Pleasantly surprised by the Garcia love in here, and I'll add to it.
Garcia's mixture of GB and K rates is very exciting. With 41Ks in 37.2 IP, I'm willing to bet that Garcia's curveball, which ranked #1 in the system by Baseball America in 2008, is as sharp as it was under the previous ligament. His stats still show some walk and HR tendancies, but it's only a matter of time before he works those out. If he starts consistantly pounding the bottom corners of the strikezone with his sinker, I think his upside matches that of Miller...and Garcia will begin 2010 with a 3 or 4 level headstart in the climb to the big show.
it is very hard for me to vote for any lower level prospects , i just have a hard time voting on players i havent seen. maybe i shouldnt vote at all for obvious reasons..but i will vote for miller , i believe he is the ONLY pitcher in the entire system that has # 1 or 2 talent, alot of others, garcia, lynn, ottavino even pj have #3-5 all over them,(i think ott would be a helluva closer) they all could develop into #1 starters but only time will tell. if you look at garcia, as said above he has the best curveball in the system, but his fastball is average,the only thing that makes it atick above average is he is a lefty. he has done well at all levels but never dominated at any level, i think a potential #1 starter would have dominated at some level. pj has the best change up in the system but it doesnt make him a #1 prospect or even top 10 or 20 in some minds. remember i voted hawksworth & greene in my top 10 last year & i am sure everyone laughed..
.....I'm not sure what the percentages are for an 18 year old pitcher as opposed to a 16 year old position player, but I do know that the percentages for an 18 year old position player are better than an 18 year old pitcher making it. .....
The further one is away from the show the higher the risk in general. Miller is considered 2-3 years away. Mateo 5-6 years away. Any pitcher/position player risk tradeoff is trumped here by the huge difference in age and development. The best case you could make for voting for Mateo is simply that you believe his upside is much higher than Miller's or anyone elses. It may be.
Phil, I hope you do stay with this thread though. there is no qualification for voting other than having an opinion and wanting to participate. There are no right and wrong answers.
Phil, I think your concerns about Garcia's durability are well warranted. The real question is whether the surgery has removed the elbow pain that has caused him to get shut down early in the past. I can honestly say my vote for him was as much a vote against everyone else as it was for him. I think we have a lot of system depth but in the top few we are really weak.
I'll echo Carioca here (especially on the Cards having lots of interesting guys, but not so many that I'm ready to peg at the top, like I was Rasmus). And add that I think there's been such success with the TJ surgery that, while there's a risk, I'm not *that* worried about it.
This is one of my favorite things we do here. It is not about being right or wrong. It is about taking an interest in the farm system. It doesn't matter if you can name every Cards minor leaguer at every level. It doesn't matter if you occasionally pay attention to the farm. It doesn't matter if you vote solely on the names you recognize.
It is the discussions that will occur that are interesting and informative. I, for one, learn a lot during this exercise.
With that said, I am still revising my top 50 (and will probably continue to do so), but, with the 'losses' (due to graduation, trades, performance, etc.) I think we still have a solid system. That is impressive.
We may not have a Colby or a Walrus anymore, but bucking up and signing Miller and Mateo may prove to be huge. Plus, I think we have more B-level near-ready talent than before (including pitching), which is really nice for depth.
I confidently voted Miller, but I think it is also exciting, promising, etc. that Garcia has looked so strong so quickly. It looks like Garcia will take #1 and, while I voted Miller, I would have no issue with that ranking.
My remaining reservation (perhaps the wrong word) on Garcia is innings. While I think he will have earned a pretty significant shot at the 2010 rotation, perhaps it would make more sense to start him in the pen and then use him as the 'next available starter'. I would just have a hard time expecting 180 innings out of him. A month or two in the pen plus, say, 20 starts would project to 130-ish innings. I would be more comfortable with that, but I am confident in Duncan in that regard (i.e. he won't make him do something he is not confident he is able to). That, of course, assumes Duncan will be back...?
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