Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ranking the AL Central (Farm Systems)

1) Cleveland Indians
After huge trades the past 2 years, bringing guys who will set the foundation of the future. They have a great system headed by Carlos Santana but is also 15 to 20 players deep with value. Carlos Santana was brought in the Casey Blake deal and is the best guy in the system. Micheal Brantley was part of the Sabathia deal and has a ton of potential in the OF. Nick Hagadone was acquired in the Victor Martinez trade and could be a front line starter from the left side. The Cliff Lee deal brought in Carlos Carrasco as well as Jason Knapp who could be above average to plus starters. Other guys worth noting are 3B of the future Lonnie Chisenhall and power hitting outfielder Nick Weglarz. Finally, 2009 first rounder Alex White could be a quick jump to majors as a closer or a starter. Cleveland has a bright future.

Who will make 2010 impact?
Carlos Santana will be called up at some point this year. Some speculate that the only reason why he was not going to break camp with the team was to avoid some extra arbitration dollars. But he will hit for average and power this year and will allow fans to cope with the loss of Victor Martinez.

2) Minnesota Twins
The Twins have spent some money over seas as well as the draft the past year. They brought in 3 plus prospects who are all 16 years old (Miguel Sano, Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco). The Twins are loaded with OF prospects most notably Aaron Hicks, Ben Revere, Angel Morales and Joe Benson. Pitching has some guys to look at now and in the future with Kyle Gibson, David Bromberg, Carlos Gutierrez and Adrian Salcedo. The guy who might have the most potential is catcher Wilson Ramos who now blocked by Joe Mauer my be a star in the league for someone else.

Who will make 2010 impact?
Danny Valencia is the obvious choice. At 25 he has done all their is to do at the minor league level. He should do well in Minnesota, especially because he will be hitting 9th and will have little pressure to live up to (thanks Nick Punto).

3) Kansas City Royals
The Royals have had some great drafts. 2009 might be the best bringing his high ceiling catcher Will Myers who might end up being Bryce Harper before Harper gets the chance. Former 1st rounders Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer have bright futures with their bats but both struggled in 2009. A team that never had pitching now has three guys who will have impact at MLB level in coming years (Mike Motgomrey, Aaron Crow and Tim Melville). The Royals have had an unfortunate situation where top 10 LHP prospect Danny Duffy just picked up and left the team for personal reasons. Duffy is 21 and participated in the futures game in 2009.

Who will make 2010 impact?
Aaron Crow is a 2 time first round pick, going 9th in 2008 to the Nationals and 12 in 2009 with Kansas City. Crow has a year of independent league ball under his belt so their is reason to believe that the right hander is on the fast track to the majors.

4) Detroit Tigers
Detroit traded a big load of players to bring in Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. Former top prospect Rick Porcello is a 21 year old MLB pitcher. But Austin Jackson and Scott Sizmore are going to be everyday rookies this year with high upside. Daniel Shlereth has great stuff for a back end bullpen guy. Top prospects though are the righty, lefty combo of Jacob Turner and Casey Crosby; a couple power pitchers who can project to be front of a rotation arms.

Who will make impact in 2010?
Austin Jackson is now the full time center fielder. At some point he will be looked at the bat lead off guy but for now he is going to be valued for his defense and athletic ability. If he puts it together he could be a Curtis Granderson clone.

5) Chicago White Sox
The White Sox are another aggressive team that loves to trade all their players to bring in MLB ready talent. Ken Williams gave up 5 guys to get Jake Peavy. The system is now rather weak. Top prospect Jared Mitchell is out for year with torn achilles. Tyler Flowers is expected to take over the catcher role in 2011. The best pitching prospect left is Daniel Hudson who sped to the majors last year and should compete for the 5 spot this year. John Danks younger brother Jordan has some high upside in the outfield and should start year in AAA.

Who will make 2010 impact?
Daniel Hudson flew through 5 levels in 2009 and was able to finish with a 3.38 ERA in 19 major league innings. Chicago might hold him back in 2010 and let him get his feet wet in AAA but when he is called up he could put the icing on the cake for what could be the best rotation in baseball.

Top Prospects in AL Central
1) Carlos Santana, Catcher, Cleveland ETA 2010
2) Aaron Hicks, Outfield, Minnesota ETA 2012
3) Jacob Turner, RHP, Detroit ETA 2012
4) Lonnie Chisenhall, 3b, Cleveland ETA 2010
5) Mike Motgomrey LHP, Kansas City ETA 2011
6) Kyle Gibson, RHP, Minnesota ETA 2011
7) Aaron Crow, RHP Kansas City ETA 2010
8) Casey Crosby, LHP, Detroit ETA 2011
9) Miguel Sano, SS Minnesota ETA 2013
10)Wilson Ramos, C, Minnesota ETA 2010
11)Austin Jackson, OF, Detroit ETA 2010
12)Daniel Hudson, RHP, Chicago ETA 2010
13)Micheal Brantley, OF, Cleveland ETA 2010
14)Ben Revere, OF, Minnesota ETA 2011
15)Nick Hagadone, LHP, Cleveland ETA 2011

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