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Prospects? Smockpects!

Prospects? Smockpects!

I happen to have every Baseball America Prospect Handbook ever published.  Just for fun, I decided to pick a year and see how the

AJ Ellis - 2009

 TOP PROSPECTS fared. While I can’t list every outcome, I will chose some significant players on each team and see what their ranking had to do with reality.

In 2001, Baseball America had the Dodgers ranked #28 out of 30 teams.  The Dodgers Top 30 Prospects were as follows:

  1. Ben Diggins – Worked out pretty good for him.
  2. Chen-Feng Chen – Legend in Taiwan
  3. Hong-Chih Kuo – Arguably the best
  4. Jason Repko – We hardly knew him
  5. Luke Prokopec – Oh, how we pined for you.
  6. Mike Judd – Zip
  7. Willy Aybar – Went elsewhere and barely servicable
  8. Hiram Bocachica -  Remember the day?
  9. Joe Thurston – Still bouncing around.
  10. Chad Ricketts – Who?
  11. Brennan King – Gone before he started.
  12. Carlos Garcia – What?
  13. Luke Allen – Luke!
  14. Joel Hanrahan – Still around, still not good.
  15. Adrian Burnside – Don’t waste the ink.
  16. Kris Foster – Ditto
  17. Shane Victorino – Best position player, but not in LA
  18. Ricardo Rodriguez – Oh, how the Dodger were skewered when he was traded.
  19. Jorge Nunez – Bye
  20. Steve Colyer -  Pitched a little, here and there.
  21. Heath Totten – OK
  22. Jeff Williams – No Australian success story
  23. Tony Mota – Now an instructor in the D.R.
  24. Reggie Abercrombie – Tantalized but never realized.
  25. Bubba Crosby – Claim to fame was that he was once a 5th OF.
  26. Jose Diaz – Never
  27. Marcos Castillo – Zilp
  28. Maximo Regalado – Took a hike
  29. Jose Nunez – Rule 5 flop
  30. Koyie Hill – We thought he might and he’s still around, but not much…

Kuo was really the only OUTSTANDING player in that group and he really hasn’t had that much success.  Victorino ultimately turned into a nice player, but he never was all that.   All in all, that was a pretty pathetic group.  I’m trying to remember who drafted all those players – it must have been Frank McCourt!

The Dodgers weren’t alone in failure in 2001.  There were lots of #1′s who never made it.  “Bud Smith” was the Cardinals #1 Prospect while Albert Pujols was #2 and projected as a 3B.   Pujols wasn’t that highly regarded and EVERY other prospect behind him (from #3 to #30) never was factor with the big club – NOT ONE!

The Angels did pretty well with Frankie Rodriguez, John Lackey and Derrick Turnbow being in the TOP 10.   Johan Santana was rated #20 and Bobby Jenks was #25.  Jack Cust was the #2 prospect for Arizona and Chris Capuano, Jose Valverde, Lyle Overbay, Oscar Villarreal, Junior Spivey, Duaner Sanchez and Rod Barajas were all rated in the TOP 26.  #27 was a guy named Brandon Webb.

The Atlanta Braves #1 prospect was perennial All-Star Wilson Betemit (or not).  However, the Braves also had Marcus Giles, Jason Marquis, Matt Belisle, Adam Wainwright, Wes Helms and Kelly Johnson in the TOP 25.  The Baltimore Orioles had Jay Gibbons, Brian Roberts, Tim Raines, Jr., Larry Bigbie, Eric Bedard, Juan Guzman, Josh Towers and Willie Harris – exciting huh?

The Red Sox #1 prospect was (hold your breath) Dernel Stenson – Impressive?  I could name the rest, but the only ones you would remember are Shea Hillenbrand (#25) and Freddy Sanchez (#30). The great Corey Patterson and Hee Seop Choi were #1 and #3 for the Cubs.  Carlos Zambrano was #5.  Eric Hinske was #11 and Ross Gload was #24.  The awesome Will Ohman was #25.

Jon Rauch and Joe Crede were #1 and #3 for the ChiSox, while Aaron Rowand was #8.  Josh Fogg was #9, Gary Majewski was #11, the Dofdgers Matt Guerrier was #16, Migel Olivo was #18, Josh Paul was #20, McKay Christensen was #25 and that worked out good.   Austin Kearns was #1 for the Reds and Adam Dunn was #2 with Drew Henson at #3.  Gookie Dawkins was ranked #8 and Brady Clark was #24.

