Bradenton Marauders 2011 Season Recap: Top Prospects

Grossman was the top prospect for the Marauders this year.

Our top 10 overall prospects for the Bradenton Marauders factors in all of the individual rankings.  Along with the individual rankings, we also include the best pitcher, hitter, biggest surprise, and biggest disappointments of the year.  The rankings factor in all of the players at the level throughout the year, regardless of whether they’ve been promoted to the majors, and regardless of whether they’ve lost their prospect status.  As long as they had prospect eligibility entering the year, they qualify for the lists.  Playing time is also considered.  A player needs 120 at-bats, 40+ innings pitched, or 20 relief appearances. This prevented Jeff Inman, Tyler Waldron, and Drew Maggi from making the list.  We also didn’t include Aaron Baker, since he’s no longer in the organization.

2011 Bradenton Marauders: Hitters
2011 Bradenton Marauders: Pitchers
2011 Bradenton Marauders: Top 10 Prospects

Overall Top 10 Prospects

1. Robbie Grossman, OF
2. Kyle McPherson, RHP
3. Jarek Cunningham, 2B
4. Carlos Paulino, C
5. Ramon Cabrera, C
6. Brett Lorin, RHP
7. Elevys Gonzalez, 3B
8. Phillip Irwin, RHP
9. Brandon Cumpton, RHP
10. Nathan Baker, LHP

Tim Williams

1. Robbie Grossman
2. Kyle McPherson
3. Jarek Cunningham
4. Carlos Paulino
5. Ramon Cabrera
6. Phillip Irwin
7. Brandon Cumpton
8. Brett Lorin
9. Elevys Gonzalez
10. Adalberto Santos

Best Hitter: Ramon Cabrera had the best stat line of anyone on the team.  You could go with Robbie Grossman here, since he had over 160 more at-bats, but Cabrera had enough to qualify for the batting title, which is enough to qualify him for this title.

Best Pitcher: Kyle McPherson was my choice for the best pitcher in Altoona, and he was clearly the best pitcher here.  You could make a case for Phillip Irwin as well, although McPherson had better strikeout and walk ratios.  Of the guys who were at the level all season, I’d go with Brett Lorin.

Biggest Surprise: The emergence of Adalberto Santos was a big surprise, as you don’t expect a 22nd round pick to put up those types of numbers in high-A in his first full season in pro ball.

Biggest Disappointment: Another injury filled year for Quinton Miller moves him off my top prospect lists.  He’s got talent, but can’t stay healthy, and when he is healthy, the talent doesn’t translate to on-field success.

Matt Bandi

1. Robbie Grossman
2. Kyle McPherson
3. Jarek Cunningham
4. Ramon Cabrera
5. Elevys Gonzalez
6. Brett Lorin
7. Nathan Baker
8. Carlos Paulino
9. Brandon Cumpton
10. Evan Chambers

Best Hitter – Robbie Grossman’s ability to consistently reach base made him the team’s most dangerous offensive weapon.

Best Pitcher – Kyle McPherson did not spend the entire season with Bradenton, but he was the team’s most dominant pitcher while there.

Biggest Surprise – He was not exactly a low profile prospect, but it was pretty surprising that Grossman was able to get his batting average up to .294 this year.

Biggest Disappointment – I was hopeful that Evan Chambers might take a step forward this year. That did not happen. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I was disappointed by his season.

Kevin Creagh

1. Kyle McPherson
2. Robbie Grossman
3. Jarek Cunningham
4. Elevys Gonzalez
5. Brett Lorin
6. Ramon Cabrera
7. Ryan Beckman
8. Carlos Paulino
9. Adalberto Santos
10. Brandon Cumpton

Best Pitcher – Kyle McPherson displayed early on that he was the breakout pitching star this year by hurling 71 innings for the Marauders and putting up a 60 K/6 BB ratio (with a 2.89 ERA). This resulted in a mid-year promotion to Altoona, but his performance still stands.

Best Hitter – Robbie Grossman had a “stat-stuffer” season for the record books. He was the first minor leaguer to finish with 100 runs and 100 walks since Nick Swisher in 2004 (Grossman had 127 runs and 104 walks). Additionally, he had his best year in the system with a .294/.418/.451 (869 OPS) line, complete with 13 HR and 24 SB’s.

