The Ms Most Interesting Prospects (to me) by Position - OF

Overdue Part 4. Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here.

I should start by saying that I am not a fan of the organizational depth at the outfield spots. There isn't one guy I find interesting in Tacoma (sorry, Darren Ford). There isn't one guy I like in Jackson (apologies, Denny Almonte). The highest-level players that I actually think have a shot, and they I check the numbers for regularly, are at High Desert and we all know it's just about impossible to get a read on players there. But here goes.

Julio Morban is a potential monster. He's 20. He's a lefty. He LOOKS like a player, at 6'1" and 190. He hit .313/.361/.550 at HD this season, which is good but not amazing for the context. He had 300 ABs and was often on the bench with no real explanation. There may be injury or conditioning issues - he definitely had one injury that landed him in Arizona for a stretch, but that wasn't the only thing. I wish I knew more. (JY, any info here would be awesome in the comments). But while a .911 OPS at HD isn't amazing, there is more to it. First, he is 20. That's young even for high A. Second, he struck out in about 20% of his PAs. Thats pretty solid for a guy that young, and when coupled with his power's a good thing. Third, and most important, is this: .333/.394/.583. Those are his ROAD splits. He was actually significantly better away from Adelanto than he was when hitting in the most hitter-friendly environment imaginable. This leads me to the conclusion: The kid can hit. Let's hope he gets moved up to Jackson and can stay in the lineup full time in 2013.

Leon Landry is also interesting. He came over for Brandon League and just tore the cover off the ball, to the tune of .385/.414/.663 with the Mavericks. He hit equally well against righties and lefties, batting from the left. He was unconscious at home with a 1.292 OPS, but still very good on the road at .936. SSS applies, as he only had about 110 PA with HD, but was decent (.917 OPS with Rancho Cucamonga) before joining. He got injured near the end of the season, and he'll be 23 to start next season, so he too will need to show something at Jackson before people consider him a prospect. But there are some tools there - 18 triples this season is nothing to sneeze at.

James Jones is the third HD OF that I like to check in on. The thing about Jones is, he strikes out, but he also walks. He's fast, but he gets caught stealing at an amazing rate. He can fill up a box score, in every way both good and bad. And he'll be 24 next year. But there was definite progress, with his OPS rising 150 points in repeating at HD. I have him way behind Morban and Landry, but I still find myself strangely draw to his anything-can-happen toolset.

Finally moving away from California, there are a couple guys worth a quick mention at Clinton. I check on Kevin Rivers, but he's unlikely to be anything. He mashed at Everett a couple years ago and had a solid season repeating A ball at 23. He's got a little thump and he'll take a walk. I feel like his best chance to make the majors is to add about 20 pounds and just try to be an Adam Dunn type. It won't work, of course, but at least it would be something to watch.

The other guy here is Guillermo Pimentel, the 19 year old Dominican signee who you all know from the various prospect lists. Raw doens't begin to describe him, and really I only keep an eye on him because he's on lists, he's young, and he got a boatload of cash. To be fair, he was much better in the second half of the year (.721 vs .585 OPS). And he's not a disaster against righties, at .728. But his .408 OPS against lefties is an issue, as is his K rate (115 strikeouts in just 391 PAs, 29.4%) and walk rate (19 in 391, 4.9%). But again, he's 19 and highly thought of. It's not inconceivable for him to move to HD next year and explode in that ballpark. Time will tell.

I know some people like Jabari Blash, but despite his power potential I just don't really get drawn to him as a prospect. 23 at Clinton and still striking out a ton doesn't inspire much confidence in me.

At Everett the only OF I look in on is, surprisingly, Janelfry Zorrilla. One, he has an awesome name. Two, he's only 21 and it's his first season out of the DSL, so there's an adjustment. And Three, he didn't hit for the first 2 months, at all. He was at .180/.216/.261 at the end of July. In August he hit .318/.394/.511. I found that intriguing. I'll keep an eye on him next year.

I am not going to talk about Phillips Castillo. Not anything until he shows more.

The last guy I AM going to talk about is Gabriel Guerrero. This is a guy I posted about during the season, as he was tearing up the DSL at age 18 (1.014 OPS). As if on cue, the Mariners brought him up to the states and stuck him in rookie ball, where unlike every other DSL callup, he actually hit the ball. In 18 games and about 80 PAs, he hit .333/.350/.560. He won't be 19 until December. He's Vlad Guerrero's nephew. And unlike most of his peers, he only struck out about 16.5% of the time. He's probably my favorite Ms OF prospect, maybe tied with Morban. I'm hoping for a fast move up the ranks.

That's it for now. Next time, some group of pitchers - I dont know which yet. Or maybe I'll mix em up.