2012 Sleeper Prospects in Review, Part Three
Here is a look at each player I tagged with a Sleeper Alert! label in the 2012 Baseball Prospect Book. This finishes out the list.
Some of these guys are better-known than others. By Sleeper, I mean a guy who wasn't well-known nationally as a top prospect pre-season, but who I expected could become one this year or have a breakout. This doesn't mean the player in question was a complete nobody pre-season, especially to fans who follow a particular team closely, or to people who are just super prospect fanatics (like many members of the Minor League Ball Community)
Jairo Perez, INF, Twins: Hitting .226/323/.417 with 10 walks, 14 strikeouts in 84 at-bats for High-A Fort Myers. Scouts don't like him much but he posted a .992 OPS in 74 games in Low-A last year. From Venezuela, age 23.
Jace Peterson, SS, Padres: Hitting .296/.392/.435 with 13 steals, 16 walks, 20 strikeouts in 108 at-bats for Low-A Fort Wayne. Impressive athleticism with a football background, has patience, speed, and power potential. Not a classic sleeper since he was a supplemental first round pick, but I wanted to make sure people didn't overlook him in a farm system with considerable depth. Age 21.
Jon Pettibone, RHP, Phillies: 4.78 ERA with 20/13 K/BB and 1.58 GO/AO in 32 innings for Double-A Reading, 45 hits allowed. Getting some grounders but hittable, needs command refinements. Had an impressive season in High-A last year and I felt he could take a large step forward this season but it isn't happening yet. Age 21.
Dae Eun Rhee, RHP, Cubs: 5.57 ERA with a 26/12 K/BB in 32 innings for Double-A Tennessee, with 39 hits allowed, 1.27 GO/AO. Tommy John survivor still trying to put his career back together. This is another former hot prospect I felt was falling under the radar that I wanted to keep in people's minds, but hasn't made the progress I hoped. Age 23.
Nick Rickles, C, Athletics: Hitting .206/.250/.294 with four walks, 11 strikeouts in 68 at-bats for Low-A Burlington. Has thrown out 43% of runners in his career. I think he has more offensive potential than he's shown this year. Age 22.
Ronny Rodriguez, SS, Indians: Hitting .225/.258/.337 with four walks, 19 strikeouts in 89 at-bats for High-A Carolina and has been error-prone defensively. Good athlete with a strong arm, but plate discipline has been shaky and he's not showing as much power as last year. Young enough to improve at age 20.
Stefen Romero, INF, Mariners: Hitting .347/.376/.517 with five walks, 16 strikeouts in 118 at-bats for High-A High Desert. It's High Desert, but he hit well last year in the Midwest League as well. Not a toolsy type but continued performance will get him noticed. Age 23.
Kyle Ryan, LHP, Tigers: 4.04 ERA with 19/3 K/BB in 36 innings for Low-A West Michigan, 45 hits, 1.48 GO/AO. Impressive control, tall and projectable, would like to see a higher strikeout rate but has lots of development time ahead at age 20.
Adalberto Santos, OF, Pirates: Strong start at Double-A Altoona, .396/.484/.472 in 53 at-bats, nine walks, five strikeouts. On the disabled list since April 30th with a sprained right knee. 24 years old, multi-year track record of hitting since college days.
Scott Snodgress, LHP, White Sox: 3.20 ERA with 24/14 K/BB in 25 innings for Low-A Kannapolis, 21 hits allowed. Live arm but command issues prevented consistency at Stanford, and so far his command problems have remained in pro ball. Age 22.
Kyle Stroup, RHP, Red Sox: Will miss entire season with torn left ACL. Already missed a season with a torn right ACL.
Eugenio Suarez, SS, Tigers: Hitting .315/.400/.454 with 13 walks and 30 strikeouts in 108 at-bats for Double-A West Michigan, also playing well defensively. From Venezuela, signed in 2008. Tools aren't exceptional but he has a feel for the game, though strikeout rate is high. Age 20.
J.C. Sulbaran, RHP, Reds: 4.06 ERA with 40/13 K/BB in 33 innings for Double-A Pensacola, 35 hits allowed. Good strikeout rate, good fastball, refining secondary pitches but command is still an issue. Age 22.
Michael A. Taylor, OF, Nationals: Hitting .264/.374/.418 with 14 walks, 31 strikeouts in 91 at-bats for High-A Potomac. Two steals but has been caught seven times. Good tools including raw power and speed but is still in the refinement stage. Age 21.
Mitchell Taylor, LHP, Blue Jays: Currently suspended for using a drug of abuse. Age 20, was a seventh round pick in 2010 from high school in Texas, good fastball/curveball potential.
D'andre Toney, OF, Royals: Extended spring training. Toolsy outfielder hit .340/.432/.587 in Arizona Rookie League last year after being a 14th round pick. Age 20.
Nik Turley, LHP, Yankees: 2.23 ERA with a 35/12 K/BB in 36 innings for High-A Tampa, 33 hits allowed, 2.19 GO/AO. Stock is rising. Big 6-6, 230 pound lefty with a very strong curveball and a sinker. Age 22.
Breyvic Valera, INF, Cardinals: Extended spring training. Venezuelan, age 19, hit .311/.368/.410 with 14 steals last year in rookie ball. Long-term position uncertain.
Christian Vazquez, C, Red Sox: Hitting .263/.337/.350 with 10 walks, 21 strikeouts in 80 at-bats for High-A Salem. Slugged .505 in Low-A last year but not showing as much pop this season, granted it is still early. A very respected if somewhat erratic defender. Age 21.
David Vidal, 3B, Reds: Hitting .305/.383/.537 with 11 walks, 18 strikeouts in 95 at-bats for High-A Bakersfield. It's the Cal League but he put up solid numbers in the Midwest League last season as well. Good defensive reputation and his bat continues to develop. Age 22.
Austin Wright, LHP, Phillies: 2.40 ERA with 37/12 K/BB in 30 innings for High-A Clearwater, 20 hits allowed. Good fastball with rapidly improving breaking ball and changeup, command a bit erratic but he's been overpowering at times this year. Good size at 6-4, 235. Age 22.