Prospect Vs. Prospect: Trevor Plouffe vs. Chris Nelson
Trevor Plouffe was drafted in the first round by the Minnesota Twins in 2004, 20th overall, a high school shortstop from California. He had a rather disappointing season in the Midwest League in 2005, hitting just .223/.300/.345 for Beloit. He did hit 13 homers and post a decent 50/78/466 BB/K/AB ratio, and scouts were impressed with his defense and his attitude. Sabermetrically, he may have been "hit-unlucky," but at times (especially early in the season) he appeared legitimately overmatched.
Chris Nelson was drafted in the first round by the Colorado Rockies in 2004, ninth overall, a high school shortstop from Georgia. Like Plouffe, he had a disappointing season, hitting just .241/.304/.330 for Asheville in the South Atlantic League. Injuries were a major factor: he was hampered by hamstring and groin trouble for more than half the season, and was never 100% healthy. But even so, his production was certainly less than expected, with plate discipline a major problem. His BB/K/AB was 25/88/315, too many strikeouts with not enough walks.
So, here's the question. Right now, who is the better prospect, Nelson or Plouffe? Plouffe is younger (born June 1986 compared to September 1985). Plouffe is a very good athlete in his own right, but Nelson has better raw tools according to scouts. Plouffe has better strike zone judgment and is more polished defensively, but Nelson has a higher upside on both offense and defense according to scouts. Plouffe was healthy in '05 and posted bad numbers; Nelson at least had the excuse of being injured.
Who would you rather have?