Biggest Surprise – Ramon Cabrera never stopped hitting this year. He had three months where his batting average was above .370 for the entire month. Overall his line was .343/.410/.471 (871 OPS), but the pint-sized 5′-7″ catcher will need to keep producing in order to offset questions about his long-term durability.

Biggest Disappointment – 2011 was viewed by me as a make or break season for Quinton Miller. Coming into the year, the 2008 over-slot draft pick had only pitched 129 innings due to injuries. Miller added only 70 more to that total this year before being injured and they were fairly ugly innings. In those 70, he gave up 93 hits and 51 earned runs (6.56 ERA) with only 35 K’s (4.5 K/9). It may be time to consider a move to the bullpen to preserve his stock.

John Dreker

1. Robbie Grossman
2. Kyle McPherson
3. Nathan Baker
4. Brett Lorin
5. Elevys Gonzalez
6. Jarek Cunningham
7. Ramon Cabrera
8. Quinton Miller
9. Brandon Cumpton
10. Adalberto Santos

Best Hitter – Robbie Grossman had an amazing year with walks and runs scored. He finally showed some power, still has the speed aspect of his game and he cut down again on his strikeouts. A great season for him all around.

Best Pitcher – Only Nate Baker and Brett Lorin pitched a significant amount of innings and eventhough he pitched 31 less innings, Lorin was definitely the much more impressive of the two with his 2.84 ERA, nice K rate along with great control and a low 1.04 WHIP. The only thing that hurts his season is the fact he spent the whole year at high-A at age 24 but you can’t deny the numbers were great.

Biggest Surprise – Could’ve gone with a few but I really like the season Ryan Beckman had as a closer. He basically skipped right over low-A pitching 4 games there in early April and had a very nice season as a 21 year old in a closer role. Definitely didn’t expect anything near what he did this year.

Biggest Disappointment – Like every other team in the system there are plenty to choose from but I’m going with Quinton Miller. The move to high-A after barely pitching last year looked like a good sign but he never got it going and didn’t pitch after July 2nd. It looked like he was close to finding it too right before he got hurt because he had appearances of 7 innings and 5 innings in which he threw shutout ball in June.

Wilbur Miller

1. Robbie Grossman
2. Kyle McPherson
3. Jarek Cunningham
4. Brett Lorin
5. Carlos Paulino
6. Ramon Cabrera
7. Duke Welker
8. Diego Moreno
9. Elevys Gonzalez
10. Adalberto Santos

Best Hitter – Robbie Grossman had an amazing season, leading all the minors in walks and runs, and showing some of the power the Pirates have been hoping to see. The strikeouts and the fact that he was repeating the level have to be taken into account, but he has some very significant skills.

Best Pitcher – Phil Irwin had the better ERA, but Kyle McPherson posted a 10:1 K:BB ratio and dominated in most of his starts.

Biggest Surprise – Duke Welker made probably the second biggest turnaround in the system after Wes Freeman. His control problems continued early in the year, but he made significant strides as the season went along and finished in AA. Carlos Paulino would be almost as good a choice, though, as he opened the season as a backup catcher with a good-glove, no-hit rep, and quickly hit his way into a timeshare with Ramon Cabrera, who only spent all year hitting around .340 himself.

Biggest Disappointment – Quinton Miller came into the season needing to stay healthy and establish himself. Instead, he spent half the season getting hammered and the other half hurt.

Season Recaps

  • Miller and Inman are why, if you’re a HS pitcher, you take the money. Had they gone to college and gotten injured, who knows if/where they’d be drafted.
    When I look at Welker, I see Allie. Can control be learned? Sure, Allie has better stuff all around and higher upside, but he is/was as wild as Duke, maybe more so?

    • Inman did go to college.  Pirates got him out of Stanford.
      However, your point stands.  I don’t understand how a HS kid could turn down $1M+ to go to college (Karstens Whitson in 2010, Gerrit Cole in 2008) and take that risk.

  • What was the reasoning behind ranking Carlos Paulino ahead of Ramon Cabrera?