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top catching prospects

Postby Trainer of Dolphins » Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:00 pm

top catching prospects, who and how to rank them

Matt Wieters C BAL
Jeff Clement C SEA
Geovanny Soto C ChC
JR Towles C HOU


I don't know anything really about any of them
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Re: top catching prospects

Postby Koby Schellenger » Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:14 pm

Trainer of Dolphins wrote:top catching prospects, who and how to rank them

Matt Wieters C BAL
Jeff Clement C SEA
Geovanny Soto C ChC
JR Towles C HOU


I don't know anything really about any of them


1. Clement-Ready for the show, big time power, his "struggles" in the minors are due to injury. When he's been healthy, his numbers are astounding.
2. Wieters-Nearly as much power potential as Clement and better secondary projection but more risk. Ready for the show in 2009.
3. Soto-2007 was a mirage. Don't believe for one second it's repeatable. Nonetheless, he made changes in his approach to suggest he can sustain some of his improvement. He should at least catch Rich Hill every time he takes the mound.
4. Towles-2007 was fueled by abnormal luck. He's not as good as his numbers suggest and he needs defensive work (which could affect his PT).


I would rank Hank Conger ahead of Soto and Towles.
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Re: top catching prospects

Postby Pogotheostrich » Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:25 pm

Matt Wieters C BAL = Wieters has the highest upside. He's a switch hitter who has power and can hit for average.

Jeff Clement C SEA = Clement has power but not much else. Plus he is blocked by Johjima.

I'm not big on Soto or Towles
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Re: top catching prospects

Postby Koby Schellenger » Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:39 pm

Pogotheostrich wrote:Matt Wieters C BAL = Wieters has the highest upside. He's a switch hitter who has power and can hit for average.

Jeff Clement C SEA = Clement has power but not much else. Plus he is blocked by Johjima.

I'm not big on Soto or Towles


Have to disagree with your assessment of Jeff Clement very much. He has plenty of other skills and is only temporarily blocked by Johjima. Clement has very good on-base skills and with Adam Jones, Wladimir Balentien, Adrian Beltre and Ichiro Suzuki, Clement will be a big time contributor in three categories. Depending on how the lineup shakes out, Clement could be a solid contributor in runs as well, especially for a catcher.

As for him being blocked, Johjima is under contract through 2008 and likely will opt for free agency at the at point whether on his own accord or because the Mariners don't want to invest in him when they have a better, cheaper option in Clement. That said, the Mariners still have an empty DH position and Clement will get his at-bats in 2008. Worst case is he'll be the starting catcher in 2009. Best case for Wieters is he's given a shot to compete out of Spring Training 2009. So his being blocked really isn't relevant.
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Re: top catching prospects

Postby huztlers » Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:24 pm

I must say that I do not really understand all of the hype/projection that acompanies Matt Weiters offensive production. This is a college player who never topped 15 HR in any season. He wont get much bigger or stronger and he has 3 years of major college baseball under his belt, I am wondering where the projection comes from. In his 3 years at GT he made no major statistical improvement in any major category between his freshman and junior years. I just dont understand how he is regarded as close to a guy who set the national HS HR record and has proved that he can hit at AAA.
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Re: top catching prospects

Postby Pogotheostrich » Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:31 pm

I'm interested to see how many AB Clement gets this year. He had an good OBP in the minors so you are right it depends how the lineup shakes out.

Wieters 15 HR season came in 68 games and 259 AB. Plus it is kind of hard to improve when you have an OPS over 1.000 every year.
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Re: top catching prospects

Postby cardinal1975 » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:31 pm

I believe when we talk about Wieters a few things need to be remembered as we have this debate.

1. Most scouts had him as the top prospect in the draft this past summer
2. Most scouts think he is the best catcher in the last ten years(Mauer being the last)
3. He has the defensive skills to stay behind the plate(a plus defender whose arm has been clocked at 95 mph)
4. He is a special hitter so much so that he would have been a top pick if he played 3B, 1B, or OF
5. He is going to a team that needs him in the majors as soon as he is able
6. He has very good plate discipline
7. He has spent three years in college...which means he should be ready to produce by 2009
8. Nobody is a lock, but Clement is a comparable hitter but lacks the requsite defensive skills to succeed long term behind the plate and therefore may be better utilized at either 1B or DH.

All of the above are reasons why I believe that Wieters has a significantly better chance at succeeding at catcher than Clement. This is not to say that Clement may not be better, however when presented with other relevant information on the topic most scouts would take Wieters.
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Re: top catching prospects

Postby huztlers » Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:01 pm

Pogotheostrich wrote:I'm interested to see how many AB Clement gets this year. He had an good OBP in the minors so you are right it depends how the lineup shakes out.

Wieters 15 HR season came in 68 games and 259 AB. Plus it is kind of hard to improve when you have an OPS over 1.000 every year.



Not looking for a huge debate, but 15 HR against college pitching swinging an aluminum bat is not impressive.
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Re: top catching prospects

Postby cardinal1975 » Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:26 pm

huztlers wrote:
Pogotheostrich wrote:I'm interested to see how many AB Clement gets this year. He had an good OBP in the minors so you are right it depends how the lineup shakes out.

Wieters 15 HR season came in 68 games and 259 AB. Plus it is kind of hard to improve when you have an OPS over 1.000 every year.



Not looking for a huge debate, but 15 HR against college pitching swinging an aluminum bat is not impressive.


Is it really that impressive to hit homeruns in high school with an aluminum bat? I think most of us know some very impressive high school athletes whose "domination" at that level never transcended to the majors. Brien Taylor, Sean Burroughs, and Todd Van Poppel to name a few. Is twenty homeruns in AAA as a 24 year old in 516 plate appearnaces that impressive? If so then maybe we should be trumpeting Soto as the next great catcher.
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Re: top catching prospects

Postby Koby Schellenger » Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:33 pm

huztlers wrote:
Pogotheostrich wrote:I'm interested to see how many AB Clement gets this year. He had an good OBP in the minors so you are right it depends how the lineup shakes out.

Wieters 15 HR season came in 68 games and 259 AB. Plus it is kind of hard to improve when you have an OPS over 1.000 every year.



Not looking for a huge debate, but 15 HR against college pitching swinging an aluminum bat is not impressive.


Well, Clement hit all his high school home runs against pitchers from Iowa. Not exactly the cream of the crop. He then went on to exceed 15 home runs once in college.
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