Ranking the Top 100 minor-leaguers has been a fun project for more than 15 years at Indians Ink. Our…
Top 100 Prospects: Nos. 36-40
Born: Jan. 10, 1987, in Panama City, Panama
Acquired: 10th-round pick in 2006 Draft from The Pendleton School (FL).
Strengths: Curveball is best pitch, regarded as major league quality. Added a slider to his low 90s fastball and changeup. Pounds the strike zone and pitches to contact. Needs good fielders behind him. When in sync, he's a bulldog winner.
Weaknesses: Seems better suited to starting, despite small stature that led organization to try him in relief. At 5-foot-10, must always been aware of flat pitches that end up at top of strike zone. Fastball is average pitch.
2011 Projection: Likely in Akron's rotation, seeking to move up again to Columbus.
Born: Nov. 13, 1986 in Corpus Christi, TX
Acquired: From Boston Red Sox with RHP Justin Masterson and LHP Nick Hagadone on July 31, 2009, in exchange for CA Victor Martinez.
Strengths: Slider is his out pitch. Four-seam fastball was timed at 95, but is usually 89-92. Two-seam fastball has movement. Has a smooth, fluid delivery, though it includes long arm action. Can hit corners on a consistent basis.
Weaknesses: Questionable stamina, lack of effective offspeed pitch led to move to bullpen in 2010. Very little deception and gives up too many hits, lacking a put-away pitch for strikeouts. Command can become erratic when he gets in tight situations.
2011 Projection: Did OK in Akron's bullpen, worthy of move up to Columbus, but crowded situation there may send him back to Aeros.
Born: Nov. 26, 1984 in Plano, TX
Position: Relief Pitcher
Acquired: First-round sandwich pick (31st overall) in 2003 Draft from McKinney (TX) HS.
Strengths: Fastball formerly hit triple-digits. Fine control, great mound presence. Incredible dedication and resolve has gotten only stronger during years of frustrating rehab. Former starter now in bullpen to relieve load on surgically repaired finger.
Weaknesses: Long finger on right hand, which gave fastball its' oomph, but developed a hole in it where bone was exposed. Series of revolutionary surgeries may give him chance to resume career.
2011 Projection: Who knows? May never pitch again, or could open year in extended spring training, throw 100-mph strikes, and become dominant reliever.
Born: Feb. 4, 1987, in Rahway, NJ
Acquired: Seventh-round pick in 2008 Draft from North Carolina.
Strengths: Excellent on defense, steady at the plate. Hits both righties and lefties. Is never intimidated. Generates gap power with strong forearms and wrists. Very aggressive, but maintains good pitch selection. Has compact build similar to former Indian Brian Giles, but has yet to translate it into similar game.
Weaknesses: Unless he starts turning on ball to produce power, he had better refine "small ball" skills. Only eight homers and two sac bunts over three seasons will not cut it at either end of spectrum.
2011 Projection: Probably back to Akron, to see if he shows improvement on so-so season to warrant a move upwards.
Born: July 19, 1989 in Puerta Plata, DR.
Acquired: Signed as a non-drafted free agent, Dec. 15, 2006.
Strengths: Plenty of speed on bases and in the field. Line-drive stroke. Very exciting base runner had 71 steals in 2010 at Lake County. Can turn singles into doubles, doubles into triples … and take them away in the outfield, too.
Weaknesses: Must draw walks. Had woeful .314 on-base percentage in 2010. Could easily steal 100, if he got on base more. Perhaps he will fill out and gain power, but he's better off becoming a slap hitter than waiting for biceps that may never emerge.
2011 Projection: Could use more seasoning at Lake County, may move up to Kinston, where he'll need to work harder and learn quicker.
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