[Part II of a four-part series]
Just like last year, we're going to handle this as a sort of reverse countdown... and just like last year, everyone knows who #1 is going to be. Still, maybe I'll spring a few surprises along the way, and with any luck, we can spark some discussion in the comments.
Check below the jump, then, as we find a place on the Top 30 for three of the 2010 draft picks, and we get the toolsy toolshed of tools celebration kicked off with a couple of the Lakewood outfielders.
30.) Chace Numata, C-S, Williamsport
If there's a reach on here on my part, this is it, as Numata was a 2010 14th round pick who hit just .222/.340/.244 in his brief pro debut. The Hawaii native intrigues me, though, as he's a switch hitter who controlled the strike zone well (8:10 BB:K) in just 53 plate appearances, and as a high school pitcher and shortstop, he should have the arm and mobility to make the successful transition to backstop. Numata will certainly be brought along slowly, and may actually wind up back in the Gulf Coast League, but he's one I'll be keeping a close eye on.
29.) Leandro Castro, OF-R, Clearwater
The Dominican outfielder's follow up to his breakout 2009 campaign wasn't quite the same success, as the 21-year old managed a respectable but hardly earth-shattering .256/.303/.405 line for the South Atlantic League champion Lakewood BlueClaws. To me, Castro looks stuck in 4th outfielder land right now -- he doesn't have the power (.149 ISO) or pure hitting ability (5.9% BB, 18.3% K) to profile in a corner, and he hasn't been at his best defensively in center field, though he should have the range (7.6 speed score) to play there. There are decent tools here, but he needs to continuing developing his skills while climbing the ladder to profile as an everyday player.
28.) Colby Shreve, RHP, Clearwater
Shreve got a $400K bonus as the organization's 8th round pick in 2007, but he was slow to return from Tommy John surgery, finally taking the field for Lakewood in 2010. The righthander exhibited solid control (2.5 BB/9) and decent ground ball tendencies (43%) in 109.1 innings in Low A, but we have yet to hear reports of his fastball getting back to the mid-90s (where it was before TJ), and he didn't exactly miss a ton of bats (just 6.3 K/9). Shreve will take on High A as a 23-year old in 2011, and he'll need a breakthrough in either stuff or results if he's going to stay on this list.
27.) Austin Hyatt, RHP, Reading
I'm pretty confident that Hyatt will make it to the majors in some capacity, but the real question is his ceiling. He's a fastball/change righty without plus velocity or worm burning tendencies (he sports a career GB% in the mid-30s), so his margin for error as a starter is razor thin. He belongs in the Top 30 based on his awesome career numbers (11.8 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 0.44 BB/9, 1.95 FIP) and the chance that he'll make it as a back-end starter, but odds are he's more of a bullpen guy, and in that role he doesn't have the raw stuff to profile as a true high leverage type.
26.) Perci Garner, RHP, Lakewood
Garner is about as raw as college pitchers come, having left Ball State after his sophomore season and just 94 college innings. The erstwhile high school quarterback recruit has athleticism and raw stuff on his side, with his fastball and curve both rating as potential plus pitches, and his slider and change showing some potential as well. Garner lacks polish and command right now, and he made only two starts for Williamsport before succumbing to an arm injury, but there's definite upside here.
25.) Kelly Dugan, OF-S, Lakewood
Dugan played in just 28 games in 2010, as he developed a staph infection that kept him sidelined from mid-June through the beginning of August. His .366/.455/.527 line for the season was pumped up substantially by a 9-game stint in the GCL, as he did struggle a bit in 19 games in Williamsport, but he still shows potential as a switch-hitter with enough raw power to profile in an outfield corner. More than anything, Dugan just needs an extended run of at bats, which the organization will try to get him in a crowded Lakewood outfield in 2011.
24.) Gauntlett Eldemire, OF-R, Lakewood
Speaking of a crowded Lakewood outfield, the guy with one of the best names in all of baseball will look to make center field his own this year after missing the 2010 Williamsport campaign with a wrist injury. Eldemire played three years at Ohio, culminating in a .398/.498/.726 junior campaign, and flashes above-average tools, including plus speed and plus raw power. He's raw in several aspects of the game, notably in his outfield routes and in his ability to make contact, but if he can work to solve those issues, he has the potential to be a starting center fielder at the major league level.
23.) Michael Schwimer, RHP, Lehigh Valley
On this Top 30 list, Schwimer represents the ultimate example of valuing floor over ceiling. As a relief-only 24-year old righthander whose stuff doesn't light up radar guns, Schwimer realistically can't be any more than a set up man at the major league level, but it would be shocking if he doesn't contribute in the bigs in some capacity, and probably in relatively short order. The 6'8", 240-lb. hurler mixes his pitches well, can retire lefties, and put up good numbers across Double-A and Triple-A last year (11.4 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 0.90 HR/9, 42% GB, 2.92 FIP). A big 2011 could earn him a September call up.
22.) Freddy Galvis, SS-S, Reading
I put Reading next to Galvis' name, but I'm honestly done trying to guess how the Phillies are going to handle him at this point. He's always had a wet noodle of a bat, but for some reason the organization has promoted him aggressively, sending him to Williamsport at 17, Lakewood at 18, Clearwater and Reading at 19, and Reading again at 20 -- all despite the fact that his cumulative career batting line is just .233/.281/.294. He's here because scouts still rave about his defense, and if it turns out he's just a late bloomer physically and can transform himself into a .260/.330/.370 hitter at his major league peak, he could still provide tremendous value to a ballclub.
21.) Jiwan James, OF-S, Clearwater
James' 2009 was cause for excitement, as he showed solid control of the strike zone (8.2% BB, 18.2% K) to go along with his impressive tools after making the conversion from pitcher to outfielder. 2010 was a disappointment by comparison, as even a big second half surge only gave James a .270/.321/.365 line in sum, with little in the way of secondary skills (.095 ISO, 33 SB at only a 62.3% success rate) to balance the equation. The tools are still top notch, but James will enter 2011 as a soon-to-be 22-year old who has a long way to go with his skill progression.
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Be sure to check back Wednesday as we move on to numbers 20 through 11.