OpinionJanuary 25, 2007


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2007 Top Prospects: 91-100

By Tim Grassey

This is the first in a ten part series of the top 100 prospects going into the 2007 season. Check out the players that just barely made Tim Grassey’s list, as we start off with the players that are ranked 91 through 100.

91. Chris Marrero (OF-Was) This raw, eighteen-year-old outfielder was drafted fifteenth overall in 2006 by the Nationals after being drafted twice previously, by the Braves (twentieth round, 2004) and White Sox (twenty-second round, 2005), respectively. His greatest skill is his power, but he showed moderate plate discipline in his initial season for the Nationals’ Rookie League team with a .309 BA, .374 OBP, and .420 SLG. Despite his reputation as a raw power hitter, his nine extra base hits last season all went for two bases.

92. Preston Mattingly (SS-LA) The nineteen-year-old son of former Yankee great Don Mattingly was drafted thirty-first overall by the Dodgers in 2006. Projected as a line drive hitter, Mattingly had a mediocre debut with the Gulf Coast League Dodgers, hitting .290 with a .322 OBP and .403 SLG. Like his father, Mattingly should hit his fair share of line drives and hit for a high batting average. Despite his athleticism, Mattingly probably will not stay at shortstop long-term.

93. Ian Kennedy (SP-NYA) At twenty-two years old, Kennedy is the oldest of the top Yankee pitching prospects. The right-hander, drafted out of Southern California, was taken in the first round (twenty-first overall) by the Yankees after being previously drafted by the Cardinals in the fourteenth round in 2003. He only pitched 2 2/3 innings this season for the short season Staten Island Yankees. His arsenal includes a low 90s fastball, as well as a changeup and curveball.

94. Jonathan Meloan (RP-LA) This twenty-two-year-old right-hander struck out 91 batters in only 52 innings across three levels for the Dodgers last year. He finished his dominating season in AA, where he struck out 23 in 10 2/3. Taken in the fifth round in 2005, Meloan could see some time in the Dodgers bullpen in 2007.

95. Jeremy Hellickson (SP-TB) Hellickson will turn 20 in April, and the Rays will proceed cautiously with him, probably leaving him in A ball to start 2007. He has a low 90s fastball, but his top pitch is his curveball. If he can’t further develop his changeup, he may be shifted into a bullpen role. He fell to the fourth round of the 2005 draft, due to signability concerns.

96. Greg Reynolds (SP-Col) The Rockies surprised some people when they chose Reynolds over Evan Longoria with the second overall pick in the 2006 draft. Some believe that Reynolds isn’t a good fit in Colorado long-term, as he lacks the ability to strike people out. Although Aaron Cook has had some success pitching in Colorado while relying largely on his defense, Cook is an extreme groundball pitcher while Reynolds is a fly ball pitcher.

97. Chris Parmelee (OF-Min) The Twins drafted Parmelee twentieth overall in 2006. He showed impressive plate discipline for a high school kid making his pro debut. What Parmelee lacks in speed, he makes up for in raw power and a strong throwing arm. His arm alone should be strong enough to keep him in right field.

98. Chris Lubanski (OF-KC) Drafted in 2003, Lubanski has climbed the minor league ladder pretty quickly; at the age of 21, Lubanski spent all of last season in AA, compiling a .282 BA, .369 OBP, and .475 SLG. In 2007, he could see some time in left field for the Royals, however, with Mark Teahen switching to the outfield, it would seem Lubanski’s path to the majors has been temporarily blocked.

99. Sean West (SP-Fla) West’s fastball can reach the mid 90s, but his changeup is probably his best pitch. He compliments his fastball/changeup combo with a slider, drawing comparisons to Randy Johnson. That’s mostly due to their height being the same (6′8″) though. With that said, he’s one of the better left-handers in the minors, and could break out in 2007.

100. Charlie Haeger (SP-CWS) The twenty-three-year-old knuckleballer could earn a spot in the White Sox rotation this season. With that said, the unpredictability of the knuckleball may leave the White Sox reluctant to trust Haeger to pitch any important innings. Expect him to be on a short leash if given any Major League opportunities this season.

 
Tim Grassey is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Tim in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of HangingWScottCooper.
 
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