Community Prospect List Recap - Part 2

Ezra Shaw

Last week we covered the first ten of AN's community prospect list. This week, we look at the bottom of the list, which should be even more interesting, as we missed a few heads.

11. Collin Cowgill, OF
AAA: .308 wOBA
MBL: .295 wOBA
Cowgill came into the season with a few different expectations. Some thought he would burst upon the team like Eric Byrnes. Others viewed him as the next in the line of average tool outfielders who should out perform their raw abilities, which of course splits into the two camps of 'he won't do it' and 'he'll pull it off'. Personally, I saw him as Aaron Cunningham/Travis Buck part two, with similar results. Well, he did not pull off Buck's rookie line, or his injury proneness, but he did basically pull a Cunningham. A Meh AAA line, and a dissapointing cup of coffee.
Conclusion: Not very good, and will need a better performance to hold onto the "future 5th outfielder" projection.

12. Yordy Cabrera, IF
A+: .284 wOBA
Yordy, a Florida native, was shipped to, you guessed it, Florida, right before this article was going up, as part of a piece that netted the A's a high priced CF off a down year/injury, and the Diamondbacks a salary dump reliever and former All Star Closer. So in that sense, he was traded, in effect, for two different All Stars. Yordy had a lot of expectations coming into 2012, as a young guy who really wanted to stick at SS, and was a bit old for the level he was playing in pre-draft. Cabrera did not impress at High A Stockton, hitting just .232/.293/.332. The rumors about a shift to 3B also followed, so his role there might be in question going forward as well. But, maybe Yordy will do better in his home state.
Conclusion: Disappointing year for Yordy, look forward to him kicking ass in Miami.

13. Vicmal De La Cruz, OF
Rk: .306 wOBA
De La Cruz, signed out of the Dominican for $800k a couple years back, took a step back in 2012. He repeated Rookie Ball, but could not improve upon his amazing .441 wOBA, and regressed back down to a .230/.291/.378 line. He is still very young, though, so we can still hope for great things, but I would like to see more progress as he shifts into A ball in 2013.
Conclusion: Needs improvement.

14. Aaron Shipman, OF
A-: .286 wOBA
Shipman was a toolsy outfielder that had the body to be a star, but still needed to grow into the skill. Well, this year he did not do that, posting a very disappointing line of .208/.322/.264. That is right, he out On Based his Slugging percentage. Shipman will have to decide his career path, be that out of baseball, or as a "there's promise in this kid, I know it, if he can only put it together" guy in the mid minors, or maybe, just maybe, he can put it all together, use his physical talent, and become a smash hit. I am leaning towards the former.
Conclusion: Come on man, get your head in the game!

15. Raul Alcantara, SP
A-: 5.07 ERA, 4.92 FIP
The last piece in the Bailey trade, Alcantara did not perform to the level of his fellow ex-Sox this season, posting as bad an ERA as you would expect based on his FIP. His K Rate dropped by 2 K/9, and he gave up a HR a game (1.05 HR/9). Though he was, based on the AN CPL, the top rated of the two prospects in the deal, Alcantara looks like he now has the least value of the two.
Conclusion: Maybe he can cut it as a reliever, much like Andrew Bailey, whom he was traded for.

16. Max Stassi, C
A+: .342 wOBA
If only Stassi could be healthy, maybe he could put up a great line. But, despite only coming to the plate 360 times, this has been Stassi's best year to date. His catching skills reportedly improved, and if he can work a bit more on the bat, Stassi could reclaim the mantle of A's Catcher of the Future... or at least, Back up catcher of the future.
Conclusion: We will see what happens when he hits Midland, but Stassi really needs to stay healthy long enough to prove himself.

17. Jermaine Mitchell, OF
AAA: .331 wOBA
Repeating AAA again, Mitchell lost the prospect status he had tried so hard to claim in 2011, in which he posted a .454 wOBA in AA and a .383 wOBA in AAA. With all the OF talent the A's seem to have right now at the top of the system (MLB/AAA), Mitchell's future looks bleak as he now tries to become a AAAA guy with a job at 28.
Conclusion: Could have been Brandon Moss. Now, best bet is late inning defensive replacement.

