October 13, 2010 at 7:00 am by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves
Picking up where I left off yesterday.
Number 30: Luis Sumoza – OF (21) 6’0 170 LB. 2009 Rank: 15.
I thought Sumoza was in store for a nice bounce-back season in 2010. I could not have been more wrong. He was hurt for much of the year and incompetent when he wasn’t, hitting only .219/.280/.309 in 306 PA’s in the Carolina League. The good news is he’s only 21 years old, so he still has time to figure out how to use his tools, but the clock is ticking and he hasn’t done a single positive thing since coming to Atlanta’s system in the Mark Kotsay trade in 2008.
Number 29: Brandon Hicks – SS (24) 6’2″ 200 LB. 2009 Rank: 9.
Hicks made it to MLB in 2010 because the middle infield corps in the upper levels of the organization were rather thin (did I mention the team should have retained Kelly Johnson?). He has a couple of useful attributes–namely his glove and his legs–but he can not hit at all, making his ceiling that of a utility player. He’s got some pop when he actually makes contact, but that doesn’t happen very often. He hit .211/.280/.333 in 287 PA’s at Gwinnett in 2010. In his big-league stint, he only reached base 1 time (a walk) in 6 PA’s, but he scored seven runs due to Bobby’s liberal use of him in pinch-running situations.
Number 28: Jeffrey Lorick – LHP (22) 6’0″ 195 LB. 2009 Rank: Unranked.
I quite liked this UVA product and relief prospect, but he was shipped to Chicago’s system in the Derrek Lee trade in August.
Number 27: Kyle Rose – CF (21) 6’0″ 165 LB. 2009 Rank: Unranked.
Rose was a 2009 8th-round draft pick and had a fairly successful 2010 season, despite being next to useless with the bat. He hit .259/.331/.299 in 362 PA’s for the Rome Braves. Rose provides value in center field where he uses his speed to cover a ton of ground. A bit concerning is his SB/CS ratio, he stole 26 bases for Rome in 2010 but was caught 23 times.
Number 26: Cory Harrilchak – OF (22) 5’10″ 175 LB. 2009 Rank: Unranked.
A 14th-round draft pick in 2009, Harrilchak built on an impressive first season, hitting .287/.354/.400 over 510 PA’s in his first full season in Rome and Myrtle Beach. Harrilchak is a sort of jack-of-all-trades. He’ll hit a few homers, a few triples, a few doubles, draw some walks, strike out some, steal a few bases, et cetera. He plays all three outfield positions and seems like an ideal fourth outfielder. After stealing 19 bases in 21 attempts in 2009, he stole 22 in 37 attempts in 2010, which is a red flag.
Number 25: Caleb Brewer – RHP (21) 6’3″ 205 LB. 2009 Rank: Unranked.
Ranking Brewer 25th may have been the biggest mistake I made on last year’s list. He was again hurt for most of the year–only able to make 9 starts–and walked more batters (26) than he struck out (24) in his 40 and 2/3 innings at Class A Rome. There’s not a lot to like here, given the injury history and lack of development he’s experienced. He’ll be 22 this year, and if he doesn’t start showing some things……
Number 24: Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg – 1B (22) 6’2″ 235 LB. 2009 Rank: Unranked.
The all-bat prospect failed to do much with the bat in 2010. A hand injury limited him to 253 PA’s, in which he hit .266/.322/.358. I’m willing to give him a pass here based on the hand injury and his fantastic 2009 campaign, though he was 21 years old in rookie ball then and he’ll be 23 next year. He’ll need to stay healthy and re-gain his power stroke before we consider him a legitimate prospect again.
Number 23: Chris Masters – LHP (22) 6’0″ 230 LB. 2009 Rank: Unranked.
Masters stayed healthy and pitched reasonably well in 2010, posting a 8.1 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, and 0.9 HR/9 in 136 innings at Class A Rome. You’d like to see him take a step forward next year in the Carolina League before he moves to Class AA Mississippi and starts throwing his palmball–a plus pitch–in games, but regardless he’s looking like a legitimate SP prospect. When I saw him in-person he was absolutely terrible, but I’m told that was the exception, rather than the rule.
Number 22: Brett Oberholtzer – LHP (19) 6’2″ 190 LB. 2009 Rank: 37.
Excellent. Brett Oberholtzer might have made more strides in 2010 than anyone else I ranked. Over 135 and 2/3 innings in the Sally League and Carolina League, Oberholtzer posted a 8.4 K/9, a 1.5 BB/9, and a 0.5 HR/9. He walked only 23 batters all year, and his control was pretty much fantastic every time out. He pitched even better at Myrtle Beach over 112 and 2/3 innings than he did at Rome over 23 innings. All of this happened during his age 20 season. He’s still not much more than a back-end rotation prospect given his lack of a true swing-and-miss offering, but he’s that much closer after an awesome 2010.
Number 21: Mycal Jones – SS (23) 5’10″ 165 LB. 2009 Rank: Unranked.
Mycal Jones started out the year horribly, but rallied and ended up making it all the way to AA in his first full season and finished with a combined .262/.327/.421 line over 570 PA’s. He got better as the year went on, posting a much-improved walk rate in the Carolina League compared to his Sally League stint. An excellent athlete, Jones has a chance to stick at SS, and he’ll be close to, if not in, the top-10 when I finish the 2011 top-40 list. Important to remember is the fact that he’s been a bit old for his league nearly every step of the way, which has fooled me before (see Hicks, Brandon and Jones, Travis), but given his athleticism I believe Mycal Jones is for real.