After a small delay, the prospect rankings have returned. Numbers 89-80 are below, with the next batch set to roll out Monday or Tuesday. Stay tuned my friends!
89. Clayton Blackburn – San Francisco Giants
Blackburn is another pitching prospect from Oklahoma, being drafted out of high school in the 16th round. Blackburn lacks velocity, but makes up for it with great command. Has a plus movement on pitch and offs it with a changeup. His breaking ball can level out at times, and he isn’t likely to add much to pitches. Blackburn is relatively low risk given his feel, and while not a “sexy” prospect, is likely to hit his ceiling as a middle of the rotation arm.
88. Delino DeShields Jr. – Houston Astros
The son of one of my favorite players in the 90’s, DeShields was a 1st round pick in 2010, straight out of high school in Georgia. Obviously the book on DeShields starts with speed, as he quietly (Thanks B-Ham) stole 82 bases last season. DeShields has a mature approach but can be too mild-mannered at the plate. Defensively can stick at second but won’t be used elsewhere in the infield. He will most likely be in the California League for 2013, which should provide an assist offensively.
87. Chris Owings – Arizona Diamondbacks
A first round high school pick, the shortstop smashed the ball in High A but struggled in Double A. Owings is very fluid working around the base and has a good arm, showing a future at shortstop. He does a carried away tendency at the plate, getting aggressive with some thinking it will hurt his stock in the long run. Working on his approach will be the primary ingredient to determining his future.
86. Hak-Ju Lee – Tampa Bay Rays
The former Cubs’ farmhand spent 2012 as the shortstop for Montgomery and shined defensively. Lee is very athletic and fluid with a strong arm. He struggles offensively and shows no power, but has maturity at plate which could lead to potential. Speed will be his greatest asset offensively. Lee will play in AAA in 2013, and most likely take over shortstop for the Rays in 2014.
85. Matt Davidson – Arizona Diamondbacks
Davidson was a 2009 1st rounder as a California prep, and has taken a steady approach while climbing through the Diamondbacks system. He shows maturity at the plate, and despite an average hit tool, makes pitchers work and drives the ball with some power. Defense is being improved as he moves along and as long as the bat doesn’t minimize Davidson’s value at a power position, he should be in the big leagues before long.
84. Jake Marisnick – Florida (yes, Florida) Marlins
When talking about Jake Marisnick, the conversation begins and ends with defense. He could and possibly will play a major league centerfield now, with plus speed and a plus arm. His hitting will need work, as some project it to be a great tool, but he struggled mightily in AA. He’ll need to spend 2013 adjusting his approach after getting his feet wet in 2012.
83. Luis Sardinas – Texas Rangers
The forgotten shortstop in the Rangers organization behind Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar, Sardinas is a stud defensively. His skills rate higher than Profar’s in that respect. Sardinas is slight in nature and has been frail over his professional career. Offensively, his motions are smooth and profiles as a contact hitter with good speed. Injuries and little experience make Sardinas a risk, but there is potential for a top of the line shortstop.
82. Martin Perez – Texas Rangers
Perez was signed in 2007 as a youngster out of Venezuela and is a veteran of prospect lists essentially since then. Prior to breaking his hand in Spring Training, Perez had the inside track at the #5 starter job in Texas after spending 2012 in Round Rock with mixed results. His fastball is a plus pitch, but his best pitch is the changeup with late action. Mechanics are inconsistent and when fastball isn’t peaking, changeup is not as effective. At just 22, Perez has time to put it all together still and will have an impact of some sort at the major league level in 2013.
81. Kolten Wong – St. Louis Cardinals
Wong hit in the 280’s in his full season debut at Double A Springfield, establishing himself as the second baseman of the future in St. Louis. Size minimizes any power output, but he makes good contact and maximizes a short swing. He has a good arm and glove to match with decent speed. Wong is essentially the definition of a gritty gamer (backhanded compliment?), and will have a lengthy future in the majors at second base.
80. Adalberto Mondesi – Kansas City Royals
Sound familiar? The son of Raul was a 2011 signing out of Los Angeles and the Dominican Republic and spent the 2012 season in Idaho Falls as a 16 year old. Shines defensively as a shortstop with a great arm, range and hands. Currently doesn’t hit for power necessarily, but remember he is just 17. Hit tool does project to be plus, but it is early in the process and Mondesi should be considered very risky as a prospect. Could enter full season ball at the same age many end their junior year of high school.