18. Michael Taylor, OF
AAA: .382 wOBA
Taylor actually had a good year in AAA, posting a line of .287/.405/.441, but will it save him in the A's system? The A's have so many outfielders right now, and it is questionable if he has a Chris Carter like comeback in him to steal the show. He might be able to (read: might) snag on as the A's 5th Outfielder after injuries inevitably hit, but right now it might be better to deal Taylor somewhere else, for his sake, and to try to salvage something from the horrendous deal the Matt Holliday trade was.

19. AJ Griffin, SP
AAA: 3.07 ERA, 3.03 FIP
MLB: 3.06 ERA, 3.85 FIP
Wow, Griffin dropped way down the list for the AN CPL, but is most definitely the top guy on the bottom half of this list. Griffin had an amazing season, filling in for the A's injured rotation with out missing a beat, and establishing himself as a young potential ace (or at least #3 starter). It is amazing how, in hindsight, we let him drop so far in our projections.
Conclusion: Awesome.

20. Miles Head, 3B
A+: .483 wOBA
AA: .337 wOBA
Speaking of missing players, #20 on the list might be one of our top, if not the top, prospects in 2013, and here we placed him down at at the bottom of the list. Head, acquired in the Bailey deal from Boston, hit like gangbusters in High A Stockton, and still managing to hold on at Third Base, before being promoted mid season to AA Midland, where he held his own. He could very well turn out to be the best player in that trade, and that is amazing.
Conclusion: Head now has expectations on him, whereas before there were none. We'll look and see how he does in the Arizona Fall League, the result of which will likely dictate if he goes back to Midland, or starts the year in AAA Sacramento.

Just Missed:
On the final vote, there were a few that just missed making the list. Let's see how good (or bad) we ended up.

Renato Nunez, 3B (16%)
Rk: .426 wOBA
Wow, right off the bat, we missed one. Nunez tore up Rookie League, and as a third basemen in our system, will likely rise up fast.
Conclusion: Shame on us.

Dan Straily, SP (6%)
AA: 3.38 ERA, 2.57 FIP
AAA: 2.03 ERA, 2.23 FIP
MLB: 3.89 ERA, 6.48 FIP
Wow, we missed our top prospect of 2012 off our list! Straily pitched like a mad man, leading the minors in K's for most of the season. After tearing up AA and AAA, Straily came up to the big leagues and pitched well, at least ERA wise, and likely locked in a spot in the rotation for 2013. Still, he could stand to improve upon his big league stuff, as his 3.89 ERA hid his 6.48 FIP.
Conclusion: We're not doing so good, are we.

BA Vollmuth, 3B (14%)
A-: .342 wOBA
A+: .330 wOBA
Based on what the rest of our bottom 10 looked like, we missed another one, though it might defensible. Also, man, we have a lot of 3B Prospects now. Vollmuth hit well in Low A and High A, and expects to go up to AA Midland, though it will be interesting to see what happens if he and Head are both in AA.
Conclusion: Come on guys, we can do better this year.

Zhi Fang Pan, SS (11%)
A-: .290 wOBA
Pan fell from his lofty SS league numbers and fell flat, his batting average falling .101 points, which was the main thing propping him up, as his OBP and SLG remained the same in 2011. At least he doubled his HR numbers, from 1 to 2.
Conclusion: Was right to not make it.

TJ Waltz, P (Write in)
A+: 3.04 ERA, 3.50 FIP
Continuing the trend of prospects with two letters as their first name, Waltz pitched well in 2012, to the tune of a 3.04 ERA and 10.14 K/9 ratio while splitting time starting and relieving. Those numbers look good, we will see how he reacts in AA Midland.
Conclusion: Missed another one, maybe.

Dusty Robinson, 3B (Write in)
A-: .400 wOBA (161 PA)
A+: .307 wOBA (423 PA)
Robinson hit extremely well in Low A Burlington, but muffed it at the bandbox High A Stockton, which is kind of interesting in it's own. My guess is that Robinson will repeat the year in Stockton, but it is somewhat confusing to see anyone with a .908 OPS to drop 200 points going into a major hitters park and league.
Conclusion: Still better than Aaron Shipman.

I would say that we muffed the bottom of our list, guys. We left off a ton of great prospects, and only got a couple on at the end that were of any value in the 2nd half of our list. We will need to step up our game for the 2013 list.

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