We are breaking down the top five prospects for each organization for 2009, taking into consideration: games, at-bats, innings and major-league service time. We expect these players to have rookie status remaining heading into next year.
According to MLB rules: "A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or seasons, he has (a) exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the major leagues; or (b) accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a major league club or clubs during the period of 25-player limit (excluding time in the military service and time on the disabled list)."
Note: Statistics are those at each stop in the minors this season and age represents how old they will be on opening day 2009.
While most title-winning clubs have a nice mix of veterans and youth, the defending world champs didn't have a single rookie exhaust eligibility this season. They burned two of their top prospects making in-season acquisition of Joe Blanton, but a perennially weak farm system is showing just a little more strength than in years past.
1. SP Carlos Carrasco, 22
For the past two second halves, we have speculated Carrasco could be an impact call-up for the Phillies, but caution and the trade for Joe Blanton has helped buy him some time. Carrasco is capable of winning a rotation spot out of spring training, but could start the year in Triple-A. It shouldn't be long before he is called up or proving viable in all Fantasy leagues in 2009, regardless. Consider him an NL Rookie of the Year candidate and a future Fantasy ace long term.
2. SP Joe Savery, 23
Savery was a highly regarded pitching prospect who slipped in the 2007 draft due to injury concerns. He has proven relatively healthy for a Rice product, but in his first season on a full pitcher's schedule, he struggled some -- especially in the realm of velocity. Compared to Mark Mulder by Baseball America, we figure Savery will have a better season in Year 2.
|High A||9||10||4.13||27||24||0||0||0||150 1/3||171||84||69||10||60||122||1.81||.286|
3. J.A. Happ, 26
Happ really didn't look like a certain future major league starter, but that changed this season. He might even compete to be the No. 5 starter out of spring training. We don't like his ceiling compared to Carrasco's but he is certainly capable in a Kyle Kendrick way. He might even be better than Kendrick long term. Watch him for starts next season, because the Phillies have a great offense that will make their starting pitchers winners for years to come.
4. OF Michael Taylor, 23
Taylor had a breakthrough year and should now be considered a potential star. At 6-feet-6, 250 pounds, the Stanford prospect is certainly a physical specimen. The 2007 fifth-round pick could start the year in Double-A, but we wouldn't be surprised to see him in Philly by year's end.
5. SP Kyle Drabek, 21
Doug Drabek's son has overcome Tommy John surgery and could now position himself for his own major league career. Because of the injury and his lack of pro experience, it won't happen for him this year, but he is a solid long-term keeper option now that he has gotten his elbow ligament replacement out of the way. It is almost a good thing to get a new ligament early in your career nowadays.
|Low A||1||2||2.21||4||4||0||0||0||20 1/3||11||6||5||1||6||10||1.94||.159|
Best of the rest: SP Antonio Bastardo, OF Greg Golson, C Lou Marson, 2B Brad Harman, SP Scott Mathieson, SP Drew Carpenter, OF Dominic Brown, C Jason Jaramillo, OF T.J. Bohn, SS Jason Donald, C Travis D'Arnaud, SP Jason Knapp, C Sabastian Valle, SP Heitor Correa, OF Zach Collier, 3B Anthony Hewitt, SP Eddy Garcia, SS Freddy Galvis, SP Tyson Brummett, SP Scott Nestor, OF Quintin Berry, SP Mike Stutes, OF Anthony Gose, SP Vance Worley, SP Jon Pettibone, SP Trevor May, 1B Jeremy Hamilton, 3B Travis Mattair, SP Julian Sampson, OF D'Arby Myers, SP Carlos Monasterios, RP Joe Bisenius, 3B Mike Cervanek, 2B Tyler Mach, SP Drew Naylor, RP R.J. Swindle and RP Les Walrond.
2008 rookies to exhaust eligibility: None.
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