Another year has gone by and another ranking is taking place. This year I pulled in two of my most consistent readers, Texas Gus and Chris F to help me rank and talk about the players. I always prefer to work off of Aggregate rankings because it creates a more dynamic and accurate system. Each writer and fan has their own metrics for ranking players and, as you will see, Gus and I differed a lot on players ranked in the bottom third of the rankings. This means that of the five players ranked 46-50, I only had ranked two of them within my personal Top 50.
46. Felix Valerio, 2B (DSL) – The second 5’7″ middle infielder ranked in the bottom 5 of our Top 50. I ranked Valerio 33rd overall but he failed to be ranked in the list from Gus. What I liked, I still like. He shows some speed, he walked more than he struck out and he managed an OPS of .823 at the age of 17. It’s the DSL but it’s worth looking at.
Gus: The numbers are from DSL and aren’t eye popping. The only reason I included the bonus babies is because they are bonus babies but the positional importance is very much a factor. However, more walks than strikeouts in DSL when you’re 5’7″ (possibly at most) isn’t too hard as we know some pitchers can’t quite locate, and your .390 in DSL1 is fueled by a .467 average against lefties and a .421 BABIP, I don’t believe that’s sustainable and thusly I’m not impressed. Sorry guys. If he does it again, I’ll notice.
Chris: Like the look of the numbers overall, but the splits between DSL Mets1 and Mets2 is something to note. The difference between is substantial between them, making the average questionable. Most ABs came playing with Mets2, where the numbers are on the bad side. On both teams he walked more Kd, and at 17 thats good. In 50+ more ABs on Mets2, only 2 more total bases.
47. Joe Cavallaro, RHP (FSL) – A pitcher that I liked more than Gus, Cavallaro is a pitcher who was a little old for his league in Columbia but who was able to see success even after his promotion to Port St. Lucie. His rising WHIP and falling K/9 suggests that he may not have a future in the majors but he showed enough in 2018 to make the list.
Gus: College pitcher that dominated the low minors but struggled at A+ and didn’t like the coffee in Binghamton, has extreme ground ball rates and better xFIP than his numbers show.
Chris: At age 23 a little concern that his promotions up the pipeline show a decreasing trend. I think we can dismiss Bingo, but the promo from Columbia to StL saw the BA and WHIP both climb sharply although he did pitch more at Low A. There was a climb in numbers from Kingsport to Columbia. Would the numbers even out more with more innings pitched in Port St. Lucie? His promotion to Binghamton was definitely too soon.
48. Jamie Callahan, RHP (PCL) – The bottom of the rankings has a lot of players that one or another of the experts didn’t review or “like”. Callahan was yet another case for me. He barely played in 2018 and when he did, he was awful. The hope here is that the scouting that the Red Sox once saw comes to bear once he’s healthy again.
Gus: Another big arm from the Red Sox that cannot harness his stuff, he succumbed to TJ surgery and must work his way back; he has the numbers but lacks the control.
Chris: I cant add more than what you guys have. A lot of inconsistency in WHIP.
49. Carlos Cortes, 2B (NYP) – While I didn’t rank Cortes in my Top 50 he’s a player that strikes me as interesting. Cortes is only 5’7″ and isn’t likely to be much beyond a bench middle infielder but his debut in Brooklyn was promising. In a difficult pitching friendly league he managed a .720 OPS with a surprising amount of extra base hits for his size.
Gus: Small guy with some pop but no speed, he isn’t a good defender at either of his positions and throws poorly ambidextrously. Don’t see why they drafted him twice and over-slotted him.
Chris: At 5’7″ 200, thats a lot of lumbering around for an elite middle infielder. Strikes out 2x more than BB. Like the 34% on base though.
50. Chris Viall, RHP (SAL) – I didn’t have Viall ranked in my Top 50, at all, and I feel that there are a few truly talented players who missed the cut for the inclusion of a pitcher who was significantly older than most of his competition. Viall’s strikeout numbers were fantastic in 2018 but his WHIP suggests that he will ultimately never be a major league pitcher.
Gus: 23 year old in Columbia, Viall (4.75 ERA, 66.1 inn) struck out 12.8/9 and walked 5.6/9, but really hit a wall in mid-July with four terrible starts and wound up finishing on the DL.
Chris: Not crazy about the ERA, and 4 1/3 IP per start. Good K/BB ratio. WHIP is important to me, and it looks like its just getting away from him, especially with most IP in his most advanced promotion to Columbia.