Around the MinorsSeptember 17, 2008
Rating the Prospects: The NL East
By Marc Hulet

Prospect rating season is upon us with the Minor League Baseball regular season now over. With your help, I have been narrowing down some of the better prospects in each team's system with the final goal of identifying the Top 15 prospects in each organization's stable. Feel free to continue to recommend players that I have overlooked or simply missed. The final division - the NL East - is being reviewed today.

In the upcoming weeks, this column will be devoted to ranking those prospects that people helped choose in the comments section of the articles, as well as via e-mail. Things to consider when choosing the prospects are 1) tools, 2) statistics, 3) history, and 4) level of competition/age. The players also must still be rookie eligible, which means pitchers cannot have exceed 50 big league innings and hitters cannot have exceeded 130 at-bats at the MLB level.

Feel free to also comment on who you think is the best prospect in the division, as well as which team has the best minor league system. The players listed below are in no particular order and these are just working/brainstorming lists.

NL East

New York Mets
The Pitchers: Brad Holt (Short season, right-hander), Eddie Kunz (Triple-A, right-hander), Michael Antonini (Double-A, left-hander), Dillon Gee (Double-A, right-hander), Dylan Owen (Double-A, right-hander), Tobi Stoner Double-A, right-hander), Maikel Cleto (A-ball, right-hander), Scott Moviel (A-ball, right-hander), Jonathan Niese (Majors, left-hander), Bobby Parnell (Majors, right-hander), Jose Sanchez (Double-A, right-hander), Chris Schwinden (Short season, right-hander), Scott Shaw (Short season, right-hander), John Holdzkom (Rookie, right-hander), Kyle Allen (Rookie, right-hander), Nathan Vineyard (A-ball, left-hander), Brant Rustich (A-ball, right-hander)

The Hitters: Reese Havens (Short season, IF/OF/C), Ike Davis (2008 first round pick, 1B/OF), Mike Carp (Double-A, first baseman), Jose Coronado (Double-A, infielder), Emmanuel Garcia (Double-A, infielder), Fernando Martinez (Double-A, outfielder), Josh Thole (High-A, catcher), Ruben Tejeda (High-A, shortstop), Greg Veloz (High-A, second baseman), Francisco Pena (A-ball, catcher), Daniel Murphy (Majors, outfielder), Nick Evans (Majors, outfielder), Lucas Duda (High-A, first baseman), Wilmer Flores (Short season, shortstop), Stefan Welch (Rookie, third baseman), Jefry Marte (Rookie, third baseman), Cesar Puello (Rookie, outfielder), Juan Lagares (Short season, shortstop)

Comments: OK, so who did I overlook? The Mets have traded away a number of intriguing prospects in the chase for a World Series title, but the organization does an excellent job of mining for talent, especially on the international front. However, much of the front-line talent is at least three or four years away from making an impact.

Atlanta Braves
The Pitchers: James Parr (Majors, right-hander), Brett DeVall (2008 first round pick, left-hander), Tyler Stovall (Rookie, left-hander), Zeke Spruill (Rookie, right-hander), Tommy Hanson (Double-A, right-hander), Stephen Marek (Double-A, right-hander), Kris Medlen (Double-A, right-hander), Todd Redmond (Double-A, right-hander), Ryne Reynoso (High-A, right-hander), Scott Diamond (High-A, left-hander), Cole Rohrbough (High-A, left-hander), Jeff Locke (A-ball, left-hander), Edgar Osuna (A-ball, left-hander), Chad Rodgers (A-ball, right-hander), Erik Cordier (A-ball, right-hander), Cody Gearrin (High-A, right-hander), Steve Evarts (A-ball, left-hander), Randall Delgado (Short season, right-hander), David Francis (Short season, right-hander), Julio Teheran (Rookie, right-hander)

