WTNYJanuary 07, 2006
2006 Breakout Prospects
By Bryan Smith

Last week, I reviewed the fifteen selections I made a year ago to break out in 2005. It turned out that I nailed some (Lester, Liriano, Young), was close on others (Burgos, Cabrera) and fell flat on my face with others (Pauly). In the end, I graded myself as a B- student, which considering the class, was a good thing.

As a companion piece to my review, this week, I wrote the 2006 version of my piece at Baseball Prospectus. This year, I selected just eight players, all of whom I really like to improve in the next season. The eight guys, with just a brief description:

  • Homer Bailey (CIN) - 2004 top ten pick, Bailey struggled with command in the Midwest League. His two-pitch combination should allow him to take off once he becomes more refined.

  • Adam Lind (TOR) - No glove, all bat guy that was one of the minors more prolific doubles hitters. However, for about one month, he showed that there is plenty of potential for home runs.

  • Garrett Mock (AZ) - Innings eater that pretty much only retires hitters via the strikeout or groundout. A bad park and high BABIP should be corrected in 2006.

  • Christian Garcia (NYY) - Second to Bailey in terms of stuff on this list. Second to Mock in terms of K+GB outs. Could be first in Yankee system soon.

  • Reid Brignac (TB) - Like many before him, just could not meet expectations as a teenage shortstop. Late season finish showed potential that his bat has.

  • Adam Bostick (FLA) - A pitcher that has struck out a ton of hitters in the last two years. In 2005, his cumulative numbers were thrown off by a few bad starts.

  • Brad Harman (PHI) - Aussie teenager that had ups and downs in his first full season. A small guy with some pop in his bat, and could have the versatility to play anywhere up the middle.

  • Mark Trumbo (LAA) - Raw hitter with good contact skills and blooming power. Once doubles start clearing the fence, will be everything that Nick Markakis is -- minus some athleticism.

    Those are the eight. Please feel free to leave your own breakout candidates below, as well as discuss my choices. And again, if you want to read my reasons for selecting these 8, about 200-350 words per player, head over to BP. There are a few more players I like to breakout in 2006, and I'll have those in a forthcoming article.

    As for this coming week, it's top prospect week at Baseball Analysts. On Monday the countdown to number one will begin with 25 honorable mentions for this year's top 75. Come back and check out my list soon!

  • Comments

    I am also expecting big things from Bailey this year, especially if he should leave the tandem-starter system at Dayton. What about a guy like Blake Dewitt who really turned it around it August and hit well upon promotion in 31 ABs at Vero Beach?

    Nice call on Harman - I have been thinking the same thing after eatching him this last season from the statsheets and phillies scouting reports that they post....

    may I suggest another name for breakout prospect: Charlie Zink.

    His last games were nasty and he allegedly discovered a new grip for his knuckler.

    I like Nick Adenhart (LAA) and Chad Spann (BOS). I believe both have been limited by injuries but should be fully healthy in 2006.

    I am probably too fixated on the Mariners, but here are three M's prospects that I think are good breakout candidates:

    LHP Steve Uhlmansiek

    A well-regarded prospects going into the 2004 draft before he injured his elbow. He returned from TJ surgery late last year, and while he didn't pitch much in 2005, he could take a huge step forward in 2006.

    RHP Anthony Varvano

    Basically the same story as Uhlmansiek. Varvano would have probably gone in the second round of the 2005 draft if not for TJ surgery. He had great stats in college, but lacks the size of a typical 1st round pick. He could be this year's Nick Ardenhart.

    RF Michael Saunders

    Toolsy but raw Canadian player, the M's picked him as a draft and follow in 2004, and signed him last summer. Also a pretty good pitching prospect, he moved all over before signing with the M's. He is big, with a great arm and big power potential. Although he lacks polish, he held his own in the Northwest Leauge last year, playing against older competition. He finished the season really strong. He needs to work on his plate discipline, but could develop into a lefty power bat and a solid defensive player in RF. He has big upside, and could really go off in 2006.

    Jay Bruce and Travis Wood should be on this list they both had great starts to their minor league careers.

    Don't overlook Sid Finch.

    Deywane, Bruce and Wood both did get off to good stars. Bruce progressed well with his power hitting as he moved up a level to Billings, his home runs per at bat were bettered by 7 upon his promotion. I think Wood will need to adjust to pitching longer in games and facing better competition this next season. Being that he is small, only weighing 165, stamina may be a problem he will need to work on as the year goes along. I dont think they should be on the list, as neither have been around that long and anything they do at Dayton next year will probably be where they stand in the eyes of people. Production in rookie ball can be vastly overrated at times, but I do like both of the guys and think they can both be good players.

    toward the end of any draft is christian garicia nyy pitcher worth drafting?and how close is he to actually making a 2006 roster spot?