Today I finished the editing for the 2015 Baseball Prospect Book. The editing is something of a rushed job but at this point I want it out the door and I hope you guys will be tolerant of the occasional grammar awkwardness or punctuation error.
The edited draft is now in production, The production step is the final step and we will be doing that tomorrow. As soon as that is done the PDF will be emailed to A) everyone who ordered the PDF and B) everyone who ordered the print copy and provided a valid email. The plan is to email the PDF on Sunday night or Monday, but we have to avoid falling pianos first.
I do not know the exact date for the print copies themselves since that will depend on printer turnaround.
I will have an exact page count for you once the production steps are completed tomorrow. I do know that the book will contain reports on 1,181 players.
Here are a trio of sample reports:
Mason Davis, Miami Marlins
Bats: S Throws: R HT: 5-9 WT: 175 DOB: January 11, 1993
SLEEPER ALERT! I will preface this by saying that I tend to fall for these college second basemen types a little too easily (ahem, Jamodrick McGruder), but Mason Davis looks like a sleeper to me. Drafted in the 19th round out of The Citadel last year, he was very successful in his pro debut, hitting for power and average and getting on base at a good clip in the NY-P while providing some solid defense at second base. He got in some outfield innings too to enhance his versatility. His father played in the NFL so there’s some athleticism in the bloodline. He is very much under the radar and we need to see him at higher levels, but maybe this is a Devon Travis type situation. But you know I have been taking a lot of painkillers lately, so maybe not. Grade C+
Lewin Diaz, 1B, Minnesota Twins
Bats: L Throws: L HT: 6-4 WT: 210 DOB: September 19, 1996
HIGH CEILING ALERT! The Twins spent $1,400,000 to sign Lewin Diaz out of the Dominican Republic in 2013. His pro debut in the Dominican Summer League was successful: he showed good power from the left side of the plate, drew some walks, and didn’t strike out excessively. When the Twins signed him he drew comparisons to powerful sluggers like Fred McGriff, David Ortiz, and Ryan Howard, although opinions about his pure hitting skills, ability to make contact against quality pitching, and defense were mixed. His glovework is sloppy at this point and we do need to see him hit at higher levels, but the early returns are good enough to move him up a notch to Grade C+. I tend to be very cautious grading guys who haven’t reached the United States yet, but a strong debut in ’15 could make him an elite prospect (in the Bs if not higher) entering ’16. Invest accordingly if that fits your time horizon. There’s tons of risk but the reward could be worthwhile.
Jon Gray, RHP, Colorado Rockies
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-4 WT: 235 DOB: November 5, 1991
The third overall pick in the 2013 draft, University of Oklahoma right-hander Jon Gray didn’t have an excellent season in 2014. It wasn’t a bad season by any means; he was solid enough, just not as dominant as expected. Gray crossed the 100 MPH barrier in college but his fastball lost a tick last year, down to 93-95 MPH most of the time, which is certainly good but not as impressive as the 96-100 area. His slider remained a powerful pitch and he made some progress refining his change-up. His overall sense of command and control was perhaps a little stronger than expected, but he was clearly gassed in August and was shut down a few weeks early to spare his arm. So, what do we have here? Gray is a really good prospect but looked more like a strong number three starter last year, not a dominant ace-type like he looked at Oklahoma. Some observers who saw Gray with both the Sooners and Tulsa felt his stuff was down a bit, not just the loss in velocity but some decline in movement too. Not everyone agreed with that, however, with some observers liking him as much as they ever did. I am reminded of Sonny Gray, no relation to Jon but with a similar pattern: a top college pitcher who didn’t blow away Double-A hitters in his first season. Sonny Gray figured it out and I think there is a good chance Jon Gray will, too, as long as he stays healthy. Grade A-.