The Hitters: Clint Sammons, (Majors, catcher), Brent Lillibridge (Majors, shortstop), Brandon Jones (Majors, outfielder), Jordan Schafer (Double-A, outfielder), Kala Ka'aihue (Double-A, first baseman), Tyler Flowers (High-A, catcher), Brandon Hicks (High-A, shortstop), Gorkys Hernandez (High-A, outfielder), Jon Owings (High-A, outfielder), Jason Heyward (High-A, outfielder), Concepcion Rodriguez (High-A, outfielder), Ernesto Mejia (High-A, first baseman), Eric Campbell (High-A, third baseman), Frederick Freeman (A-ball, first baseman), Cody Johnson (A-ball, outfielder), Jon Gilmore (Short season, third baseman), Robert Brooks (Rookie, infielder)

Comments: OK, so who did I overlook? The Braves continue to be the Braves, and stockpile young, raw talent from high schools and Latin America. Like the Mets, though, much of the talent is at A-ball or below, which could suggest a few more rough years for the big league club.

Florida Marlins
The Pitchers: Dallas Trahern (Triple-A, right-hander), Rick VandenHurk (Triple-A, right-hander), Ryan Tucker (Majors, right-hander), Brett Sinkbeil (Double-A, right-hander), Aaron Thompson (Double-A, left-hander), Jeff Allison (High-A, right-hander), Sean West (High-A, left-hander), Jesus Delgado (Double-A, right-hander), Hector Correa (A-ball, right-hander), Brad Hand (Rookie, left-hander), Christopher Leroux (High-A, right-hander)

The Hitters: Cameron Maybin (Double-A, outfielder), Kyle Skipworth (2008 first round pick, catcher), Jai Miller (Triple-A, outfielder), Gaby Sanchez (Triple-A, first baseman), Chris Coghlan (Double-A, second baseman), Scott Cousins (Double-A, outfielder), Logan Morrison (High-A, first baseman), Matt Dominguez (A-ball, third baseman), Michael Stanton (A-ball, outfielder), John Raynor (Double-A, outfielder), Bryan Peterson (Double-A, outfielder), Osvaldo Martinez (A-ball, infielder), Miguel Fermin (Short season, catcher), Isaac Galloway (Rookie, outfielder), Ernesto Manzanillo (Rookie, third baseman)

Comments: OK, so who did I overlook? The Marlins have some interesting pitchers approaching the Majors, but the overall depth is not impressive. The hitting depth is not deep either with a lot of young, toolsy players having fizzled out in recent seasons. That said, Logan Morrison, Michael Stanton and Matt Dominguez offer huge upsides, but Stanton and Dominguez are probably three years away from helping Florida.

Philadelphia Phillies
The Pitchers: Colby Shreve (None, right-hander), Jason Knapp (Rookie, right-hander), Antonio Bastardo (Double-A, left-hander), Edgar Garcia (Double-A, right-hander), Carlos Carrasco (High-A, right-hander), Darren Byrd (High-A, right-hander), Joe Savery (High-A, left-hander), Carlos Monasterios (High-A, right-hander), Drew Naylor (High-A, right-hander), Andrew Carpenter (Double-A, right-hander), Vance Worley (A-ball, right-hander), Kyle Drabek (Short season, right-hander), J.A. Happ (Triple-A, left-hander), Heitor Correa (Injured, right-hander)

The Hitters: Anthony Hewitt (2008 first round pick, shortstop), Zach Collier (Rookie, outfielder), Anthony Gose (Rookie, outfielder), Sebastian Valle (Rookie, catcher), Jason Donald (Double-A, shortstop), Quintin Berry (High-A, outfielder), Michael Taylor (High-A, outfielder), Travis D'Arnaud (A-ball, catcher), Travis Mattair (A-ball, third baseman), Michael Durant (A-ball, first baseman), Dominic Brown (A-ball, outfielder), Joel Naughton (A-ball, catcher), Freddy Galvis (A-ball, shortstop), Cody Overbeck (Short season, third baseman)

Comments: OK, so who did I overlook? The Phillies organization does not have the depth that some clubs have, but it has some very high-ceiling players (who are extremely raw), including many of the players in Rookie ball and A-ball. From the hitting side of things, the cupboards are almost bare above A-ball.

