Tracking Our ’08 Bowman Prospects – Post 2013 Edition

Back in the early days of this blog we picked up a cheap box of 2008 Bowman Chrome Baseball.  Oh, how young and naive we were back then. (Why yes, we did pick up a box of 2011 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects as well.)

Since Bowman is all about the prospect cards, you really have no idea how good your box is for months upon years down the line.  Instead of forgetting about these cards and hoping for the best, we decided to actively break our collective hearts as the prospects get picked off in the minors one by one.

We’ll be following up with these guys every few months (or year) or so as an experiment.  Here’s our first check in back in May of 2010 and here’s our follow-up in November of ’10, and here’s our end of 2011 update, and the end of 2012 update.  How much does prospecting really pay off for your average box?  Obviously the odds aren’t that good, but it should be fun to see how many drop out and how quickly and how many make the big leagues and if any stick.  Stats are up to date as of yesterday.

For batters, I’ll give the line AVG/OBP/OPS (I’ll let you do the math on SLG from there if you want).  I’ll also give HR, RBI and SB. For pitchers, I’ll give ERA, current W-L, SV & BB/SO

If the average type stats are worse than before, I’ll highlight in red.  If it’s better; green.  I’m highlighting the counting stats this time since I’m comparing them to a year ago.  If the player jumped rank mid-season, the stats are cumulative when possible.

Jeudy Valdez (Padres – AA) – .251/.300/.706, 10 HR, 49 RBI, 16 SB – currently playing in Arizona fall league
Duke Welker (Twins – previously Pirates – MLB) – minor league stats 3.57, 3-4, 9 SV, 31 BB/65 K – played in 2 MLB games, pitched 1.1 scoreless innings with 1K.
Johan Limonta (San Diego – Mariners – AA) – .255/.353/.705, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 0 SB
Justin Henry (Red Sox – previously Tigers – AAA) – .210/.294/.580, 2 HR, 36 RBI, 9 SB
Fabio Castillo (Giants – previously Rangers – AAA) – 5.34, 6-7, 0 SV, 43 BB/95 K
Brandon MaGee (Blue Jays – AA) – last played in 2010.  Now appears to be out of baseball (not on
Charlie Furbush (Mariners – previously Tigers – MLB) – 3.74, 2-6, 0 SV, 29 BB/80 K
Jose Vallejo (Astros – AAA; card lists Rangers) – last played in 2011.  Now appears to be out of baseball (not on
Hector Rondon (Cubs – previously Indians – MLB) – 4.77, 2-1, 0 SV, 25 BB/44 K – only played in 4 games in 2012 after playing 2 in 2011.
Ernesto Mejia (Braves – Previously Royals – AAA; card lists Braves) – .249/.323/.820, 28 HR, 83 RBI, 8 SB
Rhyne Hughes (Mets – previously Orioles – AA; card lists Rays) – .278/.364/.827, 5 HR, 30 RBI, 1 SB (2010 MLB Stats – 14 Games – .213/.275/.530, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB – not brought back to majors in 2011, ’12, or ’13 – tested positive for amphetamine in 2011)
Travis Banwart (A’s – AAA) – 4.60, 10-5, 0 SV, 54 BB/125 K
Anthony Varvaro (Braves – Previously Mariners – MLB) – 2.82, 3-1, 1 SV 25 BB/43 K
Jhonny Nunez (Mariners – previously White Sox – AAA; card lists Nationals) – 7.67, 3-2, 0 SV, 23 BB/31 K
David Wood (Royals – A) – last played in A in 2009.  Now appears to be out of baseball (not on
DJ Jones (Rays – A) – last played in A in 2009.  Now appears to be out of baseball (not on
Larry Williams (Braves) – last played in High A in 2007.  Now appears to be out of baseball (not on
Steve Garrison (Mariners – previously Yankees – Previously Padres – AA) – 3.30, 1-1, 0 SV, 14 BB/49 K – Played in one MLB game in 2011, pitched 0.2 scoreless innings.
Ivan Nova (Yankees – MLB) – 3.10, 9-6, 0 SV, 44 BB/116 K
Jaime Pedroza (Braves – previously Dodgers – AA) – .281/.348/.710, 4 HR, 48 RBI, 6 SB
Zach Britton (Orioles – MLB) – 19 games in the minors – MLB stats – 7 games as a Starter – 4.95, 2-3, 0 SV, 17 BB/18 K
Jake Arrieta (Cubs – Previously Orioles – MLB) 16 games in the minors – MLB Stats – 14 Games as a Starter – 4.78, 5-4, 0 SV, 41 BB/60 K)
Luis De La Cruz (Braves – previously Cardinals – High A) – .202/.256/.482, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 0 SB ( has his status as “released”)
Alan Farina (Blue Jays –  AA) – 2.61, 1-1, 8 SV, 8 BB/38 K
Helder Velazquez (Rockies –  High A) – listed as free agent. Didn’t play in 2012
Danny Brezeale (Braves) – last played in A Ball in 2007.  Now appears to be out of baseball (not on
Bryan Morris (Pirates –MLB; card lists Dodgers) – 5 games at AAA – MLB stats – 55 Games – 3.46, 5-7, 0 SV, 28 BB/37 K
Lucas Duda (Mets – MLB) – 29 games in minors – .252/.363/.693, 1 HR, 14 RBI, 1 SB – MLB stats – 100 games – .223/.352/.767, 15 HR, 33 RBI, 0 SB)
Eric Barrett (Braves – Rookie Ball) – not on – played in Independent ball in 2010, nowhere in 2011
Mitch Canham (Royals – Previously Cardinals – Previously Athletics – Previously Padres – AAA) – .265/.365/.747, 2 HR, 29 RBI, 12 SB
Ryan Mullins (Twins – AAA) – last played in AAA in 2011.  Now appears to be out of baseball (not on
Yamaico Navarro (Orioles – Previously Pirates – Previously Royals – Previously Red Sox – MLB) – 59 games in minors – .267/.354/.77212 HR, 53 RBI, 9 SB (MLB stats – 8 Games – 22 games in ’11, 29 in ’12 – .286/.333/.690, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB)
Carlos Santana (Indians – MLB; card lists Dodgers) – MLB stats – 154 Games – .268/.377/.832, 20 HR, 74 RBI, 3 SB)
Sergio Morales (White Sox – A) – last played in High A in 2009.  Now appears to be out of baseball (not on
Zhenwang Zhang (Yankess) – apparently the first player born in the People’s Republic of China to sign a MLB contract with the permission of the China Baseball Association – doesn’t appear to have played a game in the minors or majors
Our Autographed Card:  Jordan Schafer (Braves – Previously Astros – Previously Braves – MLB) – 8 games in AAA (MLB stats – 94 games – .247/.331/.677, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 22 SB)

