A nice little gift from Mr. John Sickels over at Minor League Ball.
Angel Villalona, 3B, San Francisco Giants
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-3 WT: 210 DOB: August 13, 1990
OK, first I have to get something out of the way. I get email from Giants fans asking me why I don't rate Villalona as among the top ten prospects in baseball. One email went so far as to say he was the best prospect in the game, and that I was a moron for not admitting that. I think what is happening here is that Giants fans are so hungry for a young impact hitter that they are falling head-over-heels for Villanona a bit earlier than they should. Please, don't listen to media propaganda. Just look at the facts yourself. Villalona is just 17 years old. He's huge, big, strong, muscular. He should hit for great power in the future, but right now his strike zone judgment is very mediocre. This is not a damning flaw by any means. He's just 17, he has time to figure that out, but he needs to do it. His defense is also an issue, and he is unpolished in most non-hitting phases of the game. There is also concern that his body may max out at a young age, and that he will add fat, not muscle, as he gets older. Now this may sound like I am denigrating Villalona. I am not. Far from it. He IS one of the best power-hitting prospects in the game, and a year from now he will probably be in the top twenty overall. But he is not Albert Pujols or Miguel Cabrera yet. He is not in the Jay Bruce or Justin Upton or Colby Rasmus category yet. Even at his best, he won't be a complete player, lacking the defense and speed to be a Seven Skill guy. This doesn't mean he can't be a terrific slugger, an All-Star, or MVP candidate down the line, but we need to take it easy and not create unrealistic expectations just yet. Let's give the kid some time to get used to North America, to figure out the strike zone, to polish up his defense. Understand that a Grade B+ is extremely high praise for a player in rookie ball. Settle down, enjoy the show, it should be interesting.
Happy New Years, Giants fans!