Baseball America recently completed their Top 10 prospects lists for all National League teams, so to complete the Snippets series, here are some from the NL West lists.
Brandon Allen, 1B, ARI
Strengths: A star linebacker in high school, Allen has huge raw power. For a big guy, he has some snap in his bat and doesn't have a long swing. He toned down his swing and hit more balls to the opposite field in 2009, allowing him to hit a career-high .298 in the minors. He does a good job of punishing mistakes. He has worked hard to improve his defense.
More after the jump:
Ryan Wheeler, 1B, ARI
Strengths: Potentially the best offensive player in the system, Wheeler has a rhythmic, balanced swing. He has a feel for recognizing pitches and controls the strike zone well. He drives the ball from gap to gap and earns high marks for his plate coverage, particularly in his ability to drive the ball the other way. His offensive package reminds scouts of Joey Votto. An average defender at first base, Wheeler has solid hands and arm strength for the position.
Chris Withrow, SP, LAD
The Future: Withrow fared well in his late-season promotion to Double-A and will begin 2010 there. Despite his lack of experience, he's on track to reach the major leagues by the second half of 2011 and looks like a potential top-of-the-rotation starter.
Donovan Tate, OF, SD
The Future: The Padres envision Tate developing into a power/speed center fielder who combines the best attributes of Mike Cameron and Andruw Jones. A solid showing in spring training should earn him an assignment to low Class A Fort Wayne, and from there the speed at which his bat develops will dictate his pace.
Tyler Matzek, SP, COL
Strengths: Scouts thought he was the best high school lefthander to come out of Southern California since Cole Hamels in 2002, and Matzek has better stuff. He has a legitimate four-pitch arsenal, starting with a fastball that sat at 90-94 mph for most of the spring before jumping to the upper 90s right before the draft. His curveball and slider are two distinct breaking pitches and both have the potential to become plus offerings. He also shows feel for a changeup, though he didn't need the pitch very often as an amateur.
Thomas Neal, OF, SFG
Strengths: Neal became a more complete hitter in 2009. He seldom strays from his plan at the plate and takes aggressive swings on mistakes. He has the bat speed to turn on quality fastballs and shows extra-base power from pole to pole. His arm strength has returned and he racked up 15 assists from left field last season.