Players that made it to the majors:  13 (up from 11, but only 12 currently still there)

Players out of baseball: 10  (same, but that one free agent is likely to drop off the list by next go-round)

Players promoted to next level:  3 (down from 8)

Players demoted to lower level: 1 (down from 2)

First impression – Forget diminishing returns.  Just about everyone that is going to reach the majors pretty much has.  Look at how little movement there has been.  Everyone’s holding steady at their level of ball.  I think it may be safe to say that we know what to expect now that it’s 5 years after the release.

Second impression – Once again, I actually thought there were going to be more people dropping off the face of the baseball earth.  I thought we’d see a huge drop this year.  Can some of these lower rung guys really stick it out another year?

Guys to watch:  Justin Henry had a big drop.  He may not last.  Luis De La Cuz fell flat and was released.  He’s probably gone too.  Lucas Duda continues to split time between the minors and majors.  He’s gotta be close to out of options, right?  Jamie Pedroza and Alan Farina made big jumps, but they’re both older and in AA.

The big one for me is Hector Rondon.  He was the Cubs’ Rule 5 pick, hadn’t played past AA once in his career and stayed on the MLB roster all year as pretty okay relief guy.  Oh, and he also only played in 6 total games between 2011 and 2012, so…big surprise there.  Should be interesting.

We’ll check in again next year.  What are your thoughts now that we’ve done this a few times?  Are you as surprised as I am with how many of these guys are reaching and actually impacting the major leagues?  Does this make you want to prospect a little on your own?  Should we try a box of 2009 Bowman and start the same process to see how the years compare?

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