Here’s the rest:

  • Indians – C.C. Sabathia
  • Rockies – Chin-Hui Tsao (Juan Uribe was #2, Aaron Cook #3, Jason Jennings #6, Chawn Chacon #8, Matt Holliday #10, Garret Atkins #17 and Brad Hawpe #18.)
  • Tigers – Brandon Inge (Cody Ross #14, Fernando Rodney #19).
  • Marlins – Josh Beckett with Miguel Cabrera #3, Adrian Gonzalez #4, Claudia Vargas #6.
  • Astros – Roy Oswalt with Tim Redding #3, Adam Everitt #6, John Buck #8, Keith Ginter #10, Brad Lidge #11, Morgan Ensberg #15,  Chad Qualls #19
  • Kansas City – #1 was Chris George (who?), Angel Berroa was #6
  • Brewers – Ben Sheets was #1 and that was it.
  • Twins – #1 Adam Johnson never made it,but #2 Michael Cuddyer, #3 Michael Restovich, #4 Luis Rivas, #5 Justin Morneau, #16 Kyle Loshe, #18 AJ Pierzynski, and #24 Lew Ford had varying success.
  • Expos – #1 was Donnie Bridges (where did he go?), with Brandon Phillips #2, Brad Wilkerson #3, Grady Sizemore #6,  Wilken Ruan #9, Brian Schneider #13, Cliff Lee #21 (who knew?), and Wilson Valdez #25.
  • Mets-  #1 was Alex Escobar (yawn) followed by Pat Strange at #2.  Ty Wigginton weighed in at #20 with Jae Seo at #27 and Angel Pagan at #29.
  • Yankees – They had Nick Johnson at #1, and he might have been a superstar if not for all the injuries.  #2 and #3 were Alfonso Soriano and D’Angelo Jimenez.  Willy Mo Pena was #9, Juan Rivera #11 and Brandon Claussen was #12. Chen-Ming Wang was #13 and the Dodgers’ Ted Lilly was #18.  Mitch Jones was #27 and Marcus Thames was #30.
  • A’s – #1 was Jose Ortiz, Ryan Ludwick was #3, Justin Miller #5, Eric Byrnes #9, Gerald Laird #11.  Mark Ellis weighed in at #17 and Aaron Harang was rated #27 in Billy Beanes’ neighborhood.
  • Phillies – #1 was Jimmy Rollins.  Brett Myers #2, Ryan Madison #4, Chase Utley #5, Marlon Byrd #10 – that’s wasn’t a bad Top 10.
  • Pirates – At #1 was J.R. House, Jack Wilson was #6, Chris Young was #7, Ryan Doumit was #10 (isn’t he still a prospect?), Joe Beimel was #15 and that’s that.
  • Padres – Sean Burroughs was rated #1 with Jake Peavy #2 (he turned out OK), Xavier Nady was #7 and Oliver Perez was #27.
  • Giants – Jerome Williams (a Dodger for a minute) was #1, Pedro Feliz was #8, Yovitt Torrealba was #24 and that was it.
  • Mariners – They weighed in with Ryan Anderson at #1.  Ichiro Suzuki was #2, Joel Pinero was #4, Rafael Soriano was #9, Shin-Soo Choo was #14, Brian Fuentes #15,
  • Tampa Bay – Josh Hamilton was a deserved #1 (#1 overall prospect), with Carl Crawford #3 and Aubrey Huff #4.  Rocco Baldelli was #9, Toby Hall #11, Jorge Cantu was #19 and Joe Kennedy #26.
  • Rangers – Carlos Pena was #1, Kevin Mench was #4, Joaquin Benoit was #5 followed by Colby Lewis at #6.  Mike Young was #7, Hank Blaylock #10.
  • Toronto had Vernon Wells at #1, followed by Felipe Lopez and Ceasar Izturis at #2 aND #3. At #10-12, they had Josh Phelps, Mark Hendrickson and Ryan Freel.  Jayson Werth was #14, with Brandon Lyon and Alex Rios at #16 and 17.

