Blue Jays (for Kevin Gregg, Type B, to Orioles)
56. Padres (for Kevin Correia, Type B, to Pirates)
57. Rays (for Brad Hawpe, Type B, to Padres)
Second-Round Changes
63. Phillies (from Nationals for Werth)
71. Blue Jays (from Angels for Downs)
Third-Round Changes
Supplemental Third Round
118. Mariners (for failure to sign 2010 third-rounder Ryne Stanek)
Remaining Type A Compensation Free Agents
Starting Pitchers: Carl Pavano (Min).
Relief Pitchers: Rafael Soriano (TB), Grant Balfour (TB).
Remaining Type B Compensation Free Agents
Third Basemen: Felipe Lopez (Bos).
Relief Pitchers: Trevor Hoffman (Mil), Aaron Heilman (Ari), Chad Qualls (TB).
    In the last Ask BA, you mentioned that Brewers-turned-Blue Jays second baseman Brett Lawrie was caught in Top 10 Prospect limbo. Soon thereafter, Milwaukee sent righthanders Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress to the Royals in the Zack Greinke trade. Where would they have rated on the Brewers Top 10, and where would they rank on the revised Royals Top 10?

    Jerry Kahn
    San Diego

    Where would Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress rank in the Royals system? It looks like Kansas City could place 9-10 players on your upcoming Top 100 Prospects list with their new acquisitions and holdovers Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers, Mike Moustakas, John Lamb, Mike Montgomery, Christian Colon, Danny Duffy and Chris Dwyer. What is the record for the most Top 100 Prospects from one organization?

    Paul Garten
    Pleasant Hill, Mo.

We rated Lawrie as the Brewers’ No. 1 prospect until they dealt him to get Shaun Marcum. That trade elevated Odorizzi to the No. 1 spot and moved Jeffress up to No. 3, which is where they’ll appear on our Milwaukee Top 30 in the Prospect Handbook. We won’t update our Royals Top 10 online, but if we did, Odorizzi would rank ninth, in between Dwyer and Crow, and Jeffress would rank 11th, between Crow and Brett Eibner.

Here are the scouting reports on Odorizzi and Jeffress, which never made it into a Top 10 in our magazine or on our website. First, Odorizzi:

Two scouts who saw Odorizzi pitch at Wisconsin described him as a lesser version of Zack Greinke. Odorizzi’s excellent athleticism results in a clean delivery that he repeats easily, allowing him to fill the strike zone. He consistently commands a fastball that ranges from 89-95 mph and seems even quicker because he throws with such ease. He maintains his velocity deep into games, and his fastball also features good sinking and boring action that makes it difficult to lift. Odorizzi’s fastball is so effective that he has been able to thrive without a secondary pitch that presently grades as plus. He’s working on two different breaking balls. Scouts like his curveball better, saying it could develop into an above-average second pitch, and his slider is really more of a cutter. He shows some feel for a changeup, though he sometimes tips it off by slowing his arm speed. Odorizzi fields his position well, though he has to do a better job of holding runners after surrendering 16 steals in 20 attempts last year. He’s built for durability and though he pitched nearly twice as many innings in 2010 as he had totaled the previous two seasons, he got stronger in the second half. He’s extremely poised and confident on the mound.

And here’s Jeffress:

Jeffress regularly pitches in the mid-90s with his fastball and hit triple digits at the Rising Stars Game in the Arizona Fall League after the season. His heater doesn’t have much movement but he throws it with such an easy delivery that he blows it by hitters before they realize what happened. He also has a big-breaking curveball that he struggles to throw for strikes but is devastating when he does. He never mastered a changeup and won’t need one as a reliever.

As for the all-time Top 100 Prospects record, that belongs to the 2006 Dodgers, the only organization ever to place nine prospects on our list. Los Angeles had Chad Billingsley (No. 7), Andy LaRoche (No. 19), Joel Guzman (No. 26), Russell Martin (No. 42), Scott Elbert (No. 55), Jonathan Broxton (No. 63), Blake DeWitt (No. 82), Andre Ethier (No. 89) and Matt Kemp (No. 96). Four organizations have had eight Top 100 Prospects: the 1991 Dodgers, the 1998 and 2000 Marlins, and the 2007 Rockies.

We haven’t begun putting the 2011 Top 100 together, but I think the Royals will at least tie the record. Hosmer, Myers, Moustakas, Lamb and Montgomery all ranked among my 25 best prospects when I did a personal Top 50 for the Handbook. Colon, Duffy, Dwyer and Odorizzi all will make my personal Top 100 and I expect them to make the consensus Baseball America list as well. Crow and Jeffress have a chance, but I think they both may fall short of the final Top 100.

    Let's say the Royals system was split into two groups. One has all of the prospects who have been acquired over the past year via the draft, international signings and trades. The other has all the prospects acquired before that. What would each group's Top 10 look like? Where would each of these groups rank by themselves in Baseball America's organization rankings?

    Landon Adams
    Carl Junction, Mo.

Here’s how those two Top 10s would shake out:

Royals, Pre-2010 Prospects Royals, 2010 Prospects
1. Eric Hosmer, 1b 1. Christian Colon, ss
2. Wil Myers, c 2. Jake Odorizzi, rhp
3. Mike Moustakas, 3b 3. Jeremy Jeffress, rhp
4. John Lamb, lhp 4. Brett Eibner, of
5. Mike Montgomery, lhp 5. Jason Adam, rhp
6. Danny Duffy, lhp 6. Tim Collins, lhp
7. Chris Dwyer, lhp 7. Humberto Arteaga, ss
8. Aaron Crow, rhp 8. Orlando Calixte, ss
9. Yordano Ventura, rhp 9. Elisaul Pimentel, rhp
10. Tim Melville, rhp 10. Lucas May, c

It won’t surprise anyone when the Royals are No. 1 in our farm system ratings in the Prospect Handbook, and their group of prospects acquired before 2010 is strong enough to rank No. 1 on its own. As I mentioned in the previous question, Hosmer, Myers, Moustakas, Lamb and Montgomery are five of the 25 best prospects in the game. The pre-2010 Top 10 would be stronger than any other, and that group also would have admirable depth.

Kansas City’s collection of prospects acquired since the start of 2010 is impressive as well. In addition to Greinke trade pieces Odorizzi and Jeffress, the Royals also have drafted Colon (the No. 4 overall pick last June), Eibner and Adam; traded for Collins, Pimentel and May; and signed Arteaga and Calixte on the international market.

It would be next to impossible to build a formidable farm system in just one year (especially in terms of depth). But that Royals 2010 Top 10 is impressive. If we were to stack that group up against the all-encompassing Top 10s from the other organizations, Kansas City would fall somewhere in the 16-20 range.

    What's the latest information on outfielder Brian Goodwin, declared ineligible by North Carolina for the 2011 season? Is he going to take the year off from baseball, or will he go the junior college route and become draft-eligible?

    Tom Dunn

North Carolina confirmed two days ago that Goodwin will transfer to Miami-Dade CC for his sophomore season, making him eligible for the 2011 draft. The university had suspended Goodwin for the 2011 season for violations of its academic policy.

Goodwin batted .291/.409/.511 with seven homers and seven steals as a freshman, starting all 60 games for the 38-22 Tar Heels. We ranked him as the sixth-best prospect in the Cape Cod League last summer Premium, citing his well above-average raw power and speed and his potential as a center fielder. He’s a possible first-round pick in June, as the only better up-the-middle college athletes available are outfielders George Springer (Connecticut) and Jackie Bradley (South Carolina).

" Dec. 13 Ask BA