Top 3 Prospects
1. Jordy Mercer
2. Drew Maggi
3. Alen Hanson
Noteable: Jodaneli Carvajal
Note: Since I have opted not to include players who have seen time in the majors, such as d’Arnaud and Rodriguez and also opted to put players like Holt and Cunningham at 2B the SS position is left very thin. The last 2 SS listed are both rookie level players who are at best years away.
Since Mercer has basically played with d’Arnaud at every level he has been overshadowed as a SS prospect and in fact has played mainly 2B or 3B in his pro career. He was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2008 draft and touted as an offensive minded shortstop. Scouts projected he could add power and in 2009 he showed some of that ability by hitting 10 home runs. Last year Mercer improved upon the one major knock on him which was the ability to hit for a good average however the average was hollow as he drew less walks and hit for vastly less power. Due to this setback Mercer started back in AA but this time was the full time SS. Mercer was great this season in AA (he did start poorly though) and his power was back to the tune of 13 HR. He has since been promoted to AAA where he is struggling but has hit 3 HR. I believe he is the current organizational leader in HR with 16 total between AA and AAA.
April: .154/.233/.346 (.579 OPS)
May: .318/.372/.486 (.858 OPS)
June: .313/.363/.625 (.988 OPS) (AA only he was promoted near the end of the month)
July: .193/.295/.349 (.644 OPS)
Maggi was drafted in 2010 in the 15th round. He recieved a big 468K bonus as he was a sophomore and had no pressure to sign. He was coming off a great college season but struggled in his pro debut. No part of Maggi’s game stands out. He doesn’t profile to hit for much power, he is a good but not great runner and he shows decent plate discipline although he does strike out a little too much for my liking. On the plus side he doesn’t really have a glaring hole. His defense should be good enough for him to remain at SS although a move to CF down the line has been mentioned. Maggi was given a chance to be the everyday SS in A ball this year. He hasn’t exactly made the most however he was red hot in the month of June, he has cooled off considerably this month though.
April: .141/.267/.188 (.454 OPS)
May: .252/.347/.320 (.667 OPS)
June: .351/.439/.495 (.933 OPS)
July: .184/.287/.237 (.524 OPS)
I will come right out and admit I know very little about the players currently in any of the 3 rookie leagues. The only real source of information I have on players this low comes from Pirates Prospects. So if you want to know more start by looking there. Anyway I was torn on wether to make Hanson or Carvajal my 3rd SS but decided upon Hanson because the Pirates must think highly of him because he has been getting the majority of the playing time at SS in the GCL. Hanson was sign out of the Dominican Republic in 2009 and spent one season, 2010, in the DSL. He had a great season last year and earned a promotion to the states. Hanson has quite a few quality tools including the ability to use all fields and good speed. He profiles best as a 2B but I have a feeling he may stick around at SS otherwise I don’t know why the Pirates would be giving him most of the playing time there over Carvajal.
Season: .282/.359/.476 (.835 OPS)
I was tempted to put Carvajal over Hanson because he has all the tools to become a great defensive SS. He has great speed, a good arm and has displayed good range at shortstop. The Pirates signed him in 2008 out of the Dominican Republic and gave him a 350K bonus which was the second largets international bonus given out by the Pirates at the time. He has shown very little power in his time but did show some progress with the bat last season. This is his first year in the states and so far it has been a struggle.
Season: .211/.280/.322 (.602 OPS)