Monday, March 2, 2009

John Manuel on Chris Marrero

On Saturday, when asked about the state of the Nationals' farm system, Mike Rizzo referred to Baseball America's recently released top 100 prospects list, which included just one Nationals farmhand (Jordan Zimmermann), and cited one player in particular whom he felt belonged on that list: first baseman Chris Marrero.

"If you tell me Chris Marrero is not one of the top 100 prospects in baseball we could have a very spirited discussion on that," Rizzo told Chico Harlan.

I thought Rizzo had a decent argument, so I pinged Baseball America editor John Manuel about Rizzo's comment, and John was kind enough to reply. Here's what he said:
He came close; I also have gotten a report that Marrero came into camp in great, great shape. That said, a lot of first basemen in the minors had big years last year (Lars Anderson, Logan Morrison, Kyle Blanks), and a record number of 1Bs were drafted in the first round of the draft (six or seven, depending on where you consider them position-wise). There were lots of other 1Bs who stood out; he didn't last year. He got hurt and keeps moving down the defensive spectrum. We have liked him in the past; won't be a shock if he proves us right from 2008 (when he was in) and wrong in '09 (when he's not).


estuartj said...

Why does the number of other 1B affect Marrero being in the top 100? Do they have a quota by position?

I think the difficulty of determining relative value of a guy on the cusp of being a major league contributer vs a 1st year pro out of HS who might be a star makes all these rankings such a crap shoot that they should have to put a disclaimer on the front saying that these rankings are complete BS and meant for entertainment purposes only.

Brian said...

No, they don't have a quota. But when you have a group of 1Bs who turn in above average seasons (like Anderson, Morrison, Blanks, & Angel Villona) combined with the introduction of some 2008 top pick 1Bs (Smoak, Hosmer, & Alonso, a season like Marrero gets him downgraded when compared to those guys.