Jason Parks did a rundown on the best tools in the minors today. Best power = Harper, best speed = Billy Hamilton. This was the biggest surprise to me, for best hit tool in the minor leagues in 2011:
Hit: Oscar Taveras (Cardinals)
TCF: There are lots of good candidates, but the name that received the most love was Taveras, a gifted hitter who exploded on the prospect scene this season with a sexy slash line of .386/.444/.584 in the Midwest League. The 19-year-old’s present performance suggests his hit tool is very real, and the balanced approach and fluid swing mechanics should allow the tool find utility as he advances through the system. Taveras’ power grades vary, ranging from 40 (future) to 60 (future). But the voices sing in unison on his hit tool, with all signs pointing to a future .300-hitter at maturity.
He followed with this:
Most Awkward Body Award (The Brett Wallace Lower-Half Explosion Award; Formerly Known as the Calvin Pickering Award)
Matt Adams (Cardinals)
TCF: We’re not selling jeans here, but if we were, Adams would require very large jeans. Husky jeans. He doesn’t have a great body. But he can hit. That’s all the matters.
Best Farm Systems Award (This is basically impossible to do, so try not to overreact if your team doesn’t get the love you feel they deserve)
Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays
Kansas City Royals
St. Louis Cardinals
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees