For the past few years, McKamey has put his unique combination of statistical analysis and old school scouting techniques to use in his annual Minor League Baseball Analyst.
The 2008 Minor League Baseball Analyst profiles over 1000 minor league prospects and includes detailed scouting reports, sabermetrics, Major League Equivalencies, organizational lists, Top 100 list, and Potential Ratings. The book can be purchased through Baseball HQ at baseballhq.com where the purchaser will also receive a free update to the lists in the book. People may also purchase the book through any of the major on-line bookstores. The Minor League Baseball Analyst is expected to arrive mid-January.
Inside The Warehouse was fortunate enough to catch up with Deric and ask him a few questions about the Baltimore Orioles' minor league system.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES TOP 15 PROSPECTS
1. Matt Wieters (C)
2. Bill Rowell (3B)
3. Radhames Liz (RHP)
4. Troy Patton (LHP)
5. Nolan Reimold (OF)
6. Jake Arrieta (RHP)
7. Garrett Olson (LHP)
8. Chorye Spoone (RHP)
9. Brandon Erbe (RHP)
10. James Hoey (RHP)
11. Pedro Beato (RHP)
12. Brandon Snyder (C)
13. David Hernandez (RHP)
14. Mike Costanzo (3B)
15. Bob McCrory (RHP)
ITW: How much does Matt Wieters' size concern you about his long-term durability behind the plate?
Deric McKamey: There is certainly a concern, only because you don't see catchers with that kind of size in the Majors, outside of Joe Mauer. His agility is slightly below average, but seems to get his feet set properly on throws to second base. He has a strong throwing arm and receives the ball well, so he does grade-out as average to above defensively. From a durability standpoint, the health of his knees is something that will have to be monitored closely as you don't want to do anything to keep his plus bat out of the lineup.
ITW: Should fans be worried about Billy Rowell's mediocre full-season debut in the Sally League? How do you rate his chances of sticking at third base?
Deric McKamey: I wouldn't be too worried. He was hindered early with a strained oblique, but did hit much better in the second half. As for his defense, last year I was on the fence as to whether he could stick at 3B, but after watching him play three games worth of defense this summer, I'm leaning towards a position switch. His arm strength is excellent, but I thought he lacked the necessary first-step quickness and his hands were a little stiff. I think he has enough agility and speed underway to play in the outfield and certainly has the arm for RF.
ITW: At what point should we worry that Nolan Reimold is injury prone? What type of hitter do you project him as?
Deric McKamey: Reimold was sidelined with an oblique injury as well, but that was the first time that he's dealt with an injury of that sort. I'd be more concerned with the back injury he had in 2006, but I'm not sure he's really injury-prone. I think Reimold is one of the more underrated power hitters in the minors. Despite his injuries, his isolated power has never dipped below .200 and his extra-base hit rate (XBH/H) has always been over 0.42, which is very impressive. I do worry about him being too pull-conscious in game situations, which I think will hurt his AVG more than his power. Reimold projects as a .275-25-85 hitter, with an upside of 30+ HR.
ITW: With Wieters in fold, where do you see Brandon Snyder ending up? Will his bat support a permanent switch to first base?
Deric McKamey: The Orioles really have a tough decision in regard to Snyder. The torn rotator cuff and missed developmental time means he probably won't catch anymore, and I don't think he has the mobility to play 3B or the outfield. Will his bat play at 1B? I doubt it, but I believe we need to see him healthy for another season before ruling anything out. His power should be solid, but his mediocre plate discipline will cut-into his AVG and OBP.
ITW: You rate Mike Costanzo higher than Scott Moore on your O's rankings. Can you compare and contrast the two?
Deric McKamey: That was a tough call with Costanzo ranking #14 and Moore #16 (bumped from my top 15 with the Tejada trade). Costanzo has more upside with the bat, especially with power and his walk rate, but I don't like his contact rate and don't think he'll ever hit for AVG. Moore has more of a line-drive stroke and will use the whole field, but has enough power to turn on inside pitches and is more likely to reach his potential. Defensively, Moore is more steady and versatile. Costanzo should be an average defender with more repetitions.
Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via email at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com