This is the last of the top ten prospect list for each of the countries or continents rated. The best of the bunch are the Dominican prospects in the National League. Interesting that except for one catcher, all the prospects are either outfielders or right handed pitchers.
1. Carlos Martinez RHP (Cardinals) - He signed for $1.5 million. His fastball is one of the hardest in baseball, hitting the triple digits, but coasting in the mid-90s. At 6′0″ he may not have the height to support that velocity over the long haul, with durability concerns an issue. So far, in his two year career he has not thrown more than 85 innings. He has a sinker, an inconsistent curveball and a change. When promoted to High A last year he lost his command, walking 30 hitters in 46 innings, resulting in a disappointing 5.28 ERA. In low A, when his command was better his ERA sat at a 2.33. He will have to repeat High A and show that he can get it done.
2. Arodys Vizcaino RHP (Braves) - When we were rating the players Arodys elbow was healthy. Now it is heading for Tommy John surgery and he will miss the 2012 season. The Braves were always concerned with his small frame (6′0″) and mid 90s fastball. He also throws one of the best curveballs of all the Brave prospect pitchers. Last year he showed some time in the major league bullpen and acquitted himself well (4.67) in 17 appearances. The Braves acquired him from the Yankees. The one concern the Yankees had was his durability. Vizcaino missed a lot of time during the season because of arm ailments. Those concerns now seem justified. Vizcaino should be able to bounce back and still be an effective pitcher out of the pen.
3. Wily Peralta RHP (Brewers) - This could be the year that Wily reaches the Brewers rotation. He has been one of their top prospects for a couple years now, one of the few prospects not traded for veteran pieces. He reached AAA last year, getting five starts and weaving a 2.03 ERA. He has a fastball that can reach the mid-90s and is still seeking consistency with his slider and change. A good spring and an injury to one of the starters cemented in the Brewers rotation could have given him his major league debut, but it will come before the season ends.
4. Oscar Taveras OF (Cardinals) - Oscar is a hitting machine. His .386 batting average won the Midwest League batting title. That raised his three year minor league career average to .322. He hits more line drives than over the fence power, but that could change as he matures. He has a solid arm but his lack of speed will restrict him to a corner outfield position, with right field being a good fit. After a slow start he did hit .312 in the AFL, but he failed to walk in more than 75 at bats. He needs to show better patience than that if he wants to continue to hit higher level pitching at a .300 rate.
5. Starling Marte OF (Pirates) - Andrew McCutchen has signed an extension with the Pirates. There had been a lot of talk that Starling Marte would eventually move Andrew to left field. That probably won’t happen. Eventually, Starling will be in the outfield for the Pirates, but with McCutchen there it will have to be a corner. His arm is strong enough for right field. After four years in the Pirates system, he finally showed off some of his potential power, hitting 12 homeruns to go along with a .322 average. If he can improve his patience at the plate (22/100 walk to whiff ratio) his speed would make him an ideal leadoff hitter. He stole 24 bases last year, but still must work on his jumps as he was also caught stealing 12 times.
6. Wilin Rosario C (Rockies) - Wilin is poised to take over the starting catching position for the Rockies in 2012. The Rockies have Ramon Hernandez to provide some mentorship for him, but Wilin should be getting the majority of playing time by mid-season if he shows he can handle the job. He struggled a bit last year with his bat, hitting only .249 at AA and .204 in the majors, but his power continued to show with 24 homeruns. One of the areas he needs to work on is also his patience at the plate. A 21 to 111 walk to whiff ratio will always keep his average in the .250 or lower range as pitchers take advantage of his impatience. He has a strong arm, so throwing out base stealers will not be an issue. What he needs to improve on is in his calling of a game and communicating with the pitchers.
7. Rymer Liriano OF (Padres) - Rymer had a nice break out year last year, hitting .319 with 12 homeruns. He had struggled early at High A only hitting .127 in 55 at bats. It was only after he was demoted that he began to recognize the breaking pitches better. The previous year in High A he had only hit .220. He needs to show that he can hit at Lake Elsinore before he advances further. He did steal 65 bases after he was demoted, so he shows tremendous speed. A plus arm would make him a fit for either right or center field. Expect the third time in Lake Elsinore to be a success.
8. Jeurys Familia RHP (Mets) - The Mets don’t have a lot to be excited about except for some of their Dominican prospects. Cesar Puello, Jenrry Mejia and Jordany Valdespin are three other players to watch. Jeurys is knocking on the major league door with his successful stint in AA where he went 4-4, 3.49 with 96 whiffs in just 88 innings. He did miss a month of last year because of shoulder tendinitis, an occupational hazard for pitchers who sit in the mid 90s and touch the high 90s. His secondary pitches (change and curve) need more consistency, otherwise it may be a move to the bullpen.
9. Francisco Peguero OF (Giants) - The Giants are in a constant search for offense. They hope that sometime in 2012 Francisco will provide some of that offense in right field. In his six year minor league career he has a .312 average, last year hitting .309 at AAA Richmond. He missed two months of the 2011 season because of knee surgery. He has a strong arm for right field but he hasn’t shown the over the fence power to appear to be a good fit for that position, his 10 homeruns in 2010 being his career high. He also needs to walk a bit more. In his six minor league seasons he has not walked more than 21 times in a season.
10. Marcell Ozuna OF (Marlins) - A cousin of Pablo Ozuna, he will hit for much more power than Pablo when his career is done. Last year he hit 23 homeruns in Low A Greensboro. The big improvement in his game was his ability to walk more, taking a free pass 46 times. He still strikes out a lot (121) but that is to be expected from a power hitter. He only hit .266, but that was because of a slow start. If he continues to show patience at the plate expect him to hit closer to .300. He shows the typical tools for right field, with a strong arm and good speed.3302