Galt wrote:Pence is also a year or more closer to the majors than Dukes, and probably 3 years ahead of Tabata, Bruce, or McCutchen.
I think that most people tend to overvalue 19 year olds compared to guys who are more projectable and closer to the majors. I'd rather take 90% of a B than 70% of an A especially when I get the B 3 years sooner.
First, I apologize for sounding as though I was dismissing Pence. Fact is, he doesn't have age on his side, and his track record isn't proven.
From what I know of, the Texas League is a hitter's league. Hence the dramatic increase in power. Though he is a big boy, I do not think he will hit more than 20-25 annually. And his K rate has increased at each level, as his power has increased, which indicates that it will continue to increase as he progresses, which is not a good thing.
Pence is also at least a year away. Dukes is raking at AAA Durham, is 21, and is ready NOW (three years? Are you serious?). If it wasn't for all his attitude problems, he would have a very good chance of being up with the Big league club. As it stands now, he should get a chance in September, and could be dealt simply because of the logjam in Tampa's OF. But the sky is the limit for this kid - when all is said and done, he could end up being the best player out of any current prospect (including Delmon Young).
Bruce and Tabata are still years away (Tabata 3, Bruce 2). They could end up pulling an Ian Stewart and falling apart, but all signs point towards superstar status. What Tabata is doing right now at 17 is unparalleled - as I said earlier, few scouts want to say this but can't help but think it - he comps very well to Manny Ramirez. Physically, tools-wise, approach, everything. All signs point to him being a superstar.
Bruce is a stud. He's putting up better numbers than Upton and Maybin at the same level at the same age. There is no question in my mind that he should be rated ahead of Maybin. And if he continues to do what he's been doing, I would not be surprised to see him ranked ahead of Maybin AND Upton on 2007 prospect sheets. Top five is not a far reach at all. Sure, he's a ways away, but can you pass on a guy that scouts put ahead of their poster-child for superstar in Justin Upton?
Pence may crack a top 40, MAYBE. If he continues to hit for power like this all year (read that as 35+ homers). His BB:K rate is what screws people up. Will it be his downfall? Quite possibly. But he could develop enough power and fill out his frame even more so his BB:K rate really doesn't matter all that much. As it stands, he does not have enough power to overcome his rate or his guaranteed low batting average.