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Prospects of Interest: Jarrett Martin, Jonathan Villar, Josh Zeid

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Joshua Zeid, rhp, Lakewood BlueClaws (via PhilliesProspects)

Here are three comments from the book that I thought you might find interesting, with some additional commentary for each: Jarrett Martin of the Orioles, Jonathan Villar of the Astros, and Josh Zeid of the Phillies.


Jarrett Martin, LHP, Baltimore Orioles
Bats: L    Throws: L     HT: 6-3    WT: 200    DOB: August 14, 1989

SLEEPER ALERT!! Martin was selected in the 18th round in 2009, from Bakersfield Junior College. He has a sinking fastball in the low 90s that helped him post a 2.03 GO/AO last year in the Appy League. He also has a promising curveball, and the combination of the two pitches throttled left-handed hitters to a .188 mark for Bluefield. His K/IP and H/IP ratios were quite good, but he also walked too many guys, elevating his ERA. I am intrigued with this one; if Martin can sharpen his command even slightly, he could break out in 2011. Grade C, but a sleeper.
ADDITIONAL COMMENT: Good size and some arm strength here, plus I like the combination of strikeouts and ground balls. As stated, he needs to get the walks down, but any progress in that department could take him a long way. Sources who follow the Orioles closely are quite intrigued with him.

Jonathan Villar, SS, Houston Astros
Bats: S    Throws: R     HT: 6-1     WT: 180   DOB: May 2, 1991

The Astros acquired Villar from the Phillies in the Roy Oswalt trade. A Dominican signed in 2008, Villar is a top-flight athlete with outstanding speed and mobility. He has a strong arm, too, and with more experience he should be an excellent defender. . .if he can cut down on stupid mistakes. He made 56 errors last year, 42 at Lakewood and another 14 in just 31 games at Lancaster. Scouts say he gets lazy on routine plays, which should get better in time, although he clearly has a lot of work to do. His offense is similar to his defense: promising, but very, very raw. He is dangerous on the bases and will show sparks of gap power, but he has no clue about the strike zone at this point. Villar has the athleticism to be a star, but his all tools, few skills at this stage. Grade C+.
ADDITIONAL COMMENT: Villar is getting some recent attention due to his slot on the new Baseball America Top 100 list, ranked 94th. As listed above, I gave him a C+ and he wasn't anywhere near my Top 50 hitters list. I respect his tools, which are excellent, but I have a hard time putting a guy with a 38/153 BB/K ratio highly on my list. Villar is young enough to improve and has star-level athleticism, but he's just too raw for me to fully buy-into as a top prospect at this point. I've seen too many guys like this fail.

Josh Zeid, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
Bats: R    Throws: R     HT: 6-5     WT: 210   DOB: March 24, 1987

SLEEPER ALERT!! Zeid was a 10th round pick in 2009 out of Tulane. At age 23, he was old for the South Atlantic League last year, but he pitched quite well, with above-average component ratios in all categories. He continued pitching well in the Arizona Fall League, with a 12/1 K/BB and a 3.86 ERA in 14 innings over four starts. Zeid has a 90-94 MPH fastball and a good slider, and he worked on his changeup in the Fall League. He's thrown strikes so far. We need to see him at higher levels, but his career is off to a good start and he could jump to Double-A to begin '11. Grade C+.
ADDITIONAL COMMENT: Phillies fans are aware of this guy, but he's under-the-radar nationally and overshadowed by younger pitchers in the system (Cosart, Colvin, May, etc). His performance last year merits close attention, and he's not some junk-ball trickster, he's got solid stuff.