Saturday, February 16, 2008

Rotoworld: 2003 Prospects Review

Matthew Pouliot looks back at his 2003 Top 150 prospects. He shows where he had prospects ranked five years ago and what he thinks about them now. Here are the Royals related prospects with his 2003 and 2008 comments.

38. Justin Huber - C Mets - Age 20 - ETA: 2005
Previous rankings: mid-2002 #28

2003 quote: He's still two or three years away from the majors and catching prospects do have a tendency to regress offensively as they climb the ladder, but I'm optimistic.

Huber was always iffy behind the plate, and it turned out that he probably wasn't going to hold up physically as a catcher anyway. His career has stalled since the day the Royals acquired him for Jose Bautista, but he did hit 18 homers in 286 at-bats in Triple-A last season. If he can stay healthy, he still figures to contribute.

41. Ken Harvey - 1B/DH Royals - Age 25 - ETA: Now
Previous rankings: mid-2001 #48, 2002 #47, mid-2002 #61

2003 quote: Harvey's stock had been on the way down because of his mediocre season in Triple-A, but he changed things in a big way by putting together the greatest Arizona Fall League season ever.

On the one hand, I wouldn't have ranked Jenks nearly as highly if not for his stellar AFL season. But the same can be said about Harvey. After three years ruined by injuries, he's not even going to have the decent career as a role player that it looked like he would.

42. Andy Sisco - LHP Cubs - Age 20 - ETA: 2006
Previous rankings: None

2003 quote: A second-round pick in 2001, Sisco is a 6'9", 260-pound left-hander with a 91-95 mph fastball and a filthy split-fingered offering. He's a pretty big injury risk at this point, but he has ace ability.

Sisco has remained healthier than expected, so he really should have made it. There's still time left for him to turn his career around, but he'd have to show an entirely new level of commitment.

52. Chin-Hui Tsao - RHP Rockies - Age 21 - ETA: 2005
Previous rankings: 2001 #21, mid-2001 NR, 2002 #57, mid-2002 #44

2003 quote: Tsao made a very impressive comeback from ligament replacement surgery in 2002. Most pitchers who undergo the Tommy John procedure struggle with their command when the first return, but Tsao walked just 14 in his 12 starts.

I don't feel bad about this one at all. Tsao seemed to recapture most of his potential when he went 11-4 with a 2.46 ERA, 88 H and 125/26 K/BB in 113 1/3 IP in Double-A in 2003, but he got hurt again in 2004 and hasn't had a healthy season since. It happens.

53. John Buck - C Astros - Age 22 - ETA: April 2004
Previous rankings: 2002 #68, mid-2002 #43

2003 quote: Buck isn't quite on Brad Ausmus' level with the glove, but he will be better than average. Offensively, he should be able hit .260-.270 with 20 homers per season while playing half his games in Minute Maid.

An inability to hit for average has kept Buck in the lower-tier of regular catchers, but since he doesn't turn 27 until July, he has time left to get a little better.

61. Jimmy Gobble - LHP Royals - Age 21 - ETA: July 2003
Previous rankings: 2002 #62, mid-2002 #41

2003 quote: Gobble got in just a half season last year because of a groin injury and a minor shoulder problem. … He projects as a No. 3 starter in the majors.

BA had Gobble ranked 50th in 2002, but dropped him after he missed half of the season. Gobble has remained healthy since, but he was massive bust as a starter before seemingly finding his niche as a reliever.

87. Todd Wellemeyer - RHP Cubs - Age 24 - ETA: May 2004
Previous rankings: None

2003 quote: Wellemeyer has become one of my favorite prospects. The 2000 fourth-round pick throws 93-94 mph, has an excellent changeup and his curveball is an improving third pitch.

Wellemeyer never really improved his command with his age, though he did manage to post a 3.65 ERA in first 11 major league starts with the Cardinals last season. He might be better off all along as a starter.

121. Esteban German - 2B Athletics - Age 25 - ETA: August 2003
127. Zack Greinke - RHP Royals - Age 19 - ETA: 2006
134. Angel Berroa - SS Royals - Age 25 - ETA: Now

I recommend reading the whole article, its fairly entertaining. I can't believe he rated Wellemeyer ahead of Greinke though but at least he admits to being wrong when he was wrong. All prospects lists have their hits and misses (cough, cough baseball america, Dee Brown cough) and five years later it can make for a great read


  1. I love those look back articles, especially the prospect ones. They really put into perspective what a crapshoot the whole draft is.

  2. I guess I didn't really realize how good Wellemeyer did with St. Louis last season.