Tony Cingrani wins the 11th spot on our list, and I think it's well deserved after the strong year he had last year. As he's an older prospect, I expect him to jump multiple levels next year, and if his numbers keep up with last year's, it's possible we'll see him in AA or AAA by September. Whether that's as a starter or a reliever remains to be seen, but someone who throws strikes like he does should move quickly.
Two new names on the list, as we add two key components of that strong Dayton team from last year. Vote now.
Tucker Barnhart, C, 21, BA-UR, Sickels-#18
(Dayton) .273/.344/.387/.731, 3 HR, 43 RBI
Pros: Disciplined hitter (only 59 K in 326 AB), and was voted the best defensive catcher in the minors last year. Switch hitter.
Cons: Not a power threat, still questions as to if he'll hit in higher levels.
Donald Lutz, 1B, 23, BA-UR, Sickels-UR
(Dayton) .301/.358/.492/.850, 20 HR, 75 RBI
Pros: Lots of power, and had a breakout season this year where he started hitting for average too. German fella.
Cons: Strikeouts a major issue, and doesn't walk enough. A little old for his level after 3 years of rookie ball.
Kyle Lotzkar, RHP, 22, BA-NR, Sickels-#15
(Dayton) 4.32 ERA, 66.2 IP, 72 K, 25 BB, 1.14 WHIP
Pros: Throws 3 pitches, with a fastball in the mid-90s, a good curve and a developing changeup. Gets lots of strikeouts and doesn't allow many baserunners.
Cons: Injuries. Tommy John survivor, and his mechanics haven't changed much to help alleviate that risk.
Denis Phipps, OF, 26, BA-UR, Sickels-#20
(Carolina) .328/.382/.502/.884, 7 HR, 38 RBI
(Louisville) .380/.428/.576/1.004, 5 HR, 26 RBI
Pros: Toolsy outfielder who had a huge breakout season last year. Can play all outfield positions. On the 40-man roster.
Cons: Only one good season. Still kind of old to be a "prospect", so he's more of a late bloomer. Plate discipline is still pretty awful, and had a high BABIP last year.
Gabriel Rosa, 3B, 18, BA-UR, Sickels-#17
(AZL Reds) .245/.314/.406/.719, 2 HR, 10 RBI
Pros: Good speed on the basepaths, and scouts love his plate approach.
Cons: Rookie debut wasn't spectacular, still a very raw talent.
Josh Smith, RHP, 24, BA-UR, Sickels-UR
(Dayton) 2.97 ERA, 142.1 IP, 166 K, 33 BB, 1.09 WHIP
Pros: Struck out a lot of hitters last year, was the ace for a playoff team.
Cons: According to most scouting reports, doesn't really project as anything other than a back-of-the-rotation starter at best. Low 90s fastball, and his out pitch is a breaking ball that could get exploited by better hitters at higher levels.
J.C. Sulbaran, RHP, 22, BA-#9, Sickels-#12
(Bakersfield) 4.60 ERA, 137 IP, 155 K, 50 BB, 1.39 WHIP
Pros: Very solid 3-pitch repertoire, with an above average FB and a solid CH and CU. Above average stuff leads to high Ks, and he significantly improved on his previously spotty control in 2011.
Cons: Some question about his unorthodox mechanics remain, although he smoothed them out in 2011. Somewhat of an injury history. Mainly, he needs to repeat his strong season in AA in 2012.
David Vidal, 3B, 22, BA-UR, Sickels-#13
(Dayton) .280/.350/.498/.848, 20 HR, 85 RBI
Pros: Very lively bat, hitting for both average and power. Good defense.
Cons: Still questions about his size (he's listed at 5'11"), and struck out way too much (111 in 454 AB).