The following is a review of a list that was compiled way back in March of 2012. "2012 Outlooks" are based on a summation of scouting reports (entering the 2012 MLB season) of each player condensed into a sentence or two for easier reading.
40. Yasmani Grandal--C--San Diego Padres
- 2012 Outlook: "Potential to boost his average and on-base%."
- 2012 Accomplishments: #9 Prospect in Pacific Coast League
- Conclusion: Grandal posted great numbers in 60 games with the Padres. He also has shown amazing patience in the Minors. Unfortunately, Grandal got caught using performance-enhancing drugs and will be suspended for the first 50 games of 2013. Makes you wonder how much did PEDs contribute to his development as a ball player, but the "experts" are really excited about Grandal's game, regardless.
39. Welington Castillo--C--Chicago Cubs
- 2012 Outlook: "Showed power in the Minors. Geovany Soto's backup--might get more at-bats than him."
- 2012 Accomplishments: Garnered 170 at-bats for the Cubs
- Conclusion: Castillo did eventually overtake the catching spot from Soto last season. It's pretty much a given that he will be the Cubs' starting catcher in 2013. So what kind of player is Castillo? So far, he has shown very little patience at the plate (BB:K of .33 in Majors; .36 in Minors), and his power is not that impressive, posting Slash Lines of .265/.337/.418 which are on par with his career Minor League Slash Lines of .268/.335/.426. Hopefully, for Cubs' fans sake, Castillo does not stop improving.
38. Francisco Lindor--SS--Cleveland Indians
- 2012 Outlook: "Long-term, Starlin Castro-type player. Only 18 years-old."
- 2012 Accomplishments: Named to the World Team in 2012 Futures Game; #3 Prospect in Midwest League and the League's Best Defensive SS; #1 Prospect in Cleveland's Farm System as well as the club's Best Defensive Infielder and Best Strike Zone Discipline.
- Conclusion: Lindor has show an ability to get on base despite his young age (11% walk rate vs. 14% strikeout rate; .78 BB:K, .355 OBP% in 2012) and also has the attributes to post a high contact rate. He also stole 27 bases so he also possesses speed. He's still a teenager so it's very unlikely that the Indians will call him up to the Majors any time soon.
37. Javier Baez--SS--Chicago Cubs
- 2012 Outlook: "Only 19, he's a long-term prospect, but power potential is there."
- 2012 Accomplishments: Participated in Arizona Fall League; #1 Prospect in Midwest League as well as the League's most Exciting Player; #1 Prospect in Cubs' organization and also Best Defensive Infielder.
- Conclusion: Baez injured his right thumb during AFL, but is expected to be ready for spring training. Unlike Lindor, Baez has shown a terrible approach at the plate striking out at a rate of 24% of plate appearances (seems to be a Cubs' theme with these prospects). His Slash Line is as follows: .293/.342/.534/.876 so he has shown he can hit the ball with authority. But the best comparison that was given to the young SS was from Dale Sveum who compared the young player to Gary Sheffield. Should be interesting to see what happens with Baez if he makes the giant leap from Minors to Majors as Starlin Castro all ready has SS claimed and covered and would need advanced notice if he were asked to move to 2B.
36. Dante Bichette--3B--New York Yankees
- 2012 Outlook: "19, son of former player. Heir apparent to Alex Rodriguez."
- 2012 Accomplishments: N/A
- Conclusion: The son of former Colorado Rockies' slugger, the young Bichette has a long ways to go before he can be considered a Yankees' call-up. He posted a .55 BB:K so his approach is off to a good start. Homerun power is not there yet, but what he lacked in homers, he made up with doubles. His Slash Line in 2012: .248/.322/.331. He's raw, but he has the bloodlines to succeed and has all ready been pegged as the answer to the Yankees' long-term plan to replace A-Rod.
Prospects #45-41 are available here.
Prospects #35-31 are available here.