All grades are EXTREMELY PRELIMINARY and subject to change. Don’t get too worried about exact rankings at this point, especially once you get out of the top 10. Grade C+/C guys are pretty interchangeable depending on what you are looking for.
1) Cameron Maybin, OF, Grade A-: He’s got some flaws, but overall I buy into the notion that he will refine his tools into skills. Just don’t expect him to win batting titles.
2) Logan Morrison, 1B, Grade A-: I think people are underrating his power. In 2009, he’ll put everything together, batting average, OBP, and homers.
3) Matt Dominguez, 3B, Grade B+: Close to an A-, impressive power with stellar glove, but have some concerns about his plate discipline.
4) Mike Stanton, OF, Grade B+: Anyone who likes space race history will love the book comment I wrote about him this year. Could be a superstar, could flail helplessly against Double-A pitching, too soon to rate higher than a B+.
5) Kyle Skipworth, C, Grade B+: At this point, I’m not worried about his rookie ball performance. I believe in the bat and his defense will come along with more experience.
6) Ryan Tucker, RHP, Grade B: He needs another pitch if he wants to start, but the ceiling stands out as excellent.
7) Sean West, LHP, Grade B: Another high ceiling arm, but command problems preclude higher grade at this time.
8) Jose Ceda, RHP, Grade B: Yet another high ceiling arm with command issues. Also has to watch weight.
9) Chris Coghlan, 2B, Grade B-: Nice steady contact hitter, won’t be a star but should have a long career.
10) John Raynor, OF, Grade B-: Fast, draws walks, has some pop, negatives are age and high strikeout rate.
11) Eulogio De La Cruz, RHP, Grade B-: Borderline C+, but I’m giving him credit for surviving
12) Gaby Sanchez, 1B, Grade C+: Borderline B-, but MLEs show him as a .260/.340/.420 hitter, not great for a first baseman. I do like his plate discipline.
13) Scott Cousins, OF, Grade C+: Has across the board skills, could be a strong fourth outfielder or an average corner guy.
14) Bryan Petersen, OF, Grade C+: Similar to Cousins to some extent, but a year behind him on the development curve. Both are players who deserve more attention.
15) Aaron Thompson, LHP, Grade C+: Could be a C. I don’t like the way his Double-A numbers slipped and I worry about health.
16) Brad Hand, LHP, Grade C+: Young projectable lefty from
17) Isaac Galloway, OF, Grade C: Tons o’tools, but may be held back by poor plate discipline.
18) Jake Smolinski, 2B, Grade C: Interesting player acquired in Willingham/Olsen deal. Nice left-handed offensive potential, but can’t stay healthy so far.
19) Brett Sinkbeil, RHP, Grade C: Surviving on reputation at this point. I think he is better-suited for relief work than starting. Still has the sinker but just doesn’t dominate.
20) Chris Leroux, RHP, Grade C: Could be a fit in the bullpen sooner than expected, if his command is there.
Others: Pete Andrelczyk, RHP; Andrew Battisto, RHP; Blake Brewer, RHP; Brett Carroll, OF; P.J. Dean, RHP; Johnny Dorn, RHP; Paul Gran,3B: Thomas Hickman, OF; Dan Jennings, LHP; Kyle Kaminska, RHP; Zack Kroenke, LHP; Chris Mobley, RHP; Edgar Olmos, LHP; Graham Taylor, LHP; Dallas Trahern, RHP.
As usual, don’t sweat so much about where the Grade C+/C types rank exactly on this list. After I get past the top 10 I don’t worry so much about exact placement, since I’m trying to concentrate on the book right now. Some of the Grade C guys could be C+ in the book, and vice versa.
SYSTEM IN BRIEF
The Marlins have a large group of potential impact players at the top of the system.
Maybin, Morrison, Dominguez, Stanton, and Skipworth all have the ability to be major league regulars and possible All-Stars. Few teams offer that kind of depth.
Beyond this group, there are other hitters who should be fine role players or average regulars. . .Coghlan, Sanchez, even Raynor, Cousins, and Peterson have that potential.
The pitchers are a bit less impressive. There are several very live arms, but they all have command problems and given the attrition rate on pitchers, the Marlins could use more depth here. But most teams could.
I do note a relative lack of C+ types, but some of the Cs have the potential to move into that category next year.
Overall, the Marlins are loaded.
Full reports on these players and over 1,000 others can be found in the 2009 Baseball Prospect Book. Pre-order for January 31st shipping now!