Friday, March 6, 2009

Top 10 Candadian prospects playing in America

From My World Of Baseball comes another in a series of top 10 prospects from outside the United States. This times its just over the border, and they don't even need visas to play. How about that. Not a lot of great prospects, but some good ones. The Brewers look to capitalize, while the Blue Jays aren't digging out in their backyard.

1. Brett Lawrie C (Brewers) - Brett was the highest drafted position player out of Canada. He represented his country playing in the Olympics in Beijing and now he is getting ready for the WBC. Who would have thought that a player drafted in 2008 would have so many opportunities to participate in international tournaments. There is no questioning his bat, however he is reputed to have very little interest in the defensive side of the game. The Brewers will try him at catcher but he has the bat that you can play him anywhere in the lineup.

2. Nick Weglarz OF (Indians) - He’s another player that has represented Canada in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Taiwan as well as the Olympics. In both competetions he hit well, batting .400 with two homeruns and slugging .720 in the Olympics and he hit .450 with three homeruns in the Olympic qualifier. His below average speed makes him a liability in the outfield and his arm will limit him to left field, if he doesn’t get saddled with first base. No one questions his ability to hit.

3. Phillippe Aumont RHP (Mariners) - The Mariners have been treating Phillippe very carefully, similar to the kid glove treatment they gave Felix Hernandez. He didn’t make his pro debut until 2008 and pitched well, finishing with a 2.75 ERA in eight starts and 15 appearances. They didn’t allow him to pitch for last year’s Olympic team because they wanted to control the number of innings he pitched. He stays comfortably in the 90-95 range but he can hit the high 90s when properly
motivated. Since his high school did not have a baseball team he is still trying to pick up the finer nuances of the game.

4. Cale Iorg SS (Tigers) - Some may remember the name. His father Garth and his uncle Dale played in the major leagues. A two year Mormon mission put a delay in his professional debut so at 23 he was a bit old for High A. The Tigers will try to rush him through their other levels and hope that he is ready to be their shortstop in 2010. He’s a solid defensive player with the tools to survive at short. He needs to improve on making contact and learning a bit of patience. A 35 to 111 walk to K ratio is not good.

5. Kyle Lotzkar RHP (Reds) - Another first round pick, Kyle was selected in 2007 as a supplemental pick. His fastball sits in the low 90s but he can ramp it up to 95-96. He also has a decent curveball and changeup that he can use as an alternative to his fastball. The big thing holding him back is command of his pitches and the inconsistent nature of his curveball and change. He’s only 19 years old and his name was included on the provisional 40 man roster of the Canadian WBC team.

6. Jamie Romak 1B (Pirates) - He was drafted by the Braves but traded to the Pirates as part of the Adam LaRoche trade. Romak is another below average defensive player because he lacks the speed to cover the outfield. He may have to move to first base. Jamie has incredible power but also strikes out a lot. If he makes enough contact he should end up a middle of the order type of hitter.

7. Alexandre Periard RHP (Brewers) - The second Brewer on this list. He tosses in the low 90s and can hit 95. Alex has a slider that he can show as an alternative to his fastball. His change is a rudimentary pitch right now and he needs to show more consistency with the pitch to make it a complement to his fastball. He also has a curveball but that needs a lot more work than his slider and most pitching coaches would prefer that you have one or the other. He still needs to work on his command of his pitches.

8. Chris Leroux RHP (Marlins) - At 6′6″ he is the tallest pitcher here. He fell in love with his curveball in college and many believe that is a reason that he had to undergo Tommy John surgery in 2005. The Marlins still drafted him despite his surgery and he made his debut in mid 2006. He no longer throws a curve ball and throws a slider instead. His fastball is bewteen 92-96.

9. Scott Richmond RHP (Blue Jays) - He made Canada’s provisional roster. He is another player whose high school did not play baseball. He’ll turn 30 years old this year but that is more because he played a lot of Independent ball before being discovered by Rob Ducey in 2007. He did make his major league debut in 2008, getting five starts and finishing with an ERA of 4.00. He is not overpowering, with a sinker that travels in the low 90s and a slider that hits the mid 80s. He shows excellent command of his pitches, walking only two hitters in 27 innings. Because he lacks overpowering stuff and is always around the plate, he is prone to the long ball, seeing 22 balls disappear into the seats.

10. Terrell Alliman Of (Angels) - He was drafted in the 43rd round in 2007. Normally, those type of players do not make an impact in the major leagues. But his first year with the Angels he hit .339 and slugged .506. He’s a good athlete with decent speed and a solid arm that right field would not be out of the question.

And definitely a familiar name in Cale Iorg, as his Uncle Dane had the single greatest at bat in Royal history.

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