John Sickels' Column: Prospect Mailbag

John Sickels' Column: Prospect Mailbag

This article is part of our John Sickels' Column series.

May 18, 2010

Send your questions to JASickels@aol.com. I can't answer every question, but I read everyone and they give me a good idea about what people are interested in.

Sean writes:"I remember you had put Jonathan Singleton, 1B Phillies prospect on your sleepers for 2010 list. I'm very intrigued by this kid and I'd like to know a little bit more about him. What is your ultimate outlook on his future/upside?"

Singleton is definitely a very interesting prospect. He was drafted in the eighth round last year out of high school in Long Beach, California, but could have gone several rounds higher and it took $200,000 to buy him away from college ball at Long Beach State. He's a classic big/strong first base type at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds. Supposedly somewhat raw when drafted, he hit .290/.395/.440 last year in rookie ball, showing better than expected plate discipline including an excellent 18:13 BB:K ratio in 100 at-bats. He was just activated from extended spring training and is currently 6-for-17 (.353) with two homers in his first four games for Low-A Lakewood.

Scouts say that Singleton has excellent bat speed and the good strike zone judgment necessary for him to hit for power at the highest levels. They aren't sure what his batting average is going to look like, and we may not know until he gets to face Double-A breaking stuff in a year or two. He gets good marks for his defense but won't steal many bases. Overall,

May 18, 2010

Send your questions to JASickels@aol.com. I can't answer every question, but I read everyone and they give me a good idea about what people are interested in.

Sean writes:"I remember you had put Jonathan Singleton, 1B Phillies prospect on your sleepers for 2010 list. I'm very intrigued by this kid and I'd like to know a little bit more about him. What is your ultimate outlook on his future/upside?"

Singleton is definitely a very interesting prospect. He was drafted in the eighth round last year out of high school in Long Beach, California, but could have gone several rounds higher and it took $200,000 to buy him away from college ball at Long Beach State. He's a classic big/strong first base type at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds. Supposedly somewhat raw when drafted, he hit .290/.395/.440 last year in rookie ball, showing better than expected plate discipline including an excellent 18:13 BB:K ratio in 100 at-bats. He was just activated from extended spring training and is currently 6-for-17 (.353) with two homers in his first four games for Low-A Lakewood.

Scouts say that Singleton has excellent bat speed and the good strike zone judgment necessary for him to hit for power at the highest levels. They aren't sure what his batting average is going to look like, and we may not know until he gets to face Double-A breaking stuff in a year or two. He gets good marks for his defense but won't steal many bases. Overall, his career is off to a fine start although we don't know the exact shape of it yet.

Roy from Lee's Summit asks:"What is the current ETA on Wil Myers, Royals catching prospect?"

Myers was a third-round pick last June out of high school in High Point, North Carolina, although his bat was considered first-round quality. He fell because of signability, and it took $2 million to get him to sign. He hit .369 in 22 games of rookie ball in his pro debut. He's currently hitting .252/.351/.443 in the Midwest League, which doesn't sound hot but keep in mind that the Midwest League is tough for hitters. He's shown good plate discipline with 20 walks so far, and his bat is drawing positive comment.

How fast Myers advances will depend on his glove. He has the tools for the position, but is quite raw. He's thrown out 37% of runners this year, but has also coughed up 10 passed balls and four errors in just 25 games behind the plate. Offensively, he could get to the majors in two or three years, but that timetable could be pushed back depending on how the defense advances. He has the tools to play right field but the Royals will give him every opportunity to make it as a backstop.

T.R writes:"Why didn't you put Twins prospect Kyle Gibson in your most recent Top 100 list? He definitely belongs, and was just promoted to Double-A."

Yes, he definitely belongs, and it was an error on my part not to include him. He will definitely be on the next list, although where exactly I'm not sure just yet. He will be in the Top 50 but whether that is in the 40s or in the teens or 20s, I don't know yet.

So far he has been outstanding: 4-1, 1.87 in seven starts for High-A Fort Myers, with a 40:12 K:BB in 43 innings. He fanned 10 in his first Double-A start, giving up no runs and just four hits. He's shown no ill effects from last spring's forearm injury, and right now it looks like the Twins made a brilliant move in drafting him despite the health concern. His slider and changeup are both very strong, and he has his 90-95 MPH velocity back full strength.

If he keeps pitching like this, he will rank very highly on subsequent lists.

Paul from Indiana asks:"Do you think Reds shortstop prospect Zack Cozart is a sleeper?"

Yes, I do as a matter of fact. He's hitting .270/.352/.475 for Triple-A Louisville. The batting average isn't great, but he's showing some power, will draw a walk, and has stolen five bases in six attempts. He's made just three errors in 37 games, is showing above average range (at least statistically), and gets good reviews from scouts for his steady and reliable play.

Cozart isn't spectacular and won't win batting titles, but he has a broad base of skills and can do a little bit of everything. A second-round pick from the University of Mississippi in 2007, he has moved through the Reds' system with similar numbers at every stop. He may be more valuable in real baseball than in fantasy baseball, but even for a fantasy team he could help in several categories once he gets his feet wet. Expect to see him in the majors later this year.

Article first appeared 5/18/10

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Sickels
John Sickels writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire
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