Minor League Prospect List

Westmoreland - Courtesy

Westmoreland - Courtesy

The rankings are rolling in and the Red Sox are entering 2010 with their best two prospects having yet to play a game at Double-A yet. I’m speaking of outfielder Ryan Westmoreland and confirmed starting pitcher Casey Kelly. I want to look at what the rankings are telling us and how we should value these two.

Baseball Prospectus and Minor League Ball have Westmoreland as the Red Sox number one prospect. John Sickels gives him a grade of B+ and gave the following comments.

I love this guy: Five Tool/Seven Skill player who can do everything. I expect more power will come. Just needs to stay healthy.

That is some high praise and a reference to his 2008 torn labrum and 2009 broken collarbone. He seems to play a bit haphazardly and his collarbone was broken on an outfield wall.  If he is healthy though he has been compared to Grady Sizemore with the whole package.

That grade from Sickels can be transformed into a dollar value to help understand what he is worth. I’ll send you to Beyond the Boxscore for a full explanation of how we get this, but a B+ hitter is worth more than $5.5 million dollars as a B+ will likely have a higher value from Baseball America.  Here is the full breakdown of values based on scouting grades.

Top 10 hitting prospects $36.5M
Top 11-25 hitters $25.1
Top 26-50 hitters $23.4
Top 51-75 hitters $14.2
Top 76-100 hitters $12.5
Top 10 pitching prospects $15.2
Top 11-25 pitchers $15.9
Top 26-50 pitchers $15.9
Top 51-75 pitchers $12.1
Top 76-100 pitchers $9.8
Grade B pitchers (as graded by Sickels) $7.3
Grade B hitters $5.5
Grade C pitchers 22 or younger $2.1
Grade C pitchers 23 or older $1.5
Grade C hitters 22 or younger $0.7
Grade C hitters 23 or older $0.5

His value will be official when Baseball America releases their rankings.  Let’s make a fair assumption based on his BP and Minor League Ball rankings that he is top 25 then he is worth $23.4 million dollars.

Ryan Westmoreland has seemingly a long road being only 19 years old, but based on his line (.296/.401/.484) at low A he could push through pretty quick.  I don’t want to read to much into low A numbers, but 7 homers, 19 steals and a walk rate near 15% is quite impressive.  2010 will be about playing a full healthy season , but after that we can set a better time table.

Using the same analysis we see that Casey Kelly is also a five chip player from BP and a B+ grade prospect from Minor league Ball.  This means a likely value of $7.3 to $15.9 based on the Baseball America Rankings.  He also gets a projection as a two/three starter.

Kelly was able to spend a little time at high A ball as a pitcher.  His combined ERA was 2.08 with a 4.63 K/BB and a groundball rate of 51.6%.  That is all great, but one note of concern is the low strikeout rate.  His K/9 was only 7.0 over the two levels, which will drop as he proceeds through the levels.

His timetable may have been delayed by his half season at shortstop, but he still should push into Double -A this season.  2010 may be the year we have our first look at Kelly in the majors.

While rankings are very variable and just last year Lars Anderson was the 17th prospect according to Baseball America it’s worth noting that the valuations are an average based on large samples.  So you’ll have enough misses to match the big wins.  This value can be used to predict how much the player will help your team, but also how much you should look in return if you trade these players.

About Troy Patterson

Head Writer at Fire Brand of the AL and also News Writer at Royal Blue Mersey.