I will be releasing my top 30 prospects list this week, and here are five guys who just missed my cut.
Daniel Brewer, DH/LF: Since being the Yankees' eighth round pick in 2008, Brewer has raked at the plate. With around 250 plate appearances in Staten Island, Charleston, and Tampa, he produced wOBAs of .378, .415, and .358 respectively. He was a center fielder in college, but has not found a position at the minor league level.
After being drafted, he said second base was most likely his future position, but he has not seen any playing time there. I value defense very highly, and while his bat is good, it's not good enough for him to be a major league left fielder.
Brett Marshall, SP: Another 2008 draft pick, sixth rounder Brett Marshall was the prize of the draft class after the Yankees failed to land Gerrit Cole. His fastball hit 96 and he had a projectable 88 MPH slider. He also has a plus changeup and a below average curveball that he was working on.
Marshall started 17 games for Charleston this season, but didn't pitch too well. He only struck out 6.18 batters per nine innings and walked 3.81. His ERA was an inflated 5.56 in 87.1 innings. Sadly, Marshall needed Tommy John Surgery and will miss most of the 2010 season. He has a lot of upside, but it's tough to project a 19-year-old who won't pitch for another year, and hasn't had professional success to date.
Graham Stoneburner, SP: The Yankees took a flyer on Graham Stoneburner in the 14th round and knew that it would be difficult to sign him. They got the Clemson starter/reliever signed, and he may very well have a bright future ahead of him. His fastball sits 91-94, and he also has a slider and changeup.
His problem is command. He doesn't have great command of any of his pitches, which is common with a young pitcher with lively stuff. If he can learn to command his pitches, expect him to jump up this list next year.
David Phelps, SP: Coming into the season, Phelps wasn't too heralded, even after putting up impressive numbers in Staten Island last season. Prospect maven John Sickels picked him as a sleeper, and it looks like he was spot on. Phelps has done nothing but put up numbers so far in his professional career.
He was great for Charleston and then was flat-out dominant for Tampa, albeit in just seven starts. On the season, he had an ERA of 2.38 and amassed 151 innings pitched. He looks like he could be a future back-end of the rotation innings eater.
Zoilo Almonte, OF: I've been hearing praises of Zoilo Almonte since he was 16 years old, but he was never able to justify them on the field. Until this season, that is. As a 20-year-old, he put up a .274/.355/.440 line for Staten Island.
The NYPL is a very difficult place to hit, and that was good for a .371 wOBA against pitchers who were older than him. He is a true center fielder with good speed, and he also has a ton of power potential.