Ten prospects who just missed making the top 100

January, 22, 2009
I considered nearly 200 prospects while assembling my top 100 rankings, and of course, there were some late cuts and players whose omissions I agonized over -- needlessly, I might add. Here are the 10 names who, for one reason or another, just missed the list and would have appeared if I'd continued another 10 or so slots.

Philippe Aumont, RHP, Seattle Mariners: Aumont has a mid-90s fastball with wicked sink but has difficulty with his arm slot. His lack of a solid second pitch and time on the disabled list this past season with arm trouble left him off the list.

Dellin Betances, RHP, New York Yankees: Betances has a great frame and big fastball, but poor command and control and iffy secondary stuff hold him back. He's all upside, but there's a lot of development between where he is now and where he could be if it all clicks.

Hank Conger, C, Los Angeles Angels: Would have made the list if not for the chronic injuries that have kept him on the DL for half his pro career. He has an above-average arm and very good power for his age, but his poor pitch recognition isn't going to improve unless he plays more regularly.

Dan Cortes, RHP, Kansas City Royals: Has the raw stuff -- notably a 91-94 mph fastball and an upper-70s curveball with good depth -- to be on the list, but is limited by 40 command, 40 control and a tendency to leave the ball up in the zone.

Vin Mazzaro, RHP, Oakland A's: A sinkerballer with good feel for pitching and above-average control, Mazzaro's margin for error isn't high; he gets ground balls, but not at an extreme rate, and doesn't have a swing-and-miss pitch among his secondary offerings.

Juan Ramirez, RHP, Seattle Mariners: Ramirez has a live, loose arm, sitting in the low 90s and missing bats with the fastball. His secondary stuff is improving but still is below average, and his ultra-thin build is not a great sign for future durability.

Wilson Ramos, C, Minnesota Twins: One of the more underrated prospects in the minors … and I went and underrated him some more by leaving him out of the top 100. Strong kid with a good arm (he nailed 32 of 74 runners this past season) and some power potential, but his mediocre plate discipline is a red flag.

Josh Reddick, RF, Boston Red Sox: Strong kid with a plus arm, great plate coverage and line-drive power. He takes a very short path to the ball and whips the bat through the zone, so when he makes contact, it's hard. His lack of plate discipline was his undoing in Double-A, unfortunately, despite everything else he brings to the table.

Dayan Viciedo, 3B, Chicago White Sox: Viciedo has a sweet swing and plus raw power, but too many questions surround him, including his position, his weight and his declining performance while he played pro ball in Cuba.

Sean West, LHP, Florida Marlins: West's stuff is most of the way back after a year lost to shoulder surgery; he pitched 90-94 mph in the Arizona Fall League with a hard-tailing changeup and an average slider at 79-82 mph. His walk rate this past season was very high, and he cuts himself off slightly in his delivery.

Keith Law

ESPN Senior Writer


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