By unpopular demand, the first installment of McCovey Chronicles’ Top 30 Prospects for 2010*:
30. Ryan Cavan - SS
It’s a little tradition of mine to reserve the last spot of the list for a stats-only type of prospect. Last year was the 29-year-old Felix Romero, a reliever with a gaudy K/BB in AA the previous season. That didn’t make me look quite as clever as I had hoped. But the tradition continues onward. And when I finally hit on one of these #30 prospects in 2023, I’ll never let you forget it.
Cavan is a shortstop with 200 at-bats that showed an ability to hit for high isolated power and high isolated on-base percentage – that is, his slugging percentage and on-base percentage are much higher than you would expect from a guy who hit .277. It shows a measure of extra-base power and patience, and from a middle infielder, that would be incredibly nice to have.
The caveats: it’s only 200 short-season at-bats, and I haven’t been able to get a defensive report on him. He might play shortstop like Pedro Feliz plays catcher. But Cavan is a local guy – he went to Menlo before attended UCSB – so he’ll be an easy guy to root for as he moves up the organization.
The new sabermetric orthodoxy: defense is a very big deal. Defense has a library that smells of rich mahogany, and it has many leather-bound books. If you trust the FanGraphs metrics from last year, light-hitting Nyjer Morgan was more valuable than Ryan Howard, Ryan Braun, and Alex Rodriguez. That’s hard to believe, but it isn’t hard to fathom the idea that a hit saved in the top half of an inning is just as valuable as a hit earned in the bottom half. So when looking at superlative defender in center who hits .276/.328/.386, maybe it makes sense to consider him as valuable as an average defender who hits .300/.350/.450. Note: all numbers pulled from nether regions.
And by all accounts, McBryde is an unbelievable defender. His range is supposed to be top-shelf, and he even has a cannon for a right arm. The best part is that he improved his offensive numbers while moving up a level and hitting in a pitcher’s park.
He’ll be 25 when he starts AAA this year, so he’s not the kind of prospect that you make room for. But if he has a good season in Fresno, he’ll be a nice fit as a fourth outfielder somewhere.
It’s hard to get too excited about a 21-year-old reliever who put up a 4.61 ERA in rookie ball while walking 26 in only 54 innings. But people love his arm.
27. Brock Bond - 2B
He’s on over Ryan Rohlinger only because of Bond’s willingness to take a walk. If Rohlinger can really handle short in a pinch – and if Bond’s defense at second is only adequate – maybe I’m overrating the OBP factor. And maybe I’m underrating Bond’s complete lack of power – two home runs in two minor league seasons is pretty hard to do. But I’m a sucker for a high on-base percentage, and Bond has a career .419 mark, including a .429 spot in Connecticut last season.
By law, I’m required to leave this link right here.
Dingerz. Plenty of them. But he makes Glenallen Hill look like a slap-hitting, light-swinging walk machine. Dominguez is already 23, and his defense at third is questionable, so he’ll need to make more contact to go along with those dingerz. He was a little unlucky with his BABIP in Salem, so we might not have a clear read on him yet, but a 57/9 K/BB ratio in 181 at-bats is as ugly of a line as you’ll see. With great power comes great responsibility. If Dominguez doesn’t figure out how to work the count, he’ll just be another Rob Stratton.
* Translated by our sister site, МцЦовей Чроницлес, as "List for Future Accolades and Stretching of Offseason Idea Writings to be Past Conclusion of Logical Enjoyment"