By looking at this, a few things jump out at you.  Number One is that players frequently make it to the Bigs after switching organizations.  Number Two is that many, ‘er most, ‘er almost all, never pan out.  A degree of luck is involved too.  The Dodgers drafter Chase Utley, but he elected to stay in school another year.  Dang the luck!    All in all, the Dodgers are much better top to bottom than they were in 2001 – what happens to our current prospects is the question.

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

38 Responses to “Prospects? Smockpects!”

  1. Mark_Timmons says:

    Print the tickets. The Giants just signed Elmer Dessens. It is over! No need to play the season….


  2. Captain Loose says:

    He pitched in 53 games last year with a 1.2 WHIP. Not bad for an old fart. It is a minor league contract, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a few outs this year. Good pick-up for the gints.

  3. dtwdodger says:

    Dessens is a good pick-up for the Giants? You couldn’t really mean that unless it’s tongue-in-cheek, right? Maybe you mean it’s good for the Dodgers that the Giants signed him?

    I’m just glad he didn’t go to the Dodgers, again.

  4. RogerCraig says:

    He just always says the opposite of what Mark says.

    Dessens is 40 and had his career year. His ERA has been all over the place. Anyone who expects him to pitch like he did last year has some good stuff to smoke.

  5. Captain Loose says:

    Did you look at his stats from last year? or, are you just giving your opinion?

    Look, it’s a minor league invite. How can this be a problem for the gints? In case you didn’t look it up, he pitched in 53 games for the Mets last year, had a 2.3 ERA and a 1.2 WHIP. He was 4-2 with 11 Holds. He gets ground balls. Now, he isn’t going to close, he isn’t going to give you 70 innings, but when you need a ground ball to end a rally? … he might could still do it. If he doesn’t make the team???? so what? Nothing lost.

    I say again, good sign by the gints. and… I have offered evidence to support my point, something that is required if you do not want to suck.

  6. RogerCraig says:

    Look at the rest of his career – he is up and down more than a Yo-Yo! Get back with me in August and see how he looks.

  7. Bill Russell says:

    Breaking News, Russell Martin won’t be ready for the start of Spring Training. The Yankme’s think they can stay in house for his replacement.

  8. dtwdodger says:

    Apparently I suck then Rory because all I’ve got is my opinion, and the rest of his carrer, on how bad Dessens is. You are basing his being a good pick up on some stats from one year, out of a carrer of marginal? It is possible for Dessens to have a good year at age 40, but based on his carrer stats, chances are unlikely he is going to find an elixir of success two years in a row.

    You make a lot of good points…accept that maybe not this time. If the Dodgers had signed Dessens, you wouldn’t have said “good signing”, in my opinion. No facts to that opinion, just a long time view of what you write and I don’t think for one second you would have congratulated the Dodgers on a good pick-up.

  9. Captain Loose says:

    “You are basing his being a good pick up on some stats from one year”

    No, I am not. I am basing my opinion on three things:

    1. 2009 28 games 3.0 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP

    2. 2010 53 games 2.3 ERA and a 1.2 WHIP

    3. It’s a minor league invite… nothing lost if he can’t do it again.

    “I don’t think for one second you would have congratulated the Dodgers on a good pick-up.”

    Wrong.. again. For all the reasons I just mentioned, I would say this is a reasonable sign. If he can get us a few ground balls to end innings, he is worth it. I would rather have had him than some of the fire starters we threw out there last year.

    Why are you guys so intent on challenging everything I say? This is beginning to look personal.

  10. dtwdodger says:

    Okay you win, because it’s not personal at all.

    Dessens is not a good signing. He wasn’t when the Dodgers got him and he won’t be this year for the gints.

    I’m just really happy the Dodgers didn’t sign him. And I believe you wouldn’t have been happy had they signed him, but that’s just my opinion, and we already know I suck. Hahaha.

    Good luck on that one and as Bill said, check back in August on this one. And please remind me because if I’m wrong I’ll gladly do the 500, I need the exercise anyway…how about you, on for that bet?

    • Captain Loose says:

      500 for what exactly?

      All I said was that giving a guy with a two year ERA of less than 3 a minor league contract is a good idea. Maybe the gints use him, maybe not, but….. I don’t understand you.