Washington Nationals
The Pitchers: Jack McGeary (Rookie, left-hander), Adrian Alaniz (Double-A, right-hander), Cory VanAllen (Double-A, left-hander), Jordan Zimmermann (Double-A, right-hander), Luis Atilano (High-A, right-hander), Colton Willems (A-ball, right-hander), Ross Detwiler (High-A, left-hander), Shairon Martis (Triple-A, right-hander), Marco Estrada (Triple-A, right-hander), Craig Stammen (Triple-A, right-hander), Brad Peacock (Short season, right-hander), P.J. Dean (Short season, right-hander), Jack McGeary (Short season, left-hander), Josh Smoker (Rookie, left-hander)

The Hitters: Destin Hood (Rookie, outfielder), Adrien Nieto (Rookie, catcher), Esmailyn Gonzalez (Rookie, shortstop), Leonard Davis (Triple-A, outfielder), Ian Desmond (Double-A, shortstop), Edgardo Baez (Double-A, outfielder), Marvin Lowrance (Double-A, outfielder), Stephen King (High-A, third baseman), Christopher Marrero (High-A, first baseman), Michael Burgess(A-ball, outfielder), Luke Montz (Triple-A, catcher), Sean Rooney (A-ball, catcher), Jake Smolinski (A-ball, infielder), Derek Norris (Short season, catcher)

Comments: OK, so who did I overlook? The Nationals system is still not overflowing with prospects but it has come a long way since the days of being run by Major League Baseball and having a strict development budget. There are some interesting pitchers in the low minors and some toolsy hitters sprinkled throughout the system. Failing to sign first round pick Aaron Crow in 2008 really hurts the system.


Given some of the names you suggested for the Nats, the following guys might be considered: Bill Rhinehart (Double-A; first base), Danny Espinosa (short season; infielder) & J.P. Ramirez (rookie; outfielder)

For the Braves, Freddie Freeman is worth a mention. 1B that played in Low-A (Rome) with Heyward for most of the year. Showed a little more power than Heyward....and he's just as young as well.

What happened to Cameron Maybin for the fish?

As a Nats fan, I wouldn't mind see Daniel Espinosa on there with his .476 OBP, but he only played in the last 19 games.

I accidentally omitted Maybin when I transferred players from my "rough list" to the finished product. Thanks for the catch. I thought about Espinosa but ultimately left him off due to his modest ceiling and lack of pro at-bats in his debut.

Freeman is listed under Frederick, rather than Freddie. Thanks.

Sorry, one more - you listed Jack McGeary twice, under Rookie and Short season. Since he only played 1 game at Vermont, did you mean William Atwood? 2.41 ERA, better than 6:1 K:BB ratio.

For the Phillies...Carlos Carrasco is in Triple A not A. Also, what about Lou Marson??

For the Mets, I would put two more international guys in the overlooked category, Ezequiel Carrera and Jenrry Mejia. Both would make my top 20.

I would go with F Martinez, W Flores, J Niese, D Murphy, M Carp, N Evans, B Holt, S Moviel, E Kunz, R Havens, E Carrera, B Parnell, B Rustich, J Marte, I Davis for the top 15. HM, Thole, Gee, Veloz, Cleto, Mejia, Tejada, Pena, Antonini.

How about Robert Carson (LHP) for the mets?

Well, I am kind of late to this as it was posted a week ago.


Craig Kimbrel might be fringe top 15 for the Braves, depending on how you feel about ranking relievers. Great numbers at three levels in his first year of pro ball (0.51 ERA, 14.4 K/9, 0.88 WHIP).

I do not feel that Deunte Heath would be top 15, but he should be on this extended list for consideration. Good stats and headed to the AFL.

Also, following the Rome team, I think Ortegano is a step above Osuna.

Others I did not see: Willie Cabrera, Richard Sullivan, Casey Hodges, Christian Betancourt, Matt Young.

Good to see Dillon Gee Included.
Even though Dillon Gee was a 21st round pick and may never get any respect from the likes of BA, he has done nothing but perform at a level many top picks would like to since he was drafted.
The kid has a much better set of pitches, including one of the best changeups in the system, than he is usually given credit for and as for as FB speed, he sat at 93/94 with pinpoint location during his predraft workout with the Mets in Houston.

Chris LeRouix has been identified as a cousin of mine: thats why I like to pitch and Since I am still in little league, where can I find your baseball card.
When you come to Boston, I will b e watching.