There were no big trades over the last week or so, so the three new prospects on the list were pretty ordinary additions. If you missed any of the prior recaps, you can check them out below.
#14- Tyler Goeddel, 3B (39% runoff)
Strengths: Athleticism and arm strength to play all over the diamond; projectable 6'4, 175 pound frame; has present gap power and could develop above average home run power; showed patience in pro debut
Weaknesses: Not yet a good defender at third base; struck out in nearly 25% of plate appearances; cooled off after hot start
2012 campaign: The Rays went way overslot to secure Goeddel with the 41st pick in 2011, and they took the unusual (for them, anyway) step of having him make his pro debut in low-A in 2012. Goeddel's April slash line was .304/.360/.493, and that hot start included a two homer game two weeks into the season. He cooled significantly after that and finished with a .246/.335/.371 line in 379 plate appearances.
Going forward: There's really no reason to be down on Goeddel despite a pretty ordinary season. 2013 will be his age 20 season, and that's okay in low-A, where I think he'll begin the season again. Richie Shaffer should be ticketed for high-A, so that would allow him to keep playing third base and hit at a level where he can still show a lot of improvement. No third baseman will be pushing him from Hudson Valley. In his second year at Bowling Green, he'll need to improve his defense, cut down on his strikeouts and show more in-game power.
Goeddel narrowly survived a runoff vote against Mike Montgomery and Tim Beckham. This is maybe a little higher than I would've had him, but there's a reason he got a seven figure bonus; his tools are impressive, and his ceiling is quite high. Ryan Brett could have been here, but the voting makes it clear Rays fans believe he has been passed by other players. Goeddel's under the radar speed and baserunning (30/35 stealing bases in 2012) makes him a pretty impressive prospect.
#15- Mike Montgomery, LHP (27%)
Strengths: big, left-handed; shows a plus or better changeup; has previously shown a fastball with mid 90's velocity
Weaknesses: Already poor command took a step backward in 2012; stuff took a step backward in 2012; has had trouble coming up with an average breaking ball; has had elbow problems in the past but no surgery
2012 campaign: After making 17 disastrous starts in AAA, Montgomery was sent back to AA where he finished his season with 10 more disastrous starts. Less than 1/3 of his starts were quality starts, and what's more concerning than the poor statistics is that reports indicated his fastball velocity and stuff were down.
Going forward: I don't know. It's great that he's getting a fresh start in a new organization, but he has so many questions to answer. What level does he start at? Is he a starter? Is he a reliever? Can he regain his fastball velocity? Can he develop his curveball? Can he refine his command and control? Can he stay healthy?
That's a laundry list of concerns, but the voters made it clear that they love the upside. I have little confidence in him at this moment, but getting a clean slate with a new organization could certainly make a difference. The Rays have a track record of developing pitchers, and the Royals have a track record of... not doing that, to put it mildly. Perhaps with a new development staff and coaches, some of those questions can get answered, and he can get back to being the pitcher that Baseball America twice ranked in the top 25. His upside is higher than just about everyone in the Rays organization, but the risk probably is as well.
#16- Tim Beckham, SS (37%)
Strengths: High floor; steady performer level to level; should be athletic enough to play multiple positions; raw power to all fields
Weaknesses: Will always be compared to Buster Posey; probably doesn't have the range to play shortstop every day; raw power has not translated to in-game power; not a great baserunner; bat doesn't appear to profile at positions besides shortstop
2012 campaign: Not long after being placed on Durham's DL with a wrist injury, Beckham was suspended 50 games for his second positive test of a drug of abuse. It proved to be a lost season with Beckham only playing in 72 games with a .686 OPS, a full-season career low. For the first time in game action, he played second base with Reid Brignac at shortstop, potentially foreshadowing his future role. He continued his struggles in the Arizona Fall League with a .617 OPS, albeit in only 85 plate appearances.
Going forward: Now on the 40 man roster, he'll make his 5th appearance in big league spring training. With Yunel Escobar in front of him and Hak-Ju Lee behind, Beckham will probably be back in the middle infield for Durham, hopefully playing a full season this time around. 2013 is the last guaranteed year of Escobar's contract, so this season is critical for Beckham if he's going to prove he can be the team's future shortstop.
This is roughly where I would place Beckham on my list, but as always with Beckham, people can and will disagree, some arguing that he should be higher, and some arguing that he should be lower. He's certainly a difficult player to evaluate. Some say that if he wasn't a #1 pick, no one would think anything of his tools and stats. Others say that a player not taken #1 with his tools and stats would be viewed positively thanks to his high floor. All I know is that Beckham passed 2000 career plate appearances in 2012, and I still don't know what kind of player he is.
Please continue voting as we inch closer and closer to spring training.