      Did you actually read his stats, or, are you just being disagreeable… I ask because not much of what you are saying is making sense.

      Again, example given:

      “He wasn’t when the Dodgers got him”

      Which time? You do know we signed him 3 times, right? We had him ’04 ’05 ’06. In the three years in L.A. he actually had a + WAR and a + RAR and really didn’t cost all that much. Here…. read it for yourself.

      Why such a big deal over signing a Major League pitcher to a minor league contract. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, nothing lost.

  11. dtwdodger says:

    Oops…sorry, that was Roger on the check back in August…everything else stands.

  12. ken says:

    I know it’s important, I honestly do but we’re talking about prospects. We’re talking about prospects man. We’re talking about prospects. We’re talking about prospects. We’re not talking about the World Series. We’re talking about prospects. When you come to the field, and you see them play, you’ve seen them play right, you’ve seen them give everything they’ve got, but we’re talking about prospects right now. Hey we hear you, it’s funny to us to, hey it’s strange to us too but we’re talking about prospects man, we’re not even talking about the World Series, which is what actually matters, we’re talking about prospects.

    • Captain Loose says:

      I know what we are talking about……

      what the hell are YOU talking about?

      I got a tee time. You guys can take the rest of the afernoon and figure this stuff out.

  13. Bill Russell says:

    There’s a skip, just give it a little tap. OK, all better.

  14. Bill Russell says:

    It’s sting from the Police writing another hit. Message in the bottle, message in the bottle, message in the bottle, message in the bottom, sending out an SOS, sending out an SOS, sending out an SOS, sending out an SOS.

  15. Roger Dodger says:

    Gee, I have looked over some of the comments/posts since I left for vacation (Jan 20) and this group needs to get on with Spring Training –

    Looking at the roster, that is about the same as it was a month ago — still lacks a power bat. Thus, if one does not come in and take that roll, it will be pushed to Kemp, Ethier, and Loney. Before Manny came, they could not do that. And I do not think there game is there (except if Kemp starts hitting the ball more often).

    I am tired of signing another “glove” or “clubhouse” guy. So we have Jamey Carroll, Juan Uribe, Juan Castro, Gabe Kapler, Jay Gibbons, Tony Gwynn, Marcus Thames, Aaron Miles to name a few.

    Ned says he will fix that some way by the end of Spring Training. I am waiting.

  16. Bobby says:

    Well said Roger.

    the 5th grade play ground spats during recess have gotten old to most of us on this board who weren’t BFF’s before and enemies after.

    can’t wait till we get to camp!!!!!!!

  17. Roger Dodger says:

    For those of you planning to go to Camelback for games — what I have noticed over the past five years or so is this . . .

    Vero Beach was laid back and nicely attended. During practice sessions each day, either major or minor league sections — lots of room and easy as it goes.

    But in the new facilities in Glendale, AZ — it is a different game. Hotels/motels are up in price, and get full. Games are expensive if you want a good or close seat, and the crowds are big.

    At practice session, back of the main stadium — the crowds get large and are totally fenced off from the public. Some bleachers to sit on, but many just stand and move around a bit.

    As the players come out for practice about 9:30 am or so, they wave and point to the fields, and say, “after practice.” Then about 11:30 am they start coming in and send like one regular and some rookies up the rope lines to sign.

    Other move from one practice field to another and then to the batting cages and their safe zones.

    The game crowds can be full almost every game. Great sitting in the outfield grass. Lines at the food and beverage booths can get long. Usually a line to get in to each of the two stores to buy stuff.

    But do not forget the minor league section that is past the water pond. They have much better access to see players train and play. Better picture taking. Talking with other fans is fun.

    Ready, set, go . . .

  18. Dusto says:

    While the Dodgers are better top to bottom, so is the rest of the league. Drafting and scouting has taken a much bigger role in recent years as teams have found that players under contract for the minimum gives you a much much bigger advantage. Unfortunately for LA, while the rest of the league has improved LA has simply maintained its status quo in terms of spending. A much higher percentage of dollars needs to be devoted to the system. I’d much rather see the team spend more in the draft than any other team than see them spend more in free agency than any other team.

  19. Captain Loose says:

    “A much higher percentage of dollars needs to be devoted to the system.”

