* note i will Star those who could see Major league time in 2012. Some possible impact guys for next year.
Grades that have been given are mainy John Sickles grades with a little bit of my own twist, I think guys that were hurt last year that were solid prospects before I bumped up a bit, also I tried to take his list(s) and form my own based on Baseball America and Baseball prospectus' ranks as well. I kept it to just 11 for each but teams like the Royals would have been easy to go to 20-25 deep.
1. Michael Montgomery*** -SP ; A-
2. Wil Myers - OF ; A-
3. Bubba Starling - OF ; A-
4. Cheslor Cuthbert -3B ; A- (sort of their version of Miguel Sano but already a level or two higher and may play SS)
5. Jacob Odorizzi*** -SP ; B+
6. John Lamb -SP ; B
7. Christian Colon -SS/2B ; B-
8. Kelvin Herrera*** - RP ; B-
9. Jason Adam - SP ; B-
10. Chris Dwyer*** - SP ; B-
11. Brett Eibner - OF ; C+
1. Miguel Sano - 3B ; A-/ B+ (Beloit in 2012)
2. Oswaldo Arcia - OF ; B+ (Ft. Myers)
3. Eddie Rosario - OF/2B ; B (Beloit)
4. Aaron Hicks - OF ; B (Ft. Myers / New Britian)
5. Joe Benson*** - OF ; B- (Rochester)
6. Liam Hendriks*** - SP ; B- (Rochester/ Minn)
7. Levi Michael - SS ; B- (Beloit?)
8. Kyle Gibson - SP ; B- (Re-habb)
9. Brian Dozier*** - SS/2B ; B- (Rochester)
10. Hudson Boyd - SP ; B- (Elizabethon w/ guys like Kepler, JD Williams and Summers)
11. Chris Parmelee*** - 1B ; B- (Rochester/ Minn)
(other prospects that could impact 2012 are Carlos Gutierrez, Dave Bromberg, Tyler Robertson, Lester Oliveros, Kyle Waldrop, Chris Herrmann and Bobby Lanigan, maybe longshots such as Tom Stuiffbergen and Alex Wimmers as well) I think Oswaldo Arcia is the real deal and could see AA New Britian before the year is out.
1. Jacob Turner*** - SP ; A- (one of the top SP prospects in all of baseball to me, not an ace but very good)
2. Nick Castellanos - 3B ; B+
3. Casey Crosby*** - SP ; B
4. Drew Smyly - SP ; B
5. Andy Oliver*** - SP ; B
6. Tyler Collins - OF ; B-
7. James McCann - C ; C+
8. Brian Flynn - SP ; C+
9. Aaron Westlake - 1B ; C+
10. Jay Voss - SP ; C+
11. Daniel Fields - OF ; C+
1. Francisco Lindor - SS ; B+
2. Dillon Howard - SP ; B-
3. Tony Walters - SS ; B-
4. Jake Sisco - SP ; B-
5. Nick Hagadone*** - RP ; C+
6. Luigi Rodriguez - OF ; C+
7. Scott Barnes*** - SP ; C+
8. Rafael Rodriguez - SS ; C+
9. Felix Sterling - SP ; C+
10. LeVon Washington - OF ; C+
11. Cord Phelps*** - 2B ; C+
1. Addison Reed*** - RP ; B+ (could be there closer by mid-season for a long time)
2. Nestor Molina - SP ; B/ B+
3. Trayce Thompson - OF ; B-
4. Tyler Saladino - 3B ; C+
6. Jacob Petricka - SP ; C+
7. Hector Santiago - SP ; C+
8. Dylan Axelrod*** - SP/RP ; C+
9. Kevan Smith - C ; C+
10. Erik Johnson - SP ; C+
11. Eduardo Escobar*** - SS ; C+/C
(also acquired SS- Osvaldo Martinez and P -Jhan Martinez from the Marlins for manager Ozzier Gullen)
I placed the teams in order of who i think has the greatest to weakest farm systems in the A.L. Central accounting for both top quality talent and all around depth throughout the minor leagues.
#1 is Kansas City for the 2nd straight year, they lost some key guys: Hosmer, Duffy and Moustakas are now Major Leaguers and they also graduated some relievers like Crow, Coleman and Collins but they still have the best minor leaguers in the conference or lg. and have tons of depth.... I think the only team that comes close to their surplus of depth is the Twins for prospects. I think if the Twins cannot be the biggest competition for the Tigers this upcoming season it
could should be the Royals who i have pegged to surpass the Indians sooner than later. Their bullpen has a chance to be special and they're offense is coming along.
#2 is the Minnesota Twins while also weakening a bit from a season ago, they still rank high in general. However, they unlike the Royals, lost guys due to injuries or just poor performances which is never good. Even silly trades like Wilson Ramos and Billy Bullock (the trades were over a year ago) and acquiring guys like Jacobsen, Bargas, and now Turpen have yet to pan out. Gibson and Wimmers had forgettable years for different reasons, and Hicks continues to be an enigma while Arcia and Angel Morales faced injuries throughout the season. Disappointments for Carlos Gutierrez, Scott Diamond and Pat Dean on the mound. While Liam Hendriks, Chris Parmelee, Sano and Rosario flourished.
#3 is the Detroit Tigers
Already boasting the best Major League team, they are probably in the best all-around position in the Central yet again. Even losing DH Victor Martinez for most of if not all of the 2012 season they still should remain the biggest threat to win the pennant. While the majority of the M.L. team is in place and isn't getting any younger TOP prospect and SP Jacob Turner should help the Tigers out in the starting rotation for a good chunk of next year. Turner looks poised beyond his years (only 21 years of age) on the mound and could be the perfect compliment to Justin Verlander in the #2 spot in the rotation ahead of Scherzer, Fister, and Porcello; Which would undoubtedly form the Best rotation in the Central. They also have an interesting assortment of arms that could help out the bullpen or maybe even the rotation if someone goes to the DL.
#4 the Cleveland Indians
Graduating their top 2 guys and trading another set of 2 away from last year. Chisenhall and Kipnis should be the cornerstones of the infield at 3B, and 2B for years to come for the Tribe. What was suprising to me though, was to see them trade their top 2 pitching prospects last year at the deadline to acquire the Rockies Ubaldo Jiminez in Drew Pomeranz LHP and Alex White RHP. Pom has a chance to be a #2 starter for the Rockies and White a #3 o4 #4 both in the short-term and long-term. Jiminez while spetacular when on his game... was really worth those 2 guys? The Indians were the top dog for a while in the Central a year ago and were the main threat to the Tigers pretty much all year long, expect them to be competetive again but with the Carmona visa ID setback and a semi-punchless offense I predict them to finish 4th this coming season.
Well, the rebuilding has only begun for the South Siders... GM Kenny Williams has dealt OF Carlos Quentin to the Padres (Castro and Hernandez) and Closer Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays (Molina). Could Paul Konerko be next? or maybe one of the many Starting pitchers they have on the roster. LHP Mark Buerhle did follow Ozzie Guillen to the Miami Marlins so they do have 1 less Starter. Just like their farm system i predict them to be last in 2012.
While they have quite a bit of depth in the minors at OF and RP they lack any impact bats or Staring pitchers, other than the newly acquired Nestor Molina who is still years away.