Minor League Ball's John Sickels posted his Top 20 Kansas City Royals Prospects on Saturday and he readily admits that he was a bit aggressive with a few of his preliminary rankings. Here is one of them:
1) Bubba Starling, OF, Grade A-: He will be in my Top 50 hitters, although I don't exactly know where yet. Enormous upside with power/speed/Winfield-like potential, but rawness an issue, and I regard this grade and ranking as somewhat risky.
Starling was picked with the 5th overall pick in the 2011 draft, and he has yet to take one major league at bat, but John feels his upside is worthy of the risk.
In 2011, he played 119 games in right field, hitting .294-.418-.451 with 13 HRs, 56 RBI, a league leading 127 runs scored, 24 stolen bases in 34 attempts, and an eye-popping 111-104 K/BB rate in 490 at bats. He flashed a bit more power in 2011, as he increased his extra base hit total from 36 in 2010 to 49 this season.
Grossman is also hitting very well in the AFL thus far, as he has homered 4 times in the first week of action.
More Top 20 Lists from John Sickels and a quote from ESPN's Keith Law on Robbie Grossman after the jump:
ESPN's Keith Law answered a readers question on Robbie Grossman in the comments section of his weekend AFL Update article:
is robbie grossman going to hit with enough power to be a starter?
I think he's going to hit enough overall, including getting on base, to be a starter. One of the most exciting players out here.
It appears the Pirates have another solid outfield prospect on the horizon. I will be curious where KLaw ranks Grossman in January 2012, as it appears Grossman is growing on him.
This system isn't as bad as you might expect at first glance, but there is very little depth beyond the top guys. Peralta, Thornburg, Jungmann, and Bradley are a good foundation for a future pitching staff, and Jorge Lopez could end up being the best of the lot if he develops properly. Mike Fiers doesn't have the upside of the others, but is ready now.
Lack of hitting depth is an issue, I don't see anyone here with impact offensive potential, although there are guys who should be useful, productive role players.
The Brewers window to win will get a bit shorter after Prince Fielder leaves for free agency, so 2012 could be one of their last opportunities to win in the playoffs.