    I agree. Where is it going to come fromsystem.

    “I’d much rather see the team spend more in the draft than any other team than see them spend more in free agency than any other team.”

    You may get your wish. At least, half of it.

    The reason the Dodgers can currently support a $110 million payroll is because they own their own stadium and 3,500,000 people show up every year. They have already made cuts throughout the system, from scouting to equipment managers. It will be this way for a while. If we don’t get a new owner, the Dodgers had better get better at scouting and drafting, and they better keep any A prospects that suddenly show up.

  20. Captain Loose says:

    Come on Mark… you have enough ads in this place now to afford an edit system.

    I would rather see more money put into an editing program and less money spent on travel to Spring Training.

    Who is with me on this?

  21. RogerCraig says:


    Where fix you read about cuts in scouting and equipment? I did not hear about this.

  22. ken says:

    So Chavez, with incentives, might receive $5.5 million from the Yanks. Now we know why the Dodgers lost out on him.

    Same old article about Prospects.

    Wonder if Frank has put the FOX name on all of the Spring Training hats as a way of thanking them for keeping the team afloat for the month.

  23. Captain Loose says:

    “I did not hear about this.”

    Google it. You will get about a million hits. The Dodgers cut back on international scouting, fired towel picker upper Morgan Gurdy and a few long time scouts, Genovese was one. Gurdy been there in the showers for decades. You see, it’s like this…. the Dodger owner has a team of high priced lawyers, a vicious well armed ex-wife with her own team of wolves and he has about a $650 million debt load. It has been in all the papers.

    Fox. We just can’t seem to shake them, and the karma that goes with it.

  24. Captain Loose says:

    Mark, go get APMEX to advertise here. They are everywhere. If not them, then ask the Tea Party to purchase an ad. They need the pub.

  25. Mark Timmons says:


    George Genovese was an 87-year-old guy who no longer scouted and got paid and still gets paid, albeit less than before for doing nothing. It has no impact on scouting. A couple of scouts got better jobs with other organizations, but were replaced. I don’t think what you say is valid!

    “A towel guy” loses his job? That’s a cut? I think someone is grasping at straws.

  26. Bluefan says:


    For the most part, you are right on the “prospects” we had in 2001. My one issue with your list is this …

    14. Joel Hanrahan – Still around, still not good

    What is your definition of good? While iT did take him awhile to put things together, and his control will at best be average, he has put up some very good numbers, especially in the last two years, which tells me he has turned the corner.

    His #’s over the last two years with the Pirates are …

    4-2 6 3.03 105 101.0 81 40 34 6 46 137 1.26 7.22 4.10 12.21 .216


    ….. while possessing a mid-90′s FASTBALL, a mid-80′s SLIDER and a low-80′s CHANGE, and is the guy that we should have received in exchange for McDonald/Lambo at the deadline last year.

  27. Captain Loose says:

    Towel guys don’t grasp straws, unless they are in his drink. They grasp at towels.

    I made the whole thing up.

    There have been no cuts anywhere, everybody is happy and all is good. We have 4 new guys in our top 5 prospect list, and will probably have 4 other new ones by this time next year. Change is good. All is right with the world.

    Now, about that edit capability.

    • Mark_Timmons says:

      Most blogs don\’t have edit capability because it opens up security issues. I have looked into it and cannot do it with the format we have.

  28. Mark_Timmons says:


    You are right about Joel.

    What\’s good? Hard to define. Like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart once said when asked to define pornography: \”I know it when I see it.\”


  29. Captain Loose says:

    Yep, sounds like 5 of our current Justices… the laws is what we says they is.

    First pool of the year… which Dodger hits the DL first? The obvious choice is Raffy so, I’ll take Blake.

  30. Willie Mays says:

    Are all Dodger fans left-wing nut jobs?

  31. Mark_Timmons says:


    You should know nut-jobs.

    Some Dodger fans are left-wing.

    Some Dodger fans are right-wing.

    And, some Dodger fans are Independent thinkers.


  32. curt says:

    In regards to George Genovese, I see George on the road scouting all the time all over so. cal so im not to sure where you get your info in regards to him not scouting anymore.

  33. Wow, marvelous weblog structure! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The whole glance of your site is excellent, let alone the content!


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