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Reviewing the 2010 prospect list: 11-20

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Another entry in the James Beard Foundation-winning series.

20. Henry Sosa

How did he do?

It wasn’t a bad season if you look at the mediocre ERA, but the FIP was terrifying. It was another leg on the journey from "prospect" to "organizational arm."

Lesson learned?

If faced with a choice between fawning over a 2.00 ERA in the Eastern League or wrinkling your nose at the low strikeout rate, go with the latter. He’s still one of the more advanced starting pitchers in the system, of course. No pick-up basketball games, Madison.

19. Clayton Tanner

How did he do?

The walk rate went up, the strikeout rate went down. It was another leg on the journey from "prospect" to..wait, this seems familiar.

Lesson learned?

When a strikeout rate jumps in a player’s second year in the same league, be a little wary. I’ve irrationally liked Tanner since he was drafted, ignoring the pedestrian strikeout rates along the way. It seemed like 2009 was a semi-breakout, but it’s way too hard to overlook a K/BB ratio of almost 1:1 in the Eastern League. Still, he’s only 23, and I can still hope he’ll work into a Doug Davis kind of career. Don’t get in the mosh pit at that Biohazard concert, Barry.

18. Darren Ford

How did he do?

Sort of got arrested. Never took an at-bat in the majors, but won a game with his legs for a team that needed every win to take the division. Typical prospect stuff. Also, his Cal League offense was mugged on the way to Virginia.

Lesson learned?

When a 23-year-old busts out in the Cal League, treat it like a 29-year-old busting out in AAA. Also, there should be 60-man active rosters just so we could watch players do this all season.

17. Conor Gillaspie

How did he do?

Well, he, uh, still has that .429 on-base percentage in the majors. You can’t take that away from him. And, really, I’ve almost given up trying to read Eastern League stats. He didn’t bust out, but he held his own as a 22-year-old. He even busted out for a little power in the Arizona Fall League with a .306/.350/.597 line in 72 at-bats. His defense is rumored to be quite clanky, though, so he’d have to hit like Dave Magadan to have any value. The Bill Mueller comparisons seem pretty far away right now.

Lesson learned?

Sometimes, those close-to-the-majors bats need quite a bit of time. I still like Gillaspie’s chances to be a part-time player on a good team some day, but the walk-rate dip is more than a little concerning.

16. Hector Sanchez

How did he do?

An on-base machine in the rookie leagues, Sanchez had a more nondescript season as a 20-year-old splitting time behind the plate in low-A. I don’t know much about his defense, other than John Sickels calling him a glove-first guy in his prospect book. If he’s at least average defensively, Sanchez is probably the most underrated prospect in the system. A catcher who could put up a .274/.334/.394 line -- his slash line in Augusta -- with good defense would be a really valuable asset. Plus, when he comes up we can start Posey at first, Belt in left, and Gary Brown at short.

Lesson learned?

It’s probably never a good idea to get delusions of prospect grandeur based on rookie-league stats, but Sanchez is coming along just fine. A smart team would do well to sneak him in a prospect package at the deadline.

15. Aaron King

How did he do?

FAA officials are still picking up pieces of Aaron King, but it could take a while to determine just what went wrong. They did find the little black box, though, which was thrown to the backstop. A pretty terrible season all around.

Lesson learned?

I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. If you come here for knock-knock jokes and Tony Perezchica references, you’re doing okay. If you come here for cogent analysis and inside prospect information, you’re doing it wrong. This was about as big of a miss as a prospect list can have. Wild, live-armed lefties are mercurial things. It’s hard to believe that Jonathan Sanchez made it out okay.

14. Jorge Bucardo

How did he do?

Sinked some slinky sinkers smoothly. And how. The strikeout rate is still low, and his velocity isn’t that of a vintage Lowe/Webb power sinker, but it’s hard to complain about a 20-year-old with a 3.14 FIP and a 62% groundball rate in low-A.

Lesson learned?

Overrate the pitchers with high groundball rates, then collect prospect-list groupies when you’re behind the velvet rope at Club So Damned Right. I missed out this year, so now I have a goal for the 2011 list.

13. Eric Surkamp

How did he do?

Pretty well until a hip injury ended his season in July. Surkamp wasn’t quite the strikeout machine that he was in low-A, but he was one of the Cal League’s better starters. He had a 4-2 record in 17 starts, indicating a strong tendency to get cained on a regular basis. If it weren’t for the injury, I’d be for skipping him to Fresno with the hope that he could become a viable stopgap in case of an injury in the major league rotation.

Lesson learned?

Nothing yet. Double-A will be a better test for a control-reliant lefty like Surkamp.

12. Francisco Peguero

How did he do?

Much better than I expected, though he still makes Pablo Sandoval seem as patient as Rickey Henderson. Peguero’s not a super-young prospect, so it’s not as if a .329/.358/.488 line is elite for the Cal League, but he has TOOLS! that garnish the numbers with the promise of something more.

Lesson learned?

Sometimes -- every so often -- the scouts know more than a blogger who makes it to one or two minor league games every year and usually hangs out by the barbecue pit and beer garden all game. It’s rare, sure, but it can happen. Peguero, walks be damned, is a legit prospect in the organization because of his CF defense and speed alone.

11. Ehire Adrianza

How did he do?

Same story as last year -- if the defense is really superlative, you can live with the weak bat, and he gets bonus points for being younger than the rest of the league.

Lesson learned?

He’s in the top ten, maybe top five, in the system now even though he had the exact same season, for the most part. So goes the Giants farm system, but that’s what happens when Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner leave the minors to win a World Series1.

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