Last Monday, we released the Top 10 from the 2014 Top 250 Prospect List, always good fun, and much anticipated.
Well, last year I made some changes, both in including a comment on the spreadsheet for each player, but I also listed some names from the Top 250 that jumped out at me.
So, for fun, let's look at some of those names (if you buy the list, you will see them highlighted in blue) and why.
Henry Owens (21, P, Red Sox): Boston's first-rounder in 2011, Owens was signed out of high school, and so far has more than justified that selection. A 6'6", 205 pound southpaw, Owens has 299 minor league whiffs over 236.6 innings, with just 184 hits allowed. Owens does give up the walks (115), but he finished 2013 at Portland, going 3-1, 1.78 over 30.3 innings, with 46 punchouts. Should start 2014 at Double-A, but is one of those guys who could jump fast.
Andrew Edwards (22, P, Royals): Edwards is one of those kinds of guys I like because they seem to like to go to work. A 19th round selection by Kansas City last year, Edwards started at rookie ball (1-1, 1.56 over 17.3 IP) and then moved to High-A Wilmington to close out the year with six more innings (1-0, 0.00). With 17 strikeouts over those 21.3 innings, Edwards also allowed 13 walks and hits each, so the walks are high, but hits low (no homers BTW). He is big (6'5", 260 pounds), so if he harnesses the walks a little, could be one of those dominant guys.
Rob Refsnyder (23, 2B, Yankees): A fifth-round pick by the Yanks in 2012, Refsnyder could well be the heir apparent to the departed Robinson Cano in a year or so. Refsnyder hit .283-6-51 at Tampa last year with 16 steals over 413 at-bats. But, what is really striking are the 78 walks to 70 strikeouts (100 to 107 as a pro) and .408 OBP he bagged at High-A. Has 15-homer potential as his career unfolds.
Victor Payano (21, P, Rangers): He is young (will not turn 22 till the end of next season), and can be wild (170 walks over 290.3 innings) but also has 288 strikeouts over that span. At 6'5", but just 185 pounds, Payano could gain a little more weight and power, so it is the control he needs. As I say, probably too much, there is a fine line between being Daniel Cabrera and Randy Johnson. And, though it may be fine, it ain't so easy to cross. Still, having just completed High-A, that certainly merits our eye going into 2014.
Gonzalo Sanudo (22, P, Astros): A Mexican League import, Sanudo is another big guy (6'3", 235 pounds), who wove his way up from rookie ball to Class-A and then to Double-A, finishing with a 1-2, 1.15 mark with 19 saves over 38.6 innings. Sanudo struck out 51 while allowing just 20 hits and only four walks (0.621 WHIP, and almost a 13:1 K:BB ratio). Do you need to know more?
Shae Simmons (23, P, Braves): Went 1-1, 1.49 at Rome over 53.3 innings, with 24 saves and 82 strikeouts. Simmons walked 22, allowing 31 hits (0.969 WHIP), but no homers. In fact, over his 78 minor league innings as a pro, Simmons has yet to allow a big fly. He finished 2013 at Double-A Mississippi, going 0-0, 2.45 over 11 innings with 16 more punchouts.
Wilmer Font (23, P, Rangers): Went 2-2, 1.04 with 14 saves over 52 innings last year, split between Frisco (Double-A) and Round Rock (Triple-A). Font whiffed 72, and allowed only 22 hits, though 34 walks (1.077 WHIP). The Rangers do move their pitchers up quickly if they show dominance, and Font surely shows that with 466 strikeouts over 387.3 minor league innings.
Matt Stites (23, P, Padres): Drafted in the 17th round in 2011, Stites has 150 strikeouts over 135.3 innings in the Minors, with just 76 hits allowed to 19 walks (0.702 WHIP). He was 2-2, 2.08 at San Antonio last year over 51 innings with 14 saves and 52 whiffs. Stites is only 5'11" and 170 pounds, but he could be one of those Tim Hudson slight build guys who is deadly.
Again, the whole list will be available this coming Monday as part of our Platinum Package.