2011 SLEEPER ALERT! LIST REVIEW, Part Two
Every year in the Baseball Prospect Book, I point out players who I think are particularly good sleepers who could break through unexpectedly. Sometimes then pan out (Dan Hudson for example), sometimes they don't, but I try very hard to get ahead of the curve on players like that, especially pitchers.
Let's review the Sleeper Alert! list from the 2011 book (which you can still order by the way!). Here are the second 15 alphabetically and we will review all 59 players as the week moves forward. I'm including a brief mention for each player of the reasons they were on the list, if it was stats, scouting reports, intuition, or some combination thereof.
John Gast, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals: 3.95 ERA with 59/28 K/BB in 82 innings for High-A Palm Beach, but stronger numbers after moving up to Double-A, 2.70 ERA with 22/6 K/BB in 20 innings for Springfield. 1.54 GO/AO combined. Age 22. Looks very good right now, rating was based on statistics, scouting, and intuition.
Ismael Guillon, LHP, Cincinnati Reds: 5.66 ERA in 21 innings for Billings in the Pioneer League, 16/18 K/BB, 23 hits, 1.93 GO/AO. Age 19. Numbers unimpressive so far due to command problems but sample is small. Rating was based on statistics and scouting.
Ben Heath, C, Houston Astros: Hitting .245/.306/.404 combined between Low-A Lexington and High-A Lancaster, 18/58 BB/K in 208 at-bats, has thrown out just 16 percent of runners. Disappointing in all respects. Age 22. Scouting reports about a troublesome swing turned out more accurate than good stats.
Cesar Hernandez, 2B, Philadelphia Phillies: Hitting .261/.299/.331 with 15 walks, 49 strikeouts, 12 steals in 291 PA for High-A Clearwater. Playing very well defensively. Age 21, still has time to improve. Rating was based on stats and scouting.
Kane Holbrooks, RHP, Minnesota Twins: 5.09 ERA, 44/25 K/BB in 88 innings, 116 hits for High-A Fort Myers. Very disappointing in most respects, K/IP and H/IP marks have slipped dramatically. Age 24. Rating was based on stats and scouting.
Mario Hollands, LHP, Philadelphia Phillies: 4.44 ERA, 63/27 K/BB in 79 innings for Low-A Lakewood, 90 hits. Blah performance so far. Much more effective when used in pen (2.70 ERA, 16/6 K/BB in 17 IP, 10 hits). Age 22. Rating was based on mix of stats, scouting, and intuition.
Deryk Hooker, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals: 6.14 ERA with 27/14 K/BB in 37 innings for Double-A Springfield. On disabled list since mid-May. Age 22. Rating was based on stats and scouting.
Drew Hutchison, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays: 2.99 ERA, 99/27 K/BB in 93 innings, 85 hits split between Low-A Lansing and High-A Dunedin. Excellent season so far, moving rapidly up prospect lists. Age 20. Rating was based on stats and scouting.
James Jones, OF, Seattle Mariners: Hitting .234/.327/.360 with 13 steals, 37 walks, 87 strikeouts in 278 at-bats for High-A High Desert. Pattern similar to last year, very slow start, but heating up now, .298/.362/.488 in last 22 games. Age 22. Rating was based on stats and scouting.
Su-Min Jung, RHP, Chicago Cubs: 5.36 ERA with 19/24 K/BB in 44 innings for Low-A Peoria, just demoted to short-season Boise. Age 21. Rating was based on stats and scouting, he succeeded in Low-A last year so command slippage is disappointing.
Steve Kent, LHP, Atlanta Braves: 7.77 ERA, 37/9 K/BB in 49 innings, 74 hits for Low-A Rome. At the same level in 2010, he had a 0.69 ERA with a 54/8 K/BB in 39 innings. 22 years old, was released in June. Sleeper rating was based mainly on stats, sudden collapse in performance at same level followed by release is weird.
Austin Kirk, LHP, Chicago Cubs: 2.95 ERA with 89/24 K/BB in 104 innings for Low-A Peoria, 80 hits. Threw no-hitter on July 4th. Age 21, having a very nice breakthrough year. Rating was based on stats and scouting.
Tom Koehler, RHP, Florida Marlins: 5.44 ERA, 70/56 K/BB in 98 innings for Triple-A New Orleans, 96 hits. Walk rate has shot way up this year. 25 years old. Rating was based on stats and scouting.
Kyle Lotzkar, RHP, Cincinnati Reds: 5.71 ERA but with nice components, 36/11 K/BB, 29 hits in 35 innings for Low-A Dayton. Live-arm guy making progress in injury recovery. Age 21. Rating based mostly on scouting.
Big hit with this second group of 15 was Hutchison, Kirk and Gast are solid, but lots of disappointments too.