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2012 Sleeper Baseball Prospects: End of Season Review, Part Three

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2012 Sleeper Prospects End of Season Review, Part Three,

Here is a look at each player I tagged with a Sleeper Alert! label in the 2012 Baseball Prospect Book, letters P through S. We'll finish up the rest of the alphabet shortly..

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 showed signs of being a breakout prospect entering 2012. 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). The idea is to look for guys with the potential for sharp increases in their performance, publicity, and placement on prospect lists.

Getting ahead of the curve with guys like this is one of my main goals with the book each year.

Jairo Perez, INF, Twins: Hit .265/.350/.403 with 23 walks, 28 strikeouts in 238 at-bats for High-A Fort Myers, which is pretty good for the Florida State League, but was released in July. Now 24. Hard to see this one working out.

Jace Peterson, SS, Padres: .286/.378/.392 with 62 walks, 63 strikeouts in 444 at-bats for Low-A Fort Wayne, stole 51 bases. Defense needs work but the offense shows promise. Not a sleeper in the same sense as most of these other guys since he was a supplemental first round pick, but I thought he needed more attention than he was receiving at the time. Age 22.

Jon Pettibone, RHP, Phillies: Improved after a rough start, finished 13-8, 3.10 with a 113/49 K/BB in 160 innings between Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley, 146 hits allowed. Didn't allow a home run in seven Triple-A starts. Not a dominator but effective when his control is on, age 22. We should see him in the majors sometime next year.

Dae Eun Rhee, RHP, Cubs: Showed signs of life late in the season but overall a disappointment, 4.81 ERA with 78/51 K/BB in 142 innings for Double-A Tennessee, 168 hits. Gave up 18 homers but with a 1.60 GO/AO. 23 now, Tommy John is receding in the rearview, he needs to get it going in '13.

Nick Rickles, C, Athletics: Played well on defense, 43% of runners caught with reasonable passed ball and error rates, smoothed out his throwing motion as the season progressed. Hitting was very disappointing: .220/.257/.328 with 17 walks, 73 strikeouts in 345 at-bats for Low-A Burlington. Finished season in horrible slump. Age 22.

Ronny Rodriguez, SS, Indians: Hitting picked up after slow start, finished .264/.300/.452 with 19 homers, 19 walks, 88 strikeouts in 454 at-bats for High-A Carolina. Needs more defensive polish and plate discipline, but at age 20 in High-A, he did pretty well overall.

Stefen Romero, INF, Mariners: Excellent season, .357/.391/.581 in 60 games for High-A High Desert, but he kept hitting after moving up to Double-A Jackson at .347/.392/.620. Hit .352 with 23 homers, 101 RBI, 12 steals overall, albeit with an uninspiring 27/72 BB/K in 474 at-bats. Steady defense at second base, age 23.

Kyle Ryan, LHP, Tigers: 21-year-old control artist, 3.74 ERA with 105/29 K/BB in 159 innings for Low-A West Michigan, 176 hits. Doesn't dominate, but doesn't walk anyone.

Adalberto Santos, OF, Pirates: Knee injury limited him to 68 games in Double-A, but he was very effective: .340/.425/.433 with 32 walks, 39 strikeouts, 17-for-25 in steals in 238 at-bats. Older prospect at age 24 but hits .300+ everywhere he goes.

Scott Snodgress, LHP, White Sox: Solid campaign in Low-A and High-A, combining for a 3.00 ERA and a 128/64 K/BB in 141 innings, 112 hits allowed. Would like to see fewer walks, but 6-5 lefty has been very effective in pro ball after spotty career at Stanford. Age 22.

Kyle Stroup, RHP, Red Sox: Lost entire season with torn left ACL. Already missed a season with a torn right ACL.

Eugenio Suarez, SS, Tigers: Hit .288/.380/.409 with 34 doubles, 21-for-30 in steals, 65 walks, 116 strikeouts in 511 at-bats for Low-A West Michigan at age 20. Solid defender at shortstop. Main issue is high strikeout rate, but I like him.

J.C. Sulbaran, RHP, Reds: Got killed in the Texas League after being traded to the Kansas City Royals, went 0-4, 7.62 in six starts with 22 walks in 26 innings. Overall on the season, he posted a 4.75 ERA with a 135/76 K/BB in 131 innings, 134 hits allowed. Age 22, has plenty of natural talent but inconsistent command holds him back.