Making his second appearance here on The Nats Blog in the last two days, Keith Law of ESPN Insider came out with his top 100 MLB prospects. The Nationals had three players appear on this list, the same amount that appeared last season. Here are some excerpts:
2. Bryce Harper: …..Harper’s calling card is the absurd leverage in his swing, generating that enormous raw power even out to centerfield. He’s aggressive at the plate and needs to work on his recognition of pro-quality offspeed stuff. Playing twice a week in the Arizona Fall League, he showed he could turn on any fastball but was often out in front of breaking balls and changeups. He can go the other way if that’s where he’s pitched, and despite the extraneous movement in his swing can make late adjustments when he recognizes pitches.
33. Derek Norris: …His performance suffered in 2010 as he recovered from a broken hamate bone that occurred during instructional league the previous fall, an injury that can sap power for 12 to 18 months. Look for Norris to move up to Double-A this year and pick up where he left off in 2009, getting on base and hitting for power while playing adequate or better defense behind the dish.
95. Wilson Ramos: … At the plate, he has strong hands and excellent hand-eye coordination with average power but needs to improve his patience, another thing he’s not going to learn from Pudge. The real concern with Ramos is health; he has never caught 100 games in a single season, mostly because of injuries, and has to maintain his conditioning so he doesn’t outgrow the position horizontally. Catchers are scarce, and with Ramos showing two above-average tools (hit and arm) and average or slightly better power, he should be at least a solid regular if he can play 120 or so games a year.
It’s interesting that Law left Danny Espinosa on this list despite him being considered one of the clubs top prospects. According to Law a player would be considered for the list as long as they were still a rookie, which Espinosa is with less than 130 career at bats. In 28 games in Washington last year he hit just .214/.277/.447 but did swat six
homers and showed some great defense. He also dominated the minors by hitting .268/.337/.464 with 22 homers and 25 stolen bases. With potential 20-20 talent and elite level defense at second base, you’d think he’d rank at-least higher than the Nationals second best catching prospect, Wilson Ramos.
This afternoon, Law was answering questions on Sports Nation chat and some fellow named Jeff from DC asked for some clarity:
Was Danny Espinosa ineligible, or missed the list due to low upside at this point?
Low upside and injured wrist … I think I answered that somewhere already. Now I’m starting to lose it.